The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad


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TEDxMadrid 2014

Five years ago, I left the states with plans to create a home for myself here in Madrid. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one. Back in fall 2009, TEDx also made its way to Spain for the first time, with the first TEDxMadrid conference taking place on October 9th at the IE Business School. During the half of a decade that has passed since then, we’ve both put down roots here in Madrid and grown up through the process. Since 2009, I’ve transitioned from being merely one of thousands of English teachers in Spain’s capital city, to being a psychologist and PhD student. In the case of TEDxMadrid, it has blossomed into an all day event hosting speakers from around the world, and requiring an application process in order to ensure that the five hundred people in attendance come from a variety of backgrounds. This growth has also meant a change of scenery, with TEDxMadrid now taking place in Madrid’s former slaughterhouse turned cultural center, “El Matadero.”

While TEDxMadrid and I arrived on Spanish soil only weeks apart from one another, it wasn’t until this year that we formally met. Continue reading


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TEDxMadrid: Reflections on the Creative Process and How I Got Myself Into this Mess

In March 2005, I embarked on my very first trip outside of North America. Along with 29 other students from my university, I boarded a flight to Europe to embrace twelve weeks of travel throughout Spain, France, Austria, Germany, and Italy. I’ve often been asked what inspired me to sign up for this trip and the truth is that I have no clue. My family never traveled abroad, my experiences outside the states up to this point had been limited to a couple trips up to Vancouver, B.C. and I didn’t have any desire to learn a foreign language. But I knew without a doubt that I wanted to go abroad during college. The only possible explanation is that Continue reading