Michelle is a freelance writer and photographer from Toronto, Canada. She is a big fan of all things English, and loves a good travel to see how the world translates. She is currently living and working in the beautiful city of San Francisco, California before her next trip around Southeast Asia.
Hi, I'm Kelly, a freelance writer and CELTA-qualified ESL teacher from the UK.
My job allows me to cover a wide range of subjects for a number of different clients. My focus for Listen and Learn is obviously based on language and travel, but outside of that, I tend to write a lot about animals and the environment. I have done everything from press releases for start-ups to ghostwriting biographies! Traveling while writing gives me a fresh perspective every day and allows me to consider everything I write from varying points of view thanks to the people I meet as I travel.
Europe is a beautiful place to travel. The countries are so different, as are the languages, cuisines, and ways of life. But under all of that, traveling has really shown me that people are just people, and we have more similarities than we do differences. We talk a lot at Listen and Learn about languages teaching us so much more than just vocabulary and grammar, and it is true; there is nothing quite as exciting as striking up a conversation with someone that you might not normally get to talk to, just because you have taken the time to learn some of their language.
Teaching English has given me further insight into the significance of speaking new languages and learning other cultures. I've given lessons on beaches, talking about the climate crisis and coastal erosion, and in bars, helping students order food and drink. I've worked with the CEOs of large businesses and self-employed dance instructors, all with very different lives to mine, and it has been a privilege getting to know all of these people! However, my favorite thing about teaching is seeing students achieve their goals, watching them come out of exam rooms with their heads held high and with proud smiles on their faces. There is nothing so rewarding as that!
Dusty is a full-time freelance writer and worldwide traveler who prefers not to sit still for very long. She's on a lifelong mission to perfect her Spanish and blend in with the locals as she travels through Latin America and beyond.
An explorer at heart, Heather has been working abroad as a teacher for the last 4 years in Jakarta, Donetsk, Budapest, London and currently Seoul, South Korea. She studied German and English, and loves writing, watching films, learning new languages and cooking.
Juan is an English graduate with a passion for foreign languages and cultures. He likes to think of himself as a constant learner. At the moment he is learning German, and finding it both challenging and fascinating. For several years, Juan has been working as a content writer for companies and clients from all over the world. In his free time, he enjoys reading books and going to the cinema alone.
Katie was born in the USA but moved to Mexico as a baby and considers herself a life-long expat. Her first big solo trip abroad was when she decided to move to Cuba to pursue training as a professional ballerina. She spent 4 years in Cuba before returning to the U.S. to work as a dancer and dance instructor.
Wanting to pursue her other love, languages, too, Katie then obtained a dual B.A. from UT Austin in Chinese and Asian Cultures and Languages. While at UT, she garnered extensive experience as a language student, went on to study abroad in Taiwan for a year on a language scholarship, and even participated in a business language case competition at BYU in Provo, Utah.
Katie is married to another third-culture adult like herself, and now forms a part of a traditional Hindu Indian family, which, to say the least, is never boring. These experiences and Katie’s love of languages has given her a unique insight into life as a multi-cultural expat. Whether you’re moving to another city or country, going abroad on holiday, traveling for business, or considering learning a new language, Katie wants to help make these big life transitions as seamless as possible.
Although travel, expat life, and language learning can be intimidating at times, Katie strives to remove the ‘scare factor’ through her writing. She lives by J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous quote: ‘Not all those who wander are lost’, and believes anyone, with the right information and encouragement, is capable of tackling the expat life.
Katie is based in the U.K. and splits her time between family in India, the U.S., and Mexico. Mostly she can be found conjuring up new travel plans, working on her writing, and dreaming about her next pint of Guinness. She loves train travel, hot coffee, and the travel works of Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson.
John McMahon is a writer, motorcycle tour operator, and sometimes antiques exporter who lives on the banks of the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. His writing both fiction and non-fiction has appeared online and in print all over the world.
