Reflecting on 2018

Happy new year! It seems like just last week I was writing 2012 at the top of my school books! I can not believe that I’m going to turn 17 this year and that we’re one year away from my high school graduation! I feel like I say this every year, but this year more than ever this phrase is very applicable: it has been a BIG year. I feel as though I’ve gone through one of the toughest years of my life, but I’ve definitely learned a lot. The biggest lesson of all was learning about myself as I grow older and becoming more independent.

But before I get into an in-depth reflection I thought I would share a few of my highlights of the year:

  • Taking my blog to a new level with my photography, and doing more collaborations.
  • Making some great friends through my blog!
  • Launching the #ExpatWisdom Project on my blog
  • Having my writing published by The Expat Kids Club
  • Did my first product collaboration with Evolve Beauty
  • Doing well in school!
  • Did lots of charity work, which I loved every moment of
  • Making it halfway through my Junior year classes!
  • Running at big Cross Country and Track competitions & placing
  • Running my first half marathon
  • Did my longest flight ever and traveled to a place I’ve always wanted to visit (Australia)
  • Went to summer camp and became more independent (this was very outside of my comfort zone)
  • Did my first ever interview on camera!
  • SO MUCH personal growth
  • Became less stressed (I think)
  • Went to a Taylor Swift concert!
  • Made friends all across the world
  • Ate some REALLY good food!
  • Traveled to: Oman, London, Hatta, Washington D.C., New York, Newport, Boston, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Lebanon, Morocco, and Australia

WOW, that’s a jam-packed year! When I was writing that list I was so proud of everything that I’ve achieved this year, everything I’ve been through, and how I’ve come out on the other side. I feel like I’ve really grown up this year (and I don’t mean turning 16) but in terms of my perspective and my actions. Going to summer school was really an eye-opening experience. Living by myself for the first time, and doing everything for myself made me realize how important my family really is to me, and also what kind of a person I am. This year more than ever, as I mentioned I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I’m a simple person (if that makes sense?). I like simple things, I don’t like flashy parties and dramatic experiences, I’m much happier with a smaller group doing things I really love. I’ve learned that it’s okay not to follow the crowd, just to do what makes you happy, but also at the same time if you choose to do you, you don’t need to care about what everyone else is doing. I’ve learned that there are some things worth forgetting, and some things worth holding onto. When I say holding onto this also applies to my relationships all over the world. This year I kept in touch with friends I’ve made in different countries, who I still talk to every day, and it’s almost as if they’re in Dubai with me. And also holding onto the family who doesn’t live in Dubai with me. For some reason this year more than ever I’ve missed my family who lives abroad even more, and every time I fly back to Dubai after visiting them, the feeling of homesickness gets a little harder to deal with. But I guess as any expat would say that this is only something time can heal. I’ve learned to focus on what’s important to me, as it’s my Junior year and I’m drowning in work I’ve had to make decisions between how I spend the little free time I have and who I spend it with. I’ve learned that stressing doesn’t make anything easier, in fact, it only makes situations worse. I’ve learned not to let others actions affect me, as they don’t always have your best interests at heart, the only person that will always look out for you is actually yourself. In short, it’s been a blast, it’s been a struggle, It’s been a huge learning experience, but I think I’ve come into 2019 knowing myself better than I ever have, and I’m happy about that. There’s still a lot of things I want to do in 2019 so here are my goals.

  • Spend more ‘me time’
  • Revamp my blog and make some changes
  • Start my college applications and hopefully get into college!
  • Meet up with friends across the world
  • Let myself be the only one who determines my happiness (and even though it’s a cliche that’s a big one for me)
  • Visit at least one new place
  • Spend more time with my family
  • Go to the beach more (that seems a little silly, but I really love spending time by the beach)
  • Do well on my SAT and exams
  • Explore Dubai more as I only have a year and a bit left here
  • Use social media less (I’m going to write a post about this soon)

As you can see it’s going to be another busy year, but I’m up for the challenge! Going into this year having learned so much, I feel as though this year is going to be a good one. And as for you guys, I want to say thank you for continually reading my work and supporting me, this blog has been a place where I can interact with you and also share my thoughts. I hope that I can continue being a positive influence on you all! Let me know what you achieved last year and what your goals for this year are in the comments, I would love to hear them!

