While in the Peace Corps Mishelle taught English at Gymnazium in Cheb, Czech Republic from 1994 to 1996 and shepard-mlater went back to the country to teach at Charles University in Prague. Her experiences during these years sparked a fascination with self-sufficiency which blossomed into many more years of overseas work and travel in order to discover what drives the life and work of those in less consumer-oriented cultures than her own. She has an MA in French Literature and has been working as a contract instructor, teaching mainly French and ESOL for fifteen years and began freelance writing a decade ago. As a ghostwriter and in her own name she has had books and articles published on topics as diverse as personal financial planning and topless sunbathing in Thailand. Her latest adventure is by far the most challenging of all, homesteading , which as a total novice offers a learning curve so steep it will require her passionate devotion for the rest of her days.