As I travelled along the route from Santa Marta to Cartagena, I witnessed some of the worst poverty and living conditions I have seen in a long while.
Communities living in piles of plastic rubbish, families all living in one room wooden dwellings, made of the thin strips of wood used to make wooden pallets, and all barely held together with anything other than the strength and love of the family.
Pools of sewerage all around, and yet all of the people I saw were laughing, had smiles on their faces and the communal football pitches and basketball courts were full of generations of men playing together, whilst the women watched and celebrated their men young and old.
It got worse the closer we got to the city; and according to some of the Colombians I have met, the situation here in Cartagena has improved greatly to what it has been over the last decades. Driving through the city a few days later on my way to another part of the city, the living conditions fell to an even deeper depth of pollution and poverty.
The feelings of sadness and helplessness rocked me to my core and gave me yet another wakeup call I needed.
The night of my arrival in Cartagena, I chose to watch the movie 14 Peaks, the incredible story of Nirmal ‘Nimsdai’ Purja’s mountaineering expedition to climb the 14 8000m plus mountains in the world in just 7 months.
Many have been encouraging me for a while to make a documentary of my own journey around the world but being a writer and not someone who takes lots of photos and footage, I am somewhat at a loss on how to achieve this goal.
The scenery within the film was breath-taking, the brotherhood of the Nepalis mountaineers and their leader Nims heart-warming, and their determination tear jerking. I cried at multiple points along their journey to complete the mammoth task.
And here’s why.
Because I got present to the just how powerful my own story is, and how sailing and road tripping around the world as a long distance mama to my two teenage sons – and doing it alone – can inspire so many women around the world across cultures, socio-economic groups and generations.
Realising this made me realise that by not sharing my story would in a lot of ways be selfish, because so many women are looking for a role model, a new way of doing things and are fed up with the twenty to thirty year old ‘female influencers’ being rammed down their throat on every media platform going.
Not having seen my sons in far too long because of the absolute shit storm that has created fear and chaos in the world right now, and has done for the last two years, has been the hardest thing I have ever done. And yet, I still continue on my journey, because I want to, and because I need to.
Why, I don’t always know, but the powerful pull I feel to keep on going is so bloody strong.
Now whether or not you agree with me politically or ethically on the plandemic is irrelevant to the rest of this article. What is important though is what you and I can do for one another, and the rest of humanity.
You see when I started this trip around the world it wasn’t as defined as Nims’ great expedition. Mine was a healing journey, a need to take a break and regroup, figure out where the hell I wanted to go with my life after a decade of trauma in one way or another.
It was more of a “let’s see how it goes and how long it takes” because there was a lot of trauma to unpack and deal with, especially after fighting Police Scotland in a case that should never have been tried when I became a single mum after eighteen years of marriage.
I don’t have sponsors for my journey, although I have been told many times I should have them by now. I also don’t have a time frame to complete my circumnavigation. In the beginning I was just winging it, still am to some degree, and with each new location, a new challenge presents itself – some more difficult than others.
Along this journey I have learnt to trust that everything will work out as it should do, that I will be in the right place at the right time to witness what needs to be witnessed, learn what I need to learn and achieve what I need to achieve, all on purpose and in purpose of being able to grow expand and give back to others, whilst also believing my journey will bring out the very best in me and my sons.
There have been many times when I have wondered what the hell I am doing, where the money is coming from to keep growing my business, whilst paying off debts related to the Scotland Saga, and if I can actually do this – whatever this is, and whatever it will turn out to be.
I’ve been excluded from Women’s groups around the world and declined for various opportunities because I am ‘not suitable enough’ because I ‘move from place to place and cannot help build the local community’ – an excuse that gets really rather tedious after a while.
I was left wondering why these women’s groups espouse change and female empowerment but do not see the immense value I have to offer with my global perspective on things. Perhaps they do, and that’s why they reject me because I challenge and intimidate them on a very deep level, and they do not wish to be ‘out shone’ by someone like me.
It has made me question whether I see my own value, and yes I do.
And their rejection has been great for me because it has made me question my worth, and because I have had to assess my own value over and over again, I’ve discovered more and more value within myself, which I do and will continue to bring to the world, whilst learning more in the process.
There have been times when I have got to the point of almost booking a flight back to the UK to be with my sons, and to see my parents, but the thought of going back to the UK has filled me with anxiety and a tightness in my chest which strikes fear into the heart of my soul.
