I was born in London, UK, but my mother re-married when I was eleven and we moved abroad. My new step-father was Venezuelan and was a hotel manager so it meant we moved around quite a bit. Thus, began my personal Odyssey with learning languages.
I was pretty much left to my own devices as a child and in order to communicate with my peers and make new friends I had to learn the language. The thing was I wasn’t actively forcing myself to learn; it was something that happened organically. I was in a total immersion environment when it came to learning a new language so it was ideal. I went to non-English speaking schools, all my new friends didn’t speak English either. It seemed easy, no-one judged me and no-one pushed me to learn—it just happened.
In my late teens I completed my education in the UK and decided to forfeit University for the time being in order to travel around Europe. In my early twenties I returned to South America and worked as an interpreter and translator. After several years of this I returned to the UK where I completed a degree in International Communication and worked for the Home Office as a translator and interpreter.
I have never lost my love for travel and whenever I can I head somewhere and spend as long as I can there. Once I became self-employed (I had an online translation business), this became easier as I could work from anywhere. It meant I could spend longer in countries of my choice and immerse myself in the language and culture.
It wasn’t until later in life that I became interested in writing—short stories mostly. Then I decided it might be a good idea to share my experiences in language learning or my actual lack of the learning experience as I had never really actively tried to learn a language. Hence the sub-title of my books (learn without trying).
I had a lot of advantages when it came to language learning but with all the technology that is at our disposal nowadays there is no reason a lot of these cannot be replicated from the comfort of your own home. I hope you make many new friends and have some great new experiences but most of all enjoy opening up a whole new world for yourself just by speaking a new language.