I don’t often listen to advice, unless I intuitively feel deep inside it’s something that I really should do. I’m sure I have been given some great advice in the past that I have acted upon. I know some suggestions have had a profound impact on who I am and what I do, but it was a rebellion to advice that was undoubtedly responsible for changing my life path.
When I was younger I was told to remain in a teaching job in a depressed Britain during the height of ‘Thatcherism’ in the early 1980s. Unemployment was high and I had a ‘good job’, had a car and owned a house. Instead I turned my back on that so called stability and went to Zanzibar, East Africa as a volunteer teacher trainer.
I would never have been able to imagine from my tiny terraced home in Sheffield, the amazing things that I have been able to do since getting on that plane, in the days when communication home to family and friends meant writing letters and one phone call a year; when all food came from somewhere on the island, except for the limited allowances of imported rice, sugar and flour; and when my transport was my bicycle.
Of course I started that journey in a place with some hardship, but also so many positive and incredible experiences, and it is these and the following adventures that form who I am today.
I look back and smile.