I’m a keen traveller. I’ve been hooked on exploring the world since I first left England at the age of 17, venturing across the English Channel to go through France to Spain to hike across Galicia on a trip that was a combination of camping expedition and cultural research. That trip changed the course of my life and set me on a path to discover many other countries and landscapes; and of course different peoples, each with their fascinating customs, politics and cultures.
As an entrepreneur I’m equally interested in discovering new aspects of business: creativity and innovation, business techniques and models, and business mindsets and etiquette. I write business books and travel blogs. And I am a travel speaker at conferences and other events.
I love to explore new places and increasingly my work goes hand in hand with extensive international travel. As a business adviser, trainer and speaker in the creative industries, my mission is to empower creative entrepreneurs all around the world, helping them adapt business techniques to their local situation. Then I learn from their successes to help others elsewhere.
The knowledge and experience I gain on my travels strengthen my business; then, the stronger my business, the greater its global reach. The more I travel (whether my laptop is in my suitcase or backpack) the more I learn about business techniques, strategies and philosophies. I am enlightened by creative entrepreneurs, by people rooted in their communities, and by digital nomads.
Nowadays I intertwine my love for my work with my passion for international travel. Yes, I’m lucky, and I’m grateful. But I have consciously designed my business to deliver what I want in terms of both work and life. I’ve made deliberate choices. It’s no happy accident: I’ve engineered it. It’s what I call ‘Designing Your Creative Business’. Nowadays, I no longer strive to achieve a better work-life balance; instead, I’ve decided to go one step further, to achieve ‘work-life integration’.
So my travel blogs sit alongside my articles about business. On a beach in the Solomon Islands I can reflect on the busy-ness of business life; in Papua New Guinea I saw myself in a digital panic because I couldn’t find wi-fi to email my clients. When running before sunrise in Tonga, it dawns on me that things are never as imagined when you finally arrive, which applies not only to travel destinations but also to business goals. Hiking in Macedonia, I pondered on how clues appear just when we need them, in business and in life, if we are looking for them. At a Birthday party in Shanghai I learnt a hard lesson about Chinese Culture. On Mount Errigal in Ireland, I reflected on Blue Ocean Strategy. I can speak at conferences about international business culture with some authority because I’ve been there and done it; I’ve learnt the hard way that in other cultures, people just don’t think or behave in the way we might expect.
I’ve lived out of a suitcase in hotels on international business trips in Africa, I’ve carried my backpack between hostels throughout Europe, and I’ve experienced life as a ‘digital nomad’ in Asia. This unique mixture of business consultant and international traveller makes me what I am. It’s fun and I hope it makes me wiser too, so that I can be even more helpful to creative entrepreneurs who are striving to make their businesses even more successful, in terms they define for themselves, according to their own values, objectives and lifestyle.
I am privileged to have worked in more than 60 countries around the world, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. In total, I’ve travelled to more than 100 countries on six continents. So far! (See list below)
I’m a member of the Travelers’ Century Club.
I have two nationalities (British and Irish), three passports, plus Estonian e-Residency status.
Some travel blogs, which also reflect on business issues, include:
– The Great Little Tongatapu South Pacific Ocean Drive
– A Decision at a Spanish Port
– Kidnapped in Mexico
– Marooned in the Solomon Islands
– On an active volcano in Sumatra
– Finding a route in over the mountains in Macedonia
– A run before dawn near the international dateline
– Observing Timor Leste without taking photos
– Surviving without wi-fi in Papua New Guinea
– A Postcard from Malin Head
– Kyoto in the Snow
– Coming home in Beirut
– Going back to the ‘murder capital of the world’
– Stranded in Saudi Arabia without a passport
– Kidnapped in Mexico
– Getting around the Cape Verde islands
[Find all of these in the index of travel blogs.]
Estonian eResidency: a walk in the park
Climbing above the clouds in the Arctic Circle
Overnight in third class from Delhi to Varanasi
60+ countries in which I’ve worked:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)
- Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles)
- Korea (Republic of Korea: ‘South Korea’)
- Laos (PDR Lao)
- Netherlands / Holland
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
And some other countries I’ve visited:
- Cape Verde
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Myanmar (Burma)
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- Timor Leste (East Timor)
- Tonga (Kingdom of Tonga)
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Finally, a few photos from my travels.