The Intentional Expat

Living Your Best Life Abroad


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#TBT: Bienvenidos to the Cold and Flu Season (2009)

Every Thursday I publish a post from another blog I used to have in honor of Throwback Thursday (#TBT). This week’s post is from exactly five years ago (October 2009) when I’d been living in Madrid and working as an English teaching assistant for a little over a month. It seems appropriately timed since Madrid’s weather is just as strange right now. Although Madrid’s weather patterns seem to have remained the same, my life has changed a lot over these past five years though and I’m hoping my immune system is quite a lot stronger too!  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: 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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Walking the Walk: Taking Pleasure in the Small Things

Each Thursday (in honor of Throw Back Thursday #tbt), I feature a blog post from the past and for the last three weeks I’ve been doing a series on my experience doing a section of Spain’s El Camino de Santiago last year. Last week I wrote about how my second day on El Camino taught me the importance of relying on your friends to help you push forward during tough (especially rainy) times. This week I’m on day three and although there was less rain, the distance and hills made for a long and exhausting day. 

Day three on El Camino would be our longest of all, with 28 km (17 miles) lying between Palas de Rei and that afternoon’s destination of Arzua. The prior day the hostel receptionist had warned us that this section of the trip was incredibly difficult. Even people who had completed the entire Camino several times agreed that this part was the hardest. Continue reading


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Walking the Walk: Getting Set for the Camino de Santiago

Welcome to my latest #tbt Blogger style post. This time I’m trying something new by featuring a series of blogs from the past. For the next few Thursdays you can read about my experience walking the last 100km of the Camino de Santiago, a popular experience among those seeking an alternative tourism experience, a chance to reflect and meditate, or the opportunity to get some great exercise and see the beautiful countryside of NW Spain. While I knew I wanted to do the Camino, I never expected the ultimately life changing experience it would turn out to be.  Continue reading


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The Big Blog Exchange Contest: It´s the Journey, Not the Destination, Which Matters

It´s been a whirlwind couple of weeks since I launched this blog. I now have a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and Pinterest page all aimed at helping to promote it. In these three short weeks, I’ve learned a great deal about how to be a successful blogger and I’ve had the chance to connect with some great people out there in the blogging community. And without a doubt, being involved in my very first blog contest, The Big Blog Exchange, has only added to the excitement! I had the privilege of 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