"Most people believe vulnerability is weakness. But really, vulnerability is courage. We must ask ourselves are we willing to show up and be seen ?
- Brené BROWN-
Who I became ? Inspired...
There is no failure, just learn and grow
Evolving mindset (re)connecting with my authentic self as Human being.
As an explorer, brave and dynamic person, I always loved to move from places to places, discovering, creating and sharing new experiences. While I studied and work, I had to adapt myself to the context of different regions of France.
A first phase in my life pushed me to fight then slowly accept the stereotypes of being a French women, loving men's jobs and activities; facing society’ assumptions and educational system. Then, in 2013, by choosing a gap year that exposed myself to a different culture, I didn’t realise that I was shifting toward a second phase into my life. A transformational learning processed through travels or how a“Disorienting dilemma” triggered a life transition from a simple gap year toward a hopeful and transformational journey.This second phase was the premises toward designing my personal mental map, creating new ways of thinking. From focusing to the outside world, my identity evolved to Human being - (re)connecting with her inner world. A transition from a pre-adulthood stage full of expectations, assumptions and close mindset moving forward to an open-minded adulthood (re)connecting with my authentic self.
PHASE 1. Battle and challenges against the stereotypes of being a French women, facing the French’ society assumptions and educational system.
From a young age, I knew what I wanted in life and what I didn’t want. I wanted to become the “perfect example” as independent woman. My energy juice came from emotions of anger against society’ stereotypes and my competitiveness engaged through practising mens sport competitions. I used to be an average student with difficulties learning, facing the teachers’ comments that I won’t be a child to pursue long studies and it was okay. Feeling alive in the great outdoors, I was prepared to become a farmer.
When I was not with my parents hiking, cycling in the French mountains or doing any activities, I spent my free time in my basketball team, gardening, drawing or helping my parents’ friends at their farm. Learning, growing by trying new experiences surrounded by amazing and inspiring adults has always been my awakenment. It was incredible to be part of a friendly community of farmers, helping each other, chatting about the world and invested in helping the African’s growth from Burkina Faso. However growing up as a teenager, I had to face constant comments based on assumptions and stereotype the french society has toward a woman who does men work, love the outdoors and even more as a farmer. The label “tomboy” and “farmer” added on my list. Among other reasons, I built a rage to prove that a woman can be equal to a man. That a woman can even do better than men and doesn’t need them to achieve success in their lives. When I think about it, it is interesting the way I was as I mainly hung out and felt good surrounded by men.I guess it was my way to understand better my "enemy" I grew up between two brothers and among boys neighbourhood.
When came the time to apply for my next degree after “High School; I was prepared to go into an apprenticeship Diploma in sustainable agriculture. However, with some advice, I still applied to a General Scientific Degree in another Agricultural school; with no real hope to get picked. With surprise ”Lycee Fonlabour” gave me my chance and I succeed. Afterward, I even have been accepted to one of the most difficult generalist A-level in France, Biology - Ecology Sciences. When I first failed for a few points the first attempt to get this degree, I was a wreck. All those efforts and days of studying without reaching the point felt like a failure, but I didn’t give up. I wanted to prove that I could do it. I started all over again and obtained it, proving all of those people who didn’t believe in my capacities.
I didn’t stop there, in 2008, I had to choose the next step. I still wanted to work in the agricultural industry. However after some research, I had to change the idea to work in that world. Landscaping, gardening was one of my other hobbies. Also, at that time, jobs flourished in that industry. That way, I decided to enter a Professional Advanced Diploma in that field. I could use my creativity and my passion for the outdoors and drawing. I chose head landscaper as a speciality to be able to do the projects from A to Z. From the paper to the shovel. Again, we were only two women in that course. It was quite hard physically and mentally but I loved the challenge and reached my goals, until some back problems started. Regarding the situation, I had to find an alternative strategy. I had to accept that I couldn’t do this kind of physical job my whole life and started to accept my women characteristics. With some shame, I started opening my mind to the notion of equity. Nowadays, I believe in a mix of equity and equality between men and women.
