When the automotive bug bit me

Some might say they always knew what they wanted to be when they grew up: a doctor, a teacher, a surfer; these are all childhood dreams that often turn into reality. For me it was a little more complicated than that. I had great dreams and aspirations of becoming a vet, a la James Herriot (yes, I read one too many of his books when I was younger). I was obsessed. I even went so far as to major in sciences after I graduated high school - and I failed miserably and completely. It was not meant to be and suddenly I was flung into the "Oh my God, what do I do with my life?" dilemma more college students suffer than we'd like to admit.

So, what did I do? I finally accepted the fact that I could write (and fairly well, if I do say so myself) and embraced my inner geek. I enrolled in journalism school and thought I'd give it a crack. Knowing absolutely nothing about media while all my classmates came in with years working at their high school papers under their pen-equipped belts, weathered notepads and skills that had them memorizing four local newspapers cover to cover every morning, I felt a little intimidated to say the least.

Once again, I decided I had a dream: I was going to be a crime writer. Shortly after ditching the vet dream, I started reading mystery/crime/horror novels and the new obsession was born (in retrospect, perhaps I should have refrained from fiction for a bit while I was a student...). I was going to be the next Nancy Drew reporter. Yup, this was it. I was pumped, I was excited, I knew what I wanted to be when I "grew up" (at 20 years old).

Then we had our new-student journalism initiation where the head of the department addressed us all, and something he said resonated with me and changed everything again. He said: "Always, without a doubt, write what you know."

It took a little while for me to understand that "what you know" isn't necessarily "what you like," but generally they do go together. Where the disconnect happens is when you like something, but know nothing about it. So I took some time to consider what I "knew," and was rather shocked by the revelation.

My mother always told me that when I was a little girl, I constantly reminded her and my family that I wanted a little red sports car when I grew up. While my friends played with makeup dolls and kitchen sets, I opted for HotWheels and LEGO sets. I loved mechanical things, things with wheels, things that went quickly. And I loved power. I loved to go fast in cars, planes, trains, even on the backs of horses (I started horseback riding at a very young age and still do it to this day). And I recently learned that my very first automotive experience was when I was brought home from the hospital in a pale blue, '70s-era VW Beetle - groovy.

Throughout high school, college and university I always made it a point to attend local auto shows, car meets, and I dreamt about the day I would own my first car more often than I'd like to admit. Walking the streets of downtown Montreal during the Canadian Grand Prix weekend was a feast for my eyes and ears not because of the people but because of the cars that lined the streets. And when the first Fast and Furious film came out, I'm ashamed to admit I was more than a little excited. There was something about the automobile that caught my attention and held it. And that's when I knew what I "knew."

From that moment on I focused all my energy and time on writing about, researching and getting into the automotive industry. I knew very little about automotive journalism as a whole, and it took a very kind and patient online editor from Ontario to teach me the ropes and drag me in even further. From the moment I graduated journalism school, I was already fully immersed in the automotive world and loving every minute of it. Finally, I was doing what I knew, what I was most passionate about, and it showed in my writing and my prose.

For the better part of six years I've been test driving and writing reviews on all kinds of cars from Nissan Versas to Lamborghini Gallardos. I've driven on famous race tracks, twisty Hawaiian roads and rough, Quebec country backroads; and I've loved every minute of it. I am by no means a mechanical expert and could stand to take a course or two to learn more, but I have a solid appreciation for the automobile and absolutely love to be behind the wheel.

I offer my readers a real-life take on driving and living with the cars I take home every week. From fitting groceries in the back to impressing my neighbours (and every so often my car-novice mother), my reviews let my readers know how today's cars live in today's world - for real. And with a bouncing baby boy recently making an appearance in my life, now I'll have a new dynamic to add to the test-review equation.

Cars are my passion.