Canalien Spotlight: Alisha Jaffer

June 06, 2017 5 Comments

Canalien Spotlight: Alisha Jaffer

Meet your Fellow Canalien Alisha Jaffer! 🇨🇦 👽 

What does being Canalien mean to you?
Being Canalien means having a strong Canadian identity with tendencies to wander the globe. There's something so uniting when you find a Canadian in a different country. It's like this secret code you both know. And possibly because of a shared love for Caesars.

What passport(s) do you hold?
Canadian and Kenyan

What does 'home' mean to you and where is/are yours?
Home is where you can find comfort, even if it's temporary. Currently, home is Toronto.

Tuscon, Arizona 2016

In what country have you had the most interesting experiences as a Canalien? What happened?
In Peru! I went on a service project to build community centers and refurbish an orphanage's kindergarten playground to aid the ravaging post-earthquake effects of 2009. At the playground in rural Ollantaytambo, I made friends with a little girl named Nicole. She was so incredibly joyful which inspired me, and through my broken Spanish and her partial English we forged a friendship. I brought her back to the service house just up the hill to get her some lunch as we had tons of untouched food that would have gone to waste. When I brought her back to the playground, the teacher informed me that Nicole's guardian had come to pick her up but left. Feeling guilty, and seeing that it was getting quite late and looking like it was going to thunderstorm, I put little Nicole on my back, along with her 3 new bags of food (read: apples are not light) and wandered off into the slums, forgetting to inform someone. After some 30 minutes of navigating through an area of little corrugated aluminum homes that looked identical to the next, I realized I might not be able to find my way out. As I dropped Nicole off, I met her dog and her brother and my heart swelled. I gave her a big hug goodbye and with tears in both our eyes she said to me "Eres mi hermana". That means, "You are my sister". It was worth every second of yelling from my supervisor once they found me.

Where is your favourite place in Canada to explore?
I've been really digging the assortment of provincial and national parks! There's so much beauty in the nature we have in our backyard that I crave to get out onto trails every weekend I can.

Mont Royal in Montreal, QC (2012)

What city in the world did you travel to that has the best... 
Food: This is such a hard one. Honestly Toronto offers some of the best food from so many different cultures. Toronto has a food scene that is special because of the unique cross-cultural connections. Caribbean jerk chicken layered onto an Italian nonna's lasagna sheets, anyone?

People: Barcelona. You end up meeting tons of people from all over the world. Something about the beach and the sun that brings people together.

Entertainment: Montreal or Dubai. There is ALWAYS something to do, for any type of person. But you can definitely get away with more nefarious activities in Montreal.

Views: Cape Town/San Francisco/Vancouver. There's nothing quite like having a mix of mountains and the ocean in view.

Pamukkale Travertenleri, Turkey 2015

If you could work anywhere in the world where would it be?
Honestly with the internet I can work from anywhere these days! I'd love to get out to South East Asia and work remotely for a bit.

What are your top 3 most essential travel items?
Lip balm, water bottle and a phone charger!

Where are you planning for your next big trip?
Australia or Brazil

Snake Mountain, Vermont 2016

Where would you like to retire?
A few blocks down from my brother or parents

Anything else cool that you want to share?
My mom's family is randomly super Canalien. She has cousins in over 30 countries around the world!

Masai Maara, Kenya 2010

🇨🇦  You can follow along with her, too @ajaffs 👽

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