Expat Entrepreneur - Isabelle from Leap and Hop

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1. Some personal details

portable career

What is your Facebook handle?

@leapandhop

What is your Twitter handle?

@LeapHop

What is your Instagram handle?

leapandhop

 

 

2. Where do you currently live, and what makes it special? 

Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a vibrant city where you can reinvent yourself.

3. What is your current business venture?

I write travel books for kids

4. What things do you always ask your guests to bring out for you from home?

Even though you can find almost anything in Hong Kong, my perfume and my favorite French magazine have to be brought in from France. From the US, I bring some tea that is prepared in Brooklyn.

5. In what ways have you changed personally or professionally since living abroad?

I used to be a banking and finance lawyer in a big New York firm and I'm now a travel writer. That's a big change!

6. What are some of your personal highlights since living abroad?

Besides fulfilling my travel lust, I have spending a lot more time exercising and developing my passion for singing jazz.

7. What was the trigger that made you start up your own business? How did you have the initial idea?

After our move, I became the travel agent of the family. We've always loved to travel as a couple and then as a family and the move to Asia opened the door to many adventures. We wanted to take the kids to places that were not particularly kid-friendly but interesting from a cultural standpoint (our kind of trips). My original idea was to prepare journals for the children to help them connect with the place (Cambodia). I started with and I-spy in the temples of Angkor, but then I thought it would be more interesting if they knew a little more about the Ramayana and other Hindu myths. Then I moved on to Hinduism and Buddhism, history, geography, architecture and food and then one thing led to another and I ended up with a 100-page book. The kids were so happy with that trip that I wrote another one each year for our big Christmas trip (Sri Lanka and Rajasthan). As my friends' kids gave me positive feedback I thought I was on to something. I found an illustrator and a publisher and that's how it all started.

8. What areas of your business have you struggled with? Where and how have you got help for that?

What I really enjoy is the research, the writing and the testing with my kids. I've struggling with marketing and PR. I found it hard because there is not really an existing market for travel books for kids and people don't think about it when they plan a family trip. In that respect, Hong Kong is fantastic because there are many women entrepreneurs and a lot of support. I'm part of business buddy group of women who help each other.

9. What have been some of your business highlights / rewarding moments (why should others set up their own business).

Because I've been doing the business side by myself, I've had to learn all sorts of new skills such as marketing, managing a website and basic accounting. I also discovered a whole new industry with the publishing world as well as the travel world. It's been really interesting.

10. What is the best bit of advice you can give for others wanting to set up on their own?

The piece of advice that I haven't followed in the beginning: "don't try to do it all yourself" .

11. Have you adopted any new customs or traditions from various places you have lived?

After so many years in Asia I'm now used to drinking hot water or tea during meals.

12. What is different about your normal routine currently compared to what it would be back at home?

It's hard to say because my life is very different now that I work from home and spend so much more time with the children. I've started meditating and exercising more regularly.

 Leap and Hop Series

Leap and Hop Series

13. What is your:

Fav book: "Les illusions perdues" and "Splendeurs et misères de courtisanes" from Balzac, my favorite writer.

Podcast: Hardcore History with Dan Carlin

 "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced" by Kierkegaard

Bloggermumpack travel

14. If visiting your current city where are your favourite spots to go for:

Dinner: Gough on gough

Drinks: Sevva

Day trip: Hiking in the New Territories

Must see: Kowloon

Coolest Shop / Brand: GOD (Goods of Desire)

Best entertainment: Life jazz

Favourite way to stay fit: Running and spinning

15. If you could go back and give yourself advice what would it be?

There is no age limit for starting something new

 

Time for you to start your career abroad? Come and join the next intake our of Global Intern to get the skills you need to become a social media manager and work from anywhere. 

Having a Baby in South Africa - What You Need to Know 

Having a baby in South Africa

Having a baby in South Africa may seem daunting at first. You may be wondering how to find a good gynaecologist or a midwife, you could be trying to find information on how to conceive in the first place, or you may be wondering where to find information that adds genuine value, without further confusing you and your partner. In reality, thanks to the huge range of support options available to parents-to-be, planning your family as an expat does not need to be any less scary than it would back home. The secret to having a baby in South Africa comes down to finding the right specialists to help you plan for your baby. Whether you are trying to conceive, or you have recently discovered that you are having a baby, we have all the information you need to help you plan your pregnancy, safely and simply. 

having a baby in Johannesburg

Trying to Conceive in South Africa 

Ready to think about having a baby in South Africa? There are a number of excellent fertility and conception specialists to be found across the country. Our recommended doctors and clinics to help you conceive include specialists in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Joburg Fertility Specialists

Medfem (Sandton)

VitaLab (Sandton)

Gynomed (Roodepoort)
 

Cape Town Fertility Specialists

Cape Fertility Clinic (Claremont)

Aevitas Fertility Clinic (Pinelands)

Hart Fertility Clinic (City Centre)

I Think I Am Pregnant - Now What?

