Leslie enjoying one of our first of many Asian dinners
Welcome to the Travelers of Awesomeness series. This is the first of a series of interviews I’ll be doing of fellow travelers and expats who lead amazing lives. No body part of the interviewee was hurt during this interview.
Meet my friend, blogger and freelancer Leslie Forman. She used to work in China and is now in Chile doing cool things that make a difference. She’s a San Francisco native and wears different hats of translator, editor, consultant, teacher, writer and entrepreneur. The unique thing about how Leslie and I met was that I posted a question to her in her blog asking how she was able to transfer her money from China to Chile because they don’t allow foreigners to open banks in this country. She responded. We exchanged emails and before you know it, we met in Chile and have stayed friends.
The world of blogging is a wonderful place to meet memorable people.
- What are things you’re excited about?
I’m excited about teaching social entrepreneurship, writing about new ways to connect the concept of creativity, life and careers which come from a class of creativity because it gives me ways new ways in looking at common topics
Also, brainstorming about connecting Asia and Latin America. But sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the details to shape those connections.
- What are the projects you’re working on?
Most recently, I’m teaching a class of social entrepreneurship. I’m also teaching English to attorneys from a firm that focuses on environmental law and I’m collaborating with a few teams of Chilean entrepreneurs on big long term projects as well as short freelance projects to help them with their assignments
I’m also redoing my website to be more useful for people more interested in creating a career similar to mine.
I’m also thinking about how to build an international career and I hope to create more resources for people interested in this topic. (You can check out Leslie’s free course on carving an international life here)
- What provoked you to move and start an international career?
I spent a year studying in an exchange program through the UCEAP in the University of California. UCEAP is a cool study abroad program and I chose the one for Chile. I still graduated on time because it was coordinated through my university, Berkeley. Shortly after I left Berkeley, I decided to move to China. It was random. I first taught English through CIEE (to teach in China) and then had other jobs. I liked China but never totally loved it. I’m grateful to China but never want to marry China.
- What made you decided to choose Chile as your next destination?
The pull to Chile was the opportunity to work with an entrepreneur for a groundbreaking program called Start-Up Chile that invited entrepreneurs all over the world to come to move to Chile. It was a combination of indifference of China and cool opportunities in Chile.
On a plane from China to San Francisco, I wrote a letter to Chile called Dear China, Let’s Be friends forever.
- What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The opportunity to connect with new people in new ways and learn
Thanks Leslie! And for that wonderful vegan dinner… To know more about Leslie and connecting China and Chile, check out her blog – Leslie Forman. She’s shaking things up in the international world.