Hi, my name is Pedro Gracia Molero and you would think that with a name like this I would be of Spanish nationality…. well sorry to disappoint you, but on the 17th of July 1965, I was born in Cornwall, England. Some years before my arrival my parents left Spain in search of work and ended up trying their luck in Britain.
After 5 years in the UK, my parents decided to move back to Paris, settle and make a nest for themselves in the French capital.
I have to admit that my childhood in France was not ideal. Money was scarce and I was not integrating into the french way of life. My father was feeling unfulfilled with his work, trapped in the rat race and terribly undervalued and with no other alternative but to carry on until he could retire and move to Spain for the latter part of his life.
So I plodded along at school for many years up to the French Baccalaureate and started math at Uni. I joined some sports clubs after school, basket ball, boxing and swimming. Boxing became one of my passions during my early years as it taught me to respect my opponent and to be able to fend for myself.
My summers and passion for the sea.
The highlight of the year was our summer holidays. We would drive down to the south of Spain towing our caravan, to a place by the sea called Aguilas. I can remember every detail of these holidays, the smell of the paella at lunch time, the feeling of freedom, the sound of the chirping crickets… the days seemed endless. Our main activities were swimming. snorkeling, rolling in the waves, spending time with our dad running in the sand. We wore only shorts and walked barefoot everywhere, feeling the sun on our backs all day long. In the evenings we would walk to the nearby village for a few rides at the fun fair and an ice cream.
Then towards the end of the holiday I could feel the mood drop as the return date was approaching. So back again to the grey skies and the rat race …
These amazing holidays drew me to the sea and I very quickly developed a liking for diving. After a discover diving session at the local pool I was hooked and embarked on all the diving courses and knowledge I could get my hands on. This took me right up to instructor level and my first summer diving job when I was 22.
That very same summer my father passed away at the young age of 49 …. to say I was devastated was an understatement. I had lost my mentor, my guide, the pillar of our family. I felt so angry, helpless and powerless……he was so young… So I started running and running and running … I would come back home exhausted and relieved for a brief moment from the grief I was carrying.
A year later I also lost my best friend Jose, he had become my mentor and almost like a father figure ….. I felt as if sadness was surrounding my life. I left uni and found myself a job diving in Mallorca. Slowly, I started feeling happy again. I went from dive job to dive job, Egypt, Caribbean, Spain and France. That was pure freedom. I was in my element helping others to discover the underwater world, meeting new people, socializing every evening and having that deep sense of fulfillment.
In one of those summers in Mallorca I met Jane, who later became my wife. She is the love of my life. She was working for a travel company and I was a local dive instructor, she asked me on a date, I said yes !! We fell in love in a matter of weeks and I moved into her flat with my worldly possessions ( a tooth brush, a few pairs of shorts and a pair of trainers ) …. and for the rest of the summer we lived the pure honey moon effect .. can’t eat, can’t sleep, together 24/7.
At the end of that summer we were offered a job in the Red Sea, in Hurghada, chartering a 15m sailing yacht, to take clients for a sailing, snorkeling, fishing and culinary experience. After 4 months of this exhausting daily routine, the Gulf war was declared and all Europeans were advised to leave. Being young, intrepid and adventurous, we decided to stay and sail towards some far flung reef and anchor there for weeks at a time. We spent weeks diving the wrecks of Abu nuhas, taking hundreds of photos of sharks, moray eels, dolphins, turtles and manta rays. We had such fun during those months, our relationship grew stronger and stronger and I could really see Jane’s loving personality shine through.. I was hooked even more than before. We would go back to port only for fuel and some fresh provisions, but you could feel the unrest in the local population as an American aircraft carrier was moored in the vicinity.
As you know the gulf war went on for quite some time, so when we ran out of money and our reserves were pretty dry, it was time to go home. We flew back to Europe, Cannes, France where I worked for a while in the Padi European college, with Jef Mazeaud, one of my dive gurus.
My lrish experience
After the Red Sea season we went on to do several more summers in Mallorca, Aruba and the Red Sea. By then, Jane had become a very skilled and experienced divemaster.
Out of thin air I was offered a job as a marina manager in Ireland, where my wife grew up, to start developing a small marina in Carlingford lough just at the north/south border.
We lived on site in a very modern mobile home. It felt very much like being on a boat again without the moving bit… but the weather was something different. I was not ready for those south easterlies, rain, mist, northwesterly gales cutting through you, this was far from my comfortable Mediterranean weather. But we were having such fun at work learning how to lift boats out of the water and winterize them and how to manage a marina. We would meet the locals and in general I was fascinated by the Irish hospitality. The Irish are remarkably nice people, friendly, welcoming, accepting and with a sensational dry sense of humor.
