It’s the dream for a lot of people to disappear into the backgrounds of life and live the luxury lifestyle on a little Greek Island, drinking cocktails on the beach every day, getting the tan of their dreams, swimming in the crystal blue sea and not caring about the reality of life.
Much like the Durrell’s family, many wish they could pack it all up and go on an adventure.
I am a lucky one. Three years ago I was fresh out of university (after three years of studying Early Childhood Studies) and ready to throw myself into real adult life. I started searching for jobs in schools and pre-schools as I believed this was the next step in life.
I found a job in a lovely pre-school to which I still visit when back in England now. I was in a relationship, starting to earn money and everything was on track.
However one sunny morning I went to visit my Auntie (she will kill me for referring to her as ‘auntie’) and my Cousins.
Typically we would have a coffee and chat whilst she chased round her three kids, mopped up a suspicious puddle on the floor, pulled apart a screaming match and tried to avoid eye contact with the youngest who stared intensely into her eyes with a grin saying ‘I want chocolate’ – not too dissimilar to Karr from the Jungle Book. Somehow, at the same time, managing to Iron enough to clothe the entire England squad 27 times over.
My auntie is really the reason I am in Corfu today. She reminded me that I am young and basically told me to sod the career path for now and go and have fun.
For weeks I was anxious thinking ‘no but I was okay until she said this!’ I almost wished she hasn’t said anything as now my life was starting to flash into the future and I was married with kids and hadn’t been abroad for several years because ‘life had just got in the way’.
I hate decision making. What’s for tea? I don’t know. What do you want to do tomorrow? I don’t know. Where shall we go? I don’t know.
I decided to look into working abroad as this is what my auntie had done in her early 20’s. She taught windsurfing in Greece and Lanzarote and ever since I can remember i thought she was the coolest person on the planet.
As my degree is heavily based around working with children, I decided to look into being a Kids Rep of some sort. I kept telling myself ‘I can send an email but I don’t have to go through with it’
I really needed a push. I was scared to experience something new as I was happy in my little bubble (I wasn’t).
We sorted my CV, researched some places and wrote a cover letter for each place. I couldn’t press send.
This is why my auntie is a role model in so many ways. She is the voice in my head saying ‘do it. Press send’
I pressed send. Ran a lap around the room and shouted ‘oh my god oh my god’
Three days later I was heading to London for the first time EVER by train for my first interview.
The interview seemed to go well until the interviewer said ‘we need someone to start next weekend’
Although I couldn’t see my face, it must have gone paler than it already is. Next weekend? For me at the time, that was far too spontaneous.
I tried to say ‘okay, yeah no problem. Great!’ But it came out squeaky and unnerved.
They needed someone who would say ‘which airport? See you there.’
Therefore, I didn’t get the job. However, I had just jumped out my comfort zone and done something I had never achieved before in my life so I was still proud of my experience.
I came from a small Market Town in the North of Yorkshire all the way to a place where the buildings never end, crowds of people fill the streets and traffic which would send my Father into a meltdown. I was certainly out of my comfort zone.
Eventually, after returning to London a second time, I got a job. I went for assistant and got the job of supervisor. It was the confidence boost of a lifetime.
I received this good news on the day of my graduation at Teesside University. It was a day I will never forget.
My mum’s present to me for graduation was the illustrated ‘Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone’ book. For those who know me well will know how much that meant to me.
Shortly after I had a phonecall. The number was a London number and I started screaming ‘IT’S FROM LONDON MUM IT’S LONDON’. I went into the kitchen to take the call, my mum was looking at me through the glass in the door with her thumbs up and a big grin. I took the job and my mum burst in screaming and jumping.
My mum always reacts in the way you need her to when a big event happens in life and this was certainly one of those moments.
It’s amazing what chain of events lead us to where we are today. I think it’s important to remember them, cherish them and appreciate those who have influenced us to be who and where we are today.
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