Fancy a lifestyle hanging out with Hollywood A-listers? Life in the movie industry had its pluses but for Brit Gillie Hutchinson the birth of her child in her mid-30’s meant a slower less glamorous life was necessary. She returned to her roots in the fashion industry working for the Countess of Carnarvon at Highclere Castle – a location better known as the setting for Downtown Abbey. To all intents and purposes she seemed to have the perfect career selling fashion for a recognized brand and swapping Hollywood for the landed gentry but for Gillie she never really felt at home.

A 2002 holiday to Gibsons in British Columbia changed everything with her husband and her returning with the deed to a new holiday home. 4 years of visits and they had had enough of just being holidaymakers – and in 2008 the family of 3 moved to Canada permanently. Her husband’s job in computer software was able to provide for them – but left Gillie wondering what to do. Well what else do you do when you have a view of a harbor? Gillie bought a boat and took up sailing and now spends her time giving sailing lessons and skippering charter boats in places as diverse as New Zealand, Croatia and the Mediterranean. You can find out more about her experiences in British Columbia and her various sailing tours on

British Columbia sailing Croatia sailing in NZ

What I learned from Gillies interview:

  1. You’re never too old to make a new start. Not only did Gillie move locations she developed a brand new career in sailing with no previous experience. At the age of 50 when most feel they are set in their ways she took on a new lifestyle of adventure she would never have imagined
  2. The experience of her 12 year old son relocating was not a cause for concern – he has blossomed in his new environment. Sometimes we fear things for our kids that they don’t worry about themselves.
  3. Owning stuff is not the recipe to happiness – we hear this so often with people we speak to, they are generally happier not chasing after the next trophy to add to the show and tell cabinet.
  4. Don’t have regrets – as Gillie says you can always go back to your old life – but you might just find that you don’t want to.

Check out this episode!

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