Multiple Moves – #ExpatWisdom – Elina

Hi everyone! Welcome back to another post in the Expat Wisdom series! This week I’m really excited to share the expat story of Elina (@justsoelina), which is quite similar to my own. Her experiences are raw and real, and I think her advice could be very useful for any other teenagers going through a move. Here’s a piece that she wrote for the Expat Wisdom project, I hope you enjoy it!

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New Town Funk

I may not be an expat (though maybe one day, you never know!) but I do know what it’s like to move away from your home town and deal with homesickness. I recently moved 3,500 + km from the only place I had ever known to the other end of Australia. It was the scariest, happiest, and overwhelming and definitely the most forefeeling thing I have ever done.

But before we get into that lets back track a bit. I am now almost 16 and up until May of this year I had grown up in small country towns in north east, Victoria. I had moved many times before that, but all had been within an hour radius of each other. I loved growing up in small country towns and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. But I had always wanted to move somewhere, bigger and different.

So when the opportunity arrived for me to do just that I jumped on it. I was so excited for the new adventure my Mum and I were about to embark on. I counted down the months, weeks and days until the day finally came that we left. I was so excited to leave that I didn’t really think much about how I was going to miss my home town and of course the people I was leaving behind. That is until the moment I said goodbye to my best friend and I actually left. Needless to say the first hour or so of the trip I was a total mess. And then the following days of our road trip I felt really strange and super anxious.

But after a while the excitement built up again and I couldn’t wait to get to my new home! The day FINALLY arrived that I made it to the place I would now call home. I was so happy and excited I thought I might burst. But I also had this overwhelming feeling as everything was so new and daunting. As everything around me seemed ginormous! The shopping centres, the city area, the schools etc. You name it, it scared me!

I had gone from this massive high, to a really bad low. I was missing my friends and the familiarity of my old town. And of course I felt awful for feeling this was because It was something I had wanted for years.

After a few days I started to settle into my new house, We started to explore our new town, spent time with our family and got to know some of our neighbours. Slowly my funk started to fade and I loved every moment of my new life.

Fast forward 4 months, I love my new home and everything feels more familiar and less daunting now.

The top things that helped me get out of the new town funk where:

  1. Make my new room my room: This was such an important thing for me as my bedroom is my safe space/chill zone. So by adding my own touches to it, helped to make it feel homier.
  2. Walk the dogs on a new track each day: When we first moved I was too scared to go off on my own as I was certain I’d get lost. But from walking my dogs in a new area each day, everything became more familiar. Now I know our area like the back of my hand, I may not be able to remember the street names (real life dory right here haha) But I am no longer at risk of getting lost anymore yay!
  3. Face Time my friends: This was a complete life saver for the homesickness. As I knew that even though there may be distance between us, We still had each other’s back.
  4. Explore Your New Town: Again things don’t seem so scary or daunting fi they are familiar. Go for a drive with your fam and take the time to explore your new town and maybe even do a few of the touristy things available.

I hope this post was able to help anyone dealing with the New Town Funk!

Feel free to check out my blog justsoelina.com

Or my Instagram @justsoelina

JustSoElina xx

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3 breakfast spots to try in London

During summer I always go back to London for a few weeks, where my days are filled with exploring new quaint stores and restaurants. One of my favourite things to do during summer is to wake up early and go out for breakfast. In case you didn’t know, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so I’m always down to try new places. London is home to some of my favourite breakfast spots in the world, and in this blog post, I’m going to share 3 that I think you should try.

Granger & Co

Granger & Co have a few locations around London, but I’ve only ever visited the Notting Hill one. It’s one of the most popular breakfast spots in Notting Hill, so be sure to get there early if you don’t want to wait in line! All of the items on their menu are so fresh, and they have a lot of imaginative options. My all-time favourite, is their ricotta hotcakes, I’m drooling just thinking about them right now.

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Andina Bakery

My family and I discovered Andina this summer, and we fell in love. Andina is also located in Notting Hill (although they do have other locations). It’s filled with the smell of freshly baked bread, and they display all of their baked goods on the counter, they look so inviting, you can’t help but try one. What I like about Andina is that their food is different from your regular breakfast options; they have a Peruvian inspired menu, and some of my favourite options are their corn cake and their artichoke and swiss chard pie, they’re so good! Whatever you order off the menu at Andina, you can see it being baked right in front of your eyes.

