About Words with Winos

Words with Winos is a travel podcast and blog run by a twenty-something American named Marilyn, who loves long-term traveling. During the podcast episodes, I choose a travel-related topic and discuss it with 100% honesty. While I talk, I also drink plenty of wine, with or without a guest! In the blog, I post about my travels, travel tips, advice, experiences, and much more! I am always brutally honest— maybe because wine just makes me that way!

Marilyn Wine.jpeg

But, how did all of this begin?

I met my ex-boyfriend, Matt, in college. While applying for jobs, neither of us wanted anything to do with “careers.” In fact, we loathed it and we loathed the idea of actually starting to work at a mundane desk job. Matt wanted to travel, but I (Marilyn) was too nervous to do so. So, we continued to apply to jobs neither of us even wanted.

One evening, I had a dream of both of us backpacking through Europe and I loved the overall feeling of doing that, even when I woke up. I couldn't shake it and knew I had to tell Matt. Once I did, he seized the moment and mentioned that we could do that, but since Europe is expensive, we couldn't backpack through it right then. However, we could potentially live in a different country and work as English teachers.

I wasn't totally sold on the idea. It sounded way too easy and good to be true, not to mention nerve-wracking. Then, Matt threw the idea out there that we could do teach English in Thailand. Once I looked up pictures of the country, I was immediately sold. After graduation and the summer, in October, 2014, we embarked on our first international flight to Thailand.

We taught English in Thailand for six months and absolutely loved (almost) every minute of it! However, those societal (and familial) expectations loomed and lingered over my head. I told Matt that I wanted to try to work and teach in the U.S. for a bit. We went home after Thailand, applied for jobs teaching children from lower income families, and got jobs in San Jose, California.

We arrived in San Jose in the beginning of July, 2015. After just a week of learning about the job and being in San Jose, the itch to travel abroad grew and was too intense to ignore. Yes, that's right-- just one week was enough for us! We ditched our idea of working in San Jose and applied for jobs teaching English in South Korea. Within days, we got jobs! We only had the room in the house for a month, so we had to quickly gather our paperwork for the job (criminal background checks, etc.). We actually managed to do everything we needed in the nick of time!

Then, we headed back to New York to kill some time before starting our jobs in Sejong, South Korea. In September, 2015, we flew to South Korea and started our second teaching English jobs. After leaving our jobs abruptly because of a tyrannical boss, we discovered the power of teaching English online and moved to Vietnam! There, we taught on our computers and lived there for 7 months.

After Vietnam, we moved to Japan for 3 incredible months, all while still teaching on our computers. After a pitstop home, we moved to Prague in the Czech Republic, where we lived for a whopping 1.5 years!

Eventually, we tired of the teaching English online gig and decided to do the real thing in Shenzhen, China! Sadly, our relationship ended there, but our travels didn’t (you can find Matt’s YouTube channel here)!

Me and just a few of my students in Shenzhen, China!

Me and just a few of my students in Shenzhen, China!

I have fallen deeply in love with travel and have no urge or desire to stop. Travel has given my life excitement and joy that living a "typical" American life couldn't possibly give me. I love that I have a lifestyle where I can live and travel abroad, work, and enjoy my life and the world around me. 

If you couldn't tell already, I love traveling and talking to anyone about my travels who is interested! So far, I have lived in and visited twenty-seven countries: the USA, Canada, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Taiwan, Poland, Croatia, Spain, Hungary, The Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, and China.

World Map Words with Winos

What Am I like personally?

I consider myself to be a fun, relaxed, sarcastic, and optimistic person. I love to travel (can you tell?) and just overall enjoy life. We only have one, after all. Might as well make the most out of it!

On top of the aforementioned traits, I’m also bubbly, adventurous, and outgoing. Nothing peaks my interest more than food and I'm constantly on the hunt for a good meal. Exercising is important to me, whether it's yoga, running, or weightlifting. Currently, I'm learning Spanish and I love the rush I get when I speak a full sentence with no errors! While living here in China, I’m also enjoying learning Mandarin. Writing is also one of my biggest passions (I do have a blog, after all!).

Oh, and I enjoy drinking wine. Duh!

Why did I start "Words with Winos" podcast?

My ex and I started a podcast together to share our experiences living and working abroad with anyone who wanted to listen and could gain something from our experiences. We also wanted to encourage the development of a community with other travelers and want-to-be travelers. In our podcast episodes, however, we wanted to add a bit of a twist. Instead of simply talking about our travels, we added a bottle of wine into the mix. While discussing our experiences and adventures, we drank a bottle of wine to add a bit of an extra flair to our conversations.

After the end of our relationship, however, it meant the end of our podcast together as well. But, instead of stopping, I took it over myself! I wanted to continue on with the podcast because I still love the lessons I provide and learn, the people I meet, and the fact that somewhere out there, people are listening, digesting, and using the information I provide for them!

Plus, any excuse to drink some wine is a good one!


Why did I start a blog, too?

This blog is dedicated to various pictures, videos, and other thoughts I may have had during my travels to give you a visual side to my nomadic life alongside the audio. I’ve also always had a strong passion for writing, so why not write about my experiences and provide some guidance for aspiring travelers as well?

Thanks for stopping by! Don't be afraid to contact me for any questions or comments or if you want to be a guest on the show by shooting me an email at wordswithwinos(at)gmail(dot)com!

Current location: Shenzhen, China