Heather and I in South Korea
     It’s really funny how things happen. My life is a collage of different stories that intertwine, and make an amazing tapestry of colorful experiences that I could not fabricate to save my life.  Now, my personal story of becoming an expat begins with divine intervention. However, within that story, a longtime friend adds an interesting twist.

      It was my friend, Heather Allen who called and asked me to accompany her to teach in Japan. Her call came two days after I had received an offer from a recruiter to teach in South Korea (one I declined because I thought it was unreal and unrelated to my career path). However, after receiving her phone call I agreed to consider accompanying her to teach in Japan.  Although, as the story would unfold neither Heather nor I would move to Japan to teach. I applied and was accepted, but there were no offers left in Japan, and the recruiter asked if I would be interested in South Korea. I don’t believe in coincidences, and I went on to accept the second offer to teach in South Korea.  Heather declined to accompany me, due to lack of interest in South Korea, and eventually a family medical emergency. But as life would have it, I would later call her with an opportunity in my second contract the following year. And this time, we were both willing to accept the offer.

    Years after we had both lived and worked abroad, I wanted to follow up with her and see what the journey has been for her.  So, I posed a question, “What makes life as an expat so wonderful?” 
This was her answer…

You ask "What makes my life as an expat so wonderful?"... The people!!!

Heather with husband Flex
      South Korea (Seosan/Daegu), the UAE (Dubai/Al Ain), and Oman (Nizwa) are the three countries I have called home at some point and time, since 2011. Though two are in the Middle East and one is in Asia, all three have one thing in common; the need their people have to be VALUED, RESPECTED, and UNDERSTOOD!!!
      In an effort to enhance my resume, and experience a culture different from my own, l originally intended to teach ESL at a university in South Korea for just one year. Then return to pursue a professorship at a university in the United States. Well, I loved the experience so much that not only did I stay in South Korea for almost four years, but I also met my husband, and got married in South Korea. I also lived in the UAE for a year, and now I live in Oman.
      Through my daily interactions with Koreans, Emiratis, and Omanis, I was blessed and humbled to discover that WE ALL DESIRE THE SAME THINGS in life...
To be Happy, Healthy, and Heard. 

      I made a point to always listen to the stories and histories of the people in the countries I lived and visited. And you know what we all discovered? We aren't so different after all. That revelation opened the door to a level of understanding, and the cultivation of friendships that I know will last for the rest of my life.

Heather in Oman
      What makes my life as an expat so wonderful... the Love, Respect, and Understanding I am able to give and receive from the phenomenal people I have met and call FRIENDS all over this massive planet we call earth! We all have Value... We are all Kindred!

Heather with expat friends in South Korea
      And if it weren't for you (Cha) encouraging me to step out on faith, and see that this expat life isn't as scary or as difficult as I thought it would be, I don't know if I would have experienced what an awesome gift this expat life has been! For that, I am forever grateful. 
   We have both come a long way over the years, and although our expat experiences have lent two very different paths, I must agree that the people make living and working abroad so enriching. I am still grateful that God used Heather to help me answer the call because I literally had declined the offer... it seemed so unreal. Now, I know it's real and very possible. 

If you have a desire to live and work abroad and you want some assistance, please contact me. I would love to help your dream become a reality.

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 www.chajones.com or through her blog www.thenomadicchick.com.
A New Journey Begins!
At one point this moment seemed very far off. Like an unattainable dream, that would never come true. However, it has finally arrived. It is time to say goodbye and surrender all things thirty, yes all three plus decades are fading into thin air. I am at a new place now. The real grown, if the last twenty-nine years have not been a testament to what it means to be grown, then this is it, I'm for real of age. I am forty. Though I will admit that saying it doesn't make it seem any more real, it still seems like this isn't happening, but it is.