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Farm Girl Cafe

Farm Girl Cafe is one of my go-to breakfast spots. Their light and fresh breakfast menu is perfect for the summer, but their wide array of lattes, such as the matcha latte, rose latte, charcoal latte etc… are the perfect fix for a cold autumn day. I’m slowly making my way through their drinks menu (my goal is to one day try them all!) and I would strongly recommend the charcoal and matcha lattes! I’ve visited their cafes in Notting Hill and on Carnaby street and I love them both. Be sure to try one of their smoothie bowls, or their avocado toast topped with strawberries!

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Those are three of my favourite breakfast cafes in London! Be sure to let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these, and what your recommendations are!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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Becoming more independent

Two weeks, in a new place, where I didn’t know anyone, studying in a college class, was definitely a huge step leap out of my comfort zone.

I am someone who lives by their planner, I write out every hour of my day and how I’m going to spend it; my day starts with my morning routine and ends with my night routine. I’m not a boring person! Trust me, I keep busy, but I like to know what’s coming next, I like to know what’s happening in my life. So maybe you’ll understand why spending two weeks in a completely different continent to the one I live on, knowing no one, and being truly independent for the first time was really daunting for me! Maybe, this is normal for other people, but for me, this was my summer of becoming more independent, and I want to share it with you guys.

For those two weeks, the only thing I needed to make sure I did every day was to attend my classes and lectures. It was so different from being at home where there’s always someone there, where there are always a few things I have to do in a day. I could wake up when I wanted, get breakfast where I wanted, I had to walk everywhere myself or take the train into the city, I could go wherever I wanted: Basically, I could do whatever I wanted (within reason). While all these possibilities sound amazing, believe it or not, it was kind of daunting! Yes, I suddenly could spend my day the way I wanted, but at the same time every day was completely different for me, I could never plan out exactly what I was going to do.

I think it also made me realise how much of a people person I am, but also how much of an introvert I am. I love being around people, I like chatting and laughing, but then at the end of the day sometimes I need that 30 mins or hour to read or watch TV by myself, that’s my way of recharging. And with being so independent, it was hard to balance these two things. Everyone was sticking by their own flexible schedule, and you weren’t going to be with someone every second of every day. For me, being so far out of my comfort zone already this was hard, and sometimes I felt very lonely. You see, I’m fine with spending time by myself at home, I’m doing it right now writing this blog post. But when I was already in a place with so much independence, and no one checking in on me, it was so weird to be by myself! And I feel like this taught me an important lesson.

You can take some you-time! You don’t need to live by someone else’s’ schedule. Sometimes I think people, especially people my age, think they have to do the exact same thing as someone else! And if you’re not with someone for every second of every day you’re not doing it right. But that’s not true. Sometimes you need to just do what you want, and that doesn’t always mean doing it with someone else. For example, if one of my friends wanted to go shopping in the college town, and I wanted to go to the library and finish my homework, it’s okay to do what I wanted, even if it’s not the same as them! But I found that concept so weird at the beginning! Because I was by myself in this new country I was kind of scared to be by myself and to be alone, but slowly I got used to this and I was more comfortable being by myself and doing what I wanted. I’m really happy that I learned that because I feel like it’s an important life lesson.

While it was really hard at first, and something completely new for me. I’m grateful that I got the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone this summer and become more independent. What about you? What was your first experience being more independent?

Little Miss Expat

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The Newport Detox

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while now, and I finally got round to it this week. As you might now, for about a month during summer I traveled all across the East Coast of the United States with my family, and I had a really great time. We visited Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. – all the large cities – but one of my favourite parts of the summer was stepping outside of these big, bustling cities, and spending a weekend in the peaceful, coastal city of Newport.

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For my whole life, I’ve grown up surrounded by the ‘city buzz’. Even though I lived in a small town in London, we spent most of our free time in central London, and Dubai is one of the busiest and most happening cities in the world. So it’s fair to say that I’ve never really had much experience living a ‘rural life.’ In fact, I’m so used to living in cities now, being able to go anywhere at any time I want, and expecting it to be open, that when we go on vacation to a smaller city or rural area, I find it really hard to stay busy.

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But this summer, a weekend trip to Newport was exactly what I needed. In case you didn’t know I just started my Junior year of High School, apparently, the hardest and most stressful of the four years, or so everyone keeps telling me. And this summer I was busy with lots of extra homework, SAT prep, new blog posts, and just other bits of work, that there were some times where I felt like it wasn’t even summer. So taking a weekend away from all of this stress, in a really beautiful place, what precisely what I had been longing for… and Newport did not disappoint.