I feel suffocated when I think about going back to the UK, and yet as a coach for others I always ask myself “What if you didn´t feel like this? What if you felt light and excited about going back?”… and here I am still travelling to the next country on the trade wind route around the world.
For those of you who know me personally and have done so for many years, you will know how challenging this journey is – especially given how close my sons and I are to each other, and the dedication I have to being the best leader and mother for them both.
For those of you who do not know me and have not read the books, you can purchase them here.
Be warned, some of the content in these books is not the easiest of reading material, especially if you are one of those people in the world who would rather burying your head in the sand and pretend bad stuff doesn’t happen – especially to people you know.
But then again, if you are following me and my journey around the world, you have a thicker skin than most.
The private feedback and the public reviews of my books have humbled me on many occasions. Learning how my story has saved marriages, shown them what’s possible and where they have not been playing full out in their own lives.
My books have shown people how to set up their own businesses just by sharing my own entrepreneurial journey, and when I find out many of my readers have found the courage to leave an abusive relationship or fight back against the system and their families in more ways than one, I have been left in tears reading their stories.
The books I write may not be your typical self-help books, memoirs or books on activism or social change, but they are changing the world for those who choose to buy them, read and then implement their own personal variety of action steps.
The way I have chosen to document my journey is not one of pretty pictures and the typical travel blog or Instafame nomadic lifestyle with incredible sunsets, scantily clad provocative bikini shots, cocktails on the beach or videos of me sailing across oceans captured by drones.
Like they say, what happens on the boat, stays on the boat.
I haven’t, up until watching Nims’ movie, seen my journey as something I want strangers being part of. Nor have I wanted to take selfie after selfie, or photo after photo just to please the masses and corporate sponsors.
To live my life my way, for me and my boys, or rather my sons as they are no longer boys, is something we all get to choose about our own lives, because when it comes down to it, my life is my life, and the people most important to me know what is going on in my life.
The journey I have been on is worthy of so much more than Instagram likes and followers but watching the community Nims has created with his breath taking shots of the mountains and his team sparked something within me. Something which will change the way I choose to show up on the platforms of my choice – because Instagram still isn’t a platform I wish to use.
I have always shared my learnings and experiences through articles, workshops, presentations and speeches at business and community events, delivering guest lectures in Universities and attending black tie dinners.
Many of my reflections and events in my life, which I believe people could learn something from, have gone into my books.
When I consider the current trend of influencers I roll my eyes louder than my children do at me when I ask them for help with technology.
Because like Nims, as a change maker, I want to influence real change in the world, not increase eating disorders, mental health disorders and people feeling less than just because they are not living a certain lifestyle at a perceived standard from a carefully selected viewpoint of another nomad or ‘influencer’.
Watching 14 Peaks gave me a wakeup call to just how powerful my story is. It may have taken a while for the penny to drop, and for me to finally see myself through the eyes of so many others, but now I’m allowing myself to see myself through the eyes of all those who have interviewed me and chosen to celebrate me – probably for the first time in my life if I am really truly honest with you.
With every podcast interview, summit, event I have spoken at over the last four years, and the 2 decades before, I have always heard the introductions given about me, but never really felt them; often thinking I would love to be introduced to that person, before finding out it was me they were describing.
How can they all be wrong? How can they all see the same mezze of magnificence in me if it were not there, and if it were not true?
With countless women being inspired by my journey, my positivity and all my achievements, which I will admit I have played down because many have said they feel ‘less than’, ‘boring’, ‘not as interesting’, (insert your own word for negative comparison) I know I have immense value to bring to a wider audience.
My intention has never been to make others feel inadequate or uninspiring, quite the opposite in fact. I want women to be inspired by who they are, what they have achieved, and I want them to know what they are truly capable of, feeling the freedom they were born with, the joys of dancing and laughing each and every day, as well as believing they are a great mother – if that is one of the many roles they have chosen.
With the amount of women and mothers around the world feeling trapped, tired and exhausted, having given up on their dreams, and feeling stuck in life, I have realised how selfish I have been by shying away from having a much bigger impact in the world.
I am on my way to selling 1 million copies of each of my books, something I have created a strategy for and have been working on relentlessly.
