Written by Sharon Hayward, who is joining us in Sri Lanka in April.

It’s hard to write a blog about why i’ve signed up to _SocialStarters and find something unique to say. But maybe that’s the point. As I was reading through previous blogs I found they resonated so closely with how I felt, I was compelled to find out more.

During a cold, damp UK February with a cold that lasted for ever, I was unable to go jogging (my usual negativity buster) and I was doing dry-February, so I was also unable to enjoy a glass of wine (my other negativity buster). With the removal of these rose-tinted glasses I started to reflect on my life. To my horror I realised I felt quite unfulfilled. I seem to have stopped challenging myself. I’ve settled with comfortable. How did that happen?

Over the past years I’ve enjoyed quite a few ‘gap years’ in which I have backpacked through Asia, lived in post-war Belgrade, learned to sail and lived on a yacht in the Greek islands for a couple of years. But it’s 6 years since my last adventure and it definitely feels like time for the next one.

But this time it will be different. I don’t want an extended holiday or to ‘find myself’ in a jungle retreat. I want to do something constructive and positive. I want to do something that will make me grow both personally and professionally.

In my role as marketing manager for a sailing company, I encourage people to go sailing. My favourite part is seeing their beaming, elated faces at the end of the day, as they have discovered a new hobby or learned something about themselves. I feel like I have helped enrich their lives and I want to do more of this.

Discovering _SocialStarters was somewhat of a ‘eureka’ moment for me. I would have the opportunity to learn new professional skills and processes . I would be challenging myself to apply this in a different culture. I could help grow an organisation who in turn could achieve more than I could on my own. This grabs me as a unique and exciting challenge. I’m a little / lot daunted – but I can’t wait to get started.