So, sometimes uni isn’t quite what you expect. Or doesn’t lead you on quite the path you planned. But what it did teach me was to make the most of opportunities. To be flexible. To be resilient. And to have the confidence to try new things and explore different ventures.
Deciding not to move to London after my photography degree at NTU shaped the next few years of my life. I found local creative opportunities competitive, so started teaching English to adults in further education and focusing on outreach support and volunteering. This supported me until my next challenge, which was a result of saying yes! On a visit to a friend in Montserrat, I took the opportunity to dabble in property investment and tourism and ended up staying and running a guesthouse for a few years. Not making the money I’d hoped to, I returned to the UK, but felt drawn back a few years later to another different venture. Alongside running a different guesthouse, I now raise goats for breeding! Initially looking after 10, I have expanded my care to 31, including 14 babies. I started supporting a local goat farmer, but as my herd has grown, I learnt different agricultural practices and negotiated international breeding partnerships to meet demand from vets.
Throughout all of these different ventures, my photography has remained a constant. Montserrat is a beautiful place to live. Its live volcano makes for a diverse environment, and I find I have a constant source of inspiration to capture. Landscapes from rocky mountains to lush rainforests and deserted beaches to tropical reefs mean I can run workshops, host exhibitions and have photos published in magazines.
There are always opportunities in every situation, so if any students with an interest in agriculture/ photography/tourism want to see what an alternative path might look like, I am very happy to host visits and to share my experiences with them.
By Carolyne Coleby – Manager at Turtle Conservation Montserrat/ Manager of the Hot Rock Hostel/ Photographer
Carolyne is an NTU Alumni Fellow. You can find out more about how to get involved with the Alumni Fellowship Programme here.
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