My name is Arden and I am the girl behind thefriendlygiraffe.
Canadian by birth, I am a self-proclaimed citizen of the world. I’m currently settled in Toronto and working as a Freelance Writer in and around the G.T.A.
“The Development Worker”
My background in the field of international development began with a volunteer placement with Youth Challenge International (YCI) working as an HIV/AIDS educator and awareness officer in a remote village in Tanzania. Upon my return, I proceeded to complete a BSocSc in International Development and Globalization at the University of Ottawa, which included a semester spent studying abroad in Toulouse, France.
After taking some time following my undergraduate degree to travel the world and meet my wonderful husband (it was, of course, all part of the plan) I completed an internship at One World Action, UK and finished my M.A in International Development and Communications at City London University, UK. My thesis consisted of an in-depth analysis of the relationship between NGOs and Western Military troops on the ground in areas of conflict and complex emergency.
“The Writer/Communications Professional”
My work as a paid communications professional began following my experience working in Tanzania. Writing for YCI’s bi-monthly newsletter, I branched into freelance writing, mainly content, for consultancies, film companies, and travel guides. While reviewing restaurants and cafes around Munich, I began to teach Business English to professionals within the pharmaceutical and engineering industries before pausing to pursue my graduate degree on the other side of the channel. I dipped my fingers in PR before moving into the role of Outreach Manager with Verge Magazine. Working in an industry I love while promoting the concept of travel with purpose allowed me to continue to expand my reach as a communications professional and learn something new everyday on the job. Outreach was a great experience but after a year and a half, and some very itchy fingers later, I made the decision to take a position as Content and Community Manager at RightSpot Media… and I haven’t looked back since.
However I may be defined, in the end, I am just me. A tall Canuck with a desire to discover the world around her, and a soft spot for mango-sticky rice. Can you blame me? I’m head over heels for the man I love and I’m eager to travel the world while growing in every direction. Up next on my list of things to do include mastering the German language (jetzt ist es wirklich nicht so gut) and writing diligently in an effort to provide you with running commentary of all things that turn the neck of a friendly giraffe.
After moving around for the past four years, I’m back in Toronto with my eyes set on the road ahead, this time accompanied by my wonderful husband and a desire to re-discover the Canada I left behind.