Aspiring Expat is a blog — and a person. Heather Larson is the aspiring expat. Journalist, blogger, coach, Reiki Master…and soon to be…world traveler. After the pandemic, of course.

The driving force behind her desire to become an expat is the drive to find something better. Curiosity is king! What else is out there? Heather has to know.

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For the love of travel

So far, she’s traveled in the U.S. all over California, Arizona, and some of Nevada. While she knows Arizona and California quite well, she’s also driven through New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. She’s also traveled to Mexico and her favorite city, Puerto Vallarta! She’s also been to Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan, but P.V. is her favorite. Maybe it’s because it’s where the band Mana is from? (Read her Mana concert review here, originally written by her in English but translated later).

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For the love of languages

Heather learned French throughout high school, then Spanish and Arabic in college. (Spoiler alert: She can speak one sentence in Arabic, and it’s not useful). She’s currently learning Polish for a future visit to Poland — where her ancestors are from…if she could just figure out which city!

For the love of cities

Heather’s favorite cities in America are San Francisco and Wichita, Kansas. (This is subject to change). But she wants to see so much more of the country! She keeps ties to S.F., Kansas, Arizona, and Boston — the home of her alma mater, Boston University.

For the love of Poland & medical research

Part of the reason for travel is doing CJD research at UCSF’s Memory & Aging Center and, in the future, in Boston with Prion Alliance. Heather is working to learn Polish in hopes of doing research in Poland as well. By “doing research,” Heather serves as a “guinea pig,” devoting her body to science in hopes it will help researchers cure CJD, or Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease. Heather’s family is Polish and carries the E200K mutation. In her spare time, she works to connect genealogical and scientific research back to Poland…and possibly, Belarus. Read more on this on her CJD blog.

For the love of (gluten-free) food

Heather has been of wheat/gluten since 2009 and her goal is to travel safely and inspire other celiacs to do the same. She’s only been “glutened” once while traveling — in San Francisco of all places!

Curiosity, language, science, food, and fun are her motivations to travel. She hopes you’ll follow her journey as the Aspiring Expat here.

She’s also doing Yoga Teacher Training in the fall of 2020, with the goal of traveling to learn and teach yoga all over the world.

Aspiring Expat, Heather Larson

Get in touch at AspiringExpatHeather [at] gmail [dot] com

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About Heather Larson, The Aspiring Expat

Heather Larson is a freelance writer, content creator, and marketing strategist with a broadcast journalism background. She founded Aspiring Expat in the summer of 2020 to chronicle her growing passing as someone who desires Polish citizenship.

This passion led to Polish language learning and seeking answers to her genealogical background. Heather researches to learn as much as she can about the Zadzielkas and Zielinskis from Poland. She’s also searching for answers about her family’s E200K genetic mutation of fCJD.

Heather grew up as a third-generation Pole in the United States. She took French language courses throughout high school, Spanish and Arabic in college, and is now working on her Polish language skills.

Her mother and grandfather spoke Polish around her as a small child. Heather is now on a mission to recover her family’s Polish roots, often teaching her cousin what she learns. She wants to bring back this beautiful culture to the family after two generations assimilated to the American way.

It is Heather’s belief that assimilating to a new culture is vital but should never lead to cultural erasure.

She desires to visit Poland and Belarus post-pandemic in order to see the places where her great-grandparents were from while also working toward her own Polish Citizenship by Presidential Grant. She also wishes to be able to find how far back she can trace CJD in her Polish family tree. This could help with medical research.

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