I’m Julie! Pretty obvious really. I’ve been introduced to people many ways in my life; “This is my daughter/sister/wife/mum” etc, and love that feeling of attachment, but when I go off on my own I love simply saying “I’m Julie”…….
I didn’t ever know what I wanted to be ‘when I grew up’, so for pretty much all of my adult life I’ve fallen into jobs, which have mostly been fine, but that’s all – just fine. I’ve always had a hankering to travel to exotic and far flung places, and ‘do something’ with wild animals. I used to dream of being brave and adventurous like Joy Adamson, Jane Goodall or Diane Fossey, and it was the film ‘Born Free’ that grabbed my imagination all those years ago. Ever since then I wanted to go to Africa and sit on that rock. (you know, the one where Elsa sits with her cubs at the end of the film)
In December 2010 after seeing the film again on television and talking animatedly about it, my son said “so go and do something with lions”, went on the internet, and found me a volunteer programme where I could actually do that. So I went. All on my own. To a ‘gap year’ programme. (Average age 18-26!). Not knowing anybody. And I LOVED IT.
Being in my 50s didn’t matter one jot as I just got stuck in with everybody else. So many people describe something that happens to them as ‘life changing’, but in reality for most people it only changes something in their life for a very short period of time. This really did change mine, as since then I’ve done more and more volunteering and traveling on my own, to the extent of leaving my family to fend for themselves and working abroad teaching photography for months at a time. The photo below is one of my favourites of me as it sums up perfectly how much I love being somewhere exciting with a camera in my hand!