Born in 1970 I grew up in the Chilterns, first on a mobile home park then in an old country house in Dancers End, my own Buckinghamshire Narnia. Spending more time in hospital than behind a school desk, I struggled academically, and was told on my application to the sixth form that university was not for me. At seventeen I passed my first A level in Art, studied Law and Classical Civilisations and went on to do Social Anthropology at SOAS, London University. There I fell in love with foreign places and cultures. Since I hadn’t the means to go anywhere (in an era before student loans), travelling had to wait for my first real job besides licking envelopes for Lloyd’s, namely: TEFL teacher. So off I went to Indonesia to teach English and discover first-hand the joys of foreign abodes: amethyst waters, paddy fields ringing volcanic peaks, wildlife (scampering off with my lunch), wet heat, shanty towns, poverty (me included) and malaria. Later I went on to live in such places as Turkey, Japan, Azerbaijan, the USA, Libya and Spain. In all the years since I have never looked back and continue to be a global gypsy in a wide, wide world.
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