By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Staff
Retirement couldn’t be further away for 60-year-old Robyn Fawcett, who has spent much of her adult life sailing across the world and experiencing many professions.
The Australian native, who has been living in the British Virgin Islands for nearly 30 years, recently moved on to yet another adventure – school.
Fawcett this year enrolled at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) to learn Spanish.
She did so days after completing a teaching course in the United States that qualifies her to teach English as a foreign language.
Asked why she decided to return to school at 60, Fawcett, who is also known as Bobbi, said she likes to keep ‘sharp’.
“I thought I needed to keep my brain engaged and stretch it, because there are so many things that tell you that you need to keep your brain sharp – especially as the years pile on. Because of dementia and things like that, you’ve got to keep sharpening wits all the time.”
“Paying attention in the classroom is a nice time-out from other things that are going on in my life,” added Fawcett, who also is a distinguished member of Toastmasters International (BVI chapter).
She admits that she was not a bookworm when she was younger. So, after secondary school, she hit the seas looking for adventure.
She voyaged to many countries and ended up making a career out of it.
“Little did I guess, within a year [of sailing], I would have a captain licence; my live-aboard lifestyle had become a career – chartering, hiking, diving, and dancing with paying guests for 12 years. It was fun and hard work.”
Fawcett then left life at sea and moved to the BVI where she started to work in sales and advertising with ZBVI radio.
“With this mid-life U-turn, there was a revelation; I discovered I was smart. Soon, I transitioned from radio to print and have sold advertising for The Daily News, Experience BVI, in-flight magazines, and still sell and edit the BVI Marine Guide.”
While Fawcett still works as an independent sales representative, her appetite for adventure never died.
That is among the reasons she is seeking to become accredited to teach English as a foreign language.
She also hopes to travel to a Spanish-speaking country to put her training to work.
Fawcett said she is not sure when that will be, but she is not putting any limits to what she can achieve.
She currently shares classroom and lecturers with people who could be her grandchildren, but that is not a problem for Fawcett.
In fact, she said it opens up opportunities for social interaction with the youth, and also ‘lowers generation discrimination’.
Fawcett encouraged persons of all ages to stop at nothing to pursue their worthwhile dreams.
She said: “I had to work really hard to achieve mine, but it paid off. Worthwhile things don’t come without work.”
“You never know which direction your learning will take you in next. We live so long these days. I’ve got another 30 years ahead of me; I’ve got to do something,” added Fawcett.
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