Jette Virdi


My life

Jette Virdi, photographer in Belize

I recently did a talk at an Above The Fold event called 'Don't quite your day job' and it was really amazing to see peoples reactions to my life story so far. I kinda forget that my story is such an odd bod bizarre one and well, I just thought I'd write it all down. Looking through the last 9 years is always a crazy emotional roller coaster with tears and laughter and lots and lots of travel!

Jette Virdi's house in Mexico

^ This was my house back in Mexico- or at least the roof. I mean come on, who doesn't want hot mexican pink in their life?!?! I moved to Mexico when I was 25. Wow, I was so young and naive and well, thought I could do anything I wanted and succeed. Whilst that's partly true it's also a little tougher than just going out and doing it. You probably already know this but, life can be tough and while I want it to be fun and nice and easy, it isn't always the case. 

Jette Virdi's hotel in Mexico

^ This was my hotel! I renovated an old hacienda and made cabanas in the gardens and we grew all of our own organic veg, cooked for guests. It was really amazing and I had a sunshine life but it 100% broke me. I came away completely destroyed and broken. I stayed for all the wrong reasons and 5 years when your 25 is a really long time. I feel that I've missed out on so much and yes gained a lot but still, there was so much responsibility and worries and well stress. I went grey at 26! I mean, talk about my body telling me it wasn't right for me.

Jette Virdi's dog in Scotland

One day, I'd just had enough. At that point I had 2 properties, 3 dogs, a head full of worries and flew back to Scotland with Ratty (this little scoundrel) to my mothers house. We turned up on her doorstep: me, 2 suitcases, 1 dog. And cried. Cried and cried my eyes out because I was just about to turn 30, didn't have a clue what to do with my life and I just felt I had majorly f+++++d up. I mean I've just walked away from a successful career because it broke me, I've just walked away from 5 years of friends, a new language, my babies (yes my dogs were my babies) and so what the hell was I doing?

Jette Virdi with Madhur Jaffrey

So what happened? For my 30th birthday Mamma kindly bought me a ticket to Ballymaloe Cookery School and well just did absolutely nothing for about 3 months apart from eat, cook and be young and free again. It felt pretty good to have no responsibility, nobody employed by you, no-one who needed me to be the boss. God it was good to have no pressure. And then the rest is history. Ireland was an awakening for me and while I can't wait to move to a hot country again (nothing in the works yet!) I still hold Ireland so fondly. I found myself again, was able to laugh, talk to people and be happy again. Thank you.x