Originally from rural Pennsylvania, Devon is an American expat currently living in Phuket, Thailand. His career began in corporate finance in Pittsburgh, but he has since left the cubicle to pursue a more adventurous life. After teaching English in Seoul, Korea and traveling Southeast Asia, he is now pursuing a career as a scuba diving instructor. When out of the water, he can be found reading, writing, drumming and traveling around the island.
Brian Thomas Armstrong is a literary traveler of life, love, and the pursuit of blissfully beautiful and exotic surroundings. He is 53 years young, and is currently retired after being a Commercial Construction Contractor for 20+ years. After a devastating heart attack in 2010 in which he had to be brought back to life three times, Brian decided to devote the remainder of his years to his passion for writing.
Having studied both law and worked in the field of social housing, Sarah is passionate about human rights issues and is currently a teacher, reader, writer, and lover of fluffy cats in her second home: Thailand.
Christian Adams is a writer and musician based in Taipei, Taiwan, and Metro Manila, Philippines. Born in Chicago, he earned a degree in creative writing at San Francisco State University. With 20+ years of writing and performing under his belt, Christian's first book of non-fiction, The Lazy Bastard Guide to Mandarin, was published in 2012 by IPMG, New York. Excepts of the book can be read on his website: https://blacksunshinemedia.com
Nicole Eberhard has a Masters degree in English Literature which has left her with a book-buying problem. She has since abandoned the world of academia, moved to South America, and is pursuing her great love: travel writing.
Mishka Grobler is a Film, Media and English graduate of the University of Cape Town, born and raised in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She is currently recovering from being an English teacher in the neon-hued city of Seoul, Korea, by writing her way through the South American continent. Passionate about all things foreign, from film to food to quirky cultural habits, her real love is language and all its nooks and crannies.
Felix is an English major with a passion for writing. He considers himself to be a life-long language learner. Besides speaking Spanish and English, he is now working hard to learn Portuguese since he hopes to move to Portugal one day. His other passions include traveling to far-away destinations and eating anything with cheese. When he has time, he enjoys reading novels and watching Netflix.
I’m Tamara and I write and edit for an online reference database on the topics of history and social sciences. I was born in South Africa and grew up in the Cape Town area. As an adult, I’ve also lived in the United Kingdom and the United States. I’m love traveling and have been lucky enough to explore a variety of countries and cultures, including China, Egypt, Thailand, and Israel. While at college, I studied Mandarin and had the chance to attend a summer school session in Beijing in 2010. It was then that I discovered just how hard it is to truly master a new language. Studying in a classroom was one thing, but comfortably carrying on a conversation with fluent speakers was quite another. I gained a new appreciation for anyone who could speak multiple languages. At the age of 25, as I was contemplating a master’s degree, I decided to set my sights abroad. I chose Scotland, and in 2012 I arrived in St. Andrews to complete my graduate degree in English literature. I returned to Cape Town in 2013, but couldn’t keep still for long. In 2015, I got married and moved to Denver, Colorado, where I now live and work. I currently write and edit content for a subscription-based reference database that covers ancient and modern world history, geography, pop culture, and contemporary issues. Moving from southern Africa to the UK and U.S. has also been a fun learning experience in the differences that exist between cultures that even share a language. Colorado is a happy second home, but I can’t keep away from my home country; I journey back for family time, African sun, and the Cape winelands at least once a year. As a language learner myself, I’ve stumbled through Mandarin and French (continuing to explore French in my spare time). Spanish is next on the list.
Alexis is a solo travel junkie, having slowly migrated across 45 countries in the past ten years. Playing with words makes Alexis a very happy girl, but if at the end of the day it can be washed down with a daring cocktail and an unidentifiable plate of food, then she's really living the dream! Currently dabbling in content creation and travel journalism, she is a Twitter fanatic and a optimistic linguist!
Growing up in Cape Town, Justine was been able to explore a lot of Africa. She left South Africa to live in the UK, where she’s experienced life in England and Scotland, with some adventures in Italy, Spain and France. She now lives in South Korea where she is slowly but surely learning the local language and will share her adventures on Listen & Learn along the way.
