The Expat ‘Would You Rather’

Hi Everyone!

This week I have a little surprise for you, I have teamed up with Little Miss Honey (find her blog here) to create a really fun and entertaining post for you guys!

When we first talked about a collab, I was unsure what to do, as I didn’t want to do something boring that you could find anywhere. I finally decided on an ‘expat would you rather.’ In this post, you will see several ‘would you rather’ questions, directed at expats, answered by both Little Miss Honey and me. I’ll admit, some of these questions were really challenging, but we did our best to answer them all for you. Enjoy!

Would you rather… Never be an expat, or move to a new place every year?

Little Miss Honey: Never be an expat, moving every year can be really stressful especially for my family, so I’d rather stay put. 

Little Miss Expat: Never be an expat, I’d have to agree, while being an expat is amazing, it would be hard to pack up and move every year. 

Would you rather… Not be able to meet anyone new, or not remember anyone old?

Little Miss Honey: Not being able to meet anyone new, I don’t want people I know to feel bad that I don’t remember them. 

Little Miss Expat: Not being able to meet anyone new, I wouldn’t want to forget important people in my life.

Would you rather… Move somewhere really hot, or cold?

Little Miss Honey: Move somewhere really hot, actually I did before, as I lived in Saudi Arabia.

Little Miss Expat: Well I already live in Dubai, which is super hot. But I wouldn’t want to move anywhere very cold, I definitely prefer the heat. 

Would you rather… Move somewhere as a student in school, or as an adult with a job?

Little Miss Honey: Move somewhere as a student, I always wanted to study in Canada when I was younger but was never able to do so. 

Little Miss Expat: I think as a student, It’s easier to fit in and make new friends when you see them every day at school. And I think that moving is easier when you’re younger as you can adapt more. 

Would you rather… Move to a city or a rural area?

Little Miss Honey: Definitely a city, I am a true-blue city girl. 

Little Miss Expat: I would love to live in a rural area, but I don’t think I could do it forever. So I would go for the city, as there’s always something to do there.

Would you rather… Be an expat as a kid or an adult?

Little Miss Honey: Either way is fine by me.

Little Miss Expat: That’s a hard one, I feel like as an adult I would be able to do things my way, but I think I would move as a kid because I would have my family and parents to support me and help me out. 

Would you rather… Be an expat in an English speaking country or a non-English speaking country?

Little Miss Honey: I would love to fantasize about living in a non-English speaking country but truthfully it would be better to move to an English speaking country. 

Little Miss Expat: It would definitely be easier to move to an English speaking country, as I would find it too confusing to learn a new language, and have that barrier. 

Would you rather… Not be able to talk to anyone you meet, or hear anything they say?

Little Miss Honey: The first one.

Little Miss Expat: I think the first one, at least I could work around it. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, by not listening to what they say. 

Would you rather… Not be able to make new friends, or see any old ones?

Little Miss Honey: Definitely the first one.

Little Miss Expat: That’s really hard, but the first choice. I wouldn’t want to forget my old friends, even though it would be hard not to have any new ones. 

Would you rather… Not be able to experience the culture of your new home, or completely forget the culture of your last home?

Little Miss Honey: The latter, always look back to where you came from.

Little Miss Expat: I’d agree, I wouldn’t want to forget my culture, but it would still be hard to live somewhere and not experience any of the culture. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this kind of post, let me know if you want to see more like this! It was just a little bit of fun, be sure to let me know your answers to the questions in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Little Miss Expat

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Lisbon Photo Diary

Hi Guys,

Welcome to the Lisbon Photo Diary!

Over Summer I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Lisbon for a few days. It was really amazing and so different from any European city I’ve ever been to. There are a tonne of unique things to do in Lisbon, and I’m going to try and share them all with you in this post!

Firstly, we landed in Lisbon early in the morning and headed to the Time Out Market. I had read about this online, and I thought it would be a good place to start and get some food.
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After getting a bite at the market, we headed outside and were met by a group of tour guides. Except… these tours were tuk-tuk tours. So unusual to any typical tourist-traps, we decided to try a tuk-tuk tour, as I mean it’s not something you see every day.

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After cruising around Lisbon in a tuk-tuk for a while, I started to get a feel for the place. One of my favorite things about the city was the small, quirky streets. Filled with people and cobbled stones, the whole city was bursting with culture.

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Lisbon is a city of art. One of my favorite things were the walls, every building was covered in ornate tiles, from top to bottom. There were also amazing street art murals on the side of buildings.

