Clean Beauty – the guide to what it is, what to buy, and how it works

Hey guys!

Today’s post focuses on something that’s very important to me and something that I could honestly talk about for ages. As a science geek, I’ve always found it interesting to know what I’m using, for example, I find it so exciting when I look at my moisturizer bottle, and I can identify what the ingredients are and what they do for my skin. I’m also a bit of a nature nerd, as I’ve mentioned before I love the outdoors and any plants and flowers, and I find it so fascinating that these everyday plants can be crushed or squeezed in a specific way, that can cure you of your acne, or leave you with super soft skin. Every time I talk about this kind of stuff, I get so excited, and honestly, I know its a bit sad but I love spending my time researching the natural healing powers of specific plants and looking at the latest natural beauty products.

So that is why in today’s post, I want to pass on a bit of my passion for all things natural to you guys and share with you a change that I’ve made in this past year. To rewind a bit, from the time I hit age 13 I started to suffer from teenage acne, and this could of been for a variety of reasons: hormones, stress, or the products that I used on my skin, but I didn’t really know what I should be doing to cure this acne. I started covering it up with makeup every day, and I live in Dubai so I was sweating in this makeup all day long, and my skin really did not appreciate it. To just add onto this whole mess of things, I have really really sensitive skin, so my skin reacts to pretty much anything I use, and I have to be very careful. It’s been almost three years since I first started getting acne, and like most teens I’ve pretty much grown out of it. I still get some breakouts, but my skin has improved a lot because of the changes I’ve made in the past year. Not only have my breakouts reduced, but I’ve also found my skin overall looking more ‘glowy’ and healthy.

I made the switch to using clean beauty products this year, and being more aware of what I’m putting on my skin and my body. I realised that I make such an effort to fill my body with nutritious and healthy food, when I cover it with products full of toxins and all kinds of chemicals, which is kind of hypocritical. And I know, clean beauty seems like it’s all the rage right now, with more and more brands claiming to be ‘organic’ or ‘natural’, but if you find real clean beauty products, you will soon realise this whole clean beauty regime is not a fad, it really truly does work.

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So what is clean beauty?

There is no exact definition, but clean beauty encompasses a range of things. One being that the products are completely transparent about what’s inside them, and they are safe for people to use. It means that the quality is not compromised, and the main goal of the company is not to just, sell more, but to create products that genuinely work and benefit the user. Another aspect of clean beauty is that from production to usage, these products are safe to everyone, this means no animal testing, or anything that will affect the environment negatively.

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Why should I use clean beauty products?

As I mentioned before I have seen great benefits from using clean beauty products on myself, not only in clearing up my acne, but also contributing to my overall wellbeing. I don’t feel like I’m slapping on chemicals onto my skin and drying it out, I feel like I’m really taking care of myself and not compromising my health at the cost of the products I’m using. Also looking at the more environmental side to the argument, clean beauty products are much more sustainable. And yes, they are a little more pricey, but trust me with clean beauty less is more. Most products are of such good quality that you don’t need to buy heaps of cosmetics, and remember you’re spending money to improve your wellbeing. That being said, don’t just go out and buy anything that says it’s a clean beauty product, personally I spend ages choosing what products to buy and what they will do for me. I spent a really long time trying to find a clean beauty vendor that’s accessible to me, and looking at what options they have. Once I chose the products that I wanted to try, I read heaps of reviews to see if they actually worked, and if they were compatible with my skin type.

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Where do I buy my products?

I think buying products from a clean beauty specific vendor, is easier than looking at stores individually. I also read a lot of other reviews of clean beauty products so that I’m always finding more. If you live in the U.S. you can take a look at companies such as ‘Credo Beauty’ or ‘The Detox Market’ who gather a selection of clean beauty products which they curate themselves. These companies aren’t as accessible for me, so I looked for something in Dubai, but sadly I haven’t found anything yet, please let me know if you know of somewhere that sells clean beauty products in Dubai! So I checked out clean beauty stores in the U.K, and decided on ‘Content Beauty & Wellbeing’. It curates the products it sells, making sure they don’t contain harmful chemicals, while still delivering high end results. I also sometimes visit ‘Space NK’ if I’m looking for something specific. But always be sure to look into the products you want to buy before purchasing them, to be sure they fit all the criteria you want.