I have created author courses which will soon be launched via my new author academy. My 21 Day Lifestyle Reboot for Women has also had a makeover, but I have never really ‘played full out’ during the launch process because the tactics of the manipulative marketing techniques which achieve the “successful launch” such as ‘triggering the scarcity mentality and pain points’ – or the “buy now or lose forever” have never really felt aligned for me.
Selling doesn’t scare me, but like most women who have gone through divorce and found out their ex-husband was choosing to cheat on them with other women, rejection ran deep – as did the fear of putting myself out there to sell my books and services as an author coach and publisher.
Again, to those who have been following my journey, they will probably find this hard to believe considering the number of books I have written and the accolades I’ve achieved.
The number of books I have published on behalf of clients, and those who have done my courses all rave about me and have referred others to me. This level of organic growth has always been fruitful, but now I want to reach people on a much larger scale, so social change and human rights can be implemented by the individuals themselves.
Rather than waiting for companies and governments to ‘give us our human rights’, we as individuals need to reclaim them for ourselves.
Often we lose sight of ourselves and what we are achieving when it becomes our ‘normal’ – a common situation for those of us who are not looking for prestige and the vanity metrics – choosing instead to make huge difference to humanity and the bringing of the human rights abuses around the world to an end.
Realising if I can change the lives of those who have already messaged me and reviewed my books publicly organically, what is actually possible if I did share my journey in a faster and more scalable approach? How many more and more women could I inspire to own their ovaries and take time for themselves to heal, fulfil their dreams or just take a break for a month or two by themselves?
Struggling with the public figure life, especially as I want a private life and want to keep my sons protected from the public arena (and from the haters), has increased the more my name is known around the world for the work I do – and the woman I am.
The pressure to show up every day, and multiple times a day at that, whilst creating content for a marketing team to then promote and post all over the world was immense, especially on top of the emotional journey I have been on.
Although I was building a public profile on social media to sell my books and coaching services, I soon came to realise it wasn’t a platform I wanted to be part of. I want to read high level content, write high level articles and books, have powerful conversations with people interested in making the world a better place – rather than looking at the same pretty pictures over and over again from different people around the world and seeing the same vanilla business posts people were regurgitating time and time again every single day.
With the number of people wanting to know where I was in the world and wanting to see photos of my life I felt pressured into having to keep travelling, having to keep coming up with new and Instafake content just to gain the followers who were never on social media to learn of human rights abuses or willing to open themselves up to actually get involved in making a difference.
They just wanted to be nosey and live their life through others rather than live their own wild and exciting life filled with adventures.
I want to live my life in private but watching Nims and his team of mountaineers achieve what they achieved, and how inspired I felt, the initial feelings of being selfish by not sharing what I am doing increased.
With each new woman I meet in person, each new person who subscribes to my email list, each new reader who messages me privately, I know my journey is making such a powerful and positive impact in the world, and I want to inspire more people.
To have been blessed with my drive, my vision, talents and courage, not to mention this lifestyle, and to not use it for even greater impact, when the people I saw on my way into and around Cartagena live in heart-breaking poverty, doesn’t sit well with me.
Living life publicly whilst on a healing journey isn’t easy, especially as someone who enjoys her own company, probably over thinks things far too much and finds it hard to trust people.
Socialising with others is challenging because when you have done as much healing from as much trauma as me and the people I have had the honour to coach over the years, there are behaviours and energies you just don’t want to be around, because it is just far too painful to feel.
We as humans, especially women and children, are stronger than we think we are, and give ourselves credit for. We can often achieve the seemingly impossible, against all odds, as Nims and his team so wonderfully presented in this movie.
Seeing his leadership and the love he had for his mother, hearing how he spoke about her and what both his parents had done to inspire him made me reflect on what this global trip around the world is creating within my two teenage sons.
My greatest wish is that I have and will continue to inspire my sons to become the greatest version of themselves possible, to create great change in the world their way, and to know that even though I may not be with them in person every day, they are my greatest inspiration and motivation.
I want the world to be a better place, a more informed place, a healed place both in the humanitarian and planetary sense, for my sons, for my nieces and nephew, for generations to come.
So now I have to up my game, now I need to focus more on getting my content seen by more and more people, and I need to allow myself to grow and expand way out of my comfort zone so I can achieve all I desire to achieve, without settling, without excuses, without fear and without abandon.