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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Walking the Walk: Why Was It So Life Changing?

For the past six weeks, each Thursday (in honor of #TBT, “Throw Back Thursday),  I’ve been sharing blog posts that I wrote back in 2013 regarding everything I learned on my week long trip along Spain’s El Camino de Santiago during Spring Break (Semana Santa) 2013.

 In Part 1 of the series, I hinted on the fact that it had been a life changing experience. Today I’d like to explain just why that was. I wrote those posts when I was going through a particularly difficult time in life and in order to get through it I did what I’ve always done during moments of emotional turmoil: I turned to writing to help me to make sense of things. By reflecting on my experience on “El Camino” through my writing, I was able to recall some of the important lessons I learned along that weeklong journey and this ultimately helped me to continue on through the darkness until I arrived at the end of that particular emotional journey:     Continue reading


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Walking the Walk: Almost There

In honor of “Throw Back Thursday” (#tbt), I’m posting a series of entries regarding my experience of doing Spain’s “El Camino de Santiago” in the Spring of 2013. The experience taught me a great deal about myself and life in general. Read on to see how our second to last day went, and to hear the story that brought us to tears and made the extra 10km we’d walked absolutely worth it.   Continue reading


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How To Survive Being An Expat

Insightful and humorous, this article written by an American expat living in Italy offers great tips for surviving life abroad. Enjoy!

Living In Italy.Moving To Italy. Loving In Italy. Laughing In Italy.

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1. Appreciate Your Life

Be thankful that you wake up alive each morning. Don’t take your situation for granted, most people never get the chance to live abroad and experience what you’re experiencing. Don’t sweat the small stuff like the fact that in Italy people have no concept of sidewalk space and they would rather throw you in front of a bus instead of stepping aside. So what! You stepped in dog shit and getting your residency is difficult, at least you’re not dying from terminal cancer.

2. Make Friends (It’s way better than sitting in front of FB all day crying)

Having good friends can make or break any experience. What do you love to do? Find a group of people who like the same thing and get to know them. Join a writer’s group, a painters group, a knitting circle. Friends will not come to your door magically…

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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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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