Dream it. Do it.

It starts with a dream, and ends in a memory.

A trip to the Airport June 9, 2011

Filed under: About — Celina @ 7:52 pm

I wanted to relate this story to you, since I find it quite interesting.

When Celina and I have arrived at Pearson airport, to catch the flight to Oslo, via London, UK, we noticed a very interesting art exhibit on the platform.

Northern Canada

On the opposite wall we see where Celina was heading, the goal of her expedition: To the Arctic!

The Active Layer

The Active Layer is defined in the above picture as: the soil that denies but also permits life, oscillating between freeze and thaw temperatures. I thought it was interesting to find such an exhibit in the airport right before Celina’s departure. Then again, if Celina would not have went to the Arctic, but for some reason we would have gotten to the airport, then the exhibit might not have been so worthy of making the blog. For more exhibits displayed at the airport here are two links to follow: the permanent exhibits and the changing ones.

Dinosaurs in Terminal 1 on Pearson Airport

Yaaay! A gigantic aquarium! What fun

A little bit of fun before such an unexpected trip was gladly welcome by both of us.

Celina will be on her way to Oslo on the 14th of June. From there she will fly to London, UK and then to Toronto where she will land on the 15th of June. Let’s all hope for no delays on her flights.


Celina’s itinerary – From London, Ontario to Svalbard, Norway May 29, 2011

Filed under: About — Celina @ 5:14 pm

Hi, this is Horia. I shall keep you up to date while Celina is on her Arctic trip.

I have some news for you already. Celina’s third flight for the day has just landed moments ago in Svalbard, Norway, where she will be spending the night. This has been a tiring trip. She has to recharge her batteries since in the morning a 12 km skiing trip awaits them all with the goal set: get to Base Camp.

I am not in direct contact with Celina, but I am following her expedition’s blog. They check in with the BSES London Office once a week.

I thought you might want to see Celina’s itinerary so I prepared a map for you all. Enjoy!


Final Trip Preparations May 25, 2011

Filed under: About — Celina @ 4:21 pm

Preparation. Planning. Goal Setting. I always thought I was good at them all, but I think I’m lacking one of them? I don’t feel like I’m prepared for this trip. If I were I wouldn’t have much to do this last week . . . right? Somehow I found myself browsing Novack’s shelves one week before the trip. I guess this is a learning lesson: All the preparation, planning, and goal setting in the world won’t help if you don’t act on them in a timely fashion.

So there I was. In Novack’s. Staring at socks. Completely confused.

Lucky for me Andrew, my Novack’s go to guy, intervened and steered me in the right direction. He suggested a high and medium cushion wool hiking sock from Smartwool. I got a pair in my favourite colour, green, and wore them today. Let me tell you they felt like heaven! The sock is light with just enough cushion and it has amazing wool wicking capabilities to keep my feet dry. Even wearing them with my boots in 20°C, my foot was dry.

Next, I was off to search for pants. I’ve been having sleepless nights trying to figure out what pants I would need to bring. Most of the pants I have are not suitable for the Arctic. They’re all too big on me (since I’ve lost weight thanks to my workouts and eating habits), and they are nowhere near warm enough.

My team at BSES told me that Svalbard has been experiencing warmer than expected temperatures. That just makes packing harder. I don’t know exactly what to expect when it comes to temperature. I have been told to bring one pair of warm and cold pants. I’m not too sure how two pair of pants is going to last me for 18 days.

This is me asking Andy for advice; and no, I did not ask him if I looked fat. Do I?

Andy was there every step of the way, sharing valuable tips. Like . . . make sure I can squat comfortably.

After, I found a good pair of warm and cold pants, I needed to find an outer shell that would keep me dry. There is no way I’ll be staying warm if I’m wet. Don’t laugh at the picture, these pants need to be big enough to fit over two other layers. So my layers will be as follows: base layer (Icebreaker), warm pant (Columbia) or cold pant (Misty Mountain), and the waterproof outershell (Marmot).

Feeling relieved to have found suitable pants, I looked at a down filled jacket. Ever since I’ve lost a bit of weight, I do find that I get cold easier and let me tell you this jacket is crazy warm. When I went home and started packing, this jacket by Sierra Designs,  squeezes down to about the size of a pair of socks. Perfect for my limited backpack room.

Before I left there is one thing I made sure NOT to forget . . . my Go Girl. I’m sure every girl can admit to wanting to be able to pee standing up. It would be so much more convenient. With Go Girl, I finally can.

Thanks to the generous gear donation from Novack’s, leaving their store with two bags of gear was definitely something to smile about. What can I say? I’m definitely feeling a lot more prepared.

Fingers crossed the volcanic ash won’t cancel my trip.


Updates on my trip to the Arctic May 10, 2011

Filed under: About — Celina @ 9:07 pm

Great news! Yet again!

Women's hiking boots

I have updated you on the newspapers stories that explained my trip and its goal with deep inquiries into the subject. Today I would like to update you on a blog post that makes the knot in my stomach relax a bit. With such an experience it’s hard to not feel tense thinking about it. Novack’s has been and continues to be a constant supporter of my Arctic journey. You can read their post here

Until today, with your help I have managed to raise 2100$. The expenses for the journey are a bit more than double that amount and you can always find all that information and more in the widgets on the right side of my blog. An expense that I will soon undertake is buying boots for the Arctic, which will cost me 400$. I shall definitely post a picture and a review once I get them.

Once again thank you Novack’s and thank you to all that have and are helping me prepare for the trip to Svalbard.


Let me introduce you to . . . April 13, 2011

Filed under: About — Celina @ 4:22 am

Behind the scenes of Dream it. Do it. Are you excited?

