How This Travel Blogger Quit Her Day Job, Left The Country And Started All Over Again With A New Home And Career

We’re 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 going forward. Will everything just resume as “normal”? What will domestic and global travel look like? Will there be a global recession that forces us to re-think our lives and careers entirely?

One woman who fully understands the notion of starting all over again is travel blogger and author Nicole Brewer, co-founder of the blog ILuv2GlobeTrot and the newly released book “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad”, available on Amazon. While her complete life change didn’t come about from a global pandemic, her expertise is no doubt going to help many people as we begin to think about how we want to live going forward.

After leaving her corporate job in the mid-west looking for a change, she packed her bags and headed overseas. 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 conversations among other people looking to leave the US after things settle down with COVD-19. We spoke with the successful work-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 luv 2 globe trot and can you tell us about your partner? 

I Luv 2 Globe Trot started back in 2012 by my business partner Renee Evans and myself. We were both teachers in South Korea during that time and getting ready to leave South Korea to move on to our respective destinations (myself Oman and her Australia). Renee and I both have been teaching ESL abroad for years now and became good friends while traveling the world. We had the idea to start the I Luv 2 Globe trot blog and travel group on Facebook concurrently, in order to keep in touch and educate people about traveling and living abroad. We wanted to create an all-encompassing travel site for travel news, reviews and online community to help people around the globe. 

What made you first decide to travel overseas and create a whole new career path for yourself? 

When I left the USA in 2009, I was actually laid off from my job in market research. I was ready for a new opportunity and originally only planned to leave for a year, maybe 2, in order to save money and return once the economy got better. Nevertheless, I fell in love with living abroad and decided to stay gone in order to continue my mission of traveling the world and inspiring others to do the same. 

You have recently released a new book entitled “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad”, sharing your expertise. Why did you decide to write this? 

I wrote “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad” because I would get a host of questions asking how I got into teaching ESL (English as a Second Language). It initially started off as a small blog post with tips, but I decided there was way more information that needed to be compiled to be thorough and published the book in e-book 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 interested in leaving after the dust settles. 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 exit plans. Depending on your skillset, there are loads of opportunities around the globe in ESL, with the Dept of State, tech jobs, traveling nurses etc. It’s time to do your research. Books like mine are surely a resource in these times, as well as expat and travel communities. If you’re interested in moving to Korea, look up expat groups on social networks there or anywhere. I also run the iluv2globetrot travel group with close to 10K members with my business partner Renee. 

As a black female millennial living abroad, have you experienced any boundaries along the way? If so, how have you navigated these? 

I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve lost opportunities in the past due to race. I know I’ve seen job postings in places like China and even my old home South Korea where they would specifically request applicants to be Caucasian American. However, those are obviously spaces I wouldn’t want to be in so there’s that. I’ve always navigated this world fiercely and without fear. Luckily in 10 years of being an expat living abroad I’ve had amazing experiences overall because of my resilience. 

Although you and Renee are women of color in a sea of what feels like mostly Caucasian travel bloggers, you want your work to cater to all people. Can you explain more about this? 

I’m excited to see the Black Travel Movement taking place. In our everyday experiences we will never erase having lived experiences as Black women. Nevertheless, our goal was always to have our travel community be an inclusive environment, where we bond based on just our love of traveling, which can be felt across races. 

Nicole Brewer in Dubai

Teaching English abroad has become a popular way for people to travel while earning money. What are the biggest mistakes you see people make, and what is the best advice you would give to someone thinking about doing this? 

I would say that the biggest mistake people can make is not planning and doing proper research before making the move. You need to be aware of which locations require what certifications (if any). Will a housing allowance be included? Relocation fees?  What is the quality of life and whatever else you require to live comfortably in a certain destination. I think it’s imperative to reach out to others in the locations you’re considering. That’s a reason why I interviewed a host of current and past expats in my book “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad”, so that readers could have a varied understanding of experiences for different locations. 

What have been your top 3 global destinations, and why? 

This is always a tough question for me because it changes lol. However, currently my top destinations are South Africa. I’ve been 3 times and fall in love with it over and over every time I go. I studied there for 3 months, while doing an internship at a NGO for my MA program. I would love to call it home once again. Next, I’d say Seychelles. It is one of the most picturesque islands ever. Third, would be Jordan. That place is just magical and I’d love to go back again to float in the Dead Sea and experience the desert oasis of Wadi Rum again. 

Nicole Brewer visiting the Pyramids in Egypt

Can you tell what you love most about where you currently live?

I’m currently a resident of 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 as long as I have, but Oman has a certain charm to it. The locals are nice, my students are also sweethearts at the college I work at. I feel extremely safe. It’s actually been voted one of the safest countries for the past couple years to peoples’ dismay. I respect the 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’m going to retire abroad. At least, that is my goal and dream. 

Why is traveling and being immersed in other cultures so important? 

I think traveling and being immersed in other cultures is important because I love seeing the world and learning from others. Living abroad has totally changed my life and world view. I wanted to be an architect as a child, even though I didn’t make that dream come true, it’s incredible to travel and see all of the places and buildings that I only dreamed to visit some day in real life. I think you learn so much about yourself, not only other cultures, through traveling and being amongst people in their own environments.

You can get Nicole’s book “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad”, available now on Amazon.

Nicole Brewer at Wadi Rum in Jordan