Knowing this and still being in the vibe of studies, I had to give it a thought and do some more research. One of my friends talked to me about a Professional Bachelor Degree specialised in Urban planning and Land management in the Mountains areas. I was really attracted by it as I could bridge my passion for outdoors activities and landscaping. However this degree offered only few options to get a job. Struggling by learning through lectures, I discovered an alternative to learn by apprenticeship. Another Professional Bachelor Degree specialised to become Garden Centre Department Manager appeared in my research. I opted for this last option working alternatively one month in a garden centre in Toulouse and one month at school in Angers. I knew I could easily get a job in that field or in retail in general and even more through this alternative way of learning by doing. It was hard but it was the best way for me to apply and try in the real world! That way, I diversified my skills in the retail and marketing industry offering my knowledge as a landscaper / gardener. It also highlighted natural leader skills and customer experience service strengths.
Even if my manager at that time offered a full time position, I didn’t stop there. The other Professional Bachelor Degree attached to Land planning was still in my thoughts. With this new degree in retail, I added new perspectives and skills to my bow. I was hoping to enter into the Masters straight away, as my friend having done the degree told me that what she saw was the same things as in our landscaping degree, but it didn’t happen. It was hard to go back to “school” even more knowing that I knew the curriculum already. However, it was easy and I enjoyed the free time I didn’t get when I was in the apprenticeship. I explored the mountains trying a diversity of outdoors activities, discovering their powerful effects on my mental well-being. At the end of this degree, I reached one of my goals and managed to get a casual job as a Junior Tourism Project Coordinator and Visitor Experience Specialist in my parents’ district, Gaillac. In parallel of greeting and advising tourists, I was in charge of designing a strategy to develop cycling path as a tourism product and an alternative way to explore the veignard. Again, I could mix all my skills in one job. However, I realised that the context and pace of work in the public sector didn’t suit my hyper-active personality. While I was doing this project I met professionals working for private consultancy companies who caught my attention. My professor and mentor at that time, pushed me to follow into the Masters to get a job in one of those engineering tourism consultancy companies. After that year, I was not ready to study again and face another degree. I needed a break to think and decided to take a gap year abroad.
PHASE 2 : A learning process through travels. From French to Global Citizen and Human being or how a“Disorienting dilemma” triggered a life transition from a simple gap year toward a hopeful and transformational journey.
Travelling opened me several doors including unexpected ones. As French Independent Traveler and ‘healthy’ women, I am lucky enough to be part of those who took the choice to travel and work freely in Europe. Like I used to, some people don't realise the power of our French passport, a golden ticket to experience and explore the world quite freely.
We all have our own intention to leave and sometime we under-estimate the power of travel coming back home. And you, why do you travel ?
In March 2013, my ex husband and I took the opportunity to leave for the first time toward foreign unknown lands. We decided to immerse ourselves in England where he found an internship for his last year of studies. At that time I had four motives :
to learn English exposing myself to a culture as an alternative to the actual school program that didn’t suit me,
to add value to my professional profile and be able to compete in the French market; as english is a powerful language in the tourism industry,
to have a gap year in my studies feeding my hunger for adventures, discovering another culture and challenge myself,
finally the last reason, was to take some time to decide if it was worth to carry on my studies in a Master Degree or not.
When I planned to leave, I was miles away to expect that this first experience would bring me to a turning point in my life, flipping my world and my head upside down.
After five challenging months trying to communicate in English, working in a cemetery and exploring the UK, I decided to enter in a Master degree titled “Geography, Land planning, Sociology with a speciality in Leisure, Tourism and Local development” at Pau University, in the French Pyrenees. I had the time to give it a thought and my goal was to become a Tourism Engineering Consultant in a private company.
Going back “home” after adapting to a different culture, a different way to live and approach life was more challenging than what I thought. My vision regarding my own country, my family and friends’ lifestyle changed. Coming back to University, in lecturing courses, sitting on a chair the whole day surrounded by people three younger than me was really difficult. For the first year of my Masters, I was surprised to be the only one who chose to do my internship in a foreign country. I could see the opportunities to learn from an alternative way to approach tourism. To invest my time sharing and learning new perspectives to bring back to France for my second year of Masters was my goal. It is why in 2014, I worked on a strategic marketing project for the Chilterns Tourism Network,(UK) an innovative private group of tourism professionals with the support of an inspiring mentor Pierre TORRENTE.
