Sarah De Winne is a qualified Teacher and linguist who inspires individuals to learn and unlock their potential. She is a natural communicator who loves to engage and connect with people verbally and through written text.
Sarah is co-founder of two blogging websites and dedicates her time to producing content for Enjoy Retirement Life and Off the Tourist Treadmill.
Sarah De Winne creates and edits content for the Enjoy Retirement Life and Off the Tourist Treadmill blogging websites and YouTube channels. She has a professional background in education and is passionate about sharing quality and engaging information. Sarah currently lives in the south-west of France.
My Work Story
In 1991, I started work at the BBC World Service as a Management Assistant ensuring the administrative and financial smooth running of the Central European Service. However, my life at the BBC World Service was all about the people and their country, culture, language and, above all, their stories.
Whilst at the BBC World Service, I gained qualifications in Human Resources, but couldn’t shake my childhood ambition of becoming a Teacher. So, after raising my 3 children, I started volunteering in schools and eventually took a post as a Teaching Assistant.
I was hooked on teaching so decided to study for 4 years with the Open University to complete a Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning. During this time, I continued to work part-time and to be a full-time Mum.
In 2014, I took the decision to leave my Teaching Assistant job to complete my studies full-time as a mature student at the University of Chichester’s Institute of Education. In 2016, after much determination and perseverance as a Mum in her 40s, I successfully completed my BA (Hons) Degree in Primary Education and Teaching with first-class honours. Since 2014, I have been teaching in various primary schools in the south-east of England.
In 2017, my husband and I decided to set up our first website, Off the Tourist Treadmill, as a new and exciting challenge as part of our early retirement plans. Two years’ later, Enjoy Retirement Life was created. The websites have been a rewarding way of conveying information in a different format to a new audience.
As an advocate of lifelong learning, I successfully qualified as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language Teacher) Teacher during the summer of 2020. I am very much looking forward to continuing to teach abroad as a digital nomad in the very near future.
My Personal Story
My personal story is the story of many others. What makes everyone’s story unique is the people you meet on your journey and the decisions you take. I’m a strong believer that people are sent to you in life for a reason. Sometimes they stay, other times they leave. The other thing that sets us apart is grit and determination.
After successfully completing A Levels, I decided not to go to University at age 18. This decision radically shaped my future and is something I have spent much of my adult life trying to rectify. I’m happy to say that I got to the same destination but much later in life!
After a career at the BBC World Service, I made the decision to stay at home and parent my 3 children full-time despite the sacrifices. It sounds like a cliché, but being a Mum was my most rewarding career and I am proud of the job I did. I will never forget the hours spent playing Lego and trains on the floor, watching performances on a make-shift bunk bed stage and changing dolly nappies!
Once my children were old enough, I decided to head to University and fulfill my dream of becoming a primary school Teacher. Believe me, this took a lot of courage in my 40s! Successfully completing my degree and standing in front of my first class was an extraordinary achievement that I am immensely proud of. To be honest, it is an honor and privilege to make a difference every day and to inspire young minds.
Two years ago, I married my romantic French husband, Olivier. Despite the great British weather, we had an extremely personal wedding celebration with close friends and family in a marquee in our back yard.
Together, we share a passion for travelling and making genuine connections with people from different cultures. In fact, it was after travelling to India and Mexico together that we decided to start our first website, Off the Tourist Treadmill.
Then, as we started to look to our future and thought about retiring early, we stumbled upon the idea of a new website called Enjoy Retirement Life. We both love learning and starting new things, so who knows what adventure will be next!