Day 77 - Connor (3rd person I approached)
March 18, 2014 - Connor was raised in Armstrong, British Columbia, his family relocating there when he was just a year old. He attended one elementary school and one high school. Connor has one brother who is older than he is. His parents are both teachers, and as happens when living in a small rural community, Connor's father was also his geography teacher in high school.
“It really was ok having him as a teacher. I think if anything he might have been a bit harder on me than the other students. He certainly always knew when I had homework to get done,” Connor said.
I asked Connor if he still knew people he went to school with, and he told me,
“There’s really not much to do in Armstrong. It’s a small town and really what a lot of people do is go up North and work, make a lot of money and then get involved with drugs and such. That’s not something I’ve ever been interested in. I am still good friends with one guy who I’ve known since school. We’ve been best friends for a long time. As a matter of fact, I have his name tattooed on my leg, just above my knee, and he has mine tattooed on his leg. It happened one night after we’d had a few beers and we went to see another friend who is a tattoo artist. He joked about the two of us tattooing each other's names and I kinda said I’d be up for it, and so we did!”
I told Connor I thought that was a really great and meaningful thing to have to mark their friendship.
After school, Connor worked for a rental company delivering farm equipment such as backhoes and tractors. He saved some money and went travelling for a few months. His high school girlfriend who he had been dating since Grade 10 was attending Hong Kong University, and so Connor went to Hong Kong and from there they travelled through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.
“That trip really opened my eyes,” Connor told me. “I had never been to any really big city, and I went directly from Armstrong to Hong Kong and it was absolutely amazing. I thought it was incredible!”
When the trip was over, Connor’s girlfriend was relocating to Vancouver for school, and so Connor and her moved here together.
“That lasted for a while, but after some time, we ended up going our separate ways,” he said.
Connor got a job working as carpenter's assistant for a horticultural engineering company. “That was a really cool job, It was a great opportunity. The company made large to-scale models of agricultural waterways and bodies of water that lead up to dams. The models were not tabletop sized either. The smaller ones were about 100 feet long, and used water and really demonstrated the complete engineering system. I helped to build them and in time got to learn a lot about how they were planned and constructed,” Connor said.
After three years of working for that company, Connor was laid off, as the work was not consistent, and in order for Connor to be promoted, would have involved him going back to school.
Connor has spent the last few months looking for work, and said
"I ride my bike around everywhere and having had more time last summer to go further, I started looking at houses that had been newly built and would consider the design and what I’d maybe do differently. It occurred to me that through the job at the horticultural engineering firm I was really becoming interested in the design aspect of things.”
Connor is planning to go to school, telling me
“I didn’t take psychics in school, well, because it was Armstrong BC and so I need to take psychics first to upgrade my qualifications. Then I’ll be going to (British Columbia Institute of Technology) BCIT for their four year Architectural Sciences program. It’s architecture, with a focus on the environment and efficiency in design and buildings.”
After that Connor may go on to get his Masters in Architecture.
“I’ll wait and see where the next four years takes me,” he said.
When I asked Connor how he thought travelling to South East Asia had impacted his life or outlook he told me,
”I encourage all my friends to travel at some point in their lives. It’s an incredible thing to do. It completely put things in a different perspective me for me. It grounded me and helped me to appreciate what we have here. I have friends who say they’re going to travel, but they’ll say there going to say, Australia, for example. That’s great and all, but it’s relatively similar to Canada. In countries like Cambodia, there are towns and cities that don’t even have garbage resources, or infrastructure. You really need to experience a third world country to really know what it feels like.” #notastranger