This place should be on your bucket list…

One of the things I love about being an expat is all of the travel opportunities I get! Living in a place like Dubai, there are so many places to explore which are only a short plane ride away. Back in November, I got the chance to visit Morocco with my school, and I’ve been wanting to share this blog post for a while. We spent a week traveling around the country, but we got the chance to visit a city that I had never heard of before.

The city of Chefchaouen is one of the most interesting places I’ve ever visited. For someone who enjoys photography, I was in heaven! It’s a city that is completely blue and white. Every street is white and painted a different shade of blue, the cobbled streets are charming, and there are so many nooks and crannies waiting to be discovered. We spent a day walking around this city taking photos and exploring small stores. Here are some of the photos I got of Chefchaouen, I hope they inspire you to put this place on your bucket list!

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4 tips to fix any bad day

Have you ever had one of those days where it just feels like everything is going wrong? Or where all you want to do is go home and curl up in your bed? Yup, we’ve all had those days. It sometimes comes from stress, fatigue, or just certain circumstances. I’ve recently been having some of those days, where one thing goes wrong and then everything else just cascades into a downward, stressful, overwhelming spiral, and it’s so hard to pull yourself out of it. For me, it’s because of stress, it’s a really busy time of year for me at the moment, but I’ve managed to come up with four tips that can fix any bad day for me.

Number one: Schedule in an ‘away time’

This is something that I do a lot if I’m having a day where I just know that I need a break. Sometimes when you’re having one of those days you know you just need to stop, because if you try and do more or carry on at this point you’re not going to gain anything from it. When I’m super stressed out, I always ask myself: am I really going to get anything done in the next 20 mins, or would I be better off giving my brain a break? If the answer is the latter I stop what I’m doing. Sometimes you reach that wall where doing more of something is actually detrimental. So I’ll take 20 mins and talk to a friend, watch a youtube video, or go for a walk or a run. Getting away from the thing that is stressing you out or upsetting you allows you to come back with a fresh and clear mindset which is so much more effective than struggling through it.

Number two: Treat yourself

I know you hear this phrase a lot, but it is really useful! If you’re having one of those bad days do something that you know will instantly put you in a good mood. For me, that will sometimes mean eating a specific food, listening to music, or going to a specific place, whatever it is, schedule in something that will make you happy and cheer you up. Once you’ve done that one thing, your mood will hopefully rise, and you’ll be able to carry on your day in a happier way.

Number three: Gratitude

This one might not be very obvious, and sometimes when you’re having a bad day this is the last thing that you want to do. Taking a few seconds to be grateful for what you have and where you are, actually grounds you and brings you back to the present. It can stop you from falling into the overwhelming spiral.

Number four: People

The people that you surround yourself with are one of those things that can instantly lift your mood. My family and I eat dinner together every night and sometimes when I’ve had a really stressful day, that time spent laughing and talking with them instantly changes my mood. Surround yourself with people who will make you happier instead of bringing you down.

I hope that some of these tips can help turn your day around, or make it that little bit better! Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of them, or if you have any you think should be added to this list.

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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The most photo-worthy spots you must visit in Sydney

As you might already know from all the photos I’ve been posting, I visited Australia over winter break! I saw so many amazing sights: mountains, beaches, and architecture etc… In today’s post, I want to share my top photo locations from Sydney that I think you must go to if you’re visiting! Let me know if you have any more recommendations, and if you’ve been to any of these locations!

Bondi Beach

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The Blue Mountains

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The Grounds of Alexandria

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Sydney Opera House

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The Streets

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Learning to go with the flow

I’ve always been a stickler for the rules, someone who lives by a schedule, and someone who likes everything to go according to plan. Okay… that makes me seem a bit lame and scary, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like organization and precision.

I’ve never been one of those last minute people who are able to just go with the flow. I always feel as though there’s always something I should be doing or something I could be doing, that if I just stopped and didn’t work according to a plan, I would be missing out on something else. This is often annoying as it is frankly impossible to do EVERYTHING in life and to do it all to a high quality. While you’re too busy trying to be perfect you miss out on the small things in life that are quite special.

This is something that I vowed to change about myself last year. After finishing the last school year, I was sick and tired of always feeling like I had to stick to a schedule in order to get everything done. I wanted to take some time off, do whatever I felt like, while still being productive. I wanted to re-program my work-style into a more sustainable one – a schedule that didn’t stress me out as much, and one that was flexible based upon how I was feeling or if I wanted to do something special that day.

