Dear Readers of The Montreal Buzz,
I don’t want to alarm you, but a visit to Montreal could be life changing.
In the summer of 2002, I flew from western Canada to spend a week in the dynamic French Canadian city. I walked through Old Montreal. I shopped on the Plateau. I climbed Mount Royal. I danced in the Village.
I fell in love with Montreal.
It was a persistent love that would, in turn, deeply affect almost a decade of my life. And when it was time to start a new chapter in my life, the glow of Montreal enticed me to move 4300 kilometers from my hometown in British Columbia, to explore an urban wonderland of unknown possibilities.
By happenstance, I found an adorable apartment in the artsy Plateau neighborhood, and spent the next seven years engaged in various activities: working at cafes, finishing my undergraduate degree, volunteering with a community organization, playing volleyball and getting drag queen makeovers.
But of all my Montreal experiences, my time with Tourisme Montreal has continued to resonate deeply: socially and professionally.
The past two years blogging for The Montreal Buzz have been revolutionary for me. I’ve had the honor and privilege of being on the front lines of a social media strategy that has pushed limits, maintained an authentic tone, encouraged creativity, won awards and subtly/intentionally infiltrated the online lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the world. I’ve been part of the cheerleading squad for Montreal travel.
I express my deepest gratitude to Tourisme Montreal for trusting and honoring me with this role.
Now, in 2011, my love for Montreal has not diminished. But, like any type of relationship, sometimes a pause can be helpful in reconfiguring, refreshing and reigniting the flame. So I have opted to let other eager Montrealers share their perspectives on the city where they live and love. Stay tuned. I am excited to see what they share on this blog.
For me, new adventures await.
As I once turned to Montreal to satiate my desire for culture, diversity and delicious dining, I now look to the world to quench my new cravings: adventure, skill-development and international perspective. I have elected to spend 2011 on the road – I’ll be spending twelve months in twelve different countries across six continents, exchanging work for food and accommodation. The goal is to share the tales of my travels on my own personal blog (The Conversationalist), as well as to gain a deeper understanding of global realities.
My travels are an ambitious undertaking that both compel me forward and leave me shaking in my boots. It has been a decision that, once again, will alter the direction of my professional life, my relationships and my personal paradigms. But I feel ready. I suppose you could say I’m the type of guy who thrives on change and adventure. I enjoy the epic-ness of it all.
But one doesn’t have to take such drastic measures for a life changing or meaningful experience. It could be much more simple. You could just come to Montreal.
Heck, it worked for me.
Tourisme Montreal Team:
@EmmanuelleMTL – In 50 years, when I look back at the people who opened doors for me, you will be one of the key figures. Thank you for building me a stage. My life is now changed. #mixeddrinks2012
@Louise – It has been an absolute pleasure. Thanks for doing my make-up for the QOTY shoot! #TWIM?
@Lynn_H – You are the perfect combination of professionalism and humanism. Wishing you insight and inspiration. #teamhabelcheerleader
@Charles Lapointe – You are an amazing man. I hope to maintain my spirit, as you have maintained yours. You are a firecracker and a role model. #muchrespect.
Sid Lee Team:
@Samuel_Sauvageau – I could go on about how wise beyond your years you are or how one day you will be running the world, but you already know all this. Instead, I spoke with God, and she’s assured me that someone beautiful is waiting for you. #lovecomestothosewhobelieveitandthatsthewayitis
@AnikD – You are hipness personified. #futurecollaborations?
@Nat – Thanks for the fuel, for challenging me. #stealingyourmotorbike
@Monique – To the bestest editor in the hole world! Sea? I’m lost without ewe. Thanks for being a mother, but more importantly, a friend. #wannaedittheconversationalist?
@Christophe – Well, we certainly worked together. I admire your shoes, but more importantly the courage it takes to rock them. #neverchange
@Regine, @Rosalie & @MarieKim – The most fabulouso admin folks ever! You make “taking care of business” sexy. Keep up the great work. #heroes
@Jack_Latulippe & @Alain – Thanks for keeping it fun, boys! #bestpeanutgalleryever
@TamyEmmaPepin – If anyone can understand the arc of this journey, it’s you: my colleague, my cyber sister and my friend. Keep training your lungs for big runs, and also your heart for big adventures. #keepthescarf
@FreeMurphy – Thanks for providing the humor. You’ve got big adventures ahead of you, and I wish you strength and patience and grace. Thanks for the mix tape. It’s already become my soundtrack. #cobblestonestreets
@KaterineRollet – You are one of the most delicious people I know! I’m so appreciative for our chats. You have expanded my palette and filled my heart. #coted’or
@Alexandre_de_B – Thanks for making me look good! #seeyouinparis