Meeting her for the first time in South Korea during a wine train event with Adventure Korea, Nicole Brewer stood out as someone special whom I got to know over the course of my time globetrotting and connecting with her via social networking. Nicole is a person who lives in the unknown, embraces novelty, and inspires others to travel, given the many global footprints she has made and is making.
ILuv2Globetrot represents the gamut of her nomadic ventures as a co-founder of the new organization that she started with her good friend and traveling comrade. Get a glimpse into the life of this resourceful mover and shaker (visiting nearly 20 countries in a 10-year time span) through my exclusive interview with her.
When did you discover your passion for traveling?
I first decided I loved to travel when I finished university. I had classmates from school who were teaching English in Japan and I was planning to visit them. It was my first time traveling abroad and applying for a passport. My friends opened my eyes to the world out there because it was still a new path for me at that point. It was so much fun, though.
Describe the evolution of ILuv2Globetrot.
Renee, a girlfriend of mine who also lived in South Korea, and I decided we wanted to make our own community. We enjoyed the process of planning our vacations and following other blogs gave us the idea that we can do this too. So we came together after a chat one night and decided to make it happen as it was like minds having a discussion and trying it out to see how it goes. It’s just been growing ever since, living abroad, traveling and meeting so many people and networking and building my network. I started working on the blog in July 2012 right before [attending] the London Olympics.
What’s your ultimate vision for your organization?
Our vision has grown [as] we’ve been trying to work on developing the [blogging] community and just want to make it all-encompassing (e.g., travel blog and travel community) while inspiring youth and minorities. Since I’m studying international humanitarian action, one of my passions is to be able to start a travel-related NGO in the future based on the concept of ILuv2Globetrot to inspire other people, especially youth; so that’s one of my main goals. But we have several things on the pipeline. We’re developing an app right now so we have a few things we’re trying to do.
How is your overseas grad school experience going?
It’s going well. I really feel that this program is an amazing fit for me and my personality, just being able to study in Europe and meeting so many amazing people [with whom I recently celebrated Thanksgiving]. It’s such a diverse group of people and we mesh so well so my lectures are just always a blast. There’s Australians in my class and Africans, Americans and Germans. It’s such a diverse group and I really enjoy having intellectual discussions with them. Hearing from various NGO [visitors] come to talk to us from the Red Cross, for example, is just really inspirational to me being able to see the vision of working in the humanitarian field in the future.
Do you see yourself as a trailblazer for your social and family circles back at home?
It’s amazing living my life and seeing how I am inspiring other people. Honestly I never knew that I was inspiring other people and it’s a blessing. I’ve had people reaching out to me left and right over the past few months and it’s been amazing. Friends of mine have told me that they’ve shown pictures [of my travels] to their kids. My mom told me about a conversation she had with my aunt who said that she’s always looking at my facebook profile to see where I’m going next. She travels through my experience. My mom is always telling me that she’s proud of me for “living my life” like I would always tell her.
What advice would you give to folks who aspire to your level of success?
Basically just looking within yourself and overcoming the fear of what other people opinions are [and what others may think] and looking within and knowing that you have that power within yourself to overcome the fear. I do feel that having a faith and belief within yourself is important [in order] to follow your dreams. Also, surrounding yourself with positive people is important because I am always inspired by my network and seeing what my friends are doing.
My final piece of advice is to kiss the world and trot the globe, just go for it, push yourself and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. You never know until you try.
How can people reach you?
They can visit the blog, iluv2globetrot.com, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a growing facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/iluv2globetrot/ that globetrotters can join.
Nicole will be featured in an anthology slated for release in February that will have a collection of short stories from contributing African American women expats. Be sure to stay tuned for that and more by following her blog.