Written by Chris Gray, currently on assignment in Hyderabad with 8 other international volunteer Consultants on our Immersion Programme working with social entrepreneurs.
About 8 years ago I felt it was time to change gear in my life, as the prospect of continuing to work in a large glass building in London was slowly killing me. A lot of colleagues dreamed of & discussed leaving, but rarely anyone seemed to go. It felt like time to make some waves.
I started by re-igniting old interests outside of work (which for some reason had taken a back seat), and spent a few years working on my piano. This brought a lot more balance into life, culminating a series of classical recitals which I’d always dreamed of performing.
I decided to step change away from my city job, so I testing the water by taking a work sabbatical. I’ve always been passionate about wildlife conservation, so ended up volunteering on an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. This gave me the taste for things to come.
I ended up alternating between the corporate world & conservation projects, heading off again as a Project Manager on a Raleigh expedition to the jungle in Borneo, and working on a Sun & Moon Bear rescue centre in Cambodia. It turned out that once I had a bit more balance I actually began to enjoy the corporate part of my life again (the more I told them I wasn’t there forever, the more opportunities opened up – it was like ‘Brewster’s Millions’!)
So time for the next chapter. Working with _SocialStarters in Hyderabad & then heading down to Auroville in Tamil Nadu represents a fantastic & exciting new opportunity that I’m very much looking forward to getting involved in……
Check out our website for more solo or group volunteering opportunities in either India, Sri Lanka or Brazil. Programme announcements due soon for dates in 2017.