It was over a decade ago that Detroit native Nicole Brewer started her expat journey. At that time, she relocated to South Korea to work as an English teacher. After a few years there, she became interested in a new expat experience. Since then, she has traveled to over 50 countries and lived abroad in South Africa, Germany, South Korea, and presently, Oman.
Since 2012, she has called the city of Nizwa home. The 41-year-old is now employed as an English language lecturer at a university and has had an enjoyable experience living in the Gulf nation.
“Oman is extremely safe,” Nicole says. “As a single woman, I don’t worry about getting attacked. People are very respectful, especially as an American teaching abroad. The country is very laidback and people are kind.”
Many Americans experience a great deal of cultural shock due to the ways in which Western society differs from that of the Middle East. However, Nicole says this was not a big issue for her, and that she was able to adapt rather quickly.
“I’m a pretty go-with-the-flow type of person so it wasn’t too difficult getting used to life in the Middle East for me. The biggest difference, especially as a teacher, was getting used to running a classroom where boys and girls weren’t allowed to interact due to cultural norms. There are literally doorways for the boys to enter/exit and a different door and hallway for the girls at the universities there.”
Recently, Nicole penned her new children’s book, An ABC Guide to Children’s Games Around the Globe in hopes of helping children learn about kids from different cultures around the world. She was inspired to write this children’s book to inspire her nephews, Ryan and Nico (ages 10 and 12), as well as other kids, to see the world.
The book is filled with colorful displays of children playing fun and interesting games from countries around the globe. The cover illustration features Black children–an intentional decision Nicole made with representation in mind.
“I wanted Black kids to see themselves in the book and be inspired to learn about other cultures from around the world, especially African cultures.”
Nicole was also excited for the book to feature countries in which she has personally lived, including South Korea and Oman. Other countries featured are Ethiopia, Kenya, Germany, and more.
“Kids can explore A for Australia, where kangaroos roam far and wide, B for tropical Brazil, the largest country in South America, J for Japan, where cherry blossoms bloom, and Z for Zimbabwe, home to the largest waterfall in the world! Allowing your child to get lost in wonder while learning about kids from fascinating cultures will hopefully inspire them to want to experience the vast globe for themselves in the future!”