Tag Archives: personal

We cannot escape this

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Travel has always served as a form of escapism. From the stresses of work, from our daily routines, from a life we want to leave behind. It has always been promoted as the thing that one must do to regain their sense of self, their well-being, and mental balance.

Travel has been many of those things for me and remains a great source of reprieve when I need it most.

But as we see our country implode, its ugliest, angriest, and most violence facets come to surface, there is one thing I have learned for sure: we cannot escape this.

There is no room for silence. There’s not time for sideline standing. It doesn’t matter that you don’t want to get involved. This is happening. 

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How blogging has motivated me to keep my young kids off of social media

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Despite the fact that I spend so much time on social media promoting my work, networking, and engaging with my friends, family, and readers, I have not allowed my younger children, now 12 and 10 to use it. I had a temporary lapse of judgment and allowed them to start a YouTube channel where they weren’t showing their faces, but sharing info on toys – because it’s what all the cool kids are doing these days – but I almost immediately regretted and deleted it.

I never allowed my boys to jump on the Pokemon Go! bandwagon, and they do not have Facebook, or Instagram, or Snap, or any of it. The most they can do is play video games and we have to approve (and personally know) anyone they connect with online with for joint gaming. They do love to watch YouTube gaming videos, which means hours of setting up filters, and guards, and passwords, and online time limiting software to keep them away from the garbage often found there.

You would think that as a blogger who has experienced success online that I would be onboard with my kids picking up the tricks of the trade as soon and as much as possible, but after almost a decade exclusively working online, I would prefer they find success in other ways. If my kids never blogged outside of an official, paying job, I wouldn’t mind it at all.

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Travel choices: When ethics, community solidarity, and ambition for personal growth collide

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But first, let me tell you how spreading ignorance, fear, and misinformation of a place has influenced me personally.

When my husband and I decided to get married, we decided to do so in the Dominican Republic. It is not only a beachy, sunny, beautiful destination, it is also where half my family is from. Because my father owns vacation rentals there, we were able to secure a few beach apartments free of charge for my husband’s family all of which were traveling from Wisconsin and had never been to the island. We were all going to be close to each other and they would never have to navigate the area alone as I would always be around to translate.

We gave everyone a year’s notice to plan their trip and settle their budgets. Almost all of them were excited to come.

Except for one of my husband’s closest relatives. They were unsure about the safety of traveling to a “Third World Country”, a descriptor that no longer applies to the small island, whose technology is the same as that of the U.S. and which leads in comparison to most Latin American countries.

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Traditions and things

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As the winter months start to settle in, my family and I start planning at least one big trip for the incoming year. I think the reason we initially started taking our annual excursions was because after our very first cross-country 2009 road trip with little ones, we returned feeling like there was nothing we couldn’t do. We still don’t know where we will be venturing to in 2017. The list is long, we’re still figuring out the budget, and with the boys getting older, their input on how and where we travel has become more valuable.

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November was hard, but it also changed my life

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It’s the last day of November 2016 and what seemed like a hopeful time at the start of the month has become somewhat filled with uncertainty for so many. Who knew 30 days could pack such a punch?

However, this isn’t my first rodeo. There have been a lot of really tough times – which honestly have felt even tougher because they have been so much more personal in the past. I have allowed myself all the emotions that come as a result of these past few days (ahem, the election), but I also quickly was able to identify what I wanted my role to be and how I wanted to approach it all. For all its crappiness, November has brought some really positive changes too.

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Letting go of the parental wheel, to help your teen be safer behind the wheel

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One of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome as a parent was learning to let go once my oldest hit those teen years. Of course, any parent will tell you that “letting go” is something we are always doing, but when they become teenagers, and especially when they get their license, letting go is both heart wrenching and more necessary than ever.

Our teens need more opportunity to learn to navigate the world on their own, mistakes and all, without the hand holding and the constant check-ins. But it’s even more important to consider how our concern as parents can actually make it more dangerous for them, especially when they are driving.

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Getting Married with Elle King, and other things I am thankful for

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On December 30, 2003, my husband and I got married on a sandy beach in the Dominican Republic, just as the sun set.

Were I to leave that story there, it would be beautiful.

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When you are a nature-lover, and of color, in America

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Recently, I decided to take my boys out for a day of hiking. There are some short hikes around the reservation near our home here in  New Jersey, but I wanted something a bit more challenging, so we headed an hour away to Pennsylvania to explore the trails along the Delaware Water Gap.

It was a gorgeous day, a nice break from the humidity and intense heat we have felt so regularly this summer. The kids and I were in high spirits and we were excited to explore nature. The radio kept playing all our favorite songs and we cracked jokes. There was no traffic and the drive was easy.

Then I spotted it. A pick-up truck had merged in front of me and across its back cabin window was a large sticker that took up almost the entire glass. It was the confederate flag. I felt my body get tense. I honestly don’t know if we had crossed the border into PA yet, it really didn’t matter. I was heading into rural America, alone, with my kids.

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The Travel Dream, 18 Years Later

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A little over 18 years ago I had saved up money working for a non-profit in New York City while also going to college for my Bachelors in Communications to travel the world once I had gotten my degree.

My degree, I had decided then, was a symbol of pride for my father who had always told me this is what he expected of me as the first in my family to finish college. I envisioned getting it and sending it to my family back home while packing to travel the world. My dream was to backpack through Europe and kiss many men as a statement of personal and sexual freedom.

I had no blogs to inspire me. I had no images or stories of fellow women, let alone fellow Latinas, to motivate me but I was eager and ready. 

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What I learned from the We All Grow Summit

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This post is sponsored by New Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant

Part of one’s journey through life is in trying to figure out their place in it. We are always searching for a place to belong, a community, and space where we can let our hair down and be ourselves, and be accepted for it.

In blogging, this is no different. Not every blogger is the same, though our paths may often cross and we may be connected here or there. For many of us, our community is where we find our support, or wisdom, our courage, and our spirit.

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