Alicia, London

Alicia is a passionate foodie and a linguist.

What makes you happy?

Food, travel, warm and sunny weather, and my friends and family.

Is there something that you spent a long time believing you couldn’t do…. only to try it and realise that you can actually could do it? What made you try it?

Yes!! I still remember to this day when I received a letter from Raleigh offering me the position to go to Nicaragua and lead a team of 10 people for 3 months.

Reading about the conditions I’d be living in (no bed, no running water, flying boas (yes, that’s right, snakes that throw themselves from tree to tree), cockroaches, no electricity, long drops, trekking for hours on end, sleeping bags, looking after people etc) still sends shivers up my spine.

I ripped up the offer letter and decided I couldn’t accept it. I also wondered how on earth I’d ended up this far – had I managed to trick the entire recruiting team that I could actually do the job?

It was Truscote [my husband] who made me see sense, and told me I had to do this as it was something that I’d been so excited about for so long and he could see that it was exactly what I needed at that time. I’m so pleased he did, as I loved my time in Nicaragua – without doubt it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but not only did I survive, I met some amazing people, learnt so many new things and skills and came back home full of life and happiness.

If you were taking yourself on a date, what would you arrange for yourself?

I LOVE a good movie and dinner date. I’d book the comfy sofas at Screen on the Green in Islington and order a bottle of wine. I’d then go to one of my favourite restaurants (which one is too difficult a question!) and order some prosecco and good food.

What’s one thing you do regularly in order to look after yourself?

It’s a bit indulgent but I try and have a bath every night and read a couple of chapters of my book. It’s the only me time I get in the day to myself and is the perfect way to unwind and relax. I think a bath a day is good for the soul.

Share one thing that used to make you really anxious, that you no longer worry about.

Do you know what – I really can’t think of anything for this!!

Time is precious. What do you dedicate yours to? 

Family & friends – the two most important things in life!

Give your 18 year old self one piece of advice. 

Save a bit of money but spend the rest travelling the world.  If you don’t have any money to travel the world, work your way around the world.

How will you grow old? Gracefully or disgracefully?

Gracefully (but having fun!)

What do you hope people say about you when you eventually leave this mortal coil?

That I made a difference – whether I made them happier, encouraged them to do something, that I brought about some change or helped them work through an issue, that I brought a bit of joy to their lives.

How did answering these questions make you feel?

Lovely! I rarely think about what I’ve done, the impact I have on people (or want to have on people).  It’s good to remind ourselves what is important to us and how we make ourselves happy.  We should be doing more of it!!

Check out more happiness including workshops, talks, podcasts and care packages at www.happyhumanbean.com