Planning To Travel Soon? My Tips For Planning A Vacation

Hi Guys!

This week I thought I would write another guide for you guys. Just after I first started my blog, I wrote a post called ‘How To Explore a New City as an Expat’ I wanted to build on this post, and add in a few more tips about traveling. Enjoy!

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  1. Be Organized: For the new-ish traveler one of my top tips would be to plan your trip in advance, book planes, hotels, and work out anything else you might need. Keep your tickets and passport ready, and make sure you have all the necessary documents and visas. Traveling is much more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about the logistical side of it.
  2. Visit Places That Interest you: When you arrive in a new place, don’t feel pressured to go to all the museums, gardens, or parks. Go to places you’re interested in. If you like history then go to the museums, but if you like exploring don’t force yourself. There’s a multitude of things to do in one city, hiking, shopping, visiting monuments, people watching etc… Do things you’re genuinely interested in!
  3. Do a Little Bit of ‘Research’: Personally, before I travel I like to have an idea of a few places I want to visit, some restaurants to try, and some stores I want to see. Usually, I’ll take a look at Pinterest, read some blogs, and recently I’ve started looking through the hashtags on Instagram for wherever I’m going to get an idea of what’s popular in that area. I think it’s useful to have a handful of places that you want to visit and use them as a base to explore a city.
  4. Document Your Trip: Whether it’s taking photos, journaling, or even vlogging, I think it’s a fun idea to document your trip. Years from now you can look back to remember your travels and the fun times you had. Or you could show your photos to your friends back home and make them jealous!
  5. Live In The Moment: While I’m all for documenting the trip, sometimes it’s good to live in the moment, and really just focus on where you are. When I’m traveling I actually kind of like not having any data on my phone, so that I just use it to take photos. It’s a nice time to be detached from social media for a few hours, and fully enjoy the place where I am.
  6. Immerse Yourself In The Native Culture: For the most part, you’re only going to visit this place once, why not make the most of it? Take part in cultural activities and have a bit of fun! During Spring Break last year my family and I visited Japan, and we took part in a Tai Chi class in a park, and when we went to China, we had a traditional tea ceremony. It was interesting to experience their own unique cultures.
  7. Wake Up Early or Stay Up Late: Make the most of your jet lag! Use it to get up early in the morning to explore the city before everyone else, or to stay up in the evenings and see a different side to the city. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you see.
  8. Watch The Sunsets and Sunrises: Wherever I am in the world, I love doing something as simple as watching the sunset and rise. It’s beautiful wherever you are in the world, and it’s cool to see it in different places around the world.

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What did you think of my travel tips? What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Let me know in the comments!

Little Miss Expat

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Morning Adventures in Dubai – Hidden Gems of Dubai

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday I fought off the tiredness and woke up bright and early at 6am for a special adventure! My parents and I had originally just planned to go out for a quick breakfast, but we ended up going on a spontaneous adventure.

Mornings are my favourite time of day, I like being up before the rest of the city, and enjoying the peace. I also think you can achieve so much more when you start the day early, this whole adventure was over by 12, so I still had plenty of time to finish all my homework 🙂 This small guide will take you on our Dubai Morning Adventure, and hopefully inspire you to wake up early and explore your own city!

In my opinion, Fridays are the most peaceful day in Dubai. It’s like the whole city is asleep, so if you wake up early you’ll be sure to find some surprises. One of my favourite ways to spend the weekend is going to a market, even if I don’t buy anything, I just love the whole atmosphere, and the little stores you can find. We have a few markets open on Friday mornings in Dubai, but this weekend I visited a smaller farmers market in Business Bay, and I’d have to say it’s my favourite market in Dubai.

There is so much fresh produce in this market, I think it’s the best place to get fresh and organic ingredients. I also love the sandwich stand that Baker and Spice sets up, their breakfast sandwiches are AMAZING.

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Next up on the adventure, we stopped to grab a cup of Karak chai in the Al Satwa area (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, I wrote a whole post about Karak chai in Dubai here) And we decided to drive out into the desert.

