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About Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog and Lillie

Hello, and welcome to Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog! 

Love finding joy and learning in every corner of life? This site is for YOU. Read on to see how to find what you’re seeking.

Who is behind Around the World “L?” The “L” stands for me, Lillie Marshall, a 6-foot-tall teacher, traveler, writer, artist, and fitness fan from Boston. I’ve been a public school English teacher since 2003, and am proud to be a National Board Certified educator.

Lillie cartoon
My self-portrait in cartoon form!

In addition to teaching, my passion is writing helpful, colorful, sometimes zany articles. I’ve published over 700 posts here since since I launched this blog in 2009! Around the World “L” is now nearing 4 MILLION page-views, and I thank you for visiting today.

How to Use this Site and My Others:

I loved posing with the planes!
Let’s fly, friends!

To navigate Around the World “L,” you can use the header menu and search function at the top of the page, or click the following links to find useful life learning, fascinating locations to explore, creative art inspiration, and tips on travel and living with little ones.

Should you choose to spread your wings a bit further, you can open another tab to fly around my other two sites. My second site (started in 2010) is Teaching Traveling: a global education community which has curriculum, and scholarships and grants for educators to explore the world.

My third site is the freshly launched educational cartoon site, Drawings Of… which has English vocabulary lessons, art inspiration, and humorous short stories to use with kids, students, or adults.

To stay in touch, you can use this contact form, subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter, and connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Facebook.

Lillie Marshall of Around the World L
I designed this dress!

The Full History of This Site

That first section was the main overview you need to know to get started with this site, but if you’d like the in-depth story of how Around the World “L” came to be, keep reading to get the FULL timeline. It’s been quite the journey!


I became a high school teacher fresh out of college. It took 5 years of teaching to finally be able to give students a positive learning experience (er, not be a 21-year-old disaster), but in 2009, I realized that I lacked the global perspective necessary to take my teaching — and life — to the next level.


At the age of 28, I was single, had no kids, and was not tied down in any way, so I used the savings from years of mega-frugal living (no car, tons of roommates, secondhand clothes) to buy an around the world plane ticket!

Although I had spent nearly every teacher summer volunteering or taking classes in Latin America, circumnavigating the globe for nine months would be the longest I’d ever been away from home.

I purposely chose that amount of time because so many people around me were getting pregnant, and I wasn’t ready to have a child myself, but instead proclaimed that these 9 months would be my “baby of a trip.” It was my chance to create the life I wanted.

Lillie Marshall dancing
I love color, movement, and nature…


The Around the World solo trip was born! From August of 2009 to May of 2010, I had the joy of: two weeks in Japan, four months in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos), a week in Italy, three months volunteer teaching in Ghana, and one and a half months in Spain and Portugal.

Each country had a reason, and each plan changed at least twice along the way. Read the hundreds of articles I wrote during those 9 months of solo travel for the in-depth scoop. In short: That trip was everything I could have hoped for, and more, and I am so extremely thankful to have been able to do it.


I came back to Boston, and at my “Welcome Back to America” party, met the man who is became my husband! Yup — it took traveling alone by myself for almost a year to set my willful heart free to partner up with someone.

After considering changing careers, I realized how much I missed teaching, and got a job in a new public school in Boston. I still work in this phenomenal school, and it is the best job I’ve ever had. The students are wonderful, and the diversity of the school provides the zest of travel, without the stale airplane air!


To any teacher feeling burned out, I highly recommend taking some time to travel if at all possible, as it provides vital perspective and revitalization. After seeing travel’s effect on my teaching career (not to mention entire life), I launched my second site, to profile other “Teacher-Travelers” of ALL types, in order to share the many ways that Global Education can be pursued.

I "found myself" on our Vermont getaway!
Hello! I’m Lillie, and I appreciate you being here.


During these years, the balance of teaching and travel took shape. I traveled to China twice in 2011-12 (once with a group of 42 Boston students), took a 9-day teacher tour of Greece, went on a fabulous Honeymoon in Belize with Colin following our wonderful and reality-TV-televised wedding, and in 2012 at last toured India.


2013 – Onward:

Once our first child was born in 2013, I transitioned to also covering family travel as we voyaged through Puerto Rico, Ireland, and Canada.

On the same month as our first child was born, I received word that I had achieved National Board teacher certification — one of the highest honors a teacher can achieve, and one that took extensive work to gain.

Our second child was born in 2016, so we are really getting into this Baby Travel and Toddler Travel thing, and gotten more into New England travel and exploring our own Boston. The Laurel Highlands and Pittsburgh, PA have also been a hit!

Despite having a family, however, I still relish solo travel, exploring Turkey and Dubai, and the exhilarating Top 100 Travel Bloggers conference on Study Abroad at the U.S. White House under Obama. Most recently, I worked with tourism boards in Curacao and Bonaire, and really enjoyed photographing and writing about such a lovely part of the world.


