Inspiration, Living Abroad

Hello and Welcome to Fleur de Libre!

Howdy! Thanks so much for checking out my site, and welcome! If you don’t know me from my other blogs (The Dallas Diva and Swine & Swill), then I’m happy to tell you a bit about me and why I started this blog.

Welcome to Fleur de Libre |

I’ve actually been a blogger since 2010, and it’s been a huuge passion I’ve been tremendously devoted to, although not my full-time (read: paid) gig. I’m a writer and editor by trade, having written for The Detroit News, The Dallas Morning News, Thrillist and Zagat. As you may’ve guessed from those last two, my chosen writing niches are travel and food — I’m obsessed!

How The Travel Bug Bit

I developed a taste for travel as a kid, living in my parents’ native country of Haiti on two separate stretches. What a culture shock and adjustment, but, oh, what an adventure, too. That incredible experience in a country in which stunning natural beauty juxtaposes with hardcore poverty helped me discover the beauty of any place or situation I’m in; helped me find creative ways to entertain myself (how else to find ways to have fun during all-day blackouts?); and taught me ways to adapt to new and sometimes tough situations. I came to thoroughly love Haiti, and amidst the political turmoil, the blazing heat, the funky aromas, I found the beautiful heart of a nation and a people.

I further developed my travel bug in the early to mid-naughts, on frequent jaunts to Europe with my then-husband. We honeymooned throughout Italy, which was an absolute dream, and upon additional trips (hubs lived in Paris on two occasions as part of his graduate-school study, so I made sure to visit aplenty), I fostered a deep and abiding love of France, Belgium and Switzerland, too. And I vowed that I’d one day fulfill my dream to live abroad.

Then Life Showed Up …

Fast-forward a bit, and life reared its sometimes ugly head all up in my dream: divorce, relocation, bouts of unemployment, finishing up my own graduate-degree studies all had their tenure obliterating my focus or even acknowledgement of my living-abroad wish. And, anyway, how would I make a living if I moved overseas? Writing and editing jobs were tough to come by, because, seriously — isn’t half the editorial world angling for a cush newspaper or magazine gig in Europe?? It all felt so hopeless, so I essentially stayed in my lane, for lack of a better term.

How I Found a Way To Live The Dream

Then in late 2015, I happened upon a new-to-me way to travel and live abroad and support myself: teaching English overseas! But, BOY, was it going to take a ton of effort: getting a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificate, gathering encyclopedic volumes worth of documents to prove who I am, my education, my nationality, my scot-free criminal history … hell, even that I’d been educated in English for most of my schooling. But first I had to pick a country to aim for. Well, I didn’t really, but I figured it’d help my document-gathering efforts to research one country extensively and aim for it.

So I spent from January to August 2016 taking a TEFL class, then teaching a summer English course, then volunteering with kids, all the while gathering seemingly a million official documents AND getting them endorsed, as well as freelancing to continue earning a living. It’s a good thing I’m a Type-A self-starter, because without my inner motivation to keep me going, there were many times I could’ve just given up.

I’m so glad I kept going, because in early August, I got a good job offer at an after-school English academy just north of Seoul, and I’ve been loooooving SK ever since arriving in late August.

Coming Soon: Adventures Big and Small

Since I’ve established myself here, I’ve felt really behind in sharing all my adventures and inspirations thus far, so I’ve gotta play blogging catch-up. I look forward to relating all the peaks and pitfalls I’m encountering out here, from the food-related (dining out, cooking in a tiny kitchen, navigating the corner grocery) to the culture-related (language struggles, sticking out like a sore thumb, K-makeup love, etc.) to the travel-related (exploring as much of Korea and Asia as I can!). I may throw out some travel hacks and excursion-oriented gadgetry out there, too! Plus I hope to offer up some motivation — especially to ladies around my age (42) — to those wanting to make a huge life change like I have. Stick around for more! And follow me on my spankin-new social media hubs on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. I’ll add Facebook soon!

In the meantime, let the adventure begin …

You Might Also Like

Next Story

Leave a Reply