Jonathan Allen loves the philosophy of language and personal counts learning a language among his most valuable personal achievements. He speaks English well (obviously), French and Portuguese, competently and learned the tiniest bit of Swedish, Danish and Finnish from growing up in Scandinavia. He is from London, but currently lives in New York and is an avid traveler. Brazil, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Japan and Korea are some of his favorite places on the planet!
Anna enjoys visiting climbing and diving hotspots in a whole range of countries. Whether it's sport climbing in El Chorro or trad. lead climbing around the UK and Ireland, a good place to climb will always be of interest to her. Her favourite cuisine is Moroccan and she hopes to visit Kauai, Hawaii due to its ties with Raiders of the Lost Ark, King Kong and Jurassic Park.
African-born Cailyn Cox has been a lover of words all her life and she has an untamed spirit that has led her to travel across the globe and document her passions. She is a woman consumed by wanderlust. Experiencing new places, people and cultures is an important part of her personal growth, and the benefits of being able to comprehend more than one language in our globalized economy is a major pro.
Cooper is a lover of languages. Hailing from New York, he's a professional translator and has worked for academic publications. He speaks English, French, and Brazilian-Portuguese, and has spent time living in Paris and Salvador, Brazil. He believes language learning can form the basis for personal growth, cultural understanding, and reveals new and different perspectives.
Victoria B-C is a self-confessed grammar geek, and uses this site for therapy. She is based in London, where she witnesses crimes against grammar on a daily basis. Words are her thing as Victoria is currently a journalist, PR advisor, and Social Media guru - these are her true stories.
Born in the sunny suburbs of the San Francisco Bay, Katie Florian is a freelance writer whose obsession with culture is rivaled only by her love of languages and their intricate subtleties. With an English degree from a university near Washington, D.C., she now lives in the majestic city of Cape Town, South Africa, where she works for a nonprofit organization and terrifies her mother with her lust for extreme sports.
Oliver Meredith Cox is a freelance writer from Liverpool, UK. He is currently studying English at the University of Liverpool, whilst writing for the University news site. He focuses on politics, sci/tech, media and business, among other topics.
Nicole Grouman was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When she was two years old, she and her family relocated to New York, where she lived until she was 13 years old. Consequently, she grew up surrounded by both English and Spanish, and reaped the benefits of receiving a bilingual education. Of course, it was a very uplifting and trying experience for her and her family to move abroad; It was not easy adapting to a new culture, a new language and a new country, but it was undoubtedly inspiring for Nicole. When she returned to Buenos Aires in 1993, she attended a local high school. Again, it wasn´t easy adapting to the local customs and instability of Argentina. Indeed, she brought back with her many habits from the US that simply were not compatible with local Argentinean customs, like punctuality, driving manners, and greeting routines, for example.
By the time she was senior in high school, Nicole could not decide what career to pursue. She was interested in acting, teaching and was curious about journalism. Eventually, she decided on the latter and to become a journalist, soon after obtaining a BA in journalism.
But she always kept her options open and has since enjoyed working in many different jobs and careers. She has been teaching English since 1998 and started working as a freelance journalist in 2008. She has had the opportunity to work in a movie, write articles, conduct field research, and work as a mystery shopper, among other jobs.
Nicole enjoys interviewing people, investigating insightful topics, and teaching. Curiosity has always been her drive to excel as a professional. She knows that you can learn something from anyone and always follows this premise in her work as a teacher and journalist.
Due to her international upbringing, Nicole has a rich perspective on both Argentine and American culture and is able to convey this insight in her work. She currently writes travel and language blogs for Listen & Learn.
Although she was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, USA, Jana Fadness has always been fascinated by foreign languages and cultures. She has spent much of her adult life learning languages while living in various countries, mostly as an English teacher. She is fluent in Japanese and French, and knows a few other languages to various levels.
As an M.A. in British and American literature, Tanya has always been interested in language – from pronunciation to etymology and from recent developments to loan words. With her passion for the role of language in communication, power and negotiation, Tanya provides valuable insight for the community of Listen & Learn.
