From The Cotswolds to Botswana and Back Again Part 1

From The Cotswolds to Botswana and Back Again Part 1

From The Cotswolds to Botswana and Back Again Part 1

People that know me well would tell you, hopefully, that I’m a modest individual that likes to do rather than tell. Despite my confident, outgoing exterior, I can be quite a private person so when I was asked to write a blog, primarily about myself, I was horrified.

My first and no doubt biggest concern was why on earth would anyone want to read about me. It truly daunted me, but then I thought about it for a bit and thought, actually why not just write for yourself? Life is so short and we have such precious time on this beautiful planet why not leave a record for your older self?

I actually came round to the idea pretty quickly and felt compelled to write having spent the afternoon with my dad who never fails to inspire me. I’d like to start from today but I felt I couldn’t exclude some of the back story that got me to where I am at this moment, so I’m going to do a whistle stop tour of the journey so far.

I went to King’s School, Gloucester from the age of 4. A private school can sometimes instill in you that you are better than others, which can be a dangerous mindset. My parents thankfully never allowed me to fall in to this trap, instead moulding this principle into you must always be better than the person you were yesterday.

This became a tough concept to get my head around when I was a teenager. I wanted to make my parents proud but when you’re young sometimes all you have is words and ‘what you’re going to do’ never cut it with my dad; it was all about what you have done. We fell out and I went off the rails. I was always a non-conformist, I still am, and I thought I knew best.

I was wrong and I had to spend a lot of years making up for that, but I don’t regret it in the sense I saw life from a very different perspective. It’s given me the ability to never judge someone by the situation they are in currently. We can all take a wrong turn and mistakes are inevitable but it’s what you do about it that matters.

Somehow through all of this I gained a degree in Chemistry. With hindsight this was critical for my future and I believe it was only luck. But do we make our own luck? Well, I certainly at that point in my life didn’t deserve that degree but I got it and it would transpire that it would enable me to do what I truly feel I was destined to do.

I finally came home and although still in the doghouse, I was trying to get some order back in my life. Then I met a guy and he was crazy. An investment banker who was totally off the wall and life really was a rollercoaster.

We did some awesome things though. I cage-dived with great white sharks, we had dinner with Prince’s, and we went skiing and ended up in Monaco. We would party in New York and then fly to Sharm El Sheikh to recuperate. We lived the jet set lifestyle but it came with a price.

I never saw my family, deep down I knew I didn’t have my parent’s approval and actually looking back all we did was consume. We never put anything back into this life, we only took out. I realised I no longer knew who I was anymore or what I stood for, only the price of the next Chanel bag.

I hated what I had become. So what did I do? I did what I had done before, I ran away from it all again. Only this time I chose a different continent and I found myself in a very small town called Maun in Botswana where I had been previously on safari.

To be continued…


 Image © Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence