My story begins in a tiny village in North Nottinghamshire, England. Surrounded by farmland, and with not even a pub or a post office to its name, it was a fabulous, safe place to grow up.
Fast forward 14 years and my family moved to Malta (the little island country by Italy) – and the travel bug bit me. I didn’t love our eight months living there (I went to a convent school and was b.o.r.e.d.), but it was the start of a journey into the unknown – and the start of my fascination with and love for travel.
Back in the UK I finished school with very little idea of what I wanted to do, only knowing that I wanted to travel more. So, I saved hard, took a year out and started my travels with two months working on a kibbutz in Israel. Then, I flew literally around the world, stopping in eight countries on four continents along the way. I loved it. If I wasn’t already a travel addict when I left, I sure as heck was by the time I got back.
Back in the UK again I diligently took up the university place I’d earned before I left, and dragged myself through my linguistics degree, just managing to squeeze in an African safari one summer (the travel bug wasn’t going anywhere).
Eventually, with graduation day looming, I was faced with choices once more. I still had no real idea what I wanted to do but by now I was very clear what I didn’t want to do – find myself stuck in a ‘suit’ office job only to wake up 20 years later realising I hated my life. I knew I loved travel, so I flicked through the ‘overseas opportunities’ folder in the careers library and found a scheme to teach English in Sudan for two months. That two-month trip turned into a full year in Sudan until eventually I began to wonder “is this what I’m doing with my life?”. I liked teaching English but I knew it wasn’t my forever job. So I went back to England to see what was next.
What was next turned out to be seven years in a range of editorial/PR/communications roles working for ‘The Man’ with only limited opportunity to travel within my allocated holiday allowance each year. It was an OK life, but it wasn’t my right life.
In 2006 I took the next step into the unknown and went self-employed, picking up freelance communications contracts. That was better, as it meant I was in control of my days and could decide when I travelled and how long for, but still I wasn’t getting paid when I wasn’t in England working in clients’ offices, and plane tickets do cost money.
So, I made a conscious decision to change my business model to enable me to work remotely – going completely against the norm in my industry at the time.
In 2013 I flew south to spend a month in Cape Town, a test trip to find out whether I really could run the business remotely, and whether I wanted to do so. I could and I did, and Cape Town has now become my second home.
Now, finally, I’ve hit the ripe old age 40 (and a bit more) and I’ve figured out who I am and what my right life is. This crazy travelling lifestyle isn’t without its challenges but I know without a shadow of a doubt that for me, this is the life in which my happiness lies. Right now, I’m living my right life.