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I am so happy to feature Tanai Benard, a mother of 3 currently living an amazing life in a foreign country. She’s truly showing us how it’s possible to live your dreams no matter what your circumstances are. She’s truly a Travel Ninja! 

 

1.You have 3 children under the age of 11 and you moved to Abu Dhabi. How did you decide to make such a big move? 

In 2013, moving to Abu Dhabi was a mere thought.I was married at the time and was introduced to the opportunities available in the UAE.  My marriage was on its last leg. We were in a state of emergency and needed an intervention.  I figured moving to another country and starting brand new would save our marriage and family. My then husband agreed that we were in need for a change and Abu Dhabi would be the best place to start fresh. Long story short, we boarded the airplanes 4 Deep (3 kids and 1 parent) instead of a family of 5.

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2. Was getting an offer in Abu Dhabi/ Dubai difficult? What was the interview process like?

Getting an offer was a breeze. I heard about the position on a whim in March 2013. I applied online to Teachaway and Footprints Recruiting. A few days after applying I had phone interviews for both positions. Before I knew it, I had advanced to the face-to-face interview phase for both positions. By the end of April/beginning of May I had 2 teaching offers. I had no clue where my journey was taking me but by the end of August I had sold and “sowed” our belongings, rented out my home and the kids and I uprooted our lives and was on a plane to the Arabian Gulf.

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3. How did your kids react when you told them they were moving to Abu Dhabi? 

I don’t recall the kids having too much of a reaction! At the time, they were only 5,6 and 8 and I don’t think they really got the gist of what was about to occur. I don’t believe they really grasped that they would be starting a new life in a foreign country and that this was not the norm. I am almost certain that it didn’t dawn on them that Daddy wouldn’t be joining us on this leg of the journey either. I can definitely say they have been true troopers.

 

10933826_10204922638799382_1364586486429447833_n (1) 4. How is daily life in Abu Dhabi similar and different than being in the states?

Daily life is very similar during the weekday. The kids go to school and I go to work Sunday – Thursday (Fri and Sat are weekends). After work and school, depending on the time of year, either my daughter has gymnastic practice 4 hours a week or/and the boys have American football practice 4 hours a week or Mommy has kickball or volleyball (3C Sports) practice. It’s very similar to our routine back in the states except Mommy didn’t have time for sports because my time was devoted to the American hustle outside of being a mommy and wife. You know the American hustle; where you have a full time job plus 3 other side gigs just to keep your head above water, which leaves little room for “Me” time or a social life.

Now I must say I LLLLIIIIVVVEEEE for the weekends here as most other Western expats do. We are not limited by any means. We can shop at one of the bazillion malls located on every corner, partake in some of the fanciest brunches in the world, float down the Marina in a private yacht with friends as the DJ spins your requests or take your passport and fly out to the nearest international city or country of your choosing for the weekend.  I feel so truly blessed that all of these are things my family have been able to do with out it being a financial burden.

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 5. How are your kids adjusting to living in Abu Dhabi? Have they had any experiences with racism?

OMG, I am so amazed and awed at how well they have adjusted here. We are speaking of children who were uprooted from their home life in the states while having to face the reality of their parents getting a divorce dealt with simultaneously. They attend an American curriculum private school where they are taught Arabic and French. They all maintain an A or A/B average. I get the opportunity to watch them interact with children from around the world. I literally have local children knock on my door and request the children to play football (soccer) with them in the neighborhood street. I stand and watch in awe as my children play with kids in kanduras (traditional dress).  Fortunately, they have not experienced any racism here. I hope I can continue to protect them from ugly world but I know I can’t. I know eventually I will have to prepare them for it before we return to the States. Sad fact!

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6. Have you been able to travel much since moving to Abu Dhabi?

HA! 4 Deep is getting our (passport) stamps up! Traveling has become our new family hobby. I have made it my personal goal to ensure they get to experience a new adventure (country) at least every 100 to 130 days. We (I) have a new found love for travel. Never could I have imagined that we would have access to the world as we do now.

Before making this move to Abu Dhabi, I was not an owner of a passport. The closest I had ever come to international travel is taking a cruise to Mexico from Texas. I always thought international travel was for the rich and retired and not for “us”. Growing up, our family vacations were to the nearest state beach or amusement park. That was the norm for us.

I feel extremely blessed that as a single parent I can afford the opportunity to take my children to different exotic places. We have visited Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia in the last 6 months. Before the end of this year, we will have visited the United States and Philippines and I am planning a Christmas trip to Zanzibar and Nairobi. I have “mommy” trips planned for Italy and Cancun this summer as well.

 

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 7. What did your family say/how did they react when you told them you were moving to Abu Dhabi?

Their first response was always “Where is that?” I don’t think anyone in my family new exactly where Abu Dhabi was on the map.  For the most part, my family has been very supportive from the very beginning. I told most of my other family before I told my mom. I made them swear to secrecy to keep a tight lip. I wanted to complete the interview process and actually have an offer before I freaked my mom out with the big news. Thankfully, my family didn’t say a word (that I know of). Once my decision was final and I knew we were leaving I let her know of the big move in a matter of fact way. Like, “Hey mah, by the way we are moving to the Middle East, how about them Cowboys!” I was prepared to try to sell her on the move and get her on board since I was taking her only grandchildren. I had a speech prepared with factual evidence on why this was a good move.  None of my preparation was necessary because she gave me her blessing with ease. Now my dad on the other hand, well that’s another story. His response was “Why are you taking my babies over there to them terrorist?” Lets just say that if you knew him you would understand his response. He is a true character!

 

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 8. Have you been back to the states since moving? If yes, how has your view of America changed?

I have been back to the states one time since moving and I can say I now view America differently. My next statements I say with the upmost respect for my country. Many refer to America as “America the Great”. A place where many migrate to so they can obtain the American Dream. Once you get the chance to be on the outside looking in you wonder how can it be described as so great.

I watch generations of my family work hard to try an obtain this so called dream. A dream that at a minimal included financial freedom. After years and years of working and many paychecks later they are in the same position that they started in. Not because they don’t work hard or they are financially irresponsible but because they can’t catch a break in this land of greatness. For them it’s just another day, another dollar. A dollar that is gone before they ever make it.

Now here is a country , the UAE, that is willing to give my family a better life and all I have to do is teach. So you mean to tell me that another country finds value in me as an educator and will compensate me generously. It makes me wonder why America can’t value their educators on the same level. I digress….

 

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 9. What would you say to a single mother who wants to try something different but is afraid to move?

You have to take that leap of faith. Don’t allow your current situation dictate your future. I must say that everyone’s journey may not be as mine and consist of a bold move across the world. But many of us have something in life that we hesitate to “move” on. We allow society and our self doubt to dictate what single moms should and shouldn’t be able to do. You have to release yourself from that mindset. We always tell our children, you can do anything you put your mind to but yet we fail to take heed to our own parental advice.

For me moving to the UAE was never ever on my radar. I am so happy I pushed through my fears and doubts. Only a few years prior to my move, I was an engineering student with a full course load, working full time with three children. I was also a recipient of every governmental assistance program that was offered to the working class using each as a stepping stone to eventually have better. I was struggling living paycheck to paycheck, robbing Peter to pay Paul as my elders would say. If I hadn’t took a chance I would still be in the rat race. Boy am I glad I did. Doing so has allowed me and my children to see the world, meet great FRamily (Friends who are now family forever), and live in a place of peace and happiness.

