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Lucy Torres

The Beginning

I hold a British passport. However, having lived abroad for 17 of the last 27 years, I think I’m more of a global citizen. This is not at all what I imagined when I was little.

Early Dreams

I am an only child and I grew up in the countryside. I had my own pony from the age of six and spent hours riding. I used to dream of competing in horse events and living in a large house with several horses and dogs. Clearly life took a different path as I’ve been living in cities since the age of twenty! But that is what life is all about, being open to change.

Life is Unpredictable

Two weeks before I started university, I had a riding accident and broke my neck (C2 fracture) and jaw. I spent three months in halo traction looking rather like a robot and studied at home during my first term of university. To this day, I don’t know how, or why, I was so lucky; things could have been very different. That accident brought home to me how delicate life is and how you must make the most of every moment.

Family Support

I am very lucky to have parents that have always supported me 100%. They sent me to good schools and allowed me to have my horses. Although I left school with top grades they didn’t bat an eyelid when I chose not to go to university. When I changed my mind three years later, they supported my decision. My Dad passed away 17 years ago, but Mum remains on the end of the phone and is now there for my children as well. Knowing that my parents were behind me no matter what, gave me the freedom to choose my own path and for that I will be forever grateful.

Lucy Torres with her Mom

Following my dreams

I was quite shy as a child and lacked confidence, but I loved foreign holidays and learning about different countries. Once I turned 18, I grabbed any chance I could to go abroad. After secretarial college I worked in New York City for a year. While at university, I spent a term in Aachen, Germany. After university, I got a job as an editorial assistant with the hope of rising to editor. When I discovered that to be an English Language Teaching (ELT) editor I needed teaching experience, I chose to go to Mexico. I was nervous about those moves but loved the adventures and independence. Best of all, they increased my self-confidence as I had to survive on my own. Mexico is where my life path took a really big turn.

A Mexican Husband

Meeting Miguel, my husband of 24 years, was life changing. I ended up living in Mexico for three years and became fluent (almost) in Spanish. We have two boys – now young men. Finally, we embarked on a life of nomads living in nine places over the course of 24 years. This is a far cry from my childhood dreams … so much better! 

A Team

We have spent all our married life living in places that are not close to either of our families. As a result, we have had to rely on ourselves and each other to cope with the changes and challenges and be flexible. Every time we move to a new place, we experience those first few months when we don’t know anyone. We help each other figure out the new ways of doing things and are there for each other through the adventures and frustrations that new places bring. That support helps us settle in. 

It’s that encouragement that has given us the confidence to fulfil our ambitions. After Mexico, I returned to the UK and worked as an ELT editor which was exactly what I wanted. However, when Miguel was offered a post in another country, I realised I would have to leave my job. Rather than give up, I decided to adapt to the situation and I became a freelancer which turned out to be the perfect solution. Miguel was able to further his career and as a freelancer I could work anywhere, so we were able to travel. Over the years, as I gained experience, I progressed to ELT author. In hindsight, I think this is something that I wouldn’t have achieved had I remained in an office position. Taking the freelance path, which was rather unconventional at the time, was unknowingly a great career move. 

We are both determined people and our desire to accomplish whatever we set our minds to has led us along life’s interesting path. However, we couldn’t have done it without each other’s support and that of the family. 

 

 

So, my message to people is: Surround yourself with people who stand by you no matter what and remember: It’s your life. You must lead it and learn from it.

 

 

 

 

By Lucy Torres

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