As a child, I don’t know what I thought about forty, most likely nothing because I was too busying playing wanting to be a child because I knew then that those were the years to relish. I was not a child that longed to be grown. I was a child that wanted to remain five, yes five because five was the divine age where you know enough, but no one expected anything of you, but to play. However, I am welcoming forty with delight. Although, if you ask me I will still say that I love the age of five, but I have embraced that it is long gone. Yet, I would be remissed if I didn’t acknowledge that I still desire to play all day without responsibility. I had to embrace the change that carried me year by year to this moment. There have been graduations, heartbreaks, endings and welcomed beginnings. Good or bad I have survived.

As with all things, I have faith in the unknown that I am prepared for this. I believe the last thirty-nine years have been my foundation and I have good stuff to stand on. At thirty, I knew that I was going to be ok, but I had no idea that I was about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. It began a little rocky, but soon doors began to open and the magic was activated. I didn’t realize all the super powers I had, but I have discovered, I have super powers. Yes, I realized that I am POWERFUL, and that is the one thing I will take with me from my thirties. It was in my thirties that I really realized that no matter what I am powerful and the divine is covering me. In the last ten years, I have been challenged in ways I never thought and yet I still must pinch myself because every moment has been real. It all happened and I lived to tell the story.
Again, forty is a little foreign to me, but I’m down for a little extra alien action. A new country to discover (well at least visit because I am sure someone has been there before me), a challenge, maybe even a baby…I said it, it’s not too late. I imagine there will be some new love affair, but this time, I may agree that this one is worth the compromise or it at least has more desirables than non-negotiables. I can’t settle, I won’t settle, and I believe that I can have exactly what I desire. But maybe what once were non-negotiables won’t matter, and love will conquer the desire to be free. Maybe just maybe love will understand that I can't be caged. Maybe forty will help me be free and find balance. I hope so, but if it doesn’t, I will enjoy the ride. Embrace the change. Experience the experience and love life as I create it.
Hello, forty I am here and we have one decade to discover just what works and what doesn’t work. Ten whole years to evaluate where we're going and get there. Ten years before we have to say goodbye. And guess what? I have decided I am not looking for an exit strategy. I just want you to know I am dedicated. I will commit the next decade to listening, learning, and letting each year, month, day or moment teach me more about who and what I have been called to do in life. As I surrender my thirties, I promise not to look back and compare. The thirties are a thing of the past and looking back will not propel me forward. I agree only to move forward trusting that I have been prepared for this occasion as I have been prepared for the past thirty-nine. Goodbye thirties I am advancing on and clearing a path for more knowledge, skills, and experiences.
P.S. Thank you for loving me, protecting me, and allowing me to arrive at this moment whole and ready for something new. I will cherish everything that you taught me.

With over 87 people a day arriving in Nashville and establishing roots, it’s only fitting that Nashville up its food game. As with the diversity of people, Nashville is currently attracting an equally diverse number of restaurants.  Amongst this diversity is AMOT (a matter of taste) Eatery, which is located in the heart of East Nashville. 

If you come to Nashville, then you won’t leave without hearing about HOT CHICKEN, it’s all the rave. However, I am not sure I can stomach the heat of deep fried chicken soaked in hotness. As I type it sounds even less desirable, but people stand in long lines for soaked bird around here. Yet, I stumbled upon a twisted version of the classic Chicken and Waffles at AMOT Eatery. And if I say so myself it made me happy.

The walls along will inspire you. Just look up, you will notice framed glass with inspirational messages that will uplift you and bring joy to your heart. If that isn’t enough, then the airiness of the open floor plan and bright white walls will leave you feeling a sense of peace.
However, it’s not the bright walls and inspirational quotes that will keep you coming back, it’s the food. If you love Chicken and Waffles, then you might want to try AMOT’s little twist. Step out your comfort zone and embrace change because you won’t find the classic buttermilk-battered waffle, they use cornmeal instead. It’s almost like having a sweet honey cornbread muffin with some chicken. Yeah, that is exactly what it’s like. I was trying to find the exact comparison, and that my friends would be it.  Along with the cornmeal waffle is a perfectly fried chicken breast served with hotness on top. No, it’s not soaked or smothered in heat, but there are a few jalapeños to adorn the beautifully battered chicken breast.  As you can see from my photo, I had no complaints at all!

