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


A Fresh Start – My tips for starting 2018 in the best way you possibly can

Hey Guys!

2018 is almost here, and I for one honestly can’t believe how fast 2017 has gone! For me, the beginning of a new year doesn’t usually mean a whole lot, because the start of my ‘new year’ is the start of the school year. But this year It’s going to be different! Usually, my school starts a couple of days after new years, so when that clock chimes 12, my heart starts racing with the stress of knowing that I have school in 2 days and that it’s a whole new year filled with tonnes of expectations and goals to achieve. But this year, I want to make the most of the fresh start that comes with the beginning of the new year.

Now, I’m someone that definitely feels the pressure of the new year. People seem to peg all sorts of expectations on one single day, saying that they will change things in their lives, and this whole year will be so much better. This stresses me out a bit, because what if I don’t start out my year the right way? Will that mean I’m going to have a terrible year? NO, it doesn’t mean that at all. The new year is a perfect way to start fresh and work on specific goals that you want to achieve this year, but it shouldn’t be a time for you to stress out and worry about if you’re good enough or not. This is why I created a list of tips to help you achieve your goals this year, I hope you enjoy!

Tip Number 1: Get yourself a planner I’ve always seen people hurrying to buy their new planner, but I didn’t fully understand why until this year. Planners are so useful! You want to start the new year out in an organized way, and a planner is a perfect place for you to keep track of all the information you need. You can write down any important dates, goals for the day, and even plan out a schedule to make sure you achieve all those goals. It’s also really useful because you’re able to look back at what you’ve done and achieved in the past year. In short, it just helps you keep track of all the important information so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Tip Number 2: Just be organized – This is the year you’re going to do it, you are going to start the year in an organized way! Honestly, if you start the year thinking this you’ll be able to keep it up, and trust me, nothing bad ever comes from being organized!

Tip Number 3: Celebrate the past year – Guys, you have just finished one awesome year, it’s time to celebrate everything that you’ve achieved! I sometimes think that people focus too much on what they’re going to do in the next year, rather than celebrating what they’ve already done. Take a little time to make a list of everything you’re proud of achieving in 2017, this will allow you to go into 2018 feeling good about yourself.

Tip Number 4: Learn from your past mistakes – If you truly want to change something this year, you have to learn from your past mistakes. Reflect on the past year and think about what went wrong, and where you could have changed that. Think about what you want to change, and make sure you don’t carry out the same mistakes in 2018, this will allow you to have a truly exceptional year.

Tip Number 5: Set yourself some goals – Goals can sometimes be scary, but it’s good to have some guidelines on what you want to achieve this year. They don’t necessarily have to be New Years Resolutions but think about what you want to change about yourself this year and create some goals for yourself. I’ve made a list of things I want to do this year, for example, stressing less, starting meditation and yoga, be more positive, and learn more about nutrition and health. What are your goals?

I hope that these tips help you jump into 2018 in a positive way and achieve all your goals this year! I hope that each and every one of you enjoys yourself this year and that you get to spend it with the people you love. Thank you sooo much for supporting my blog this year, it means the world to me, See you in 2018!

Let me know in the comments if you have any tips for starting a new year (I would love to know!)

Happy New Year!

Little Miss Expat

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