Today I’m interviewing Tiffany Schureman who early on knew that she wanted to travel the world. When an overseas job opportunity became available she jumped at the chance to move to Qatar. Tiffany is the blogger behind A Girl And Her Passport where she shares her travel stories. Find out what she did to travel the world.
Can you please introduce yourself, tell us what you do and where you do it?
My name is Tiffany Schureman. I just finished a Full-Stack Web Development course in Dallas, TX, which is where I am from originally. Now I am on the hunt for a job.
Before you moved back to Texas, you were living in Qatar and traveling the world. Was traveling the world something you wanted to do as a child? If not, what started it?
I have always enjoyed traveling. My grandparents and parents took me many places in the US. My senior year of high school, I took my first overseas trip to London.
In my blog, I write a lot about trying new things and people who start over. Moving from Texas to Qatar is a huge change. What concerns did you have prior to the move?
One of my biggest concerns was moving to the Middle East as a single woman. I knew it was a family-oriented culture and I wasn’t sure how being a single woman with no family would be perceived. However, I had nothing to worry about. In some ways, I felt more comfortable there as a single woman than in the US. Qatar is extremely safe and I never had to worry about being out alone.
How long did it take before you started to settle in and felt at home?
It took about six months for the homesickness to really go away, which is what my expat friends told me to expect. As for feeling like home, that took a bit longer. I remember the first time I thought, I miss Qatar, and it was a good feeling.
With Qatar as your home base, how many countries did you get to visit and what was your favorite?
Since moving to Qatar, I visited 14 countries and after I left I visited three more. There have been several countries on repeat and those are Italy at four times, Greece at two times and the UK at two times. My favorite is Greece. I love the laid-back lifestyle and the food. I love it so much, I spent a month there on my post leaving Qatar trip.
You recently moved back to Texas for a new job. What did you miss most about living in Texas when you were gone and what do you now miss about living in Qatar?
I missed my family and Tex-Mex! There was no good Tex-Mex in Qatar. I miss my friends, my coworkers and my students from Qatar and also not surprisingly, the food. Qatar has such a large expat population, the food choices were amazing.
Your new job in Web Development is completely different from your last job. What made you decide you could change your career and what steps are you taking to make it happen?
It is a different as it can be! Before I was an archivist, dealing in paper and some electronic documents. My job was very much tied to physical things, whereas web development is all on my computer and I could do it from anywhere. The blog is what initially got me interested in working on the web. I just finished a three-month intensive web development Bootcamp and just started applying for jobs.
Looking back to when you made the original move to Qatar, is there anything that you wish you’d done differently or anything that you felt wasn’t working out and you stopped or changed along the way?
There isn’t anything that I can think of.
Did you get any advice or help from others when you moved to Qatar? What is the best advice or assistance that you got along the way?
Prior to accepting the job, I read lots of blogs about moving to Qatar. This helped me to understand what to expect and what to bring with me.
And to go along with that question, what advice do you have for someone looking move to another country for a job?
Do lots of research on your specific situation. Everyone has a different experience depending on if you are coming alone and with or without kids. The rules are also different for every country and depending on what country you are from.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Tiffany. Through her story, it’s clear that single women shouldn’t be afraid to travel alone or move to other countries. The key is doing your research in order to understand what’s expected. Tiffany felt safe in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar. You can find out more about Tiffany and her adventures through the below links.