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Traveler Story: From Losing Both Parents To Healing Through Travel

By DeAnna Taylor

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At the age of 3, Chelsea Satine was sent from Haiti to the United States by her parents, to live a better life and get an education. She was adopted by another Haitian family who cared for her for several years.

When she was 16, she received a phone call that changed her life and ultimately shattered her world. Her mother called, asking her to fly back to Haiti immediately.

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Satine

“As soon as I landed in Haiti, I saw her lying on the bed, her hair was gone,” Chelsea told Travel Noire. “She looked at me and said “I’m happy you’re here, now I can go.” She died as soon as I landed. She was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It feels as if she waited for me to go. My dad died not too long after, because he literally could not live without her. He was perfectly healthy.”

After burying both parents, Chelsea made her way back to the U.S. to find that her adoptive family had kicked her out. She was met with her belongings on the sidewalk.

Luckily, her best friend’s mother offered to take her in and help her get on her feet and into college.

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Satine

In 2018, after finishing college, Chelsea decided to move abroad to teach in China. Just 5 days before leaving for her new life, her school contacted her saying that her visa was not approved and she would not be able to come teach.


Despite being devastated, she started sending her resume out to other companies around the world, hoping an offer would come before she was set to vacate her apartment.

“I had to get still and start operating at the level of the solution and not the problem. I sent my resume everywhere. I kept trusting. On August 28th, I got an offer from an American school in Kuwait. I accepted the offer and flew out to Kuwait on the following day, right before my lease expired.”

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Satine

Today, Chelsea works as a learning specialist and head of department at an American School in Kuwait for a few months out of the year. In addition to earning an income this way she also models, teaches yoga, and has partnered with a beauty wellness company in India that ships herb-based products from India to almost anywhere around the world.

If that all wasn’t amazing in itself she became a certified yoga teacher in India.

“India is the trip that transformed my life. Sort of like eat, pray, love. I learned so much during my yoga training,” Chelsea said “I went there with the intention of helping others, but it truly was a self transformation process. With 5am wake-ups, 4 hours of yoga, anatomy and physiology exams, and 6am meditations for over 30 days. It transformed every cell in my body. I’m grateful.”

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Satine

In addition to her yoga practice, Chelsea has now made the decision to study Ayurvedic medicine.

After going to get treated for back pain by an Ayurvedic doctor in India, she learned that there was so much. more to this healing practice.

“I learned that often back pains are directly correlated to feeling like you haven’t been supported. Every physical disease is connected to an emotional ailment.  He [an Indian monk in the Ashram where she was treated] created the space for me to resurface all of my childhood trauma and a space to heal. He taught me how to deal with my life problems by distancing who I am from the body. How to eliminate self confusion in order to arrive at my true self. How to keep myself insulated as I manage my life problems. For the first time, I understood that I wasn’t my problems, thereby being able to resolve them. Then I went to the ayurvedic doctor and they used herbal treatments on my back. Ever since then the pain was gone.”

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Satine

Chelsea fell in love with the practice and applied to study it online via a program that takes her between Mexico, India, and the U.S. She credits her studies in India to helping her heal from the trauma of losing both parents and suffering from depression and anxiety.

When asked what’s next for her on this journey, Chelsea said the following:

“I’m open to all of life’s possibilities. I feel quite free. What’s next is simply the next moment. The desires of my heart are all coming to pass the more I keep trusting and being of service. I pray to be used for the highest service, so I’m continuing to press towards the call. My vision for the world is a place where everyone gets to experience their true self, boundless joy,  and love. I will contribute to that vision in every moment of my life. I recently launched a project called the joy academy that aims to bring that vision to pass. At the joy academy we create workouts, meditations, and meal plans since joy truly is a result of our choices. As I complete my medical journey, we will offer therapy and health and healing services.”

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Satine

To learn more about Chelsea’s journey and to see her travels, you can find her on Ig: @heythatschelsea or YouTube: Chelsea Satine. To learn more about her company, The Joy Academy, you can find them here on IG: @thejoyacademy.

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DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.

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