The second year of my Masters, was finally my time to choose and invest in the company I wanted to work for a career. Sacrificing an experience in Kenya to finalise one of our University's Project, I succeeded to enter as a specialised Junior Tourism Consultant in an engineering consultancy company I believed in. I worked on my dream projects, design tourism engineering strategies to develop sustainable tourism as a strong pillar of the local economy while reducing the impacts of its practise on the local population lives and the fragiles environmental resources. I was passionate, it was really stimulating. I spent days and nights on those projects, challenging my fears, learning and growing constantly. In the end, I got an offer as a full time job. However in the process, I faced working conditions and a political system that were not adapted to my personal values, beliefs and balance. My experience back in the UK brought me to repeatedly compare those two ways to approach life and tourism. Like we naturally compare yourselves to others or our ex-partner to the new one. I even tried to adapt, what I thought innovative ideas learnt and observed in the UK to the French system but failed and finally gave up. I realised that I was wasting my energy and was on my way to another burnout. My strong values including integrity, honesty, equity, peace, fairness couldn’t fit, even if I tried my best. People wanted me to change, to fit in their system offering me alternatives courses and coaching support. I realised they didn’t want to change. I was wrong in their eyes. I was angry, started a battle against myself as I worked so hard and gave up so much to reach that dream. I had to accept reality as I knew deep down that if I carried on in this battle I would lose and staying in France would mean going against who I am. Giving a thought to the whole context, I found another aim, another dream of mine to reach; go explore the Canadian Rockies with its wilderness and inspiring tourism strategy. Canada always appealed to me and seemed to have a culture that matches with who I am. I developed a new plan. I refused the dream full time job offer and decided to immigrate to the UK joining my ex-husband.
My first international experience was a revealing choice, offering me opportunities to open my mind to new perspectives. The second time, England wasn’t new anymore it became my comfort zone, I entered in a daily routine, this country became my “home” and I faced a turning point in my life.
As an impatient character, while waiting for an opportunity to go experience Canada, I tried to find a job in my field to help the waiting process. I could only find volunteering jobs as a tourism consultant for The Chiltern Tourism Network and faced another level of challenges by being an expat. So, in the meantime, I found a job in the movie industry. I used my skills as a landscaper, gardener and had the chance to take care of “famous” plants. (ex: Queen Elisabeth christmas tree) I also helped the set dressings team now and then at the studio (Ex: Star wars, Game of Throne,etc.). It was really fun and relaxing after working in a stressful office back in France. However, after a while, boredom came to the corner at the same time as new personal life challenges. I was desperately waiting for the next weekend or holidays to go onto the next adventures. Without realising it, I entered a period of transition that triggered an “identity crisis”. I felt lost, disoriented, stuck. Now I put my thoughts all together. I am ready to share a part of my story if you want to carry on reading. This part already inspired and helped some people like me on the way. Those subjects can be sensitive or even taboo in a lot of cultures and in my opinion shouldn’t be.
What is wrong with me ? Post travel “Disorienting dilemma”, feeling stuck in your own head ashamed of who you became.
Even if I chose to live abroad, my behaviours, my lifestyle and choices were not approved. Again, I faced challenges, judgements about the way I approached life but this time from people I care the most for. They didn’t mean to, they want the best for me and living abroad is unknown to them, it is scary.
While waiting in this context, I started to face doubts, constantly questioning myself. This period became like an eternity, the canadian working holiday visa system is limited to a lottery. When the canadian government picked the last number of people and my name didn't appear, I struggled. I was lost, scared and started a self examination mixing feelings of shame, guilt, fear and sadness. I kept asking myself, what is wrong with me? Why I cannot be “normal” like everyone ? Why I cannot fit in?
