I know you have no idea at 18, what you want to do with the rest of your life and, believe me, this will never actually change however old you get. You will continue to muddle through life with no particular plan, but you will get some amazing opportunities. Some of which you’ll pass on, others of which you’ll take up and, despite this seemingly lackadaisical approach, you’re going to do ok.
I guess you’re currently wondering if you’ve chosen the right course… hotel and catering management is a long way from the psychology or social policy and administration degrees that you thought you wanted to do, but let’s face it, it does sound a lot more fun…and trust me, you won’t regret it because it will be.
As I sit here by an infinity pool overlooking the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, several decades later, I am remembering some of the places your job will take you to: from Mauritius to Tahiti Bora Bora; from Pakistan to India; Zimbabwe to Nigeria; Europe, the Middle East, Korea, America and Canada.
Luckily for the most part you have some great travelling companions and will get the chance to explore, taking in an unforgettable trip up the Khyber pass, white water rafting up the Zambezi river and you’ll chicken out of bungee jumping, although maybe you’ll want to rethink that one. There was also wadi bashing and the sand dunes of Sossusvlei (they’re in Namibia – look them up) – the list goes on.
You’ll even get to live on the beach in LA for a few years, and very nearly not come home. Luckily you do, otherwise you’d never have met your wonderful partner and your lovely kids.
Your job will also lead you to some lifelong friends, and it’ll teach you that the world is such a vast place, that your tiny life and seemingly insurmountable problems really aren’t that important. Remember to be nice to people on the way up, in case you meet them on the way down, and be braver….public speaking really isn’t as bad as you think it is now (although you will continue to think this for the next 20 years or so).
Take the London job, it really is the most amazing city in the world, and don’t look back, you’re going to find out and experience things in London you never knew existed, you’ll go to some fabulous events, and you’ll meet some amazing people, including a close brush with royalty, but maybe we should keep that one as an unexpected surprise.
Oh, and don’t forget to pack a Kagool, the flat you’re about to move into in Bournemouth has a leaky roof!
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