Global Consultant, Speaker, Author of ‘The Ripple Effect’ Past President of National Speakers Association of Australia Australian Ambassador for School Aid
Tove Vine is one of those rare people who are wonderful role-models for all of humanity. If we each lived our lives the way that she has, the world would be an even better place.
Her story will inspire you to realise that you could indeed do the same thing: To fully live, to help others, to experience the grand adventure of your life. And especially, to choose to let go and make a difference.
I have known Tove Vine for over 20 years now and even though our paths did not cross for many of those years I am delighted to say, that over the last couple of years, we have created a great friendship. Tove is one of those fascinating women, who has overcome her challenges, whilst having the courage as well as the strength to walk through her comfort zone and go for what she wants. She is a woman who lives fully by embracing all the experiences she can find.
Along with being an adventurist she has a compassion for her fellowman without judgment. She nurtures and educates everyone she has the opportunity to, from children through to adults. She expands her mind and body both mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually on her continuous journey of exploration. A remarkable woman who has created her dreams by living her life to its fullest.
‘TIC This Is China’ review in Huffington post
What prompts a middle-aged woman to sell all of her belongings and move to China? Most would say she was mad, experiencing a midlife crisis or just plain naive. Yet this is exactly what Tove Vine did.
At the age of 57, when many women are settling in to thoughts of retirement and comfort, Tove Vine was experiencing a level of discontent that she could no longer deny. The more she tried to swallow her discontent, the more it reared its ugly head.
As all life altering happenstances go, Tove rationalize her feelings until she could deny them no more. Despite the naysayers, Tove pressed forward and decided to move to China to teach English for one year. Ten years later, she is still in China.
Tove draws us into her world by her brilliant descriptions of her classroom experience as well as her many travels throughout China exploring and learning about the 5,000 years of Chinese culture in this extraordinary country. Tove was brave enough to change her life dramatically at age 57 and embark on a new adventure in the third part of her life. She sold most of her possessions before putting on a backpack and going to China to teach English. She thrived and started her own school, Miss Tove’s English School, where she has made a difference to thousands of Chinese children by teaching the students English as well as Western culture.
She was no stranger to travel or life challenges. At 15 she left school to begin working in a factory, at 19 she travelled to London to work as an au pair and three years later she immigrated to Australia to get married.
But her new adventure raised the question: Can a middle-aged woman change her life and be happy with such drastic upheaval? The answer is yes.
Tove’s new book, TIC: This is China, answers these questions and so much more. It is a fascinating read of how Tove Vine changed her life, followed her dream and became affectionately known as “Tove the Brave” to her Chinese students and friends.
Tove now coaches and advises people to travel, volunteer and work and teach English in China.
Follow Tove on Facebook www.facebook.com/Tovevine
Barbara Ann Mojica
I picked up this book because I visited China around the same time the author picked up her belongings and made a new life for herself in China, and I though it would be interesting to compare experiences. After a divorce, the middle aged author decided that she would leave her Australian homeland and grown daughter to teach English in China. The author is honest and straightforward about her experiences in meeting new people from around the world and adapting to the culture and language which is completely foreign to her. I admire her courage in exploring strange places and living with co-workers that she has never met. My journey was a lot more controlled because the Chinese government monitors the restaurants and hotels that tour groups visit; Ms. Tove had no such luxury. The author writes as if she were talking to a friend; readers feel as it they are experiencing the journey and adventure along with her. Not only did Ms. Vine provide an interesting travel memoir, but she reveals her strength of character. After one year of enjoying teaching the children, but also coping with many moves, upsets, and friends who had returned to their homes, she is stalwart. Tove does not leave her position until her contract is finished. Then she launches her own tutoring school and sets up a charitable foundation in Nepal. If you would like to get an inside glimpse into life in China for a Westerner and sample Chinese culture, take a look at this book.
Ms Margit L Cruice
This book was an absolute joy to read. Tove recounts her memories so well that I got a great feel for how this extraordinary journey must have felt for her. She shows us what is possible when we live life with courage and from a place of love. She is an amazing woman and in this book we get to see a glimpse of her. I can’t wait to read the next one!
I learned of Tove Vine through a mutual friend who traveled alone and off the beaten path for over 22 years. In Tove’s case, she packed up everything, left her native Australia homeland and move to China to teach English. She is gutsy and full of humor as she walks us through her new everyday life in China. Well worth a read for anyone with the gypsy spirit, anyone wanting the adventure of living in a foreign land, or anyone who wants to see that women really can move about in the world at ease and by themselves. I have taught in China and many of my own experiences were similar so this brought back wonderful memories. Thank you, Tove.
As a 40-something who is pretty sure she’s done having kids, reading about Tove’s third chapter in her life was extremely interesting and helpful to me. This woman has some moxie and some courage. She packed up all her stuff and moved to China in her 50s to teach English as a Second Language to Chinese children … and she stayed to create amazing things, like her own school and several charities. China is a better place because of Tove. I can’t wait to read her next book!
What an amazing book, you make me want to pack my bags and just move to China today, thank you for sharing your story and bringing China into my world through your book. You are an amazing woman with courage and strength that shows any woman that you can live your dream. I can’t wait to read the continuation of this awesome story.
