How This Travel Blogger Quit Her Day Job, Left The Country And Started All Over Again With A New Home And Career
We are in the middle of a global COVID-19 pandemic and as we all work together to stay healthy and keep our distance, many of us are also wondering what life will be like in the future. Will everything just resume as “normal”? What will domestic and world travel look like? Will there be a global recession that forces us to completely rethink our lives and careers?
One woman who fully understands the idea of starting over is travel blogger and author Nicole Brewer, co-founder of the ILuv2GlobeTrot blog and the newly published book, A Guide to Landing an English Teacher Abroad, which is available on Amazon is. While her full life change did not come about through a global pandemic, her expertise will undoubtedly help many people as we think about how we want to live in the future.
After she left her corporate job in the Midwest to take turns, she packed her bags and headed overseas. She currently lives in Oman and has lived abroad for a decade. She teaches English and writes for her blog. Nicole’s book was written to inspire others to live abroad, especially since she has seen more conversations among other people wanting to leave the US after things calmed down with COVD-19. We spoke to the successful work travel guru about being a black millennial woman abroad and what advice she would give to others.
How did you start your blog for the first time, I love 2 Globetrab and can you tell us something about your partner?
I Luv 2 Globe Trot was started in 2012 by my business partner Renee Evans and me. During that time, we were both teachers in South Korea, preparing to leave South Korea for our respective destinations (myself, Oman and their Australia). Renee and I have been teaching ESL abroad for years and have become good friends traveling around the world. We had the idea to start the trot blog and the travel group I Luv 2 Globe on Facebook at the same time to stay in touch and educate people about traveling and living abroad. We wanted to create a comprehensive travel site for travel information, reviews, and online community to help people around the world.
Why did you first decide to travel overseas and create a whole new career path for yourself?
When I left the US in 2009, I was actually fired from my market research job. I was ready for a new opportunity and originally only planned to go for a year, maybe two, to save money and come back when the economy improved. Even so, I fell in love with living abroad and decided to stay away to continue my mission, to travel the world and inspire others to do the same.
You recently published a new book called “A Guide to Landing an English Teacher Abroad” where you share your expertise. Why did you choose to write this?
I wrote “A Guide to Getting a Job as an English Teacher Abroad” because of a series of questions asking how I got into teaching ESL (English as a Second Language). It originally started out as a small tips blog post, but I decided a lot more information needed to be put together to be thorough and I published the book in ebook and paperback form on Amazon.
Nicole Brewer in Morocco
Right now the world is dealing with the COVD-19 pandemic and many people in the US have expressed an interest in walking after the dust settles. What advice would you give to help them make the right decisions?
I think now is the time for those interested in making their exit plans. There are numerous opportunities in ESL around the world depending on your skills, with the State Department, engineering professions, traveling nurses, etc. It’s time to do your research. Books like mine are certainly a resource in these times, as are expat and travel communities. If you’re looking to move to Korea, look for expat groups on social networks there or elsewhere. With my business partner Renee, I also lead the travel group iluv2globetrot with almost 10,000 members.
As a black millennial woman living abroad, have you experienced limits along the way? If so, how did you navigate it?
To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost chances because of the race in the past. I know I’ve seen job postings in places like China, and even my old home, South Korea, that specifically asked applicants to be Caucasian Americans. However, these are obviously rooms that I don’t want to be in, so there is. I am always navigating this world violently and without fear. Fortunately, in 10 years as an expat abroad, I have had an amazing overall experience due to my resilience.
Even though you and Renee are women of color in a sea of mostly Caucasian travel bloggers, you want your work to do everyone justice. Can you explain more about it?
I am looking forward to the Black Travel Movement. In our everyday experiences, we will never erase once we have lived experiences as black women. Nonetheless, it has always been our goal that our travel community is an inclusive environment in which we only connect because of our love for travel, which can be felt across races.
Nicole Brewer in Dubai
Teaching English abroad has become a popular way for people to travel and make money at the same time. What are the biggest mistakes people make and what is the best advice you would give to someone who thinks about it?
I would say the biggest mistake people can make is not doing proper research and research before moving. You need to know which certifications are required for which locations (if any). Will housing allowance be included? Moving fees? What is the quality of life and whatever else you need to live comfortably in a certain place. I think reaching out to others in the places you are considering is imperative. For this reason, I interviewed a variety of current and past expats in my book, A Guide to Getting a Job Being an English Teacher Abroad, so that readers have a diverse understanding of the experiences for different locations.
What were your top 3 global goals and why?
This is always a tough question for me because it changes lol. At the moment my top destinations are South Africa. I’ve been there three times and I fall in love with her every time I go. I studied there for 3 months while doing an internship with an NGO for my MA program. I would like to call it home again. Next I would say Seychelles. It is one of the most picturesque islands ever. Third would be Jordan. This place is just magical and I would love to go back again to float in the Dead Sea and relive the desert oasis of Wadi Rum.
Nicole Brewer visits the pyramids in Egypt
Can you say what you love most about where you currently live?
I currently live in Oman, a small country next to the Emirates. It’s been my home for 7 years and I absolutely love it. I didn’t think I’d live in the Middle East for that long, but Oman has a certain charm about it. The locals are nice, my students are also favorites at the college I work at. I feel very safe. It has actually been voted one of the safest countries in the last few years, which dismays people. I respect the culture and the people here respect me.
Do you ever see yourself returning to the US?
Only when it becomes a necessity for my family. At this point in my life, I feel like I’m going to withdraw abroad. At least that’s my goal and my dream.
Why is traveling and immersion in other cultures so important?
I think traveling and immersion in other cultures are important because I love seeing the world and learning from others. Living abroad has totally changed my life and my worldview. I wanted to be an architect as a kid, although I didn’t make that dream come true, it is amazing to travel and see all the places and buildings that I only dreamed of visiting one day in real life. I think you learn so much about yourself, not just about other cultures, by traveling and being with people in their own environment.
You can get Nicole’s book, “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad,” which is available now on Amazon.
Nicole Brewer in Wadi Rum in Jordan