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 pandemic with COVID-19 and while we all work together to stay healthy and keep our distance, there are also many of us wondering what life will be like up front. Will everything be repeated as “normal”? How will the domestic and international trips be? Will there be a global recession that forces us to rethink our lives and careers?
A woman who fully understands the concept of starting from scratch is travel blogger and author Nicole Brewer, co-founder of the ILuv2GlobeTrot blog, and the recently released book, A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad, available on Amazon. While her complete life change did not come from a global pandemic, her experience will undoubtedly help many people as we begin to think about how we want to live ahead.
After leaving her corporate job in the Midwest looking for a change, she packed her bags and headed abroad. She is currently based in Oman and has been living abroad for a decade teaching English and writing for her blog. Nicole’s book was written to inspire others to live abroad, especially as she has seen more discussion among other people who want to leave the US after the COVD-19 settlement. We spoke with the successful business travel guru about being a black millennial woman abroad and what advice she would give to others.
How did you first start your blog, I like the glob trot and can you tell us about your partner?
Ivv 2 Globe Trot was started in 2012 by my business partner Renee Evans and me. We were both teachers in South Korea at the time and were preparing to leave South Korea for our respective destinations (me Oman and Australia). Renee and I have both been teaching ESL abroad for years and became good friends while traveling the world. We had the idea to launch the blog and the travel group I Luv 2 Globe on Facebook at the same time, in order to keep in touch and educate people about traveling and staying abroad. We wanted to create a comprehensive travel site for travel news, reviews and an online community to help people around the world.
What made you decide to travel abroad for the first time and create a new career path for yourself?
When I left the US in 2009, I was fired from my job in market research. I was ready for a new opportunity and initially planned to leave for a year, maybe 2, to save money and return as soon as the economy improved. Nevertheless, I fell in love with living abroad and decided to stay away to continue my mission of traveling the world and inspiring others to do the same.
Recently, a new book was published entitled “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Abroad”, which shares your experience. Why did you decide to write it?
I wrote “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad” because I would get a lot of questions asking how I got into teaching ESL (English as a Second Language). It started out as a small blog post with tips, but I decided that there was a lot more information I needed to gather to be detailed and publish the book in e-book and paperback format on Amazon.
Nicole Brewer in Morocco
People are currently dealing with the COVD-19 pandemic and many people in the US have expressed interest in leaving after the dust. What advice would you give to help them make the right decisions about this?
I feel now is the time for those interested in leaving to create their own exit plans. Depending on your skill set, there are many opportunities around the world in ESL, with the Department of State, technology jobs, travel nurses, etc. It’s time to do your research. Books like mine are definitely a resource in these times as well as expatriate and travel communities. If you are interested in moving to Korea, look for expatriate groups on social media there or anywhere. I also lead the iluv2globetrot travel team with about 10 thousand members with my business partner Renee.
As a millennial black woman living abroad, have you experienced boundaries along the way? If so, how did you navigate them?
I honestly will not be surprised if I have missed opportunities in the past due to a fight. I know I have seen jobs in places like China and even my old home in South Korea where applicants would be specifically asked to be Caucasian American. However, these are obviously places I would not like to have, so there is. I always did adventure vigorously and without fear. Fortunately, in the 10 years I have been abroad I have had amazing experiences overall due to my resilience.
Although you and Renee are women of color in a sea that looks like most Caucasian travel bloggers, you want your job to serve all people. Can you explain more about that?
I’m excited to see the Black Travel Movement take place. In our daily experiences we will never erase the experiences as black women. Nevertheless, our goal has always been to have our travel community be an inclusive environment, where we connect based on our love of travel, which can be felt by all races.
Nicole Brewer in Dubai
Teaching English abroad has become a popular way for people to travel for money. What are the biggest mistakes people see and what is the best piece of advice you would give to someone who is thinking of doing this?
I would say that the biggest mistake people can make is not to plan and do proper research before making the move. You need to know which sites require which certifications (if any). Will the housing allowance be included? Relocation fees? What is the quality of life and what else you need to live comfortably in a particular destination. I think it is imperative to reach out to others in the locations you are considering. This is why I interviewed many current and former expatriates in my book “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad” so that readers can have a different understanding of experiences for different locations.
What were your top 3 world destinations and why?
This is always a difficult question for me because it changes lol. However, at the moment my top destinations are South Africa. I have 3 times and I fall in love with it again and again every time I go. I studied there for 3 months, while I did an internship in an NGO for my postgraduate program. I would like to call it home again. Then I would say the Seychelles. It is one of the most picturesque islands ever. Third, it would be Jordan. This place is just magical and I would love to come back 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 like most about where you live right now?
I am currently a resident of Oman, a small country next to the Emirates. It has been my home for 7 years and I absolutely love it. I did not think I would live in the Middle East for as long as I have, but Oman has some charm. The locals are good, my students are also favorites at the college where I work. I feel extremely safe. In fact it has been voted as one of the safest countries in the last two years to the disappointment of the peoples. I respect culture and in turn people respect me here
Do you ever see yourself returning to the United States?
Only if it becomes a necessity for my family. At this point in my life I feel like I will retire abroad. At least, that is my goal and my dream.
Why is travel and immersion in other cultures so important?
I think traveling and immersing yourself in other cultures is important because I like to see the world and learn from others. Living abroad has completely changed my life and the world. I wanted to be an architect as a child, although I did not realize this dream, it is incredible to travel and see all the places and buildings I dreamed of visiting one day in real life. I think you learn so much about yourself, not just about other cultures, traveling and being among people in their own environment.
You can download Nicole’s book “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad” now available on Amazon.
Nicole Brewer at Wadi Rum in Jordan