My first appearance on Canada AM was July 21, 2001. I gave Jennifer Ward tips on travelling on a budget; my father called me that evening to let me know that I said “absolutely” nine times in five minutes. I guess I was a little nervous about being on national TV. Other topics that summer included best Canadian road trips and packing tips.

The tragedy of September 11 put an end to segments on vacationing. The world was shaken and there were important issues to debate and discuss. However, as the city of New York rose from the ashes, tourism played a part in that recovery, as evidenced by the I Love New York campaign. Navigating the changing world of airline security had become difficult. And so, the developing need for a Canada AM travel segment saw me back on the air in early 2002.

It has been an incredible experience. In addition to offering travel tips and advice, I have had the opportunity to show the world to viewers.  From live shows in Whistler and Nunavut; beach bars in the Caribbean and castles in the United Kingdom; riding motorbikes in Alberta and skydiving in New Zealand, they have all been highlights.

The week long shoot in British Columbia during the lead up to the 2010 Olympics might have been the best of the lot. In the span of six days myself, cameraman Bill and producer Melissa went powder skiing in Fernie, wine tasting in Kelowna and surfing in Tofino.  Our hosts at BC Tourism treated us like rock stars.

Speaking of rock stars, another amazing aspect of being part of the Canada AM team, are the people you meet. Chatting with the politicians, reality stars, community heroes, actors and rock stars who populate the Green Room over morning coffee, has given me some great water cooler stories. Some notable favourites;  swapping fashion tips with Debbie Harry, hearing about relief efforts in Haiti from Michaelle Jean and trading Degrassi trivia with director Kevin Smith.

A few years ago, while sitting in the make up chair, my “neighbour” Jeff Goldblum challenged me and make-up artists Spring and Steph to a twist on the game of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” that he called “Six Degrees of Jeff Goldblum”. Thank goodness I remembered The Fly.

But it is the people outside of the Green Room that are the heart of the show. From the beginning I have been made to feel like a welcome member of the AM family. The hosts, the crew, the producers (especially my travel producer…love you Katie!) are an incredible bunch.

So as Canada AM reaches this auspicious milestone birthday, a very happy birthday to all of you that make being affiliated with this show a pleasure.

Am I ready for another forty years? ABSOLUTELY!