It was 2008. Hundreds of thousands were being laid off all across the country. The economy was collapsing.
Nicole Brewer was working in Chicago in market research before she was laid off. She was in her late twenties. After six months of trying to find a job in the worst economy since the Great Depression, she found an opportunity to teach English in South Korea. She applied and moved to Asia.
American millennial Nicole Brewer moved abroad to teach English a decade ago and since then built a business around traveling the world and her expat lifestyle.
“ I only planned to live abroad for a year ,” says Nicole Brewer with a laugh. “Ten years later, I’m still here.”
In addition to discovering a joy for teaching children, Brewer also enjoyed the perks of the expat lifestyle. She loved the opportunity to travel and appreciated meeting other expats. The millennial eventually decided to complete her Masters in Education, studying in Germany and South Africa.
Traveling the world is a huge perk of teaching English abroad, says expat Brewer.
Founding I Luv 2 Globetrot
In 2012, when she and her close friend Renee Evans were leaving South Korea, they decided to launch an online travel community for fellow expats and travel junkies. They knew how helpful it could be to have an online resource before moving abroad or even traveling to a new place and wanted to establish one themselves.
I Luv 2 Globetrot was born. The micro-community boasts a huge engagement online, something that Brewer says is “rewarding.”
Millennial Nicole Brewer founded an online travel community with fellow teacher and friend, Renee Evans.
Writing a book about teaching English abroad
As Brewer connected with fellow expats around the world, the same questions kept coming up: how do you land a job teaching English abroad? Never one to back down from a challenge, Brewer decided to write a book on the subject.
With years of experience teaching both in both the Middle East and Asia, Brewer knew the ins and outs of what can be a very demanding job. She wrote A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad as a way to educate others.
While living in Busan, South Korea as an expat, millennial Brewer enjoyed many festivals and cultural exchanges, like the sand festival pictured here.
When Brewer first moved to South Korea, the market was much easier as few Americans had caught on to the perks of teaching English abroad. She didn’t have any teaching-specific background, although she majored in communications. Now, a lot of that has changed says Brewer as more native English speakers move around the world in search of teaching jobs.
If you’re interested in finding a job teaching English abroad, Brewer says you must have a minimum of 120 classroom hours as well as your TOEFL certification. She says now the East Asian market is the easiest to break into, while regions like the Middle East are more difficult and require more education-focused credentials.
Being a black founder
In the midst of influencers and online travel communities, Brewer says what sets I Luv 2 Globetrot “apart is that we’ve been living abroad for so long and we’re two African-American women.”
However, the millennial points out that just because I Luv 2 Globetrot was founded by two black women it is not meant to be just for black travelers. Although Brewer found groups like Brothers and Sisters in South Korea to be helpful when she was moving abroad, she and her co-founder felt that they wanted to create a travel community focused on the expat lifestyle generally.
“We were scared,” says Brewer. “We didn’t want to be typecast.”
Creating a community for fellow travelers and expats was important to Brewer, pictured here in Oman.
Continuing, Brewer says that she is proud to be a black co-founder and business owner, but that when the group was founded seven years ago, the online climate was more difficult for black travelers. Now, as the black travel movement has taken off, she says it feels safer to be more public about being a black influencer.“Times are changing. We have the Oneikas and the Kellees of the world,” says Brewer, referencing Travel Channel hosts Oneika Raymond and Kellee Edwards. “I’ve been truly inspired by those women in particular… It is not as scary as it was seven years ago when we started.”
Creating a travel community
Founding I Luv 2 Globetrot with a partner was huge help says Brewer, especially as the millennial continued to work full-time. When she moved to Germany to complete her Master’s Degree, her co-founder pitched in.
For anyone interested in starting their own online community or boost their social media brand, she recommends to focus on a niche. Rather than try to discuss every single travel topic, focus on one or two that really resonate.
Brewer also recommends to keep writing and getting your name out there. She estimates that she spends around three to five hours a day moderating their community, posting to social media and engaging with fans. Although sometimes it can be a lot of work on top of her job, she loves the opportunities the gig has garnered, including being featured in National Geographic Traveler or being invited to review hotels.
Exploring places like Mount Vesuvius in Italy is a huge perk to teaching English abroad says Brewer.
Living in the Middle East
“[Americans] are always asking me how is it being a single black women in the Middle East?,” says Brewer. “Honestly I think the single part is the most intriguing for [Omanis.]”
Living in small town in Oman, Brewer loves that it is easy for her to travel to locations that for an American seem far off. She feels at home in Omani culture and especially appreciates living in a rural community. And whenever Oman starts to feel too small, the 37-year-old books a ticket somewhere. She’s attended rap festivals in Dubai or Formula 1 races in Abu Dhabi.
“Being in the Middle East is to my advantage,” says Brewer. “People are intrigued by my story.”
Brewer enjoys working as a teaching in Oman, where she can explore beautiful sites like the one pictured here.
Although Brewer sometimes feels the pull back to the United States, especially when she thinks of her family, she admits that now, she only really misses the people, not the country or customs. As she looks ahead to her future, she considers retiring somewhere like Panama or South Africa. She says, “I see myself living this lifestyle for a longtime.”
“I feel like the world is my home,” says Brewer. “I don’t feel like I need an address.”
This post is the tenth in a series on women succeeding in the travel industry, whether it be as a solo female traveler or founder of an adventure startup. Know a woman who is killing it in the world of travel? Send an email to actalty at gmail.com to nominate them for next month’s installation of #AdventureHackingWomen.
Others in this series include:
The American Blogger Making Six-Figures While Traveling The World
The 33-Year-Old Who Left A Six-Figure Job To Start A Travel Company
The Palestinian YouTuber Bridging East And West With Her Travel Videos
How 29-Year-Old CEO Alyssa Ravasio Is Changing American Camping
The 35-Year-Old Teacher Turned Travel Channel Host Making Six-Figures
This 65-Year-Old Woman Popularized Farm Stays In America
The Travel Blogger Hiking Everest To Help Cancer Survivors
The Travel Channel Host Being Paid To Travel To Mysterious Islands
The Minimalist YouTuber Making $300k Traveling The World