I will never forget the day I realized I found a place of peace. About 3 months into our move, I stood on the balcony of our 21st floor condo overlooking the beautiful blue sea. At that moment, I felt such a weight immediately remove itself from me. In that time I knew I had found peace. Most would have saw my situation at that moment as a recipe for an extreme mental breakdown; a single mother of 3 elementary age children, a survivor of domestic violence, a recent divorcee and a new expat living in a foreign country with no local support system in place. In the midst of the storm,I refused to let any of that detour me. I realized that in order for my grass to get greener, I had to endure a storm.  Yes, I miss my family and yes there are times I get homesick and I wonder when my Boaz will arrive to continue on this journey with me as a dynamic parenting duo but I guarantee you that I wouldn’t change any part of this journey for the world. From me to you, I say JUMP! You may just spread wings you never knew you had and SOAR!

 10. How do you think this experience has been on your children?

It almost brings me to tears to see how much they have matured during this journey. I feel like this experience has brought us closer. They have become my strength and I have watched them blossom into loving and caring individuals. I have truly been blessed with wonderful self-sufficient children.

 Believe it or not, before leaving I had one child who seemed so angry and would have outburst in school. He would literally have to be carried out of the classroom by 2 adults. I’m more then certain this was a by product of his unstable home life,Albeit, at the time I self diagnosed him with the middle child syndrome. I didn’t want to take responsibility for how as parents our actions effected him . Fast forward 2 years later and he is the sweetest most thoughtful kid you will ever meet. Not one single outburst.

He is an A honor roll 3rd grader who opens my car door (with no prior training) and tells me “Mommy I Love You” every night with a hug and kiss. I’ve also watched my daughter blossom and come out of her shell and my baby boy is no longer a baby.   This experience has caused us to become a very close-knit family. Any and everywhere we go I am constantly getting compliments about how well behave they are from people we know and strangers alike.After being uprooted from what they know I can only be grateful of how truly resilient children can be.

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Some people travel. Roni IS travel. For over 20 years she has been traveling the world and now shares her unique insight with her worldwide audience on her blog, www.RoniTheTravelGuru.com. Whether you have never gotten on a plane or are a seasoned traveler, the expertise and insider knowledge she shares on her blog will help you make your travels an adventure. No where else can you find the uniquely helpful ins and out given to you by someone who has lived overseas for 4 years, speaks fluent English, French and Spanish, and works for a major airline. And guess what? She’s also a licensed elementary teacher and has an MBA.

206 COMMENTS

  1. This is the most wonderful thing I’ve heard all day. I’m so proud of Tanai who had the courage to spread her wings and see what the world has to offer. I did the same thing with my daughter and travelled to West Africa for one year. Once you get the bug to travel, it opens the mind and the heart and makes life so much more varied and your experiences deeper and loving. I’m so proud her son is able to live in harmony, they are all beautiful. It also says a lot about being African American here with nothing to look forward to. Blessing and continued excellent adventures!

  2. This is so awesome! I watch women like her on House Hunters International all the time and wonder what their everyday lives are like and it’s just awesome to hear first hand what her family life is like. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read about the journey of 4 Deep. Congrats to you my sister for giving your daughter the experience of a lifetime. You are right that travel bug is a true eye opener. Blessing

      • How would one go about employment in Abi Dhabi? or surrounding areas? How are the employment opportunities there, and salary rates compared to the USA?

        • I have a friend over there..starting pay is usually around 90K or more and they usually require a Masters Degree because you are teaching the kids of the rich locals or Embassy personnel. She lives in an exclusive neighborhood and also has a maid, so life must be pretty good as a teacher over there.

          • Is she a teacher? If so, she lied to you. The salaries are between 40,000 to 60,000 dollars. Plus, a made is like 10-15 dollars each cleaning.

          • Hello,
            I read your reply to the post! That is awesome your friend is making that kindof money. Do you mind asking her what company did she go through to obtain employment? Please feel free to email me with the neccessary information.

            Thank you.

            M. Martinez

      • I’m truly amazed by your strength! You have given me the answers to my current questions. I’m constantly being told. ” It would be stupid of me to uproot my kids and take them away from everything they know and love”. My response back in most cases ” this is all they know so of course they love it, but they can love somewhere else just the same”. Robbing Peter to pay Paul- I know all about it. It’s tough here in America. There is a saying “faking it until you make it” this is real and the struggle is real. I remain optimistic…but lord knows this is not the end for me. I will get away and find happiness. Every day here in this country of “greatness” brings more and more sadness. Either you are poor or rich there is no in between- truth be told. I’m so dang on tired of living check to check just to make ends meet. When the weekends are here, we can’t go out and have fun there is no money and the money we do have is to pay for shelter and bills. It’s tough out here in these streets. I’m constantly enrolling in school to increase my levels of experience so that I can find better opportunities yet I’m still stuck. Your post has giving me the motivation, courage, strength, and knowledge to JUMP!!! You go girl you did it…trust me your story will inspire many others just like me. MY CURRENT SITUATION WILL NOT DICTATE MY FUTURE. I WILL SOAR!!! P.s you have some beautiful children. Kudos to you and may GOD continue to lead and protect you in all that you do. You have my blessings.

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      • Hi Tanai…my name is Tracy. I have been offered a position in Abu Dubai and am praying about it to see if it is the right thing to do. So far, it feels like it! I have been asking the Lord for so long to help me make a change in my life because I feel so stagnant her in Los Angeles. I am also tired of teaching kids who don’t want to learn. So now I am at a crossroads. Do I leap at this opportunity…this door that I think Heavenly Father has opened for me, or do I stay safe, in the world I know and hope true happiness eventually finds me. I know that people say you have to make your own happiness, and I believe that to an extend, but sometimes outside sources intrude and make life difficult. I want to be free. I feel like maybe now I can spread my wings and fly!!! But there are questions that I have. First, what are the apartments like? I have heard horror stories. I would be working for the government, so I understand that they place teachers in nicer places. But I cannot deal with roaches!!!! Next, my hair! Girl, I know you understand. I currently wear a weave. Can I find someone there to do it, or should I switch to braids because I understand that a lot of African woman live there, and I am assuming that they braid. What about money. How much in taxes do we pay to the US? I know you have three children…and they are gorgeous!!!! I have no kids or husband. Will I be able to save any money or is it so expensive to live that I will use it just to live? I am also worried because I am a tenured teacher at LAUSD. What if I want to come back because I don’t like it…..I may not be rehired. There is so much to think about. But I will try not to worry and just have faith and trust in Him like you did! If you can answer any of these questions for me, please do. Thank you.

        Tracy

        • I have some of he same questions you do. I’m also considering trying this teaching abroad experience. Did you get any answers to your questions?

      • This is so ironic I was speaking to my daughter yesterday in reference to moving to another coutry or the caribean. It seems so peaceful there and free. Do you have any suggestions with how to seek employment. Can you email me please… nicnat32.nk@gmail.com

  3. Thank you for sharing. This is nearly my story except insert China, one kid, and a not so amicable divorce. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. As an expat single mom, I can afford quality childcare and I get to provide my son with amazing experiences.

      • I’m definitely looking to move. I have a unique situation and have been self employed. If someone could give me information to look into, I’d probably be out of the US in a heartbeat.

    • Chinamom,
      I am a single mom as well considering moving abroad as the US has proven to be a very difficult place with which to survive in.
      Would you mind sharing where and how to get employment abroad. I assume you are a teacher as well?
      Thank you for your time.
      Debbie

  4. This is so wonderful and encouraging. I’m literally sitting with tears in my eyes at this world of possibilities I didn’t know existed for single moms like me. Does Tanai have an on going blog or resource list? I’d love to learn more.

    • Ms. Williams it is so refreshing to know that I have encouraged another single mom like myself. We are not limited and I agree the possibilities are endless. Currently, I do not have a blog *shame* but sooner rather then later I will be sharing more of my story.

