Becoming an archaeologist – My Journey

Outside the British Museum in Dec. 2013

Outside the British Museum in Dec. 2013

At 26, some people, probably not most, have decided what they want to want to do with their lives or where their path is leading them. Unfortunately for someone as indecisive as myself, I’ve nearly really had that resolve.

I dabbled with a number of careers, I studied Creative Writing in Bath, and later moved onto Japanese Culture and History, while I lived in Tokyo. But, I never felt fulfilled with any career I chose. My journalism has played a key role in my life, since the beginning,  despite my grades being unsatisfactory in English and higher.  The industry is vast, so despite having a BAHons, you need experience in the area you wish to write in. That’s the challenge, to balance your  passion with the drudgery of actually making a living, and most will find their day-time job completely clashes with their real writing.

My desire to become an archaeologist, didn’t develop until late last year. I had always been interested in Ancient Mexico and Ancient Peru, since I was a child. I had written my second year piece about an Incan warrior captured by the Spanish conquistadors. I received a first, mainly due to detailed environment I had created partly thanks to my knowledge of Peruvian archaeology.  Before then, when I was only a teen  I had been obsessed with the idea of the “Temple of the Sun” in Cusco, and the Juanita mummy found in the Andes, a sacrifice to the sun. This obsession later developed into a general interest in all Native cultures of Latin America.

After a four-year stint in Japan that took me all around Asia, exploring the ancient temples and mountains of the Far East, I knew that I had to focus my energy on Central/South America.  It pains me to confess that I knew more East Asian history than my own European and South American heritage.  When I returned to the UK, I frequented the British Museum to expand my knowledge and familiarity with Mexican and South American history.

After hours of troweling through boring filings I knew I had to take the plunge so I began looking into Archaeology courses in September 2013, knowing little about the individual institutions,  only driven by my desire to travel and history. I applied for archaeology master programs at UCL, University of Bristol and Kings College London.  Whilst doing my research, I came to realise how much UCL was the place where I wanted to study. Not only because of the prestige, but mostly due to its variety of topics covered, as well as the quality teaching staff available.  The open evening welcomed people of all ages, which put my nerves at rest, being the oldest in the class had been a concern of mine from the start.

Now, its time to give up  the career that I have been chasing for more than 5 years, not because I got bored, but because I found something that intrigues me even more. Hopefully in the future I can work at National Geographic and fuse my love of writing and archaeology, but to make that a reality –I just have to dream big.

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