Someone observing my transformation and familiar with this changing behaviours acknowledged me that I was going through a period of crisis and that I was depressed. At that point, I shut down and didn't want to hear what he was saying. I didn't want to accept, I was blind. I had no control over my emotions and was destabilised. For the first time uncertainty scared me. I had no control over the situation, over my emotions whatsoever. I tried to handle and fix the situation as much as I could by myself taking even more days off, hiking, exploring. In the past, I always found solutions and alternatives alone. It is one of my strengths to find solutions, to find a strategy to improve a situation through my job as a consultant. I tried my best to keep hidden what was happening. I had my “mask” on. Back in France I have a reputation to be a strong and fearless woman, brave, who knows what she wants, who always has an answer to everything and always find a way. My ex-husband noticed my struggles, tried his best to support me with what he had, even if he didn’t understand my train of thought. Some moment I found comfort in hugs, silence and love. However, at some stage, I felt totally stuck, trapped and felt ununderstood. I couldn't even recognise who I became. Something was wrong, my behaviour changed. I could not make sense of anything. I felt that I was just a child doing a childish crises, unhappy despite having everything everyone would dream of. Yes, I had everything to be happy but I wasn't. Can you explain to me? A negative spiral of thought constantly came into my head. I started a battle against myself. I remembered this person observation and finally felt I needed professional help but didn't want to accept and face it. I was in total denial, ashamed.
Once, in the London underground someone noticed my negative vibes. Coming from nowhere, this man stepped into the wagon, threw me in the face “you could smile!” and ran away. I realised how powerful our own energy and behaviour influence others. However, what I realised that day, is that even the world could see that my smile disappeared, that smile that everyone used to compliment me for. The situation reached a point where I saw my ex-husband’ smile disappear, one of the most joyful and positive people in life. A person I grew up fourteen years with. His smile disappeared following mine. I could not cope with this, just the thought that by being myself I hurt one of the people I love the most on earth was too much. I was ashamed to speak about what I was living as it was hard to understand and describe. I couldn’t cope anymore with my changing behaviour, my thoughts and emotional reactions. I took this as a sign of weakness and vulnerability. I was trapped in a nightmare in my own my reality, with no obvious escape. My self talk, this housemate, became too critical, too loud and I couldn't stop my train of thought. I wanted someone to bang my head and make me sleep. I could not find peace, I was restless and reached the conclusion that the only solution was to give my place to someone that deserve all I had. I wanted to let free my ex-husband and my family from who I became. I wanted to stop disappointing them as much as I disappointed myself. It was too intense, I hated myself so much and wanted to finally find peace in my head. I could not escape from my own head!!! Yes, you cannot escape from the little self-talk in your head! This terrible housemate that don’t want to shut the f***k up. The realisation the problem was me, made me take a desperate action. I was too proud, too ashamed and could not find any other rational solution against death.
A friend of mine arrived at the good timing that day. I had nothing to lose anymore, I was dead inside and confessed what I was living. She actively listened free of any judgement. She didn’t realise it but she gave me the power to express and share what I was really living to my ex-husband. I went back to him in the Uk, told him all what happened, even if I knew it was going to hurt him more. I felt I had to, I had to set him free from a non understanding of my changing behaviours. I had to set him free from “the devil” as I thought at that time.As a wise person he recognised that I needed serious help and I needed to be rescued. He took control and gave me actions to set me free from this emergency. He is one of the people I trust the most in the world. I followed his instructions, quit my job, and made a first move that brought me back to life.
Traveling and hiking as a hopeful and transformational journey.
With my ex-husband support, I took my backpack and started to realise one of those dreams that used to think impossible; my first solo travel. My destination was Thailand. I needed a destination far away enough, secure, sunny, where I could totally be unknown and “do not hurt anyone”. I was terrified but as I had nothing to lose anymore, I just did it anyway. It was the first time that I didn’t organise anything and bought a last minute plane ticket to a country far away in a side of the world I never been before. I let myself go with the flow. Booked the return plane ticket and the first two nights in a youth hostel in Chiang Mai, that was it. After two weeks of quick “preparation” I took off. It was the beginning of a long journey. The world became my laboratory of a “one in a lifetime experiences”. I felt I had nothing to lose. I challenged myself everyday, living each day as the last, living in the present. I took that time to explore my limits experiencing new things, learning and growing each day, fighting against my fears. I wanted to prove to myself that I can handle life. As I was unknown, along the way, I questioned people about life, to find an understanding of what happened and what was happening to me. I openly shared my story. It was a revelation, a total freedom to just be free of pressure and accepted for who I was, being vulnerable. I discovered that I was a normal human being, lost but “normal”. Yes, if you read this and recognise few patterns you are living something that other humans lived before you !
