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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The Intentional Expat Interview Series: Let’s Go There with J Russell Mikkelsen

I’m excited to announce that after several weeks, The Intentional Expat Interview Series is finally up and running! Each and every Monday I’ll be bringing you an interview with an expat, world traveler or an interesting individual who is living their best life possible at home. I already have several interviews lined up that I’m looking forward to sharing with you in the upcoming weeks. If you’re living abroad, have an interesting travel story to tell or want to share how you live life to the fullest wherever in the world you are,  send me a message to be part of the interview series.  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


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Walking the Walk: Here We Go!

Last week I started a #tbt Blogger Style series where each Thursday I’m writing about my experience of walking Spain’s Camino de Santiago back in 2013. Check out how it all got started in last week’s post and read on to discover the lessons I learned on my first day on the road.

What sort of adventure would be complete without a few stops along the way? 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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Travel Loves

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. 

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My Own Journey Towards Becoming an Intentional Expat

I wasn’t always an intentional expat. In fact, only a year ago  I would have considered myself more of an accidental expat rather than an intentional one. For me, it took four whole years in Spain and a painful breakup with my long-term Spanish boyfriend before I really took the reigns and began to invest in my best life possible abroad.

When I first came to Madrid back in Fall ’09, I did so with the very specific plan of staying for the ten months required by my work contract. I’d fill September through June with siestas, travel, and a full-on immersion in the Spanish culture, language (and nightlife).  A little short of a year to become more independent, find out who I was when everything that I’d used to define me was no longer around, and to clarify my life goals. And after doing all that, I’d return home to live a real, grown-up and responsible life.  Continue reading