 

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I found this really helpful guide from Today, (I don’t take credit for making it) but it lets you see what the little icons on your cosmetics mean.

 

What do I use?

Finally! For the most exciting part of this post, what products I use!!! I’m more of a ‘natural look girl’ I hardly wear makeup, and when I do, I like to make sure that it doesn’t look heavy. So most of the products that I use cater to this, and to my skincare needs. Some of these products I’ve been using for a while, and some are fairly new, but all the products I share in this post, I’m confident to say that I genuinely like.

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Skincare + Bodywash

Tata Harper Skincare – I talked about it a while back, but I have been using Tata Harper products on my skin for almost a year now, and this is where I’ve seen incredible improvements. All the skincare products I use on my face are from this brand, from my cleanser & moisturiser, to my toner.

Evolve Beauty – I have recently started using a body wash from evolve beauty, and I really like it. I’ve tried a few different clean body washes, but this is the first one that I can fully say is perfect! It doesn’t dry out my skin at all, and it smells soooo good. Evolve beauty was kind enough to send me some samples, so you will definitely be seeing a post about them soon, and what other products I like from their collection.

Isla Apothecary – I really like using roll on essential oils as an alternative to perfume, and Isla Apothecary has a really nice one that I’ve been using.

Neal’s Yard Remedies – I also use an essential oil rollable from Neal’s Yard, in the scent ‘energy’ which is amazing.

Odacite – I am soooo excited to try more products from them, but for now I only have a serum for my face, leaves me with super soft skin.

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Beauty

Lilah Beauty – This is the first clean beauty makeup brand that I started using, and I haven’t yet found anything that compares. I use the concealer, powder, as well as an eyeshadow palette from Lilah.b and it blends into my skin so well, and it creates a really nice natural look on my skin, that I haven’t found from anyone else.

ILIA Beauty – I use a lipstick and an illuminator from here, and I really like their products, you can still look amazing, while benefitting your health!

Lily Lolo Mineral Cosmetics – I recently brought a mascara and a blush from Lily Lolo, and I’ve really liked them so far, I look forward to trying a few more of their products.

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I really hope you found this post interesting, I had so much fun writing it! As always, please let me know if you liked it. Also let me know in the comments if you use clean beauty products, and if you want to make the change. Also, if you have any recommendations for clean beauty products for me to try, let me know! And if you’re a brand that wants me to try your products, you can find all my information about collaborations here.

Little Miss Expat

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March In Review – Adventures & Upcoming Projects

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to another monthly review post, I’ve got a lot to share with you. In case you missed any of this months blog posts here they are, give them a read and let me know what you think:

Words From Inspirational Women

The perfect study spot – Wild & The Moon Dubai

Finding Happiness

I think this month’s posts have to be some of my favourite posts I’ve ever written. The ‘Words From Inspirational Women’ post is really meaningful makes you see a different perspective. The ‘Finding Happiness’ post that I wrote last week is also a post that is very close to my heart, and while I put my heart into all of my posts, this one is really special to me. Please do let me know what you think if you take a look at them.

In other news this month, the blog has been growing steadily, we’re almost at 80 followers at the blog (in fact, were on 79!) and we’re well on the way to 400 Instagram followers. Thank you so much to all of you who subscribe and follow me, your support is really appreciated.

If you’re a regular follower you might also have seen that I’ve been redesigning the blog a bit this month. I’ve been writing here for almost 9 months now and I seem to have finally found my style, and I’ve been trying to make the blog a bit more organized. You might have also noticed on my Instagram (@Little.Miss.Expat) my photos have also been improving, and you guys seem to have been really liking it. This is something that I’ll definitely carry on working on, especially during summer.

Speaking of content, I’ve also been doing a lot of exciting prep for some upcoming blog posts. Starting from next week, I am so excited to see what you guys think about all of them! One of them will be an in-detail post on natural beauty, with my first-hand experience of switching to natural, non-toxic makeup, where to buy your products from, and how to know what to buy. Here are some behind the scenes photos of the post…

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And another post this month will include some of the exciting, quirky places I’ve been exploring in London this spring. Be sure to subscribe to know when this post goes live!!!

