Sarah and Scott are at an exciting time in their lives: after incorporating regular travel into their routine, they’re now transitioning from a rooted life in America to a more nomadic lifestyle. Here’s their story.
I’m Sarah, and my partner is Scott. We met several years ago and fell in love – not just with each other, but also with the realization that we could fulfill lifetime dreams of traveling the world with the one we love.
We’ve lived mostly in the Midwestern U.S., but Scott recently took a job teaching at a middle school on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas, where I’ll soon move full-time.
One of our passions has been learning about the work of artisans we meet in our travels. This turned into an online business called From Around the Globe to help these artisans reach a wider audience. In doing this, we’re actually aligning with our core values: to be respectful, caring, and helpful members of the world community.
Wherever we travel, we want to use whatever resources, gifts, and privileges we have to help transform our world for the better and facilitate understanding. We also want to counteract injustices, celebrate our humanity, and support other human beings.
How did you come up with the idea for From Around the Globe?
We’d met an artist in Belize who really inspired us, both artistically and emotionally. A few years later, we were still thinking about him. Scott and I wondered if people like him – artisans in developing countries – could benefit from having technological and economic barriers broken down.
By partnering with artists, we provide the means to get their word out. We take photos of their work, interview them, write descriptions, and feature them on our website plus help with shipping.
The business is in it’s infant stage right now, so we’re looking to expand and collaborate with more people. And we’re always open to words of wisdom!
Tell us about this artist you couldn’t stop thinking about.
One of Scott’s and my first trips together was to Ambergris Caye in Belize. We loved the laid-back atmosphere and the warmth of the people there.
As we walked down the main street in San Pedro on a sunny day, one particular artist caught our eye. This gentleman had created stunning paintings on local wood, and we lingered to chat with him. He didn’t make direct eye contact with us as he eagerly described his artistic process and the scenes we were looking at on the wood pieces.
Finally, he told us that he had painted all of these just before going completely blind. This man was utterly happy and enjoying the day, his conversations with strangers, and the pure joy of knowing he had created beautiful things he could share with others. Even without the gift of sight, he had so much gratitude and zest for life. He was impossible to forget.
What inspired you two to travel?
Both Scott and I seem to have been born with the travel gene (which has been getting a lot of press lately). My dad worked for the YMCA both in the US and internationally, so as a kid I spent time in Peru, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Russia, and Belize (to name a few).
Scott began traveling a lot as a soccer trainer and coach in his young adult years – Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Italy.
It’s safe to say we don’t know what it’s like not to travel.
How do you pay for your travels?
Scott is the saver, and we both work in order to fund seeing the world, and we expect to do that for a few more years. Ideally, we’ll live in countries where we can earn a living teaching, and keep building From Around the Globe.
We do some light travel hacking as well. We use our Chase Sapphire credit cards for most purchases, and use those points toward airline tickets. We also have frequent flyer accounts with United, Southwest, and now Pineapple Air (in The Bahamas.)
What is life in the Bahamas like?
First off, I have to mention that Eleuthera has 135 beaches. Earth has a multitude of mysterious wonders yet to be explored, and we cannot get enough of seeing these sandy spaces.
We’ve been fortunate to meet and talk with local Bahamians, taking videos and photos of our straw weaver friends working on their craft, picking up hitchhikers on our way into town, or chatting with store owners.
Many of these friends have become like family. We know about their kids, their struggles and joys, their dreams. Even our landlord admonished us for not stopping by his house recently during his wife’s birthday party – when we said we hadn’t wanted to intrude, he said, “But you’re family! You’re invited to everything!”
How does living abroad affect your relationship with your family in America?
Scott was raised by wolves and has no family. Kidding! We value family, and stay in touch as much as possible with parents, siblings, and kids. Several family members are talking about coming to visit us in The Bahamas for the holidays.
Because we didn’t grown up with a strong feeling of attachment for one place, the traveling lifestyle is not so out-of-the-ordinary in our family; I think that’s why we don’t get too stressed about being gone for long periods of time, or worry too much about when we’ll get to see each other again. Somehow, we all manage to make it work out.
The great debate: aisle or window?
Window for Sarah (views and daydreaming). Aisle for Scott (knees).
Best travel tips. Go:
Be curious and courageous.
Meeting locals and immersing yourself in a culture requires you speak up and ask questions, despite any fears you have about doing so.
Wherever you go, look for ways to serve others. According to Juana Bordas, “Serving people means growing their capacity and implies that everyone can contribute.” What an amazing world we live in, that all can serve and contribute.
Where are you headed next?
Right now we’re concentrating on life in The Bahamas, while planning some holiday side trips. The Camino de Santiago is probably next, but who knows? Our bucket list is long and wide open.