Ali Golds in Ragusa, Italy
Alumna Ali Golds' Globetrotting Adventure
Alumna Ali Golds (PGCE, 2009) is a growth coach, speaker, author, business owner, founder/CEO of the The Juno Project and one of The Independent’s 20 Extraordinary Women of 2017. She has spent the last nine months travelling the world whilst still running her own business and charity, which she continues to do remotely.
During a recent pit stop to the UK we caught up with Ali about why she headed off on this adventure, how she’s found the experiences so far, and what’s next.
Ali said: “I decided to go off on this adventure because I’d reached a point in my career where I felt I had achieved everything I could - or wanted, perhaps - to achieve. I wasn't as fulfilled as I was once upon a time. My children are all adults, and off doing their own thing, so it was time for me to live my own life and see a bit more of the world.
“The most challenging thing about travelling has been finding my way around different countries whilst not always speaking the language. However there have been so many enjoyable things to balance this out! New friends, new experiences, sitting at a table in a pavement cafe watching the world go by, learning about the way of life of people who live in the town I'm in - and finding my way around different countries whilst not always speaking the language. Sometimes a challenge can also be your greatest joy!”
So far Ali has travelled through Andalucía, Morocco, Italy, Sicily (where she spent four months visiting as many of the main towns and cities as she could), and some of the Greek Islands. She’s taken in amazing landscapes, tried local delicacies, networked with residents, and made the most of the time to explore, reflect, and reenergise. She's visited 39 towns and cities so far and is leaving the UK again shortly for Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, and mainland Greece, before she goes to the Caribbean in November for two months. So lots to look forward to. We also spoke a little about her time at Exeter and if her experiences here helped with her travels, and Ali highlighted that she’s “always been very self-sufficient, but studying at Exeter certainly helped me to tackle challenges in a logical and reasoned way.”
Ali said: “I've learned that I'm a great problem solver, that I can pick up languages quite fast (even though I struggled with them when I was younger), and that everyone has similar challenges - no matter where they live.” She also would recommend taking time to travel either for work, pleasure or as a change of career/break to both current students and alumni of any age as “travelling gives you a unique insight not only into the world, but into yourself and what you're capable of, and it can be a very positive experience.”
So what’s next? Ali has no plans to slow down and still has many more places to visit, big plans for 2020, has just finished her auto-biography, and is planning to write a travel book.
One of Ali's favourite views from her travels: The Sunset in Chania, Crete, Greece
A view from the bus whilst Ali left the airport in Granada, Spain. Her first stop on her travels.
Ali has enjoyed many tasty dishes on her travels, including some lovely tapas involving calamari, aubergine and cabbage with garlic in Granada, Spain.
One of Ali's favourite pieces of street arts she's seen so far on her travels: a protected Banksy on a wall in downtown Naples, Italy.
Date: 6 August 2019