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Lastly, I wanted to share some photos of an adventure I recently went on, it was to… Fujairah. Living in Dubai, it’s really easy to take a road trip on the weekend to another Emirate and find something totally unexpected. On the first day of Spring Break, we drove Fujairah and saw the Fort and some pretty amazing views. Here are some pictures of the trip:

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I hope you guys enjoyed reading a little bit about what’s been going on in my life recently, and are as excited as me for the upcoming posts!

See you next week,

Little Miss Expat

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Finding Happiness

Hey Everyone!

I’ve been wanting to write a post about happiness and wellbeing for such a long time, and with it being International Happiness week, I thought, what better time? Even though I have so much I want to share with you guys about this subject, I think this has to be one of the hardest posts I’ve written, as it’s so hard to put all my ideas about happiness into words!!

Originally I wanted to share a few tips on ‘how to be happy’ with you guys, but I realised that wasn’t the right way to put it, there’s no specific formula to be happy. We’re all human, we have some happy days and some sad days. So today instead of writing a guide for you guys, I just want to share a few thoughts, and I would really love for you to comment your thoughts as well!

For those of you who don’t know my story, the reason why I started this blog was to share my experiences as a teenage expatriate with others and tell the story of moving from London to Dubai, and how I dealt with it. One thing that goes hand-in-hand with this story is my experience with ‘happiness’. The first year of moving was a tough year for me, and I had never experienced so many feelings of sadness and loneliness at one time. However, through this journey, I’ve come to be at a place where I feel such balance, content, and happiness all the time, that I don’t think I could be anywhere better.

I remember having some days where I would feel sick with sadness, and where I was just totally unmotivated to do anything. And you know, I think most people go through a phase like this. At least one point in your life, you experience a sort of rut, where you just can’t seem to break through this wall. And especially for someone picking up and leaving their home at such a young age, it’s not unheard of to feel this way.

But the question is how do you overcome these feelings, and find your happiness? I could answer this question a thousand different ways, but I’ll just limit it to a few for now. (Bearing in mind, that these are all ideas that I have found through my own experiences.) The first thing that I would say is the key to unlocking happiness is being comfortable with yourself. Truly finding that sense of being, enjoyment, and content is the first step to becoming happier. In this world where we seem to think the number of likes you get on a photo determines how popular you are, and where your follower count is a representation of how many friends you have, it can get really hard to just… love yourself. Think about it this way, if you constantly think you’re not good enough, how can you ever be happy with yourself?

I think this is also something that comes with experience, because I know that when I was younger I would always ‘follow the crowd’ and I would do what everyone was doing, regardless of whether or not I wanted to do it myself. But how can you ever be happy if you’re not doing what you want to be doing? Becoming confident with your own decisions and standing up for what you believe in, is something that only comes with practice. It doesn’t come overnight, but I’m telling you, once you start following YOUR own ideas, doing what YOU want to do, and not constantly worrying about what people think of YOU, you’re well on your way to finding happiness.

Something that goes along with this idea of just being you, is also not worrying about what others are doing. Trust me, I’m a teenage girl in high school, and I could be influenced by a multitude of people and their actions, but staying true to my own values has to be the best decision I could have ever made. It’s come to the point where I don’t feel jealousy when I see what other people are doing if it’s not something I would genuinely want to be doing myself. I don’t see any point changing my own values and beliefs just because of others. This has to be one of the hardest things to put into action, the number of people my age who are peer pressured into making decisions that they wouldn’t make for themselves is something that I think should change. But once you stop caring about what everyone else is doing and start doing things you love, you will find yourself instantly happier.

Something else that I think is worth mentioning, is forgiveness. Even though I myself find this very hard, one huge part of finding happiness is forgiving people and not holding grudges. The fact that you’re spending some of your brainpower worrying or thinking about someone who has wronged you just gives them power over you. In life, there will always be people that upset you, but I think being able to overcome that and forgive them is one of the most important life lessons you can learn.

Going off on the people tangent, finding a group of people that support and care for you, will also affect your happiness. Surrounding yourself with people who know the real you, and are always there for you, is one of the best things you can do. Friends should be happy for you when you achieve something, but also able to cheer you up when you’re feeling upset. Honestly, your vibe does attract your tribe, finding people who share the same values as you, and who constantly brighten up your day, can change everything.

