What happens when you quit everything to start over after a life changing event 

Sometimes God nudges us to inevitably take a certain direction. Taking that pivotal decision seems scary. 

You are not alone in your journey. Here, I write about our adventures in letting go of the safety rope and jumping into the unknown.

This blog highlights the love of collecting meaningful experiences, heeding the call to wanderlust and re-discovering Philippines, my home country one step at a time.

Hi, I'm Arni.

My family and I just quit Dubai after living there for the last 12 years. Our present goal is to start a life in a small community on a tropical island in the Philippines after giving up our corporate life abroad as expats and as for me as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker).

A Nomadic Family Looking for a Place We Can Call Our Home.
All of the traveling and exploration of the Philippines throughout the last couple of years was driven by the need to find our ideal location that we can truly call our home.

We do receive curious questions like, "Why the Philippines? Why don't you migrate to the west?"

I aim to slowly answer these through our firsthand experiences on this blog.  For now, the blog post that best captures our values and family philosophy is this one,  Why We Are Embracing the Island Life

What are we up to?
Well, we have just set up a business. My husband was in I.T. before and he's now a gyrocopter pilot. I on the other hand am still working in the Interior Architecture industry but am now working from home on a freelance basis.

We worked very very hard for years to be able to do this, as we tightened our belts while living in Dubai. We continue to follow a frugal lifestyle without denying ourselves to experience and collect moments that we treasure.

About Arni
I am a Full time Mom to a 2 year old daughter. I am married to a French Man who hates wine and cheese but loves to fly.

Someone dared me once to write about my life in 250 words, here it is. Who is Arni in 250 Words

Why did I start blogging?
I started blogging while I was in an interior sales job that I felt didn't really suit me. I am an introvert who somehow transformed to fill the shoes ideal for an extrovert. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for that job because it opened lots of doors for me. It definitely widened my comfort zone.

It gave me lots of travel perks and definitely lots of air miles that made me see many places around the world. Hence, Travel Gourmande was born where I initially wrote about past and present travels in the hopes of sharing information beneficial to travelers.

"I was a lost soul trying to find where my home is."

This travel journal of sorts made me realize that this wanderlust was rooted from an overwhelming desire to find where my true home is,  due to an unhappy childhood and youth, and this blog psychologically and emotionally enabled me to confront all of these, have a breakthrough and grow.

Simultaneously, I also had another design blog called Design Gourmande which helped me discover my true passion and calling, designing Interiors and Architecture.

I later quit that sales job to follow my dream of designing hotel interiors.

I was at the peak of my design career when I got pregnant and became a mother. Juggling both roles, I was still on my way to climb the corporate ladder in Interior Design in the Gulf, until a nightmarish life changing event halted everything.  This made us decide to leave the sandpit for good and start life from scratch in my home country.

The nomadic lifestyle brought repatriation blues from time to time. The joy I found in walking helped me immensely. Here you will see Happy Walk Series where I follow a trail or make my own. It gives me a lot of time to reflect and think while basking in the beauty around me or discovering profound joy in the randomness of everyday, of things that we might miss if we are too busy.

Here, you will also find our adventures in creating our identities in my estranged home country.

Why "Gourmande"? Well, like most of you, I love to eat! Hence, the 'gourmande' nickname given to me by my French in-laws. According to  Wiktionary, 

gourmande -feminine

1. A person given to excess in the consumption of food and drink.
2. A person who appreciates good food.

No matter how gourmande I may be, I try my best to adhere to a healthy lifestyle and I aspire to have our own backyard garden like this one once we're settled one day.

What projects am I currently proud of?
This leap of faith, that we are now challenging ourselves to really live beyond our comfort zones. Simplifying. Transitioning. All with God's guidance of course.

Discover more about the author

Pregnancy Journey
Our Nomadic Life Begins
My Expat Life in Dubai
A Walk of Faith
My Baby Shower
Childhood Memory: Through the Hole

If there's something I'd like you, my friend to take with you before you go, 
I aspire to have at least made you feel that you are not alone in your journey.
We all have our own paths to take and we all belong, whichever niche we are venturing in.

I raise my coffee mug or coconut for a toast as we conquer our fears and be thankful for today.
Please do send me an email if you have any questions or if there's something I can help you with.

Email me:  arniderivera@gmail.com
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**All Photographs are taken by the author, Arni Nauleau unless noted otherwise. 

Flickr Images