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As we drove up the winding, narrow streets of Lisbon, we stopped at many viewing points. The views were breathtaking, as you turned a corner the city opened up beneath you.

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At the top of a viewing point, we stopped for some fresh lemonade, fruit, and custard tarts! Custard tarts or pastel de nata are a Portuguese specialty and they are DELICIOUS.

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With the history, culture, and hidden surprises of Lisbon, we continued to have an amazing trip!

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I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my trip to Lisbon! Have you ever been? What’s your favorite city that you’ve traveled to?

Let me know if you guys enjoyed this kind of post by leaving me a comment!

Little Miss Expat

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Stress: My Story + Dealing with it

Hi, Guys!

Today I am finally going to write a post that I have wanted to write for ages… my experience with stress, and dealing with it. I hope this is useful to you guys because I’m no expert on this, but I am simply a teen sharing her experiences and tips. This is will also be an ongoing series so I will write more posts about this as I find new things that help me, or I experience anything that I think you should hear about.

So stress. We all experience it, some more than others. And for me in the past year, it got to the point where my stress levels rose so high I had to start finding ways to deal with it. I don’t know if it’s that I’m a perfectionist, or maybe that I’m very sensitive, or even that I just worry about EVERYTHING, but I find that I stress over everything, and I stress a lot. My friends and family are always telling me that I need to calm down, but I find it hard to just switch off, as I feel like my brain is always one step ahead of me, telling me what I have to do next to get to where I want to be.

But too much stress isn’t good for you, and it can even be dangerous. It’s important to control it and learn what to do when you feel like this. For me, I’ve worked out some tips that help me a lot, and that I use all the time. So I thought that I would share them with you in case they help!

Meditation Apps – This is something that I have recently started using, as I felt like I needed to learn how to let my brain relax. I downloaded the free app ‘calm’, and I also downloaded ‘headspace’. I listened to a 12-minute session on ‘Calm’ called ‘7 Days of Calming Anxiety’ and it was really helpful. I saw the differences almost immediately, as it taught me some tricks to use throughout the day to ensure I stay calm. I haven’t used headspace yet, but I have heard some good reviews and look forward to trying it. I think that apps are a great way to learn about what you should be doing if you don’t know anyone who can help you, or if you just want to enjoy some relaxation at home.

Focusing on the moment – This is something that I learned by listening to the ‘7 Days of Calming Anxiety’ session. It means that by focusing on the moment you are currently in, you worry less about the future and don’t get as stressed about it. So something it taught me is that to ‘be in the moment’ you should focus on one sensation of your body. For example, if I’m feeling stressed I can take a deep breath and focus on what sounds I hear around me, or the feeling of my hands against the cool surface I’m leaning on. For me, thinking about these simple things allow me to slow down and focus on the moment a bit more.

‘Down Time’ – My downtime is something that I take very seriously. Every day after I come back from school, I make sure that I take some time to sit down, take a hot shower, organize what I’m going to do next, and eat something. This time allows me to calm down and re-arrange my thoughts before I start on my homework. I also do this before I go to sleep, I light a candle, wash my face, brush my teeth, and listen to some music. I think it’s important to take some time as your ‘down time’ as your life shouldn’t be ‘GO GO GO!’ all the time. You don’t have to necessarily do what I do, but just take some time out regularly to calm down and gather your thoughts.

Candles – So this isn’t a big one, but it is just something I have found that helps me create a relaxing, stress-free environment. Something about the aromatic smell and seeing the cozy yellow flicker allows me to relax better, I have no idea why, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Music – Music is also something that calms me, and lets me de-stress. Although, it has to be the right music. There’s no use listening to fast pop or rock music if you want to concentrate or relax. I usually listen to acoustic songs or slower pop songs, and there are plenty of playlists that I use on Spotify that have songs specifically for this. My favorite are ‘Revision Ballads’ and ‘Feeling Acoustically Good’.

Writing or saying thoughts aloud and going through them – This is something that I read about once and I decided to try. What you do is, write out a list of why you think you’re stressed or worried and go through the list and think about why you are actually worried about that, what is the worst thing that will happen? Is it really that bad? In reality, we always make things out worse in our heads than they actually are in real life. And by going through them properly you can swat away some of those anxieties.

Running – Now this might not be one that works for everyone because I know a lot of people don’t enjoy running. But I think that any kind of intense physical activity helps to relieve stress. Something to do with the release of endorphins that makes you happy and happiness makes you less worried. I mean I’m no scientist, but I know that exercising does work well to relieve stress for me.

