Acclaimed novelist and travel writer Kia Abdullah has given a talk to members of Richmond Rotary Club about her global adventures and decision to settle in Richmond.
Kia, who is of Bangladeshi descent, was born in London and has a first class degree in computer science.
In addition to her contributions to various travel books such as Lonely Planet and The Rough Guide, she has published three novels and has written on a wide range of topics from politics to relationships.
With her partner, the travel photographer Peter Watson, Kia established the travel blog Atlas and Boots.
Having outlined some of her experiences, Kia said that her love of the outdoors was the main reason for choosing to settle in beautiful Richmond.
She said she loved the access it gave to the surrounding area, but still missed some of her family and friends in London.
Every bit as impressive as the many and varied places she has visited was Kia’s ability to distil some of the lessons that her life has taught her.
Coming from a relatively humble background, Kia described her own growth in self-confidence.
“Confidence is like a muscle — the more you exercise it, the stronger it become,” she told members.
Although her travels had shown the way in which people were inevitably the product of their environment, privilege could be a blind spot that prevented people seeing things clearly as they were, she added.
Rotary president Chris Kirby said: “Kia Abdullah’s talk was particularly appropriate for an organisation like Rotary that covers the globe, connects the world and brings people together to promote peace and goodwill.
“We hope that she will continue to enjoy all that Richmond has to offer.”