I am the Founder of Gr8fool Limited, whose mission is to positively inspire and transform the lives of as many as people as possible.
In September 2018, I embarked on a solo vanlife adventure, touring Europe in a campervan for one year. While on the road, I serve as a Freedom Coach, I share my passion for freedom, gratitude, positivity and foolishness through my writing and speaking, and I manage my rented properties in London.
After 22 years of office life, mostly in the legal & corporate secretarial sector, I resigned from my successful and secure 16-year job to spice-up my life and venture into new horizons. Immediately post-corporate I went volunteering in Nepal, I then continued solo-travelling in Asia for a few months (India, Sri Lanka and Thailand), I undertook a challenging, fun ride on my motorbike from London to Italy (and back the following year!), I walked 930km along the life-changing Camino de Santiago, and just as I launched my own life coaching business, I embarked on a solo-vanlife tour of Europe for one year.
A Little More Background…
Here’s a little more about me…that may explain my passion for ADVENTURE and FREEDOM
Ciao! I am Francesca Dal Bello and yes, as the name suggests, I am Italian. Although I generally feel more broadly European or a person of this World, because I’ve lived most of my life outside of my home country.
I was born in the province of Treviso (North of Venice, Italy) and my family moved to the region of Alsace (France) when I was just 4 and a half. We spent 6 beautiful years here, before returning to Bella Italia.
Then 10 days before my 18th birthday, I moved alone to the big city of London (England), where I have pretty much stayed since… bar one year back in Italy in the late 90s.
THE ACADEMIC INFO..
My earlier background was in art. I attended 4 years of high school in subjects of architecture, drawing and design. By contrast, more recently…and for well over a decade, I built expertise in areas of corporate law, subsidiary governance and compliance, as Head of Company Secretariat within a leading energy organisation. I am a qualified Chartered Secretary and Fellow of The Governance Institute (ICSA). Then last year, I stepped into the Life Coaching world too; I qualified with The Acorn Principle Plus in November 2017 (the course is now provided through the Mindful Talent Coaching Academy: https://www.mindfultalent.coach/a/9375/NTjyBS9y) and I am a member of the Association for Coaching.
SOME MORE DETAILS, FOR THE MORE INTERESTED ONES 🙂
I mentioned my experience in France, and funnily enough, I have always known my name (Francesca) to mean: From France. I researched this a little further and found that it also means: FREE person. YES! Apparently the word France derives from “the land of the Franks” or “Frank land”, which is said to originate from the Germanic word “frank”, meaning “FREE”. That explains my constant need for freedom, one of my top values in life!
I loved growing up in, and benefitting from the freedom of a very small village of just over 2000 habitants, mostly wine-makers. Oh oui, we were taught how wine was produced at primary school!
At 14, when asked to choose my high school, I wanted to develop my creativity so I opted to attend the Liceo Artistico di Treviso, despite its location c. 45km from home. I was the only student, in fact person, from my town to catch the 6.15am coach to Treviso every morning; a good 2.5 hrs of daily commute, 6 school-days per week. In retrospect, that was pretty brave and challenging, but what an experience. I recently caught up with dear classmates I hadn’t seen in over 20 years and we talked about how it was more like a school of life! It certainly was and it surely satisfied that need for freedom and adventure, that seems to always linger.
I had dreams of pursuing stage design and possibly look into special effects, but I also liked the idea of being a travel rep, at the time… So as soon as I qualified, in 1995, I spent the summer working as a waitress in a hotel in Lido di Jesolo, a beach resort next to Venice, to save up enough money to venture to London.
Moving out of home when still a teenager with only £300 in my pocket, was also driven by that desire to grow beyond a small Italian town, to seek independence and follow my dreams. I may treat you to a story about other reasons why I loved England so much to move to London in those days, in a future blog.
In London, I first started out as an au-pair before wangling a job as English/Italian translator, thanks to my [basic] self-taught English. This role helped me learn faster.
Fast-forward a little, at 24 I joined a multi-national oil & gas company as Legal Secretary, where I didn’t think I would last long… I ended up sticking around for 16 years. The company gave me many opportunities to grow so I felt constantly motivated with new challenges. Thanks to their sponsorship and tons of personal determination, in 2007 I completed 5 years of part-time studies, ultimately qualifying with a Masters in Corporate Governance at the London South Bank University (LSBU). I also became an ICSA Chartered Secretary and eventually reaching full Fellowship status in 2009.
I am known not to do things by halves… and I somehow received an Award as the High Flyer of the Future (the one to watch!) from the Institute (ICSA) and an Award for Student of the Faculty on my year of graduation by the LSBU! I was incredulous.
In 2017, I decided to take time out from the corporate world. It wasn’t the easiest of things to plan and do, but my heart was calling for a break and I was longing for a big change. Before leaving, I completed the Advanced Certificate in Coaching Practice, with The Acorn Principles Plus, which recently merged into the Mindful Talent Coaching Academy. I love the powerful effect that life coaching can have on helping people better themselves, hence their quality of lives and the lives of others.
If you are interested in a Coaching training either to become a Coach yourself or enrich your life and wellbeing as a whole, I strongly recommend you check out this course: https://www.mindfultalent.coach/a/9375/NTjyBS9y.
Post-corporate, I have been nourishing my passion for freedom, through travels and adventures, and expanding knowledge in positive psychology and neuroscience. My aim is to continue coaching, create workshops in topics of freedom, wellbeing and positivity. Through my own “foolish” journeys, I hope to inspire others to take action towards living the dream too.