CIGNA Expat 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-PerugiaAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Perugia, Italy

An expat talks about living in Perugia, Italy where locals aren't glued to their cell phones and family values are important. He also talks about the challenges of learning the language, obtaining a drivers license and more.

An expat talks about living in Perugia, Italy where locals aren't glued to their cell phones and family values are important. He also talks about the challenges of learning the language, obtaining a ...

Living-in-Buenos-AiresAn Expat Discusses Living in Buenos Aires, Argentina

An expat in Buenos Aires, Argentina talks about what it's like living in this bustling city in a time when its hard for expats and locals to get by financially. Many expats work remotely and at odd hours, which contributes to a lot of late-night diners at the city's many restaurants.

An expat in Buenos Aires, Argentina talks about what it's like living in this bustling city in a time when its hard for expats and locals to get by financially. Many expats work remotely and at odd h...

10 Tips for Living in the Netherlands

Expats from all over the Netherlands share their advice on what it's like to live there and what it takes to make the move a success.

Expats from all over the Netherlands share their advice on what it's like to live there and what it takes to make the move a success....

Cost of Living in Panama

Expats in Panama enjoy a relatively low cost of living. However, it's important to do your research to make sure you'll actually enjoy those saving while creating a high quality of life as an expat in Panama.

Expats in Panama enjoy a relatively low cost of living. However, it's important to do your research to make sure you'll actually enjoy those saving while creating a high quality of life as an expat i...

9 Best Places to Live in Colombia

Here are the 9 best places to live in Colombia according to expats living in Colombia. Expats share why they love living in each city, the climate, cost of living, social activities and more. Don't overlook the comments about heat and humidity in some coastal cities - while these conditions are ideal for some expats, they're oppressive for others.

Here are the 9 best places to live in Colombia according to expats living in Colombia. Expats share why they love living in each city, the climate, cost of living, social activities and more. Don't...

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