Profile: A shining Ray of Sarah
Meet Sarah Ray:
From the small town of Innisfil, Ontario, Sarah Ray is one of the many travelling waitresses that search for a taste of adventure in their summer jobs. After completing her first year at the University of Toronto, Ray began searching for a job that would allow her to continue her tradition of exploring the world.
“Employers, at least in these touristy types of towns want to know that you know how to deal with tourists,” Ray says. “You’re also a tour guide; you’re a book of requests, and you’re so knowledgeable on things beyond that of food — which is different from serving in a small hometown.”
She first waitressed in Whitehorse, Yukon, over 5000 kilometers away from her hometown. After a taste of what it meant to be a wandering waitress, Ray continued to find jobs in the field, including in the Canadian Rockies of Jasper, Alberta, during the summer of 2015, and in New Zealand for the upcoming summer of 2016.
“After travelling, the last thing you want to do is be stagnant,” Ray says. “I needed to get away — that was decision number one. Decision number two was that I needed to make money.”
Since a server in Canada typically earns much more than the average minimum-wage job, due to tips, the job choice came naturally. While she works hard to save money all summer to help expense her trip, in addition to the cost of university and rent during the year, she places importance on when and where one should or should not be frugal with their funds.
“I don’t think it is worth it to think too long and hard to spend money on experiences,” Ray says, “$200 is not too hard to fork over for, say, skydiving, but $200 for a dress — that’s hard to fork over.”
“After travelling, the last thing you want to do is be stagnant.” — Sarah Ray
While Ray has spent her last two summers working two serving jobs, adding up to roughly 60-70 hours a week, Ray explains the experience is truly what you make of it.
“I never wasted a day off, and that’s how you make the most of your time when you’re there,” Ray says. “I saw a lot, because I make a point of it. It’s so easy to otherwise get caught up in work.”
Ray continues to travel to different destinations whenever she can, including but not limited to: Nepal, New York, and across the Canadian Rockies.
Sarah Ray’s upcoming adventures include a school-research project that will land her in Brazil, and an exchange in New Zealand, before she then goes on to adventure the rest of Europe. To keep up to date with her adventures, follow Ray on her instagram.