I started being more selfish, started to take care of my body and tried new ways to find peace in my head. I started meditation. Yes, meditation, for me one of the most hyper-active people in this world. I used to reject this idea of meditating and even laugh about it. Sit and do “nothing” seemed impossible for me. I slowly learnt that it is a powerful practise, an art and a real challenge for someone like. I also realised that being a workaholic and hyper-active person is my escape from my thoughts, from myself.
I also read books and books to understand human behaviours and brain. I slowly discovered how the world is built with its different cultures, societies and ecosystem interactions. I came back to the basics, a human as an animal part of the ecosystem of the planet hearth. This opened a gate to a totally new world, new perspectives and breath. I realised that maybe I am a “weirdo” in France but I might not be in another country. Two first books helped me to make sense of my world “The geography of bliss : One grump’s search for the happiest places in the world» 2009, by Eric WEINERand “ The four agreements” by Dom Miguel Ruiz. I found a pulse and followed that impulse. I came back to the UK, recognising and accepting that I needed help to get out of my dark hole. I gathered the last part of my strength and finally asked for professional help.
FACING MY SHAME AND FEAR, Asking for professional mental health guidance soften my stigma toward them empowering myself to find a life purpose and solutions without medication.
It was a real challenge for me to ask for professional help has I created a “taboo” around mental health practitioners for years. The stigmas and assumptions I had around them were negative. I didn’t want to go see any of them, as I was scared to be labeled as a failure and weak human with mental disorders that no one would approach or hired. If you have a look at all my employers letters of recommendations you would not guess what I was going through. This situation didn’t influenced directly my work abilities, as work was one of my addiction.
I opened up to some of my trusting friends and one of them suggested me to see someone she trusted. My first meeting was on the offensive. I let the women know that “I hated the idea of seeing a psychologist and that I wanted to find alternatives solutions to fight this situation without medication.” She was calm, compassionate and slowly earned my trust. I saw her for one month, once a week. She helped me to go back to basics, to focus on my personal needs as a human while stop worrying about others. She helped me to focus on what was important for me revealing what gives me the pulse to live and make me put my shoes on everyday.
She guided me to find a new purpose in life by myself. She didn’t give any advice, just offered new perspectives. Sometimes it was frustrating but I set new goals, which were at first not a job or any ideal life situation but an everyday oxygen that could not end in any ways. It can be seen as a cliché but seeing smiles blossom on people's faces is my best reward and even more from the ones I love the most. Helping others to enjoy their life fully, empower them to realise how capable they are involving them at work, in excursions, day out activities and holidays. She pushed me to realise and accept that I am a natural leader with the drive to help others and bring peace in the world. On this new basics, I added my passions for sustainable tourism, the outdoors, self-development to my “human smile experience purpose”.
I linked myself again to my first life purpose backin my Masters, to find ways to travel while reducing the impacts of its practise on the destinations (Environment, Populations, Economy). In my opinion, tourism is a treasure, its benefits can be incredibly positive if it is practised and developed in a sustainable way. Some research goes that way. I won’t stop travelling myself, so I needed to find a concept to help the process. My experience(s) and challenges as an expat and then a solo traveler added to my tourism engineering skills lighted an idea to create, at first, a coffee shop such as an International Visitor Information centre. A place where people could go to find the most accurate, safe information using and creating meaningful human connections. Where they could meet each other’s, be themselves. Where I could help them to organise their travels and anticipate their transition back to a daily routine. I believe that if we support people to use their “free time” wisely, its benefits could be rewarding in a sustainable way in their daily life as much as work or on the planet. I believe that by “being the change you wish to see in the world,” by bringing some peace and balance in your inner world, by becoming aware of the environment you interact with, you can bring peace in the world. It seems utopian, yes. However, I believe in the snowball effect and collaboration as I experienced its results.
