The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad


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Facing my Fears: The Long Overdue End to my 30/30 Bday Challenge

In honor of turning 30 back on September 1st, I decided to spend 30 days doing one new thing a day. While the challenge ended almost two months ago, I am only now getting around to blogging about the last two days. Turns out being 30 is keeping me quite busy! But since it came to a close with a fairly “blogworthy” Day 30 challenge, I had to share it here. Read on to find out what the last day of my challenge had in store.  Continue reading

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English Speaking Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Madrid (Online Sessions Available)

After having this blog for a little over a month, I´ve finally published a tab that includes information about the therapy services I offer both in Madrid (in-person sessions) as well as online (for those living outside of Madrid seeking an English-speaking therapist)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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A Person-to-Person Experience: My First Time Volunteering at a Food Bank

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When one of my closest friends from home found out about my 30/30 Birthday Challenge, she jumped at the opportunity to recruit me as a volunteer for the nonprofit organization she works at. “Have you ever volunteered at a food bank before?” she inquired. While I had participated in a variety of different volunteer opportunities throughout my teens and early 20’s, I scanned through my memory and realized that a food bank had never made the list. In the spirit of being open to trying any new opportunities that come my way during the 30 day challenge, I enthusiastically agreed to dedicate day eight to seeing what it was like to volunteer at a food bank.

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Are You Ready to Go Abroad?

In my recent blog post, “Living a Story Worth Telling,” I encouraged you to remember that you only have one life to live and to consider “what do I want to include in my own life story?” I ended the post with two exercises that are helpful for identifying specific things you want to experience during your lifetime. But imagine that you’ve written a letter to your closest friend five years from now and to your surprise, you’ve told him/her that you’re living somewhere different than you are now. What if, you’re living in your home country now, but you’ve realized that in the future you want to live abroad and/or travel extensively? Continue reading


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10 Tips for Staying Sane Overseas

Last night I was asked on Twitter by fellow global citizen Longing to Travel, for my tips on keeping a positive attitude abroad. What a great question and one I’ve got a lot of answers to that I’ll be writing about more in detail here in the future. But in the meantime, I’ve come up with a summarized version of my top ten tips to keep a “glass half full” mentality Continue reading


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Know the Warning Signs to Prevent a Life Cut Short

I’m continually astounded by how fragile life is. As we go through our time on this earth, we are forced to come to terms with this upsetting reality, and so often it’s a result of the news of an unexpected and tragic death. A life cut short.

Probably nothing causes us more confusion than learning that this abrupt ending to a life was carried out intentionally. People around the world will fall asleep tonight asking themselves the unanswerable “Why?” after hearing about the tragic death, a suspected case of suicide, of Robin Williams. An actor whose humor and smile touched the lives of so many during the past few decades. A comedian who in trying to make us smile, may have lost his own joy. Continue reading