An exciting update!

Something I love about being an expat is this global community we share. We can hear and connect with people from all across the world, which I think is extremely important! However, I believe that with this privilege, comes responsibility; a responsibility to speak up about what we believe in and spread awareness about important issues.

Something that I feel strongly against and continue to share on my blog is the damage we are doing to our planet. I’ve written about this numerous times on my blog and expressed my opinions and advice on the issue. The feedback I received was overwhelming, and I am grateful that I am able to share my message with such a diverse audience.

A few months ago I was approached by Brett Stadelmann from the Unsustainable Magazine and was asked to write an article about my point of view on the issue. My article is called “A Teenager’s Call To Action” and you can read it here. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to write for this start-up magazine! I hope that you find the article interesting and that it prompts you to take your own action!

To introduce you to the magazine I asked Brett Stadelmann, the person who started all of this, to write a few words:

“Like most people, I feel utterly helpless when faced with the severity of the disaster humanity has wrought.
I recycle, but never trusted that my waste didn’t just end up in landfill. I donate, but never trusted that my money got to where it was needed. I’m never in a position to help clean up an oil spill or rescue a beached whale. Without intending it, I was never part of the solution, only part of the problem.
The only skills I do have are in editing, recognising talented writers, and enhancing readability. Skills that I thought would never make a difference to the problems the world faces.
But now I’m putting these skills to use, to do what I can, to make a difference in whatever small way I can.
This is my goal: To find and share stories of loss and of hope from all across the world. And to more clearly ellucidate, to the reader, the depth and breadth of the problems our species and planet are facing.
My hope is that in sharing these stories the suffering of every person should become the immediate concern of all, that by this meditation on compassion our habits will begin to change, and that by being more acutely aware of the situation we will come closer to creating a better future for everyone, regardless of gender, race, or social class.”

I hope you have the opportunity to take a look at the magazine and let me know what you think!

Little Miss Expat

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House hunting in a new place – #ExpatWisdom – Paula

This weeks blog post is another one under the Expat Wisdom Series. If you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while, you’ll know that every month I share the story of you guys! This month I’ve been working with Paula from TCK Mum Blog to share her expat story and her advice for moving abroad. In previous Expat Wisdom posts we’ve read about making new friends, finding a job, and this month Paula has shared her tips on how to go house hunting in a new place. I hope you enjoy this post!

My name is Paula, and I am an Australian born, dual passport owning expatriate; who has lived through 7 postings over 13 years. I have three beautiful TCK’s -1 boarding in Australia and two who are residing in Sydney attending university.
I have one extraordinary rescue dog, that has lived in almost as many countries as we have and I am married to a supportive husband who has allowed me to raise our three children in this very unconventional way.
In my past life, I was an Adult Educator, and now I am a trailing spouse who can now add travel and lifestyle blogger to her resume. My love of travel from a young age allowed me the luxury of developing my thirst for travel and in turn, I have given the gift of travel to my children. I have moved more times than I like to remember, but I do have some top tips for those about to embark on the move abroad.
Top tips for house hunting in a new country
1.  When moving with children ask the school where most children live in the year groups your children will be attending. When you live close to your children’s friends, it helps them to integrate faster into the community because playdates are so crucial for children and their need to belong.
2.  Figure out the route and distance from home to both school and

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 work, long commutes for either party makes life a little challenging.
3.  Ask loads of questions from the real estate and always go with more than one. Sometimes the real estate agent will not understand your needs, especially if they have never worked with either expats or expats with families.
4.  Have a good look around the area before deciding, whether it is the closest bus stop, a park for the dog and children to play in or where the nearest grocery store and medical centre is, all these are imperative to making your life easier.
5.  Try and connect through social media groups before arriving, reach out to people through connections, and never feel like you can’t ask for help as we have all been there.
If you want more advice, then check out my blog or follow me on Instagram , connect to my facebook group.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and be sure to take a look at the other posts in my Expat Wisdom series. If you’re interested in being featured feel free to reach out to me at LittleMissExpatBlog@gmail.com!
See you next week,
Little Miss Expat

How to get through the exam period

I know that for most of us, no matter what school curriculum we’re in, it has got to that point in the year when summer is so close… but we have to get through exams first! I’m a high school junior, so this is the biggest and most stressful year for me, and I’m sure that a lot of you guys are also taking big exams and are under a lot of pressure at the moment. This blogging family we have created is always so supportive of each other, and I think we really do a good job at sharing and receiving advice, so today I wanted to share some of my own tips on how to survive the exam period; hopefully, these are useful to you, and if you have any tips you would like to share, feel free to leave them in the comments section!

Do not cram

Cramming is not an effective way of studying! Not only does trying to learn everything in a few days stress you out completely, but your brain can’t handle it. It’s better to have paid attention in class all year and been learning as you go, rather than try and learn everything the night before a test.

