Neli Bryant, the 226th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, has lived three different lives in three different continents.

Neli spent her early childhood in communist Bulgaria. When she was nine, and after the Berlin Wall had come down, Neli moved to South Africa, where she had to learn a new language and familiarise herself with a new culture.

After finishing school, Neli studied publishing and media, before finding work with a publishing company. Later, Neli met a businessman who had been living in Sydney and had returned to South Africa to start a consulting firm named Stylequity. After a while, he realised business conditions were more favourable in Australia, so, 15 years ago, they relocated to Sydney, getting married soon after.

These days, Neli also works for Stylequity, in a content marketing and research role. Stylequity provides the shareholders of medium-sized businesses with high-level strategic advice about how to grow, sell, invest, merge or make acquisitions.

Neli described her life to me in very matter-of-fact terms, but I couldn’t help but think how difficult it must be to move to new countries and start from scratch each time.

You need the open-mindedness to embrace new situations, the resilience to overcome the inevitable setbacks and the social skills to build a new network.

The fact Neli has been able to succeed in each country speaks to her character.