1) Who are you? Tell us something about you.
Hi, my name is Savannah Grace, I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. I’m the youngest member of a very adventurous family. At age 14 I was pulled out of school to travel the world before returning home 4 years later to graduate from high school. Now 22, I’ve traveled to nearly 100 countries and have just completed my first book “Sihpromatum – I Grew My Boobs in China.” I’m currently living with my Dutch partner in The Netherlands, where I continue to write and travel.
2) What is your favorite place, city and country and why? (all three of them)
This question has always been one of the hardest to answer. After nearly 100 countries and over 500 cities, it is impossible for me to pick a favourite. How can I choose amongst trekking the Himalayan mountain range in Nepal and seeing the sun rise over Mt. Everest, snorkeling with the colourful fish in the Maldives and sun tanning on the soft white sand, canoeing through the tangled jungles of Suriname with parrots flying overhead, riding atop camels through endless mountains of sugary sand dunes across the Sahara desert in Mauritania and experiencing the historical genius of pyramids in Sudan or the beautiful architecture of any European village, town or city.
There are so many places I could mention that I feel guilty not listing them all! Though, I will choose a few examples.
A favourite place, other than my bed, is Yangshuo, China. It was one of the very first places I ever travelled so maybe I was easily impressed, but I still think it was amazing. It was just so beautiful and I was blown away by the different culture and unique landscape.
One city that left a big impact on me was Mets, France. It was by accident that we stayed there but I went at night when it was a complete winter wonderland, snow falling with its huge cathedral lit by glowing street lights. Actually, I think almost any village and town in Europe is worth seeing with their cobblestone streets, spectacular cathedral and the generally old, detailed architecture where each and every house is different.
Istanbul is a thriving city where cultures and history merge together. It’s also very modern and built around some amazing history. I could go on and on. My top countries are: Nepal, for its gorgeous mountains trekking and people; Mongolia, especially its countryside for its horses and extremely friendly people; Surinam for its jungles and multicultural atmosphere; Switzerland and its villages and great skiing; Canada’s amazing nature with waterfalls, mountains and lakes; China’s beautiful authenticity and villages; Italy’s amazing history and artwork; Maldives priceless islands blue waters and white beaches, plus many, many more!
3) If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why?
I think I would go somewhere in Asia. I just love how Asia is so friendly and beautiful. You can be comfortable and wear any kind of clothing, eat fresh, flavourful food, interact with the locals and have an adventure at the same time.
I have yet to discover South East Asia and have heard amazing things about the Philippines and the people there. Also Thailand has some amazing sights and beaches which I’d love to see.
One of the only places I wanted to go before I caught the travel bug was Japan, so I am amazed that I have not yet been there. I grew up with lots of Japanese ESL students living in our house so I would love to go visit them. They are such incredible people!! Surpringly my next trips are not any of these places. My next destinations are Austria in January, Guinea in February and then Italy this summer.
4) What do you love the most about your home country?
Canada is such a huge country that I still have yet to explore most of it. I love how it is such a liberal country with so many rights and freedoms. I feel like Canada has everything.
Because Canada is so big, I will sum my feeling up with Vancouver, my home city. It’s very multicultural, stunning, outdoorsy, friendly and modern. I especially love how 20 minutes can take you from watching the seals play in the glistening ocean to the top of a breathtaking, snowy mountain. I truly feel it is one of the best places on earth. But hey, maybe I am slightly biased.
My parents had a local tour company before we started to travel so I was able to experience many of the highlights and great activities in my area. Having seen a large part of the world now I can really appreciate the diversity of activities and nature available around Vancouver and especially Canada as a whole.
5) How travel changes you?
Before I left I was becoming more and more of a spoilt brat, living in one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the world. If it weren’t for traveling I would have continued down that road for sure, naïve to the privileges and opportunities I have as a Canadian. I would have been negligent of the reality poverty plays in this world and continued to take everything I had for granted.
I am an entirely different person as a result of travel. I sometimes shudder, to think what my life would have been without it. I learned so much about the world, people, cultures, history and most importantly myself and my family. I discovered my strengths, pushed myself to achieve goals I considered impossible and learned that dreams are worth following! This is a world full of possibilities.
I learned to appreciate and be grateful for the things I have, which is something I try not to lose. I realized that I don’t NEED all those things I thought I needed before I left. People are nice everywhere in the world, and we all have the same basic wants and needs. A world considered to be wrought with hunger, despair, corruption and danger turned out to be one full of love, family values and respect. Ironically, it seems that the less people have the more willing they are to share.