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Island Adventures

Salut!

It’s been a minute my fellow readers..this is partly my fault for being so MIA but I promise I’m back! Bearing gifts hehe. The last few weeks has been one crazy adventure after the other, but I managed to snap a few bits and pieces of the ride on my first travel post! This is also my first time experimenting with my new DSLR Philippe! (one of the photos was with an underwater disposable cam), so any feedback and/or tips would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

(P.S All photos are unedited/un-retouched)

Enjoy!

Bisous,

SH ❤

Leaving Tampa
Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunrise in Full Swing

Sunrise in Full Swing

And off we go!

And off we go!

So Colorful!

Pink Buggy!

Beautiful Cozumel

Beautiful Cozumel

Cozumel..

Crystal clear waters..

Crystal clear waters..

Playa

Playa

Ocean fun!

Ocean fun!

Lovely

Mexico

Cozumel

The Clearest of Waters

The Clearest of Waters

Sunset at Paradise

Sunset at Paradise

The Carnival Paradise

The Carnival Paradise

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Squeeze A Summer’s Day!

Summer is finally upon us! Raise your hand if you’re as excited as I am. *raises hands*

With a new season, new goals will be set. Priorities are re-prioritized, and objectives are re-evaluated.

Especially this summer, where some of us who are in college may be looking to work more, or take summer classes, or just graduated and looking for a job, there will be a shift in your daily routine and you will eventually ease into a new one. To make this transition as productive and smooth as possible, I’ve compiled a set of objectives you should set for yourself. I for one, am going from taking 5 classes in the spring to taking 1 online class this summer. I’ve been trying to figure out how to fill up this free time by setting new goals and things that I would like to get done this summer. So here’s some stuff I’ve been working on that would be of use to you:

1. Pick up or continue a hobby. I’ve decided to explore photography as a hobby this summer and I’m looking forward to buying a new professional camera! Hopefully I’ll be able to learn how to use it before the summer ends, haha.

2. Spend some time outdoors. You know what this means: beach weather! If you live in a sunny place like I do (yay Florida!) being in the sun will be the easiest thing to relax yourself but also have goddess-like sun kissed skin(yasss). If laying under the sun for hours is not your cup of tea, which I totally get, try out outdoorsy activities like kayaking, hiking, etc. This is a double whammy as you will be active AND will get some sun. Work it! I usually like to be under the sun with a good book. Speaking of books, my second book review will be coming out soon, so stay tuned!

3. Make a list of things you want to achieve by the end of the summer (example, save x amount of cash, find a job, learn how to play the violin.) Going back to #1, my goals are to learn how to use a camera professionally, and look for post-grad jobs. Yikes.

4. Maintain a balance. Although bumming it under the sun all summer sounds like heaven, you still gotta stay on your hustle and get things done! But who’s to say you cant do it all the Boss Ass Bitch way? No one. So have fun, try new things, get shit done!

With that being said, I will be taking a short hiatus for the next week or so (going on a cruise!) but I’ll hopefully be back with some nice photos to share with you! As for sarahalwani.com, I’ll be incorporating more (amateur)photography this summer as I try to fumble and practice with the new cam, so bare with me! I will also be adding more cultural posts as that is something that is very near and dear to my heart.

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Yyyyeaaahh

Yyyyeaaahh

Until next time, my habibis! ❤

Bisous
SH

Inhale The Sun, Exhale The Storm

Salut!

I apologize for posting so late, I usually try to have my Motivation Mondays up early in the day to give you that boost of energy to start off your day and carry on to your week! Hopefully this post will make up for it. 🙂

So lately, the weather in Florida has been great. Surprise, surprise, I know. But no really. Sunshine all around, minimal humidity, and great tanning weather! I’ve been studying for exams out by my pool every chance I get because I don’t want to miss out on all that sunshine. Like many people, I find great weather to affect my mood. Big time. Whenever it’s sunny, I can just feel that I am going to have a wonderful productive day. If I can’t be outdoors, I will usually open all my windows and curtains to let the sun drench my room/apartment.
A bright atmosphere will make way for an even brighter day.

Today, and everyday.

Today, and everyday.

Which is why for my Motivational Monday segment this week, I thought I would relate this great weather with a positive attitude. Inhale the sun, exhale the storm. Winter has passed. Or at least for most places, the harsh winter has passed! Use the spring, serene, and fresh weather to help you channel all your positive energy.
Focus on the good, ignore the bad, look forward to the best.
Join me as I try to approach this week with a bright and positive attitude!

Remember that everyday is a new chance to be the best and brightest version of yourself. 🙂

Bisous,

SH

When Good Things Happen

Hello lovelies!

I apologize for not posting as often as I usually do this week. But good things have been happening!

