I met Sarah at JJ Bean on Commercial Drive, on a sunny afternoon. Sarah is from Ontario. After years of traveling and living abroad, she now resides in Whistler for the time being, though she is planning to move to Vancouver in the fall. “I like it here [Commercial Dr.]. I was thinking either I live here or Kits.” Sarah said with excitement on her face.
Sarah is well-traveled for her age of 24. When she was in college studying communication and film, she took some time off to spend a few months volunteering in Tena, Ecuador. Since then, Sarah found her calling in traveling, so then she moved to Banff, AB, where she met her first boyfriend, an Aussie guy. Sarah continued her traveling with a friend and her boyfriend in Hawaii, where they spent months hopping from island to island, and taking advantage of the jungle living.
Sarah’s mom is also an avid traveler. Sarah and her mom went on adventures in South East Asia, including countries such as Thailand, Lao, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. I often hear horror stories about tourists getting mugged or murdered in Asia, but Sarah never felt unsafe when she was there. “Probably because I am tall.” Sarah joked. She is right. She is 6 foot tall, taller than most people in the South East Asia.
Not long after Sarah completed her trip in Asia, she moved to Melbourne, Australia, to live with her boyfriend. Melbourne was great, but it was not for Sarah. She told me the city was very celebrity-oriented and fast-paced and she could not see herself living in Australia. That put strains on her relationship with her boyfriend. They decided to take a break before Sarah went on a solo trip to New Zealand. Originally planning for a short stay in Queenstown, Sarah fell in love with the city decided not to go back to Melbourne.
In Queenstown, Sarah met Laura, who was from Ontario, and coincidentally went to the same school with Sarah, lived in Banff and knew the same group of people as Sarah. It is a small world, indeed.
"What are your struggles right now?" I asked.
"Figuring out what to do in life." Sarah said she now feels like settling down in a city like Vancouver and starts to sort out what she is going to do next. She may go back to school and start on her new career in designing sustainable housing, or earthship. When asked if she is going to continue to travel, Sarah paused for a second, and said she is probably not going to live abroad for a while, but she is always a traveler by heart.