It was yet another cold and rainy night in Vancouver that sent Phairis Sajan and her family in search of warmth and adventure in the UAE. After five years, Phairis is still loving the diversity of people and experiences on offer, and life as an expatriate in Abu Dhabi.
She’s addicted to traveling with her husband and two daughters, having visited more than 20 countries while in the UAE, including stays in Myanmar, Laos and Romania. The family is adept at traveling on a budget, choosing serviced apartments and preparing their own food over hotels where possible, and finding ways to give back to the communities they visit wherever they can. To that end, Phairis started the Extra Bag Community on Facebook, to encourage others in following her family’s lead of taking an extra bag packed with everything from clothes to school supplies. Phairis makes sure to research each country she visits before hand, finding out what is needed most, and once there, she and her husband visit a school or charitable organization with their girls and drop off their donation. Phairis is on the advisory board at Raha International School, and her family is active in helping to rehabilitate, spay and neuter and foster for adoption many of the stray cats in their neighborhood.
Phairis is addicted to self-awareness podcasts – Tony Robbins and Tim Ferris are favorites – and loves doing yoga. Before leaving Canada she was a TV news producer. She also loves to make home movies and document her family’s vacations, just like they used to do in the good old days, but with much better cameras and editing software.