Good morning!  For those of you new to my blog, every Friday I give space to a person who actively pursues a hobby, works in a field of passion or has chased a dream, no matter where it has led them.  My purpose in doing this is to inspire YOU to do whatever it is that makes your soul sing.  All of these special posts can be found here; when I look back at the diversity of the messages that have come through in this series, I feel truly blessed.  None of us need to look far to be inspired.  In fact, I encourage you to take a look at yourself today.  Think about all the things you’ve had to overcome just to be where you are and then take that energy and run with it.  Harness it, use it to dare to dream a little more, have more fun and let your creative Self out. 

Today, my cousin Zubeen is here to remind you that being open to ideas can lead to fulfilling paths, and that nothing should stand in the way of what may seem like a challenging route. 

Without further ado, please welcome Zubeen!

Hi Zubeen!  I know your story is about your passion for speech-language pathology and it’s something I’ve always admired about you.  Interestingly enough, I don’t even know how you turned to this field in the first place!  Can you tell us what led you to speech-language pathology?

This is a funny question for me.  I remember being in Grade 12 sitting in my friends living room choosing courses for university.  Her mom said that we should take a Linguistics course as an elective.  I had no idea what Linguistics was!  I registered for it anyways and loved it.  Although I toyed with different careers since our parents drill it into our heads to become a doctor or a lawyer, my heart always stayed with studying language.  Throughout my years completing my undergrad, I volunteered with two amazing Speech Language Pathologists who gave me wonderful opportunities to explore this field.  I struggled and had to work extra hard to pursue this field….and I am so glad that I did!

It’s not an easy road to speech language pathology.  A lot of blood, sweat and tears go into that program!  Now that you’re on the other side and have been practicing for several years, how do you feel about working in this field?

I love being a Speech and Language Pathologist.  I know that we should never define ourselves by where we work or what our career is….but I so do! I am a Speech Language Pathologist and I love saying it!  I have explored working with children and with adults.  My specialty is working with adults and I absolutely adore my geriatric clients.  They need so little to put a smile on their faces.

It’s nice when work is so rewarding since most of us spend the majority of our days immersed in it.  

And then you did something really exciting and adventurous!  You found a way to go overseas to support others with your knowledge.  Can you tell us more about that?  Why did you decide to volunteer in Nepal as a speech-language pathologist?

This opportunity fell into my lap.  Throughout my career, I always wanted to volunteer in a third world country however, my educational background was not sought out as a medical need.  When working at Toronto Rehab, I had joined a working group initiative of the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation at the University of Toronto.  They had partnered with the Tansen Hospital in Nepal.  With that, I was able to use my skills to provide on the job training to Nepali Health Care providers.

That’s incredible because you’re right – when most people think of the medical help that is required around the world, other professions come to mind first.  It’s great that you were able to find a volunteer opportunity that matched your area since speech-language pathology is a diverse field.   Tell us about some of your experiences there.

It’s a different world! The things we worry about on a daily basis are not even thought about there. Something I learned when I was there and think about often….the little things count!  In the rural areas of Nepal, they are so content without a TV, cell phone, computers, microwaves etc….they enjoy life with family!  It helped me to value the things we have in our lives here in Canada that are not materialistic.

I’m sure it was a great lesson to see people enjoying life so much without electronics!  It does sound like a different world – and a happy one at that!  😉  What obstacles did you have to overcome to pursue this opportunity?

Time and money.  It’s hard to find the time to donate your time…if that makes sense. We are always occupied in our own lives, trying to find some sort of balance between work and pleasure, family and independence.  Although it was a short amount of time I would have to be away from work, financial INstability was always at the front of my mind.  This was a volunteer opportunity which meant that I would have to pay for this experience.  That’s when it hit me; it was an experience, one that I had waited a long time for.  In the end, we were lucky that our many fundraising events supported our travels.

Sometimes we do have to measure value in terms other than monetary.  Nice insight!  What advice do you have for others in overcoming obstacles or following their passion?

Just do it!  There will always be excuses, reasons that make us think it is NOT possible.  But believe me…it IS possible. I am also very lucky to have the support of my husband and family reassuring me that anything is possible.

Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Zubeen!  You have given me and my readers something to think about the next time we face a road bump in our journeys!

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in Nepal

in Nepal










Zubeen is mother to a beautiful 5 month old daughter, and a wife to an amazing husband.  She completed her graduate degree in Speech and Language Pathology while living in Boston.  Zubeen loves traveling, reading, biking and white water kayaking.  Her husband would say…she loves to shop! Her treasured times are spending quality time with family and friends.


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