You see, with sticking to a schedule, I always felt like I was missing out on something. Maybe it was time I wanted to spend with my family or time I wanted to spend face timing a friend abroad, I always felt as though if I strayed from my planned out schedule I would not get everything done. Living like this was exhausting, not to mention draining. This is why I wanted to change it this year, and I have to say I am happy with the progress I’ve made.

I may not be in a perfect place yet, but I am still proud of how far I’ve come. I have more work than ever before to do this year, but strangely I don’t stick to a schedule as tightly as before. I realized that you’re never going to have everything finished, so you might as well integrate your work with something fun, and take yourself less seriously, otherwise, you’re never going to be able to let go.

Now, I can only speak from my own experience, and perhaps, this only applies to teenagers like myself, I’m not sure. But I know that constant worrying and stressing does nothing. It gets you nowhere, and you always feel like there is more to be done. Recently I’ve been trying to be more flexible with my work and take it wherever I need to go. Sometimes if I know I’ll be spending a lot of time in the car, I won’t let that stress me out, I’ll just make sure I have some work to do while I’m there. Or if my family decides that they want to go to the beach in an hour, I won’t say no just because I haven’t got it scheduled in my diary. I’ll assess my situation and take the time off and enjoy myself for a bit. Of course, this isn’t a rationale for slacking, but it’s a reminder that you need to take a breather once in a while and just go with the flow. Do something based upon how you’re feeling because after all a bit of spontaneity is good for us.

Next time you let your stress get the better of you, just remember that nothing will ever be 100% perfect, just put all of your efforts into it, and also take some time for yourself to do something you enjoy. What do you think about this? I would love to know, share your ideas in the comment section.

See you next week!

Little Miss Expat

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The Byron Bay cafe guide

This winter was my first visit to Byron Bay, and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be my last! I loved spending each day waking up early, walking down to the beach, and eating so much delicious food at the local cafes. Before I got to visit Byron Bay, I had seen so many bloggers on Instagram visit this place and eat some great looking food. So by the time I actually visited Byron Bay, I had an extremely long list of all the places I wanted to try. As you know, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. So here are my top breakfast spots in Byron Bay! I hope you enjoy seeing photos of the food as much as I loved eating it!

Three Blue Ducks

This was the first breakfast place we visited and it did not disappoint. Three Blue Ducks is located in the middle of a farm, and its menu is packed full of fresh local produce. It’s a popular spot and gets busy quite quickly, so I’d recommend getting there early to avoid a wait.

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Folk

I already wrote a whole blog post about this cafe because I loved it so much! The food, ambiance, and location were just a perfect blend, and quite different from most of the places I’ve visited. Their menu is also very unique, and worth the trip just to try one of their interesting dishes.

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Bayleaf Cafe

One thing I loved about all the cafes I visited in Byron was that they each had their own take on the usual breakfast dishes. Sometimes it can get boring when you’re traveling as you end up eating variations of the same food every day for breakfast. But each spot I visited had something different and special going on for them. I don’t remember the exact name of what I got at Bayleaf Cafe, but it was a variety of roasted vegetables on a flatbread and it tasted sooo good.

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These are my three top breakfast cafes in Byron Bay! Let me know if you’ve tried any of them, and which ones you recommend for next time I visit!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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How to stay motivated

Do you ever get those nights when you’re lying awake in bed listing out all the things you have to get done tomorrow? When your head feels like it’s going to burst with all the odd jobs and to-do lists kept in there? And when you know you have endless amounts of things to do, but you just can’t bring yourself to actually do them?

Yup, we’ve all been there. It’s not a nice feeling, knowing you have so much to do, but just being unable to find the motivation to start. I feel like we all lead such busy lives these days, that we hardly ever have time to take a breath. And at least for me, when I have a giant to-do list I just want to get everything over and done with, but it’s so hard to make that first dent in the list. To actually start. To find that motivation.

So in today’s blog post, I’m going to share a few of my tips for gathering motivation. Whether it’s motivation to start your homework, do a workout, or even get out of bed in the morning I hope these tips will be able to help you!

