Starting a New Adventure

Hello friends,

It’s been a while since I’ve made an update about what’s going on in my life and I think it’s time to catch up. The last 8 months since I graduated have been filled with a lot of new experiences and learning opportunities, but also with a lot of anxiety. I’ve been doing contract work in St. John’s for the last 6 months while I’ve been looking for a permanent job and before Christmas I very happily accepted a new job starting in February in Vancouver! So I’m leaving Newfoundland and I’m moving out west to British Columbia.

I hate leaving Newfoundland because it is my home and it has the most beautiful scenery and people, but I’m very excited to be starting a new chapter in my career and to have the opportunity to try living in a new place. I’ve been off for the last month and I’ve spent it catching up with friends and clearing through the clutter that’s accumulated in my room over the last few years. I’m moving at the beginning of next week and I’m starting my new job the following week. I’ve been finding it difficult to post regular blogs over the last few months, but I plan on getting back into the swing of writing regular entries to share my adventures as I check out a new city and province.

I’m going to be based in Burnaby, which is next to Vancouver (they feel like one big city to me) and I’m going to be living in New Westminster. New Westminster is a smaller municipality located on the river between Burnaby and Surrey and I hope I’m going to like it there. I’m pretty excited about exploring a new place and I hope to do some skiing in the winter and lots of hiking in the summer. I spent a decent amount of time on the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and I’d like to get acquainted with the West Coast Trail in BC.

I don’t know too many people in Vancouver and would love to make some new friends, so let me know if you’re in the area or know anyone in the area that I might be able to connect with. I’m hoping to make a few weekend trips to nearby places in BC and across the border in Washington. I welcome any ideas and recommendations on places to explore and I have extra room in my apartment if you ever want to come for a visit and explore them with me!

I’ve enjoyed my last few months of work in St. John’s, but I’m excited to settle down into a permanent position as I start my career. I always hate saying goodbye to Newfoundland, no matter how long I’m going for, but I’m looking forward to new opportunities to learn and grow. Hope you’ll follow along in my new adventure!

Love Maria

Change is in the Air

Change is in the air and as a result the last few weeks have been incredibly eventful. If you have me on facebook, you’ll probably know that I recently received my Bachelor of Engineering! I feel like it’s been a long time coming and it was exciting to finally get that last piece of paper. Since I came back from Peru, I’ve pretty much just been kicking around St. John’s, applying for the occasional job and hoping things would work out. My graduation week was pretty much the most incredible week ever. Seth and I both convoked this year, so between the two of us, it felt like I was always at some kind of convocation event or party. In the same week I got my degree, I also attended my engineering dinner and dance celebration, and hosted a convocation party at my house!

First of all, thank you to everyone who came to the party, called, or stopped by to wish me congratulations. I have felt very loved and supported over the past few weeks, as well as a little bit overwhelmed by everyone who took the time to come out and celebrate with me. I’m so thankful for all the support and prayers I’ve had over the last few years! My parents came to watch my 30 seconds of glory as I walked across the stage to receive my degree and my grandparents and relatives watched online. It’s so nice to know that no matter what I do or where I go, I have such an incredible support network!

Maria Adey, B.Eng

Maria Adey, B.Eng

So, like I said, change is in the air. You may be wondering what my plans are now that I’ve put University behind me; I am still not entirely sure what the future holds, but I do have one piece of the puzzle figured out. I’ve been incredibly lucky to get a job working with Nalcor Energy on the Lower Churchill Project for the summer! I was offered a job, on my convocation day nonetheless, and I started with Nalcor this past Monday, so I guess I’m a real person now with a real-person job! Oh, and the job is in St. John’s, so I’ll be around the city all summer!

In other news, you may have noticed that my blog now looks different! I changed a few things in what I called my ‘unemployment project’. The page theme is different and I’ve got a lovely new cover photo of me and my housemates hiking along the countryside in England (photo credit to the wonderful Mickael Freitas). I’ve also added some new content and a new browser at the top! I started writing some specific content for the different places I’ve visited, as I think it’s much easier to reference this way. You can read about it fully in “About My Blog” and feel free to check out some of the content in the drop-down menu. In addition, you might have noticed that I’ve now become the owner of my domain and my new url is (no .wordpress anymore!). A little thank-you to WordPress for letting me blog for free the last 3.5 years!

