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I’ve been pretty much studying from home for over a year now. Yes, I have the occasional study session at a cafe, but most of my days are spent at my desk in my room – it does get a bit boring! There are some benefits to working from home, but personally some days I find it difficult to stay motivated or focused when I’m in the same environment day after day. That’s why in this post I wanted to share 5 FREE online resources that can help you stay productive and motivated while working from home. These are all fun little tools that I’ve discovered during this time!

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a post where I’ve shared a fun activity or anything travel-related, because, well it’s been a while since I’ve done any of those things myself! With things starting to get a bit more normal in Dubai, my family and I decided to take a look at the newly-opened Time Out Market! If you don’t know what the Time Out Market is, it is basically a food market but elevated. Instead of your regular food stalls, the restaurants are carefully curated and it’s quite a bit more fancy than your regular food court!

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We’ve all been spending a LOT of time at home over the past year and I’m pretty sure most of us have tried to spruce up our living spaces at some point. Whether that’s creating a cute Zoom backdrop, buying a few house plants, or doing a full on re-modeling, being at home all the time has forced us to re-imagine our living spaces. To me, I’ve always experimented with DIY decor. I was definitely that kid who watched YouTube room-renovations and tested out all the DIYs – which somehow never seemed to fully work!

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Last semester I did a post like this where I recorded a week in my life to show you what it’s like being an international student doing online college during a pandemic and it seemed like a pretty popular post! This semester I decided to do another post like this to give you a little insight into what my life is like at the moment. I love watching ‘a week in my life’ style vlogs, so I hope that this blog post is just as interesting to you! If you’re someone who’s applying to college right now and wants to know what it’s like, then hopefully this post will give you an insight as well.

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Hello! This week I’m excited to share another post in the Expat Wisdom series with you. Incase you’re new here, the Expat Wisdom project is something I do each month where I share the story of one of you guys and ask you to share some of your expat advice with this community! I always have a lot of fun reading your posts and this week is no different! This month’s Expat Wisdom post is from Stephanie who moved from Cape Town to Naxos, you can find her Instagram here. Stephanie’s story is really moving, and she definitely has some really great advice to share!

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I first started my blog back in 2017, when I had just finished my freshman year of high school. I’d just experienced the weirdest few years of my life: moving from London, where I had always known home, to Dubai, where I started out not knowing anyone except my family! Alongside all of this, I was also just finding out who I was; I was 12 when I moved, and on top of leaving everything I’d ever known behind in London, I also barely knew who I was at that point. It was such a learning experience during those first few years, and I felt as though I had a valuable story to share.

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I know we’re already well into 2021, but hey, better late than never! One of the habits I wanted to build this year was to read more, and to specifically read more books written by female authors. I have to say, I have been slowly chipping away at this goal, but I thought putting together a list of books that I plan to read this year would help motivate me!

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This month I’m sharing Cristina’s story as a Spanish expat living in the UK! As you may know if you’re a regular reader, I grew up in the UK before moving to Dubai, so it’s interesting to read about the expat experience the other way around of someone moving to the UK. Cristina has a blog called My Little World of Travelling where she shares her expat experience and lots of interesting travel guides – you can find her blog here.

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Let’s just be completely honest here. Being an online student is not fun. Around a year ago when my high school classes first started going online I was excited about being able to wake up later and not having to wear a uniform to virtual school, but those little novelties have quickly worn off. I’m now a college freshman in my second semester, and I’ve been spending pretty much every day on Zoom. I’ve been hearing from a lot of people that they’re struggling to find motivation in this online environment, which is why I wanted to write this post. I by no means have it all figured out! I also have days where I just feel super unmotivated and procrastinate everything, but I thought I would share some of my experience and advice here to hopefully help you!

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the importance of building a morning routine, and I shared a resource for building your own morning routine. One of the reasons I decided to write that post is because in my first semester of online college I did not have a good morning routine at all! I was doing online college from home in Dubai with a 9 hour time difference, and I would wake up at different times everyday, and feel so overwhelmed that I would quickly rush through getting ready and just get straight into my school work. This was definitely not a healthy way to start my day, and since I’m still at home this semester I decided to re-vamp my morning routine to something that makes me feel a lot better!

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I find that keeping all my class syllabi, assignment lists, and weekly tasks organized really helps me cope with the workload and get everything done! It takes a lot of time to find and create an organization system that works for you, which is why I’ve saved you that time in this blog post and shared my own college organization system ready for you to implement! All you have to do is follow this tutorial on your own, and you’re ready to go

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This month, I’m excited to share another post in the Expat Wisdom series with you. Incase you’re new here, the Expat Wisdom series is a project on my blog where I share the story and advice of one expat every month in order to build an online community of expats and to hopefully help some of you! You can read more about the project here.

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I’ve been seeing the ‘5am Morning Routine’ trend going around on YouTube where people share their productive morning routines on their channels. I used to be all about waking up early and setting the tone of my day with a healthy morning routine, but I have to say that this hasn’t really happened over the past few months. If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know that I’m attending my first year of college virtually with a 9 hour time difference, so it’s been a bit difficult to keep normal routines!

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For anyone who lives in Dubai, you know that the summers get SUPER hot, so we tend to value our cooler winters and spend as much time as possible outdoors! Certainly, with the pandemic it makes sense to take advantage of the cool weather and spend more time outdoors this year. Dubai is a very urban city, and it may not seem as if there are a lot of places to get outside and connect with nature, but if you look hard enough you’ll definitely find some gems. I’ve been living here for almost seven years, and in this blog post I’m going to share some of my favorite outdoor locations in the UAE where you can safely spend time with friends and enjoy the cool winter weather!

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Happy 2021 everyone, I hope a great year lies ahead of us! To start off my blog posts of 2021 I wanted to write a bit about some habits I’m trying to keep this year, and of course share a free resource to help you do the same

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In this post I want to reflect back on what 2020 taught me, share some photos from the year, and talk a bit about 2021. I wanted to keep this blog post positive and focus on the lessons and happy moments, but obviously like everyone else there have been some really tough times this year.

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This month, I’m really excited to share Kathi Daniela’s story! She’s an expat currently living in South Africa, but she’s lived in a whole host of other countries. If there’s someone that can speak about picking up and moving multiple times, it’s her! She also has a beautiful blog which you can find here. Here’s what Kathi wrote for her Expat Wisdom story:

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This year’s Christmas is most-likely different for all of us! I usually spend Christmas back home in London surrounded by my extended family and friends, and this year I’ll be staying in Dubai and spending the holidays here. I’ve been super nostalgic recently, remembering all the great Christmas memories from last year, and like most people at the moment, I’ve been struggling to make it feel festive. I wanted to write this guide to help you get in the Christmas spirit, even if you don’t feel very festive at the moment! Perhaps you can’t go home to for Christmas, you can’t spend it with your loved ones, or you’re understandable feeling a bit worried about the global situation, hopefully this hope will help inject some Christmas cheer into your life!

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