Mindful Expat Episode 41: Living with Health & Safety Threats: The Present Moment as a Place of Sanctuary (With Guest: Amanda Zetah)

Today’s Mindful Expat Guest is Amanda Zetah!

Amanda is originally from the United States, from the state of Colorado. While she was in college, inspired by the dream of becoming a travel writer, she started traveling independently and soon caught the travel bug. As soon as she graduated, she jumped at the opportunity to start traveling full-time. Over the past 6 years of traveling independently, Amanda has been to over 60 different countries. She has spent time living in Sierra Leone, Iraq, Myanmar, and she now lives in Azerbaijan, where she works as an English teacher.

In addition travel, Amanda is also passionate about staying healthy – both physically and emotionally. From her own first-hand experience, she knows that travelers face some extra challenges in this realm, so she has started a website and blog for fellow health-conscious travelers called Health Nut Nomad, where she shares ideas and insights on ways to stay healthy and grounded while on the move.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

• About Amanda’s experiences of facing the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone as well as a car bombing in Iraq — and how she has learned to both face her fears as well as continue to live in the present moment as she continues her journey of traveling the world.

• Amanda’s journey of discovering a mindfulness practice that works for her and allows her to feel more present in her day-to-day life.

• Some of Amanda’s favorite parts about living in some of the amazing places she has now lived — experiences that she might have missed out on if she had been solely focused on potential dangers rather than living in the present moment.

• Breaking down some misconceptions about mindfulness and discussing how the simple practice of coming back to the present moment can actually get us out of our heads and back into our lives. 

Resources mentioned in today’s episode:

• Amanda mentioned the book, The Alchemist, by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. This international best-seller (translated into at least 70 different languages) shares the simple story of a young man on a journey and has been widely interpreted to represent the journey we must all undertake to find our path in life or our destiny.

• The quote Amanda shares with us (which can be found here) is actually not from an anonymous source, but rather from Lebanese-Canadian poet and speaker Najwa Zebian.

• After we finished our interview (not included in today’s episode), Amanda also shared another helpful resource with me — a book written by her aunt, Terri Leichty, called Body Love Food Peace: Ten Practices to End the War, on mindful eating and developing a more compassionate relationship with our own bodies. Amanda also recently wrote about this topic on her blog, and this article can be found here.

More about Amanda and how to follow up with her:

To learn more about Amanda, you can visit her website, Health Nut Nomad, where she brings together ideas from fellow travelers on how to stay fit and healthy while traveling and living abroad. Some of her articles that you might be interested in checking out include this one on meditation practices for travelers, or this one on coping with anxiety.

You can also find Amanda on Twitter, and you can connect with her through this page of her website.

Stay in Touch!

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And, finally, if you’d like to get in touch and leave me a voice message with a question or comment that may be played in a future episode, you can do so here!

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