open. creative. spontaneous.
a wanderer. a wonderer.
a cat-loving, food-loving, free spirit with itchy soles.
I grew up on the West Coast of Canada, but have been living a nomadic lifestyle for over a decade. After hitting my 25th country when I was 24, I burnt out of fast travel and instead now stay in places for longer periods of time.
I generally spend the spring/summers in BC, then head off to warmer climates for the other half of the year. I’ve been living primarily in South East Asia for the past four years over the winters.
I’m a patriotic expatriate.
It wasn’t until I began travelling that I appreciated just how awesome my hometown of Vancouver is. The fresh air. The drinking water. The multicultural diversity. I took these things for granted until I realized these are not givens in every part of the world. There are many places around the globe that I would consider my home (and not every place I’ve visited is a home – that’s for sure. More on fast tourism vs. cultural integration), but every time I touch down in YVR I have gratitude for it’s unique welcome unlike any other.
If we were meant to stay in one place we’d have roots instead of feet.
I feel like my mind – like my passport – is also all over the map* on many days.
The more I travel, the more I’m in awe of how strongly our cultural upbringing shapes our perception of what we view as “acceptable” or “normal.” Everything from the clothes we wear, the food (and how) we eat, how we act, how we communicate. Our values. Our habits.
I find in amazing how we limit our ways of thinking – our mindboxes – from the way we’ve been conditioned by our culture, our environment and the people we choose to surround ourselves with. We’re literally taught to think (and act) a certain way. It’s crazy. And we often don’t even realize it. We grow comfortable thinking, acting and living in a particular way. What is within the box is “normal,” “acceptable.” Everything within the box is okay. It’s comfortable. It’s comfortable to be comfortable.
My mission is to bring light to our mindboxes. To bring critical inquiry to everything that we know (or have been taught) to be “true.” To remind us to re-examine all that we have been told. To consider different ways of thinking, acting and being. To experience glimpses into other mindboxes, or better yet – practice thinking and living beyond a box altogether. To be open to ways of being that are different than the one we know.
I define nothing… I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be.
I LIKE IT SIMPLE.
I’ve always been more comfortable around less stuff, in minimalist environments, usually with not a lot of people. Preferably outside. I often wear the same old, sometimes holey or grease stained pants, faded sweatshirt and old Birks that I’ve had for four years with the soles coming off. Unsurprisingly, rocking this kind of look in North America often gets me assumed to be a homeless person. (Depending on your perception, one could label me as a homeless person, I suppose. One could also view me as someone who is privileged enough to have many homes around the world.)
My favourite foods are plain fruits and vegetables, and leftovers.
I have an innate fear of wasting things. All things.
My inherent need for simplicity coupled with my general laziness made me “green” in some sense, long before I became environmentally conscious. I try to make as many mother earth friendly choices in my life as I can, but I’m not perfect. I keep on trying every day though, because I think it’s important.
The zero waste lifestyle goes beyond trash. It’s a story about what we truly value.
— Andrea Sanders, Founder of Be Zero
If there was one thing I could throw in my backpack and take with me wherever I lived, it would be a cat.