  5. I have been to the UAE several times. There is NO PLACE in the world like it. Americans really need to understand there are awesome places around the world for Americans to live.

  6. I am absolutely inspired by the story. I have been wanting to move out of the USA for probably the last 5 years. my cousin works over there as a contractor. I have a husband and two children and a dog though….. I really want to do this!!!

    • So what seems to be the problem.. 🙂 If you and your husband are both in agreement to make a move then do it. Sit down together, pray about it and then plan your next step accordingly.

  7. I loved this article. I have been considering moving abroad with my teenage daughter. Other than family and friends who were military, I didn’t know anyone who had lived overseas especially with children in tow. This article answered a lot of questions for me and confirmed some things I have been thinking/ feeling about this process.

    • I appreciate you taking a moment to read the article. I am so happy that it helped you find answer to some of your questions. You will be amazed how many people travel and live abroad with children in tow. We are out here, come and join us. 🙂

      • Hi Ms. Tanai,

        Did you just need your B.A degree to get to Abu Dhabi ? I’m trying to go to somewhere in the middle east to not only teach but get away from the racial discrimination I get from family for converting to Islam. Any tips would be appreciated!

  8. Lovely story to read. I’m another AD expat with three kids – I couldn’t imagine doing it on my own though, what an amazing courageous woman, so proud for her not only getting her life together here but going on to see the world, I commend her and hope I can cross paths with her one day

  9. I feel soooo inspired to do just what she has done. I just had a conversation with my co-worker about having to work 2 jobs just to make ends meet. I’m a therapist and I spend my days helping others battle stress and depression and suffer everyday. Living paycheck to paycheck is an awful feeling wen u can’t make ends meet. This woman has basically made up my mind for me and I’m ready to go now. If there is any way I can reach her I hope she sees this email me at shanc_05@yahoo.com I would love to talk to her.

    • Shannon,
      First off, thank you for reading about part of the journey of 4 Deep. I am happy that my story has been a blessing in your life. I know all to well the life of living pay check to pay check. It’s not fair nor fun. Can’t wait to see you here in the expat world.

    • Shannon is it ok if I contact you? It would be cool to have someone else so I can stay on course. Kid you not less than an hour after posting I came across a post someone put one their page about Dubai and it was mostly negative. Then one of his friends posted videos trying to prove her facts. Bwoy the devil think he’s smart but I’m smarter.

    • Shannon is it ok if I contact you? It would be cool to have someone else so I can stay on course. Kid you not less than an hour after posting I came across a post someone put one their page about Dubai and it was mostly negative. Then one of his friends posted videos trying to prove her facts. Bwoy the devil think he’s smart but I’m smarter.

  10. Tanai- Super-fabulous! There’s nothing else that could describe this beautiful story. I’m Allison’s mom. You and she went to school together in TX. I am so proud of you….absolutely! Your children will always have so much love and respect for you…and deservingly so. Continue to live and love well!

    • Hhhheeeyyy Mrs. Goya,
      I remember you! Thank you for taking the time to read the story. I am so impressed that you remember me from 15 years ago. I am even more excited that I made you proud. 🙂

      • Oh yes Sweetheart! You have made me proud and Allison and I have been talking about you and your children Big Time! Remember, your Mother was one of my managers while in TX. Please tell her hello. Also, you need to tell this story via magazines, radio and television talk shows. You would change so many women’s and others’ perspectives. I’ve forwarded your story to my business network and friends and family, and they even relate to it in some form….not taking that leap of faith, living in unnecessary fear–afraid to make a life-changing move. They feel stuck in a ‘rut’. But you have given (at least a few) hope and encouragement. You didn’t know that you would affect so many, but everything happens for a reason. And you have done something phenomenal for your children and so many other souls. Don’t look back! And thank you so much!!

  11. Thank you for sharing!!! This is truly wonderful and inspiring! Kudos to her for taking a leap of faith and believing in herself! I wish her and her children the best!!

  12. Tanai!!!! OMG, this has brought TEARS to my eyes! I’m sooooo glad you are able to do everything and MORE as a single mom just as you would/could in a 2 parent home. This, I’m sure has motivated many to live no matter their circumstances. I too moved (not across the world lol) and had to take that leap. Reading this makes me want to move again! To the place I’d much rather be. Nevertheless, continue on your journey hun. Take care of those babies!! #4Deep

  13. I am in awe of this young lady! I too have accepted a teaching position in the Middle East and am looking forward to my journey to Saudi Arabia in August. I’m made the decision to teach overseas 2 years ago and it manifested this year. Whatever you want to in life, set your mind to it despite your circumstances…you can do it!

    “Whether you think you can or you can’t, either way you’re right.” –Henry Ford

    • Way to go Latonia! Glad to see you executing your plan and making that BIG move to the Middle East. I agree that anything is possible if you believe and have faith. I would love to hear about your transition to Saudi in the future. – Tanai

    • Latonia,
      I have been reading these incredibly encouraging posts and would love a little more enlightenment.
      Would you mind sharing with me how to begin searching for a teaching job in the middle east?
      I too am a single mother just trying to provide a life for my little one.
      I see many people asking the same question for help, but I don’t see any postings on how to find ways of applying for such jobs?
      I’ve matriculated for 7 years, to become an acupuncturist, and hypnotherapist, and still I cannot survive here in the U.S. Most do not believe in alternative medicines here.
      I would sincerely appreciate any feedback.
      thank you,
      Debbie

  14. This is such an amazing story and Tanai is an amazing person to take the leap of faith that many wouldn’t. She is such and inspiration and I really wish her the best of luck. This story has me in tears.

  15. This is truly one of the best interviews I have read in a VERY LONG TIME! Like most black children myself, I am the child of a single mother; I see so much of my mother in this woman! My mother made it a priority that we leave the country every year and travel like this woman. Very few black children get to experience that ! I find it wonderful she did not let her circumstances curtail her from moving forward! I really wish her and her children joy, light , and happiness!

  16. Hello Tanai….I have a close friend who has been there four years in the same teaching program. I am a teacher and single parent of one. I am seriously considering applying for the program. Thanks for sharing. I am inspired. Thank You!

    • Katrintha,
      I am in the same situation.
      Did you ever get an answer from you posting?
      If so, would you mind sharing.

  17. I salute you Tanai!! I work in healthcare and feel the need for serious shift. I’m 41, dating a wonderful man, and would like to know about recruiters/agencies to inquire of opportunities with. I’m a RN, NP, Coordinator of the Stroke Center at a State hospital.. Better quality of life and more travel opportunities is my goal. Can you share the name of your recruiter? Perhaps they can point me a a good direction.. thanks.. Best to your family and soon to come Boaz!!

    • Hello Sherene,
      The recruiting agency that I used is geared towards the education field. However, you may want to look into the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi. There are a lot of American expats employed by them.

  18. Your children are beautiful! Absolutely Radiant. I too am a single mother of two pre-teens and it isn’t always easy but it certainly doesn’t have to be ‘so hard’ when you choose freedom on your own terms. The ‘system’ here in the U.S. profits off of incarcerating our children rather than educating them – it tells us to work hard to get ahead but simply encourages debt or dependency rather than real empowerment.

    Your story reminds me of that great quote from Marianne Williamson “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    Congratulations to you for no only rising up to a greater vision of what’s possible but for the courageous act of sharing your story with others. There is so much power in the telling, especially when women share with one another. God bless you & your beautiful, smiling children. May you have lots more of fabulous adventures!

    • Ms. Jackie,
      Oh how I appreciate your kinds words. I think I just found a new favorite quote. I will try my best to continue to share my testimony.

