Candace McLellan

As I get ready to interview this wonderfully exciting Soul who has taken a noble occupation and transformed it to suit her instead of conforming to fit into it, I’m giddy with excitement and soon you will see why.  Candace McLellan comes on the scene with excitingly bold red hair that is the perfect compliment to just how she enters a room — fully owning all she is and leading her life unapologetically.  Candace travels the world and began her journey as a single mom with a fourteen year old son.  

ME:  Candace tell us where are you originally from, and what is it that you do for an occupation. 

CANDACE:  I am from Portsmouth, Virginia, and I teach fifth grade English in Abu Dhabi and taught in Dubai.

ME:  When did you realize you wanted to teach abroad?

CANDACE:  While teaching in Atlanta, girlfriends of mine moved to teach overseas when the Emirates New School Model Reform initiated.  They kept saying to me, “Girl come on over here, it’s wonderful!” I was like no way, but they persisted and I considered. I first asked my son, who was fourteen at the time, what his thoughts were.  He must have researched it, because he soon came and he said, “Let’s go!” I ran it past my Mom and Dad. My Mom said “NO way” and my dad said, “Fly Baby.”  So I did just that, fly.

ME:  What has been your biggest ‘aha’ from traveling, something you believed or would have never realized without travel?

CANDACE:  People everywhere just want to be happy.  The people love American culture and are emulating it. When Obama was in office, they would see me and say, “Obama!” and now they just ask if I voted for Trump. (Laughter)

ME:  Of all the places you have traveled, which one is your absolute favorite?

CANDACE:  Oh, no they are all beautiful places in their own right; from Bali, Paris, Africa. Yet if I had to choose my favorite place is Ghana, Africa. 

What was the greatest culture shock?

CANDACE:  Sway Sway. This term means not in a hurry. In Dubai, people are not consumed with timelines. You may get things done on time or not. It’s a huge adjustment for Americans because we are so rigid with this must be done, and that must be done by this timeline.  Over here we are so catered to.  So much so, that when I came back for a visit to America, I was looking for someone to pump my gas!

ME:  I see that if I was there, it would really grow my lack of patience into true patience! I can imagine how coming back home, you are somewhat offset from all the busyness around you. It must look a bit overwhelming to you back home, with everyone in such a microwave hurry.

Candace:  Yes. I’m use to picking up the phone and telling them what I need and they bring it immediately.

ME:  I’m sure Amazon two hour delivery cannot compare. 

Candace:  No indeed. (Laughter)

ME:  If someone reading this article wants to get started in this profession of teaching overseas, what is your advice?

CANDACE:  Join a facebook group for support. I did this before leaving to have my questions answered. Those who did not have this support before coming overseas are now asking me for advice. Also to apply to teach, there’s,, and

Candace with one of her student’s in Abu Dhabi, whose mother warmly told her, “She’s your daughter too.”

ME:  I see there’s a demand for natural English speaking teachers, even if not degreed. Do you find a degree provides more advantages?

CANDACE:  Yes I see they are doing that now. There is a high demand for native English speaking teachers, but not only them, I’ve met American nurses, artists, doctors, many occupations are here.

ME:  Candace, I saw on your social media page that you were just in Amsterdam before coming back to Virginia for a visit.  You have a huge following watching your adventures.  What’s next on the horizon for achievement?

CANDACE:  I’ve noticed people are following me on social media. They are commenting about my ventures and wished they could do the same thing. I told them they can! Consider all and just do it! If you’re a mom with a child and want to travel or an empty nester. Do it!  One of my sons is in advertising and he’s helping to create a YouTube Channel where I’ll showcase my travels.

ME:  That’s exciting!  What will it be called so we can watch out for it?

CANDACE:  The vlog is called CandiWhereUbe.

ME:  Well, we will definitely be on the lookout for that and will share it on Opulent Women’s Network as well.


This article was written by Angela Hicks, “The Lifestyle Guru” .  Angela is a transformation coach, helping women around the world to no longer fight Life, but embrace it by clearly defining their seemingly impossible goals and create a plan of action to live a life they love.  Click hereto invite her to speak at your organization or for information on private to group coaching sessions.




What do I want?

A simple yet powerful question I still to this day continue to ask myself, because as we mature and life continues to evolve, the answer grows.  For decades I lived my life by default, by accomplishing what I believed would appease others; until one day I had the epiphany of wondering what my life would look like if I tore everything down I had built for everyone else, and rebuild using my blueprint plans drawn from considering the desires of my own heart.  The first step to remodeling my life was to go to the Genesis — the beginning seeds or foundation that my life was built up on.  This took me on a journey remembering good, bad and ugly words sown into my life; that I took ownership of and nourished into healthy life sapping vines. 

I believe as babies we were so perfectly mindful of the ability to do it all, to actually live in a realm of “all things possible” without any judgment, condemnation or voices of the world to tell us ‘No you cannot do that.”  Think about all the wonderful miraculous achievements of a typical child within their first 3 years of life!  They fall down continuously (hard mind you) until walking is mastered; ignoring parents and well-meaning family to stay in a determined safe zone, only to reset their own mind to an awaiting adventure to fearlessly conquer.  This wonderful mindset is a fiercely dominant force until the child enters …. public school.  It’s in this environment where most are conditioned to a squishy softness to NOT do this or that, wear that, say that, look like that, feel like that or most importantly think freely.  The child’s complete strength of self is stripped and replaced with every colorful and uncoordinated attire from others desire for their life; resulting in completely forgetting just who they are and what it is I want out of this gift called life.  Dressed in the coat of many colors held together with patches of “You’re not good enough, skinny enough, smart enough, fast enough or pretty enough, we are then shoved out into the world at graduation and told to conquer it and be successful.

At the Genesis we are most likely to hear the “no you cannot” so much that we actually look for permission to live, move and have our being in our adult life.  “Who told you that you were naked?”  Those famous Words from the lips of God to Adam after the sinful fall (in the 3rd book of Genesis), reveals a powerful truth in just how deformed our lives can become from the words of another.  We lose touch with our very soul, that still small voice within, while the volume increases on every critic that’s crossed our life’s path.  I encourage you to get back in touch with your desire and longings.  These feelings are in you for a very good reason, so don’t dismiss them any longer.  Allow yourself the grace to explore them without further suppression by asking yourself “What do I want?” or “What would I love in my life?”

“The quality of our life is determined by the quality of the question we ask.”

Here’s a very simple way to get you started, and it does not matter what age this writing inspires you to take action.  There is no age cap for a life reinvented.  Grab a cup of coffee or tea, a notepad and pen, sit in a comfy chair (with a blanket if you’d like), take a deep breath, ask yourself these questions and then just listen.  Be and simply listen. Your soul that’s been stilled for so long will eventually speak.  Now when it does, don’t be scared of the enormity of the dream.  We can become sidetracked by comparing our past life experiences to the ability to see our Divine purpose into fruition.  Know that you are created to do exactly what life demands of you, and this life will never lie to you; as life seeks only for your good.  Your past, line of credit, skin color, sex, education, social status or lineage does not have the capacity to define the wealth of who you are, so don’t look to it for a definition–look within.

Share with us in the comments how you will create the life you’d love to live, and no longer live life by default!  

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