I’ve never been rich, but I’ve traveled the world. I drew my first breath in Belgium, played in puddles at campgrounds in France, begged to start kindergarten early in Amsterdam, turned seven in a pink dress against the backdrop of a rainforest in Cote D’Ivoir, and spent every afternoon exploring the wild, red-rocked savanna of Nigeria.
I played the preteen game of chasing mulatto boys in Mozambique, played soccer in the suburbs of Johannesburg, and rode my bicycle to high school in the Netherlands through sunshine and hail storms, every day, for five years.
I landed in the Manila at eighteen, and six more times since. I attended a conference in Bangalore and taught at summer camps in Taiwan, attended my sister’s wedding in Ireland and got myself married in Maryland. I had a homebirth and then flew my baby full-circle ’round the world to meet her global family.
I’ve admired art in Paris, Bruges, and Cologne; I’ve seen London, Sydney, and Los Angeles; I’ve taken the scenic route up Highway 1.
On the other hand, I’ve never been to college (got my degree online) and I’ve never worked a full-time job for anyone but myself. After graduating high school with honors I could not fathom the idea of staying put in the itty-bitty Netherlands.
I flew to Manila to volunteer with a local charity and when the year was up I came right back on a one-way ticket. I built my own kind of life here. I started teaching English and enrolled in an online college to study business management. I met a companion and together we found a passion.
Indeed, we founded a non-profit corporation to research solutions for sustainable livelihood and urban agriculture and funded it by teaching. For the past six years I have worked as an instructor for schools, language centers, and online institutions, and privately as a specialized tutor.
I’ve also been the manager and accountant for our corporation. And yes, I love to write. I write blog posts, reports, curricula, poetry, and prose.
Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to write and play my own songs. This is a challenge particularly because I am quite tone deaf. However, I can play the guitar, a bit of bass, and the drums—my favorite instrument of all.
I do love being active; my favorite sport is basketball, I practice yoga, train in martial arts, and love riding my motorcycle.
I’m also an English teacher because let’s face it, traveling doesn’t quite pay for itself yet. Check out a great platform for online language learning here.