      • Tanai,
        I’m sure you get this question a hundred times, sorry to be the 101’st.
        I have been reading these incredibly encouraging posts and would love a little more enlightenment.
        Would you mind sharing with me how to begin searching for a teaching job or finding a recruiter in the middle east?
        I too am a single mother just trying to provide a life for my little one.
        Before having my son, I’ve matriculated for 7 years, getting my masters degree to become an acupuncturist, Herbalist and a certified hypnotherapist. With all my years of education, still I cannot survive here in the U.S. Most do not believe in alternative medicines here; and now I have to borrow money just to pay rent and buy food.

        I was researching moving to China, but Abu Dhabi sounds fascinating. It’s also much warmer, as the thought of going to Shanyang, China in the winter time at 20 below zero sounds pretty rough.

        I am very scared for myself and my son, and time seems to be running out for us. Would you mind sharing a good recruiters name, or ways with which I may be able to find a job to provide a better life for me and my son.

        I would sincerely appreciate any feedback, resources & references you may have.
        If you need my email address please do let me know.

        thank you,
        Debbie

    • Google hziegler. It’s an international travel nurse agency.

      I have several friends who have worked through this agency abroad.

  19. Hi Tanai!
    Congratulations on stepping out! What an awesome example you are. Are you available to email with me personally about your venture? I am planning to take the same leap but with 5 children. I know I can do it and would love to connect with you!

    SoJi

  20. Once your eyes are open, it is impossible to shut them tightly again! You have undoubtedly inspired many to put action behind our dreams and reach the stars!

  21. This just gave me life!!! I literally have tears…happy tears of course. I don’t know you but I am so happy for you and your children as I read your story. Keep living…your Boaz will present himself soon. I sent this to my husband because I desire to move over to work for awhile. Keep enjoying life Sis…I too see things different. God Bless you.

  22. Tania I’m so happy for you. I’m going to do my research about this city and go for a visit. I have my passport already and nothing holding me back. No children, No wife, I’m great with people and smart. Tulsa Oklahoma is a great place but I need another dramatic change, I was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. God bless

    • Well looks like there is nothing stopping you. Nothing to it but to do it. Of course, I encourage you to pray about any move you may want to make 😉 – Tanai

  23. Tanai,
    Thank you for sharing your perspective. I spoke of travel to Dubai recently as I missed the opportunity some years ago, I know a teacher there now, I know retired military personnel ( now contractor), and want share the experience with my children & husband and seek birth working opportunities. I saw today the 1st birth worker conference that’s being held there in the fall. It certainly is on my bucket list for a visit; if not for an extended teachable/learning experience in maternal child health, birth, lactation, or reproductive justice for not only for myself; but enriching my family’s lives as well through positive exposures. Continued blessings and happy, joyous travels.

  24. I am really inspired about your journey. You sound very happy. I am researching information about educational job opportunities there also. Thanks for sharing! You and the kids look overjoyed with life.

  25. This is an amazing story! I am so proud of you for having the courage to raise and protect your children. You are setting a positive example for each child: Once you raise the standard it’s hard to lower it. Continue to enjoy your journey and build the bond with your babies! When they get older they will see the value in all that you have provided them with. High five to you, Tanai ✋

  26. What an inspiring story!! I’ve been considering making a move to another country and your story has given me the push that I needed to start working towards that. I’m considering taking English outside of the USA. UAE is my first pick on where to move to. Thank you for your story and keep up the good work!!

  27. I am a divorced single mother of two boys ages 10 and 13. I can’t seem to find my way in my career. I just go from one horrible job to another. Or I find an amazing job that pays very little. I would love to make the move you have made but I don’t know where to begin. How do I look for a job over their. I myself am angry, my children are unhappy. We have faced hard times even homelessness. Someone please help me pick myself up and start over. I have said for a long time I just want to move far far away and start over. I have a degree in psychology. I have experience in teaching regular and special ed but no current teaching license. I have worked with children my whole life including those with mental and behavioral issues.

    • Mar Dee,
      I know all to well the feeling that is stirring up inside of you. You must know God is not done with you so you must not give up. Understand for the last 10 years before my divorce my life was filled with a lot of why’s. “God Why Me?” “God what did I do to deserve this?” My tears where filled with so much anger and self hate. I was consumed with the feeling that I failed my children because I brought them into such a disastrous situation. My sister, I know how you feel. Don’t give up! Continue to PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens)

      • Yes, Lord, Tania, so well said, “PUSH” – pray until something happens! Thank you for having the strength and will to seek a better life for yourself and your children and for sharing your story. It is definitely an eye opener and motivator. I wish you all the best in life and all that God has in store for you. Take care of you and those babies.

  28. Love this story and would love to move overseas for a little while with my kids. Too bad my divorce decree prevents me from moving within a 200 mile radius of their father.

  29. I am so glad I came across this article. I have always liked Abu Dhabi and I love their architecture. I just never thought of moving my family there. I now have a goal with a destination. Hopefully by this time next year my boys and I will be on our way.

    Life has been pretty difficult the last few years. I’ve finally gotten away from and abusive relationship, I spent most of last year living in hotels with my boys, and I’ve looking for a way to have a better life for my family.

    Thank you for sharing your story and showing us single moms that this is possible. I’m excited to start my journey to figure out how to make a life outside of the States.

  30. This story brought me to tears of joy. I feel so inspired. I am the Mommy to 2 y/o identical twin boys who has just left an abusive marriage and am in the early stages of divorce. I’m in the reset phase of my life and have found that the two Master’s degrees and years of experience have not served me well. I know that a change is necessary. I had never thought of making this kind of leap, but your story really spoke to my spirit. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are an inspiration.

  31. The screen looks blurry, I can’t stop crying. This was meant for me. I’ve been praying and asking God for clarity on my next path. I’ve always had thoughts of Dubai but I was always afraid. Coming from the Caribbean they say that you come to ‘foreign’ for a better life. And after all that my mother had endured to get me here I feel that I owe it to her to succeed here. I too watch International house hunters and watch as ‘Americans’ move to the Islands for a better quality of life, yet here I am with my now two children ( newborn 2 months) scrapping the bottom of the barrel. I am here thinking what can I sell or get rid of, especially since I already lost my apartment a little while back. I would also have to deal with their father, thats another thing that ways heavy on me. Ohh Emm Gee, wait I would need to get a job first. Tanai I hope I would get the opportunity to thank you in person. M. Williams are you coming? Now, where do I begin. Please God don’t let me lose my nerve. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  32. Thank you for this story. It was so timely for me. I am about to embark on a well over due divorce and I’m scared. I have just “robbed Peter to pay Paul” and just 10 minutes ago put down money on an apartment for myself and my children. Not one person, other than my two children have supported my decision to leave our home. I forgive them because they have not walked in my shoes. Although the courts have served my spouse with a restraining order for my protection, no one understands this move is no longer about my safety, it is now about the safety of my kids. After your story I stand a little bit taller. Thank you for sharing and best of luck to you and your beautiful children.

  33. I love this article. it is so inspiring. I hear so many people from other countries talk about True living is better aboard and not here in the states, and when you get a chance to experience it you see why other countries do not like the US. This woman is right you would never live the American Dream that this country claim to have.
    **Great Article**

  34. I am inspired by this article. I am single with grown children, nothing holding me back but me. I have a Masters Degree and can’t find a decent paying job. I don’t know what to do anymore, because my ends don’t meet and it’s so frustrating because my education just seems to be in vain. I would love to move, anywhere, but I am scared of failing and having to come back. I wanted to visit Dubai, have met a friend’s mom that actually lives there, but my money doesn’t allow me to travel as it is the bills have me drowning. I would love to know how you found out about the jobs there and what is the pay scale like along with the cost of living and is it actually affordable to just pick up and leave. I want to experience life, and I can honestly say that I am not doing that now.

