Zoë Buratynsky

Sailor & World Traveller

I had a normal childhood, growing up in Southern Ontario on a big plot of land in the country. This changed when I was ten years old and my parents moved my siblings and me onto an old 47 foot sailboat. In 2008, we departed from Hamilton Harbour, and spent the next seven years circumnavigating the globe, stopping in 35 countries. My parents homeschooled me between the ages of 10-17, apart from the year we spent in French Polynesia, where I was enrolled in a local French school.

Aboard the boat, the five of us became an inseparable team as we dealt with the highs and lows, the crises and the adventures of sailing the world. Our education didn’t only revolve around our school books, but also from the life experiences we got as we lived our daily lives being submerged in foreign cultures and learning to communicate across language barriers. From a young age my siblings and I learned responsibility, as our lives on the water, in so many ways, were dependent on our actions. Nothing about living on a boat is set up for ease, as a boat prioritizes functionality and safety over convenience. This forced us to become adaptive and learn creative problem solving.

These experiences fostered a deep love of people, cultures and travel, which motivates me to get out and experience the world. After high school I went on my own to live in India for two months and work at a small, Canadian founded orphanage. I am now 20 and going into my second year of university where I am studying Sociology and Business. I am constantly trying to find new things to learn and new ways to push my comfort levels.