Happy New Year

Little Miss Expat

Happy first birthday to this blog!

Hi Everyone,

Today marks exactly one year since I started the Little Miss Expat Blog!! And I wanted to take some time to reflect on this year and to say thank you to all of you guys.

It was a dream of mine to start a blog for a really long time, and more than that I just wanted to help other expats who were going through the same thing I had just experienced. But it took a lot of courage to start this blog and share my writing with others because I was scared of what other people would say and of their reactions to my writing. But I am so happy that I decided to share my experiences on this blog, and your positive responses, messages, and comments have really made it all worth it.

Any blogger knows how much time and effort it takes to have your own site. Writing weekly posts, uploading to Instagram every day, replying to comments, taking photos, scheduling collaborations: maybe these don’t sound like hard jobs, but trust me, on top of everyday life, it’s a lot of work. It’s been hard to keep everything up, especially during really stressful weeks, but having an audience as responsive as you guys has made it worthwhile. Knowing that you appreciate my posts and that you like reading what I have to say, as well as inputting your own thoughts, has made me inspired to work even harder on this blog. I know it’s cliché, but we’re kind of like a family. You guys support me in everything I post here, and I do my best to support you guys with my blog posts.

I wanted to say thank you to all of you who follow this blog, my Instagram, or my Facebook page because you have allowed me do this, and experience this. Thank you for letting me know when you like something, telling me your own stories, and showing constant support for what I do. Also thank you to my family who always supports my blog, even if I force them to stop and take photos! And to all the companies and brands who have given me the opportunity to work with them. I can not thank you all enough!

I’ve loved doing this for you. Sitting in my bed in the evenings, pouring my heart into these posts, and reading your comments which just brighten up my day. And I thought that it wouldn’t be a true reflection post without me sharing some of my most favourite blog posts with you guys, so here they are:

Conquering Homesickness

Okay, so I wrote this post for myself, as much as I did for you guys. Because even though I’ve been an expat for four years now, I still feel homesick sometimes. I like this post a lot because this was raw, it was me thinking about ways to work through what I was feeling, and sharing it with you. I think there are some really good pieces of advice in there.

Words From Inspirational Women

I LOVED this post because there are just so many amazing words in here. I loved writing this one because I got to share some of my women inspirations, and some of the quotes that are the most powerful to me. I would really recommend reading some of the words in this post if you haven’t already.

Finding Happiness

So this post links to my expat story a lot because it has taken a while to settle in and become accustomed to my new surroundings. I finally feel at ease and happy with where I am, and I wanted to share that with you guys.

Clean Beauty – the guide to what it is, what to buy, and how it works

I was so excited about this post, and it was one of the most fun posts to write. Because I am so so passionate about using clean beauty products, and they’re something that has really made a huge difference to me, I wanted to share all of my advice on this subject with you guys.

What are we doing to the Earth? – Earth Day 2018

I felt really strongly about this post, as our ongoing environmental issues are something that I do a lot of work to help combat. I’m so happy I could share my message with this audience, as it’s a message that should be heard by everyone.

The Most Important Life Lesson I’ve Learned

This post was my honest advice, things that I’ve learned through tough times. And if someone asked me to give them just one piece of advice, this would be it. Always be yourself. It’s all explained in this post, and this is the post I would recommend the most if you’re new to my blog.

In this one year of blogging, there have also been a lot of times I could celebrate with you guys! From reaching my first 100 followers on Instagram to almost being at 500 now. From going from 5 to 150 followers on the blog. Receiving my Liebster blogging award, working on a collaboration with Little Miss Honey, The Salad Jar, Evolve Beauty, and having my writing published by the Expat Kids Club! (my writing will be live on their site soon) It has been an amazing year for the Little Miss Expat blog, and I owe a lot of it to you guys.

So to all of you that read my blog posts, thank you for supporting this journey. It really does mean the world to me.

Lots of love,

Little Miss Expat

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