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: 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: Meet Jhey!

It’s Monday and that means that it’s time for another edition of the Intentional Expat Interview Series. Last week’s interview with fellow blogger J Russell Mikkelsen was a huge success and this week I’m excited to introduce you to Jhey, a Spaniard living in the states. I also met him several years ago in Alicante when he was my Spanish teacher for four weeks. In the years that followed we traded places, but we’ve stayed in touch in the way all 21st century expats should…via postcards
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Walking the Walk: The End Always Arrives

In honor of #TBT (Throw Back Thursdays), I’ve been posting a series of blogs recounting my experience on Spain’s El Camino de Santiago. The experience taught me a great deal about life, even lessons that I would turn to months later to give me strength when life threw me a curve ball. Continue reading to hear how our arrival at our final destination, Santiago de Compostela, played out. 
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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 2014

Five years ago, I left the states with plans to create a home for myself here in Madrid. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one. Back in fall 2009, TEDx also made its way to Spain for the first time, with the first TEDxMadrid conference taking place on October 9th at the IE Business School. During the half of a decade that has passed since then, we’ve both put down roots here in Madrid and grown up through the process. Since 2009, I’ve transitioned from being merely one of thousands of English teachers in Spain’s capital city, to being a psychologist and PhD student. In the case of TEDxMadrid, it has blossomed into an all day event hosting speakers from around the world, and requiring an application process in order to ensure that the five hundred people in attendance come from a variety of backgrounds. This growth has also meant a change of scenery, with TEDxMadrid now taking place in Madrid’s former slaughterhouse turned cultural center, “El Matadero.”

While TEDxMadrid and I arrived on Spanish soil only weeks apart from one another, it wasn’t until this year that we formally met. Continue reading