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Ever since I was a little girl I always thought I would take over the world and dedicate my life to helping others and to writing so others could see the world through my eyes. Children can sound cheesy. But it’s that innocence from those times that I would like to go back to. Since I lived in a country where no one is open to the world I used to tell my mom that I would go to the best Art university in the city and become an actress or journalist and that was my plan to begin making those dreams come true. I had a plan and I was so sure of it. Then, my family moved us to a different country when I was in the difficult teens. My entire world changed and with that who I was too, and who I thought I was going to be. I did not know the language nor I had any friends to talk to. I developed a lack of self-stem  and I lost vision of my dreams. More specifically, at some point I did not know if I had any dreams or ambitions. The first few months were a nightmare and I still remember going to the restroom in school to cry. I had secret places everywhere where I would go and be my dramatic self. Well at the time it felt pretty painful to deal with so many changes. I went from being an active girl who was involved in every extra curricular activity and was the pack leader to simply being a ghost . I changed. I learned the language pretty quickly and made friends after a while, I can say I made friends that nowadays are family and I will talk about them in details. However, I will not disclose their names to protect their privacy. 

I understand my mother decided to pack up and go because she wanted a brighter future for my sister and I. She wanted for us to have the opportunity to discover the world and have experiences like any other human being should be given the chance to. As a stubborn child I did not see it like that. I thought she had broken my plan, she had taken me away from a perfectly happy life. It is true what people say. Teenagers can be selfish. It takes growing up to realize that my mother had our best interest at heart. She left her comfortable life to come into the unknown. She worked day and night and put herself through great adversities so we can have the chance to really have a plan. Looking at it from my perspective now, we human beings lack kindness. We never for a second put ourselves in other people’s shoes, we are selfish little shits. If we for a second took a moment to think why immigrants put themselves through all unthinkable horrors and adversities , then maybe we would leave some space to show them more kindness and understanding. On the other side, everyone immigrating makes sacrifices for others they love, which shows me that not everything is lost, that my faith in humanity is not all broken. We are not all completely selfishly built. There is a part in us that still loves and endures pain and suffering for the well being of others. That’s how I believe we should all comprehend it. Take a second to put yourself inside the story of an immigrant. 

I wanted to take this space to write about my life experiences and the perspective of the world I have because of these. Maybe that will change your view of your world to a more optimistic one. 7535B4BF-5A75-4857-AB1D-02F81C3FF88F Paris 2015

I want you to see the world through me . I don’t want you to agree with me, I want  you to see how these moments in my life have shaped me into the person I am. A teacher once told me never to believe what the author is saying. Create your own conclusion from the story you were told. My goal is for you as the reader to do that. I am not necessarily proud of myself yet, I still have a lot to do, like really  have a plan for instance. But, I do have a few things to tell. I will tell you about the things I have seen and learned, I will jump in time. I love to travel and experience new cultures. Believe me when I say that after I started traveling I have matured, I have become passionate about the world and those who live in it. I am more compassionate and humble for it. I definitely recommend those who have the possibility to open themselves to the world to just go and do it. This space is not meant to be fancy writing and intellectual, it’s just the mind of a simple girl who needs to speak now. I hope you can relate. I hope I can help you somehow and bring one positive into your life that you can pay it forward later. 75D2A88E-6702-4F0B-9BE3-B344E22024EA

Seville 2018

“The scary, Oh so wonderful Holiday Season”

What is it about this season that makes us all nostalgic and analytical of our lives? Is it because we know that another year has gone by and so many of the items in our lists were not checked off? Or is it the simple fact that we are getting older? I don’t know if it happens to all of you, but I have a love, hate relationship with the holiday season. Here is why? 

I remember when I was younger, I would only think is great since it would be time off from school, yummy food, family, friends and parties. Now, it is the reminder that those years are gone, even though the food and the parties with family and friends are still there. There is something about the decoration lights that make me feel nostalgic.

One year and its collection of memories

I sometimes seat in my chair and go somewhere deeper into my thoughts. I reminisce as I begin looking at those around me and see how their lives have completely blossomed into a different world, all in less than 365 days. Some of them have children now and are creating beautiful and complicated families. I do not mean complicated in a bad way. I see it as magical because every decision for them is now not about themselves, but of a little child that is completely dependent of what their parents will decide for them. It is a grand thing to watch. In the meanwhile, I feel as if I am the piano man, sitting in my corner watching stories develop in front of me, only in this case I’m not playing the piano of course.

