Category Archives: The Personal

Speaking Out on What’s Happening In Dominican Republic

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I have often written, both here on this site and across social media, about my Dominican heritage and my pride for the same.

And today I want to write something a little different that I hope you will read as well.

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Family is everything

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This is the foundation upon which I raise my children. This is the mantra I repeat in my head. And this week, where one of the most important milestones of my family’s life took place, and where I haven’t, until now, been able to work or blog, barely tweet or Facebook, I have had to exhale in release of the stress from the pressure that I place on myself for being “quiet” and “absent” and remind myself, “family first”. It’s interesting how we often talk about the freedom that blogging and social media has provided so many of us. The freedom to create our own businesses and carve our own name and reputation in this space, and yet, I have found, so many of us trapped. Trapped in the expectations we feel others have of us, to the extent that this so-called freedom we claim to have becomes a lie.

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Planting the seeds

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Anyone who has been stuck in a conversation with me as of late, has heard about me going on and on about the backyard reno in our new house.

This is who I have become, my friends. Since we’ve bought this old house, my husband and I have been obsessed with making changes, fixing, and renovating it. I barely recognize me anymore. I can’t remember the last time I felt so grounded, so happily settled in one place. For the longest time I’ve lived on this cloud of wanderlust, daydreaming of the many places around the world I would want to live, for a bit, and explore and write about.

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Lost and Found, Lost and Found Again

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Over the past few years since I started blogging, I have shared many stories of my mother Cynthia, my father’s second wife, the one who would love and raise me as her daughter, even though biologically I wasn’t, even though her marriage with my father ended terribly, and till the day she died.

I have talked about Cynthia and about how she taught me about strength, even when all the odds were stacked up against her, about the love for travel, and most importantly, about unconditional love, as it is what she always gave me.

I’ve talked about how much I’ve missed her, the many things I wish I could share with her, and the many ways I wish I could still tell her that I love her.

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Weathering the storm with The Ultimate Survival Guide

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Another storm hits the East Coast. This time it came with rain for a nice icy, chilly feel. Everything, from cars to trees to phone lines and electric cables are covered in ice.

I sit in my warm home sighing with relief that at least it didn’t cause a black out – or maybe I speak too soon.

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New Home, New Chapter

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We have lived in our cool New Jersey town for 3.5 years now. The move from New York seemed bittersweet at first, though sweeter as we looked forward to settling down in a place that offered more room, more serenity, and a new scene. NYC is only a 30 minute train ride, but it feels like a world away, in the good sense, and we have enjoyed living the best of both worlds.

The years flew by. I almost can’t believe it. If you have followed me all along you might even agree that it feels like only yesterday.

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Before I kiss 2014 Goodbye

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Thank you for another wonderful year of readership, friendship, community, support, and affection.

This wonderful life of ours has been a beautiful roller coaster of lessons in family, marriage, courage, and the pursuit of individual passions.

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Empowering Yourself By Defining Your Own Identity

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I am almost always the biggest (fattest) person on almost every single travel media trip I am on. I am often the only person of color, which is always interesting. I am sometimes almost always the oldest too, but that’s not as obvious sometimes. Definitely not as obvious as my physical self.

I was recently on a trip where the tour guide didn’t know I could speak Spanish and referred to me as “la gordita” (the fatty), when speaking to her partner. I said nothing. 

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Gentrification in Our Communities and Travels, and Our Role In It

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I must’ve have been 10 years old. I had just moved to the Dominican Republic from Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I was spending the weekend at our family’s beach condo.

My father had said I could venture to the beach across the street on my own. That it was safe. I only needed to go through the hotel which was built in front of the beach and had since claimed it for its guests. I just had to let them know I lived in the condos across the street and I would be given a wrist band to wear to show that I belonged there.

As I sat on the beach, I noticed security guards along the premises and asked one of the women serving me my cold lemonade, why they were there.

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Share A Meal, Project Sunlight, & Feeding My Community

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The new face of hunger represents people that you and I would never dream would be faced with this situation.” – Lisa Houston, FIND Food Bank, India, CA.

I was a lucky child growing up. Even when living in the poverty stricken area of La Perla in Puerto Rico, my single mother managed to always find food for my sister and I. I remember, still, almost 38 years later, the face of hunger in the other kids where I lived who weren’t always as fortunate and the stress my mother experienced almost daily. Because I didn’t experience much hunger growing up, I can think back at our poverty and not be sad about it.

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