Born in Alabama and raised in Ohio, I dreamt of moving to Paris one day, as well as becoming Samantha Brown on The Travel Channel. (Yes, the second may have been a bit of a long shot!)

While I didn’t travel abroad until my last year of high school, family trips to the Hawaiian Islands deepened my desire for foreign lands and love for the tropics.

An inexplicable attraction to France and island life (and what some may call fate) lead me to Martinique—a French island in the Caribbean—in August 2019. The 2020 global pandemic brought me back to France, this time in the South of France, in Marseille.

How did I get here?

I started studying French in high school and collecting travel and lifestyle magazines. My interests influenced my degrees—a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism—at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

In addition to helping launch Thread—Ohio University’s student-run, online fashion magazine—alongside a few of my Sigma Kappa sorority sisters, I landed editorial and marketing internships at Hearst Magazines with Town & Country and Marie Claire in New York City.

While I loved the Big Apple publishing scene, my true love was France: a love kindled during a three-month immersion at the University of Avignon in Provence during my freshman spring semester.

My attraction to France outweighed my desire to delve into Manhattan’s magazine scene. So, after graduating from undergrad in 2012, I decided to pack my bags for a second séjour in France—this time in a small village in the Ain department north of Lyon—to teach English to elementary and middle school students through the Cultural Services of the U.S. French Embassy’s Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF).

Job opportunities didn’t evolve after my temporary teaching contract in France, so I scratched plans in both Paris and NYC, opting to return to the United States for a job in Honolulu, Hawaii … thanks to a college friend and fond childhood memories.

In Honolulu, I worked in public relations and as a magazine writer and editor for 15 luxury, lifestyle, and tourism publications at Oahu Publications, Inc., Hawaii’s major media company.

But France was never out of the picture in “paradise”: I was the youngest member of the Alliance Française of Hawaii—and even had the opportunity to interview Catherine Deneuve and French-Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini for HILuxury, Hawaii’s luxury magazine.

In the Islands, I pursued another passion: vinyasa yoga, a pastime I discovered in high school, after experiencing health issues. (I was also a member of a women’s wine club—thanks to all that time in France! More on this later.)

A good friend and yoga teacher encouraged me to participate in teacher training at CorePower Yoga in Honolulu, and thanks to her, I obtained a 250 hours of training in Power Yoga instruction—a degree recognized by Yoga Alliance—and soon started leading classes for employees of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.

While Hawaii may be a wonderful place, I longed to expand my career internationally, as well as get back to France.

I discovered the Masters of Arts in Global Communications—more commonly referred to as the MAGC program—at The American University of Paris (AUP), and moved to Paris to start my studies in January 2016.

While at AUP, I continued to expand my knowledge of French, yoga, and wine. I became president of the AUP Wine Society, organizing wine tastings and wine-related activities for university students on- and off-campus. And as fate would have it: I joined and led yoga sessions with the AUP Yoga Club, which was founded by Keili, who completed the same yoga teacher training at CorePower Yoga in Honolulu.

To further my wine 411, I obtained a Wine, Spirits & Education Trust Level 2 Award in Wine & Spirits in French, landing an end-of-studies internship at Rémy Cointreau—a French, family-owned company with a portfolio of exceptional spirits—in Paris.

After interning with the Global Talent Development team for six months at headquarters, I was hired to be Rémy Cointreau‘s first Corporate Community Manager, creating content for the Group social media channels, website, as well as some French-to-English translation work.

I planned to settle in Paris, until a door opened in Martinique, thanks to someone special—and I’m not one to miss out on adventure.

Martinique, Nov. 2019

After a year of freelancing and teaching yoga in the French Caribbean, I returned to France in October 2020, in Provence (Marseille, specifically), where I am continuously seeking opportunities to collaborate.

Think we could work together? Check out my projects, and please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Catherine Bouchakour-Caldwell