A Wayward Spirit – Peter J. Harris
The Extraordinary Life-Changing Experiences of a Globe Trotter
This is an unusual and entertaining travel book – with a message or two.
The author has travelled extensively on business in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East and he relates his extraordinary experiences with page-turning descriptions. He worked for the British Tourist Authority, he established his own international education consultancy and his insightful narratives come from his continuing worldwide travel on behalf of a range of UK boarding schools, colleges and charities. His advice on education has been sought by Russian billionaires, Saudi sheikhs and members of the Thai royal family.
He has been faced with life-threatening experiences in two continents and endured wrongful imprisonment in Greece. Along the way, he ventured into religious retreats, spiritual experiences in India and pilgrim walks in Spain – finding a new meaning to his life which led him to raise over £50,000 for charitable causes including a school for ‘children from the dumps’ in Cambodia.
The descriptions of his ‘enlightenment’ are equally colourful and he is often critical of those who are ‘religious but not spiritual’.
About the Author
Peter Harris has been involved in international education and tourism during four decades, travelling extensively in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East – and keeping notes of some of his extraordinary experiences. Now he has paused (briefly) to assemble his notes into a fascinating and entertaining narrative from events which have changed the lives of thousands of young people, and his own life too. His initial experience working with language schools in the UK encouraged him to found the first international schools in New Zealand and Australia. For services to education he was one of only 150 people awarded the New Zealand Commemoration Medal by HM Queen Elizabeth in 1990.
As the new millennium dawned he returned to the UK to establish the first international study centre at The King’s School Ely, one of Britain’s oldest independent schools. Within two years King’s International Study Centre was full to capacity, providing 60 students from 17 nationalities with the language and study skills necessary to access a British boarding education. The integration of the study centre gave Peter the opportunity to work with other UK schools and colleges keen to use his expertise to establish themselves internationally. His contacts worldwide are unrivalled and his passion for education is undimmed. He also spent four years as the British Tourist Authority Representative for the Middle East and Africa and then went on to establish his own international education consultancy and continues to travel extensively worldwide on behalf of a range of UK boarding schools colleges and charities.
On one visit to the Middle East, he was asked by Prince Charles for his opinion on matters sartorial; and his advice on education has been sought by Russian billionaires, Saudi sheikhs and members of the Thai royal family. He has been faced with life-threatening experiences in two continents and endured wrongful imprisonment in Greece.
Peter has also done multiple arduous treks which have raised over £50,000 for charitable causes. He initiated and continues to be involved in a number of projects including a Cambodian school and orphanage for ‘children from the dumps’ in Phnom Penh, and a project in Thailand, supported by Thailand’s Princess Royal, which provides teenage girls with the high school education they need to avoid employment in prostitution. His efforts, including a choral concert in Bangkok supported by the British Ambassador, provided life-changing opportunities for over 200 girls. His personal efforts for a variety of other UK charities have been many and varied. He climbed in the Himalayas for the Deaf Blind charity; trekked in Bhutan for the Sunflower Trust which provides holistic healing for children with learning difficulties; and over five years he walked the St James’ Way “Camino” in northern Spain for a week each autumn and raised thousands of pounds for a variety of good causes.