  35. I am a single mother who also stretched herself on the international journey. I have worked in Angola, Africa for the past 3 years, rotating 28 days on 28 days off. I have the support of my son’s father, who he stays with when I’m out of the country working. It was definitely a stretch, questioned by friends and family on who’s going to raise your child, and all the other naysayers, help me push through and do what’s necessary for me and my child. I applaud you for stepping out and taking the international journey.

  36. I applaud you, this is a wonderful story! I can’t wait to share this with my children, we are considering moving to France, we’re only intimidated by the financial aspects of it, your story has definitely given me a much needed push of encouragement!!!!!!

  37. I am so blessed to see this article and read your story because my fiancé want to move to Europe but I’m too scared to make that leap until now. I am a mother of 3 and neither of my children are his but I guess I was too afraid of what my family would think. But I’m going to take that leap of faith and try something new.

  38. Hey I applied to teachaway 2 years ago and I had to wait because I hadn’t been certified for 2 years yet. I just sent this to my final baby, my 7th grader, to read. My other boys are grown now, and my youngest and I have pondered Alaska, Japan, and South Korea as places to relocate to for a few years. Now I have a renewed interest.
    I wondered then and I wonder now, how does the private school affect pay? Did you buy a new car there? Did you pay off any and all debt first? I know the pay is less, but is it actually more in a sense? Do you truly feel safe? Are the health benefits good. Now I have a renewed interest to reapply 🙂

    • Hello Kim,
      Let’s see if I can answer some of your questions. In all honesty my take home pay in the UAE is the same as my teachers pay in Houston. However, my benefits package which includes a housing allowance and 100% health insurance coverage allows me to save. Health insurance and my mortgage accounted for a bulk of my salary back home. I did not buy a car. The first year i car shared with a friend of mine. We rented a car and I would drive it one week and he would use it the other. This year I rented my own car but anticipate on purchasing a car next school year. Yes, I truly feel safe. With all of the madness happening in America , I know that my sons will probably never be shot by police here. I can allow my children to play outside and not worry about whether a reckless individual will want to conduct a drive by shooting in my neighborhood. The health benefits are amazing. My co pay to the doctor is about $12. I don’t need a specialist referral at all. There is no deductible. My son was hospitalized for 3 days and all I paid was the $12. I hope this helps!

      • Hi Tanai,
        Your article was the one that informed me about the whole process and got me interested in going to Abu Dhabi. I am actually in the middle of the process currently and wanted to know about schools for elementary students. My daughter will be in 2nd grade and they say the expat schools are expensive, so I am trying to figure out how to budget it all. Can you recommend any schools, since your children were also young when you first arrived? Thank you!!!

  39. This article spoke to my heart. I am wanting to get my PhD and know that there are fully funded programs in other countries. I adopted 2 girls as a single mom and have exposed them to 5 languages with the hopes that THEY will travel. I want to travel too but can’t see how to afford it from here. I married a yr ago and like your story, my marriage us on its last TOE. I would love to correspond with you to get more details of the ‘where do I start’ part of my journey. Please email me …..

  40. What an amazing story, you made a great decision not only for self but also your children.
    I am happy you got a chance to feel peace and live in harmony. I say kudos to you my sister!

  41. This is a great story of facing your fear head on and spreading your wings. Your children are truly blessed to have a mother like you Tanai. You have motivated me to look for opportunies abroad. Continued blessings to you and yours!

  42. Love the article and story, curious – Tanai mentioned she travels with her kids every 100+ days or so, how is that so? Is travel from that end of the world to another country cheaper?

    • Good Question! I would consider the travel from here to be somewhat cheaper. I ticket from the UAE to Paris is equivalent of the cost to fly from Texas to California. Also, I try to catch travel deals. Normally, when we travel I have no particular destination in mind. If an awesome flight deals comes up then I book it. For instance, I found a flight deal from here to the Philippines for $40 RT per person. Approx a $300 savings per person. So guess what I did. BOOKED IT.. So in October we will be traveling to the Philippines. Air fare cost: $160 or so 😉

  43. Thank you for the encouragement. I look forward to your reply via email. Can you provide any websites for employment and housing opportunities for people interested in living in foreign lands? Did you go through a support agency that you can recommend?

  44. Oh! dear Tanai, your story is beautifully inspiring and encouraging. You answered couple of questions that I had in mind. Living paycheck to paycheck was very scary but when lost that paycheck itself was more scary. 3 years lapsed when I was laid off from a good paying job. exhausted my job hunting ideas and am almost exhausting my financial savings. but after reading your encouraging article I started firing up applications for overseas jobs, You mentioned that you were an engineering student and now you are teaching, will they hire for their teaching positions anyone from different educational backgrounds because I am a Socio-economist/Researcher.

  45. How can we contact Tanai? I am actually considering a nursing career in that area and wanted to truly find out what it is like for female health care providers.

  46. How can we contact Tanai? I am actually considering a nursing career in that area and wanted to truly find out what it is like for female health care providers.

  47. Tamar, Girl you are such an inspiration and believe it you are a strong woman. You had such odds stacked against you but that didn’t stop. Proud of you! Thanks for sharing your story

  48. Fantastic read. We are an African American family living in Baku Azerbaijan. One daughter 7 years old. Same story as but no divorce. I agree that black Americans certainly need to see the world and truly live it. It opens up your eyes and mind.

    Maybe we will run into you this November. Vacay at Abu Dhabi!

  49. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and encouraging story! I am with you! Tired of the same situation year after year. I have been contemplating obtaining the TEFL certification? ( Teaching English as a Foreign Language ).. is it necessary in your opinion to do this if you have a 4 year degree, not in education? thanks

    • It depends on the country where you are considering teaching. Some do not require certification and others do. I have my Masters in an unrelated field and am planning on becoming certified to 1) increase my marketability and 2) tolearn those things about teaching that I don’t currently know.

      • Thank you for your kind & informative reply! I will look into the certification, I have a 4 year degree from a big 10 school so I am encouraged! 🙂 Time for change.. I have a friend teaching in Seoul Korea, however her degree was in education, and she loves it!

        • I’m completing my last class for my TESOL certification. Look at how time flies! I’ve been getting scared about actually using it and questioning myself but I will move forward! To everyone, if you’re thinking about making a change, pray and jump. God will catch you!!

  50. Thank you for this. I have been at my breaking point for awhile now. This was what I needed to hear. I am a single mom living from paycheck to paycheck and I am tired! Your story is so inspirational and it has come at the right place at the right time. Thank you for sharing your story. This is so scary for me but I have faith that I can do it. Please start that blog. So many of us have questions and it would be great to have a support group. Please continue to keep us posted!

  51. I am so touched by your story I am single parent n I am so happy for to make that move n love it please send me some info to make to dubai n give my ttwo kids that opportunity of a life time. Have a blessed day

  52. I am a nurse and this has been a goal of mine for about a year. This story gave me inspiration and confirmation that this is what I want to do and my goal is possible. I’m hoping to be in the UAE within 1 years time. I applaud Tanai for her courage and all of her success. Tanai, you are an inspiration. Keep shining!

  53. I just want to say how reading this story has brought tears of joy to my eyes. I, myself am thinking of moving to the Middle East for a teaching opportunity but I am so scared to let go here. I know the travel stipend and benefits (housing allowance, school for the kids) would be great and I too have 3 small little girls and a husband who might not be so willing. The chance there for a better, more relaxed lifestyle is a reach away.

