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When boredom becomes a travel companion

Basilica of St. Michael, Bordeaux, France, built between the end of 14th century and the 16th century The thing with dreams for those with hyperactive minds like mine is that once they become reality the brain will likely wrestle with the blooming of sameness. Halfway through my trip, around day 35, I felt a mash up of boredom and melancholy building up in my chest. It made absolutely no sense. I was now in France, for heaven's sake! I was living THE life, one stunning location after another, each new meal more exquisite than the last, each ancient wall filled with cracks and gargoyles that sparked my wildest medieval fairy tale fantasies. The freedom to choose where to go, what to do, who to talk to, when to sleep and wake up. For the past five weeks my decisions evolved around whether I would pour myself a glass of red, white, rosé or sparkling; whether I'd see the flow of life at a charming café or relax in solitude in my rental to the tunes of newly found local music. So wh
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Las Fallas

As soon as I got off the plane from Porto and landed in Valencia, the mind fog from waking up at 4am to catch my flight was gone. I was startlingly at ease in my new surroundings and ditched the taxi ride for the subway. The energy was different from Portugal, an extra hint of palpable liveliness in the air, or perhaps just my brain associating this part of the world with fire, passion and saffron. People spoke something that sounded both familiar and completely brand new, and that’s how I learned that Valencians speak Valencian, a dialect of Catalan. I got off at the Xàtiva station and in a literal bang the city flourished in front of my eyes: there was music coming from all corners, churro stands, hordes of people and nonstop thundering sounds of fireworks. The imposing Plaça de Bous, the bullring built in 1850 in the molds of the Roman Colosseum, stood fierce across the street. I was in Spain alright and had arrived for the five main days of Las Fallas, a massive festival dating bac

I spun the globe and am taking off | Career Break Series

   Studying, dreaming, vision boarding with my little sister in the 1980s (I'm on the left) I vividly remember the turquoise-colored table globe spinning, my sister and I hovering our tiny skinny fingers over it until the rotation stopped and they landed on a country. I loved learning their names, but most of all, I loved to imagine myself exploring those faraway lands, so exotic, so unreachable. We would then grab scissors, glue, a stack of mom’s fashion magazines and meticulously look for models with outfits that represented the countries of our spin the globe game. Once we found the perfect ensemble, we would bond the images to a notebook and with colorful cursive letters write the location and occasion. In my imaginary “Summer afternoon in Valencia, Spain” I was a gorgeous lady wearing a beautifully embroidered white skirt, a matching top and a straw hat. In real life I was seven, eight years old. I didn’t know back then that this game was a vision board for what would occur al

Pilot Light

Sunday morning. For the first time, I see the obvious in its nomenclature: the Sun made a theatrical entrance in my Day, beaming a torch of white celestial light in my living room. The fire burning in the fireplace moves to my core, or perhaps it’s been there all along, the pilot light, the vital force of all that there was and all that there will be. My chimney needs fuel. Ravel’s Boléro descends to my calling. Play. Now. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue I must. Frida Khalo’s diary is a given: “Nada más vale que la risa. Es fuerza reír y abandonarse. Ser ligero” (“Nothing is better than laughter. It is strength to laugh and abandon oneself. Be light.”), says the woman with the most magnificent furnace since the Inquisition burned all of us witches. It feels criminal to dive into those pages filled with intimacy, bursts of ire and love, blazes of heaven and hell. Forgive me, muse, for my transgressions, but I too burn with desires, my inner exposé landing in cyclical patterns, like comet

Soaking by the Blanco

A f ew years ago, looking for a nature scape from cement, noise and highway dense Houston,   I found the small town of Wimberley, a little nature haven tucked three hours and fifteen minutes away from home in the heart of the Hill Country, Texas. It was love at first sight, no doubt. Though my preference is to search for unexplored places (the world is too vast and too beautiful to be so narrow minded) I constantly feel this strong pull towards its country beauty with herds of deer roaming on the roads at dusk, foxes foxing their way through the woods, deep refreshing swimming holes in all shades of turquoise and the clear, translucent waters of the Blanco river embraced by rows of dramatic limestone cliffs. I keep returning, even if at times billboards of divisive political content on the outskirts of town tend to muddle the serene wonder of the natural surroundings. But isn’t this the thing about love, that we embrace all parts of the subject of one’s desire? I have embraced Wimberle

High on blue skies

Saturday morning and outside my window the winter storm left imprints of destruction accumulated in frost-bitten lawns, broken pipes and anxious hearts. On this side of the blinds, a chemical reaction: the icicles in my spine had melted into an immaculate ebullience of joy and freedom. Listen, listen, the gut is speaking, the blood swimming in fleshy caves of wonder: you are high on life! Get out of the house now, child, and overdose your ears with poetry, your feet with movement, your eyes with blue sky. I knew why: just the day before I had fed my soul with a velvety protein called confidence. I published a blog post about my unconventional trip to a previous life and chose not to care if the world thought my fuses were loose. Let ‘em learn from your vulnerable craters! , said the fairy in my aorta. Let ‘em poison in their own venomous fangs of judgement! , said the raven in my bile. I put on my walking shoes, a bright magenta sweatshirt, a mouth full of smile and off I went, Emicid

Past life regression: what I learned from my previous death

The author in an alley in Pienza, Italy, December 2018 The polar vortex had swallowed the city. A thin blanket of snow folded over Houston, another abnormality in the oddity of the current times. Day three of on and off electricity, water shortages, the chilling of bones and the cloak of the COVID-19 plague still omnipresent. I found warmth in the crevices: the soft, luxurious fur of my cat oblivious to everything, green chili soup leftovers, Internet humor. Then another opening, this time in my chest: I was ready for a past life regression session. After months exploring the subject as a path to self-knowledge, I chose a sub-freezing afternoon to descend into a spiritual ladder that took me to the underworld of long lost memories.