 Now, it may take some adjusting because the consistency of the cornmeal waffles is a tad bit different. So, if you are a texture person this twist may catch you off guard a little. However, once you get your taste buds settled, then this twist will delight you. Again, think hot cornbread muffins with syrup, a delicious chicken breast, and the heat of jalapeños.

So, if you come to Nashville make sure you make your way over to AMOT Eatery and have yourself a mimosa and their twist on the chicken and waffles, and then tell me what you think.
AMOT EATERY: A Matter of Taste is an East Nashville neighborhood restaurant serving brunch, lunch, and dinner that is southern inspired by native Chef Charlotte Miller. Our mission is to bring the essence of fine dining to our neighbors in comfortable relaxing space and nourishing their souls and bodies on a daily basis. Located on Fatherland St., we are only 5 minutes away from LP Field and Downtown.

Now, tell me what you think when you visit Nashville and stop by AMOT Eatery.

AMOT EATERY: A Matter of Taste is an East Nashville neighborhood restaurant serving brunch, lunch, and dinner that is southern inspired by native Chef Charlotte Miller. Our mission is to bring the essence of fine dining to our neighbors in comfortable relaxing space and nourishing their souls and bodies on a daily basis. Located on Fatherland St., we are only 5 minutes away from LP Field and Downtown.

5 Reasons You Want to Come to the Ladies, Lipstick, and Luggage Conference.

With just a few more until the conference, we wanted to let you know WHY you don't want to miss this inaugural event.
  1.  It's a fundraiser. As a fundraiser, you have an opportunity to invest in the next general of world travelers by helping educate, promote, bring awareness, and expose the next generation to the world through travel. Many of the students participating in our Boarding Pass Program would not otherwise have an opportunity to leave their city, state, or country.
  2. It will help you grow. You will be empowered through beauty, fashion , and travel. We created this conference so that all women can fully walk in their own truth by recognizing their power from within. 4 out of every 5 negative tweets about beauty are women talking about themselves. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. If we don’t change what we project to the world, then who will?
  3. You can meet new people. You have the opportunity to build your personal and professional network. Meet women who are doing things differently, thinking outside the box, and experiencing life on their own terms. This is a conference encouraged by Bold, Beautiful, and On the Move women. 
  4. Expand your knowledge. You will learn tips, tricks, techniques, and get travel tools from beauty, fashion, and travel professionals with hands-on knowledge of their perspective industries. 
  5. Get supported you desire. You will get the support you need to step out and do the work you love in the business you created. We are encouraging and supporting women entrepreneurs by assisting them with better strategies to promote their business, products, services and brand.
These are just a few of the reason you want to make sure you are at the Ladies, Lipstick, and Luggage Conference. Learn register below. Also, check out the website to get updates on the conference schedule here.
We hope to see in Nashville, TN, August 11-14, 2016. 
There are coaches, then there is Wilma Lee of Full Bloom Services. Wilma is a healer, ally, and mentor. She is a protégé of the world famous spiritual life coach Iyanla Vanzant.However, she stands on her own as a trusted advisor for women helping them get planted in the right places so they can come into their Full Bloom. Wilma resides in Greenbelt, Maryland, but she can work with you no matter where you are. The three words that best describe her are...
Transcendence, Healing, and Joy! 

