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The Black Expat: ‘I Met My Boyfriend 15 Days After Moving Abroad’

By DeAnna Taylor

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Ranata Davis is from York, South Carolina. She worked as an athletic director and vice principal for 11 years, before moving abroad. She now works as a physical health and education teacher in Doha, Qatar.

We spoke with her via email about her life in Qatar.

Photo courtesy of Ranata

Travel Noire: Why did you make the move abroad initially?

Ranata: About ten years ago I thought about pursuing a career abroad, but I don’t believe I was mentally ready. God was most likely not ready for me to make that transition. I worked for an amazing charter school district, but I wasn’t chasing the principalship. I also found myself slightly bored in my position. I was at a point in my career where change needed to happen. I knew that change involved me shaking up my life and career. I also had this deep, burning desire to travel. The amount of hours and days I was required to work as an administrator didn’t allow me to travel the way I desired to during school breaks. 

Photo courtesy of Ranata

TN: Why did you choose Doha, Qatar?

Ranata: I received job offers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt and Qatar. The final decision for me came down to a few things. I wanted to maintain my same salary after taxes, I needed my family to know that I would be in a safe country, I wanted my choice to remind me of Arizona where I had resided since 2006, a Christian place to worship, and a reputable hair salon. 

Qatar really seemed to have it together the more and more read about the country. I am very happy that I did the research on the front end of the process. The offer for Qatar was made 10 minutes after my interview. They gave me 24 hours to sign my contract. I requested 48 hours, which they honored so that I could complete another interview the next day.

Photo courtesy of Ranata

Related: The Black Expat: ‘I Left America With Nothing But A Backpack And Fearless Mindset’

TN: What has life been like abroad, thus far?

Ranata: In addition to learning how to be in the classroom again, digesting the curriculum, trying to understand the culture and settling into my new home, I met my current boyfriend about 15 days after getting here. Crazy, right? We had the Eid holiday between pre-service and school starting. Because I was still waiting for clearance (they collect your passport during this time), I was stuck in the country. I decided to see what was up with Tinder. I matched with quite a few people, including him. He immediately spoke and carried on a conversation. I finally gave him my phone number, which extended to quite a few text messages. We agreed to meet in person, which went well. In all transparency, it took some time for me adjust to a man pursuing me, treating me with respect, and genuinely desiring to know me. But there came a point where I had to make a decision. Am I going to pursue this equally, if not more, or am I going to keep looking around? It just became really apparent that this was my match.  

Photo courtesy of Ranata

TN: How are you treated as a Black woman in Qatar?

Ranata: As a Black woman in Qatar, I have not encountered any type of mistreatment. I believe there is a sense of thankfulness among the Arab community that expats are here to educate their children. The nationals do not have the population to support the education workforce. I make sure to treat everyone with kindness and they always smile in return. My students have been complimentary of me in their reflection assignments. I feel happy. I know that I belong here and made the right choice.

TN: Where can we find you on social media?
Ranata: I can be found on Instagram @jetsetmelanin2018 as well as www.jetsetmelanin.com.
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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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