I’ve been doing a decent amount of hiking along the East Coast Trail since I’ve been home and I’ve made a goal of trying out a different trail each week (or every other week at the very least). Seth and I hiked the Sugarloaf Trail a few weeks ago, which runs from the Marine Drive Sciences Centre to Quidi Vidi Village. I think it’s probably a nice trail, but it was really foggy on the day that we hiked it, so I really can’t be sure! We also hiked Cobbler Path with a few people from SASF. I loved the views on this one, parts of it are through the woods, but the majority is along the coast. The other day Seth and I also made a quick stop into Cuckolds Cove Trail to look for a bald eagle that’s nesting there with her chicks. The trail is located up on Signal Hill, but starts from Georges Pond rather than the top of the Hill. I would definitely recommend walking in (it’s only about a km); we had no trouble spotting the eagle!

Cobbler's Path

Cobbler Path

Anyways, I just wanted to post a quick update about the new and exciting changes in my life! I’m hoping to keep posting with regular content, although I suspect it won’t all be travel related. I might try out some new things, maybe some more opinion pieces or even a book review? Who knows, we’ll see what strikes my fancy! Let me know if you’d like to take up some hiking with me this summer!


A Tribute to my University Years

This week I’m reaching a milestone. I’m finishing my degree in Civil Engineering! After five years and six work terms, they’re finally letting me graduate! I wanted to take the time to write a little tribute for the last five years and how much I’ve appreciated everything that I’ve experienced throughout my education.

Engineering has definitely been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding. I had the opportunity to live and work in Malawi and England, and I discovered my huge passion for traveling and international development. I’ve learned so much from all of my work terms and I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many incredible people. I’ve also been lucky to work with a great group at school over the last three years and I’ve made some great friends. We ended the term on a great note last week, finishing up with a presentation on our senior design project presentation. So a special shout-out to my wonderful classmates: Steve, Jess, and Will. We drive each other crazy sometimes, but I still love you all for some reason.

Steve, Jess, Will, and I after completing our final design presentation

Steve, Jess, Will, and I after completing our final design project

After my work terms, the best decision I’ve made was to get involved in on-campus organizations. I’ve worked with Engineers Without Borders for the last five years and I’ve gained more from that experience than from the rest of my engineering degree. I’ve met some incredible people through EWB who have challenged me, coached me, encouraged me, and helped me to grow. I’m glad that I can look back on the work I’ve done with EWB and be really proud of what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve helped other people to accomplish. The MUN Chapter won ‘Volunteer Society of the Year’ last month and I really can’t think of a more deserving group of individuals. I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities that I’ve had through EWB and for the opportunities I believe I will continue to have as a result of what I’ve gained from the experience.

An amazing group of EWBers from the MUN Chapter

An amazing group of EWBers from the MUN Chapter

I write my last exam tomorrow and on Thursday I get my iron ring. I haven’t lined up a job yet for post-graduation, but I’ve decided not to stress too much about it yet. In the meantime, I do have some pretty awesome plans for the next month. It turns out it’s pretty hard to get me to stay still for too long, so on Friday, Seth and I are heading out on vacation for 4 weeks. This time the destination is Peru!

My key motivation for wanting to go to Peru was to hike Machu Picchu and to visit the Amazon – so that’s exactly what we’re going to do! We’re spending the first 10 days backpacking around Peru, and then we’re going to settle into the tourist capital, Cusco, for the rest of the trip. We’re planning on hiking the Salcantay trail to Machu Picchu for five days and we’re volunteering on a conservation project in Manu National Park in the Amazon for another five days. My goal is to try and write a blog entry for each portion of the trip, so stay tuned!

Beyond that, I’m pretty happy to be finishing my degree and I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life. Throughout my time at MUN I’ve learned a lot, made some great friends, and even met my wonderful boyfriend. After Peru, I’m planning to be around Newfoundland for the rest of the summer and I’m hoping to do some road trips around the province. Please give me a call if you’re here this summer. I feel like I have so many people to catch up with and I’d really like to see you!

Love Maria