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.