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!
I've lived as an expat for 5 years now, so as well as leaving my friends in London behind when I first moved, I've seen lots of friends come and go from Dubai. When someone first moves away it's easy to stay in touch; you tell each other how much you miss each other, and tell the other person that they have to come to visit soon! But as time goes on and you get busier, it's harder to stay in touch, with all the physical barriers such as distance and time zones, but also emotional barriers, as you probably both lead separate-ish lives now. In this post, I'm going to explain why I think it's important to put in the effort to maintain a long-distance friendship and how to make it a little easier.
While the expat life is thrilling and full of excitement, it sometimes really does feel like the chapter closes at the beginning of summer. How do we switch from one routine to another? How do we switch from one time zone to another? How do we switch from one language to another? It's like we're in limbo, not really belonging anywhere for a couple of months until our fellow expats return home. How do we juggle these two worlds and close the chapter of this year? That's what I hope to share with you in this post. Like any high school student, I spend my year dreaming about summer break, but it is hard to say goodbye to my home for the whole of summer break. Here's how I deal with it...