Cigna International Health Insurance

The Intentional Expat

A blog written by an American psychologist in Madrid, Spain. With advice on well-being, mental health and living your best life abroad.

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This blog is geared towards intentional expats, those people who have left their home to experience life in another country and culture and wants to proactively take the steps to make the very most of this exciting, memorable, and inevitably challenging, life change.

I myself wasn't always an intentional expat. My journey started almost ten years ago when I traveled outside of North America for the first time with a study abroad tour organized by my university. Although I initially had low expectations for Spain, our first stop on our Euro trip, it only took a couple of days in Madrid before I had fallen in love with the country. By the end of week one, I had already taken a vow that I would move there one day. And that's exactly what I did. In September 2009, I took a nine month break from working in the field of psychology to try my hand at teaching English in Madrid. Nine months turned into what has now been five years of battling the ups and downs of life abroad to make another dream come true, by uniting my love for Spain with my love for psychology: I now work as a mental health therapist in Madrid.

This blog is the place to find out how I made my dreams come true, as well as to get some invaluable tips on living your own best life abroad in Spain, or wherever in the world you might find yourself. Drawing on my personal experience and professional expertise I'll be writing about the joys of travel, mindfulness, emotional resiliency, homesickness, creating a community while abroad, finding yourself, and more. Since I believe that a good sense of humor is one of the best resources we have for bolstering our mental health and staying sane in the midst of cultural misunderstandings, you'll also find some posts that are for nothing more than laughs. My hope is that expats around the world will find this blog to be helpful as they navigate the roller coaster of living outside of their home country.

Culture-Shock-in-HannoverAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Hannover, Germany

Do you need to learn German before moving to Hannover? What are Germans like? An expat talks about living in Hannover, the cultural stereotype about German people being rude, healthcare in Germany and more.

Do you need to learn German before moving to Hannover? What are Germans like? An expat talks about living in Hannover, the cultural stereotype about German people being rude, healthcare in Germany a...

Living-in-HuatulcoAn Expat Discusses Living in Huatulco, Mexico

An expat in Huatulco talks about living in this remote part of Mexico, which is a 7 hour drive from the nearest city. He cautions anyone considering a move to be realistic about whether or not they can handle the isolation and remoteness.

An expat in Huatulco talks about living in this remote part of Mexico, which is a 7 hour drive from the nearest city. He cautions anyone considering a move to be realistic about whether or not they ...

Health-Care-in-New-York-CityHealth Care in New York City

New York City is widely regarded as one of the best places in the world for specialized health care. Here are some important medical resources for expats living in New York City.

New York City is widely regarded as one of the best places in the world for specialized health care. Here are some important medical resources for expats living in New York City....

Healthcare-in-AustriaHealthcare in Austria

Expats in Austria have access to highly respected private and public hospitals, English-speaking doctors and more.

Expats in Austria have access to highly respected private and public hospitals, English-speaking doctors and more. ...

Healthcare-in-BostonHealthcare in Boston

Expats in Boston have access to excellent healthcare and hospitals attached to the best medical schools in the world. As with other parts of the U.S., it's imperative to know your coverage before you access any kind of care or purchase prescription medication.

Expats in Boston have access to excellent healthcare and hospitals attached to the best medical schools in the world. As with other parts of the U.S., it's imperative to know your coverage before you...

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