Hey, hello, bonjour...
I'm Laura Maya...
I’m a mostly Aussie (but also technically French) author, coach and culturally curious ‘digital nomad’.
My About page risked turning into a memoir once I got going (writers, eh? 🙄) so let’s try some punchy bullet points…
Here’s a little bit of me:
✨ I’ve travelled the world non-stop for 20+ years, just following my odd-shaped nose. In that time, I’ve worked, lived and/or travelled slowly through almost 60 countries. I’ve learnt four foreign languages and dabbled in over a dozen careers. I’m houseless, but I consider France, Nepal, Tonga and Australia to be my “home bases”. Pre-covid, I used to bounce regularly between them all and try to travel everywhere I could in between!
✨ I’m the author of Tell Them My Name (the kind press, 2022), which tells the true story of two Nepalese elders who travel from the Himalayas to Paris on a quest to understand Western culture. This was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure my husband and I embarked on with our adopted Nepali ‘parents’ a few years ago and I hope the book will show people all the beautiful ways humans are different and the same.
✨ During these Covid times, I live with my French husband, David, in a converted school bus named Maurice. We’ve spent 2 years rolling our home around New South Wales, housesitting here and there, and even spent a four month lockdown parked in an abandoned beach resort 100 metres from the ocean. Not a bad way to ride out the pandemic… (pardon the pun)
✨ David and I have gotten married 42 times in 42 countries. When we met, we were both against the idea of marriage but we needed a visa to stay together. We planned a quickie wedding at the registry office but then our mums got involved and we ended up having a ‘proper’ wedding. It turned out to be so much fun that it seemed ridiculous you only get to do it once in your life. So now we renew our wedding vow in every new country we visit! Cheesy, eh?
✨ I identify as a “Multipotentialite” — a hyper-curious person who feels called to explore endless different interests, careers, projects and creative activities in my lifetime.
From the outside, this looks like I’m someone who constantly leaps from one job, hobby or idea to the next, who doesn’t finish what she starts and always has to start her life again from scratch. But on the inside, it feels like I’m wildly curious explorer who wants to experience as much of this beautiful world as I can in the short time I have on Earth.
I love the challenge and process of learning new skills and becoming ‘just good enough’ at lots of different things instead of striving to be an expert at one thing. I also enjoy finding ways to cross-pollinate between my seemingly disconnected interests and industries to come up with innovative solutions to problems.
✨ As a professional beginner and certified BYCA coach, I help women navigate change, chase their ‘someday’ dreams and create the life they want — even if it’s a life the people around them don’t understand at all (or it means starting things over from scratch). I also offer a free download of my self-coaching program GPS for the Soul which can help you work out where you want to go in life and how to get there in one day and 25 questions.
✨ I run my coaching and consulting business 100% online so my income travels with me around the world (as long as there is at least a 3G network!) Right now I earn an income through coaching, People and Culture consultancy, marketing, project management, professional matchmaking and writing. This is constantly changing as I learn new skills and get bored of old ones.
✨ I worked in 40+ different businesses before starting my own and I love exploring new career paths. I don’t believe I have a purpose or one true calling and now, after a lot of soul searching, I live blissfully free of the notion that how I make money is somehow reflective of who I am or what I’m worth. In fact, I’m pretty sure even those close to me don’t really know what I do for a living.
✨ The only thing I’ve done consistently for my entire life is WRITE but I am probably the most inconsistent blogger on the internet. In addition to Tell Them My Name, I co-authored the anthology This I Know Is True and I’m now working on my next book. It’s a hot mess of words right now and I have no idea where it’s heading. I’m not one of those organised authors…
✨I used to struggle with PTSD and an eating disorder following a string of traumatic events in my 20s, including a few muggings and an attempted kidnapping in Honduras. I turned things around using Holistic Kinesiology and actually went to college to become a kinesiologist myself (#Multipotentialite). Living through these experiences was the catalyst for a lot of positive change in my life and is the reason I prioritise health, simplicity and freedom over career and material success.
✨ I schedule one full day of rest for myself every week (usually Sunday) where I just read, nap, drink tea, eat chocolate and don’t see anyone. In our busy-busy world, this is my #1 mental health hack!
✨ I’m a cultural exchange junkie and language nerd. When I was 13 years old I was an exchange student to the USA and when I was 16, I spent a year living with local families in Norway. Ever since then, I’ve travelled not just to explore new places, but to experience other cultures and connect with people who don’t do life like I do; to uncover all the magical ways we’re different and the same. I’ve learnt to speak Norwegian, French, Spanish and Nepali (with varying degrees of success) and become ‘Tarzan-fluent’ in a number of other languages.
✨ While a lot of people focus on finding their dream job, I seek work that supports me in chasing my dreams. I have a LOT of dreams and most of them having nothing to do with how I make an income. My biggest dream since I was a child was to write and publish a book and I’m giddy that this has come true in 2022. Some of my other favourite fulfilled dreams include co-founding a non-profit organisation to prevent human trafficking, drinking champagne in Champagne, trekking to the base camp of Mount Everest, completing a university degree, studying Greek in Santorini and learning Kung Fu (although it’s very early days so I’m still way more Kung Fu Panda than Jackie Chan).
✨ I’m really happy you’re here, I love connecting with people from around the world and all walks of life. I hope we can stay in touch.
YEARS OF NOMAD LIVING
On the blog
Last week I spent one glorious day “solving all the problems of the world” with one of my soul friends (you know those friends for whom the term ‘friend’ is grossly inadequate because every time you catch up, you save each other’s lives a little bit?) We had a long...
Last month, my biggest, lifelong dream came true. My first book, Tell Them My Name, was released by Aussie publishing house, the Kind Press. I’ve honestly been waiting for this day since I was a toothless, pig-tailed six year old geeking out in the school library… ...
Life has changed again... When I wrote my last blog post called Everything Has Changed, I had no idea what was around the corner. At the time, we’d just moved away from our sleepy Tongan island and returned to fast paced Australia to try out a whole new way of...