The desert never fails to astound me, while other countries and cities have their own natural wonders, the desert is definitely Dubai’s wonder. We drove out, down the desert roads, searching for the Al Qudra Lakes. After stopping at a man-made oasis we made it to the lakes, and it was breathtaking.

There’s something about being out in the desert so early, it is utterly peaceful, and you just feel so at ease with the world. Here’s what it looked like:

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They built these observation decks that you can climb up.

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After enjoying the lakes and oasis, we spotted some camels on our way home! I know, only things you would see in Dubai. How cool do they look?

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And that wraps up our morning adventure in Dubai. I love living in a city where there’s always something going on, and something to do. Hopefully, I can drag myself out of bed early enough next weekend for another adventure. Please let me know if you liked this post? And what you do to explore your own city!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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January In Review – What I’ve been loving, doing, and my favourites!

Hi Everyone!

I can’t believe that January is already over, that went really quickly! This month has been a very busy one, with new years resolutions, starting school again, the end of one semester, and being well into the Cross Country Season. In this post, I’m going to share with you what products I’ve been using a lot this month, and what I’m loving. And I’ll also share what’s been going on in my life, and what’s coming in February. I hope you enjoy!

What Have I Been Loving?

Over the Winter Break, I made a conscious effort to start using more natural products on my skin, as I have really sensitive skin and I see a lot of benefits when I simplify what I use on my skin and use natural products. I already use natural make-up and cleansers (I wrote about them in this post if you’re interested) but I picked out a natural body wash and toothpaste, and I’ve been absolutely loving them!

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I wanted to make the change to a natural toothpaste because I realized how silly I was being, I care so much about what I eat and if it’s good for me, yet I was putting chemicals and artificial flavours into my mouth twice a day without really registering it. I was worried that this toothpaste would taste weird, but I’ve actually really been enjoying it and it doesn’t taste too bad.

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I also wanted to simplify the kind of body wash I use on my skin, and I’ve been noticing really good things since I started using this one. I usually get very dry skin during the winter, but this soap doesn’t seem to dry out my skin as much. And it smells amazing!! I did buy a natural shampoo and conditioner (from a different brand), but it was making my hair dry and coarse, does anyone have any recommendations?

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I started using a toner on my face and it’s been helping my skin a lot. It acts as an extra cleanse, and it helps reduce your pore size before you put on any makeup or moisturizer, which makes sure less bacteria gets into your skin. I still don’t have completely clear skin, but I have been noticing a huge difference since I started using a toner. I got this one from Clarins, and it’s the special one for sensitive skin, but they have lots of different options for different skin types. Do any of you use a toner, and if so do you see a difference?

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Another thing that I’ve been using a lot this month is my sleep mask and spray. I had never worn a sleep mask before this year because I always thought they were such a hassle, and I didn’t understand why someone would wear one in their own house? But let me tell you if you have a struggle falling asleep you need to invest in one of these. I’m a really sensitive sleeper, so once I see some light shining through my curtains, I’m immediately awake. During the week that’s okay because when I wake up, the sun isn’t really up yet. But on the weekends it’s very annoying because I can hardly ever sleep in past 7am because I find it too sunny. This sleep mask has been a lifesaver! Not only has it been allowing me to sleep for longer, but also I fall asleep much quicker now because once I put on my mask, my body knows that it’s time to fall asleep. I also got a new sleep spray over the break, which is meant to calm and relax you before you turn off the lights and go to sleep. I’ve been using a spray for a few years now, and I really recommend them, they create a nice environment and help you fall asleep more easily.

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One of my new years resolutions was to stress less and to start practicing meditation. And I’m proud to say that I have been sticking to the meditation part! No matter how stressed I’ve been getting during the day, before I go to bed, I make sure that I do a little bit of meditation so that I can relax and unwind. Insight Timer is a free app, and I have to say it’s my favourite meditation app out of all the ones I’ve tried. It’s kind of like a meditation Spotify, you can browse through hundreds of guided meditations for different amounts of time, and for specific things such as stress, or compassion, and pick which one you like. You can also freely meditate with a timer for as long as you want. I know meditation doesn’t sound like the coolest way to be spending your evening, but it really only takes 5 minutes, and it’s really helpful to me.