    I’ve been approached with 3 different opportunities in Nuclear Medicine to teach and live in the Middle East. Your story has given me much hope and inspiration to be ok, pray and take that giant leap of faith.

    I must admit i was a little on the edge too with also being of African American decent and living there== what are the barriers and will my children and myself feel in the mass of being secluded by race? Have you experienced anything of that nature?

  54. I am truly blessed by Tania’s story. It really has opened my eyes and given my insight on what I really want to do. I have nothing holding me down so now is the time to get off the couch and live. My journey to a new life starts today. Thank you Jesus and thank you Tania.

  55. Hi your story is all over the FB feed and I love it. I’m a newly retired Soldier and I’m so ready to move to Dubai or Qatar. I had the honor of serving in Qatar for 13 months and I loved it. But currently my oldest son is going to be a high school senior so I don’t want to uproot him at this time. However next year my youngest (age 13) and I are so ready and excited. You’re story just motivated me to stay positive and focused…. be blessed and continue to be a positive role model for your kids…..

    Sheba

  56. As Salaamu Alaiykum, I was group one in 2013 and I boarded the Eithad airline with two children. Our lives have been blessed for the leap of faith ever since. I have met incredible people and have been able to do wonderful things for my children. So I share in your adventure.

  57. I’m so inspired by your journey. I’m also a single mom and I’ve been trying to find an overseas position as well. I’ve been finding that I’m not qualified for much since I don’t currently have a degree. I currently work as a recruiter for a govt contractor in DC. Are there any companies that hire candidates without degrees?

  58. Awesome testimony; such an inspiration as I too am at a crossroads!!! Thank you so much for sharing your families journey!

  59. Thank you so much for your accounts of life abroad. I too haf the travel bug but my plans fell through, bit your sorry inspired me to try again

  60. This is so inspirational. Im 23 years old going through a rough patch and I dream about doing things like this all the time. To see someone do it and with so much responsibility as a mother just gives me hope. The grace in which you handle the situation with your marriage and move has me in awe. I come from a family that freaks out at the slightest upset. A vacation consists of traveling 4-8 hours to see someone only to spend the entire trip in the house or going to extra regular places to eat. I’m the only one besides my mom willing to step outside my comfort zone and I even have to convince her a good bit of the time. I want to see the world and truly experience life but after being told no so many times to even get the basics in life it’s not easy. Your story makes me want to hope again . Thank you.

    • I moved to Spain when I was 25 and didn’t speak the language or have any idea what I was getting into. I was scared to death! Go and live the life you want, get out of your comfort zone and I promise you will have amazing experiences! Live past the fear. It won’t fail you.

  61. Glad there are others taking the leap! I’m a single mom of one that moved from the U.S. to Switzerland. Life is very different outside the states. While it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, I enjoy my life here and at this point consider the U.S. to be a place that I only want to visit.

  62. This story has gave me hope but I’m so afraid to just get up and move with my children.. but it’s a must I do it I am not moving fwd with my children and I feel they will hate me in the long run for not taking them out this neighborhood any bit of advice would certainly help

    • Keke,
      Maybe its me but I can read the line that starts with the word BUT two different ways. However, no matter how it was meant. Do it! You and your kids start over. You were meant to see this for a reason. A lot of time we ask God for help and to show us a sign and because we can’t believe the audacity, we ignore or miss the signs all together. Pay attention and move.

      • Thank you ..I’m just so confused I think my biggest fear is failing. I want to do it right and I don’t have much money , I need help finding a job outside of NY and Maybe a small place . I’ve been looking just need to pray on it thank you

        • By not moving and making a better life for you guys…you’ve failed. You already know the ending of this story, so you’ve got to change it. And like you said you just need to pray, then you should know its already taken care of. I’ll say a prayer now as well. Just believe.

  63. WoW!!! I am a single mother of 1 daughter and I am tried of struggling trying to make ends meet. I have an undergraduate in Criminology and Master in Business Administration. What are the opportunities for individuals without a teachin background?

  64. WOW, just wow! This article about a woman that looks like me is INCREDIBLE!
    I’m not a mom or single mom……I’m just a single woman. I’m currently at a major crossroad in my life and career. I’ve been in Non-Profit Sales for a number of years and would love to make a move like Tanai. How can I find out about opportunities in Abu Dhabi for someone like me?

  65. I’ve traveled down a similar path. I have been back in the United States for almost a year after having worked in Kuwait for the past 3 years. I’m currently in the process of returning and needless to say, I can’t wait! What began as a dream to improve the livelihood for my family took an entirely different path and resulted in a divorce and becoming a single father. The American dream isn’t always found in America and my processing date can’t get here soon enough! The ability to travel and immerse myself in other cultures is the icing on the cake. Being single this time around will allow more time for travel and adding more pins to my global.

  66. What an inspiration indeed…congrats on taking a leap of faith and allowing herself and her children to experience a whole new world. It’s amazing how one decision can sometimes change the trajectory of one’s life and future….kudos and keep traveling 4 Deep Around the World!!

  67. I just know that this confirmation for me to take this leap. I’m a single mother of one and a teacher in Fort Worth, TX. I was just looking online today on how to teach in Dubai. Then I go on my news feed on Facebook and an article appear about you. Lord knows how to put people in your path to show you what he needs for you to do. I would love to keep in touch with you to help me get this process rolling. Thank you again. Please reach out too me because I am very interested in taking this opportunity for me and my son. viciouslou@hotmail.com is my email address. Thanks again and I pray that God continues to bless you and your children abundantly.

  68. This was such an inspiring story and so timely for me. I have been looking for international business opportunities for myself and my 3 children. My preferred destination is Germany. Thank you Ms. Benard for sharing your journey.

  69. Tanai, what an amazing story!

    I was just surfing the net and saw this article. It caught my eye because I saw a picture of people that look like me. I can truly relate to some parts of your journey. I am a single woman, with no children, and I travel a lot in my current job. Throughout my travels, I would always wonder why there are so few females traveling abroad, that are of color. My job is in engineering and as you may know, it’s very dominated by men. I’m the youngest and only girl of 4, and I moved on faith to Oregon. I knew no one there, but I wanted to see what else was out there other than in Texas. I grew up in Dallas and miss my family, too. I had no support when I left Texas, you see, my parents are deceased and it is just me and my brothers. So that was a huge leap for me! I’m glad I did it and it’s been over 9 years ago. Great read and very inspiring. I needed to see this at this moment. I am a believer in fate and every little thing, is put in place by Him, for you to see and it’s only for you… but it is up to us as the individual to seek what God has laid out for us. Thank you for your journey!

  70. What an absolutely wonderful and inspiring journey. For all who have a dream and desire to go outside of your comfort zones. Good luck and God’s blessings.