If you are already pregnant or you think you may be expecting, the first step is to find a gynaecologist, followed by a midwife. Both of these specialists will help guide you through the process, so that you know exactly what to expect, from the very first trimesters, all the way to your baby's birth.

Johannesburg Gynaecologists & Midwives

Sandton Mediclinic - Dr Heather Derwent Allan-Gould (Sandton)

Genesis Maternity Clinic - midwife-led, active birthing facility (Saxonwold)

Netcare Park Lane Hospital - gynaecology, obstetric, neonatal and paediatric care (Parktown)

Life Fourways Hospital - wide range of doctors and services (Fourways)

For more advice and referrals on gynaecologists please get in touch and we can connect you to another expat who has recently given birth here. Alternatively join our Moving to South Africa Facebook group and ask for referrals in there. 

Cape Town Gynaecologists & Midwives

Mediclinic Cape Town - Dr Natalia Novikova (City Centre)

Kingsbury Hospital - wide range of doctors and services (Claremont)  

Birth Options - midwives and birthing support (Plumstead)

More Helpful Resources for Parents-to-Be

having a baby in south africa

If you're looking for additional resources to help guide you or your partner through the journey of conception, pregnancy and birth in a new country, we highly recommend the following websites. These sites offer plenty of guidance to parents-to-be, along with practical information, tips and other useful advice.

Get Pregnant - tips and advice for those battling to conceive

Huggies - plenty of tips and resources in the top menu

Nurture - egg donor programme in South Africa

Home Birth - resources for those planning a home birth

Parent24 - general tips and resources for expectant and new parents

Translating Me is here to assist you at every step of the way.

Get in touch with our team and let us help you, whether you are having a baby in South Africa or you hope to have one in the near future.

For more support on having a baby abroad, head over to Knocked Up Abroad,

Or contact Karen Wilmot, at the Virtual Midwife. https://www.thevirtualmidwife.com 

Expat Entrepreneurs - Karenna Wood

 Source: Photo by  Olu Eletu

Source: Photo by Olu Eletu

What do you love about your current city, what makes it special?

I love the sunshine, the friendly people, the opportunities that weren't there for us in the UK but the main thing is the life and lifestyle here for our children. The rainy days are fewer and we're always outside and in nature.

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 21.10.42.png

What things do you always ask your guests to bring out for you from home?

Hob nobs! Although I have now found them here. I also ask for a few things from Boots as I still have some favourite cosmetics and products that I love from the UK. Books are very expensive here so I buy a lot online and people bring me some. I also ask people for children's clothes from the UK as they are so lovely and a bit different to what you can get here!

In what ways have you changed personally or professionally since living abroad?

For my husband, the difference professionally was huge. He went from working in very small organisations to quickly being high up in large organisations. It massively expanded his opportunities and thinking. Personally, he was struck by Australia being a 'man's world!'. When we first arrived we took a big trip into the outback and he couldn't get over the size of the country, the size of the trucks and he's got really into 4WD and camping here which I don't think he would have as much in the UK. 

What are some of your personal highlights since living abroad?

Travelling around Australia, birthing and raising two little Aussies, having friends and family to stay with us and introducing them to Australia.

What was the trigger that made you start up your own business? How did you have the initial idea?

I've always been an entrepreneur at heart, making and selling jewellery and candles as a teen and always having a project on the go. When I moved here I embarked on a raft of new training and started my business really small. I'd say the trigger was actually starting my family as I wanted to continue to work but flexibly whilst I had young children

What areas of your business have you struggled with? Where and how have you got help for that?

Isolation is a big one so professional networks are important for that. Learning all the digital tools that are now necessary for business is also a challenge and it's a case of tapping into the right information online and avoiding the overwhelm!

What have been some of your business highlights / rewarding moments (why should others set up their own business).

My business is incredibly rewarding, I am very lucky. I help people when they are really struggling with fertility issues and also antenatally with information and planning for birth. Each client is a highlight. In terms of my business, being able to plan my work around my children and work from anywhere and at anytime is such a benefit. I can't imagine having to answer to an employer now!

