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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30/30 Bday Challenge Week 4

In honor of turning 30 this year, I’ve challenged myself to do one new thing a day for 30 days: the 30/30 Birthday Challenge. It’s not always easy to find something new to do, but I’ve managed to pull it off. Read below to see what new things Week 4 had in store for me: 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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Expats Give Back: Madrid

Whether you’re heading back to Madrid this fall for another year of teaching, or getting ready to start your first year there, consider adding “volunteering” to the list of things you hope to experience while living in Spain’s capital city this year. There are a number of different volunteer opportunities available Continue reading


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Orange Tree Lined Avenues and Flamenco Dresses on Every Corner: My First Taste of Sevilla

I’ve decided to bring the #tbt trend that’s flooding social media sites each and every Thursday right here to my blog to post some of my old e-mails and blog posts from the past. I hope these give you a glimpse of how I fell in love with travel, made my dream of living in Spain a reality and figured out how to navigate the experience of living abroad. This particular e-mail is from Spring 2005 on my first trip abroad. Visiting Sevilla during their annual April Fair gave me and my fellow travelers a once in a lifetime experience that felt like something out of a movie. 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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Getting Bit by the Travel Bug

Back in March 2005, I travled abroad for the first time. For 12 weeks I traveled through Spain, France, Austria and Germany along with 30 students from my university and 2 professors. I hadn´t been in Madrid for more than a week when I wrote this email home to family and friends. I was already learning that travel was going to gift me with awkward moments that would turn out to be great stories to write home about (I would later say that they were ¨blogworthy¨). I´m still not sure when and why my initial dream of going abroad was born, but once I got a taste of travel…I was hooked!

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