By: Captain Mary Ann Barber

Preparing to depart!

It’s hard to believe that it’s the day before we leave on this amazing opportunity and adventure!! I don’t think excited even covers adequately what I am feeling! Life at home returned to its normal pace of “hair on fire” and the days and weeks have flown by.  So today, as I am trying to pack and anticipate what I will need up north, plus follow the kit list, the significance of what I am about to do is finally setting in.

So many feelings! Nervous – while I did some preparation (I ran a marathon, that has to help while I paddle down a river right?) I would have liked to have done a bit more PT. I did spend some time back country camping in Jasper, AB a few weeks ago so that should help! I also did some kayaking this summer in the few weeks I have been home.

While my worry about the lack of preparation sits on the back of my mind, I am beyond excited though to see my fellow expeditioners. The bonds we made at the training camp have certainly set the stage for a great couple of weeks.

I am trying to be open to every experience the expedition has to offer. However, I am hoping to find a bit of grounding while I am up north. To be honest, as I prepare to leave the military within the next 6 months, I am nervous, terrified if you may, about life as a civilian. I’m leaving my family behind and moving into a whole new world again. The last time I felt this way was when I was joining the CAF 20 years ago. Here I am now, not the same person I was way back when, and facing a new future. I hope this trip helps me find a way to quiet the storm that is the worry of my mind, and to trust in the experience, the new relationships I will build and to know that life outside of the military is just as rich, engaging and full of incredible people.