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My expat journey from Teaching in Taiwan, to family expat life in Mexico

Updated: Feb 13

1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get the travel bug?

My name is Tia Savonne Plummer, and I'm a travel coach, author, wife, and mother of three. I'm a passionate advocate for truly living life and traveling. Traveling has been essential to my growth, independence, and networking. In 2016, I quit my job as a network operations manager for a media company and left to teach English abroad. That was when I first got the travel bug. Since then, I've lived in Changhua, Taiwan, Bogotá, Colombia, and now Merida, Mexico Over the years, I've worked with many clients, helping them to achieve a more fulfilling and peaceful life abroad.

Through my experience, I've learned that living the American Dream abroad can bring immense benefits to our mental and emotional well-being. Now, I'm excited to share my knowledge and expertise with others who are seeking travel for a more fulfilling lifestyle. I'm happily married to my amazing husband, and we have three delightful daughters that bring so much joy to our lives. In my free time, I enjoy reading and eating. I am such a foodie. Most of all, I love creating experiences for myself and others.

2) What inspired you to pursue your coaching repatriation business and how did you get there?

I started coaching women who wanted to move abroad due to the many material and mental benefits my family gained while living abroad. Several mothers wrote to me and inquired about my experience traveling internationally with children. I usually had the same questions about my migration process. Some expressed that they wished they could leave the US but felt unable to do so since they had children. After I inspired a few mothers, I knew this could blossom into something bigger.

3) Could you tell us more about you past travel experience of visiting South American countries & Taiwan in for a few years/months?

Throughout my solo travels, I was really impetuous. I would go where the money was. I would submit a resume for ESL jobs and pick the employer with the highest pay. However, as a mother, my top priorities are health care, education, and safety. I enjoyed spending time in Bogota with people who shared my physical characteristics, and the only barrier between us was language. The funny thing is, just for mentioning that I was an American, I had more marriage proposals than I ever had in my life. In general, I had a great experience.

The absence of wealthy communities with sizable populations of people of color was my sole gripe. In Taiwan, I had a wonderful time. I loved riding my bike throughout the city and feeling like I was in an anime as I passed by the rice fields. It was impressive to see that the youngsters there studied Mandarin, Taiwanese, and English in primary school. While there, I was able to learn more about self-care, and meditation became a significant part of my daily practice.

The majority of people were pleasant and never rude. I have a bias against Taiwan because that's where I met my husband. We currently call Mexico our home. It has been such a wonderful experience because the people have been so warm and friendly. We have made every effort to get fully immersed in the culture. My two older daughters (5 and 3) attend a private multilingual school, and we reside in an area far from well-known tourist attractions. We feel very much like we belong here. The fact that there are so many family-friendly activities here is my favorite feature.

4) What's your secret to finding integrate you and your family in Merida & recreating your own community?

Finding your tribe overseas is a topic I cover in Chapter Four of my book, Merida & Me. It all comes down to being receptive to new experiences. Particularly for me, I look for mothers of kids who are roughly my girls' age and simply schedule a playdate with them. I explain in the book how to get in touch with both native and expat communities. My favorite piece of advice from the book is to start a community if you can't find one.

5) How did you plan each trip? As you have been experiencing slow travel, what have your learn, love and dislike in each country?

The first thing I consider when choosing a new country to relocate to is the cost of living. Next, I consider the area's safety, the cost of healthcare, and the availability of family-friendly activities. We search for locations with beaches since we adore them. I now know that every nation has advantages of its own. I visited Mexico, Taiwan, and Colombia during my travels. In my opinion, the weather in Medellin, Colombia, is the nicest; however, I didn't enjoy that you had to rent an unfurnished apartment.

The essential appliances, such as a stove, refrigerator, microwave, etc., are not included. Taipei, Taiwan, boasts some of the most unique foods and festivals, however, the expense of living for a family might be expensive if you don't have a good job. And Merida, Mexico, has the best family-friendly activities, but there is no sense of urgency to get this done. To me, this is just a drawback when you require a service, such as a plumber, internet, etc.

6) Do you still feel excited about booking flights for yourself & family and taking a break from your routine?

Yes, I do get some happiness whenever my family and I make travel arrangements. I love to travel. The fact that the girls and I frequently travel alone made it challenging at first. However, most people would lend a hand if they noticed me having trouble folding my stroller or boarding the plane.

Fortunately, once you work out the food and entertainment, everything becomes much simpler. It goes without saying that it is considerably easier when we do get to travel with my husband.

7) What's the one thing you wish someone had told you before embarking on your Mexican repatriation epic adventure?

The only thing I wish is that I had found out about moving overseas sooner. We could not have made a better decision for our family, and I am so appreciative of this experience.

8) What are your top 5 countries to visit & why? What are your favorite activities while travelling?

Although I have only lived in three countries outside of my own, Tanzania, Costa Rica, and other regions of Mexico, including Queretaro and Trinidad and Tobago, are next on my list. I hear great things about these places, and the cost of living seems to fit my needs. I enjoy learning about local customs when I travel. Some of my favorite travel activities are visiting festivals and cafes and unwinding on the beach.

9) What are you top 3 safety tips for black women solo travellers & Black families ?

For black families and women traveling alone, my top three safety suggestions are to be cautious of your surroundings and try to at least learn a few numbers or phrases in the local language. This will make it less likely to be deceived. Before you travel, do some research on the country. To discover more about their experiences, watch their videos. For instance, I viewed a ton of videos about black mothers and their children in Mexico before moving there.

10) What are your top 3 tips to travel & relocating in Mexico in 2023?

The first of my top three tips for traveling and moving abroad is to get a passport. Do your research next! Find out how people in a similar situation are doing in the country you want to move to. Lastly, just leave. My favorite quote from Carl Gustav Jung states, "You are what you do, not what you say you'll do. Connect with me if you're scared or unsure, and I'll help you research, find jobs, and coach you through how to make the leap. You won't regret joining us, expat parents abroad!

How to connect with Tia:

TikTok: tia.savonne Kasa Travel Coach Tia 

You can also watch the Youtube version of the interview here

Fancy help with planning your next black heritage and leisure getaway?

Tanzania, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia, Namibia, Madagascar, Kenya, South Africa, Sao Tome, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Turkey, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Congo, Nigeria, Benin. If you need help planning your next holidays whether you are a solo traveler, a duo, a group of friends or a corporate retreat. If you fancy a mixture of black heritage and leisure experiences, we got you!

To find out more, email us at:

Or schedule a Zoom Discovery call to find out we could help you plan your next holidays.

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Aug 09, 2023
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