Many people have asked me, “what in the world are you thinking, moving to the Middle East?” Well, follow our journey, and I’m sure you’ll quickly see that we are a family who loves to travel and embraces change. Are you ready? The story begins.
I was looking for part-time work from home after being laid off by a reputable online University. I started Chickadee Prints, but it was in its infancy, and I needed to help us stay afloat while starting out. So, I started checking out Craigslist. On January 31st, I jokingly texted my husband after reading an ad, asking “want to live in Abu Dhabi for two years?” His reply SHOCKED me, “when and why and yes!” What? Seriously? But, where is it? LOL! I had no clue where Abu Dhabi was, let alone where Dubai was. Sure, I’d heard of them, but if you gave me a map, I wouldn’t have known where to point. The position is to teach curriculum in English to Emirate children. A TOUGH task, but worth the adventure for sure…right? That day, because he was so excited, I started filling out the application, sent all the documents to the appropriate people, and prepared for something I knew nothing about…and looked at a map! I now know a LOT of the geography of the area after doing so much research! I thought to myself, can I handle this? Can my kids? It then dawned on me…I have to fly my three itty bitties, for 25+ hours, on a plane, just to get there. Oh dear…help me!
The first step in the process was a phone interview. Passing the phone interview, I was then asked to do an in person interview in California. So, On March 10th, we left Utah, making a family trip out of the interview, and headed to Southern California. We spent two days at Disneyland…knowing in the back of our minds, that this would be the last time for two years for my kids. On March 12th, we drove to the interview in Santa Monica…my heart was beating the entire way there…and traffic made that trip even longer. The interview went very well, very direct. I had to prove to them why my family and I would be good candidates for traveling around the World, and that we could live in such a different culture. Thank goodness we travel a lot…it helped me show that my kids are accustomed to it, that there wouldn’t be too many issues. The interview lasted one hour, and I was sent on my way. Did I get it? We had to wait, and it could be anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks to hear anything.
While I had the chance, I stopped and reflected on what I was doing. What was I really hoping to get out of this experience. Ever since my husband and I got married, we have dreamed of living out of the country with our children, as we feel travel often times gives more education and rounding of a person, than school itself. We hoped to live in France for a few years, since my husband speaks French. Never did we think about the Middle East…EVER! But why couldn’t we live there? Humans are humans…my children will learn about and see things they never dreamed could be real. Camels walking around the desert, gold inlay and solid gold on many buildings, the dress, the cultural norms…their cup will runneth over. And I will have a chance to impact children…a chance to teach them English for the first time in their lives. Majority don’t speak, read, or write a lick of English. 3rd grade level of English skills would be equated to Pre-K/K. I will be teaching K…brand spanking new. I am excited for this challenge…I welcome it.
On Monday, March 15th, at 2:00pm, I got the call…and…WE’RE MOVING TO ABU DHABI! Let the preparations begin for moving a family of 5 across the world. Come and join me on our adventure! We will share what it takes to pack up a family and prepare for the journey, we’ll share video clips and photos galore, and even my husband will share his daily life there…homeschooling our children!