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We spent the weekend staying in an adorable beach hut, with the ocean on one side, and beautiful greenery on the other. The sunsets were amazing to watch, as the light reflected off the ocean and sparkled, it was really magical. We traveled by boat to the mainland every day where there were lots of small boutique style stores, but there was something so unique and quirky about this town, it’s not your average shopping street. I think what I enjoyed the most was just being so detached from my busy life. Spending a weekend in Newport allowed me to just enjoy what I was doing and be in the moment, I didn’t have my phone with me, and I didn’t worry about doing any homework the whole weekend, I just let myself enjoy where I was.

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IMG_4918IMG_4884Something else I really enjoyed while we were there was going hiking. Well I say ‘hiking’ but really the hike we went on was more like a scenic walk. Nevertheless, I loved it.  I’ve never really had the opportunity to do this, because as I said I’ve always lived in cities, but now these beautiful trails were right on my doorstep. My family and I did the famous Newport Cliff Walk together one day, which is around 3.5 miles. It was breathtaking. On one side of you there’s the ocean, and on the other side are the exquisite Newport mansions. There’s something about being so close to the ocean that just clears your mind and lets you forget about all your worries and stress. I would 100% recommend it for anyone visiting Newport.

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I’ve uploaded some of the photos I got while we were in Newport throughout this post, but they only show a tiny fraction of how beautiful it actually is! Have you ever been to Newport? And where’s your favourite place to go, to ‘clear your mind’?

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Little Miss Expat

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Thoughts on Self-Confidence

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a great week! This past week was my first full week back at school, and it was quite tiring, but it also feels good to be back. As you guys will know, I always try to be completely real on my blog and share what’s going on in my life with you guys. I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, and here it finally is. Today I want to share my thoughts on self-confidence with you.

For anyone, it’s inevitable to sometimes feel unsure of yourself and self-conscious at some points. But why? I hate how we are all held to these high expectations, and at times, it can really crush your confidence.

I decided a long time ago, that I wouldn’t let anyone change who I was. I was going to be the person I am, stay true to myself, and do the things I love. But… it isn’t always that simple. This past year more than ever, have I felt the pressure to change and fit into this stereotype. To go to parties, to look ‘perfect’ all the time, and to always be smiley and happy. I’m human, just like everyone else, sometimes we all need our downtime, sometimes we just need to do the things we love, and all the time we should just be ourselves.

We shouldn’t feel embarrassed to do the things that make us happy, even if it’s not the same as everyone else, but somehow this is what society has taught us. I feel as though we’re all pushed towards being this ‘perfect human’ which is totally unrealistic anyway. Who even is this ‘perfect human’ that we’re always comparing ourselves to? When we say that we’re not enough, who are we comparing ourselves to? Every single person living on this earth is different. That’s what makes us special. So it would be unfair to compare ourselves to each other because we’re all unique.

I want you all to know that you can be who you want. You can do what you want. And you shouldn’t be embarrassed by it. ever. You should do the things that make you happy, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. At the end of the day, you know that you’re happy being yourself, rather than pretending or changing to fit in.

We shouldn’t live our lives for other people, we should live them for ourselves. If we’re constantly worrying about what people will think of us, and what will look better to them, than what are we doing with ourselves?

Have confidence in who you are, and what makes you happy.

Let me know what you thought about this post, and comment your thoughts down below as I think we could all contribute to this discussion!

Lots of love,

Little Miss Expat

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‘Welcome that feeling of foreignness!’ – #ExpatWisdom – The Home Wanderers

Hey everyone,

Welcome to the first post in the Expat Wisdom project! I am so excited to have so many of you involved in this project, sharing your stories and your advice with each other! The first story in this project is from Kate Johnson, from The Home Wanderers. In this post, you can read about her story and her pieces of advice for any new expats, travelers, or international students. I hope you enjoy reading what she has to say!

Hey everybody, my name is Kate and for me, the question ‘Where are you from?’ is very difficult to answer… I was born in England, l grew up in France and I have now lived and worked long-term in 5 different countries – So I am definitely a person who has plenty of experience being the ‘foreign’ one in the room!