Some of those important moments of the year that almost passed, are all playing in front of me, as if my mind had recorded a piece of each one of them. Some are happy, some are sad and some have no relevance at all now. However, somewhere deep inside me, something knows that these were important as well. Maybe I grew up a little more, if that can be said.

Flashes of airplanes, of future dreams, of tiny little hands touching my face, the idea of new little hands, mountains and wonderful meals. The smell of a blackberry pie in my hands and well maybe all over my face too. That moment when I hugged a tree and felt some kind of peace. I see flashes of me wondering through unknown streets and wanting to capture pieces of old architecture in my hands. Instead, I see myself working hard on taking a good photograph that then, I dismiss for not being good enough. Oh! that day when I bathed in the cold Mediterranean on a warm, summer day. The beach did not fit another individual and I was just happy. I am sure my cousin can attest to how gratifying it was to drink the coldest beer, overlooking at the ocean, a couple of hours after. Another hot summer night appears to the sound of a flamenco that touched my soul. For a moment, I realized that I had so deeply identified with a culture that might as well have been that of my ancestors. There was that morning in Seville that dropped in mind when I spoke to a stranger while he served us delicious, strong coffee and an almond pastry made by the gods. He made me think of my grandpa and how he used to take me to school every morning, but not before, stopping at “El Caminante Cafe” to have some “cafecito” and freshly made coconut pie. I think that is where my love for coffee and sugar comes from. It tastes of my Pipo.

There was that day this year while in Madrid, when I stood there in the middle of a white room full of people and watched Picasso’s immense and intense masterpiece “The Guernica”. As the details unraveled in front of me, I thought of how history has no memory because it tends to keep on repeating itself. I remembered how mad I felt because we humans are responsible for that. Then, right after, some dark moments unfolded as well. Hospital beds, and deep untold worries about a loved friend, a tiny bed in a hospital with a plastic cover that made my heart wrinkle a bit every time I walked into the cold and sometimes too bright room; it still does today. The fear that life keeps on moving and I cannot keep up with its pace. But, these fears and these scary moments helped come to the realization that most people always tell you, but you usually take for granted. Live your life! As long as you are alive, there is still time.

See what I tell you folks. The end of the year is always scary. It makes me over think the past and worry about the future too much. However, the beauty of it is in its hope, like a second chance, or a new destination, something new to learn and someone new to love. You have the next year to fix all the shit that you messed up on this one. Make it count, be brave. Here I leave you with some of the questions that constantly keep on coming back at the end of every year for couple of years now.

When did we all become conscious adults? When did my parents get older?

When did I become this? How will you surprise me New Year?

I’m still learning said Michaelangelo

Today has been raining. It has been a day where I have found myself drinking coffee nonstop and reading tons of articles. These past few days I could not bring myself to write a single word. Shoot! I thought I had lost my inspiration, and so quickly. I had just started this blog thing. Maybe I have just been too hormonal. By the way, I tend to blame my hormones for everything. Well, I also have been told I tend to get off focus very easily as you can see. Let me get back to it. As I was saying, I thought I had a million topics to talk about, like the latest places I have travelled to or other happy memories, but nothing was coming together. I kept telling myself that people do  not want to hear more about serious things and that I wanted to make my blog a place where the reader can find a moment to unwind and get away from the routine most of us endure on a daily basis. But a chain of small, but meaningful events in my life caused me to realize that, today I don’t want to write about happy memories. I would be a hypocrite if I made this space all about those themes without taking a moment to also portray what I don’t believe to be beautiful. Even though I am no one of great importance to the world or almost no one other than those close to me will read this, I feel the need to put it out there.

There are so many devastating events occurring in this world that how can we not take time to learn about it. Young adults nowadays don’t take time to read anymore. Individuals have lost the interest in educative reading. They have forgotten how reading feeds our souls. I honestly do not know if most of my generation takes an interest in knowing about our history, where we come from, how we have gotten to be us, how we were before, and how does all of that can shape our future, our evolution. Most do not take an interest in all that is impregnated in books that hold magical literature. The age of technology has been great in bringing discoveries in science and more, but it has also affected us a great deal. Think about it, we spend a high percentage of our day looking at social media and sometimes wishing the lives of others because they look so desirable when we see the photos and stories. We waste precious time looking at these people that we don’t know and we forget to focus our energy in living our own lives. We waste so much time being other people very much unlike the ones we truly are. It gets sometimes to the point where we don’t know if we ever knew who we were. Please don’t get me wrong, I think greatly of these forms of communication as they keep me updated and in tune with the world out there, it has opened me up to want to discover and adventure out more, and has pushed me to live more of the time I have been given by looking at how others are so motivated to not waste a second. It has taught me that I can do it too. Also, I believe it is a way to support the work of others in a way that it is easy to reach. However, we forget sometimes the fact that life isn’t like the fairy tales we portrait in social media, a lot of it is marketing, it is business. Support it and use it to your advantage, but do not be blinded by it and do not forget that as simple as it may sound, we all have problems. Do not let technology affect you in a negative aspect, that is the advise I give myself. I still feel the importance of losing myself in a book that talks about human emotion in such deep levels that it makes me crave those grand sentiments, and at the same time opens my curiosity in such a way that I desire to understand more of how are we designed, how can we experience such intense and complex feelings at one given moment.