When I set a new life purpose, while trying to change my own behaviour, I became the project manager of a life-changing journey.
A new project was born. I engaged a research, created an action plan. I became the project manager of my own life. My first destination was Australia. I chose Australia as it is easier to get the Working Holiday Visa. Also, a few years before, I motivated two of my friends to get there, I had to see for myself what they were talking about. Australia is also the first destination for holiday makers. The politics even developed a political strategy designed for them. They are part of the Australian economy. I was curious by the government strategy. I also knew from my friend’s feedback that it would be easier to meet the backpacker there instead of in their country of departure. Recognise as safe country, I wanted to go there living like them, with them to try to understand why do they travel that way and what are their needs.
I came to Australia by myself. I wanted to experience expatriation as a solo profile and see if I could start to live somewhere alone. Just like Thailand, I could be who ever I wanted to be, choosing to reconnect with my authentic self. Regarding the context of my situation, I organised this trip using a STA travel working package. I also secured a job into an outdoor company, Mountain Design, previous my departure to reduce my family anxiety and mine. This strategy also help the short timeline of process.
I picked an outdoor equipment company matching my values as that way I could advise people to choose their travel and hiking gears while trying to understand why they go to Europe or why they came to australia. I also could develop my skills in retail and store management. When I got there, I experienced an interesting youth hostel in Saint Kilda. Then, I have been welcomed by an Australian family to get be able to live the full Australian lifestyle.
After settling in Melbourne, I started to organise excursions for French backpackers and hiking trips. Hiking or cycling are for me some of the best way to discover a country. This is part of the slow tourism. I tried to initiate those people to those practised while understanding their motives, their motives, their behaviours. I coached some of them on their first steps in Australia. I also started to plan for the next step of my research which was a road trip around this country. I set some challenges to have an idea of the full experience. I bought an empty 4x4, transformed it into a “house”. I built a bed with only what I found in the streets. I activated and developed my creativity again creating, with some help, a bed born from playing with a match box! I slowly built some confidence back and started to build healthy boundaries in the same time as experiencing a wider range of emotions. I was always seeking for new social experiences that challenged my mindset and limits. Through actions, (ex: solo overnight trekking) emotional intelligence strategies, I was trying to restructure my mind map. People I met became sign posts orienting me on my path. From each of their stories I learnt a lesson giving more maturity and humanity. I will never thank enough the people I met on the way who believe in me, and gave me some light on this dark path.
While it was a month being in Australia, I received my visa for Canada! I could not believe it. The government added extra places for French people and I got my name picked. I gave it some thought and included Canada as part of the next part of my research. My time in Australia became limited. I planned the next steps in my research carefully, New-Caledonia then Canada with a quick stop over in France.
Four months after my arrival, my ex-husband joined me. I was terrified as I built a lifestyle, a routine different from the one I had back in Europe. I was scared to face my past and to become again who I was : a judgemental, aggressive and close minded person. After some adjustments, we departed for a road trip around Australia. For the first part, from Melbourne to Alice Spring, two unknown german joined so I could experience traveling with strangers. Then, from Alice Spring, it was by ourselves. Each of those situations has its lesson.
While we stopped for a month in Cairns, my ex-husband got an offer for an amazing job back in the UK. December 2017 became a time to think, reflect on the situation and choices. We ended on the conclusion that it was for the best to go our own ways. We finished the road trip together back to Sydney. He then flew to the UK and I finished the road trip back to Melbourne by myself.
The next step into my plan was New-Caledonia. I wanted to experience living in my friend’s Kanak tribe, another way to approach life and an opportunity to try to understand the impacts of the French colonisation. The timing was interesting, April 2018 was a turning point for this Island. They were preparing to vote for a referendum regarding the independence of New-caledonia from France. This adventure was another powerful moment into a professional and personal realisation. It was the time to reflect on what happened the last few months.