Formerly International Editorial Director at a large UK publisher, Clare has experienced a wide range of cultures around the world, including Mexico, Spain, Germany, India and Brazil. She speaks conversational Spanish and a tiny bit of Brazilian Portuguese and has been writing for Listen & Learn since May.
Sean Patrick Hopwood is a language polyglot and a language enthusiast. His goal in life is to bring world peace through education, tolerance and cultural awareness. He is also the President and Founder at Day Translations, Inc., a global translation company. Day Translations has also created a free translation tool.
Nandita Raghuram is a writer that has lived in three different countries and traveled to more cities than she can count. She loves eating, exploring, and reading. Right now, she lives in Brooklyn, where she spends her time and wandering her neighborhood and writing about what she finds.
Jessica Dillow currently lives in Madrid and is a freelance copywriter and author of Be Your Finest Self. She is a vegan yogi who loves to run and read when she’s not in the middle of traveling. Right now she’s only fluent in English, but she loves the process of learning Spanish and French.
Lauren Harrison is a full time writer and part time free spirit living in the UK. While her love of travel and language has seen her board some of the longest flights known to mankind, she is at her most content soaking up the history, the sights and of course the sounds of Europe.
Gabrielle van Welie is a giant nerd from the Dominican Republic currently based in Madrid. She's the editor of http://thenerdleague.com and runs a writing blog over at http://literallywrite.com. If you need to spot her in a crowd, she's the one with the deadpan expression.
A die-hard Dodger fan based out of Orange County, California, Aaron is currently plotting ways to overstay his visa in Barcelona. Aaron will be celebrating his 3rd Quit-Your-Day-Job-and-Travel Anniversary next month and highly encourages you to take the plunge; he says the water is warm. Aaron is a certified social studies teacher and looks forward to sharing his passion for history and culture with his students upon his return to the States, whenever that may be.
Jadon is a freelance writer with an interest in language and music. Currently a student based in Bloemfontein, South Africa, his interest in travel drives a deeper passion to learn about new cultures and, ultimately, share weird and wonderful stories from these amazing places.
Kirsty Turner is an experienced freelance writer specialising in travel and entertainment. She currently lives in Pai in the north of Thailand and spends a lot of her time exploring the area. Kirsty is also the author of the book Confessions of a Coward: An Indian Adventure, which is available at www.bangkokbooks.com and focuses on a nine month journey through India and Nepal.
Dylan Reid Miller is a comedian, writer, and insomniac living in Brooklyn, New York. You can usually find her at the nearest Starbucks feeding her caffeine addiction or at home playing video games. Follow her on Twitter @missdylanreid for funny jokes and political outrage, and often both at the same time.
Niko comes from a multiracial background, and grew up speaking English and Spanish. She is currently pursuing a Creative Writing MFA focused in translation and international writing. A self-professed nomad, Niko is interested in discovering natural hidden destinations, both locally and abroad, as well as finding the connecting threads between international cultures.
Beckie is a self-proclaimed lover of words. As an award-winning fiction author who has been freelance writing for several years, she enjoys the outdoors and fishes competitively every summer. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to learn anything new.
Mirka works as a freelance journalist and translator, loves books and globetrotting. If she doesn't move every three years to another part of the world, she becomes bored. The current part of the world is called Argentina and her newest discovery is called 'Mate'.
Remi Yamazaki is a trilingual journalist and performer, currently learning her fourth language. She grew up in Japan, came to the US for college and has spent summers in Paris and Kampala, though she usually sounds like she's from somewhere in the former and/or current Commonwealth.
A Houston-native, Tola cultivated her love of language and literature as an English major at Princeton University. She speaks English and Spanish, and is in the process of learning Yoruba to get in touch with her Nigerian roots.
