Day 318 - Alex (3rd person I approached)
November 14, 2014 - I'm only speaking from my personal recollection. I can’t say this with any solid statistical accuracy. The people who counter my invitation to chat with ‘I don’t really have anything interesting to say,’ consistently underestimate how interesting their stories actually are.
Alex appeared to be working on some kind of student project, or schoolwork. The telltale signs of computer, notepad and text book were my visual clues. She was born and raised in Kamloops.
“I have one sister, she’s three years younger than I am. When we were growing up there was definitely a sense of responsibility for me to help her. I felt in an almost parental role at times,” she told me.
“It’s just how we are. I think she looks up to me as a role model. We wanted to take care of ourselves, and to be independent.” Their parents separated when Alex was five years old, and the girls lived with their father.
“Things just worked out for the best that way,” she said, in a soft, clear voice.
“I did well in school. But it was after I finished school that I really learned things that meant something to me. I went travelling. I headed to Europe for six weeks with two friends when I was seventeen, after graduation,” she told me.
“The trip was great and I learned a lot about getting along with others, and about compromise. Communication is important when there’s three of you travelling for six weeks. I learned things I could use in my life, that I never learned at school. I fell in love with travelling as well on that trip,” she said, smiling.
Returning to Kamloops after the trip to Europe, Alex decided to work and save money to go travelling again.
“I was still living with my father. I worked two jobs, both in retail and saved as much money as I could. It took me about a year, and then I went on another trip,” she said.
“I went to southeast Asia. I went with two friends of mine, but they left after two months. I stayed for another five months by myself,” Alex said. The trip covered Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
“I travelled around for the first couple of months with my friends, and then spent five months in Bali. I lived in a small community and my neighbours were all locals with jobs and families. They spoke almost no English. It was better than living in a tourist resort. It was real living and life in Bali,” said Alex.
“I realized that I wanted to continue travelling. I wanted to get a job that would allow me to travel and work at the same time. To do that I knew I needed to go back to school, and get some qualifications, so that I could have some credibility to get that kind of work,” she said.
Alex came back home after being away for seven months and decided to go to the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
“I’m taking marketing. It’s part of their Entrepreneurship program. I knew that was what I wanted to do when I enrolled at BCIT. It will help give me the skills I need to be able to start my own business and travel doing whatever it is I decide to do,” she said. Alex still isn’t sure exactly what type of business or company she’ll be launching.
“I started the course just this semester, and the program is two years long.” At twenty years old, Alex still has lots of time to make those decisions.
I asked if her sister now wanted to go travelling.
“Yeah, I think she’d like it. That was the tough part about being away though. Not seeing my sister. I missed her so much. She really is my best friend and that makes it hard.” #notastranger