Hi! I’m Oneika (pronounced oh-KNEE-kah).
I’m a gal in her early thirties who has an intense passion for travel, culture, and language. I have been to over 60 countries and am always the verge on planning my next trip. I grew up in Toronto, Canada (though, if you really want to get specific, I spent my extremely formative teenage years in Mississauga, Canada). Most recently, I was an English Literature and French teacher at a international high school in London, but I am currently taking a brief sabbatical. 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.
I lived in Hong Kong from August 2009 to June 2011. I learned about Asian culture and travelled to my heart’s content. Still, my itchy feet started to act up again, and a new destination beckoned. So, I’ve packed up my life for what seems like the umpteenth time and recently made my fifth(!) move abroad: this time to London, UK.
Join me for the ride!
“Oneika certainly has a passion for life and travel that transcends majestically through the diverse stories and photos she shares in her blog. For someone who’s traveled in more countries than anyone I’ve ever known, Oneika can inspire her readers to get out there and experience more of the world. Oneika-the-Traveller is truly a gem for travelers.”- John Morrison, Travel Enthusiast & Social Media Manager at Casinotop10.net