The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad

The Big Blog Exchange Contest: It´s the Journey, Not the Destination, Which Matters

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It´s been a whirlwind couple of weeks since I launched this blog. I now have a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and Pinterest page all aimed at helping to promote it. In these three short weeks, I’ve learned a great deal about how to be a successful blogger and I’ve had the chance to connect with some great people out there in the blogging community. And without a doubt, being involved in my very first blog contest, The Big Blog Exchange, has only added to the excitement! I had the privilege of competing with bloggers from all around the world for the chance to win a ten day trip to the country that another one of the winners calls home, hence the ¨exchange¨ part of the contest title. In order to increase votes, I used all sorts of forms of communication to reach out to people:

  1. My Blog: I posted the BBX banner all over my blog page and even wrote a post explaining to readers just why they should vote for me. 
  2. E-mail: I sent e-mails to all of my family and friends enlisting their support
  3. Facebook: I used both my personal Facebook page as well as my blog´s Facebook page to post to my friends and those who´ve ¨liked¨ my page explaining the contest to them and asking for their votes. But I even took it a step further and sent private messages to over 150 of my Facebook friends who I hadn´t been in touch with in quite some time. I´ve had a great time catching up with people who I haven´t spoken to in months or even years.
  4. Twitter: I regularly kept my followers up to date on my status in the contest and asked for their help in getting me to the next round of the contest so that I could have a chance to go travel and see how expats and travelers are pursuing well-being in other parts of the world.
  5. Whatsapp Messenger: The preferred form of communication over here in Spain, I sent whatsapps to everyone who I hadn´t been able to connect with already.
  6. Good Old Fashioned Word of Mouth: I found ways to bring up this blog contest with everyone I talked to over the past couple of weeks. And to my surprise most people I talked to were excited to hear about it, they wanted to read my blog and were eager to show their support

Sadly, despite the fact that my efforts were able to earn me 141 votes in a week and a half, I only made it to #30 in the Americas and therefore wasn’t one of the top 25 finalists in this region that passed on to the second round of voting. There are two still wildcard winners who will be chosen among all of the contestants who didn’t make it in the top 25 of their region, so my fingers are crossed, but the truth is that I’ve had such a great time during these past 11 days as I promoted my blog and got in touch with friends, new and old, that I can’t complain about not making it to the next round. It’s been a fantastic ride so far!

Not to mention that there’s plenty to look forward to sharing with all of you in upcoming blog posts. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect:

  • Interviews with expats, travelers and locals who are working hard to live their best life possible in “The Intentional Expat Hits the Streets” Interview Series. If you want to be part of this series, get in touch! We can also do an interview via e-mail if we’re not in the same part of the world.
  • Posts on how I finish up the last two weeks of my 30/30 Birthday Challenge, doing one new thing each and every day for thirty days.
  • A recap on my first experience at a TED event when I attend TEDxMadrid on September 27th.
  • If you’re in Madrid, check back here to find out more about the creativity workshops I’m putting together to help people discover their creative side and unlock their full potential in their personal and professional lives. I’m also starting at a new psychology clinic in the next couple weeks where I’ll be accepting new clients so please get in touch if you have questions about either of these things!
  • I’ve got a few different e-book ideas in the works and I’m looking forward to being able to share the details of the first one with you in the near future.
  • And there are numerous articles that you can look forward to reading here in the weeks and months to come. Some of the topics soon to be published include: seeing a doctor overseas, international relationships, my experience of getting kicked out of the oldest restaurant in the world, how to face a fear of flying and my weekly #tbt blogger style posts in which I’ll share some writing about one of my past trips or experiences.

Although I’m disappointed that I probably won’t be adding an exciting international trip to my agenda before the end of 2014, I’ve got plenty to look forward to and I’m excited to be able to share it with all of you! I’m always open for blog ideas and ways to collaborate with other bloggers and businesses so please send me a note if you’ve got something in mind. And thank you to each and every one of you who voted and supported me in the Big Blog Exchange contest! I’m a big believer in the “pay it forward” idea so please let me know how I can help you out next!

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Walking the Camino de Santiago in spring 2013 taught me firsthand that it’s the journey, not the destination, that really matters. Check back on Thursdays (#tbt blogger style) to see what other life lessons I learned on that trip.


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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