In 2020 when we were all stuck at home, I launched my third website, Drawings rock out my educational cartoons and art passions — and also random and weird sense of humor. I also began my giant series of wildly popular reviews of Beachbody workouts for those who began exercising at home during that time. In 2022 I announced my amicable divorce, along with the guide, “What to say to someone getting a divorce.”


Beyond teaching and blogging, I also adore running social media trainings, doing website consulting, freelance writing, and public speaking. (Let me know if you’d like to book me!)

Want more juicy info about this site and about yours truly? Check out my Media Kit, browse the “This Site in the News” page, read How to Navigate this Travel Blog, see The Full List of Countries I’ve Traveled to, peruse this site’s Privacy Policy, subscribe to my RSS Feed, and read The Missions of this Blog.

If you enjoy reading this site, please consider supporting it by spending time on it and sharing it with friends. If you are moved to simply donate, go right ahead! Here is my PayPal page for such activities.


Thanks so much for reading, feel free to drop me a note via this contact form, or at WorldLillie at gmail dot com, and please do leave comments and share this site around. Readers like YOU are the reason this site has been such a joy to run since 2009!


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Monday 22nd of August 2016

Hi Lillie,

I've been following you on Facebook for about a year now, and you have inspired me to take a leap of faith. I just purchased the 150 Hour Online Master Course through Global Language Training to improve/expand my teaching skills and take my teaching career out of my local comfort zone and into the world stage.

I'm nervous and excited!! Wish me luck!

Thank you for the inspiration! Keep up the good work! B~


Monday 22nd of August 2016

Eeeii! Sending you so many good vibes, Brenda! Keep us posted! Two pieces of advice: Look for jobs using your TEFL certification as soon after completing the course as possible. I waited quite a while after mine, and it was harder to work the connections I'd made. Second, know that teaching is an ongoing learning process, and the transition from online work to in-person instruction can take some getting used to, but with perseverance and a school that's a good fit, you will rock it out. Can't wait to hear your updates!

For others interested in this exclusive discount on TEFL Certification, here's my link:

Allison Hammond

Tuesday 12th of July 2016

Hi Lillie,

I found your blog by searching for short courses in teaching. I'm a nurse with my bachelor's in nursing, and I got some teaching-learning theory in my nursing education because nurses need to teach their patients self-care skills. Then I worked side-by-side with an Early Childhood Special Educator in a classroom-based program for preschool-aged children - I was basically "half-time nurse, half-time teaching assistant." Now for what I want to do next (become a traveling governess) I need a teaching credential, but I learn well in intensive programs and, with the bachelor's in nursing, don't need a second bachelor's. So I was looking for short-term intensive teaching programs that would enable me to teach in some classrooms (ideally abroad) and also be a good foundation for what a governess does (either full-on homeschooling or reinforcing basic academics that the kids get in school and supplementing it with enrichment activities). I was thinking that a TEFL program might do that. Can you tell me which program you took? I saw that you thought very highly of it. Was it the CELTA? I'm looking at a CELTA program now. Thanks so much - I loved your article on TEFL courses and TEFL around the world!!! Allison


Wednesday 13th of July 2016

Hi Allison, Thanks for reading and commenting! I'll email you directly.


Tuesday 14th of June 2016

Hello, I just found this website today, and I have a question. I am a homeschooling mom who would love to travel for educational purposes with my family. Do you know of any grants or programs that support homeschool families? Thanks!


Tuesday 14th of June 2016

Hi Kelly, How exciting! I don't have specific grants or programs to recommend, but invite you to check out the many stories on about how to see the world affordably. Best of luck, and let us know if you find anything you think others would love, too!


Tuesday 7th of June 2016

Dear Lille, I am not a teacher but am an ardent student of the Classics who has never been to Greece. I was wondering if you could possibly help me locate a really good guide to take a friend and me on a Greek mythology tour of Greece. We are not looking for a touristy sort of trip, but very like the ne you went on. I really need a good guide such as a retired teacher of the classics or a PhD student who needs to implement his income. Pls help Regards Bubli Brar


Friday 10th of June 2016

Hi Bubli, thanks for your comment. I will try to find the contact information of the guide we used and email it directly to you. Happy travels!


Sunday 5th of June 2016

Hi Lillie, I stumbled onto your blog while researching Namibia. In 2010 you had a post called, "Interview With Laura: Teaching in Namibia for Two Years". I have a friend who is venturing out at the end of this summer to teach in Namibia. She is also from the Boston area. I am wondering if by chance you still have contact information for Laura. I would love to see if she might be willing to share her experiences with my friend to help her prepare for her experience. Looking forward to hearing from you, Kristen


Friday 10th of June 2016

Just emailed you. Hope it helps!

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