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.

Moving to Japan

If you're moving to Japan this is a must-read article highlighting tips from expats in Japan. Topics covered include driver's licenses, healthcare in Japan, international schools and more.

If you're moving to Japan this is a must-read article highlighting tips from expats in Japan. Topics covered include driver's licenses, healthcare in Japan, international schools and more. ...

Moving to Valencia

Expats moving to Valencia enjoy life on the Mediterranean coast and a cost of living that is lower than what expats in Barcelona and Madrid must absorb.

Expats moving to Valencia enjoy life on the Mediterranean coast and a cost of living that is lower than what expats in Barcelona and Madrid must absorb....

Healthcare in Panama

Expats have differing opinions about healthcare in Panama. Many advice against public hospitals and healthcare, but some recount good experiences. This article covers public vs private healthcare, cost of healthcare, obtaining prescription medications and much more.

Expats have differing opinions about healthcare in Panama. Many advice against public hospitals and healthcare, but some recount good experiences. This article covers public vs private healthcare, c...

Retirement-In-MedellinAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Medellin, Colombia

A retiree in Medellin talks about loving life in Medellin - it's been a great change of pace for him and his wife. He says that while some expats live on $1,500 per month, others live in $3,000.

A retiree in Medellin talks about loving life in Medellin - it's been a great change of pace for him and his wife. He says that while some expats live on $1,500 per month, others live in $3,000. ...

Moving-To-Nueva-Gorgona-An Expat Talks about Moving to Nueva Gorgona , Panama

An expat talks about moving to Nueva Gorgona and advises newcomers to rent before buying so that you can move if you don't end up liking the neighborhood. We couldn't agree more with this advice!

An expat talks about moving to Nueva Gorgona and advises newcomers to rent before buying so that you can move if you don't end up liking the neighborhood. We couldn't agree more with this advice! ...

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