Llanitos Abroad: Benjamin Jackson
Our popular series on Llanitos Abroad is now back! Finding new Llanitos Abroad to write about is always a challenge, but thankfully everyone we’ve spoken to has been happy to get involved and tell other Gibraltarians about their experiences and adventures in the hope that they can inspire the rest of us to do the same!
I’m really excited about this episode in the series because we speak to someone who has literally sailed all over the world and had some amazing experiences.
“I took a risk years ago and I can honestly say after all the things I’ve done I don’t regret a single day.”
Ben Jackson left Gibraltar to start a journey sailing around the world; Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean. In what started as a desire to find a practical way to travel turned into a life of adventure and discovery. We caught up with him last year and spoke about his experiences and found this to be nothing less than inspirational travel lifestyle that most could only dream of.
GL: Why did you leave Gib?
It’s always a hard one to answer. I left to travel and I fell in love with exploring but there are also practical reasons. I’ve always been a practical person and academia was never something I enjoyed. When I left school the only thing available to me was the College where I had to do business or IT and neither of them appealed to me. If the training centre would’ve been available then I would have probably gone that route. Fortunately though I realised at a young age that I am a practical person and I ended up in a very practical job.
GL: What do you miss?
Who wouldn’t miss their family and friends at home? That’s a standard answer from anyone anywhere I guess. The things I miss after family and friends are the little things in life, going out to town or a ‘spin’ and seeing familiar people. Going to Roji or Caleta for a swim in the summer. The views from the Rock…. Sometimes it’s the little things in life…
GL: Where have you been since you left?
I will honestly bore you if I make a list but it is still nowhere near enough! I get to go to a lot of places with work and with my spare time I split it between home and going to new places. Antigua as a sailing place has a special place in my heart. Botswana for being such an amazing progressive country and Asia just for the food are 3 of my favourites. I’ve only two continents left to visit and they are on my list.
GL: What has been hardest to adjust to?
I think it’s the traditional answer of not having family and friends near by. I have missed so many things over the years… birthdays, weddings, parties, the little things that are important to people. I think about it a lot and wish I could be there for these things.
GL: What are the most notable cultural differences?
I’ve been moving around for so many years that I have learned to embrace differences all over the world. Some are much easier to embrace than others though! China sticks in my mind as being the most different after walking around a huge supermarket and the only thing I saw written in English was O.K!
GL: What is the best thing about being a GibLad/Llanito abroad?
Being unique, the question of where are you from always comes up and people are generally genuinely interested. The other thing is realising how lucky we are in Gibraltar and what a really special place we are lucky to call home
GL: What has been your proudest achievement since your move?
Realising that sometimes finding what is right for you can be in the most unexpected places. I didn’t even know the sailing world that I work in even existed but I found it and I knew it was something that I could be good at. I worked hard and had luck on my side.
GL: What are you goals for the year?
This year I’m working on a new project that is really exciting. It’s the first sailing yacht I have been involved with in design and build stage. It will take me through to next year and once it is on the water we will be sailing to Madagascar, Norway, Central and South America and then off into the Pacific.
GL: Do you see yourself staying there, or eventually coming back?
I can genuinely say I will never stop travelling but home is where the heart is. I have a home in Gibraltar and I will always keep it and come home when I can.
GL: What would you say to any Llanitos who are thinking of making a move abroad to travel or chase a dream?
Go for it, so many places to visit, so many things to see and so many people to meet…what are you waiting for!? I took a risk years ago and I can honestly say after all the things I’ve done I don’t regret a single day.
Are you a Llanito abroad or travelling or do you know someone that we should hear about? To get GibLad to feature you or your friend and get involved e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org!