I’ve been holding back sharing something with you. If you’re reading this, I am sure you are more than aware of my trip to the Arctic. One of the most important parts of preparing for this trip is acquiring all the gear I need to be prepared for the Arctic environment. Unfortunately, my experience with Arctic climates, and my experience camping, is really quite limited. Lucky for me Novack’s has stepped up and took me under their wing.

Novack’s is probably the most interesting store that I have been in. For an outdoor enthusiast like myself, it is a total dream. This store is not only packed with quality gear, it has a knowledgeable staff to back it up (quick shout out to Andy and Jody for all your help).

To be quite honest, when I received the kit list from BSES I had no idea where to start. If it weren’t for the help of a great friend, I would probably still be overwhelmed. With her guidance I got in contact with Novack’s and I am happy to say that I am overwhelmed no longer. Novack’s owner, Paul Caplan, has been kind enough to donate some gear for my trip and along with the donation he has shared his enthusiasm and knowledge. In fact all the staff at Novack’s are equally passionate about the outdoors and it’s great that they are sharing their excitement and knowledge with me.

Andy showing me how to wear the backpack properly so I don't hurt my shoulders

From now on I will update you from time to time with my experience gathering my gear, trying it, testing it and packing it (that’s definitely going to be a challenge and you’ll soon understand why). For a quick introduction to the layering process (ie. rain coat, fleece, base layer, etc.) check out this article, “Layering helps for packing, travel.”

Follow my posts for more information.


Newspaper news March 31, 2011

Filed under: About — Celina @ 8:35 pm

Great news!

I have contacted my university’s newspaper, the Western News, and have presented my dream to them. They were very delighted and decided to write a story on me. Here is the article they wrote if you’re interested to read more. And here is a PDF version of it.

I have sent an email with my story a while ago to the London Free Press and they have contacted me a week ago and interviewed me. It was a great feeling. Your’s truly appearing in the London newspaper for the first time with a dream to present, a goal I’ve been working towards for years: “Dream it! Do it!”. My motto. If you are interested in reading the article click here.

This week The Gazette has contacted me to take an interview on my trip to the Arctic, in the far north of Norway. Here I am explaining my Arctic adventure.

I came up with a goal. And here I am doing it and feeling great about the path I’ve taken. My work is finally being acknowledged by people, by organizations like these newspapers. This makes me not want to stray off the path I’ve chosen for myself.

I shall log out, a happy girl!

Thank you for your constant support on my blog.


More about the Expedition and BSES January 11, 2011

Filed under: About — Celina @ 12:43 pm

If you’ve read over my two introductory posts (About my Dream and Welcome to Dream it. Do it.), then you’re probably well acquainted with my dream of going to the Arctic. As the expedition date draws nearer and nearer (check my countdown on the right side of the page), I am receiving more details about the expedition. I figure I might as well keep you all in the loop as soon as I can so you can track my progress. So here are more details about the expedition.

As you may very well know, the blog is not only about Dreaming but also Doing. Signing up for this expedition wasn’t effortless, I had to seize the opportunity. Like many of you know, it is often taking the first step that is the hardest but I did it, and I encourage you to take the first step to your dreams as well.

The snow shoes defeated me and I ended up upside down... Good exercise though.

My dream began to take form when I applied for a spot on a 10 person expedition to Svalbard, Norway. The expedition location is a snowy archipelago of islands, deep within the arctic circle. The organization leading this expedition is the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES). As you can see in the name, this organization is based in Europe, and I believe that I will be the only Canadian on this expedition. For my team members, I may be the only Canadian they have met (and may ever meet). As such, I promise I will represent Canada well and not tarnish our friendly reputation. Click below for more information about BSES.

The BSES logo

Before I was offered a spot on the expedition I had a phone interview with a representative, Karen, from BSES. The interview was informative and friendly which makes me confident that this experience will be awesome! After I received the offer, I set about completing the paperwork process which I just finished.

The purpose of BSES is to provide university students with the opportunity to gain field experience and valuable research skills. As I prepare for the expedition, I will be learning about how to plan and execute my own expedition in the future.

Map of Svalbard, Norway

Although expedition preparation is extremely valuable, I am most looking forward to the expedition itself. The expedition will allow us young explores to collect data as part of an ongoing study. This ongoing research has focused on two main ares: 1) Glaciology (the study of glaciers) and Geomorphology (the study of landforms and the processes that shape them) and 2) Ecologically based field studies (botany, bird migration, etc.). As a biology major, I am hoping to contribute my knowledge of ecology, wildlife management, and evolution to the ecologically based field studies. I am currently pursuing opportunities to discuss potential study projects with various researchers around the world. This may allow me to conduct my own experiment.

In conclusion, I thought I would share a tentative itinerary for the expedition. It shows not only the research aspect of the expedition, but the physical aspects as well. Enjoy!

Day 1: Course participants arrive and go to guesthouse.

Day 2: Kit issue/sort personal kit. Get boat to base camp at Wimandalen.

Day 3: Science brief, polar bear response and rifle training. Evening pack to move out.

Day 4: Expedition skis 12 km to Glacier camp at Tobredalen or Fangenbreen

Days 5-9: Mountain, glacier, snow craft and emergency snow shelter sessions. Glaciology. Geomorphology.

Day 10: Return to base camp at Wimandalen: 12 km by ski.

Days 11-15: Ecologically based field studies.

Day 16: Return toLongyearbyen by boat. Stay in guesthouse

Day 17: Party flies home to London, England. I fly home to London, Ontario, Canada.


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