Florence Turiaf is the Founder of Global Island Girl, a community, an agency, and live experiences company that is on a mission to upgrade world travel on islands and beyond by focusing on the people, the planet, and pleasure. She is an entrepreneur, a transformational coach, storyteller, and world traveler. She’s been featured in Travel Noire and several other publications, has lived full-time on 12 different islands and traveled to 20+ countries. Wherever she goes, Florence is helping people leave the places we explore better than how we found them.
In Florence’s episode, you will learn…
“I live for my passions. I live for islands, showcasing their beauty, and making sure that we can upgrade the way we experience them around the world.”
Born and raised on the small French Caribbean island of Martinique, Flo exudes something she calls the Island Spirit. She sees the Island Spirit as having the desire to go after whatever fulfills you and brings you the most joy. When Flo moved to the USA at the age of 14, she began to realize that her home country was something special, enabling her to realize the unique identity she carried as an Islander.
If you’ve ever experienced the joy and rejuvenation that time on an island gifts, you’ve likely tasted the Island Spirit. Islands seem to have a way of creating a sense of ease and bliss, which is one of the many reasons they are such a popular destination spot. With Global Island Girl, Florence (Flo) prioritizes islands as they create such pleasure to so many around the world. Part of her mission is to create awareness about how we travel and the ways in which we interact with our planet.
Spreading the Island Spirit is a vital aspect of her persona, but she also desires for people to see the whole picture of the island life. After much experience, Flo speaks of the need for people to be aware of the ugly, neglected side of the island life.
Right after college, she was offered a scholarship to travel around the world to different islands. She would choose twelve non-sovereign territories to expand her knowledge of the ways of other Islanders. It was during this trip that she was attacked and robbed by two armed men. This unexpected event begged the question, “what can push someone to go to this length of violence?” and concluded that desperation and need for basic necessity might be some of many driving factors in this instance. No matter how beautiful one perspective might be, it became her duty to share as many perspectives as possible – the good, the bad, and everything in between.
When you can bring your attention to more than just the beauty of your surroundings, you may notice that behind each and every stunning detail there is a particular flavor of care and consideration that sustains the environment. Whether it’s the exceptional hospitality you’re experiencing at your hotel or a pristine beach you’re relaxing on, something or someone is tending to it to keep it that way. Unfortunately, locals are often exploited and mistreated due to the need for work and corporate corruption.
Climate change is also notably shifting these environments, and many times tourists are not grasping the impact of their presence. With the influx of trash, pollution, and consumerism, there is a desperate need to balance the impact on the islands. They are indeed some of the most vulnerable given the rising seas and natural catastrophes such as volcanoes, typhoons, etc.
By taking into account your individual impact, you are playing your part in making a difference. Speak to the locals and see what it’s like to live on the island. Ask them what you can do to support them and give back to the environment. If you’re going on an adventure, make sure to leave it better than you’ve found it. Pick up trash if you see it, and do your best to minimize your footprint. If there’s a choice between buying locally or from corporate chains, invest in the local economy. Your impact matters, your investment matters, and how you treat your surroundings does make a difference.
Flo is committed to creating experiences that are unlike any of your typical adventure or travel experiences. Check out her tips and tricks, and explore new ways of seeing the world. Every little step counts. Do your part and spread the word. Let’s discover and better this world together!
“I think the more we learn and more we connect, truly, the better humanity will be.”
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Amelia Broughton is a relational facilitator, writer, and purveyor of connection, pioneering a more connected, communication-savvy, and emotionally intelligent planet. She has facilitated Authentic Relating and Relational Leadership in a 9-month training named T3 (Train the Trainer), in workshops with companies such as Authentic World, Authentic Revolution, and Authentic Relating Training International, around the world in communities such as Unconventional Life and Momentom Collective, and in the past year has facilitated monthly events at Archipelago Clubs in Denver, CO.
Amelia’s writing has been featured on mindbodygreen, in Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, Boulder Lifestyle Magazine, and The C3 Method. An active Unconventional Life member, Amelia consistently contributes her writing.