Dear reader, do not lose sight of the imperativeness of knowledge. Ignorance is such a sad word in my eyes, we certainly do not need to add more of it to our world. That gives the powerful room to attack us. Dirty governments and corrupt politicians take advantage of those who have little knowledge and have weaker minds to become more powerful and destroy our home a bit more every day. Without awareness, facts, information, we are giving them the power to take over our futures and  the future of those who are meant to live in it after us. By not knowing we are feeding them, we are allowing them to destroy our history and what we were supposed to learn from it.

Take for example the fire that occurred last night in Rio de Janeiro. The National Museum is now in ashes and with it great part of our history has been destroyed forever. The palace housed incredible pieces of indigenous artifacts as well as Latin America’s leading collection of Egyptian mommies and Roman frescoes from the extinct city of Pompeii. Amongst the treasures lost was the Luzia, a skeleton of the oldest human remains in the Americas. This fire wiped years and years of research that all types of scientists dedicated to uncovering our past so we can better understand our future. Their passion and dreams gone with it. Over 90 employees without a job in which families depended on. A mourning day for all of us. You might think it is not that relevant, but you read about it more and see with your own eyes all the things that we lost during that horrific fire. What saddens me even more is that the government knew about it. They had been cutting the funds that kept the museum on its feet, leaving it to decay. They knew massive destruction could happen, yet they did nothing about it. They had the power to save a piece of us and took no part in it. To the contrary, to them is now over 531,000 extra reales to add to their own dirty pockets. Yes, that’s the misery they were giving the museum for maintenance a year, which equals to only about 150,000 dollars. A disrespect to themselves, but they are ignorant. They care to know little of where they come from, of their history, they have spent their lives feeding their souls with greed and thirst for power. Their vanity has no boundaries; their life work consists in making their power intensify. The fact that some of us are responsible in giving some of these despicable individuals more power is what upsets me tremendously.

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I know I have spoken about many different issues in this post, but my point is that the world is crying for us to read more, to educate ourselves more, to feed ourselves with information so that we can begin to be an asset to it. That is the first step. It is a way to protect ourselves and to become more useful. In the age of communication and technology we have only our own selves to blame for being ignorant. I have decided to write about it because even though people do not want to read about depressing subjects and it might not help me gain any more followers, I have learned that my purpose should not be to have more people follow me or become popular, but to use my mind for something I believe to be resourceful, to supply you with a little bit of my knowledge and to leave you with the desire to know much more than me; to seek out for yourselves all of that we should know because it is our responsibility to care. Let’s change the concept that others have created of us millennials and turn it into a generation that uses their tools in service of a better place to grow old in. Let’s keep making our home a more educated one so we can become more inclusive, powerful and kind world citizens.img_3131

Find me where culture sensuality meets the Ocean

When I was thinking about what to write next in my blog I thought I would like to talk about my experience in one of the cities I have visited, but then I thought why not start with the city I live in. I was born in Cuba, but as I mentioned in my previous blog my family moved us to Miami when I was only thirteen years old. Without spilling the beans about my age, I will say that I have lived in Miami the majority of my life. It was the first place where I fell in love, where I made friends for life and where I hold the most dear memories. Sometimes I feel like running away from it because of the traffic, the crazy lifestyle, the fact that the cost of living has sky rocketed in the last couple of years, we have no mountains and we do not see the change in seasons. Putting that aside, Miami has some incredible traits that attracts all sorts of visitors from all over the world. I will mention here the ones that to me, are the reasons why so many people call Miami the “ Magic City”

