Meet Monika Ladbrook

Monika describes herself as an adventure seeker. If there’s a thrill involved—whether its sky diving, bungie jumping, whitewater rafting, abseiling or scuba diving—you can be pretty sure she’ll have her hand up to try it out.

However, her favourite recreational pursuit is snowboarding, a sport she took up on the slopes at Whistler. “In my first year at university, my program provided an opportunity to work at one of Canada’s Fairmont resorts. My neighbour recommended Whistler, so I ticked off the box on the application form and the next thing I knew I was packing for BC. “What started out as a summer venture turned into several seasons in the west. “I fell in love with the mountains and winter sports, I’m looking forward to getting back out there whenever I can.”

Travel ventures, camera in hand

Monika had an opportunity to spend six years living in the UK before returning to Canada. Naturally, the proximity to the rest of Europe made for quick and inexpensive escapes to warmer—and dryer—climes. One of her more memorable jaunts was to Iceland, where she took in some “stunning scenery” as well as a stop in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. “And I loved Venice,” she recalls, but adds that her most memorable stay in Italy was in a remote mountain villa. She was also able to visit the Prague Christmas Markets, though it was opening day and apparently thousands of other people had the same idea. “I was fortunate to work in hospitality for some time, which meant I could get great deals on high end hotels and perks like nice meals.”

Monika makes sure to pack her camera when she travels and was able to get take some memorable shots in places like Abu Dhabi and Istanbul. Although she has many to choose from, one of the most scenic spots she visited on her trips was the renowned Grotta Palazzese Restaurant in Puglia, Italy. “We took a scenic road trip from where we were staying in the beautiful seaside resort town of Mattinata to get there.”

Reach out and touch someone

Life has been busy for Monika with both work and studies in her field, human resources. “If I had more time on my hands,” she imagines, “I would like to spend it with family and friends. I’ve met so many people and made many special friends for life around the world and I try to keep in touch as best as I can.” She concedes that the pandemic put more balance into her life in terms of making sure she connects with people in different ways. But as soon as she can, she’ll be back to the UK to visit. Okay, and maybe after that, she could “squeeze in a tropical getaway as I am craving sun, sand, and sea.”

When she’s not studying or reconnecting with friends from around the world, she enjoys catching the latest Netflix drama. Some of her favourites include Ozark, El Chapo, Breaking Bad, and Money Heist. As you can see, her love for adventure and excitement extends to the silver screen as well.

Tea and scones, anyone?

Good food comes in all forms and ethnicities as far as Monika is concerned, though she admits she prefers sampling the goods more than actually cooking them. Although British cuisine is not at the top of everyone’s list, there’s nothing quite like a traditional afternoon tea for Monika. Part of the experience is the taste sensation, but another part is presentation. She describes the tiered display of little finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries. On the beverage side, it’s not just about the orange pekoes and the earl greys, she points out. The best teas feature bottomless “afternoon champagne”, which takes the whole concept of afternoon tea to a new level!

Farber, virtual but real

Despite joining Farber during the pandemic, Monika says she finds the people warm and welcoming. “It’s very family oriented and the firm strives to make you feel valued. Everyone has been approachable—especially Alan Farber —even though it’s harder with everything being virtual.” As far as the culture goes, she finds it “engaging, exciting and forward-looking.” Although she won’t be hitting the slopes anytime soon, she’ll keep busy this winter learning the ropes at Farber.

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