About Us

Leah & Gill

Gone For Words.

Three tiny words. One gigantic promise.

We are packing our bags, hugging our parents, saying farewell to our friends and going in search of something different – an adventure.

Our destination: the vast and lustrous wonders of South America.

South America, our destination

Our mission: to share with you another world. One that is filled with beautiful sights, delicious sounds, mouth-watering tastes and everything in between.

GoneForWords will be our connection to you. Our words will be your chance to share our experiences, our struggles, our successes and most importantly those wonderful moments when you remember how beautiful the world can be when seen from a different perspective. We want to take you by the hand (metaphorically, of course) and share this great adventure with you. Our words will be yours to taste, savor and enjoy.

So sit back and get ready for the utterly unexpected, yet, certainly wonderful adventures of LG & GM.

A brief history of LG and GM…

Skating during that fateful trip to Budapest

Our story begins in a library. A small library, with maybe a few hundred books and two very old computer terminals, the kind with yellowing keyboards and monitors that quietly hum as you worked.

It was 2005 and Gillian and Leah were both studying at a small Canadian college in Neuchatel Switzerland. Nestled between Lac de Neuchatel and the beautiful Swiss foothills, the small French-speaking city was as perfect as a postcard. And for two 18 year-olds with a yearning for new experiences and a passion for travel, it served as the perfect setting for an adventure.

On this particular day we sat kitty corner from one another in silence, Gillian typing quietly on her laptop while Leah struggled with one of the archaic white monsters to surf the internet. We had been introduced before briefly but neither of us had gone out of our way to forge a friendship. We were simply mere acquaintances.

Building homes in Hungary

And so when Leah turned to Gillian and asked her to go to Budapest for the weekend, Leah wasn’t expecting much interest in such a peculiar request. Hungary hadn’t been the top of any of our fellow classmates’ lists of places to travel. Not when there was London or Paris or Barcelona to explore.

But like most great moments in life, it takes one small and often insignificant act to create a chain reaction, irrevocably shifting the entire trajectory of your life’s path. Since that day in the library and Gillian’s one word response (Yes!), our lives would never be the same.

Five years later, we’re setting off on our next great adventure….

Catching the travel bug…

A full year of travels throughout Europe had us attached at the hip. Totally inseparable, we travelled as far as Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Berlin, and Bratislava. We shared adventures, laughs, and nearly 30 pounds of weight gain made possible by the impossibly delicious Swiss chocolate, cheese, and yogurt. But we were happy and round and so pleased with the friendship we had made. And as the year came to a close, we weren’t yet ready to part from one another.

Beautiful sunset off the coast of Tunisia

Sailing from Italy to Tunisia

We decided to squeeze in one more life-changing adventure. We went sailing across the Mediterranean Sea from Isola d’Elba in Italy to Tunis, Tunisia. It was just one more trip that opened our hearts to a lifelong love of travel. We saw the most amazing sunsets and sunrises and stargazed at flawless starry night skies. We saw so many dolphins that we got bored of dolphins.

We got bored of dolphins!

…as if that’s even possible.

Once we reached Tunisia, we got a taste of an exotic, spectacular country vibrating with culture that whet our palates for the strange and extraordinary.

We wanted to see what this world was all about.

4 years of university later…

Leah in Sierra Leone

Leah during her journalism internship in Sierra Leone

We took separate paths in university – Leah following her passion for journalism at Carleton University and Gillian getting to know the business world of entrepreneurship and marketing at McGill University.

Leah fell in love with the world of journalism, excelling in her field and eventually earning an internship with Search for Common Ground in Sierra Leone during the summer of 2010. The experience had her working at structuring and building the local journalism and news communications.

Halloween 2008

University life

The work was so rewarding she nearly decided to take an offer to stay in the country, but remembered the South American adventure that was waiting for her. Four months of manual labour in Alberta had Leah chomping at the bit for GoneForWords freedom.

Gillian found her passion in the creative sides of business. While she questioned her choice of study in courses like Financial Accounting and Macroeconomic Policy, she found her stride in Creating a New Enterprise and Technological Entrepreneurship. She enjoyed creating ads and presentations and developing strategies for start-up companies.

Studying abroad in Thailand

Hanging out in Cambodia

She taught herself Photoshop and website building on WordPress which has led us to this project (new lifestyle).

In search of inspiration and an escape from the monotony of hanging out at the McGill library, Gillian applied for a semester exchange. She attended Thammasat University in Bangkok for a semester. Apart from the cute uniforms and $1 Pad Thai, she enjoyed the freedom she had to travel Southeast Asia. Having a home-base in Bangkok gave her an opportunity to live like a Thai and have a place to do laundry.

It was also just another reason why Gillian needed to see how the rest of the world lives.

Great expectations…

Many of you might ask yourself, “why South America?” And this would be a very legitimate question. Of course, there are a million of great answers – the salt plains in Bolivia, the Amazon River, Iguazu Falls, Argentinean polo players…

But the real answer to your questions is a pretty simple one. Why not?

The day Leah decided that South America would make a great adventure was a pretty uneventful day sometime in the summer of 2006. Following her first year of university, she returned to her family’s ranch in Alberta for a gruesome summer of slaving away by day on a construction site and bartending at night.

GoneForWords yay!

Gill and Leah being friends

For four months, Gillian and Leah kept in contact with phone calls, which mostly consisted of Gillian patiently listening to Leah complain about the monotonous routine of her life – working two jobs and trying to save money for the next semester of school. It was during one of these weekly conversations that Leah had one of her greatest brain waves.

Like all elaborate plots, this one hit her like a slap across the face.

Why hadn’t she thought of it before? Leah proposed the plot to Gillian – after graduation we would travel for an extended period of time across South America. No worries, no jobs, no plan, just the two of us, one map and an entire continent.

Gillian, being the adventure-seeking and super-savvy traveler that she is, didn’t skip a beat and it was decided.

South America!

It was more than a plan, it was a promise we had made to one another, more or less, it would be our light at the end of the very long tunnel that is university.

Our experience and passion in what we know and what we crave to know give us an ideal foundation for creating GoneForWords. We’re both excited about embarking on this journey. We hope that we entertain, inspire, and motivate you.

We’re going to give you everything we’ve got.

Gill and Leah's adventures

Gill in Borneo, Leah in Sierra Leone