My Big Do…

Deep down I always had a desire to travel. Before I was born my parents spent the best part of 10 years travelling around the globe as professional dancers. The majority of my childhood was therefore spent round the dinner table listening to many a story from their time abroad. Dad, a Ukrainian Cossack dancer, recalled anecdotes of masculine bravado dancing in Monte Carlo. Mum contrasted this with her romantically inclined tales of a hard up artist struggling to make ends meet. Recollections were of course frequently interrupted to inform my sister and me of the great people they met and the meals they ate (excluding perhaps the incident of monkey brains in Brazil.) From an early age I vowed that one day I would follow in their footsteps and see the world for myself.

Cossak Dancing

But then life happened. Having won a place to read Music at Jesus College Oxford, my plans to travel were put on the back-burner whilst I focused on my “degree.” In a similar fashion, I quickly landed a job post-uni for a then small tea company – teapigs. Unlimited supply of tea… Surely an offer too good to refuse?

During my time at teapigs I was given the opportunity to attend the Do Lectures as chief tea maker. For those unfamiliar, The Do Lectures consist of a series of talks given in South Wales over a three day period to inspire people to act. In other words to “Do” something. Pitched as a more wholesome, organic alternative to TED, the lectures featured a diverse range of inspiring talks. Lectures ranged from explorer Ed Stafford’s “Why Taking Risks is Important” to Tom Herbet’s “Why Good Bread Needs to be for Everyone.”  (Incidentally I will be working my 4th food job at Tom’s bakery, Hobbs House,)

The Do Lectures

Founder David Hieatt comments “when you listen to their stories, they light a fire in your belly to go and Do your thing, your passion, the thing that sits in the back of your head each day, just waiting, and waiting for you to follow your heart.” David proved right. I returned back from the Dos, notepad in hand with two items scrawled in the corner of my notepad. My Little Do = Get up earlier. My Big Do = Travel the world learning about food and drink.

I may still get up late, but I’m pleased to say that three years on, I’m finally about to live out my Big Do.

Are you living your Big or Little Do? If not why not? Leave your comments below.


8 thoughts on “My Big Do…

  1. I like the idea of a little and big do, a daily goal to shoot for but also something that can be done done long term to steer the direction of your life in a path suited to your interests rather than an occupation to simply make ends meet.
    little: Eliminate processed food and record the personal and societal impact of doing so
    Big: (still working on that)

  2. Sold my company some time ago to build a new Big Do! Actually building it and don’t regret a moment! Keep looking. Don’t settle…

  3. Nice one Alex. I’ve just started one of my little Do’s, learning to play guitar which along with learning Spanish will help me accomplish my big Do which is traveling South America when I’m finally too old to play at managing teapigs. Good luck on your travels.

  4. Good Luck to you Alex on your Big Do – I will have my Big Do when I retire to travel. Bon Voyage and take care – Love from Anna, Roger, Scott and Louise. xx

  5. My little do is to spend more time tending to my current array of balcony vegetables. My big do is to have my own small holding/petting zoo, this way you can help me come up with inventive ways to make use of the produce. LYAN x

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