  71. Hi Tanai,
    Great story! #momsalute I am also a single mother and my daughter is a rising senior at Umass Amherst College. I just graduated with Master’s degree in special education 7 days ago. I am looking for work and I have been considering moving. My daughter is in a good place. Your story is very inspiring . You have a beautiful family! Where would I start if I wanted to teach in UAE? Thank you for inspiring! #womenhonoringwomen #singlemom

    • Tanai, thank you for sharing your journey. I am currently considering moving to Dubai to work and I have been searching for information from a real person as to the realities of living and working in the UAE. I love to see African American women (especially moms) make the impossible possible. My sons are grown and on their own now and I am currently pursuing my Masters degree in public health and wish to pursue a career in public health in the UAE. Can you recommend recruiting firms? I am so excited now! Tanai, your courage has encouraged me. Dubai, here I come!
      Pia

  72. Tania,
    Thank you for sharing your story of triumph, overcoming what seemed like a set back in your life (the end of your marriage) but it was really a set up to the beginning of the amazing life God had in store for you and your children in the UAE. I too faced that same obstacle took that leap of faith relocated with my two kids and created a new life us. I got discouraged along the way as a working single mom and the emotional and physical toll it has taken on my raising the kids alone. But your 4 Deep family connections has encouraged me to see my crew as 3 Deep, to love the life we too have, and start traveling and allowing them to explore the world and grow and just enjoy being a single mommy. May your children rise up and call you BLESSED!
    Encouraged by your testimony,
    Stacy Golphin

  73. Thank you for sharing your story! I am a single mother too and lived 2 years in Dubai. Loved it so much and would love to return. As i read your story, it reminds me so much of my time with my daughter in UAE. She graduated in ASD (American School of Dubai) A true land of peace and abundance. Would love to connect with you.

  74. Very inspiring story. I often wonder why I did not do this. My dream one day is to go to Africa and I know I will get there one day.

    Kudos to you Tania

  75. Very inspiring story. I often wonder why I did not do this. My dream one day is to go to Africa and I know I will get there one day.

    Kudos to you Tania

  76. Hey,
    This is an awesome story. In fact, it is so awesome that I wanted to check it out. I am puzzled, though. I read that the salary for a teacher in Abu Dubai is about $3500/month. However rent for a 3 bed house is more than $2500/mo. USD. I pay only $1200 now, and make $4,400/mo. as a teacher, so…how does she afford to do all the travel and put her children in private school? It doesn’t add up. (I took the salary from the Teachaway website.) I would love to hear that I am wrong, but this is what my research shows right now. Thanks, Jane 🙂

    Tha

    • Hey ther jane,

      Just please be happy for this woman and her family and not try to dissect every aspect of things to put a damper on the spirit of the story itself with your insistence on picking away at everything she has mentioned. We are all getting a glimpse into her world and how she’s living it for herself and her children. She really doesn’t owe anyone an explanation about the how’s and why’s, nor should it be what’s important. I’m just happy she’s happy and her kids seem to be thriving. We should all find our own place in the world and while doing so, please don’t try to inject yourself too deeply in others lives in that way. Peace and blessings.

    • Many of the job offers provide 100% housing and excellent health insurance for her and her children. Imagine being able to remove the cost of housing and Healthcare alone from your current monthly expenses, and add to that tax free payment – it’s a huge savings.

  77. Such a wonderful, uplifting story!! Good for you for finding this dream and acting on it with faith.. Your children must be so proud to be on this adventure with you.

  78. Hi Tanai,

    I’m truly amazed by your strength! You have given me the answers to my current questions. I’m constantly being told. ” It would be stupid of me to uproot my kids and take them away from everything they know and love”. My response back in most cases ” this is all they know so of course they love it, but they can love somewhere else just the same”. Robbing Peter to pay Paul- I know all about it. It’s tough here in America. There is a saying “faking it until you make it” this is real and the struggle is real. I remain optimistic…but lord knows this is not the end for me. I will get away and find happiness. Every day here in this country of “greatness” brings more and more sadness. Either you are poor or rich there is no in between- truth be told. I’m so dang on tired of living check to check just to make ends meet. When the weekends are here, we can’t go out and have fun there is no money and the money we do have is to pay for shelter and bills. It’s tough out here in these streets. I’m constantly enrolling in school to increase my levels of experience so that I can find better opportunities yet I’m still stuck. Your post has giving me the motivation, courage, strength, and knowledge to JUMP!!! You go girl you did it…trust me your story will inspire many others just like me. MY CURRENT SITUATION WILL NOT DICTATE MY FUTURE. I WILL SOAR!!! P.s you have some beautiful children. Kudos to you and may GOD continue to lead and protect you in all that you do. You have my blessings.

  79. Your story brought tears to my eyes. OMG you are such a huge inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your sharing. I was planning to make my leap to Spain but after reading your story, I will change my destination.

  80. Awesome story! I am so ready for a change for my family and I. I am a teacher of three years and recently completed my Masters Degree, but I need to be rewarded for the invaluable service that I provide and the U.S. isn’t fulfilling. Please email me at mmartinez1028@yahoo.com. I am waiting to hear back from Teachaway.

  81. you Have given me hope…just by reading your post…am almost in the same situation. (mother of three..6,8,12 yr old …single mother trying to make a better life for my children and i) am trying to go back to school , live from an under pay part time job. An my dream is to up rooted my children and start a new beginning. “my family and friends say if am crazy” I want a better life and i don”t see it in my current country because of a LOT of obstacles.

  82. I hope people do not buy into this at all. They could end up being sold into modern slavery and the more people that try to find jobs in these countries makes it easier for some to slip between the cracks.
    Modern slavery is real and disturbingly prevalent in the Middle East and they use lures that are eerily similar to this to get unsuspecting foreigners to sign away their lives.

    I’m glad she was one of the few to make but it also worries me to note how much she is enjoying the lavish lifestyle which is as a result of the cheap slave labour there. I hope it works out but I really hope she has money saved in order to find new employment elsewhere in a land not so corrupt.

  83. I really enjoyed reading your story Tanai! I live in Baltimore-home of recent riots and unrest following yet another unfortunate shooting of an unarmed African American young man. Your reply to someone asking about your safety where you stated that you will probably never have to worry about your sons being shot by police struck a chord with me. I can truly relate to the fear we moms have when it comes to our children’s lives-especially our young boys and men. I have two boys and a girl like you and always, always wanted to relocate. As I got older, the desire to uproot has gotten even stronger but I work in state government and I have pretty decent healthcare but still, I still always seem to be robbing Peter to pay Paul as like you said-the older folks would say. I will use your courage and inspiring story to just do! That small business I started and put on hiatus to do other things and have waffled about regrouping will be put in motion full steam ahead and maybe one day, I too will be able to really actualize my dreams and find peace and freedom in another country. Thanks so much for your courage and I wish you and the kids all the happiness in the world.

  84. What a great story. I raised my daughter alone (she graduated from college two weeks ago!) and was too afraid to venture too far from my hometown and support system. What a testimony to your kids about how to overcome and be resilient no matter what. Thanks for sharing and inspiring others.

  85. Mrs Benard is a a brave women, who never stops dreaming and doesn’t hesitate to take risks in happiness’ sake. It is admirable and inspiring! Thank you very much for sharing her story with us.

  86. As a black man who for six years was blessed to have a job that allowed me to travel all over the world, I am honest happy for Miss Tanai Benard. She is providing her three jewels (her children) a chance to see the world outside the U.S. And she doesn’t have to worry that her kids will be caught in a drive-by.

    Miss Benard, may you and your children continue to enjoy the experience in the UAE. And I hope you get to visit many more countries.

    Who knows, may one day you and I could one day meet and compare passports stamps. (smiles)

    God Bless.

  87. What are the opportunities for someone without a degree but 21 years experience as an administrative assistant/secretary?

  88. What an awesome testimony!!! Stepping out on faith and kissing fear goodbye! Thank you so much for sharing. As a single mom also of three boys and living paycheck to paycheck as well all while trying to finish my undergrad degree then Masters’, I can totally relate to your story. I took my first leap of faith to Houston, TX last year, but I would love to live and work abroad and introduce my boys to things they have never seen or experienced before! I know I can do it and I shall, thanks again for this inspiration boost!! Many blessings!!!

  89. I am so moved by your story. I am reading this half an hour after my daughter tells me that she hates how I have to work two job and that I can’t go for a walk because I don’t spend enough time with her.
    I also always thought these opportunities were only available to people children. This is why sharing your story s so important. Thanks again.

