I was born and raised in London.
At some point I relocated to a very odd international school in the Netherlands but then returned to continue my secondary education in London. I went to a college in Tottenham called Connel because it was a bus ride from my grandmother’s house. Towards the end of the college year I started to work so of course I skipped classes. I didn’t attend the last few months of college and up until recently (9 years later) I discovered that I passed my courses with distinction, the certificate of my formal education was sighted once and it is probably never going to be sighted again. Education done.
My peers had their parents support through life; financially and emotionally – but my situation was completely different. This, along with other disadvantages confirmed that I was different. I had no vantage point, no resources, no back up, no team.. basically nothing. I was different – and when you are different, it is easier to stand out, takes risks and ultimately be better.
I started working London since the age of 15. Between 15-19 I worked in a busy bar in central London (when I was 16), was event staff, kitchen prep, taster girl… Aside from getting money, it kept me busy, and this is where I started to learn.
- How to communicate
- About people
- Create targets and achieve goals
- About other countries and nations
- An open mind
I learned well because I was a blank canvas. I had nothing to lose and my head was empty to fill. I was curious and wanted knew that everything I took in was of value. I still wanted to be better than everybody else around me. Especially those in my immediate surroundings.
The good times just keep on rollin’
If I spent another month in London I would have killed myself. Ok, thats a bit dramatic..
I started to travel out of a severly desperate urge to F* off away from London. The stories about foreign paradise lands were enough to convince me to leave – and so it begun.
As we all do, I started in Spain haha! From Spain I ventured around Europe, The Americas and Asia. I didn’t even know I was travelling because everywhere I went I stayed long enough to know the local spots, the people, rent an apartment on short-term lets and never did I consider what in the world I was getting myself into. Some travellers cram the sights into a one day tour but my sightseeing took place over a course of weeks, even months and often I would be just walking around and after a few stray turns I’d randomly arrive at a tourist sight.
Those years went relevent smooth for some time, and then dipped suddenly but it wasn’t long before I found myself back on my feet again.
During these years I learned:
- How to rent and live alone
- Pay bills and read paper works
- How to structure my life into how I want to live
- Success > Failure > More Success
- Save and Flip money
- Real life situations
- Problem solving
- How other people live around the world
- Different customs
- How to adapt to anything
Soon I started to become the better person. I was officially better than the people around me, and better than I’d ever been. I had a desirable lifestyle and it kept on getting better. At present life is wonderful, I finally love my life, I adore my experiences, the friends I have and the exciting projects I am involved in.
London can be pricey so as a poor child it forces you to be savvy. Trends are rampant in the city which means that when the new Nike Trainers are released, you better be wearing them within a week of release otherwise you prove that you can not afford it – which makes you a poor looser. Not cool. Somehow, you must find the money to buy it – and we all did.
A Better Traveller
London used to be the dumping ground for migrants coming to the UK to work so over the years it has produced a population of rolling generation Brits. My mother was born in London, my father wasn’t – I am 2.5 generation British. The good thing about this is that we Brits with roots elsewhere have a strong sence of identity and a ready automatic acceptance of other cultures. In London I was brought up alongside with other nationalities so when I travel the world, I always feel familiar with the people because 95% of the time I already know somebody from the country who lives in London.
An open mind
In London you will find all types of people with all types of styles. Gay, transsexual, lesbian, minimal, hipster, desi, rasta, junkie, posh, bush, gypsy, extreme, suave, weird, gross, religious, over the top, crazy etc..
…and it is all part of normal society
This is what makes true-born Londoners awesome. We see it all. Nothing surprises, shocks or phases us.
That being said.. I will never live in Europe again.
Western Europe was a fantastic place to start because I had the means to grow, refine and redefine myself. I now have travelled in all 52 countries in Europe, and quite frankly none of them compared to the countries on other continents across the globe such as Africa or Asia.
I’ve started to get very tired of witnessing that illusion of quality of life in Western Europe. Each time I return it dwells on my mind that it is bizarre to see people behaving like robots. The whole society is socially conditioned beyond return and people are so far gone, that they don’t see faults in the whole system. Money matters more than anything. People boast proudly about their good, high paying jobs and without realising it, they are glorifying the system – nodding, on cue. The society spends up to half their salary on a home that they rarely spend time in as they are always working. Chasing bills, battling rush hours and travelling over 1hr to get to work – while free time is given on the weekends where you spend it resting and worrying about the week ahead. And on top of that, the bad weather. There is nothing remarkable about this lifestyle.
Ask yourself – what type of life do you want?
Beach life? Sailors life? City life? Rural life? Comfortable life?
Believe me, the world is definitely big enough for your answer.
I want to wake up everyday with blue skies, blazing sun, sea breeze and smiling people.