The spirit of adventure runs strong in me.
My grandmother, Edwina Mountbatten, was thrilled by adventure. By the 1930s she had travelled in every continent and to places that had rarely seen a western woman.
I have inherited her inability to sit still for very long; I have always thirsted to experience new things and to push myself that little bit further. My encounters with new territories not only opened my eyes to new possibilities but also made me realise how much I loved doing it on my own terms, in my own time.
The travels of my youth were my training. I learned that when you long to live a different life, and do something about it, you also take control. It has been what has driven me ever since.
I was delighted to finally meet Caroline Weller this past spring, because I found in her a similar spirit. She left England, met a man and made a life in New York, where she and her partner formed impressive careers. And then they had a baby. That’s usually the kind of time that people settle down, plant some flowers and watch them grow. Not Caroline. They gave up their luxury apartment by the river with incredible views. They gave up the nanny. They gave up the security blanket that gets woven beneath you when you live in a city for so long, and decided to accept an offer to work in India, right into the heart of a world of dust, disorder and incessant chaos.
However, just a couple of months into the contract, it was obvious that the new job wasn’t going to work. Many would have seen this as disaster but Caroline doesn’t believe in wrong turns. (Neither, luckily, does her partner.) They decided to stay on, to see where the adventure would take them.
She has since started a new business from scratch. Her brand Banjanan was born – and now goes from strength to strength.
Caroline and her partner took extraordinary steps, and used their courage to the family’s advantage. They are thriving. They are happy. Although Caroline admits she has never fully grasped the Hindu language, only speaking broken ‘Hinglish’ and often has her 7 year-old son, Gill, translate for her during meetings with manufactures.
Her story resonates with me, for although I have been blessed with a privileged life, I always like to step into the unknown and not necessarily do what’s expected.
It’s now my time to push myself to the next level and to launch a new business, from the ground up.
Like Caroline (and like my Grandmother in the 1930s), I am taking the risk.
For more on Caroline’s extraordinary story visit her website at www.banjanan.com