This Life-Cleanse has been really kicking ass, and not just physically, but work-wise, college-wise, and mentally, its been very rewarding.

I do not want to reveal too much just yet, not until everything is solidified. But I will definitely keep you posted!

In the meantime, I have been thinking about something; when good things happen, is it because of your determination, luck, or faith? Perhaps it can be a combo of all 3 but I feel kind of strange to give myself so much credit without thinking that something such as luck played a big role in everything. Your feedback would be appreciated.

On another note, I have decided to officially launch sarahalwani.com within the next week! By “Officially launch” I mean telling my friends and family about this. This has been a personal project for me for quite some time and I find it ironic how “personal” to me means sharing this blog with the rest of the world and not the people in my life. I feel a little nervous but also excited!

By sharing this with friends and family, I am also committing myself to writing more and investing more time and energy into sarahalwani.com. This makes me feel equally anxious and happy.

These upcoming weeks will be quite busy as i try to balance work, classes, student organization matters and attempt to have a social life. Usually this will have me feeling overwhelmed but I recently bought a new planner and there’s just something about a new planner that makes me feel super refreshed and ready to take on life. Is that strange?

To combat my stress I also workout on a regular basis, which proves to be very helpful for you physically of course, and mentally.

What do you do to deal with daily stress?

Until next time!

Bisous

-SH

You Just Gotta Want It

About a month ago, I woke up and came to the following realization: “I want to be a better me, I want to be a happier me.”

See at that point in my life, I wasn’t very “happy” but I also wasn’t depressed. Life was just a series of things to get through, go to class, go to work, study, and go out every once in a while. For the most part, I was very self-conscious in the things that I said and did, making it hard to be 100% myself. I don’t even know who 100% myself is yet because I had become so accustomed to feeling self-conscious. Plus, lets just say I did some unhealthy things, and was planning on quitting. So I figured, why not start a “Life-Cleanse?” Not just physically but also something internal to shift my perspective and change my attitude to a more positive one.

As awful as it is to say, I tend to be a natural pessimist or a “harsh realist”, so whenever something happens, the first thought that comes to my mind is “what do I do if it doesn’t work out?” half assuming that it won’t work out. I very badly wanted to change this way of thinking as well. And so I started the Life Cleanse. First, I stopped unhealthy habits cold turkey and started working out on a regular basis. Being about 105 lb., I obviously didn’t start working out to lose weight, but to tone and feel good about myself. And it worked. I would start my day with going to the gym about 4-5 times a week and would feel so much better about myself as the day went on. This created a domino effect and made me feel good about myself on the inside, as well. Next, I wanted to become more efficient and productive. And in getting more things done and not procrastinating as much, it boosted my attitude even more. Third, I wanted to surround myself with people and things that made me feel good. And if I couldn’t help in doing that 24/7, I wanted to avoid the negative people in my life, or people who don’t make me feel good about myself and rather uncomfortable and awkward.

I even picked up an old hobby I had abandoned and started reading again. This turned out to feel very therapeutic and soothing. My perspective has shifted immensely since then and it has only been a month. Everyone around me was very impressed and supportive, yet surprised that I am still sticking to my “Life-Cleanse” and even started a blog to top things off!

Looking back at things, I feel like I was somehow trapped in my own mind. I was insecure in who I was and had trouble with feeling inferior to others. However, I feel like a big part of that was all in my head. I wanted a stronger presence and this only comes when you were comfortable with who you are, know you where you’re going and who you are striving to be.

Yes I did get an amazing opportunity from my family who sent me halfway across the world to go to college and I appreciate that and am very grateful. But with that comes a lot of responsibility and courage. I believe moving away has made a positive effect overall on me but it also presented its downsides. Imagine being thrown in a country where you don’t know anyone saying “Ok off you go, see ya in 4 years!” That was what basically happened (more or less) but it has made me a better and stronger person in the end.

I still have my down moments when I ask myself “what am I doing?” or “this is never going to last.” These feelings are quickly replaced by positive and reinforcing ones, which is something I am slowly but surely getting used to. I am coming to terms with this not new, but rather improved version of myself.

What I’m trying to say is, all you gotta do is want it and that will prompt you to work for it. Really, there is no big secret or complicated formula. You.just.have.to.want.it. When you do something positive, you will feel positive. When you feel positive, you will want to do more and try more, and it becomes a cycle. The bonus part is that people will also feel positive when they are around you; especially the ones you care about the most. 🙂

Think about it, what is one thing you want to change about yourself to help you be a better, happier you? After all, we are all essentially a “work in progress.” If you’ve had a similar experience as I have, please share it below! I wanted to give a little insight on how my Life-Cleanse came about to inspire and support others who want to do their own version, or are in the process of one, like me. 🙂

Bisous

-SH

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