As we start another year, I find myself reflecting on the past few months and how I have gotten to this point in my life. I thought about where my journey began. It was 14 years ago. Around about this time of year, I met up with a friend who had just returned from a season of travelling in the Med and then the Caribbean on a luxury yacht. They showed me their pictures and told me about this unique industry. I was at a stage in my life where I felt something was missing and didn’t really have any idea where I was going with my life. So, I thought, “why not, this sounds exciting”. I had a long-term boyfriend and we agreed that I would travel and do a season, save some money and we would buy a house together when I got back.
I did my STCW course, got a Schengen visa, packed up my flat, left my car with my cousin and off I went, travelling to France to get a job. What was only going to be one season ended up being just short of 12 years. I met my husband, travelled extensively, met amazing people, made many, many memories that will keep me warm in my old age and worked my fingers to the bone. When I left the industry, I felt lost and unsure of how to fit back into normal life. I loved what I did onboard and found it very hard to translate it to a land-based career. So, after some thought and procrastination, I pulled up my socks and decided to start my own training school. I had already been doing contract work for the British Butler’s Institute of London and so had realised I really enjoyed teaching.
Since I took that step, things have snowballed; between my consultancy work, the school and my contract work for TBBI, it has been non-stop. When the end of the year finally rolled around, I took some time off to regroup and get ready for the year ahead, which is shaping up to be just as busy. And as I had time to stop and breathe, I thought “How did I get here?” I am doing what I love, I have started a business and am still getting to travel. It struck me that it all started with me heading off to France to hopefully travel, earn some money and find something I was “missing”. It’s amazing how life works and where it takes you, sometimes the smallest steps lead to places you never thought you would ever be, but I’m so grateful and happy to be there.
So roll on 2019, I am excited to see where the path leads next.