YOU TOO! Can Live Abroad: Interview with Diversity Officer and Future Expat, Cherise Charleswell


There are a growing number of Americans moving abroad, and black women are amongst those seeking an international life as an Expat. So, as I get ready to launch my new book, YOU TOO! Can Live Abroad (sign up now! for updates) in a few weeks, I wanted to speak to both women who are currently living abroad, and Future Expats.

Today, I had the opportunity to speak to Future Expat, Cherise Charleswell, who is already a seasoned traveler. However, she still has her sights set on having a life and career outside of the United States. Although, she doesn't have a firm date of when she'll actually move abroad, she does have some of her future international travels for 2016 already booked and paid for, she is not playing y'all!  

Expecting Great Things!

Name: Cherise Charleswell
Occupation: Clinical Researcher, Diversity Officer, Writer, Segment Producer for Broadcast Radio, Model. Yes, I wear MANY hats.
Counties visiting by the end of 2015: Japan, Indonesia,   Singapore, Costa Rica.
Already Booked for 2016: Trinidad & Tobago, Thailand, 
Turkey, Kosovo, Albania, and Colombia. And, I still feel like I am forgetting to list a few.
Where is home?  Home and roots will always be the Virgin Islands. However, I do not feel tied to any particular locale.
Currently resides in? Los Angeles 
When did you first obtain your passport? At a young age, I'm not exactly sure when it was first obtained for me.
Have you traveled abroad? If so, where? Yes, I have. I have been to…Mexico, Canada, The Bahamas, Antigua, Anguilla, St Kitts, The Netherlands, The Netherlands Antilles: (St Maarten/St Martin, Aruba), British Virgin Islands, England, Portugal, Greece, Italy, France, and United Arab Emirates.

Why are you interested in living abroad?  Living abroad is something that I wanted to do for a very long time. I was unable to accept a study abroad program, being that I had to work my way through college during my undergraduate years. However, I made it a point to befriend any exchange students and all those who had an immigrant background like mine. I just find that people outside of the US seem to be more socially politically aware, and for that reason far more interesting. There is also the state of US politics and the economy. I would like to live in a country that still values education, people, and infrastructure over war and profit. One where mass shootings are not the accepted norm. One where pursuing higher education does not put you in crippling debt. Seriously, I would like to pursue a doctoral degree, but know that I will not put myself in further debt by doing it here in the United States.

Where would you like to live and why? Goodness, if I had the exact answer to this, I would be gone already. I will just say that I am open to all opportunities. I have found something that touches me in every country that I visit, and know that I will be able to make any country “home”.

What do you think will be your biggest adjustment when moving abroad?  The biggest adjustment may be not being able to readily obtain some of the food products that I am used to; particularly since I am a vegetarian.
Do you have any fears about living abroad? If, so what are they? No, I do not.

What are three things you miss about America? I am unfortunately still here and have nothing to miss. However, I am sure that when I do emigrate, the things that I will miss are my family and friends; but they will always have an open door to visit me.

Cherise is an active member of Expat Women of Color on Facebook.

If you are interested in getting started as an expat and living abroad, I would love to help you. I am offering a 20 minute exploration coaching session, click here to learn more.

Cha is the president of Global Bound Consulting where she coaches’ individuals in transition, provides intercultural training, and speaks to schools, groups, and organizations. She is also the founder of Expat Women of Color, which is a 501C3 organization that helps connect women who desire to live, work, study and/or travel abroad with other women  and resources to live abroad successfully. In here spear time, she loves to travel and see the world. You can contact and learn more about Cha through her personal website or through her blog


  1. But travelling is not the same an being an expat. There is "living" abroad and then there is living abroad. No real settling happens or dealing with adjusting to a completely different pace of life for an extended time can happen by just seeing it temporarily. I did a 4 month internship in a place that was a completely different experience from when I returned to live for over a year. Could you do more posts on long term things and how people dealt with culture and language changes, etc.? We all want to be optimistic about living abroad but from my experiences, we all go through the same things barring cultural differences.

    1. Just Asking,

      Thank you for leaving a comment. I literally just got off the phone having a conversation about this very thing. Repatriation is real and it takes just as much getting use to leaving as it does coming home. Traveling is not the same thing as living abroad, traveling does not give you the opportunity get fully engulfed in the situation and experience cultural shock. You can learn a few things, but you will never understand culture shock until you have lived it and there isn't an escape. Yes, I plan on doing more intercultural writing as I am an intercultural trainer and I want people to know everything about living abroad, and coming home is very difficult, it was actually the hardest things I have done thus far.

  2. Unfortunately for me I have not yet returned home but I'm in a place that I would say is qualitatively much worse than where I was before. I did get opinions of people who had traveled and lived here before, with good and bad opinions, but the common factor that we did not have was race. The negatives they mentioned seem to be compounded by the fact that we are seen differently because of skin color. Since it's just school I will have to stick it out and get my education but I didn't expect this at all. If someone has written on this beyond the visiting point of view I think my expectations would have been properly adjusted. But oh well.