hey, nice to meet you.
I'm Sarah Schu. I think of myself as a student of life and myself. I try to use each day as an attempt to move further towards my truth and interact with the world accordingly. It really tends to simplify things.
Most of my friends and colleagues call me Schu, because there are millions of Sarahs and Saras, so this Sarah is mostly a Schu. Feel free to call me whatever you want, I've never had a different nickname, so maybe surprise me and make one up.
Trained as a photojournalist, I quickly realized I loved taking photos and capturing stories, but hated sitting in front of a computer screen editing all day. It seemed as if the only photo jobs that paid were the ones that didn't interest me. I cannot put my heart into something that doesn't fully resonate with me so I've tried a bunch of different avenues with photography over the years, searching for the right fit. Unfortunately, I never really found it.
I will always have gratitude for my photography career as it has given me flexibility and funded my world travels for the past eight years, but still I felt myself becoming resentful. I kept wondering 'what if' and simultaneously feeling guilty for not loving a career that everyone else seemed to think was rad.
Feeling bummed and stuck in my freelance career, I traveled back to Nepal in 2015, to embark on a 200 hour yoga teacher training taught by a few wise gurus and swamis from India. Although the postures came easily to me, I immediately realized my true passion was for meditation. The mindfulness tools I learned in meditation class completely transformed my existence. Every day became easier and more enjoyable. I could feel progress in the quality and quantity of my thoughts and I no longer felt held hostage to my emotions. My world opened up. I learned that of all the things I had no control over in life, my outlook was one thing I could completely guide from moment to moment.
After completing the teacher training, I trekked amongst the Annapurna mountains and was able to put things into perspective. I didn't hate photography, I hated sitting in front of a computer screen. I didn't hate working, I hated not playing. I didn't need to work to travel, I needed to travel to work.
Years before I read a book that asked me to put one thing in the center of my mandala. One thing that rests at the epicenter of my life that I wanted to nurture and grow. One single thing and my immediate thought back then was travel. I knew during the trek that that was still my truth. Travel was still my one thing. It would always be my one thing.
It took another year of ruminating over my wildest dreams to finally say, 'fuck it. I'm doing it.' & that's how I put all my savings into a few down payments for retreat spaces and flights and started Schu Tours.
Even though Schu Tours is in its infancy, I can confidently say this is the best I have ever felt about anything in my entire life. It's a job that finally feels fulfilling. A life's mission worth working towards.
I've found a way to force people into traveling, something that is seen as scary, when in fact it's the opposite. I get the opportunity to introduce meditation, teach you about its role in rewiring brain chemistry, shifting old habits into new useful ones, and in turn introducting you to a new, easier, more mindful way of living. I see the smiles, happy tears, and absolute glee that comes after you climb a mountain, meet a village elder, or share a communal meal. I get to participate in meaningful conversations about our roles on this earth and our ability to ease others' struggles and together we identify causes that we donate to. Through Schu Tours, we get to make a lasting impact. Our money stimulates microeconomies and makes a difference in the lives of families and communities where we romp and roam.
All that magic happens in a week or two. When it was just me, Schu, I saw the impact I had, but now with my Schu Crew, I can feel the power of our presence in these communities. I can still see it too, I see it in the wheelchairs we helped donate in Ghana last March and the entire school of children in Nepal wearing uniforms we purchased this past November. We're making our mark.
Photo by Saleem Ahmed