I’ve been back in the USA for 3 months and I’m ready to leave again.
If When all goes well, I’ll be off very soon on another adventure abroad. This time, I have my sights set on the Middle East. I’ve kept quiet about this one because… reasons. 🙂 It still doesn’t feel real. I suppose it won’t feel real until I’m sitting on my flight to the United Arab Emirates. In the meantime, I look forward to sharing this new chapter with you.
Below are some questions I’ve been asked frequently. If you have other questions, feel free to ask it in the comments section and I’ll answer in another post.
Q1: What will you be doing there?
A1: I’ll be donning my professor hat once again to teach at a university.
Q2: How long will you be there?
A2: My contract is for 3 years, so that’s my minimum stay. If I play my cards right, I may be there longer. Ask me again in 2017.
Q3: Aren’t you worried about moving to that part of the world as a(n) _____________ (Black person/ unmarried woman/American/Non-Muslim)?
A3: Nope. I rarely worry about being Black in a foreign country since my home country doesn’t exactly have the best track record of awesome treatment for Blacks (see: slavery, Jim Crow, stop and frisk laws) and I’ve done just fine there. Besides, it’s not like I can change my skin color to avoid whatever may happen as a result of my extra melanin. I’ve been an unmarried woman for many years without issue, so I should be fine on that front. Being an American has its advantages and occasional disadvantages, but I’m sure I’ll be in good company. I don’t identify as Muslim, despite having a very Muslim name and a Muslim father. Fortunately for me, I’m moving to a country that allows for freedom of religion.
Q4: Will you have to cover yourself from head to toe?
A4: Covering from head to toe is not compulsory, but I think respecting the culture and corresponding dress code of your host country is. I may wear a long black robe, called an abaya, to work so I can wear whatever I want underneath and still be respectful to my students’ culture. In my professional life, I tend to dress a bit conservatively. I move around a lot when I teach, so I find extra tight or revealing clothing to be too much of a fuss for me. In my personal life, however, I do tend to relax my wardrobe. Overall, my strategy is to maintain as much of my “normal” style of dress as I can while not offending the locals.
Q5: Will you be able to drive as a woman?
A5: Yep. I’m moving to the UAE NOT Saudi, people. I’ll be able to drive myself and live a relatively “normal” life.
Q6: Why do you keep leaving?
A6: Because I do what I want. Seriously, this opportunity is something I would have been a fool not to pursue. Professionally and financially, I think it will set me up well for my future. I also think I will have a greater quality of life abroad than I would at home.
Q7: What about Mr. Glitter?
A7: What about him? 😉 😛
So, what’s next? Well, we wait. While I’m waiting, I’ll distract myself from the painfully slow process by sharing what I’ve learned about my soon-to-be home away from home. You know the drill. There will be the requisite posts on document verification and what to pack. I’ll probably have a post freaking out about something silly like waiting for my plane ticket to arrive. I’m also working on a few flashback posts about my time in Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, and St. Maarten to name a few.
Stay tuned, loves…