Nickname: Annie. Also (Bella, Tootin, Cooncil, Banannie, Shepherd, Ecoannie)
Star sign: Sagittarius – If travelling were free, you would never see them again.
Spontaneous, blunt, independent, the life of the party, loners at heart.
Me: Adaptable, energetic, spontaneous, a bit geeky, honest, kind, competitive, vegetarian, stubborn at times, sociable, animal lover, collaborative, independent, good sense of humour.
Occupation: Physical Education Teacher
Favourite song: Mr Brightside – The Killers
I was born and went to school in Edinburgh and feel very lucky to have loving and slightly whacky friends and family.
I graduated from Edinburgh University in 2000 and immediately moved overseas to teach in Japan. I had always known that I had a love of travel so it seemed the easiest decision ever to pack my bags and head off on a journey to the other side of the world! Since that first move, I have spent the last 16 years working in International schools in many countries including Libya, China, Tanzania, Ukraine and most recently Thailand. It is through these appointments that I have been able to broaden my knowledge of international curriculums, alongside gaining an insight into the customs and cultures of these amazing countries. Whilst working internationally I was lucky enough to spend my free time travelling to numerous places I had always dreamed of.
I have had the privilege to make some amazing friends during my travels. People that become your family when you are so far from home.
One of my main passions has always been sport and I enjoy a variety of sports including hockey, football and rugby. I was captain of Edinburgh University Hockey 1st XI in 1999 and played representative hockey for Scottish Universities. I thrive in any type of team games/quizzes/challenges and could be described as a wee bit competitive! I am a PADI certified diver, love to travel and enjoy learning other languages – at the moment I am learning Spanish. I am also very interested in first aid and am currently an Emergency First Response Instructor.
I have a keen interest in service work, protecting animals and promoting global citizenship and always try to involve myself wherever possible with volunteering in the local community. During my last 4 years in Thailand, I took part in several beach clean ups, worked on an organic farm helping to build a brick mud house and spent a month working at Lanta Animal Welfare centre.
I am a member of “Sea Shepherd’ a Non-profit organisation that protects marine life and I hope to one day crew for them. I give monthly membership to guide dogs UK to help train puppies and support UNICEF and Forever Angels orphanage in Tanzania.
Last year, I broke my leg whilst trampolining. I don’t recommend going to a trampoline park unless you are under 30 years old! The recovery has been long and difficult but I am now walking unaided.
To end my time in Thailand myself and three friends embarked upon an epic journey where we travelled to Mongolia and then boarded the Trans-Mongolian/Trans Siberian and travelled across Russia and eventually into Europe. We chose to travel by train as it is the most economically friendly way. It was an amazing experience and as it was by train it allowed us to see beautiful landscapes and observe the sheer vastness of Russia. We learnt a lot of Russian history and World War II history on our travels and saw some spectacular churches. I also travelled to Poland, Germany, Austria, Italy and finally France. In each destination, I tried to find out the small efforts were happening towards sustainability or if they had experienced anything in the way of climate change and pollution.
I have now returned to Scotland and have chosen to take a year off teaching to focus on getting back to full fitness and to get more involved with environmental awareness and sustainability. I will do the latter through an expedition to Antarctica in February 2018 with the Polar explorer Robert Swan http://2041.com/ This leadership program will be a fantastic opportunity to:
- meet environmental leaders and like minded people
- collaborate on new ways to tackle climate change and promote good energy choices
- see for myself the effects of climate change
- observe beautiful wildlife such as leopard seals, whales and penguins
- gain the skills needed to pass on what I have learned through education
Please read my posts to learn more about Antarctica 2041 and my plans for this year.