This is what I’ve learnt….

This post came about following a conversation with a friend of a friend.   It’s a short read, but pulls out something I’ve noticed throughout the past few years of making changes, going on adventures, and generally trying to live a happier and healthier life.

To set the scene, let me explain I’m back in Cape Town.

I’m here to kitesurf mainly, and had just ridden 10 kilometers down the coast, on my own, in the hope of bumping into a mate. Amazingly, our paths crossed and, once we’d packed our kitesurfing equipment away, we went for a beer with a few others.


I soon found myself chatting at the bar with friends I’d not seen for a while. Spirits were high following a good kitesurfing session (the beers helped!), and one of the guys I’d just met was interested in my story of leaving work, travelling, minimising my life, and writing a book.

He was a smart guy, a pilot, and he asked a question which made me think, and prompted this post….

He asked: “what is the one thing you have learnt, since leaving the safety of your job, and all the travelling, the writing, and the adventures, that stands out the most.”

What a question!

I didn’t want to sound like a pretentious idiot who thinks he’s got life sorted (who has?), but I also didn’t want to appear that I’ve not learnt something useful to share back over a beer.

So this is what I said: “When I’ve been about to do something that has scared me / felt out of my comfort zone / something I knew I’d have to put effort in to make happen, it’s (almost) always turned out to have been the right thing to have done.

From taking voluntary redundancy, and leaving behind a long term career to give myself chance to explore life on my own terms.

To travelling round Europe in my campervan, driving into Morocco, and having one of my most memorable travel experiences to date (good and bad).

To backpacking across South Africa, to hiking in Nepal, to training and competing in my first ever triathlon, to writing, editing, and publishing a book.

And his response to my answer: “I’m glad I asked”.

I’m not sharing this to show off, nor do I believe that you have to ‘quit your job and travel’ to relate to this. I’d also be lying if I said I’d enjoyed all of the past few years. Because I haven’t. That’s not the way it works.

But, I am backing up what I say with real life experience of what I’ve noticed on more than one occasion.

And the great thing is, stepping out of your comfort zone and grabbing a slice of life is open to everyone, in whichever way works for you.

Have a good day.

PS. I write these posts for 3 reasons. Please share if you enjoy them. 

– To help me remember, and better understand, my own experiences.

– To share back to others in hope of adding value.

– To tempt interest in a book I wrote which tells the story of what happened (and what I learned – albeit subtly) during my own period of travel, change, and adventure.




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