I am from California, USA, and have been living abroad for the last 8 years, loving every minute of it. I learned Japanese as a second language, beginning at 15 years old, and continued to study Spanish, German, and Hebrew. My first overseas trip was to Japan when I was 14 years old and it made a strong impact on me - I have never stopped traveling since! During my bachelor’s degree, I studied abroad in Spain for 1 year and Japan for 6 months. After graduating, I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and worked at a Spanish language school coordinating international students’ enrollment in Spanish language courses. After 2 years, I moved to a small city in northwest Germany and completed my MA in cultural studies, focusing on Latin America. During my graduate studies, I worked as an English teacher and taught classes on US culture and popular media representations. I did my thesis research in Mexico for a semester and graduated after two years. I recently moved to Tel Aviv where I am working as a content writer. I am loving life close to the beach. My travels have taken me to many countries, but my favorite experiences have been to feel the real way of life while living in a new country. From eating sushi for breakfast at a fish market in Tokyo to joining a dance team at my university in Germany, the small moments have made the biggest impact on me. I have discovered that language is the best tool to connect with international cultures and local people. I have been able to integrate into different societies and truly understand what makes each region unique while living abroad. Sharing these experiences with other language learners is a fulfilling way to spread my own knowledge of how language can enrich your life. I hope to continue to travel and learn languages for many more years.
Born in the UK, I learned Spanish as an adult when I gave up a fascinating, rollercoaster career in the heady world of banking to do voluntary work in the Ecuadorian rainforest. I came here with an extremely limited vocabulary in Spanish and learned the basics in Quito. Sadly, I couldn’t pick up the salsa steps as well as the verbs and nouns.
After stumbling around South America making horrendous grammatical mistakes from Lima to Buenos Aires and from La Paz to Montevideo, I decided that marrying a native speaker was the only sensible decision. We went to Europe to live for a while and got married over a blacksmith’s anvil in Scotland but eventually decided to come back here to Bolivia.
I have now lived 10 years in Bolivia and my daughter was born here, although her Scottish accent is coming along nicely. My own accent is still firmly in gringo territory, which I blame on working in English all day. I can do a pretty decent impersonation of Luis Miguel, though. At least in my own mind.
Working online as a freelance writer has allowed me to stay here even when my tragically unprofitable pig farming enterprise turned bad. I have also tried my hand at running a local shop in Bolivia and worked in a bank in Spain. So, I am proud to say that I am now confident explaining interest rates, buying pig feed, and selling various types of bread in Spanish.
I enjoy teaching strange new words in English to my daughter. Since I am an avid reader, I also find interesting new words and phrases in Spanish books from time to time. The look on my wife’s face when I excitedly cram an archaic phrase into a conversation about what to eat for dinner makes it all worthwhile.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Veronica lives in Manhattan where she appreciates the cultural diversity. She first fell in love with the power of language when she majored in English at Princeton University. A speaker of French and English, Veronica has travelled the world and studied abroad in the Netherlands. She believes life is a continuing education and enjoys probing how language influences thought, and how learning language expands your mind and breaks down cultural barriers.
Mary Jean Olinger holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education and has taught English in the public school system. Mary works with a number of international English schools in China, Russia, Taiwan and the Philippines and teaches ESL via Skype to students around the globe. As an educator, she enjoys helping students of all nations master the English language as they meet their educational and career oriented goals. In her free time, Mary enjoys traveling to various locations to run half-marathons.
Rosie is a freelance journalist, editor and English teacher who has lived in South America since 2009. She is currently residing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she enjoys learning the intricacies of the local slang.
Ben, 24 years young, currently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he has lived, loved, and written for the past three years. He enjoys sipping mate, living out his passions, and helping people find theirs.
Gaetan was born in Martinique, a tiny paradisiacal island lost in the Caribbean. Having the incredible chance to speak 3 languages as a native (French, English, and Kréol) naturally motivated him to go travel the world (Australia, China, Colombia, Argentina) and expend his language skills. His dream is to speak 8 languages fluently by the year 2020. He’s got 5 in so far, the clock is ticking fast, and he knows it!
Britt Baker is a dedicated freelance writer from the United States, who enjoys writing about various travel topics as much as she likes exploring. She has written content for worldwide brands, from Reebok, to global organizations, including UNICEF, to small businesses all over the world.