The night before a test, sleep is more important

Staying up all night to do that extra bit of studying instead of getting a good nights sleep before an important test is not worth it. Even though you may have studied a lot, if you come into the exam room tired and unfocused, all your hard work will not pay off. Obviously, don’t use sleeping as an excuse not to study in the weeks before an exam, but the night before, I think sleeping a decent amount is more valuable.

Make a list

Some times when you look at a whole course syllabus, it’s a little overwhelming; there’s so much to go over, and it often feels impossible that you will get through it all. One way that I deal with this is by making a list of all the specific things that I need to do, for example, I write out the pages I need to take notes on, the worksheets I’m going to do etc.. and I write out the specific time that I’ll do it out, so that I know that I can fit it into my day. Not only does this help you stay organized, but it’s really satisfying to cross things off a to-do list.

Just before an exam, get in the zone

Before an exam I always ensure that I go into the room with a clear mind; I don’t want to be stressed, tired, or thinking about something else during the test. This means that while other people are doing last minute studying and checking problems before going into the test room, I keep to myself and focus on what I’m going to do. I think that talking to people about content just before a test can really stress you out, and sometimes ruin your confidence, so it’s better to focus on yourself.

Keep a level head

One thing that I always find hard is keeping a level head during a test. If I come across a question which I don’t know how to answer, I let it get to me and get very stressed out and agitated. It’s much better to leave this question and come back to it at the end, rather than spending lots of time and letting it get to you.

Use all your time

Use your time! Don’t just sit there doing nothing if you have extra time; make sure you check your answers instead of just closing your test booklet and taking a nap! You may pick up on something really important by going over your work again.

I hope that some of these exam and testing tips are useful to you, and help you get through this busy period. Let me know if you use any of these, or if you have any you would like to share in the comments below!

See you next week and best of luck with exams!

Little Miss Expat

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Finding a blue dream in Bangkok

Over spring break I visited Bangkok with my family, and as you will know if you follow my travels on this blog, I pride myself in finding the hidden gems of any place that I’m visiting and sharing them with you, but I have to give it to my dad for this time for finding this particular hidden gem!

The Blue Whale Cafe


Unseen, on a regular side street of Bangkok, you can stumble across the artsy charm of the Blue Whale. When you step through the door, you’re transported to a blue wonderland, complete with blue walls, blue decor, and most importantly blue food! (flavored from the blue matcha they use).

While I wouldn’t go here every day, it’s definitely an experience to try an entirely blue meal, especially right in the heart of Bangkok. Would you ever eat an entirely blue meal?

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Have you ever been to Bangkok? And what would be your number one recommendation for someone visiting?

See you next week!

Little Miss Expat

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Earth Day 2019 – stop making excuses

April 22, 2019, is Earth Day. As the years go on, it will get more important for us to recognize this day and take action. The earth is being and will continue to be, destroyed by us if nothing changes.

I’m sure the idea of environmental protection is not distant to you; our feeds seem to be filled with articles, photos, and videos regarding environmental protection, as awareness is spreading. We feel good if we follow an account who claims they create a product from recycled materials, but do we really know why they do this? Why it’s so important that we recycle? That we save water? Electricity? For most people, the answer is no. We feel fulfilled enough with the little scraps of information we get from the headlines about climate change and rising sea levels, but we don’t really know how this will impact us, and we don’t bother to do anything because we feel like we can’t make a difference. So we continue to live in our naive bubble, telling ourselves that we’re doing enough by watching others tackle environmental problems when all around us the earth is changing, and we can’t undo that change.

Planet earth is our home, and it has been for about 200,000 years. It gives us food, water, and shelter, but what do we give it in return? Nothing. Instead, we tear it apart day after day, destroying it, polluting it, just for our own needs. What gives us the authority to do this?

According to the UN Environmental Report, the earth is now at a turning point. We can turn back, change our habits, and move towards a ‘sustainable future’, or we can plow forward towards a ‘bleak future’. The earth is on course to increase 3 degrees Celsius in the next dozen years. Even if only 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming happens, it would threaten ecosystems, cause extreme weather events, the coral would die off, the Arctic region would be in danger, coastal flooding would increase, crop yields would decrease, and the health of living organisms would decrease. If the sea-levels rise, it would affect 10 million people and would present us with many environmental refugees. So why aren’t we doing much?

There are a huge number of people who are doing great things to protect the environment, but there aren’t enough. It’s a common mindset to think that, if we can’t make any difference by ourselves, so we shouldn’t even try. But these are issues which can’t be solved by just one person, the only way we can move forward in a sustainable manner is to see the world unite to protect this planet.

This earth day, I challenge YOU to go further than just putting your paper in the recycling bin or taking a shorter shower for one day. I urge you to make a regular sustainable change in your life. Don’t just do something because it’s earth day, do it every day! Don’t just watch others fight for the environment, do it yourself. This problem is urgent and it’s large, so make sure that your actions for change match this.

