Day 265 - Jake (1st person I approached)
September 22, 2014 - Jake was running up a down escalator when I first spotted him. He had an enthusiastic, childlike smile on face, especially when he made it to the top. A definite look of victory. I congratulated him and kept walking. I had someplace to be, and then I turned around, deciding I could be a bit late. I asked Jake if he would chat with me.
“Sure but I’m just waiting here to do an interview for a job. So if that happens, I’d need to end it,” he said, in a carefree, easygoing manner. He also has a friendly Australian accent. After asking for permission, I took his photograph to make sure I had that part done. There was an instant comfort with Jake.
“I was born in Australia. In New South Wales, on the far south coast,” he said.
“In a town called Nurooma, about five hours away from Sydney. I have one little brother. He’s five years younger than me, but I’ve not seen for a while because of travelling. When I was eighteen and left home, he was only thirteen, so we’re not that close. I’ve got a good relationship with my parents though.” All of Jake’s primary and secondary schooling happened in Nurooma.
“School was mostly about the sports for me. I did a bit of everything, but the main two would be surfing, and rugby league. I didn’t compete or anything, it was always recreational,” he said.
When Jake was eighteen, he left home and moved up to Sydney.
“It was good to live in a bigger city. I got a job working as a landscaper, and doing maintenance. I stayed there for about two years. Then I moved on to Brisbane on the Gold Coast (about ten hours north of Sydney). I went to uni (university) there. I studied Paramedic Sciences. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I figured that would be interesting. It wouldn’t be a job in an office and every day would be different. The program was three years and I graduated with an undergrad degree in Paramedic Sciences,” said Jake.
After finishing university, Jake went traveling around Europe.
“I went by myself, but I met up with some friends that were also traveling, and I spent some time with them. I did most of the trip on my own though,” he said.
“Then I moved back home. I got a job and saved some money. I was working in a theme park. I did maintenance and operated some of the rides,” he said, with a smile that told of fond memories.
“I did that for about nine months and saved as much money as I could and then I went traveling again.”
Jakes next adventure took him to Central America.
“I usually have a goal when I go on a trip. My goal is to travel to meet people, see things and surf. I always try to find places that have good surfing available. I was mostly going between Mexico and Panama. Then I went to California for three months. I have friends that live there and I stayed with them. And surfed. I usually manage to get work in hospitality jobs, that helps keep me going,” he said.
“I came to Vancouver because I was able to get a working visa for Canada. This part of the trip is about being near a mountain. I plan to spend the winter snowboarding in Whistler, so Vancouver was an easy choice. I’ve never lived anywhere that had snow like they have in Whistler,” he said, with a big grin.
I mentioned that he could always go to Tofino for surfing as well. “No,” he said immediately,
“It’s too cold. I just came from Central America. I couldn’t handle that kind of cold!” And with that, Jake’s next interview arrived. #notastranger