What is the best bit of advice you can give for others wanting to set up on their own?

Just do it! It's easy to dream and and look at others and get 'compareitus' where you think you're not good enough but don't compare your beginning chapter to their middle. You are good enough, you have something great to offer and you will never know what will happen until you try. 

Have you adopted any new customs or traditions from various places you have lived?

Absolutely, you bring a little bit of all your life experiences and places into who you are and how you do things. Australians are very relaxed and open so I'm more like that now. 

What is different about your normal routine currently compared to what it would be back at home?

Just the sunshine mainly - it makes me want to be up and about whereas at home the grey and cold made me want to sit on the sofa and drink tea!

What is your:

Fav book: Conquering Infertility by Dr Alice Domar. She is such an inspiration to my work

Podcast: She means business - Carrie Green from the Female Entrepreneur Association. Listening to this at the gym fires me up!

Quote: Emotions are like waves, we can't stop them coming but we can choose which ones to surf!

Instagram account: I love that Instagram has become a place for women TTC (trying to conceive) to chat and support each other. So I can't pick a favourite but love all the ladies on there helping each other out!

If visiting your current city where are your favourite spots to go for:

Dinner: Sauma 

Drinks: Leederville

Day trip: Perth Hills 

Must see: Wineries, cideries and boutique farm-gate producers in the Perth Hills

Coolest Shop / Brand: Industrie - my husband's fave!

Best entertainment: City of Perth put on some great events in the city

Favourite way to stay fit: Gym and walking

If you could go back and give yourself advice what would it be?

Just try

For more information on Karenna and her business - check out her website: https://yourfertilityhub.com/your-fertility-insights/

Johannesburg's Best Tours & Experiences

People often ask me if I feel safe to walk around and explore Johannesburg. Like any city there are no go area's. or places I would only go through with a local, or as part of a group. But there are lots of places that you just have to be aware (rather than paranoid). Plan your trip, know where you are going, where to park, and leave your Rolex at home.  

Here are my top experiences, the majority are individually or community run, with the larger more established tours at the end. 

Johannesburgs Best Tours

1. Day tour with Thami 

Thami provides the BEST tour in the whole of South Africa! Every guest who comes to stay with us, has to go out with him, at least for half a day. We have sent global CEO's, and my in laws out with him. Thami has grown up in Soweto, he know everyone and everything. There isn't anything he can't show you or explain to you. Thami will personalise your tour, and give you a day you will always remember! He really is outstanding. All the profits he makes go directly back into the people of Soweto. 

2. Micro Adventures Tour Guide 

https://www.facebook.com/KWTMicroadventurer/

Great variety of adventures to go on, from running up the stairs at Ponte Tower, to exploring Joburg's Heritage. Each event always has a great mix of people who create a welcoming environment. But be warned their adventures sell out quickly, so if you see something you would like to do, make sure you book it! 

3. Johannesburg Heritage Foundation

https://www.facebook.com/groups/112707830122/

My good friend Heather Mason from 2Summers told me about these guys, and wow what a great find! They provide a vast amount of knowledge and history delivered in a variety of formats, from bus trips to neighbourhood walking tours. They always run a special offer on tours throughout September to celebrate Heritage Day.  

 

4. Joburg Photowalkers & InstaWalks 

For those who want to explore off the beaten path, join the Photo walkers facebook group, or keep a look out for the next Instawalk. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/710081799017014/

5. Dlala Nje - Hillbrow 

Most Joburger's consider Hillbrow a no-go area. Thankfully Micro Adventures and Dlala Nje are changing that, by encouraging people to return, by running Hillbrow and Ponte tours and have also just opened a bar and yoga classes inside Ponte Tower.  Dlala Nje operate a youth club based out off Ponte, all proceeds from their tours go directly to the running costs.. 

6. City Stake Tours

https://www.facebook.com/cityskatetours/

The tour lasts three hours and skateboards are provided (tours are for persons aged over 18 only). The first hour is usually spent teaching you how to skate, before heading into town to tell you more about the history, and point out some up and coming urban developments, graffiti and street sculptures.   To book contact Mnyandu on +27 79 839 8833, email cityskatetours@gmail.com. Tours from R300 per person (including skateboard rental). Tours on Sat, Sun, start at 10:00 and 14:00.

General Tours - You need to do at least once

Red Bus Tour

Lebo's Bicycle Tour - Soweto

Past Experiences

Joburg Places  

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