Photo Inspiration for Havana, Cuba

Reflexiones

Después de haber pasado 5 días en La Habana, y haber recorrido por Matanzas, Mayabeque, El Cotorro, Regla, y el Barrio Chino, sigo pensando que las fronteras son el sistema más divisivo. Cierto, el sistema de Cuba tiene sus flaquezas, pero ¿no las tiene el de nuestros países también al mantenernos tan alejados los uno de los otros?

Todos tienen muy presentes sus traumas del pasado. El temor. El rencor. Extrañan a sus seres queridos que se han ido. Los ven tan lejos no sabiendo lo cerca que están y aunque no los culpan, cada uno que se ha ido ha dejado hoyos; vacíos que se han hecho difícil de llenar debido a la corta inspiración.

Existe una especie de rebelión del trabajador. Muchos que se niegan a trabajar y aun así tantos en Cuba nos hablaban del dinero, de sueldos, de escasez. Temas que se considerarían tabú en muchos otros lugares. Han borrado de sus mentes los sueño y conocí a un pueblo falto de esperanza, hambrientos de cambio. Oíamos “oye, llegaron papas, ¡corre que se acaban!” Y, aun así, vivimos la hospitalidad en carne propia.

Me di cuenta lo efímero que pueden ser algunas cosas por las cuales nos obsesionamos en muchos lugares. Fue así que aprendí que la inspiración y la cultura deben ser independiente del dinero. Un pintor debería de seguir pintando. Un maestro debería amar su profesión y un alumno el estudiar. Me di cuenta que el educarse vale más que el precio, aunque nadie se lo page. Aprendí a ser agradecida. Porque, al no serlo, correría el riesgo de convertirme en una amargada. Aprendí que la hospitalidad viene de adentro – de lo que uno tiene, no de lo que no se tiene. Aprendí a apreciar a los recién llegados que tuvieron el valor de soñar y ambicionar. Pero, por primera vez, pude apreciar a los que se han contentado con el sustento y el día a día. Los que han tenido el valor para amar, esperar, y aguantar.


Inspirational Women in Their Thirties | Whiskey Ambassador Alexis Green

Have you ever wondered what’s on the other side of that ever elusive ‘road less traveled’? What actually happens when you make less traditional choices in life? For Alexis Green, who claims to have never been a “sit quietly at her desk for eight hours a day” type of person to begin with, it meant realizing that city life wasn’t for her, quitting a full-time salaried marketing job, and moving to cottage country in Ontario, Canada. I first met Alexis Green at a Women Who Whiskey[1] event in Miami where, as brand ambassador for Collingwood Whisky, she was completely in her element having conversations of substance with like-minded women while educating them about whiskey.


7 Tips for Responsible Tourism in Cuba

 “Visiting other countries and peoples today has helped many to realize that we are truly one human family and that we have the potential of living together on earth in peace [source].”

Aside from experiencing a glimpse into a beautifully unique culture, visiting Cuba allows you the opportunity to practice responsible tourism and sustainable practices which, aside from minimizing negative social impacts, will generate greater economic benefits for locals. For me, this meant enjoying my travels on a much higher level.


The Viñales Valley

Llegamos a Viñales y sin inconvenientes. Nos dieron la bienvenida los mogotes, una brisa fresca, y el gentío cuya personalidad es tan colorida como las cabañitas que adornan este pueblo. Un pueblo que subsiste a base del turismo, donde hay exceso de extranjeros y esperanza.


5 Female Characters Who Changed My Life

The beauty of a woman is that you’ll never be the same once one has entered your life. It doesn’t matter how long she stays, if it was for the worse or for the better, the fact is once she’s gone you’ll never be the same. This is the effect women have. And this is the case whether she’s real or imagined, dead or alive. So, in honor of Women’s History Month, I will share with you five female characters who changed my life. (Keep in mind the list is not exhaustive, and only includes characters from books I read in my formative years.)


Dating the Introvert I Married | Lincoln Date Night

Stop and think for a moment, to what extent have you been conditioned to value loud and in-your face vs. quiet subtly? Society would have us believe that arrogance equals power and that quiet voices are a sign of weakness. I must admit, in the past I may have been partial to these views because as an extrovert they often excuse my misbehavior. Even harder to admit, at times I may have allowed these to seep into my relationship. Having married an introvert, it has taken me years to understand my husband as “the introvert”. It isn’t until now, in our thirties, that I have started learning to value our differences. Which is why as a brand, Lincoln’s “Quiet Luxury” has always appealed to me. I like the idea that power can exist in the absence of arrogance. In fact, Lincoln seems to understand my husband a bit better than I did. So, I arranged for a date night sponsored and inspired by Lincoln Motor Company’s theme of quiet luxury. I placed myself in the mindset of an introvert and planned our date with these 5 buffers in mind:


5 Ways Printing Your Photos Can Change Your Perspective

When you think of 2016, what emotions do the memories evoke?

It’s true, the lives of many brilliantly creative people were lost in 2016, wars were fought, there were protests, and just general sadness. On a more personal level, this year was one of my worst and when 2017 began, I was exhausted! I needed a change in perspective! To combat the emotional exhaustion, I set out to look back on 2016 more reflectively. Using the photos on my phone’s gallery and the Kodak Moments App, I printed my highlights of the last year. When I sought out the good, I realized that there were so many moments in the past year that I’m grateful for.


Buy a House in Under 5 Years With These 5 Secrets

This week the IG Husband and I said goodbye, cut all ties, and parted ways…with our mortgage lender! It’s the most responsible, liberating, adult thing we’ve ever done. After a long short four years we paid off our mortgage and became homeowners. To commemorate the best way I know how, I’m sharing the photos from our first-home photo-shoot and sharing my 5 secrets to buying a home in less than 5 years.

 How did you pay off your house?


7 Hacks For the Perfect Road Trip

Long weekends are perfect for taking a road trip, so I have partnered with Blitzify[i] to bring you 7 hacks for the perfect road trip. Going on a road trip has its pros and cons. Pros, you’re going on an awesome adventure; cons, it can be costly. Here are some hacks you can try to balance those pros and cons to reach vacation bliss this long weekend.

7 Hacks for the Perfect Road Trip


How To Slay Perfectionism

When you were little and you were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, what did you say? My answer varied by the day. Sometimes I’d say I wanted to be a missionary who would travel from island to island on a large sailboat. Sometimes I’d say I wanted to be a princess who had really long blonde hair. Nowadays, I just want to be a good teacher and a published writer. One day, my grandmother sat me down and said, “ay que bonito, but will you be a married missionary or not, a married princess or not? Because if so, you will have to learn how not to burn the rice”. And so, knowing I wanted to be a married anything, from then on I also began thinking of the kind of wife I’d be. I think for that long, I’ve been dreaming of being a cafecito wife. For equally as long, I think I have been battling perfectionism.