Reading – As I mentioned before I find it hard to just switch off my brain, so I found an alternative. Personally, I love reading anyway, but reading allows me to focus on someone else’s story for a while and forget about my own. I’m sure other readers can relate to this? It’s easy to lose yourself in a book for a while and forget everything that’s going on. That’s why even on days when I’m really tired I still make sure I keep time to read before I go to sleep.

Woah, that was a long post!!!! But it is something that I have wanted to share with you guys for a while, as I know I’m not the only one that gets stressed and has to deal with it. At the end of the day, I still remember that I’m still a teenager and it’s normal for teens to feel this way. But if you have any other ways you deal with stress? A story you have to share? Or if you have tried any of my tips? Please let me know in the comments or contact me as I would love to hear from you guys (reading and replying to your comments always makes me so happy)!!!!

Have a stress-free day!

Little Miss Expat

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‘Calm’ Meditation App

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‘Calm’ Meditation App

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Writing down thoughts and going through them

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Reading

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Reading (one of my favorite books!)

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Candles & Creating a Stress-Free Environment

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More Candles…

 


Secret Spots of London – In Love with London’s Lavender Fields

Hi everyone!

So I went back to school this week, like most students in Dubai. And let’s just say I miss summer!!! Don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoy school but I can not believe how quickly this summer went. So I thought that I would share one of the best parts of my summer with you because let’s be real here, we all need some cheering up right now.

So as you know I traveled a lot this summer, but I spent the majority of my break back home in London. Before I went away a friend in Dubai told me about these beautiful lavender fields just outside of London, and I just knew I had to go!

We went at the beginning of July when the lavender was in full bloom. The drive down was peaceful, as we drove down the country lanes listening to music and chatting. I can tell you that, once we caught our first glimpse of the fields we were speechless. I’ve never seen anything like it before. A field for as long as the eye can see covered in a blanket of violet and the aroma of lavender hangs in the air like you’re in a huge outdoor spa.

I think it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my whole life! There’s a small lavender nursery, shop, and cafe to the side of the field where we bought some presents for friends and these amazing lavender shortbread cookies.

The field allows you to take photos and even has a red telephone box right in the middle to add that extra ‘London vibe’ to your pictures. However, you do have to pay extra if you bring in a professional photographer. If you are interested these are the lavender fields we visited. It was a really amazing day out for the summertime and something different that you don’t get to see all the time. I would really recommend it to anyone looking for something to do next summer.

Let me know how your first week of school went? And if you have ever visited a lavender field?

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Hidden Gems of Dubai – 1 Dirham Tea

Hi Guys!

As an English expat in Dubai, I have brought one of my greatest loves across the ocean with me. TEA. I looooove tea, there’s nothing I love more than curling up under a fluffy blanket on a cold winters night with a good book and a ginormous cup of tea. Perfection.

As an English expat my friends always tease me about loving tea, because it’s kind of stereotypical. But I feel like I have managed to find a link between these two cultures that is so simple and delicious. How weird is it that?

So you may be thinking what is she talking about? Tea in Dubai?????? Whaaaat. Well, I’ll share my special secret with you. I consider this piece of information a hidden gem of Dubai (hence the name). Dubai is an amazing city and there are so many places to visit here and so many things to see. But sometimes I feel like it’s the small, simple things that we miss out on because we didn’t know they existed, that end up being the best.

This hidden gem of Dubai incorporates all of the simplicity that I love, as well as giving you a peek into Dubai’s traditional culture. A lot of the time, even living in Dubai, I don’t visit the old parts of Dubai very often, which is a shame because they are both beautiful, and rich with history.

One of the things that I would totally recommend if you’re a tourist or a resident is going to get ‘1 Dirham Tea’ Dirham is the currency of Dubai in case you didn’t know, so this is basically one pound tea. If you are familiar with ‘Karak Chai’ which is popular all across the Gulf (but is originally from South Asian countries), this is basically it. For those of you who don’t know what Karak Chai is, it’s a heavier tea filled with spices and milk and is absolutely delicious. It’s one of the things I crave the most when I travel out of the country for a long time.

You can find this basically on any street corner in older Dubai. In places such as Satwa, you will see little tea shops on every street, all you need to do is ask for your cup of tea and hand over your 1 dirham coin. It’s so simple and so delicious.

Let me know if you guys enjoyed this hidden gem! Be sure to let me know what your hidden gems of your cities are?

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Here are some pictures of my tea

 

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The delicious tea


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Alternatively, you can find this drink in other places. This was taken in Karak House Dubai, many other cafes sell this drink as well.

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This is the store I usually get my tea from, but like I said you can literally find it anywhere.