  1. Did you choose to be a life coach or did it choose you, and explain? It chose me. All of my adult life people would talk to me about their life and their problems. They always told me they felt better. I have been championing folk for as long as I can remember and I love it.
  2. As a speaker and life coach, what message do you want women to understand about themselves? Most of all I want them to understand their worth, their beauty, and their value.
  3. What is the most rewarding thing about coaching others? Seeing my clients evolve through their process. I absolutely love that.
  4. As you move into a new year, what do you want to do differently that you think will impact your business, clients or the world? Get out there more. I get a little nervous but I see Full Bloom Services being global.
  5. What does it mean to be “in full bloom”? Living a life you love. Creating, blossoming and growing in your truth.
  6. For those wanting to work with you, what makes you different? I am clairvoyant which means I see things I use this in my practice and it helps me get to the heart of your problem like a laser.
  7. We are approaching the holidays, what is the most important thing for us to do to stay motivated event when we might feel alone and tired? Rest and refresh yourself often. Unplug. Get together will people you love and people who love you.
  8. Thank you for sharing with me, is there anything else that you want my readers to know about you or Full Bloom Services? Yes. I have a free workbook. I am planning to launch it the first of the year in honor of my birthday but here is a link where they can download it FREE now.
 To learn more about Wilma or to connect with you go to...

Twitter: @Fullbloominfo              
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FullBloomServices
Periscope: @Fullbloominfo

WITS '15 Group Photo - please credit Women in Travel Summit
by Wanderful (1)
 Are you a travel blogger? If so, you need to be at the Women in Travel Summit (WiTS16) in Irvine, CA March 18-20. I have always been told that writers write, and bloggers blog. However, if you are going to blog, then you should hang out and learn from other bloggers in an effort perfect your trade. And, if you travel the world and you write about your experiences, then why would you pass up the opportunity to meet and learn from others who do the same thing you do? Here are five great reasons you should be in Irvine, CA at the 2016 Women in Travel Summit…

1.       It’s California: Need I say more?

WITS '15 Attendees 2 - please credit Kayti Burt for
 Women in Travel Summit by Wanderful
2.       Networking: Your net worth is only as great as your network. It’s important to connect with link-minded people, especially in the lonely world of blogging. Many bloggers spend a great deal of time alone sitting in front of a computer typing or talking into a camera trying to get people like yourself to learn, explore, enhance, or rethink what they are currently doing. Therefore, networking is a great way to learn from other experts in your field, collaborate, and find people who have one too; a desire to tell a story to help others.

3.       Learning Opportunity: It’s important to grow, and let’s be honest, you know there are somethings that you don’t know that you wish that you knew. So, go to California, network, and learning something about what you love. Sounds like a win-win to me. You know things change in so fast that it is imperative that you stay ahead of the curve so that you can remain relative.
Add caption  WITS '14 Speaker Bayyina Black - please credit Kayti Burt 
                      for Women in Travel Summit by Wanderful (1)
4.        Business Development: Okay, you blog, that’s wonderful! However, do you honestly want to work a 9 to 5 job when you love to travel and explore the world? You know the answer is a resounding NO! You would rather be boarding a plane and looking at your wonderful itinerary of events and places you want to explore. So, if you want to walk away from that boring job that seems to have you caged like a chicken in a chicken coop, then WITS should be the place for you to come and learn about your options to make money and do what you love; travel.  

5.       Excitement: It’s not rocket science, 500 world travelers with a million stories spells E-X-C-I-T-E-M-E-N-T. Come on! its 500 women who have seen some of the most amazing sunrises, speak several different languages, and eat things no one can pronounce. You know these women have a story to tell about crawling food, and if not, they certainly have a juicy love story about a handsome man they met on a remote island in the middle of nowhere. I mean travel bloggers are indeed the ones living out loud the dream that too many are scared to explore. So, you know they turn all the way up! 
WITS '15 Attendees at our Opening Party - please credit Ashley Hufford
 for Women in Travel Summit by Wanderful

      So, there you have it. These are just a few reasons you should be at the Women in Travel Summit in Irvine, CA, March 18-20,2016. If you miss it, don't say I didn't tell you about it when you hear about all the wonderful things that would happen, because I did. I'll be there with or without you, and guess what? You'll read about it because I'll blog about the nice weather in California, the people I met and networked with, all the wonderful things I learned, and most importantly the fun and excitement I had with some of the most wonderful women in the world. Oh, did I mention another reason you should attend, I'll be there speaking!!

     To learn more about WITS16, go to http://www.witsummit.com/

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