Sunday, June 28, 2015

Perform a Random Act of Kindness this Ramadan

As the legendary Kevin Spacey taught us many years ago, it's always better to pay it forward than backwards!

At #ExpatWoman headquarters, we know as well as anyone that we have all received kindness from strangers and people who we do not know. As expats, we are always on the lookout for each other, because no matter how much you love your host country, it can still feel a little daunting when you are far away from home.

Here at EW, we're always (unknowingly) sharing and finding stories about random acts of kindness we receive while living in Dubai. There has been some great stories - such as people taking the time to give advice on how to get your ID card, a lift to a medical center or new friends take you out for dinner to get to know you.

As Ramadan is a great time for reflection and a chance to give back to the community, we here at #ExpatWoman are challenging all of our followers around the world to perform one random act of kindness throughout the Holy Month. Even one small act can change someone's day! People say that the person may forget what you did, but they'll never forget the way you made them feel at that moment in time.

Do not forget to share your #ExpatWoman Random Act of Kindness with us on social media: use our hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and even share your stories on our forum! We can't wait to hear from you.

Click here for suggestions and ideas to get you started!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Editor's Picks

Every week we will share with you our Editor's top picks from that week... They're all from across, and can range from Expat Guides, to Country Guides, to home, family, car, beauty and events. Make sure you don't miss a beat with our Editor's Picks! 


1. 5 Ways Camp Prepares Your Child for Adulthood

Far from the stereotypical presentations of summer and spring camps in popular culture and films (hello, The Parent Trap anybody?!), camp can actually be very beneficial for your child in different ways. So it's okay to feel less guilty next time you ship them off for the holidays...


2. Healthy Eating in Ramadan

It is important to eat sensibly and healthily all year round but particularly in Ramadan. Even if you're not fasting, it's a great opportunity to ensure you don't overeat or scoff unhealthy foods in large quantities. Plus, the month is about self-control and discipline!


3. Understand What Your Cat is Saying

Cats make a whole lot of different noises, and can vocalise up to 100 sounds - impressive right? Well now with this handy cat lingo guide, you'll understand exactly what your kitty is after from you next time they purr, meow or hiss!


4. Reasons Why a Child May Need Learning Support

There are many reasons why a child might need additional support for learning. It can be a particularly daunting concept for some parents, allowing additional support for your children may make you feel anxious but no matter what, you have to do what is right for your child, you and the family.


5. Pay It Forward with EW's Random Act of Kindness

Do not forget to share your #ExpatWoman Random Act of Kindness with us on social media: use our hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and even share your stories on our forum! We can't wait to hear from you.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer in Dubai: Survival of the Fittest Expat

These past few weeks, the temperature has been climbing here in Dubai and I was recently reminded why I hate summer—migraine attacks.

For someone who hates summer, the United Arab Emirates is the worst place to be. But recently I had an epiphany—if I refuse to embrace the fact that it will always be dry season here then I should not be here at all. Besides, I had a feeling I was already annoying my husband and my colleagues for complaining too much. I decided to change my mentality because I love Dubai and I am no stranger to moving around from one place to another, it should be easy to bend than to break. It was time to change my way of thinking about the heat. 

I started to reverse my mentality and decided to be an all-out summer loving person. I bought a nice hat to keep my head cool when I am out in the sun (helmets aren’t fashionable) to prevent migraine attacks, sunscreen for my face and convenient foldable sunglasses for my eyes. I embraced the heat and found ways to keep myself cool. On a weekend away from home, I stayed for hours in the pool and a couple of hours by it just basking in the sun. I did not complain not even once and actually found myself thoroughly enjoying it.

Expat life is the same. I realized that acclimatization is similar as trying to adapt to life as an expat. Whoever is the fittest, mentally and physically, survive. While most of us do it very well, expat life is not for everyone and it requires great effort for them to adjust to life and ways abroad. Contrary to popular belief, expat life is not always about sunny days (except when you talk about it literally!).

I have heard of people who could not even last for more than a year because they refuse to adapt to the culture, the way of life and the climate. They end up being unhappy in their jobs with unhappy personal lives and they end up despising people around them. I read this from a magazine earlier: “Where you are, be all there.” It is exactly my philosophy. Whenever I’m asked what makes expat life easy for me, I always say that I have that state-of-mind to call wherever I am home. And the golden rule for summer in Dubai and expat life is the same: stop complaining and embrace the change.

Yes, the sun and I are friends now. If I can easily adjust to life as an expat, embracing the sun should be very easy.

Have a fun summer!

Stay awesome, Gail Jr. @