Design Your Life
The Black Expat: Living In Abu Dhabi As A Black Woman Has Been ‘Amazing’
By DeAnna Taylor
Meet Janelle, a 35-year old native of Charlotte, North Carolina. Before moving abroad, she worked in education and owned a Christian dance company.
She now lives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), where she works as a teacher.
We had the chance to speak with her about her life as a Black Expat in Abu Dhabi.
Travel Noire: Why did you decide to move abroad?
Janelle: I decided to move abroad because the teaching package was one I could not pass up. This opportunity is allowing me to not only save money, but travel and see the world as well. My husband and I decided that in this stage of our lives living abroad would be a nice adventure.
Travel Noire: What has life been like living in the UAE?
Janelle: Life in the UAE has been amazing. This is the safest country in the world! I don’t have to worry about my black husband being racially profiled, or being shot for simply being who we are. Life here is stress free. When I leave work, I leave work. I do not bring work home and if I do, on very rare occasions, it’s because I want to, not because I have to. Life here is everything I could imagine plus some!
Travel Noire: What challenges have you faced as a Black woman in the UAE?
Janelle: Honestly, I have not faced any challenges living here and I can say that many of my black female friends and colleagues haven’t faced many if any at all while living here.
Travel Noire: How would you compare life abroad versus back home?
Janelle: Life here is very different than life back home. Back home, my husband and I were working our butts off just to make ends meet. Here, we have so much time to explore and travel. We are truly able to live and enjoy life!
Travel Noire: Do you see yourself moving back home in the near future?
Janelle: I don’t see myself moving back in the near future because life here is so great. I do miss my friends and family but I’ve let all of them know they are welcome to come here and visit. I miss sewing and letting my creative juices flow too, but I’m finding other creative things to do in my spare time like being on the planning committee for a Women of Color Wellness & Girls Trip Retreat.
Travel Noire: Can you give any tips or advice to our readers who may want to move abroad, but are afraid?
Janelle: My advice for anyone wanting to move abroad is to step out on faith and do it. There will never be a perfect time. There will always be reasons why you shouldn’t move but don’t let that and fear hinder your decision. Also, know that living abroad will be different than what you may be accustomed to, but you must be willing to accept and embrace those differences.
Travel Noire: Where can we find you on social media?
I can be found on Instagram: @UniqueDoes
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.