The Cultural Diversity is everywhere

If you have never visited Miami you will realize as soon as you step into the airport that most of our inhabitants are from some other part of the world. We are the definition of multicultural. I would not consider that English is the number one language spoken in Miami. To the contrary, Spanish I would say predominates and then what we so call ¨Spanglish¨, which is a mixture of Spanish with English, and some cultural slang is in the mix as well. What can I say we are colorful and special that way. I see this as a positive trait to posses because I’ve had the privilege to meet and interact with individuals from many different corners of the planet, even before I got a taste of the world itself. I have flavored and felt the warmth of other cultures before I ever thought of exploring outside of home. Coming from Cuban roots, I have been able to identify with friends who share the same family traditions, and at the same time I have learned about many other traditions from friends with different backgrounds. It’s feels like having a taste of different worlds at all times and for some reason that makes me feel at home. We are full of places to go emerge in the different colors of the varying cultures. For example, in “Calle 8” somewhere around Maximo Gomez Park you will find old men playing in the streets the famous Cuban dominoes game. In every corner you will find a cigar shop or a cafeteria to have a Cuban colada (Cuban style expresso) with a ¨pastelito” (famous Cuban pastry).

If you go to Wynwood you will find ¨The Walls¨ where local artists from all backgrounds use as a form of expression and promotion for their art. In Coral Gables you will notice that every streets has a Spanish name. If you have ever been to Seville you will notice that the 93 foot copper clad tower of “ The Biltmore Hotel” was modeled after the “ Giralda Tower”.  As you can see my city has a lot to offer and with this I move on to the next special Miami trait in my list and my personal favorite; ¨the food scene¨

Gastronomic multiplicity

Miami has always been known for its large variety of choices when it comes to gastronomy and mostly because of its cultural diversity. However, I always thought that we had more of a Latin flavor when it came to food. You can appreciate the influence of Cuban, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Venezuelan, Argentinian and many other colorful tastes. Although Latin food is still a big part of our culture, other flavors have been added to to our variety in the last couple of years. Due to the city´s continuous growth, the more the cosmopolitan it has become, the more different choices we have been offered when selecting what to eat. I have discovered great restaurants from all parts of the world. Not long ago my friends and I went to a Turkish/ Mediterranean restaurant called Mandolin Aegan, and oh boy what a delight. Just the taste of the olive oil and the baked feta! Definitely a must go. Miami has become very popular for the fusion concept and you will find having a flavor of different cultures with a twist in many restaurants.

Of course you do have to try the popular Cuban food if you are ever in town. My mom would be upset if you do not. “Old Havana Cuban Bar & Cocina” offers a wonderful taste of my roots. Please don’t leave without drinking a Mojito cocktail. You will regret it tremendously if you do.  Also, go to a Cuban bakery to have a pastelito or croqueta. These of course go hand in hand with a cortadito with leche evaporada, and for that I recommend “Versailles restaurant¨. This place brings unforgettable summer memories with one of my besties. We would go here sometimes after our Sunday yoga classes and it felt like the best form of meditation one could have.  My dear future Miami visitor you are not allowed to leave without trying a Venezuelan arepa! My personal favorite is called “ Reina pepiada” which is a mix of shredded chicken, avocado, cheese and mayo. However, you can have almost of anything inside the arepa. I could go on and on talking about the variety of flavors you will enjoy when you visit my town, but then I would never be able to go to bed tonight. So I will just say enjoy and forget about the calories!  

Miami is simply never dull

I think is in the bright and warm weather, but you will never find yourself bored in this city.  Every year millions and millions of tourists come just to visit our beaches and dance the nights away. Personally, I don’t think we have the best beaches but it’s more in the “vibes”. When you visit Miami Beach you will see that everyone there is just having a good time. Just go sun tan for a while and walk  by the water. Wait for sunset so you can welcome the night with a smile on your face. Then, go dance the night away! I tell you this because if you are in Miami you are obligated to have fun and what better way than going to explore your “latino” moves. “Ball and Chain” was the last place where I went with the girls and had a blast, however it does get extremely crowded. If you are like me,  you will feel the need to learn about what a city is all about until you feel a little bit like a local. Miami doesn’t have great museums or is one of those old cities with lots of architecture that tells its history. Our history, our passion, our flavor is outside in the streets and its people; we keep on growing and expanding.  In neighborhoods like the Design District, Little Havana, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Downtown, South Beach you will find a bit of the old with the new and we the people, will be happy to explain about our history.  Without generalizing you will find that we are sometimes loud and a little crazy, I apologize before hand for that, but Im certain that will be one of the reasons you will fall in love with Miami.  We are all different and unique. What can I say it’s part of our South Florida charm, we are passionate. It’s not hard to let yourself loose here, let the warmth of our sunshine fill your hearts with our rhythms . It can be magic, believe it.  Go explore, you will not regret it!! 

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Sunset at Key Biscayne

If you would like to ask for more tips or simply want to find out more about Miami, don’t hesitate to reach out!