The 24 year old is miles and miles from her hometown of Siauliai, the capital of Siauliai County in Lithuania.
About a year ago, Juldaseva began to travel, and she says she went to many big cities. There was a point when she thought of returning home but felt it wasn’t time.
In Canada with a friend from Germany, Juldaseva made a decision that would ultimately lead her to Queens County, to Caledonia. She says she decided to stay in Canada and told her friend she would perhaps travel from hostel to hostel.
Upon her friend’s suggestion, Juldaseva searched the web and found Caledonia Country Hostel. That’s how she connected with hostel owners Sharon and Dan Peripoli.
Juldaseva says she had no idea Nova Scotia would have so much nature. She says she also wasn’t entirely prepared for the snow that greeted her when the train pulled into Halifax.
“I remember when I got out of the train station, I put lots of clothes on because I was really cold,” says Juldaseva, in her slightly broken and accented English.
From Halifax, Juldaseva took a bus to Liverpool a couple of days later. It rolled in on March 28, and that’s where Sharon met her.
Juldaseva says she was greeted by snow again her first morning waking in Caledonia.
“It was quiet. No sound at all. I couldn’t hear anything,” she says. “I was in shock.”
Talking about her experience now, her shock appears to have long gone. Juldaseva’s voice sounds upbeat as she describes what she’s been doing, such as going to beaches and Kejimkujik.
She had never cooked before arriving. But she says that’s no longer the case.
“I do the best banana bread,” says Juldaseva, and she and Sharon laugh.
Long before living in Nova Scotia had crossed Juldaseva’s mind, she studied journalism in Vilnius, the capital of Lithunia. She spent three years studying and a year doing a practical component. After interning at Mergaite, a magazine for teens, Juldaseva worked there for about two years.
She says her decision to leave the magazine was inspired by her mother who is an architect and loves to travel.
“Nature,” Juldaseva responds with a laugh when asked about some of the challenges of coming to Canada.
“I’m terribly scared of snakes.”
Snakes aside, Juldavesa is quick to talk about the positive experiences, like learning how to cook.
“When I came here, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life,” she says.
Juldavesa says since coming to Nova Scotia, she’s learned a lot from Sharon about how the hostel business works – how to take bookings and serve customers among other things. She says she loves to travel and socialize, and she’s decided she would like to get into the travel and tourism industry.
Signed up for an online travel and tourism program, Juldaseva says the courses could take two years or less to complete.
When Juldavesa packs her bags and heads off in the autumn, she says she plans to visit a friend in Brazil. After, she’d like to return home to spend Christmas and the new year with her family.
Though her plans are still tentative, Juldaseva will likely not be saying farewell to Nova Scotia forever.
“I asked my mum what she would think if I tried to open a business, and I think I would to do this in Canada,” she says.
Sharon suggested Juldaseva begin with providing tours in Nova Scotia. Juldaseva says down the road she would like to open a hostel in the province.