Meet George Tanner.
George is a hairdresser.
He grew up in a small village, outside Zurich, Switzerland, with his twin brother, Peter.
George wanted to be a pilot but he did not get accepted into the pilot training program.
He was heartbroken but his mother, ever practical, advised him to become a barber.
Her reason was simple.
“People always need to get their hair cut, but they might now always fly.”
So George followed mom’s advice and started off as a barber in his village, later moving to Zurich to work there.
But he got restless. Time for something new.
He heard about a new program for trades people in South Africa.
The government was seeking trades people from all over the world in an effort to strengthen its workforce and stimulate its economy.
As an incentive it offered free flights and accommodations for those willing to move and work there.
George was ready to move – but karma intervened.
It was through his twin brother Peter.
Peter had been living in Vancouver for three years working in the hospitality industry.
Mom and dad decided it was time to visit Peter.
George was asked to come along, given that neither one was a savvy and knowledgeable traveller.
Making a long story short – Peter suggested George move to Vancouver, instead of South Africa.
By living together they could pool their resources making it a win win situation for both.
George agreed, made the move, started establishing himself as a hairdresser.
First in a small place in North Vancouver.
Then as a partner in another place in Deep Cove, an idyllic seaside village outside Vancouver.
After that George worked for one of the most prestigious salons in Vancouver – Derek London.
Vancouver became George’s starting point for travelling all over the world.
He has been to about 20 different countries, save Russia.
His favourite destination – New Zealand.
“I love the lush green landscapes and their spectacular waterfalls.
At one point George along with brother Peter made a daring move – they each bought an apartment in the South Granville area.
And they took it a step further – each apartment was on the same floor and adjacent to the other one.
They ended up knocking out the walls between the two places, two French doors separating them.
For 24 years this was their home.
One year ago they sold both places.
Bought a bungalow in a tree-lined neighbourhood, with a great backyard overlooking a ravine. Wild animals, especially bears, parade by, some even enter their backyard.
All of this in the Fraser Valley, an hours drive from where he used to live.
George loves animals, especially dogs. Often they are houseguests – George and Peter (twin brother) even have built a doggie pond in the backyard or they take them to a nearby doggie park.
And, yet, George, still commutes to Vancouver two to three times a week.
“I still have clients in Vancouver and also our church is in Vancouver.”
But he made a change.
He bought an electric car.
It’s environmentally friendly and it saves a lot of money.
Now its costs George $20 to $30 a month, compared with $200 to $300 a month when he had a regular car
Good for you George – keep enjoying, keep living, life to the fullest.
Every Wednesday, veteran journalist, George Froehlich, gets personal – sharing with you, his amazing travel destinations, his wonderful recipes, art he loves, music he enjoys.
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