I then flew to Canada in Mai 2018 to start a job as Visitor Experience Specialist at Lake Louise visitor centre, in the Canadian Rockies; my dream destination. Again, I found the job before getting there. The transition between those countries didn’t happen as smoothly as I imagined. Going to Australia before Canada changed my perspective and vision on this country. I was comparing my lifestyle in Australia with Canada. I approached another profile of backpackers and travelers and another culture. This job allowed me to learn about another strategy to manage the influx of tourism in an international well known destination and analyse another profile of travelers.
At some point my old work habits and boredone came by repeating the same explanation to each visitor. I noticed the behaviour and explored a different approach where I tried my best to give the best experience to each traveler. I wanted them to remember their time with me as one of the best memories in their holidays; even more in the destination context that appeared (overtourism, fire, bear attacks,etc.). Adjusting my mindset on others and asking for some advice from my leader, helped me cope with the job and life struggles.
After a while, my instinct made me feel that Canada wasn’t the country I could live and invest in. I didn’t find the vibe and human connection that I had in Melbourne. I gathered enough information for my research to start a potential business. I didn’t know how to make money from it or face my fears to fail so I investigated and gave myself the option to enter at Insight Academy of Entrepreneurship in Melbourne. To remove any doubts and regrets, I applied for a last Working Holiday Visa in New-Zealand. People I met on the way told me that country is a mix between Canada and Australia that would be perfect for my adventurous profile. Also their tourism strategy was really appealing with the Tiaki promise project.
After a stop over in France dealing with personal issues, and another one to Australia to visit Insight Academy and see how I felt coming back there; I flew to New-Zealand. Again, I found the job before getting there at another Visitor Information Centre in Picton, May 2018. I learnt a lot about the Kiwi way to approach tourism, preserve and respect their country and culture, including the Maori people. I discovered the world of cruise tourism and water taxi. At the same time, I also worked in a coffee-shop restaurant to see if advising travellers in a coffee shop atmosphere could work. Combining those two jobs was one of the best experiences for my personal project. I also hosted independent travelers and supported some of them, learning from their story. It is that time when I started a video about “Why do you travel”, where I interviewed people about their reasons for quitting their home country for a middle or long term period. I had an amazing time in New-zealand. I could have chosen it has my home country but again I didn’t found what I found in Australia.
In June 2019. I started the diploma at Insight Academy of Entrepreneurship. Returning to school and being limited as an international student has its challenges. However, the hardest was to face a “routine” again. Coming back to Australia was like coming back “home”, somewhere I know. At some point I had the urge to buy a plane ticket again. That time I knew that it was not to do some research anymore but to escape my fears and myself. Traveling became an addiction. Since then, with the support of a life coach, I am finding ways to inject this travel spark into my daily routine, finding an inner balance between my private life and work through processing my emotions, feeding my own needs while offering the best to my collaborators. Many CEO, politician and managers have mentors, psychologist or coaches. Asking for new perspectives and evolving as a human being is a sign of strength. I realised that no one should be ashamed to ask for some guidance sometimes, so many humans live the same experiences as you and I go through. It doesn’t remove any of my work abilities, it even strengthen it and make me stronger and more efficient, more human. I am grateful I have been through this whole process as it made me who I am today. In this diploma, we had to do a personality test through an Emotional Intelligence course. The feedback highlighted how different I am today from who I was back then in 2013.
I also work for another company I believe in and invest some of my time in, Fjallraven. A Swedish company who use Emotional Intelligence in its management system as much as their approach of customer experience. An eco-conscious company who try its best to minimise its impacts on the planet.
And now what ?
While travelling I shared my expertises and story to some, guiding them to find their keys and strategy to go forward in their businesses or personal lives. If you identify yourself in my story and values, I would love to do my best to support your project. We are all human. It will always be a work in progress. However, I learnt that little step forward by little step we can change things by gathering our strength. It asks discipline, letting go, commitment and most of it learn to fail to adapt and grow better. Nothing is impossible. Let’s learn from each others. Together we can make your project evolve toward a sustainable success while reducing its impacts, developing a better world to live in. Collaboration is a key toget outcomes that you would never have ever expected.