On the first day of school every year, we always go around the room and you have to introduce yourself with your name, where you're from, and a fun fact about yourself. I dread this activity. Apart from never knowing what to say for the fun fact part, I never know where to say I'm from. If you asked me what my passport said, I would say the UK – although I haven't lived there for five years. If you ask me where I live, it would be Dubai – although I don't hold a passport from here. If we were asking in terms of my school, I would be American – although every time I visit America it's on a tourist visa. If it was where my parents were born, it would be Tanzania – although I've never lived there. If you were asking me about my ancestry, I would be a mix of Middle Eastern, Indian, and African. If you were asking me where I see myself in the future, I would not even know what to say... This question is so complicated to me – and any other expat – that it's impossible to fit into a quick sentence. So how do we know where we are really from?
As some of you may know, this month is the Dubai Fitness Challenge! This is when people all over Dubai are encouraged to do 30 mins of exercise for 30 days to promote a healthy lifestyle. There are lots of really interesting fitness activities being offered, from running down Sheikh Zayed Road to yoga lessons on the beach, and I think it's a great opportunity to get out and active! I find it hard to motivate myself to exercise this time of year, so having a city full of people with the same fitness goal as myself is a great help. In this post, I wanted to share 10 of my top fitness activities in Dubai that you could try this month!
Living as an expatriate can be daunting, lonely, and sometimes difficult. But most of the time it's exciting, opportunistic, and it's a new adventure each day. In this post, I want to share five things that I've been able to experience by becoming an expat and why they are so important to me. Let me know in the comments what the top reasons you like being an expatriate are!
It's not often that I get time to explore the country I live in, the UAE, and even when I do, I usually visit restaurants or attractions within the city. However, this week when I had a few days off school I knew I had to spend them exploring something out in the desert. I had read about the 'ghost village' or 'abandoned town' in Al Madam and I was curious to see it myself. So my family and I got in the car, drove up to Sharjah, and decided to search for this ghost village.
When I first moved to Dubai almost six years ago now, it was such a scary change for me, something completely out of my comfort zone. However, looking back on it now this new life in Dubai seems so familiar and comfortable to me, I can't imagine what it would have been like if I had never moved. The unfamiliar became familiar. The changes and choices we decide to make each day determine things in our life years down the line that we don't even know about yet. Each day we are forced to make thousands of small choices: what time to wake up, what to wear, what to eat, and each choice has a specific outcome that will affect something else in turn. We can't control everything in our lives, but we can control the choices we make. We have to ensure that with each choice we make, we make it with purpose and passion so that the few things we can control are exactly what we want to be doing and we can make positive change. We can set a tone for everything that follows by making purposeful choices.
Hearing advice about the first day of school and how to stay on top of school work is useful, but after a while it gets repetitive! I'll admit, I shared my own back to school advice in a previous blog post, but I think this post will be useful to a lot more of you. We all know how to stay organized and prepare for the first day back at school, but sometimes we need a little more... I really don't like seeing the summer come to an end, and I always make an extra special effort to do things that I love in September to make the whole transition back to school (or back to work, for some of you) a little less sad. I do things like making sure I get an early night, lighting my best smelling candle, and listening to my favorite music while taking a bath (sometimes I even whip out the Christmas music to cheer myself up if I've had a really hard day). It's these little things that I do each day that I can look forward to after a draining day at school (I know that sounds a little dramatic, but school is hard!) that make the back to school season a little more bearable. That's why I want to encourage all of you to have one thing planned for each day this September that will make you happy - a little treat that you can look forward to at the end of each day.
In a couple of weeks I'm heading back to school for the last time - wow that sounds weird to say. I'm going to be a high school senior this year, and after spending fourteen years in school, I think I have some worthwhile advice to share with you. I'm a little bit of a nerd and I actually really like school, but that doesn't stop me from disliking the back to school season. I hate seeing the summer come to an end and I don't like saying goodbye to family who I don't see during the school year. However, once the school year is in full swing, I end up loving it. So, in this post, I want to share some of my top tips on how to make the back to school season a little less sad, and a tad more enjoyable. Also, before I get into the rest of this post I wanted to share a few announcements. Even if you are not a student heading back to school, this post will still be relevant for you! I share lots of organizational techniques here and I even created a free day planner which you can download at the end of this post. Also, starting from next week, I'm moving away from the boring 'back to school' content and taking a different approach to it in an exciting and highly relevant way, as the summer comes to an end and we all head back to school/work; so keep your eyes peeled for that! So, without further ado, here's the back to school advice I've got for you!