Interview: Writer/Blogger/Adventurer, Sarah Von

There are two types of people in this world – doers and watchers. And one person who is the essence of a doer is Sarah Von.

Sarah is a writer, adventurer and captain of one of my daily must visit websites  Yes and Yes. Her quick wit and gusto for embracing the unexpected, odd and sometimes uncomfortable, means Yes and Yes stands out from the pack. It has style and substance. Much like the lady herself!

In the hope that some of Sarah’s joie de vivre would rub off on me, I recently caught up with Sarah to find out a little bit more about her story, what escapades she’s recently been on, and the secret to saying yes rather than no.



A typical day for me involves…a lot of coffee, dance breaks and walks along the bay.  Right now I’m in the middle of putting together my first ecourse (The Post College Survival Kit *cough*shameless plug*cough*) and I’m going pretty hard out.  But I really try to take breaks to dance around my kitchen to Ke$ha/Lily Allen/Shakira and take a walks along the water at least once a day.  It’s a bit ridiculous that I’m in Wellington, New Zealand – one of the most beautiful cities in the world – and I’m spending most of my time writing in my kitchen.  But I guess I’d rather be writing in this kitchen than any other!

I started blogging because…I couldn’t find the sort of blog that I wanted to read (maybe I didn’t look hard enough) so I figured I’d just write it myself! I wanted to read something that was funny and smart and super varied.  Style on Monday, cultural commentary on Tuesday, travel on Wednesday, inspiration on Thursday, bunnies in cups on Friday – or something like that.  So that’s what I’m trying to do with Yes and Yes.

I’m currently saying yes to….giving 100%. I have never given 100% of my efforts to anything before (including grad school!  Eeep!) so I’m excited/terrified to see what happens when I really, truly apply myself to this project.  I imagine at some point lasers will shoot out of my eyes and I’ll start to levitate.!

I thought, ‘somebody pinch me’ when… One of the editors of Vogue India emailed me to say that she read my blog, knew I was coming to Mumbai and that I was welcome to crash with her.  Whaaaaat?!  This is particularly insane because if you read my blog, you know that 95% of my clothing is thrifted, I grew up in rural Minnesota and I think it’s hilarious to dress my cat in vests.  I did not imagine that my blog was something that a Vogue editor would be interested in.

I was totally intimidated by the thought of staying with someone I imagined to be extremely fancy, but decided that if she read my blog, she knew that I was patently Not Fancy.  So I met up with her, stayed at her flat and had a grand ol’ time.  And she was super down-to-earth and not fancy.


The secret to saying yes rather than no is… knowing that getting out of your comfort zone is not going to kill you.  What’s the worst that could happen when you say yes to (most) things?  The party full of people you don’t know, the ethnic cuisine you’ve never tried, the blind date – none of these things are going to lead to your death.  95% of the time, the worst case scenario is that you’ll feel kind of uncomfortable.  Trying new things makes you a more interesting person!  And our moms were right – all that stuff is character-building.  Who wants to be the most boring person at the party?

The most interesting person my path has crossed with is… An Akha woman from Thailand.  She was the oldest daughter in a family of four; her father died when she was 11 and she had to quit school so she could work and earn money for her family.  She was a maid, a construction worker (!), a manicurist.  Eventually, she apprenticed to a hairdresser and now she owns two salons!  And she speaks six languages!  And she has a diamond embedded into one of her canine teeth!  Awesome.

If I didn’t write and travel I’d be…teaching and travelling.  Or writing and teaching.  If I wasn’t doing at least one of those two things, I would probably turn inside out.

Deep down I’m…the only girl on the dance team who shaved the back of her head and had a nose ring.  That is the story of my high school life and probably an analogy for everything I do.  Weirdo wrapped in sequins and high kicks.

Home is… anywhere old friends are.

Something most people don’t know about me is… I haaaate it when dudes hit on me.  I absolutely can’t handle it.  I get all blushy and weird and mumbly and look at the floor.  Which is ridiculous because everything else that embarrasses most people doesn’t phase me.  But apparently unknown men talking to me = total social shutdown.

I decided that I don’t “believe” in guilty pleasures…I just have “stuff that I like” – sometimes that stuff is Tolstoy and sometimes it’s reality programming on E!.  But things I like that other people might be surprised by: Jersey Shore, cake batter and eating Nerds loudly during climactic moments in serious movies.

My golden rule is…“If it is important to you, you will find a way.  If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”  I’m really trying to completely remove excuses from my life.  And by ‘excuses’ I mean ‘hours frittered away on Facebook and Twitter.”

9 Comments » | posted on by | posted in LIFESTYLE,SURPRISE ME | tags: ,