What makes me me
My personal interests / hobbies / passion points are very much related to my professional life. When I’m not working – and often when I am – you’ll find me enjoying:
Seven billion people, seven continents, 510,072,000 square kilometres total area and 148,940,000 square kilometres of land makes planet Earth one big playground.
I’m fascinated by the fact that we can traverse the globe in just over a day, jump to a city on the opposite side of the planet in 12 hours and be in a totally different continent in the space of an afternoon. I’ve made it my ambition to travel the whole world, see it all, and never go anywhere twice until I’ve been everywhere once.
Traveling extensively for both business and pleasure, I’ve amassed hundreds of passport stamps, flight tickets, hotel stays and travel experiences – both good and bad.
I’m definitely not one of those people that worries about flying… Enjoying even bumpy flights and rarely complaining about an extra hour in the airport. In fact, some of my most productive times have required just me, my laptop and the uninterrupted privacy of being mid-air. I did start flying lessons but it turns out I prefer the large aircraft simulators.
I love hotels. I usually spend a quarter to a third of my entire year living in them, so it's probably a good thing! Lots of people in global roles - where travel is an essential part of the job - grow tired of hotels, but I still get excited about staying somewhere new.
Boutique, chain, budget, luxury, independent, large, small, suite, room, villa, concierge, day, night, room service, pool, bar, restaurant, city, rural... The fact that each and every hotel, regardless of its size or star rating, is an individual ecosystem in one building fascinates me.
I’ve been interested in photography ever since my first camera. It had a dodgy flash, used the old ‘Kodak 110’ film that looked like a spool cartridge, took grainy badly balanced photos, and ate batteries in minutes but I loved it. Progressing through 35mm, SLR cameras and on to DSLRs in recent years, I still rarely go anywhere without a camera in my bag. (Although, increasingly these days, that tends to be my iPhone).
Add to this my love of planes and travel and it’s easy to see how I manage to upload more than 1,000 photos to my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts every month.
Art and design
I am a contemporary art and design fan and one-day-collector. I'm specifically drawn to 20th Century artists like Bridget Riley, Mark Rothko, and Gerhard Richter. I love the clean lines, aggressive texture, bold colours, and striking geometry that modern art brings.
One day I'll build my own home, in homage to geometric perfection, but until then you'll find me watching any Grand Designs episode, spending hours on property apps (Zoopla), researching contemporary interiors (Houzz) and design (Artfinder), and visiting exhibitions and fairs (Frieze is a favourite - and a former client) where I can but dream.
Food and drink
People often ask me what the best part of traveling so much for work is… And my answer is always “food”. I love immersing myself in a new place, absorbing new smells, trying new food, learning new cooking techniques and understanding new flavours and flavour combinations. From pubs to food trucks to street cafes to fine dining restaurants, I’m definitely a ‘foodie’.
Whenever I can, I try to sample a restaurant’s tasting menu – a series of little dishes that showcase the chef’s signature style. I always find they test the science and flavour of food to the maximum. If it’s a surprise menu, even better.
I've recently become somewhat addicted to Nordic Noir - TV drama from Scandinavia.
The genre of crime fiction has certain common characteristics, and is typically shot in a realistic style with a dark, morally complex mood.
It tends to break away from the older "whodunit" style, which was influenced by the British country house murder mystery, but the suspense remains - often waiting until the last episode for all of the pieces to come together. (Or, in many cases, for any single part to make any sense at all).
Check out: The Bridge, The Killing, Trapped, and Borgen (more political drama than crime drama).
I've always loved the theatre but have spent a lot of time exploring new arts over the past few years. I've specifically fallen in love with two theatres:
I've become a huge fan of Sadler's Wells (which is an incredible auditorium) for contemporary dance. With Matthew Bourne and BalletBoyz being particular favourites.
The National Theatre on the South Bank is an incredible venue and I've still, to this day, not seen a NT production that's disappointed. 'Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' was overwhelmingly brilliant.
And... Navy blue
By popular request (and frequent suggestion!) I'm including this slightly odd bit of my character DNA:
I only wear navy blue.
It can be traced back a few years now, to when I was travelling 50%+ of my time. It simply became easier to take a suitcase of clothes in complementary colours - that way I could mix and match any of them, allowing me to pack fewer items.
It stuck from there, and now I wear navy blue every day. I occasionally add in another colour (a dark red jumper in autumn, a Breton striped t-shirt in summer, etc) but there's not a day that passes without me wearing mostly navy blue!
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