We had our first child Yannick, a 10 pound baby boy, in the hospital in Drogheda and from that day on life took a different turn. We were three now, we had begun our family and we would have a responsibility to this child for the rest of our lives. The days following his arrival were spent gazing at our beautiful little baby and living in that new born bubble that you carry around with you for weeks on end.
Two and half years later we had our baby girl Matilda and we welcomed the new addition to our family. Those 5 years spent in Ireland were full of joy, happiness and a new era in the creation of our family unit. I was able to see my kids almost 24/7 – I would take them on the pontoons with their life jackets and tie up or untie boats !! I would bundle them in the dingy and take them in the middle of the lough, how they loved an adventure!! I also learned a lot about bad weather, gales, wind, tides, diving in very cold water and generally keeping the marina growing !!
My years in Mallorca
After Ireland we bought a small sailing boat and cruised the Med for a year, the kids were then aged 2 and 4. Time stood still, and the only regret we have about this boat life is that we didn’t do it for longer !! We would spend our days sailing, swimming (this time in warm water!!) going ashore in our little dingy, reading and playing games. This strengthened our family bond and gave us precious time getting to know our two beautiful children. In retrospect I am so glad I was able to spend a lot of time with my children for their first five years of life. I was there for birthdays, celebrations, ups and downs… for all their laughter and sadness I was there walking the walk and holding their hand.
We sold the boat after 8 months of sailing around the Balearic islands and then put a deposit on a small 2 bedroom flat, bought our first car and started life on land !!
With the children at school, Jane returned to work within the travel industry and I at the local dive center. As they grew, the problems to resolve become more complex. Like most of us I had no training in being a parent and the only knowledge I had was the one transmitted to me by my parents. That was not enough… so I started on a journey of self study to better know the working of the mind. I bought a few NLP book from Paul Mc kenna and started putting his theories into practice. At that time, due to the seasonal employment in Mallorca, I had to jump from job to job, from one boss to the next and embarked upon a string of underpaid and unfulfilling jobs. It did not matter too much at the time as my main purpose was our family unit, but I could feel some frustration building up inside me.
I was busy with the family life, so no time to think too much about myself and my career. Also the quality of life that we all enjoyed in Mallorca was outstanding. Summer weekends we would be at the beach playing in the sand, snorkeling and swimming. In the winter we would take long hikes in the mountains and enjoy the beauty of nature. Basically, no matter what season we were in, we spent as much time as possible outdoors.
Kids leaving the nest
After their A levels the kids were ready to leave the island and discover new horizons. So, one at a time they flew away from the nest and landed in London where they would continue their education in Uni. This was a sad, hard and life changing moment where we realised that our babies had grown in the blink of an eye and they had moved on to greener pastures.
My next 50 years
So now this was a time for me to reflect on life, on who I was, what I had achieved and where I wanted to go. Turning 50 was no great achievement either as I felt old, discouraged, disempowered, undervalued and with no goal for the future. After all the beautiful places I had been and the amazing adventures I had been on, I still felt I was missing something. So I started on another self help journey, reading books from Anthony Robbins, Bruce Lipton, Robin Sharma, Richard Bandler and the Dalai Lama. I engaged in meditation, yoga, martial arts and Wim hof breathing. But all this, although very interesting and positive, still did not give me a direction.
My life to 100
Jane’s grandmother was celebrating her birthday in Bangor, Northern Ireland and we were invited. Not just any birthday I might add, the big one … 100 years old !!! We were all very excited to attend, to be part of such a huge event and a miracle of longevity. Well, Granny Owen was amazing!! She was sure footed, eloquent, very elegantly dressed, telling stories of the past with minute detail and always with that wonderful Irish sense of humour.
I was blown away …. she inspired me …. and in an instant I thought….. That’s it, this is the inspiration I was looking for ….. and that day I declared to myself ……
I WILL LIVE TO 100…
From there my mindset completely changed. The realization that I still have so much more to give, to learn, to do, to live !! Time to plan my next 50 years and how to get to 100 in good health, wealth, in the right mindset and with a mission or a purpose in life.
So I enrolled in a NLP practitioner course with one of the co founders Dr. Richard Bandler. I listened to self help podcasts, studied nutrition, neuroplasticity, fitness and exercising in a smart way. Anything I could get hold of to increase my longevity .
I was now ready to take on any challenge. I had dealt with my limiting beliefs and was now planning my financial future. I was not going to rely on my retirement or some state pension, I was going to build my online business. This would give me the freedom to decide how I spend my time. No more commuting to work, I would be able to travel and work at the same time. The joyful realization that I could spend more time with my wife, son and daughter. After scrolling the internet for weeks I simply entered my email address in an ad. Why this ad and not another.. who knows, but it felt right. Straight away I received very clear and detailed information on the subject. My journey had begun…