Review by Diana Mittag
16 May 2014
Buying a train ticket in China without speaking Chinese is one of many challenges Tove Vine experiences. The urgent need for English teachers in China provides her with an opportunity to move to Guangzhou and to completely change her life. In “TIC – This is China”, she takes the reader along on her journey – first observing and then increasingly interacting and actively exploring everyday life in today’s China. Despite China having become a major political and economic world power – it still seems a mystery to many. There are Chinatowns and Chinese restaurants in most of the western world where one can get a taste of China. However, direct cultural exchange, individual travel and exploration are hampered by the language barrier. Tove Vine brings Guangzhou and many of her encounters with its inhabitants to live in the reader’s mind, her daily work and life and how to cope. She has to get used to almost constantly being the centre of attention. The people of Guangzhou are not used to see foreigners and always keen to practise their English with her. In stark contrast: less than 200 kilometres from Guangzhou, she visits a small fishing village that is full of foreign workers, but hardly known to her friends in the city and difficult to travel to. The reserved attitude of Chinese authorities to Western culture is not dominating Tove Vine’s experiences, but certainly present. For example a growing expat community is forced to split into smaller sections and she is not allowed to talk about the religious aspects of Christmas to her young students. Motivated by her students’ progress, Tove Vine masters her new life with thorough preparation, determination, enthusiasm and creativity. Importantly, she keeps an open mind and heart which allows her to simply get to know China and its people. Tove Vine lets the reader benefit and learn from her experiences, and inspires to follow her example. Diana Mittag
These books written by Tove Vine are amazing. I found that she wrote from the heart and gave an honest view of her past life and her decision to leave Australia in her 50′s to move to a country she has always dreamed of living in. Many people in life have aspirations and dreams but they remain dreams, Tove is now living her dream and I find this author inspiring and someone who enriches other people’s lives. Her books are insightful and funny but also educational which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I am a woman in my late 40′s and from reading these books I too have now decided to visit China for the first time next year and hope to experience even a small amount of what Tove has achieved. She proves that it is ok for woman over a “certain age” to still love life and travel extensively and push the boundaries. Highly recommended read.
I recommend TIC This is China: Living My Dream and Learning a New Culture to all readers who value the efforts of people like Tove Vine who has been brave enough to record her own exciting adventures in modern China and her joy in teaching English to very young and not so young Chinese students. Bravo.
A very enjoyable read and a proof that if you approach life with an open-mind, respect and love you can touch many people and accomplish great things. A lot of positive energy and inspiration to be found in these pages and the author shows that it is never too late to experience new things and make big changes as long as you dare to dream and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices.
I was just thinking this morning how Tove is such a phenomenal woman and I wanted to tell her that … who cranks out 3 successful books in a year? I am 20 years from being her age and she is giving me so much to look forward to! I want to be like Tove when I grow up.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed TIC This is China. It flowed nicely and you really brought Guangzhou alive to me (I had an absolute craving for Peking Duck on Saturday night after I read the book). That being said your book will be enjoyed by all ages for its sincerity and entertaining narrative.
Linda Johnson Burandt
I cannot begin to tell you how your story inspires me. Like that quote about not dying with an unlived life, it speaks of seeds coming and going as blossoms and flowers, I can’t remember it exactly but you are pushing out into the world seeds of adventure and opportunity at every age and it is blossoming into the hearts of many, like mine. I know that there is a garden of flowers waiting to bloom in my future. Thank you for your courage to live life on your terms and for sharing that with others.
It is with great pleasure to write this recommendation for Tove Vine. I have known Miss Tove for about three years since I first met her in the flight from Guangzhou, China to Vietnam. At that time my daughter was just 9 years old. I wanted to find my daughter a good English teacher, because our family plans to immigrate to Australia. My concept of a good teacher is a special kind of patience, love for children and understanding of Chinese culture which Miss Tove has. Since my daughter started her English studies in Miss Tove’s English School she has improved greatly and become a very happy confident student. Miss Tove loves children and has the ability to help the students who attend her English class gain confidents and with the confidence their English improves. My daughter is always very happy going to Miss Tove’s English classes as they are fun and exciting.
My son Lee has attended Miss Tove’s English classes for five years. Since he enrolled in the course he has become more interested in learning English and he is the best student in the Chinese English class because of his English lesson in Miss Tove’s English school. He doesn’t like the homework the Chinese teacher gives him but he is happy to complete the homework Miss Tove gives him. Lee looks forward to every English lesson because Miss Tove’s teaches with enthusiasm and she loves children. Her classroom is full of fun and interaction. The students are very happy in the class and they all love her. I believe Miss Tove is a great teacher. I also admire her for her passion for her work and dedication to the cause of education.
Miss Tove has been my son Chen Chen (English name Dylan) English teacher for two years. Miss Tove is a great teacher. She is patient, responsible and full of energy. She can always come up with a variety of ways to motivate the students and stimulate their interest in learning. The children love her and look forward to her classes because they can both learn and have fun. Miss Tove loves children and they love her.