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Give yourself something to look forward to

Sometimes when I really don’t want to do something I like to give myself something to look forward to. For example, when I’m really tired in the morning and I have to get out of bed, I think about what I’m going to eat for breakfast (cause I love food!) or something exciting I have going on that day. Or when I need the motivation to do a piece of homework which is especially grueling, I tell myself that once I finish it I’ll make myself a smoothie or eat a cookie. (only now am I realizing that all my motivation is food, oh no…) But you get the point, give yourself incentives and be strict with yourself. Make sure you fulfill the task you set before giving yourself that treat!

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Get your setting right

Sometimes your motivation can be affected by your surroundings, and once you change these you’ll notice such a big difference! For example, lying on your bed in a messy room is not going to get you motivated to start something (well, at least not for me). Clean up, open a window, and get some air! Changing up your surroundings makes such a huge impact. Before I start my homework I always like to make sure my desk is clean and sometimes I’ll have my window open so I can hear the birds, maybe I’ll light a candle, just to get into a pleasant mood and mindset, and from this everything just comes much more easily.

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Make a routine. Give your body signals

We respond well to routines. Establish healthy routines for yourself, and you’ll find it easier to find that motivation. Sometimes I really don’t feel like running or working out. But I have a set of stretches and a small jog that I do every time before I workout and since my body is used to this, it gives me the signal that I’m about to start working out. Usually, once I finish this I feel much more energized and motivated because this routine has queued my body into knowing that it’s time to work out. The same goes for any other activity. Routines let your body and mind know that it’s time to get working, and means that it’s less of a struggle to find that motivation because it starts coming naturally.

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I think I’ll leave it there for this post! I hope that these three tips can help you gain that motivation to tick things off your to-do list, to go workout, or get up in the morning! Let me know in the comments section your ways of finding the motivation to start a task.

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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The economic concept that will change your life

The name of this post might seem a little weird. Who knows… maybe that’s why you clicked on it, maybe you’re intrigued about what a 16-year-old girl is going to tell you about economics and life changes?

Well, this post is not about one simple hack that will change how much money you spend or earn. In fact, this post has nothing to do with money at all. It’s about an economic concept, which, when applied, not in an economic context, can really change your life.

I’m a Junior studying economics, so in no way am I qualified to give you real economic advice. But a few weeks ago I was doing my homework, like the good student I am, and I came across something very interesting. I often read things in school, or I see things while I’m out, and I think of how they would make really interesting and unique blog posts, actually, that’s how I came up with my different ‘English-es’ blog post. This time was no different… I was reading my economics textbook when I came over the concept of Sunk Costs.

In an economic context Sunk Costs are costs that have already happened, they are things that regardless of the decisions you make next, they aren’t going to go back and change. For example, if you’re shopping at the mall and you buy a non-refundable dress, and you walk into the next store and see a dress you like even more. Buying the first dress has already happened, you can’t change that. But you can choose whether or not to buy the second dress, and you shouldn’t let your first decision affect your second one, as no matter how much you think about the first one, you can’t undo it. Of course, this is a very mild example. But this concept is usually used to explain much more serious problems such as rent or salary. However, regardless of the context, the concept still means the same thing: it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, you can’t change that. And it shouldn’t affect your future plans because you can’t go back and change what happened.

You may be able to see where I’m going with this. If we take this academic and complicated concept outside of school and textbooks and actually look at what it’s saying we can apply it to our everyday lives, and that’s where the magic is. We shouldn’t let our past decisions affect the decisions that we make next. Whatever we went through in the past or whatever it cost us can’t be recovered, and that past action is still going to cost us the same thing regardless of our next decision. How many times in your life have you let yourself be held back by something that you or someone did in the past? Yes, you should make educated decisions, but your past shouldn’t be something you dwell on or something that holds you back. You should make every decision in your life based on what you think could happen, not what has happened in the past.

There is a difference between speculating on the past and reflecting on it. I’m only 16 and I’ve been through so much. So I can’t imagine how much people older than me must have been through. Sometimes it’s hard to know that what I do now can’t make up for the mistakes I’ve made, or something I do now can’t change what’s already happened, but I’m getting better at it and I encourage you all to practice it as well.

This economic concept may seem a little abstract when taken out of context, but there is still reality to it. Let me know what you think, and if you agree with this idea of ‘sunk costs’ in our everyday lives. Comment down below your opinions and I hope you enjoyed this post!

See you next week,
Little Miss Expat

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