Getting out of Dodge: Tyler Quarles

Have you ever felt like just packing it in and shipping out? Sure you have. We all suffer from crazy eyes every now and again.

This is the first post in a new series called, Getting out of Dodge. Interviews dedicated to the eject button. The howwhy and where of relocation, but don’t call it an escape.

This quote has at one point or another appeared in your Facebook newsfeed by that person who posts motivational posters about the universe all day long,

Sometimes you have to get lost in order to be found.

While I don’t know much about self-discovery, I do agree with half of this quote. Sometimes you just have to get lost. So put some money in the bank, book a ticket and go get lost.


Six months ago Tyler Quarles packed up his apartment and headed off to Sydney with his girlfriend, Paige. Now that he’s been there half a year, I thought it was about time to check in on the ol’ boy. Because Australia is upside down and TQ is sleeping while I’m awake, and I’m sleeping while he’s awake, below is our email interview…


Love & Rum: TQ, you’re from Vancouver. A damned fine city! The Economist ranked itThe Most Liveable City in the World in 2011. Why the hell would you want to get out of Beautiful Dodge?

Tyler Quarles: Ah yes, Vancouver, the land of plenty. Plenty of great people, restaurants, mountains and coastline. However, I had never taken any sort of time “off” or time to slow down and I knew I wouldn’t be able to if I stayed in Vancouver with all of that around me. Also, the chance to live somewhere else in the world and return home with a different perspective on it all was a rad factor. I had seen so many friends do it and needed to know I could too.

L&R: So you gave it the ol’ college try. Did you think with your short-term plan to only stay for six months, that it might turn into a longer stay when you first left? Or was it just what it was, a hiatus? TQ’s Surf Sabbatical!

TQ: This one was just a six month surf sabatical, yes. There are several pieces of the puzzle that would have had to have fallen into place if I wanted to stay longer. Mostly employment and visa stuff.

L&R: Finances, my man. Finances. For good, responsible reasons, this seems to be the barrier for most. How did you get it going enough to roll out?

TQ: I saved my pennies like crazy and was always punching some sort of working time clock before I left. Never turning down a project. I even created a special savings account with my bank for a trip or something else large like this.


L&R: How did you keep making money from afar?

TQ: Well, most people were cool with me working from abroad, or at least were at first (since we talk mostly on Skype anyways).

That being said, I was looking for some sort of time away from design. Time to gather my thoughts and get some new inspiration. Sydney has been amazing for showcasing design and art. I hope to bring its level of quality and creativity back to Vancouver with me.

L&R: Enough about work and money. There has to be a question or two about booze in here. Did you pick up any drinks down there that you now love which will be hard to find back home?

TQ: They make quite a nice Old Fashioned here. (Editor’s Drink Note: If you like an Old Fashioned, check out our recipe.) Make sure you order from a local Aussie though, backpackers know very little about drink making — drink slamming though, they have that down.

We enjoyed a few frangelico shots. It’s a hazelnut liqueur that I’m sure you can get at most specially liquor stores but is a staple here everywhere.

Coopers for beer has been great (Pale Ale or the Stout). There aren’t too many “dark” beers here. Most bar-keeps say Sol is their darkest beer on tap. I know, right? Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the centuries of Victorian Bitters and Fosters.

They do, however, like their ciders. I’m not the biggest fan. It reminds me of drinking fizzy “bitch juice” drinks (as we so politely used to call them) in friends’ basements as a youth.

A place here in Bondi called The Flying Squirrel has the best new concoction to me which I look forward to making at home. They dub it the “Jerry Ginger Jar” which to my fuzzy memory is a few heathy shots of Sailor Jerry’s Rum, Ginger Beer (the fermented alcoholic kind), lime, and served over ice in a masons jar. Very tasty.

L&R: Did you get loc’d out at a favourite bar over there that you’ll miss?

TQ: My girlfriend worked at The Flying Squirrel so I was there a lot. It’s run by a solid Canadian, Brody Peterson. I will miss their tapas and drink menu. They started serving morning coffees too and I will miss DanoChinos (made by Dan – who else?). Eau De Viedowntown will be missed for sure. Best cocktail bar in the city. Amazing.


L&R: You’ve been gone half a year… What do you miss most about home?

TQ: The homies and the family. It will be nice to have the luxury of being in the same timezone as them and be able to call or text at a moment’s notice. The “support group” if you will. Other than that, I miss my motorbike, our band, cold water from the tap, normal electrical outlets, proper broadband wireless, living room seating (don’t ask), quality sushi, and snowboarding in winter.

L&R: Has spending half a year on the other half of the world made you want to get out of Dodge more, or less? Would you do it all again?

TQ: Absolutely. I’m super lucky to be on this career path that can lead to travel and new experiences in different parts of the world.

I think it was a great thing to realize that we can do it. Next time I will do more in preparation to try and work where I will be in hopes of not only supplementing the cost of living but also gain new friendships and a more keen local’s eye to the city with co-workers.

I’m hoping to get a dog when I return home so I don’t know how easy it will be regarding that, but strings can be pulled…

That’s it, that’s all.

I have heard said of Tyler,

“He’s too nice. Nobody is that positive. I don’t trust him.”

If this follows to be true, and Tyler is not to be trusted for all his cheer and candour, then I can assure you when things go awry he will be found smiling at his court date, personally thanking the prosecution for showing up and waving across at you while he takes the stand. (Taken from a Proof I wrote for VIA about Tyler a few years back).

Visit Tyler’s Tumblr Travel Log, fittingly labeled, Best Day Ever!