Being The New Kid – How to deal with moving

Hi Guys,

When I first started this blog my mission was to support as many expats as possible with their moves, and give them some guidance and support to get them through this huge event in their lives. Only a couple of days ago when I was talking to a friend of mine who recently moved from Dubai to Paris, did I realise that I hadn’t addressed a very important subject that related to moving and being an expat. And that is how to make new friends, and deal with just being the ‘new girl/boy’.

Even for people who haven’t moved home from one country to another, we’ve all experienced being the ‘new kid’ at some point in our lives. And let’s be honest, for most of us, it was not fun. Being an expat, adding on top of being a new kid, you’re having to come to terms with a new home, a new city, and knowing no one in this new place. It’s pretty bewildering. I remember before I moved from London to Dubai I had never experienced being a new kid, and my first school here certainly did not make it easy to settle in. People ignored the new kids, made no effort to get to know them, and I was just completely lost and lonely. Over the course of the year, I made friends and learned my way around, but I would never want to re-live those first days of school.

And I realise that everyone stories may not be as bad as mine, or they may be even worse, but there’s still some advice that I can hopefully share with you. The first piece being, don’t forget who you are. I know this is the cheesy quote you always hear in different variations such as, ‘be true to yourself’ ‘be who you want to be’ but there’s a reason it’s so famous. These are truly words to follow. Moving is tough, I know it is. And sometimes all you want to do is fit in and seem normal. Sometimes that means letting your guard down and doing things you usually wouldn’t, or doing something completely against your morals just to fit in. But DON’T. Trust me on this, you don’t need to change who you are for anyone, or to fit in with anyone. And if you’re changing yourself then you’re probably not with the right crowd.

I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and through experience, staying true to myself and my morals has been the best decision I could have made. In the end, life will lead you in the right path. Make the decisions that you believe in, and everything else will work itself out. Another thing to keep in mind is that settling in takes time. You can’t just move and wake up the next morning expecting to feel like you’re at home. It takes time to get used to your new surroundings, but also for people to get to know you. When I was talking to my friend I remember saying that my second year, coming back after summer break felt amazing not to be new, and to see people I was friendly within the halls which just made me feel like I belonged there, that’s only something that comes with time and patience.

When moving it’s also important to remember that people don’t define you, don’t worry too much about what people think. It’s practically impossible to make everyone in the world happy, and you’re better off just being yourself. Even though we shouldn’t do it, everyone is still guilty of making judgments without really knowing all the information. When you meet someone new, most people jump to conclusions before they even speak to them. First judgments don’t usually last, and if there’s someone who really has a problem with you, remember, there’s probably something they’re upset about, if they need to find something wrong with you.  (I wrote about it a lot in this post)

Overall, I know moving can be really hard, especially with fitting in at a new school or workplace. Just remember it takes time, but you should just be true to yourself, and not worry about what others think. In the end, your life is for you to live, not for other people to determine. In the wise words of Bob Marley ‘Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright’. I really hoped that this managed to help some of you who have recently moved, and please share your thoughts in the comment section for others to also read! Feel free to reach out to me if you have any more questions 🙂

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat 

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24 hours in Paris with a local – Winter Edition

Heya Guys!

I visited Paris a couple of days ago and it was AMAZING. I’ve been to Paris a few times before, but this time I think I can safely say I’ve fallen in love with the city!! From the sugar coma, I was in because of all the macarons, cakes, hot chocolates and pastries I ate,  to walking down small cobbled streets in St Germain, I loved every moment of it. One of the reasons the trip was so fun was because I got to spend time with a friend of mine that recently moved to Paris. (hence the ‘local’ part of this post) She showed me some of her favorite places to visit in Paris, and we got to chat and catch up over cups of hot chocolate and huge salads.

I wanted to share what I did and where I went with you guys in this post, but bear in mind that we didn’t visit many tourist spots, so if you’re going to Paris for the first time it might be wise to save another day to visit spots like the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, and then you can try this ‘off the beaten track’ guide and visit the places I went to.

