From project management to startup freedom (and a last minute trip to Antarctica)

After completeing the Startup Accelerator in July 2017, Natasha left her project management job to set up her own decluttering business. She reflects on how running her own business gives her the freedom and flexbility to escape on the occasional adventure. Something that Natasha appreciated greatly when she was recently offered a last minute opportuntiy to travel to Antarctica. 

Sometimes in life, the thing you only dreamed of actually happens. You have to be flexible and you also have to work to make it happen, but the world is full of opportunities. I’ve always loved to travel, a passion instilled in me from an early age, when we lived abroad as kids when my dad was designing water engineering projects around the world, namely in Peru and Pakistan. So, from being born in Peru, I went back aged 26 to visit.

With my Spanish I found a job there as a tour guide, and also met my now husband, Peruvian author, Gunter Silva. The tour guiding led me to run a couple of trips in Patagonia just after Gunter and I got married, and we started our honeymoon in the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia. From that moment, the dream of visiting Antarctica became a little bit more real.

We moved to London and for several years, I worked in a ‘normal’ job, managing signage projects for property developers and events including the London 2012 Olympics and Goodwood Festival of Speed. We bought a house and the mortgage took away our means to travel and adventure for a few years. Until one day, I finally left that world of work. I brought the cost of our bills down to the bare minimum, set up my own decluttering business, helping people let go of stuff and live more simply.

Although nervous at the time, and having saved up a financial buffer, I can honestly say I haven’t looked back and I love my job. I don’t miss working with stressed out people who are working too many hours making me stressed, and instead hope to help to change people’s lives for the better. Seeing the overwhelming amount of stuff we all have, much of it disposable plastic, has turned me eco-minded and I now run a sustainability network, andthefuture (currently under construction) with the amazing Lisa Matzi.

I now have more time to travel, which is possible with careful management of finances and client meetings. In the last few years, much of my travel adventures have been with ultramarathon events company I have visited Peru, Namibia, Argentina, Ecuador, Iceland and now, finally, my dream come true, Antarctica.

Antarctica is everything I expected it to be. Travel companies operating down there are doing everything they can to keep the landscape pristine, by not allowing food on land, by talking to visitors about the beauty and fragility of the landscape, and the importance of keeping it that way. Much of what we do there should, and could, be implemented back home: just being aware of all the rubbish we produce, the air we pollute with our car fumes, and the water we pollute with just about everything we do. After a week of looking at pristine white, but also so many other colours in the never-ending landscapes, I was interested how I’d react to the green, grey, colourful landscapes back in the real world. The planet is currently suffering with humans’ over-consumption, but it is still a beautiful, beautiful place. With penguins!

Natasha completed our Startup Accelerator in July 2017. To join her in taking control of your career and finding work you love, learn more here.

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