Living abroad adds such a different and unforgettable dimension to traveling that a quick vacation can never provide. I find that the best way to learn a new language, experience a different culture and grow as a person is to completely immerse yourself in a new country. At the age of 13, my parents told me and my brother that our family was moving to the South of France. With (VERY) little knowledge of French and no idea what to expect, I look back on that time and I cannot believe how brave I was at such a young age. I battled out the rollercoaster of struggle and adjustment and I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without that experience. Since then, I have actually craved that feeling of being out of my comfort zone. Stepping away from your home comforts, relationships and sense of familiarity forces you to meet new people from around the world, embrace adventures and the lessons you learn about yourself are endless.

Living like a local for an extended period of time gives you a window into a completely different way of life and you learn so much more about the world around you, but IT IS NOT EASY. The tough times that come hand in hand with moving abroad can often take you by surprise which in turn make you feel even more lonely or unsettled. Read up about other people’s experiences, seek support from Facebook groups and know that you are NOT ALONE when feeling the unavoidable emotions that you will experience.

My number one piece of advice for anyone moving abroad is to NOT BE AFRAID. It may be easier said than done but if you wake up every morning and actively set your mindset to WELCOME that feeling of foreignness and the unknown, then the sky really is the limit. For more advice and resources for those living abroad, check out my website: www.TheHomeWanderers.com  or follow me on Instagram: www.Instagram.com/TheHomeWanderers

ks (1 of 1)-32I hope you all enjoyed reading Kate’s story and hearing her advice for anyone moving away from home. Her story is very similar to mine, and it was interesting to see what her most valuable advice is. I really enjoyed collaborating with someone and having the opportunity to share another inspirational story on my blog, and I hope that it’s something that you guys like reading!

Let me know in the comments section if you enjoyed this kind of post. It was the first in the #ExpatWisdom project, if you don’t know what it is, you can read all about it here. If you would like to be a part of the project, email me at littlemissexpatblog@gmail.com or dm me on Instagram @Little.Miss.Expat. I hope you enjoyed reading someone else’s story and hearing their advice!

See you next week!

Little Miss Expat

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I want to hear your stories! – Special Announcement – THE #ExpatWisdom PROJECT

How many of you have ever been through something and wished that you had someone beside you to help? Ever wished you had a community where you could talk about your experiences, share your advice, and help others going through what you’ve been through?

That’s how I felt when I first became an expatriate, I really wished I knew someone who had done this all before and someone who could tell me that everything was going to get better. That’s why I created this blog, I wanted to be that person for other expats and teenagers, I wanted to share my experiences in order to help others.

It’s been a little over a year since I started this blog, and the community we’ve created has grown to become something beautiful! I write about my experiences and try and share my advice, and you guys share your stories and your advice in return. It makes me so happy whenever I think of the relationship I have with you guys, and the internet friends I’ve made from this blog. That’s why I wanted to expand this into something larger that can reach more people, I wanted to build a larger community.

If you’ve been following my Instagram (@Little.Miss.Expat) you will have seen that I’ve been hinting at a big project that I’ve been working on for a while, and this is it. The #ExpatWisdom Project.

I wanted to create an online space where people can write about a life experience that impacted them, and share their advice with others from all across the world. An online community where we can reach people from all seven continents, and hear about each others own unique experiences and how we made it through them. It’s called the #ExpatWisdom Project, and it’s going to be amazing!

You don’t need to be an expat or a blogger to be a part of this community! I want to hear about YOUR experiences, whatever they may be (however a lot of them will be about expats)!

If YOU want to be a part of this project:

  1. Go to this page, or fill out the form at the end of this post which gives me your contact information and an idea of what you want to write about.
  2. We’ll get to know each other and I’ll ask you to write a bit about your experience and we’ll collaborate in a post.

Ways YOU can get involved!

  • Post about this initiative on your social media using the #ExpatWisdom. As this is a community and we want to share it with as many people as possible!
  • Fill out the form or contact me at littlemissexpatblog@gmail.com to be featured or at least start the conversation about being a part of this project!
  • Share this page with someone who may have something to share or want to be a part of this, we want to hear from everyone!
  • And stay tuned on this site for the first  #ExpatWisdom post!

I am so excited to be launching this project and to able to create this global community! But I do need your help, share this post or the #ExpatWisdom online, so that we can grow this community and share as many experiences as possible! I really hope that you all consider being a part of this community, and sharing an experience and your advice. The first Expat Wisdom post will go live next week from a very special writer, so stay tuned for that!

You can find all the information about this project here

I can’t wait to see the amazing things we do with this project!

Little Miss Expat

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