Sustainability: why it’s important

I just spent the past few days at Abu Dhabi Sustainability week and I’ve come back very INSPIRED. Sustainability has always been something I’ve been very passionate about, but I feel like it’s extremely vital that we take action right now, otherwise nothing is ever going to change! As part of the younger generation I feel as though it’s up to us to be change makers and to speak up and inspire others to do the same, because if we all do our part, we can help the environment a lot. It was amazing to meet with other teenagers from around the world and hear about how they use their innovative spirits to help our world, and it made me inspired to do the same. It was nice to get out of my privileged life and experience something bigger than myself, to be around others who think the same way as me and hear about ways in which they’re helping the environment. Honestly, it just puts everything in perspective, when I worry about my high school problems, I realize how insignificant they are compared to what’s really going on in the world. It’s heartwarming to see so many people working towards the same goal: environmental protection! And I want to inspire you guys to do the same! So here are some easy ways to support the environment in your everyday life:

Get a reusable water bottle: This is such a simple way to be more sustainable! By getting a reusable water bottle you’re stopping yourself from using so much plastic. Also, it’s way better for your health and it inspires you to drink more water! Personally, I bring my water bottle on holidays with me, and pretty much everywhere I go if I know I’ll be out for a while.

Bring your own plastic bags to the supermarket: This is also another easy way to cut down on plastic usage! Just remember to bring your own plastic bags to the supermarket instead of using the disposable plastic ones.

Save water and energy: When you don’t need lights, don’t use them! Or when you don’t need the air conditioning don’t use it! Also, try not to waste water when you’re brushing your teeth etc… These are really easy things to do, and not only are you helping the environment, but you’re also cutting down your water and electricity bills!

Say no to plastic cutlery: This one is really easy to implement. When you’re getting a takeout just ask them not to include plastic cutlery in your order (as most of the time you don’t even need this if you’re eating at home) and it’s just a waste of plastic that goes into landfills.

Don’t use plastic straws: This is another tip that is really simple to do, you could buy reusable straws made from metal (which is what I have) or just don’t ask for a straw when you’re out. It’s something really simple to cut down on and is great for the environment!

Use your voice: We all have a voice, and a way to speak out! Be a change maker who inspires others to do the same. Let your actions be positive ones, and others will follow in your path.

I hope that these tips are useful to you and that you start implementing them in your daily lives! If you can think of any other easy tips to be more sustainable let me know in the comments section and we can learn from each other.

Make sustainable choices and see you next week!

Little Miss Expat

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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


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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Back To School Advice You Need To Hear!

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had an amazing summer, wherever you spent it! And I really hope you enjoyed reading about my summer adventures and reading all the content I created for you guys! With it being back to school season, I wanted to share some important pieces of advice for going into this school year. But… I thought it might be interesting to hear what other people have to say as well! I asked a few other bloggers/Instagrammers what their number one piece of advice for going back to school is, and I compiled them into one huge back to school advice guide! They all had great advice to share, and even as I was putting this guide together I found myself thinking, wow… I should do that this year! So I hope you find this guide as useful as I do!

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Ellen (Elle For Life Blog) – ‘My number one back to school tip is this: no matter what, understand that in the end, everything will be okay! I used to suffer from anxiety and would often have panic attacks in school on a weekly basis. However, nowadays, whenever I feel panicked, upset, or just stressed in general, I try to remind myself that in the end — regardless of whether that’s the end of a big project, the last day of the summer, or heck, even my future graduation from college — I will be okay. That B you got on that one paper isn’t going to singlehandedly determine whether or not you get into college, nor will that ~one~ time you fell down the stairs during the first period make or break your reputation at school. So take a deep breath, keep your head up, and persevere on.’

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Peyton (Patience and Pajamas Blog) – ‘When it comes to back to school, and education in general, the best tip I can give to anyone is that if you want an education, there is always a way. Maybe things don’t work out the way you planned, maybe traditional schooling doesn’t work for you, maybe you can’t physically attend school, maybe you need accommodations; there are so many maybes! But at the end of the day, no matter what level of education you’re talking about, whether your goal is to make it to high school, graduate high school, get into college, or beyond, there is always a way. It may not be an easy way, and it may not be a traditional way, but if you are passionate about education and receiving the best education possible, there are three things to remember. Remember to advocate for yourself and your needs, use your resources, and that there is always a way. I’ve been in hard positions, and I’ve had my struggles with education. My passion for learning fuels me to continue to pursue my education, but without advocacy, knowing and using my resources, and fully believing that there is always a way, I would not be where I am today.’

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Natalie (Capturing Life On Camera Blog) – Plan out your outfits the night before! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late because I had been having a full-on fashion show in my closet. I think the most times I have changed outfits in the morning is at least 5. Save yourself the hassle and choose your outfits and backup outfits the night before. Choose a backup outfit that you know looks good on you and is comfortable just in case your first outfit doesn’t work out

 

 

 

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Liddy (@itsliddystyle) – I would say my number one tip for back to school is definitely don’t be afraid. This can mean not being afraid of branching out, meeting new people, or even taking new classes. And even if you are afraid, my favorite saying is ‘fake it till you make it!’ I say this to myself all the time to push me to get out of my comfort zone.

 

 

 

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Elina (Just So Elina Blog) – Homeschool, Public School, Online School and Private. They may all be different, but the one thing they all have in common is the need for self-motivation. Yes at school your fortunate enough to have teachers, to help keep you accountable. But at the end of the day, your education is just that: YOUR’S. So it’s up to you to make it a priority no matter what type of schooling you do. Now don’t get me wrong I am definitely guilty of getting distracted on my phone or daydreaming in class (apologies to all my primary school teachers!) So I find having a vision of what I want to achieve from my education, like becoming a journalist; very helpful. As that way, I have something I love to focus and keep me motivated. While doing something I may not love so much *cough maths*.

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Taiya (Taiya Maddison) – My biggest tip for back to school would have to be… just simply be yourself. It’s cliche but it’s so true. When you are truly being yourself you will be the happiest and you will attract the right people for you! School can be super intimidating at times, but as long as you stay strong in your beliefs and values and be yourself, you will be just fine.

 

 

 

 

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Olivia (Absolutely Olivia) – Go into the new school year being completely yourself.  This sounds so daunting, but a new school year is more of a fresh start than some think, so use it as a time to build on yourself and how the summer might of changed you.  No longer want to wear the same outfits you always have? Dress how you want!  Have your interests changed? Take the classes and join the clubs you want!  Want to meet new people or be more social?  Go to sporting and other fun events!  Being uniquely you and embracing who you are can lead to an exciting and fulfilling school year.  Obviously, there are always gonna be haters out there, but try not to let them get to ya!  Being yourself is the best way to live, and just remember: people don’t care nearly as much as you think.

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And of course, a piece of advice from me! My number one tip for going back to school would be to go in with a positive attitude and an open mind! If you go back to school with a positive attitude you’ll be more likely to learn more, have a good time, and enjoy yourself, even though you might still wish you were on summer vacation. Go back to school with a positive attitude, taking everything as it comes, and making the most of every situation.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading some back to school advice from lots of different people! And that you found the advice we shared useful and interesting. What’s your top tip for going back to school? Comment it down below!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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