The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad

Travel Loves

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The experience of traveling is not always as glamorous and envy-inspiring as you might be led to believe based on your friends´ blog posts and pictures in exotic destinations that they´ve posted on Facebook.

BUT if you´ve fallen in love with travel you know firsthand that the good always outweighs the bad.

The stories you go home with are worth any awkward cultural misunderstandings, stolen wallets or bouts of food poisoning that you might encounter along the way to collecting these memories that will last a lifetime. To me, travel is incredibly attractive despite its inevitable flaws, and it´s stolen my heart. Here´s the shortlist of why I love it so much. 

 Note: you´ll see that a lot of my reasons reflect the fact that my travel experiences thus far have been limited to Europe. Here´s to hoping that changes very soon!


  • Mini adventures that lurk around every corner
  • Newfound friends spilling out their life stories
  • The cafe culture of Europe
  • Lots of time to write (at least in theory)
  • Buying fresh fruit, olives, etc. at street side markets (which inevitably lead to having a picnic, another travel love)
  • The minimal need to know the time (which is probably why I am perpetually late)
  • A vacation from English. The freedom to tune out
  • The inevitable need to challenge myself to be flexible
  • The constant buzz of plazas in Europe
  • The joy of living out of a suitcase. Seriously! It is refreshing to live like a snail with your home on your back at times
  • Permission to wear dirty clothes
  • Running (which doesn’t happen too frequently, but is always a good way to see a city)
  • Staying up til dawn. Especially when it involves dancing.
  • People watching, which a socially acceptable practice on the road.
  • Continually discovering how small the world really is and how many more places I want to see
  • And although this was even more true when I was in my early 20´s, I still find that a delightful part of travel is the amazingly handsome and charming men that you meet while on the road. Who always remind me that it´s a really good thing that I´m merely passing through.

 What do YOU love about travel?


Travel is full of unexpected surprises around every corner. On what seemed to be a normal Sunday, I was strolling through Madrid´s Retiro Park and  stumbled across this huge drum circle taking place.

Travel is full of unexpected surprises around every corner. On what seemed to be a normal Sunday, I was strolling through Madrid´s Retiro Park and stumbled across this huge drum circle. 



Author: Melissa

Born in the rainy, green Northwestern corner of the United States, Melissa relocated to the almost-always-sunny city of Madrid, Spain five years ago. After getting her master's degree, traveling to places her friends at home drooled about, falling in love with a Spaniard, and having her heart broken by said Spaniard, it's safe to say that she's learned firsthand about the less than glamorous side of living abroad. Thankfully, she gets to use this experience, along with her professional expertise, in her work as a mental health therapist in Madrid where she helps other expats learn to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of living abroad. This blog is designed to be informative and is in no way intended to serve as a substitute for therapy.

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