  1. Explore Paris on foot first – One of the first things I like to do when I visit a city is to take a walk and get a ‘feel’ for the place. You get to scout out some places you might want to visit later, and might come across some very cool sights. We walked down the Champs-Élysées and got to see a beautiful view of the Arc de Triomphe.DSC_0878
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    Isn’t this view of the Arc de Triomphe amazing?

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    We stumbled across this view of the Eiffel Tower covered in the morning mist.

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  2. Lunch at La Carette – I wanted to let my friend decide most of where we went because after all, she is the ‘local’ and she certainly picked out the perfect places. Out of all the times, I’ve visited Paris, I can’t believe I’d never eaten at Parisian Cafe until we went to La Carette. La Carette is exactly what a Parisian Cafe should be like, bursting with people and filled with pastries and macarons. It also has a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower as soon as you step outside! I had a salmon salad (my attempt to be healthy) and we had a mille-feuille and a traditional French Christmas cake called Buche de Noel after, which were AMAZING (I’m drooling right now, just thinking about those desserts)
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    The salmon salad I ate

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    A box of macarons I brought back to London with me.

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    By far the best macarons I’ve ever eaten…

  3. Take touristy pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower – I mean… of course, you have to do this. My friend and I enjoyed a good few minutes trying to perfect the picture where it looks like you’re holding the Eiffel Tower (cringe, I know) But how can you go to Paris and not take embarrassing photos?img_5198.jpg
  4. Visit the St. Germain area – One of the things I really wanted to do on this trip, was to visit some smaller ’boutique style’ French shops because I think you can find nicer items in little local stores. I also had to buy a few Christmas gifts, so I wanted to see if there were more unique gifts I could buy in the boutiques. And, I was not disappointed! We visited the St. Germain area which was full of little-cobbled streets with small boutiques and shops. We saw some of the cutest shops in this area, as well as most of the big branded stores. For anyone who wants to do a bit of shopping in Paris, I would recommend St. Germain.IMG_5246IMG_5242 2IMG_5251IMG_5254
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    I absolutely loved this boutique, you can take a look at it here.

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    We came across this cute little florist

  5. Hot Chocolate at Cafe de Flore – You can’t come back from Paris without having a hot chocolate! There’s something about the French hot chocolate that’s so special, it’s super creamy and chocolatey and the atmosphere of a Parisian cafe adds to the whole effect. My friend said that Cafe de Flore was her favourite hot chocolate in Paris, so of course she took me to try it! It was soooo good. Wow. Parisian cafes are so simple in their layout and decorations, but it’s the food and people that make them so special. I think laughing and sharing stories over cups of hot chocolate had to be one of the best parts of the trip.IMG_5262IMG_5273 (1)IMG_5267

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    It tasted sooooooo good

Those are the highlights of my trip, and things that I that think you need to try if you’re visiting Paris soon. Honestly, I had such a great time in Paris and I got to experience the more unique side of the city which I loved! What’s your favourite city?

Little Miss Expat

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Ohhh Heyyy… : Breaking the ice with old friends

Hi Guys!

So as you know I’m back in London for the summer, and for me, that means one thing. Socializing with old friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I miss my friends all the time, but I know better than anyone that after three years of not seeing each other, meeting up can be a little awkward.

I met up with two of my old school friends yesterday, and I loved spending time with them, but it’s not always that easy. It can sometimes be awkward to spend time with someone you haven’t seen for a while. So this post will give you some ideas on how to break the ice with your old friends.

Firstly stick to what you know: Catch up with your friend, tell them what’s happening with you and listen to whats going on in their life too. This is a good opportunity to get to know them again and to have a normal friendly conversation.

Ask about their family and friends: Talking about your old school and what’s new in the community is always a good idea because it keeps you updated on your old life. It’s also nice to check in with your friend and ask them how their family is doing, let them know you remember the small things.

Reminisce about old times: If all else fails this is the way to go. It’s always fun to laugh at old memories or to cringe over old pictures of you guys. It will bring you closer together as well as make your meeting less awkward.

All in all, these are just some ideas on what you can do with old friends to catch up. Because being an expat means that you have to maintain friendships with people even when there’s an ocean between you. I hope these tips help you when you see your old friends. What are some of your tips for breaking the ice?

Little Miss Expat