Lucca, in Italy, is the birthplace of Puccini, so during Opera season there are concerts every week. One evening, I invited Steve, the Captain of the neighbouring yacht, as well as Duncan, an engineer from another yacht, to join me at a concert. Both were very reluctant, saying they didn’t think they would enjoy it. But they did go and…they loved it! Steve enjoyed it so much he continued to go every week after I had left Italy, and Opera is now his ‘thing’.
Never say no to an invitation - unless you already have another commitment. You don’t know what pleasures and opportunities it may bring or what doors may be opened to you.
While the shopping malls in Nice, France are magnificent to look at and wander through, and offer everything money can buy, they have no character. Shopping there was interesting, but soulless. I was alone and really felt it.
In the local open market in
Money can’t buy soul. Sometimes we get so caught up making a living that we forget how to make a life! Take time to step back and put things into perspective.
My mother and I were in the UK at the time of the Edinburgh Tattoo in Scotland. As we both dearly wanted to see it, I decided to take my mother as a birthday treat. However, when I began enquiring about purchasing tickets, I was told repeatedly by friends and family that if we hadn’t booked our seats at least a year ago, we wouldn’t stand a chance of getting in. I was shattered by this news, but decided to keep trying. I eventually found out who to phone, made the call and got tickets with no problem at all. We went to the Tattoo and loved it.
Don’t let what other people say stop you from pursuing your dream. Do what it takes to make it happen. Listen to your own wisdom and trust yourself – others don’t necessarily know more than you.
While wandering through the ruins at Ephesus, in Turkey, I came across the crumbling statue of the Goddess of Victory and saw that her name was “Nike”. I was stunned as I realised one of the most well-known brand names used today comes from ancient times.
New ideas are not always what is required. Recognising and using the wisdom of the past is sometimes all it takes to enjoy great success.
While travelling through America, I spent a few days in Los Angeles, the 2nd largest city in the United States and the world centre for the entertainment industry. Of course, no trip to L.A is complete without a trip to Hollywood, and while I was there I took a tour of Universal Studios. Included in this tour was a stop-off at the pool containing the beast (or rather, the head of the beast) that sparked terror into the hearts of millions in the 1970s, and had people too terrified to go into the sea – Jaws!
While it made use of what were considered ground-breaking special effects techniques at the time, 30-odd years later, getting up close and personal with the fibreglass model of Jaws was anything but scary! As one of those who was terrified by the film, I was horrified at its amateur appearance!
The life lesson here is even something very basic can create a huge impression if it’s used in the right way. So don’t be scared - take your talents and use them to create magic.
In 1994, I took a 10-month working holiday in the United States, and was fortunate to see many of the more famous attractions in cities across the country during this time. One of the attractions that most impressed me was Sea World in San Diego. Of course I realise that, almost 20 years on, these large “super-aquariums” are pretty common place – South Africa has uShaka Marine World in Durban and the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, and there are others in Australia and Europe. At the time, however, I was bowled over by Sea World. It was like Disneyland, but with fish! It was simply the best aquarium I had ever seen.
The lesson here is that it pays to be bold. If you do something unheard of, daring and completely revolutionary today, you may well be setting a trend for the future.