The last thing I want to mention is gratitude. Being thankful for what you have is probably the most important component of happiness. Something as simple as acknowledging what you’re thankful for can make the biggest difference. Realizing what you have, compared to others allows you to see a different perspective, and truly be happy with yourself.

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to share some of these thoughts with you guys! There are so many articles and resources on happiness out there that you can take a look at if you’re interested, I would really recommend it! I would absolutely love to hear your ideas and what you think about this post in the comments!!!

Have a happy week!

Little Miss Expat

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The perfect study spot – Wild & The Moon Dubai

Hey Guys!

I have been super busy recently, and I am really excited for Spring Break! I have a tonne of really exciting and helpful posts planned for you guys, that I hope you’ll enjoy. Something else that I’ll also be doing during Spring Break is preparing for my AP exam, if you don’t know what that is, it’s the big examinations that all students in the American curriculum take if you’re in an Advanced Placement course. I’m really nervous for this exam, as I have a lot of content to study, but I’ll take you guys on that journey with me and give you guys some of my tips about studying for a big exam.

However, something that I’ve really been practicing recently is taking breaks. Usually, I like to get everything done early on the weekends, and I don’t get to spend time doing things I like and just giving myself some time to chill out. I talked about this a bit in my ‘February In Review’ post, but one thing that I’ve been doing to give myself more relaxation time is to schedule in breaks. Now… I LOVE food, I’m always up to try a new cafe or restaurant, and any place that makes a decent matcha latte is practically heaven for me. And I love being able to bring my laptop along so I can get a bit of work done while I wait for my food. Not in an unsociable way, but sometimes you just have a lot to get done! I have been looking for the perfect ‘study cafe’ for a long time, and I think Wild & The Moon wins.

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It literally has the cutest interior and gives off calm and relaxed vibes. I love being surrounded by plants and greenery, so as you can imagine this cafe is my dream. It’s very peaceful and simplistic, but there are lots of plants dotted around the place. It’s the perfect place to bring your laptop and get a change of scenery while you’re studying and have a delicious drink.

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If you know me at all, you know I love supporting ethical and environmentally friendly companies, and Wild & The Moon is perfect. It’s full of organic and plant-based foods, made from simple and fresh ingredients. I love this line from their philosophy “We need nourishment to grow, blossom, seed and spread…” Isn’t it just beautiful? It’s honestly my new favourite spot in Dubai, and I’ll definitely be back during Spring Break while I’m studying for my big exam. I really want to try some of their cool juices and smoothies next time I’m there, and I’ll let you know how they are.

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Let me know if you try this cafe and what you think!

See you next week for a super exciting post,

Little Miss Expat

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Words From Inspirational Women

Hey everyone!

As you know, this week was International Women’s Day, and to me, this day is something to celebrate how far women have come and how much we’ve achieved, but also to recognize inspirational and motivational women. There are some pretty amazing ladies out there, and I wanted to share some of my favourite quotes from them with you guys!

  • “We are not kind to the Earth, and that makes us awful at our jobs: taking care of it. Especially after all it does for us. See, this place provides us with life, and all we do to repay that is slowly kill it. It’s a slow, painful death: torturous. We throw our waste all over it, or into the oceans. We slay trees to make more space for ourselves. We pollute the air with our machines, we cover the ground with terrible things to allow cars to drive around a little easier, a little faster. We fill the skies with big buildings, instead of big trees. And the worst part is, in my opinion, that we forget to give anything back. We forget to say thanks. We forget the Earth is even there.” Chelsea Diehm (@feedingmindbodysoul) I honestly could not put this into better words, since I read it, it’s all I’ve been thinking about. As some of you know, environmental change is something that is very important to me, and I have not yet found anyone who I can relate to as much as Chelsea. She puts her ideas out there and turns her powerful messages into words that everyone can understand. I don’t know about you guys, but these words certainly inspire me. (you should really go take a look at the rest of her writing here, it’s always so well written and interesting)

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  • “Ultimately we are all just tiny bundles of cells brought together, spinning around together on a flaming ball of gas floating in the universe. Each one of us is a living miracle.” – Leanne Maskell (I would really recommend going to read the rest of her post here) I love this quote because it just puts everything into perspective, when you think about it, her words are completely true and they make you see how small your problems and anxieties actually are, and how lucky we are to be here. I would have loved to put all of her writing in this post, but obviously, I can’t do that. She has a way of writing that makes you see things in a different way, it’s really amazing.

