I came to London to study finance and I stayed to work. I’m still here and now I have a British passport but honestly, nothing about my accent, habits, culture and hobbies is particularly British. Like many foreigners who studied here, I liked the diversity of the student population (it was an education in itself) but found the British education system a bit old school. I have continued to study for a number of professional qualifications in my field, finance, but a few years ago I started studying professional wine courses in my spare time at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET).
My interest in Tech came out of a period at work where I was involved in a technology project. I became interested in Tech, and approached my tech geek friends to recommend some tech blog sites to read and to expand my knowledge base. A number of months after joining giffgaff, I found out through a giffgaff blogger that I could get involved in writing blogs for giffgaff. Many blogs later, I’m still finding new blog topics to pitch to @zobia22.
I am by no means a tech geek but I use a Dell laptop running both Windows 7 and Linux Mint. I was interested in Linux for a while and finally realised how easy it is to install Linux as a 2nd OS on a Windows laptop. I strongly recommend fellow giffgaffers to give Linux a go.
In terms of mobile, I am an Android fan, running a Samsung smartphone and a Sony SmartWatch. However, I guarantee you that my next smartphone will not consider Samsung, as I don’t like their software.
giffgaff Blog Focus:
As someone with a finance background, I have found my interest in blogging generally revolves around startups, entrepreneurs and emerging markets (in particular China and India). Occasionally, I write about apps or other software products that either I regularly use and swear by, or I find these new products interesting and I want to write about them.
My main objectives for blogging are: learning more about tech (tech products, tech companies and the tech industry), educating and raising awareness among the giffgaff blog readers of my blog topics, and personal enjoyment. I enjoy writing and blogs allow me to be creative. Blogging for giffgaff gives me access to a far wider audience than I would otherwise.
I am from the West Coast so I’m pretty health conscious. I go to the gym 5-6 times per week, usually to classes and sometimes to do my own workouts. In terms of food, I’m pescatarian, a vegetarian who eats fish/seafood, and I eat a low gluten, low GI (glycemic index) diet. I do not drink beer (it’s full of gluten) but I do drink wine, spirits and the occasional cider in summer.
I am a bit geeky in that I like to study. As mentioned above, a few years ago, I began studying for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) professional wine exams. I am Level II Intermediate and Level III Advanced qualified, and I am currently studying towards my Level 4 Diploma. The Level 4 Diploma involves 7 exams and 1 major essay, and is regarded as the benchmark qualification globally for people working in wine and spirits. Going to classes on Saturday is super fun but trying to find enough time to study on weeknights after work and before the gym, and on weekends outside of class is hard work.
My favourite wine shop in London is The Sampler, which was the first London wine shop to introduce the enomatic tasting machines. These computerised tasting machines allow you to try small tasting samples of wine using a credit card sized card with chip technology. If you live in London or regularly visit, I highly recommend visiting The Sampler.
Above: Palmyra in Syria, Esfahan in Iran
Travel & Art:
I am also an avid traveller, I have lived in 4 different countries and I have travelled to over 40 different countries. My favourite part of the world is the Middle East as I love visiting old countries with amazing historical sites. If people like to travel, then I would strongly recommend that you up the ante and challenge yourself by living abroad. It is far harder than backpacking for a few weeks or months, but far more rewarding and educational.
Also, I am a fan of modern and contemporary art and frequently visit London’s art galleries.
Feedback From The giffgaff Community:
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to suggest any possible blog topics by leaving a comment below.