“We weren’t really living, we were merely existing.”

May 26, 2016

I was born and raised in and around a small town called Hereford, located just east of the Welsh boarder in the UK. When I was 8 years old we moved to a tiny village on the outskirts of Herefordshire. My brother was being severely bullied so we moved to be in the catchment area for a smaller, better high school. I left my beloved primary school, all of my friends and my confidence behind, and my physical and mental condition were poor. I had a difficult time settling in and was bullied intermittently for the rest of my school life. This had a huge impact on my self esteem, the way I viewed myself and the way I thought people viewed me.

In my late teens I became very depressed and I developed an eating disorder, causing my well-being to plummet. I eventually overcame this but it had some lasting effects. I developed sensitivity to a lot of things. Having to be very careful with what I eat and drink dictates a lot of my life. It’s been very challenging but I’ve found that following a vegan diet and cutting out gluten has really improved my quality of life.

I’ve had various job roles including barista, waitress and pub supervisor. I also lived in London for a year with my boyfriend Lawrence, where I worked as a Learning Support Assistant for children with special needs. Whilst in London, Lawrence and I realised that we weren’t really living, we were merely existing. Our daily life consisted of work, bills, sleep and not much else. Realising that there is much more to life we came to the conclusion to do some traveling. India was not our original destination, but after joining a volunteer opportunities website, we discovered how much India has to offer. So we left London, moved back home, made a small amount of money, packed our bags and began our adventure.

Love and kindness is my philosophy. I value the importance of showing compassion towards every being and the planet that sustains us.

When I leave India I plan to rest, spend time with my family and friends, and truly appreciate what I have.

Annabelle