The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad


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The Intentional Expat Interview Series: An English Teacher in Western Mongolia

The past few weeks of interviews have been a huge success! The first week we heard from J Russell Mikkelsen, an avid traveler and blogger and last week got a glimpse at life abroad for a Spaniard living in the USA. Today’s interview comes from fellow blogger Tina, who got in touch with me a few weeks ago to be part of the interview series. I took one look at her blog, Kulturschock! and sent the questions her way. While we haven’t met personally, Tina has the Intentional Expat spirit written all over here. An American who got an MA in Germany and is now teaching English in none other than Western Mongolia, this is a woman who is taking life by the horns and living her best life abroad. Like she says in her “About Me” section of her blog:  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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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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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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Even the Adventurous Have Their Doubts

Another issue of #tbt blogger style. As I write this, I´m sitting at SeaTac airport, waiting to board my flight back to Madrid . I’ve had the great luck of spending the entire month at home in Seattle, which is something I’ve done every year since I moved to  Madrid back in September 2009, While I love getting to spend quality time with my family and friends, time I probably would never cherish as much if I could see them whenever I wanted, it’s always hard to transition from one home to the other. Tears are inevitible whichever side of the world I´m saying goodbye to. Here’s a glimpse at some of the doubts I felt when I embarked on another adventure back in March 2008.  I had taken a leave of absence from my job at a children’s psychiatric hospital to attend a three-month intensive language course in Alicante and Madrid, Spain and despite months of planning, I suddenly found myself wondering if I hadn’t made a mistake. Continue reading


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30/30 Bday Challenge: Week 2!

I’m turning 30 next week and in honor of this milestone birthday, I’m choosing to embrace the ageing process by doing one new thing everyday for 30 days (The 30/30 Bday Challenge, an idea which to the best of my knowledge I came up with myself). You can read more about how I got inspired to do the challenge on my week 1 post. And here’s a recap of how week 2 went.  Continue reading


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30/30 (for my 30th) Birthday Challenge

I’m spending the month of August at home with family in the states (Seattle), and since I usually only get to visit once a year I’m spending the weeks maximizing quality time with family and friends. Which is why, despite never in my life having had any sort of desire to do so, I found myself dragging my feet to join my golf-enthusiast family on a trip to the driving range last week. Mind you, it took quite a deal of coaxing on their part to convince me to join along, but their personalized cajoling which included things like “be spontaneous,” “get out of your comfort zone” and “you can blog about it later,” finally got me out the door with them.

And to my surprise, I discovered that I actually enjoyed hitting the golf ball with all my might and improving my technique with every swing. If nothing more, I could at least recommend golf as a great stress reliever to future patients. But I also discovered that great ideas can be born while swinging a golf club, which is how I came up with my plan of how to celebrate my 30th birthday. Continue reading