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  • “At times I feel my soul is scattered all over the globe. Broken up into tiny pieces, thrown across oceans and left behind with people I love or places and moments I’ll never forget. I suppose this is a less violent way of creating Horcruxes?”Ally Sheehan (@agirlnamedally) How beautiful are these words? Especially for any Harry Potter fans, you’ll get the ending. For an expat and a traveler, this is something that I can really relate to, and she managed to capture the feeling perfectly. Ally has to be one of my greatest inspirations, just go over to her Instagram take a look at some of her thoughts, she always has something positive and interesting to say.

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  • “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai. How inspirational and simple are these words? Malala managed to spread such a powerful message through her own experiences, she is definitely one of my greatest inspirations.

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  • “You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.” – Leymah Gbowee. This quote will always be one that touches me and empowers me to be bold and make a difference. How can I make a change, if I’m not bold enough to put everything I have into it? It constantly reminds me to take risks and go for what I believe in.

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Please note: These quotes are not mine, I credit them to their authors (who I have linked so you can take a look) These are just women who inspire me through their words.

Isn’t it beautiful to look through this post and see strong, powerful, and eloquent women, whose words can change the world? In the past, these words wouldn’t have even been heard, but now the earth echoes with messages like these, spread by women, and it will only continue to. These quotes are some of my favourites, however, there are so many more inspirational words by women, please share yours in the comments. Happy International Women’s Day!

Little Miss Expat

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February In Review – Finding Balance

Woah where did February go? I can not believe we’re already 2 months into 2018, that’s crazy!!! This month has been a quick one, and I think I’ve managed to keep my calm pretty well. From running in the MESAC Cross Country Competitions at the beginning of this month, to spontaneous Desert adventures on a Friday morning… #justDubaithings, and reaching 300 followers on Instagram, a lot has been happening.

In case you missed any of this months blog posts here’s a little review of what I’ve posted:

In my January post, I talked about being a bit overwhelmed with the beginning of the year, and jumping back into the craziness of school. But this month I think I have found a balance, and have been much more relaxed. In this post, I’ll tell you guys a bit about what I’ve changed up in my life, and what products I’ve been using a lot this month. I hope you enjoy!

Changing up the weekends

I mentioned on my Instagram yesterday, that I have really been taking some time to just relax and unwind on the weekends recently. In January I hardly got any weekends, as I always had something going on, and on the days I was home I was trying to finish all my homework. This month things have started to get a bit calmer, and I’ve really been enjoying getting some time to myself. If you know me at all, you will know that I am an organizational and scheduling freak, I like to get things done and I don’t like leaving tasks until the last minute. This month I really challenged myself to just CHILL OUT. Taking Friday mornings off, going out to eat breakfast, having a movie day with friends, or even driving around Dubai looking for camels (yes, weird right?) have just allowed me to regain that zen feeling and in fact I feel much more productive once I’ve had some time to myself.

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Maintaining a balance

Because I’ve been challenging myself to take it easy and live in the moment a lot more this month, I’ve come to feel a new sensation of balance. A balance between work and leisure. I give myself time to relax and do things that make me happy, but when it’s time to study I use my time effectively. I think this is much healthier than just being constantly on the go every day, and I feel so much happier and calmer about everything that’s going on in my life. I’m thinking of writing a post on finding balance soon, would you be interested?

Becoming one with… Nature?

I’ve always loved spending time outdoors and being surrounded by nature, and this month I’ve rekindled this love. I’ve been doing my homework outside, listening to the birds and the sound of water flowing, or even just sitting outside reading a book has been really relaxing. I’ve also got a few new plants on my desk which create a nice green space for me while I’m working, and thankfully they haven’t died yet. I think creating a natural and green environment can be really calming and also quite fresh and motivating if you do your work in it.

