The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad


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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A Person-to-Person Experience: My First Time Volunteering at a Food Bank


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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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