If you are interested in reading some more articles about sustainability, here is where I got my information from Source 1, Source 2, Source 3.

If you have anything to say on this issue please leave it in the comments section below, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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We decide when the time is right – #ExpatWisdom – Lauren

Welcome back to another post in the Expat Wisdom series! This months wisdom post is from Lauren of The Expat Chronicle. I really enjoyed reading this one, especially the quote at the end, let me know what you think of it!


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There I was. Standing in the two-car garage of our home in Howell, New Jersey putting the finishing touches on an 18th Century armoire. My furniture restyling business had really taken off. Our garages which once housed both cars were now piled high with new projects to work on. Exciting times!
As I cleaned up my paint and brushes, I could hear neighborhood children playing in their front yards. Birds were chirping. The sun was shining. Life felt kind of…perfect actually. We lived in a wonderful community with tons of friends, great schools for our three kids and family only minutes away.
And despite the fact that our life was exactly where we wanted it to be…we decided one day to leave it all.
It’s always been a dream of my husband and mine to live abroad. However, those dreams took a backseat once we got married and started a family. What was once our passion turned into watching other families achieve theirs on the American TV show House Hunters International.One Year Later Lessons Learned.jpg
Still, we loved our life and had no regrets. We couldn’t imagine doing something insane like moving to another country! Until opportunity came knocking and awoke the dream in us both.
A job position was offered to my husband in beautiful Barcelona. I remember the night he came home and shared the news. Instead of jumping out of my chair with excitement…I cried! (Not my most supportive wife moment, I’ll admit!)
“Why?”, “How?”, “Now?!” These were some of the first words from my mouth. I mean, the timing just wasn’t right – horrible…really! If we put off the relocation another few years we’d be more “ready”, I told myself. After all, timing was everything…
But in the weeks that followed and after my emotions had simmered, I started doing some research. I began learning about the city we could call home – the people, the culture, schooling, holidays, traditions, food. I went from being terrified of the idea to falling in love with it.
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One day I finally said to Tony, “We have an awesome life here. It couldn’t be better…and I want it to always feel that way. If we don’t move abroad, we may end up resenting things here that we truly love.” I felt a lump in my throat after the words came out. But in my heart, I knew I was right.
The right timing. People will spend their whole lives waiting for it. Making sure all the pieces of their puzzle align. But as they wait, the years pass and eventually the opportunity is lost. We couldn’t let that happen.
So our house went on the market (sold in ONE week!). We sat our children down and told them our plan to move abroad. You can read about that experience and how we approached such a sensitive topic in Expat Kids: Just Along for the Ride http://theexpatchronicle.net/along-for-the-ride/ We packed away our beloved treasures, most of which could not come overseas with us.
Those weeks of preparation were some of the scariest and most exciting of my life. Like inching your way up to the top of a steep roller coaster unable to see the thrilling drop below. What if we hated it? What if the kids did not adjust well? How about the language?!
So many concerns and questions swirling – but still, we didn’t turn back. And after 18 months of living in Barcelona, my life will never be the same. This experience has changed me; it’s changed us all. Had we waited for the perfect time when it made total sense for us to move, we would still be waiting…
Sure, sometimes I still have those days when I wonder if leaving it all behind was worth it. We miss having a backyard, a fireplace, homemade blueberry crumble and American football. We miss good friends and of course our beloved family.
But then I watch my seven year old proudly point on a map to all the different countries where his school friends come from; children he would have otherwise never known. I laugh as my two year old happily plays tag with our doorman, who speaks no English other than the word “bye”. I marvel at how far my own language skills have sharpened as a result of living in Spain, even if I still have a long way to go!
And I think about so many new adventures! In a short 18 months here, we’ve visited many medieval villages in Spain and major European cities like Vienna, London, Prague, Paris and Lake Como.
Yes we left so much behind, as all expats have to. But we’ve also gained more in return than we could ever put a value on. The timing was not perfect for us. We would have never chosen to leave when we did. But our wonderful life back home in the United States is waiting for us – when we’re ready to go back to it.
Afterall, “Ships are safest when in port – but that’s simply not what they’re built for…”

What did you think of this post? I think Lauren had some really great advice for us! If you have an expat story you would like to share, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at LittleMissExpatBlog@gmail.com
See you next week!
Little Miss Expat

Snorkeling in Phuket, Thailand

I spent the past week of Spring break relaxing in Thailand, and I loved it! I’m usually not the most adventurous person, but I stepped out of my comfort zone and was lucky enough to go snorkeling just off an island in Phuket. This was my first time snorkeling in the middle of the ocean, and I saw some really cool sea life. I thought I would share some photos with you! Let me know where the best place you’ve ever been to dive or snorkel is!

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Little Miss Expat

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