1) Where and what did you study and when did you graduate?
I studied English Literature with Media Studies at Falmouth University in Cornwall, UK, graduating in 2014.
2) Where do you live now?
I live in Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
3) Tell us about your job...
At the moment I’m working as an English Assistant in a high school and teaching some private lessons too. I also run my blog Coeliac on the Road and write for different blogs, such as Huffington Post. I don’t make money from my writing yet but it’s my passion so it will always be a part of whatever I do, wherever I am in the world. I’m saving up now to do more travelling and possibly extra study whether that’s yoga teacher training in India, a masters in Human Rights Journalism in Europe or a course in organic market gardening in France. I feel excited about the endless possibilities.
4) What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to be a writer and dreamed of publishing my own book and travelling the world. I also wanted to act in the theatre at one point and open a sanctuary for mistreated animals. Writing, standing up for what I believe in and respecting the natural world have been some of the most important things to me since I was really young.
5) What did you do immediately after leaving university?
I had a minor panic about what to do next. Then I went to Embercombe in Devon to do a leadership course for young people called Catalyst which gave me a dose of confidence to catapult out into the world. It reinforced what I already knew, that I had to live in a way that is aligned with my principles. I needed connection, with people and places and projects that I could believe in.
So, I signed up to three sites “WWOOF”, “Workaway” and “HelpX”. These are websites where you create a profile and contact hosts to stay with on the principal of fair share, so you get food and board whilst travelling, in exchange for work. That can be anything from organic farming to working in a hostel to helping out on a lama farm. The projects listed usually involve a focus on sustainability, well being and positive exchanges.
A couple of weeks after making my profile I turned up in France and ended up on the road for 11 months living completely rent-free. I did all kinds of work exchange including au pairing, renovation and permaculture.
6) How did you feel about your future when you graduated?
It changed a lot and still does. Sometimes I was really excited and felt so free like anything was possible. Some days I felt like my dreams were too big and that “reality” would step in and show me I had to follow the typical 9-5 office work to make a living and abandon any change making projects. But mostly I believe that where there’s a will there’s a way, and I’m constantly in awe of the various creative ways people manage to think outside of the box and get around different obstacles.
7) If you could go back, what would you say to yourself on graduation day?
I’d just smile and be glad about where I was that day. I was completely and utterly inspired by the people around me and the place I was in. I actually missed graduation day because I was staying with an autonomous eco community in France. It was really motivational seeing how it is totally possible to build a life as a community based on shared values and working together for a more sustainable future.
Another reason I missed graduation day was because I felt like it was rubbing salt in the wound having to pay to hire a funny gown thing for the sake of appearances after getting in a load of overwhelming debt from going to university in the first place!
8) Would you have done anything different?
Nope I don’t think so, because it was all part of the different lessons that I had to learn.
9) What inspires you?
Lots of different things, so many people, places and stories are full of inspiration: Anyone who dares to craft their own path and break free of stereotypes or societies expectations. All those people who keep hope and create action for their own or another’s freedom. And all those people who manage to stay positive despite the suffering in the world or in their own lives. People amaze me.
10) What would you like to say to our graduates looking for inspiration?
Whenever I’m in doubt, I remind myself of how many people are out there living the life they want to live and not the life that they were told to live by somebody else. There are endless success stories of people living in a fulfilling way, and of communities across the globe pulling together to create positive change in the world.
11) Your three favourite words
Kindness, gratitude, love.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions Jasmine. We wish you lots of luck with your globetrotting and blogging adventures. Don't hesitate to 'like', 'share' or comment below, ask Jasmine questions!
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