I have two first names and it’s a hyphenated name Cheryl-Ann which is representative of me being different, extra and a unicorn in many areas of my life think #awkwardblackwoman. I was born in Barbados and moved to Boston in the USA at the age of 11. After living in Boston for most of my life, I took a leap and moved to Maryland in July 2001 where I found happiness and purpose working as a School Counselor in DC public schools. I absolutely loved living in the DMV area but I was itching to travel and couldn’t afford it. In August 2010, I decided to move abroad to work as a School Counselor in an international school. What I thought would be one year turned into 8 years. I have lived and worked in 4 countries and currently I am living in Cairo, Egypt working as a Middle School Counselor. I have no immediate plans to return to the US, I am more interested in finding a country where I can settle in for several years.
I am a bonafide beach gyal, island gyal who loves warm weather and traveling and Barbados is still one of my favorite places to visit. My favorite things are chocolate, coconut water, coconut and mango ice cream, listening to live music and going to concerts, soca, Idris Elba, laughing, eating out, and traveling 💃🏾💜😍. I am an introvert, talkative at times, opinionated, strong willed and for this blog I chose to identify myself as the bajan chocolat unycorn. This blog describes my life as a #BlackExpat living and working abroad and traveling around the world while discovering what makes me happy. I say that #travelismytherapy because as I commit to #livingmybestlife it includes seeing new places. I invite you to come along for the ride on my journey.
As educators/expats who live abroad we talk about a lot about our dream school or country. While there are a couple of schools I would like to work at, I don’t know if any of them is a dream school for me. I do know I have a couple of requirements for the next country I want to live in.
A warm, tropical climate 🤗because winter weather sucks 😝
A beach close by so I can spend some weekends there or at least go once a month because it’s #myhappyplace 😍
Access to coconut water, coconut and mango ice cream and a variety of fresh fish
A good number of local people of color so let’s say countries in the Africa continent or the Caribbean🤔 because I need to have a social life.
Dating possibilities because yes I am ready 🤗
A support network of POC expats at work or in the community
Access to healthy food at restaurants because I don’t enjoy cooking 🤷🏾♀️
A variety of social events so I can get out and enjoy life 💃🏾when I feel up to it
A school that offers a good salary so I can travel and save, good benefits including settling in allowance, a good professional development allowance, a retirement match, a counseling department and a SST system even if it is in the beginning stages.
A good reliable transportation system where taxis that are inexpensive or uber
If I had to choose countries today I would lean towards Ghana or Tanzania, I used to think South Africa but I don’t want to deal with winter🤨. But as life this past year has taught me, you never know where you are going to land🤷🏾♀️.
It’s not always easy being a black expat but if you find a group of people to connect with it becomes easier. Wherever I go I look for that nod of recognition and hope to make a connection.
#blackexpat #livingmybestlife #Dopelife #travelismytherapy #exploring