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This months scents

I’ve always been one of those people that has to create a nice environment to be able to be productive, and one of the things I like doing is burning a candle while I’m working. I’ve been loving the new aromatherapy scents from Bath & Body Works recently, they have blends such as ‘relax’ or ‘focus’ that smell AMAZING and last for a long time. I’ve also been really into my essential oils this month. Someone gave me an ‘energy’ one from Neal’s Yard Remedies for Christmas, and I got a ‘relaxing’ one from Bath & Body Works and I have been using them a lot this month. I like putting them on the insides of my wrists, and I usually use the ‘energy’ one before I do my homework, and the ‘relaxing’ one before I go to sleep. They’re a nice alternative to perfume, and you can never smell too good right?

Staying hydrated

Something that I’ve been doing almost every day is using my cup from Becky Broome and my reusable straw I got from Etsy and putting a bit of mint in my water, which changes it up a bit. It looks really cute, and also motivates me to drink more water throughout the day, so that’s always a positive!

Beauty Products

Lastly, I just wanted to talk about one makeup product that I’ve got back into using. I really don’t wear that much makeup, as I prefer the natural look. And when I do wear makeup it’s usually natural and non-toxic. But this month I dug out my old blush from Bobbi Brown and I’ve actually been loving it. I haven’t worn blush in a while and I forgot how much I like the way it looks. However, if anyone does have any recommendations for more natural beauty products I would really like to hear them! I’m always on the lookout for more natural products to try.

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That’s it! That’s everything that’s been going on with me this month, I hope you enjoyed. As always, please let me know if you liked this kind of post and if you like hearing about my life. Also please tell me what kind of blog posts you want to see in March, and I’ll get right on that. If anyone also has any natural beauty recommendations I would love to try them, let me know in the comments.

See you soon!

Little Miss Expat

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Planning To Travel Soon? My Tips For Planning A Vacation

Hi Guys!

This week I thought I would write another guide for you guys. Just after I first started my blog, I wrote a post called ‘How To Explore a New City as an Expat’ I wanted to build on this post, and add in a few more tips about traveling. Enjoy!

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  1. Be Organized: For the new-ish traveler one of my top tips would be to plan your trip in advance, book planes, hotels, and work out anything else you might need. Keep your tickets and passport ready, and make sure you have all the necessary documents and visas. Traveling is much more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about the logistical side of it.
  2. Visit Places That Interest you: When you arrive in a new place, don’t feel pressured to go to all the museums, gardens, or parks. Go to places you’re interested in. If you like history then go to the museums, but if you like exploring don’t force yourself. There’s a multitude of things to do in one city, hiking, shopping, visiting monuments, people watching etc… Do things you’re genuinely interested in!
  3. Do a Little Bit of ‘Research’: Personally, before I travel I like to have an idea of a few places I want to visit, some restaurants to try, and some stores I want to see. Usually, I’ll take a look at Pinterest, read some blogs, and recently I’ve started looking through the hashtags on Instagram for wherever I’m going to get an idea of what’s popular in that area. I think it’s useful to have a handful of places that you want to visit and use them as a base to explore a city.
  4. Document Your Trip: Whether it’s taking photos, journaling, or even vlogging, I think it’s a fun idea to document your trip. Years from now you can look back to remember your travels and the fun times you had. Or you could show your photos to your friends back home and make them jealous!
  5. Live In The Moment: While I’m all for documenting the trip, sometimes it’s good to live in the moment, and really just focus on where you are. When I’m traveling I actually kind of like not having any data on my phone, so that I just use it to take photos. It’s a nice time to be detached from social media for a few hours, and fully enjoy the place where I am.
  6. Immerse Yourself In The Native Culture: For the most part, you’re only going to visit this place once, why not make the most of it? Take part in cultural activities and have a bit of fun! During Spring Break last year my family and I visited Japan, and we took part in a Tai Chi class in a park, and when we went to China, we had a traditional tea ceremony. It was interesting to experience their own unique cultures.
  7. Wake Up Early or Stay Up Late: Make the most of your jet lag! Use it to get up early in the morning to explore the city before everyone else, or to stay up in the evenings and see a different side to the city. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you see.
  8. Watch The Sunsets and Sunrises: Wherever I am in the world, I love doing something as simple as watching the sunset and rise. It’s beautiful wherever you are in the world, and it’s cool to see it in different places around the world.

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What did you think of my travel tips? What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Let me know in the comments!

Little Miss Expat

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