Interview with a globetrotter #12

Well if Disney can unleash a red-haired, feisty Scottish beauty on the world then why not follow trend? Your GTG is proud to introduce as our 12th superstar of the galaxy (for those of you that don’t already know her) the one in million Sarah Findlay! Sarah

Name: Sarah Findlay

Hometown/area: Kilmarnock, Scotland (Currently residing in Edmonton Canada)

GTG: What is different about each trip?
SF: The backpack the budget and the passport are the same but everything else is different.
The culture and diversity in each country is what makes every trip unique.  The timeline has a big effect on how in depth one can get to know a place which also effects the trip as a whole.

GTG: What do you do as a contribution to the local communities when you travel?
SF: Primarily we try to purchase from local markets and local vendors rather than multinational corporations. Also trying to volunteer and help local charities and non-governmental organizations is another way to get involved.  We volunteered in many of the countries we’ve visited and we’re still part of several organizations so we can continue to contribute from home.

GTG: What kind of work have you done while travelling?
SF: What haven’t we done while we’ve been travelling! Nursing and care work, waitress, bar staff, moving companies, prawn trawler.  Most of the work we’ve done has been voluntary, not paid. In a philosophical sense, depending on the socioeconomic status of the place we’ve been visiting, I think it is not fair to be taking the job of a job away from a local person.

GTG: Who is your best support when you’re away?
SF: Traveling together as a couple, obviously the biggest support is each other but apart from that it has to be our mothers. They are always happy to hear stories and want to see our photos.

GTG: What food have you eaten on the road that you never expected to try?
SF: Cuy (Guinea pig) – an Amazonian delicacy.  The fruity and juicy pulp from the pod of a cocoa (chocolate) tree.  Other gorgeous fruits that we didn’t even know existed…

GTG: What is your main focus when you travel?
SF: To talk with the locals and learn their cultures. I always try to learn a bit of their language which always brings a smile to the surprised face of the listener.  “Thank you” in any language goes a long way.  Ultimately we always try to leave a positive interaction with everybody we meet.

GTG: What kind of advice do you look for before a trip?
SF: The weather (The Indian Himalayas are cold in October which we didn’t find out until we got there), and any instability in the political situation (tensions between Colombia and Venezuela when we had flights booked going to Caracas…luckily we did find this out before we arrived).

GTG: What kind of luxuries do you save for a treat when you’re budget travelling?
SF: A nice hotel room and a bottle of wine.  Sometimes these two can cost the same price but for once in six months it’s worth it.

GTG: What details of a trip do you plan beforehand?
SF: Flights, insurance, vaccinations, visas, money (how to access it), and contact with anyone we want to visit.  We generally have a rough idea of the route and itinerary we want to take but for the most part we decide this as we go.

GTG: How beneficial were your Spanish lessons you took before visiting South America?
SF: They were absolutely essential.  The Spanish lessons allowed us to interact with the locals better which led to a much richer experience.  I would not recommend going to Latin America without knowing at least a little bit of Spanish.  Attending Spanish school while you’re there is only going to enrich your experience more while helping you to meet new friends.

GTG: What is the most useful thing you pack for a trip?
SF: A sarong! This means no need for towel, you will always have a bed sheet and can be hung up for privacy or shade. We love our sarongs, wash easy, dry fast and can be a skirt, dress and cover up for visiting temples, churches etc.

GTG: What’s your favourite form of world dance?
SF: So hard to decide! The Indian traditional dance bharatanatyam is so intricate and tells a story. The Burundian drums and dance are acrobatic and fun and of course my home country Scotland’s ceilidh is not a spectator sport, if your there you are getting flung around the room in a buzz of reels, jigs and dosi-dos!

GTG: Could you imagine a life without travel?
SF: Absolutely not! When travel your life, there is no life without travel. As I recently read, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.

GTG: What’s the best bargain you’ve picked up along the way?
SF: The best thing I’ve ever pick up along the way was my boyfriend who is now my husband Brett.

GTG: What advice would you give to first time globetrotters?
SF: Live your life with love not fear. As they say in India, shanti. Be shanti.

And there we leave you with a continued love of your GTG’s international garment of choice and a big love to our growing family of movers and shakers. Thanks again Sarah!