A 21-YEAR-OLD Oxford graduate is preparing to wave goodbye to friends and family and set off for the South Pacific on an adventure of a lifetime.
James Roberts will start 2011 in style by flying out to Vanuatu, between Australia and Fiji, where he will spend a year teaching maths, physics and history to students on Pentecost, one of the country’s 83 tiny islands.
The former St David’s High School pupil from Saltney, who applied for the position on a whim, will leave the UK on Monday.
“I intend to have a great Christmas as it will be a while until I see everyone again,” said James.
“As well as lots of celebrating I will be making the most of all the food and indulging, as I will have to do without a lot of my comfort foods for the next 12 months.”
James found out he got the job in July and has been keeping busy learning Bislama, the language spoken in Vanuatu.
He said: “It has come around so fast. I don’t think it’s actually going to hit me until I get on the plane at Heathrow.
“Every so often I stop and think about it and I start to think about people that I'm really going to miss, and it’s a bit sad, but I soon look at the positive side and what an experience it’s going to be and cheer up no end.
“It will be a massive culture shock but I don’t think I can do anything to fully prepare myself for this.
“It is going to be completely different but I can’t wait to embrace it.”