About

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It all started with a love of movement.

I spent my childhood running around rural Ottawa, chasing soccer balls and my younger sister. We didn’t travel far as a family, opting instead for summer camping trips and winters spent x-country skiing at the nearby Provincial Park. In hindsight, it may have been the National Geographic subscription sitting on the coffee table that sparked my wanderlust for places further afield. I remember pouring over the monthly issues, sketching scenes from far-flung places in my notebook.

I followed this love of motion straight onto a University basketball team and a degree in Kinesiology. It was a teammate who inspired a new direction for me after she graduated and travelled oversees to volunteer with an organization that used basketball as a vehicle for peace and reconciliation. Combining my love of sport with an ever-growing passion for travel and community building was a possibility I didn’t know existed.

I went on to pursue a Masters degree in sociocultural studies that blissfully, if sometimes painfully, pried my eyes open to global injustices and realities very different from my own. I wandered further abroad and began to crave a different kind of travel experience – one that allowed for greater connection to a place and the people who lived there. After years of striving to move as fast as possible, I’ve started to appreciate the value of staying put. In 2016 I picked up my sketchbook again, drawn to the way painting forces you to pause and be present.

For the past three years I have worked in education, focusing on integrating social justice and global citizenship education into an independent school setting. I oversee programming that encourages students to challenge their perspectives of the world through local and international partnerships.

I’ve learned that collaboration and creativity makes me tick, and Wannabe Wanderer has become an ever-evolving outlet for this. If you’d like to get in touch about working together on creative projects, you can reach me at mbelore@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading, I hope to connect with you soon!

 ~Mel