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Another really big part of my year so far has been my planner. I know I’m a nerd. But I love being organized! I make endless lists, plan out every hour of my day, and every day of my week. Before I got my planner, I did this on sticky notes and it was a bit annoying because I didn’t have them all in one place, and I didn’t have enough space to make notes. So I did a LOT of research to find the PERFECT PLANNER, one with a monthly view, and a page for each day where you can plan out your day by the hour, as well as a daily quote, and a place to write your daily goals and gratitude. I have literally been living through my planner, and it’s been taking a lot of stress off me because I don’t have to remember everything anymore. I got my planner from The Day Designer and I can not tell you how much I love it! Be sure to look at theirs if you need one for 2018.

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Lastly, because, of course, I need to include a little bit of food in this post. My favourite snack this month has been dates. I know, kind of random right? But in Dubai, we have dates everywhere, and they’re a really nice small sweet snack. I’ve been loving having them because they’re also really good for you, and I’ve been seeing great improvements in my digestion. I usually need something sweet after I eat dinner, and instead of eating a chocolate, eating a date is so much healthier!

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What Else Has Happened This Month?

Running:

If you’re one of my regular readers, you will know that at the beginning of this month I found out I had a stress injury. If you want to know more about this, I wrote a whole blog post explaining my injury in detail, you can find it here. But I’m not going to lie, that really put me off track for the start of the new year. I really love running, and not being able to run made me really sad and upset. I was also scared that all my hard work training would just go down the drain because I had to take so much time off. I was a miserable blob for a good few weeks, and I felt so useless and sorry for myself. But it taught me that in life you just have to accept that sometimes there are things that are out of your control. There was nothing I could do to be able to run, all I could do was work on recovering quickly.

One of my friends also told me something that really helped me stop feeling sorry for myself. Some of my best friends are on the Cross Country team with me, and we all support each other with whatever we’re going through. And my friend who has been injured for a while told me that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself, but after a while, you have to stop because it just makes it worse. You can have one day to cry and feel bad about whatever is going on, but after that, you need to accept that there’s nothing you can do, and you need to be strong again. And that has really helped me this month , because if I didn’t stop thinking about it, it would have taken over my whole month.

I’ve been working hard ever since I was allowed to run again, and I was selected for the MESAC competition (Middle East, South Asia, Conference), basically a big Cross Country competition. And wow am I nervous! I am so happy and grateful that I was selected, but it’s next weekend and I’m starting to get very nervous. This year I’ve been pretty good at not letting my nerves take over before Cross Country competitions, but this is the biggest one I’ve ever had to compete in, and I’m already feeling nervous. Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with nerves? And how to fuel up before a big race? I would love to hear them!

Semester 1 of School Is Over!

In other news, I’ve officially finished Semester 1 of my Sophomore year, and wow was that intense! Ever since I came back from Winter Break, it has been GO GO GO! With so many things happening, it was kind of overwhelming and challenging, but I’ve had this long weekend to relax and prepare for the next semester. I wrote a long post about it on my Instagram (@Little.Miss.Expat) yesterday, so take a look at that if you’re interested.

60 Followers On The Blog!

This month I hit 60 followers on my blog which is crazy!! I’m so grateful for each and every one of you that reads my posts and supports me. It’s amazing to think that I started this all from scratch almost 7 months ago, and it’s come this far. I love writing for you guys, and I hope you enjoy my content! I’m almost at 300 followers on my Instagram too, so hopefully when you read my February in Review post, I’ll be celebrating 300 Instagram followers!

And that wraps up my January in Review blog post! I hope you enjoyed reading about what I’ve been using, and what’s been going on with me. Did you like this post? And do you want to see monthly posts like this one? Please let me know!

See you soon!

Little Miss Expat

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