The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad

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. 

1 (1)

Day 8. First time volunteering at a food bank. I had the privilege of volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County food bank. You can read all about my experience (and how you can do it too!)  here. This also led to another first: first time that my blog was mentioned on a website. A big thanks to SVDP for linking to my blog, I’ve gotten really great feedback and over 350 views of this post. 

IMG-20140820-WA0004 (2)

Day 9. First time at a Seattle Sounders soccer (football) game. Who knew that Seattleites were such huge soccer fans! I could have easily been at a Real Madrid game with all of the cheering. Sadly the game ended 1-1, but I had a great time and another first included: my first soccer scarf! (also Ithe 30/30 challenge is opening me up to being more spontaneous and trying new things which is how I also wound up trying Pho for the first time earlier in the day. Yumm! I’m officially hooked!) 

photo (23)

Day 10: First time approaching a stranger and asking them to be on my blog. The 30/30 challenge has a domino effect. One new thing leads to many others. That’s how I wound up walking with a friend down on Alki last week and that’s how I met Skyler Johnstone, founder of Be the Change Clothing Co. He was typing on a Tiffany blue typewriter across from the water and I couldn’t resist the chance to go up and find out what he was up to. This is also how my new series “The Intentional Expat Hits the Streets” was born. I’ll be featuring interviews with travelers, locals and other expats. Stay tuned for my interview with Skyler and check out his awesome clothing company’s Facebook page. 

ice bucket

Day 11: First time dumping ice water on my head (and donating to ALS). My mom and dad participated in the ALS ice bucket challenge last week and nominated me to be next. I was doubtful of if I should participate or not, but in the end I decided that it was absolutely worth it. I couldn’t just do the ice water part though, I also made a donation to the ALS Association


Day 12. First time teaching yoga to someone. I have to thank my mom and sister for giving me this idea. I try to do yoga most mornings, and I had thought it could be cool to get trained to be a yoga teacher in the future, but I’d never actually tried teaching yoga to anyone else. While I’m definitely in need of some official training, this experience definitely confirmed that I’ll be adding “yoga teacher” to my resume in the future. 


Day 13. First time going to my hometown’s new gluten free cafe and restaurant. I had the great fortune of meeting u with a fellow Seattleite/Spain transplant on Sunday morning. I met her back before my initial move to Spain by contacting her via the Facebook teaching assistants group. Turns out our parents had worked together for years and had always meant to introduce us! Her help was invaluable in my move to Spain. And on Sunday we stopped by Start Fresh Market, Burien’s new bakery/deli/natural market. I’m trying to take a break from coffee so I gave their chai a taste and it was so good that I even returned the next day to introduce my family to it! 


Day 14. First time visiting the newly renovated Seahurst Beach. A lot of people complain about life in Burien, but I have to say that after five years in Madrid, too far away from the water, I think everyone who lives in Burien is quite lucky because of how close they live to the water. It’s only a 30 minute walk from my parent’s house to the nearest beach and yesterday it finally opened up after a year long renovation project. People always say that the one thing lacking in Madrid is the beach (there’s even a song about it!) , and I couldn’t agree more! 

I’m heading back to Spain tomorrow after having spent all of August stateside with family and friends. Goodbyes are always bittersweet, but I can’t wait to see what sort of new things are in store for me in Madrid in the next couple weeks of the 30/30 Challenge! 

Do you have a suggestion for what I should do for the next 16 days of the 30/30 challenge? Have you been inspired to do your own 30/30 challenge? Let me know in the comments section or send me an email. 



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.

2 thoughts on “30/30 Bday Challenge: Week 2!

  1. Love hearing of your new adventures. Live is a buffet of wonderful experiences. You go girl.


  2. Ok, so I can’t spell. Life is a buffet.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s