One down, 499 to go.

August 27 was the start of my #500lunches adventure, and I’ve got a feeling my life will never be the same.

I woke up at 5am, got the train to the airport, flew to Melbourne, took the bus to the city, met a stranger for lunch, returned to the airport, flew to Sydney, jumped on a train and walked through my door just after 9pm.

It was a long day, but an exciting one.

My plan is to have lunches with 500 strangers in five years. My first lunch was with the amazing Kaley Chu, who inspired my plan with her fantastic book, 100 Lunches With Strangers.

Kaley set herself the goal of having 100 lunches in 2018. She enjoyed it so much that she’s carried on – I was her 190th lunch.

Kaley is a powerhouse 

I was even more inspired by Kaley in person than when I read her book. She’s smart, she’s a great conversationalist and her world has really opened up since she started having lunches with strangers. At the start of her journey, she was incredibly shy; now, she’s a keynote speaker who regularly gets asked to share her story at conferences. She’s also been profiled by The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kaley learned a lot about overcoming limiting beliefs during her 100 lunches. Those limiting beliefs, she says, were mainly caused by being both a woman in business and an immigrant from a non-English-speaking country (she moved from Hong Kong to Melbourne after finishing school). That’s why Kaley is particularly passionate about speaking at events with female businesspeople and foreign-born businesspeople.

If you’re a conference organiser, and you’re looking for an inspirational speaker, Kaley would be a magnificent choice.

Meeting Kaley was a lot of fun, and I’m really grateful for Kaley’s support and encouragement. We had such a great time that we’ve decided to have lunch every August 27 for the rest of my five-year journey.

One down, 499 to go.