Val has a passion for people, from youngsters to wiser adults. At a young age, Val fell in love with the Canadian outdoors. Her obsession became her vocation. An avid kayaker, climber, camper, and naturalist, Val spent many years helping others stretch their boundaries and step out of their comfort zone through personal development work. Val's enthusiasm for teaching and learning prompted her to train as a teacher. She has over 10 years teaching outdoor and environmental educaiton to young and old in a variety of locations around the world. When not on a ship, Val lives in New Zealand where she teaches children and teachers to hug trees and Save the Planet.
What skills do you bring to the job?
"I have a degrees in Outdoor Recreation, Science, and Arctic studies. I am an expert kayaker and have more than a decade of experience as an outdoor instructor.
What keeps you coming back season after season?
"Everything! Antarctica has cast a spell over me and I look forward to my time in the South. The environment is so amazing and spell-binding. The guests and staff are always interesting people with incredible life stories. I thoroughly enjoy spending time getting to know everyone on board the ship."
If you could time travel, what historic expedition would you join, and why?
"Endurance with Shackleton. They say that a measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort, but rather where he stands in times of challenge. I would have loved to have observed Shackleton's leaderhship when all else fell away."
Val's advice to Polar Travelers
"Go for it! There is some effort involved getting to the polar environments. However it is worth every bit of work to get there. Be open to being touched by the place and the people you will meet while traveling."