Being a single woman in midlife doesn’t seem like the best time to make a leap into the unknown but for Diane Dupree it proved the making of a new life. Originally from England but teaching high school drama in New Zealand Diane felt like her life needed a change, she was destined to spend the rest of her life “with crochet and cats” to quote her own words!
She made the brave decision to become an expat teacher, taking on a two year position in the Muslim country of Malaysia where she fell in love with the place, the people and the food.
We spoke with Diane between destinations and back in New Zealand where she has just completed her stint of living in Malaysia and is about to embark in a new role in Jakarta, Indonesia. If you’re interested in the experiences of a single middle aged woman living in a Muslim country while traveling alone then this could be for you.(and if you enjoy Diane’s humor don’t worry, we’ll have her back in the near future to share with us how she’s enjoying living in Indonesia)
What I learned from Diane’s interview:
- Getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to…well… get out of your comfort zone. Diane had some hilarious experiences and some truly touching moments that she would never have taken on in her old habitat including a 20 km assault course and working with villages in need in Cambodia during her break
- If you love food you’ll love Malaysia! Diane is already missing some of the fantastic dishes she enjoyed while there and can’t wait to return for a visit. Not only is the food great but the service in Malaysia is first rate as well. Malaysians are hospitable but it pays to be aware of acceptable customs as some things (such as raising your voice) will be frowned upon.
- Safety doesn’t have to be an issue if you are a solo traveler, and particularly a single woman. She was treated with respect everywhere she went and has nothing but good memories of her time there. Crime does happen as it does anywhere but the chances are certainly no higher there than in your own country.