On today’s show, Rosetta chats with Oneika Raymond. Founder of Oneika the Traveller, Oneika is a world traveller with a passion for making travel more accessible by sharing tips and tricks to help dispel the myths associated with travel. A teacher at heart, Oneika discovered her passion for travel at a young age. Growing up in Canada as a child of Jamaican descent, Oneika was always fascinated with the diversity of her home town of Toronto. In college, Oneika changed her major from economics to French literature in order to study abroad her junior year. The rest – as they say – is history. Once Oneika discovered her love of travelling abroad she made it her mission to travel to as many countries as possible. Throughout this discussion, Oneika shares the inception of her business as well as the realities of travelling on a budget.
Finding an audience by sharing your passion.
Once Oneika was bitten by the travel bug, she knew it would be an important part of her life. A self-proclaimed travel addict, Oneika has been travelling and living abroad for 13 years now. In the process of travelling, she decided to start sharing her stories with the world – and so, Oneika the Traveller was born. She immediately found an audience and realized her message was important. Her mission was clear: to make travel more accessible to people – especially to African Americans. Oneika discusses how her love of travel combined with her passion for writing were the perfect combination for her blog. She also offers insight into how she monetizes the opportunity and turned it into a flourishing business.
Tips and tricks to make travel more accessible.
Oneika’s passion for travel is clear. What’s even more evident is her love of sharing it with others. She offers some tips to help you better understand how to make travel possible for yourself – even on a tight budget. Oneika discusses why it’s important to be realistic about your budget and to be willing to make sacrifices in order to have these life-changing travel experiences. She makes it clear that it’s not always about traveling first class, but rather it’s about the experience of being in an amazing place. She drives the point home by sharing tactical blog posts that explain how to travel, where to stay, and even how much you can expect to spend.
Tackling a to-do list and making the most of your day.
Clearly, Oneika stays pretty busy. In addition to maintaining Oneika the Traveller, she has kept her job as a teacher- she currently teaches middle school language arts. The question is, how does she manage to balance it all. Well, Oneika explains how she stays focused by making lots of lists. She also shares how she tackles her to do list by “slaying the dragons first” and how she maintains balance in her very busy life. She also discusses her passion for teaching, along with the fact that she teaches English as a second language while living abroad. Her love of teaching, Oneika says, is at the core of who she is, which is why she maintains teaching jobs wherever she goes.
Finding a way to share your passion – even if you don’t have much time.
As they close out their chat, Oneika and Rosetta discuss the writing process and how Oneika manages to produce so many blog posts. Oneika goes on to offer a tip to people who are ready to share their story, but may not have the time to write 1000 words for a full blog post. Her recommendation? Microblogging. In closing, Oneika shares some of her favorite books, her top travel destinations, and her big tip for women who are ready to follow their dreams. Her tip? Do it. Don’t second guess yourself – just do it. Start now.
Outline of this great episode:
- [0:33] Rosetta’s introduction of her guest, Oneika Raymond.
- [1:34] Oneika’s mission and the work that she does.
- [2:39] How did you discover your love of travel and why did you end up sharing it?
- [6:10] What happens in your business that allows you to make money with a blog?
- [8:56] Some action steps and strategies that can help women get started with travelling.
- [13:17] What has been made possible to you by being self-disciplined with travel?
- [16:31] What do you say to women who say, “I can’t do that.”
- [20:35] How do you stay focused and productive throughout your busy days?
- [21:35] Why do you still maintain a job as a teacher?
- [25:04] How do you find the time to write?
- [28:52] What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why?
- [32:46] A book that has inspired you on your journey.
- [:] Do you have a personal mantra?
- [34:58] Your #1 piece of advice for women who are ready to pursue their dreams and start a business.
- [35:23] How to connect with Oneika.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- BOOK: “The Color Purple”
- BOOK: “The Poisonwood Bible”
- BOOK: “This is How You Lose Her”
- Oneika Raymond’s website: http://www.oneikathetraveller.com/
- Connect with Oneika on Instagram
- Connect with Oneika on Facebook
About Oneika Raymond:
I’m a gal in her early thirties who has an intense passion for travel, culture, and language. I have been to over 80 countries and am always the verge on planning my next trip. I grew up in Toronto, Canada. I am currently a middle-school teacher at a private school in Hong Kong, though I have taught high school English and French in the past. I am an aspiring polyglot who speaks English and French fluently. I also speak intermediate-level Spanish, and know about three five words of German.
How did I end up teaching half way across the world from where I grew up? The answer is a little long-winded. Basically, it all started in my second year of university, when I found out that French literature majors like me could study abroad in Nantes, France for two semesters once in their third year. Like a pitbull, I stubbornly clung to the idea of going away for a year to France and wouldn’t let go. I put in my application and was accepted.
My year in Nantes was fantastic and was punctuated by trips to Spain, Portugal, England, and Morocco. I had a blast, and upon my return to Canada after a year, I realized that I somehow had to find a way to get back to Europe. I missed France. I soon found a way: an English teaching assistant program that offered 6 to 9-month teaching posts to native English speakers in public schools in mainland France and its overseas departments and territories such as Martinique, La Réunion, and Guadeloupe.
I put in my application once again and was accepted for a 7-month teaching post! Exactly a year after my return to Canada from Nantes, I was once again jetting off to France- this time to Nice. French Riviera, baby! Woohoo!
The next 12 months were spent loving life on the Riviera and getting more stamps in my passport. I started this blog (which used to be called “Oneika does France…Again”) detailing my experiences ( see here and here). I got used to the expat life and began to like teaching. I realized that this teaching and travelling thing was a pretty awesome thing to do, and once I discovered the existence of international schools knew that this was a career path that I’d like to pursue. Upon my return to Canada, I attended teacher’s college and got my Bachelor of Education, which certifies me to teach English Literature and French to students in Grades 7 through to 12.
Then, the job search. I attended a job fair for certified elementary and secondary school teachers who wanted to teach abroad just like I did. After undergoing a number of interviews, I was offered, and accepted, a teaching post in Monterrey, Mexico.
My time in Mexico was mind-blowing and I blogged (after the fact!) about some of the cool things I did and saw over there here. After a year, I headed back to Canada, thinking that it was perhaps time to settle down… But once back I realized that the travel bug was still alive and well. I ditched my French teaching job in Toronto after a year to go teach high school English Lit and French at an international school in Hong Kong. After a two year stint in Asia, I spent another two years in London, UK. However, Asia beckoned once more, and in mid-2013, I moved back to my beloved HK, where I taught for two more years (bringing my time in Asia to a total of four years!) before moving to New York City in June 2015.
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