Oneika (pronounced oh-KNEE-kah) is a traveller. Canadian born, she’s already been to more than 40 countries, has lived in France, Mexico, Hong Kong, The UK and there is no sign she will stop anytime soon. She’s energetic and fearless and extremely funny (just read the page about her name on her blog).
Here’s a short interview with her in which we’re talking about living abroad, the vibes of a city and what she likes most about being a modern nomad.
eDreams: Who is Oneika and what does she do?
Oneika: I am a traveller, an educator, and an adventure-seeker. I have an insatiable thirst for travel and experiences that involve taking risks and learning about new cultures. I’m basically a travel junkie who is always in the midst of planning my next trip!
“I am a traveller, an educator and an adventure-seeker.”
On your blog you say you’ve caught the travel bug on your trip to Nantes, France. What was it about being abroad that made you want to travel more?
Moving to France for the first time, really opened my eyes to just how big the world is and how many cool and interesting people there are to meet. Living in a foreign country and being immersed in a foreign language challenged me and I realized that not only did I enjoy the feeling, but I actually thrived on it. I took advantage of living in Europe in a big way and travelled to Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and England during that first year abroad, and travelling changed my life so much that I couldn’t imagine a life without it. I followed up my year in Nantes with another year in Nice, France. After that I spent a year working in Mexico, then two years living in Hong Kong. I never would have imagined this lifestyle growing up!
“Travelling changed my life so much that I couldn’t imagine a life without it”
You’re back to teaching English in London. Do you like it? How does it compare with your last teaching job in Hong Kong?
My experiences teaching in London are honestly not that different from those in Hong Kong. I teach English literature and French at a high school here in London, and basically had the exact same job in Hong Kong. The curriculum is essentially the same. Both schools are very internationally minded and the student populations are very diverse, though I must admit that my students here in London are really from everywhere around the world! In Hong Kong, I had a lot more Asian, Australian, and Kiwi students, while here in London my students are mostly from the UK, France, and Italy.
How much does a city influence your spirit and how much does one’s attitude change a city?
My mood is really influenced by my surroundings, so moving to cold and grey London after living in hot places like Hong Kong and Mexico was definitely a shock to the system. I’ll admit that I’m not insanely in love with London, but I generally try to enjoy every place I live in and really take advantage of these cities have to offer. At the end of the day, a city is just a city, and it’s really the friendships that you make and the experiences you have that make it fun!
I generally try to enjoy every place I live in and really take advantage of these cities have to offer
How did you start blogging about travel? Why do you keep doing it? What do you like most about travel?
I initially started my blog in 2005 when I moved to the south of France as a way to keep in touch with friends and family. I never imagined that year later I’d still be writing, but I continue because I love sharing my travel tales and inspiring others to go abroad. What do I like most about travel? It’s probably the feeling of wonder and culture shock when I arrive in a new place!