The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad


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Even the Adventurous Have Their Doubts

Another issue of #tbt blogger style. As I write this, I´m sitting at SeaTac airport, waiting to board my flight back to Madrid . I’ve had the great luck of spending the entire month at home in Seattle, which is something I’ve done every year since I moved to  Madrid back in September 2009, While I love getting to spend quality time with my family and friends, time I probably would never cherish as much if I could see them whenever I wanted, it’s always hard to transition from one home to the other. Tears are inevitible whichever side of the world I´m saying goodbye to. Here’s a glimpse at some of the doubts I felt when I embarked on another adventure back in March 2008.  I had taken a leave of absence from my job at a children’s psychiatric hospital to attend a three-month intensive language course in Alicante and Madrid, Spain and despite months of planning, I suddenly found myself wondering if I hadn’t made a mistake. Continue reading

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Introducing “The Intentional Expat Hits the Streets” Interview Series

Thanks to my 30/30 Birthday Challenge, which has been opening me up to trying new things and meeting new people, I decided last week that I’d be launching a new series on this blog called “The Intentional Expat Hits the Streets.”  I’ll be interviewing people I meet during my travels, day-to-day life and other expats I come into contact with.

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My first interview is with Skyler Johnstone, a 23 year old currently living in Seattle, WA (USA) and the founder of Be the Change Clothing co. I ran into him while walking on Seattle’s Alki beach last week and I did a double take because he was sitting on a bench across from the beach…typing on a typewriter. That’s right, not a cell phone, or a tablet, or even a journal, but a typewriter. I couldn’t resist approaching him and introducing myself. And he graciously agreed to be part of the interview series, here’s what he had to say:   Continue reading


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30/30 Bday Challenge: Week 2!

I’m turning 30 next week and in honor of this milestone birthday, I’m choosing to embrace the ageing process by doing one new thing everyday for 30 days (The 30/30 Bday Challenge, an idea which to the best of my knowledge I came up with myself). You can read more about how I got inspired to do the challenge on my week 1 post. And here’s a recap of how week 2 went.  Continue reading


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So Teaching English Isn’t Your Dream Job? 10 Ways to Make the Most of It

Congratulations! You’ve scored what many might consider to be their “dream job.” You’re teaching English abroad! You get to live in a location you’ve always dreamed of, you meet new people every day, you get to travel  to exciting destinations on the weekends, but…you don’t want to be an English teacher.

I’ve met countless people who have found their home away from home while teaching English abroad, but they’ve also discovered that this teaching English thing is just not for them, Continue reading


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Why I Accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge

I went back and forth about whether or not I was going to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge if someone challenged me. At first I thought “Of course I’d do it! It’s for a great cause!” and I was further encouraged when I heard just how much money the ALS association had earned thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge and the subsequent increase in awareness about the disease. But in the past week, with the challenge being featured on all major talk shows, celebrities posting videos and my Facebook news feed flooding with #icebucketchallenge, it started to seem that the challenge was getting out of hand and possibly turning into a game,  Continue reading


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When I Get Homesick, I Stop Being Homesick and Be Awesome Instead

As part of my #tbt blogs, I´m posting a story I wrote back in May 2010. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)was created in order to help individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder. However, many of the techniques used by this discipline can be helpful for people dealing with other psychological problems, or even emotional distress that can happen to any of us on any given day. One of the techniques DBT uses to deal with distressing emotions is ¨Opposite to Emotion Action.¨ In short, it means doing the opposite of what you feel like doing by carrying out an action that is going to have positive effects rather than negative ones. For example, if you wake up feeling sad and don´t want to get out of bed, you get out of bed. If you´re angry and feel like hurting someone, you walk away. It doesn´t mean you suppress your emotions, it means you put your energy towards doing something that may ultimately help to decrease the distressing feelings. And it can be a great trick to use to fight homesickness.  Continue reading


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Five Reasons to Vote for Me in the Big Blog Exchange

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Something I´m loving about my 30/30 Birthday Challenge is how my openness to trying one new thing a day is taking me places I hadn´t imagined when I first came up with the idea. On some days my original plan of the new thing I was going to try has had a sort of domino effect, leading me to try several new things all in one day. On other days it´s led me to conversations that have left me reflecting, smiling, or in the case of today…creating a new challenge!

When one of my Facebook friends saw on my original 30/30 post that I hadn´t ever been able to complete my original plan of walking all of Alki like I´d planned to on day 4 she got in touch with me and asked if I´d like to go for the walk with her. And among several great topics that came up during this walk was that of ¨The Big Blog Exchange.¨

Hosteling International is hosting a worldwide competition amongst bloggers. Continue reading