  90. Please, do not bring your children back here to subject them to the hatred in this country. They deserve a freedom from that stress. I’m trying to leave here, I cannot take these racist anymore! Everywhere you go, hate hate hate. This country is so backwards, they kill a 12 year old and these Ashats are saying he was a thug for playing with a toy gun and then this duggar character rapes 6 girls including his sisters and it’s “oh forgive him even though he kept doing it, and then confessed to two pedophiles”…we can’t judge you as Christians (wtfe) unless you’re black, then it’s judge and kill, treat with the upmost disrespect.. Even if you serve the country, they hate you. It’s not all, but when you have open homophobic kkk racists running for president, you know the country’s overrun by stupid people. The stupidity of these people is what irritates me the most and why I’m planning on leaving with my family asap. They really think they’re better than Europe, Abu Dhabi and certain countries in Africa (they’re so dumb they think Africa is only naked and violent uneducated blacks running around with lions or dying of aids and ebola). It’s not every white american, it’s also Hispanics, Indians, asians, they all hate black people. Very few in this country actually think for themselves. With all the dumb laws they’re implementing and the racism, taxes, don’t feed the poor or go to jail, don’t feed starving kids or you’ll be fired, don’t expose your shoulders or you’re responsible for your being raped, oh no vacation but give us all your money so we can vacation most of the year and then make laws to further keep all the rest of America in poverty, then let’s keep racism alive so all the dummies will focus on color, religion, gender, economic division, technology they don’t need, sexuality, etc. This used to be an ok country but too many dumb racists have ruined it, by voting in rich sexist homophobic idiots into the house, the government period. Oh we will show them blacks for voting in Obama by shooting ourselves in the foot. That’s the stupidity I cannot take anymore! Seeing this makes me happy…don’t come back hon, your children deserve to be seen as humans and to be judged by the content of who they are, not the color of their skin and stereotypes of fearful faking they’re religious Americans.

  91. Moving to Abu Dhabi in August!! Stories like this do wonders for the little bit of skepticism in the back of my mind. I can’t wait for my adventure!

  92. This story is such an inspiration, especially being a divorcee single mother of two. After attending college, married, 2 kids, divorced, I have found myself living back in my mother’s, struggling from pay check to pay check. I tell everyone my goal is to find a job in Florida, which is where I want to live or anywhere near an ocean. My son says yes mommy let’s go. My daughter not so much.. lol Then their is me, myself, and I that gets in my way. “THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN”. I depend on my mom’s help with my kids while I work, so now I am so afraid of not having that support. Your story truly brought tears to my eyes, because us single parents do struggle in America and I’m tearfully happy that you were able to overcome all fears and doubt. You give us hope. I will continue to pray that I may find the same strength. May God continue to BLESS you and your beautiful family. (feel free to mail me some of that beautiful sand)

  93. Such a beautiful and inspirational story! I am so happy for Tanai and her children and wishing her all the best!

  94. This has truly inspired me. I’m a single mom of one son but I know there is something better out there for us. Anytime I mention moving I get kickback from family saying I’m taking him away from what he knows and that I won’t have any type of support system etc. And this is all just choosing another state! I never imagined another country. I’m going to pray about it and I’m going to look and see where I can go that would be a great fit for my son and I! You have a beautiful family and I’m oficially jealous of your passport stamps!

  95. Excuse me if this question has already been asked…How long do you foresee yourself staying abroad?
    Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story. I have already taught in the states for some time, and would love to look into another opportunity. I too have dreams of teaching abroad, but because I have young ones viewed it as a dream deferred. I guess we’ll see.

  96. Great story ! I also lived in Abu dhabi , now im in Dubai. To tell the truth both places are very expensive to live in. If your company dont provide free housing for you most of your salary will go towards rent. Also there is no free education for your kids here , again if your company is not providing school fees the rest of your salary will go towards that. As of now there is no rental cap in Abu dhabi so landlords pretty much raise your rent every year. So without company provided accommodations and school fees you would pretty much have to be making 90,000 dollars a year to survive here !

  97. I’m so inspired by your story. Just reading this almost gave me the urge to take that leap of faith as you did. My family consists of my two children, my parents, and brother. We are very close knit. I wish I could bring them with me wherever I decide to move. I’m probably going to have several questions in the future, but for now, how did you adjust to being away from family?

  98. […] has never been my academic strength. Also, before May 19th, the day the The Travel Guru feature “Fabulous Mom of 3 Living in Abu Dhabi” dropped, I didn’t think my testimony had much power. It wasn’t until I started receiving […]

  99. […] number of black women in my community of friends and associates who are entrepreneurs, executives, traveling the world and so on.  For many, its a lot of “life” happening and a lot of “life” to […]

  100. This is just what I needed! I am thinking of making a move myself but was worried how a single mother may be received in the middle east. Thanks for sharing your story! I’m as of now seeking employment!!

  101. Great story! Traveling abroad is easy when you’ve set your mind that everything will be alright and you have a positive attitude! You know, ” when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Your hobby is so inspiring! I’ve recently found the joy from moving around the world and wish you all the best during your journeys!

  102. I am a single black woman that is looking to teach in Dubai or Abu Dubai. I will be traveling alone. I am interested in the best schools to inquire about. I am currently a principal at an elementary school and researching now. I am a little nervous but I’m willing to take a risk and I don’t give up. As you know, there are so many horror stories and there is no way to know what might happen. I’m curious about the housing. But if you made it with three children as a single parent, I know I can make it. Thanks for sharing your story and I would love it if you could share any other info you may have. Thanks

  103. I am a single black woman that is looking to teach in Dubai or Abu Dubai. I will be traveling alone. I am interested in the best schools to inquire about. I am currently a principal at an elementary school and researching now. I am a little nervous but I’m willing to take a risk and I don’t give up. As you know, there are so many horror stories and there is no way to know what might happen. I’m curious about the housing. But if you made it with three children as a single parent, I know I can make it. Thanks for sharing your story and I would love it if you could share any other info you may have. Thanks

  104. Wow! This is an awesome story! I am so interested in doing this with my family but do not know where to start. I am a teacher with a masters. How do you look into teaching overseas!

  105. Hi Tanai,

    My name Jamika and I am considering the move that you made with your kids, as I am also a mom of two girls. Would you mind if I picked your brain. I have tons of questions

  106. It would be interesting to know what is that country’s views on Christianity. If I am not allowed to freely worship my JESUS while living there, then all of that seemingly wonderful lifestyle is DEFINITELY NOT WORTH IT. Just saying.

    • Hi! She is a Christian and her worship of Jesus doesn’t seem to be hindered. She’s having an amazing time and her children are learning to be tolerant of other religions.

  107. My name is Marlene Komoto and I am currently living in South Africa. I am a married woman and are seeking new challenge in my Life. Me and my husband has been waiting for this moment now that our children is married with their own careers and families.

    We would love to have the opportunity to multiply our expertise into the lives of others and also to learn and experience Abu Dhabi Dubai or Kuwait, where we can teach learn new cultures, earn money and make a change.
    We are in our Fifties now. I am fifty and my husband is fifty three.
    I am currently working with Lear Corporation in South Africa, doing HR and Payroll. My Husband has been in ministry teaching English to the needy and also has been in charge of his own Ministry.

    Please advise us if we still have an opportunity considering our age.

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  109. I know it’s an old article I read this year’s ago and again today this time with tears. I’m also dealing with similar issues and trying to get out. It’s hard but I want peace for us I do believe after I finish my degree I will leave America the great to find closure to hurting soul

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