Not in a million years would I have ever imagined seeing myself visited Hong Kong. Don't get me wrong, I would love to visit the city but honestly, Hong Kong was not my top priority city to visit at the moment.
I turn seventeen on September 11, 2001 and ride to school with my good friend in her blue and white truck while listening to U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind. I walk to my computer class where the television is on and tuned to the news. The surreality of the day begins with a cloud of crashes, each of them more horrific to watch than the next, buildings falling before my eyes. Later that day, we attend dinner for my birthday at an upscale restaurant, completely somber in our celebration. No one can articulate the feeling within my family. Within my country. Missing my culture’s aftermath and the tectonic shift that results, I leave for my junior year in late September, barely able to find a map that shows the city I will soon inhabit. I am an exchange student in France as an escape from my family, an intention I announce at age twelve and somehow manifest.
I can still hear my parents, "Rain follows that child everywhere." and my girlfriend in Dallas in midsummer "I swear every time you come to visit me the bottom falls out! You still haven't been to my pool!" My boyfriend has been calling me Little Miss Rain Cloud on every vacation we've taken over the last 6 years. I moved to Salt Lake City in late January of this year as a travel RN and I have heard recently that this has been one of the wettest years on record. Surprise, surprise. Now, do I actually believe that I, a 35 year old woman have some magic following me that can actually affect the climate around me? No. Not Really. Do I wish that I was a weather goddess or a super mutant that has the ability to shape the winds and weather around her? Yes. Absolutely. I would proudly bear the nickname Storm. If I had the ability to choose I would likely keep my rain clouds. Just don't tell my family and friends that. Upon moving to Utah I have coveted my plans to visit the state parks to hike and climb. I grew up in the woods and have self proclaimed nature blood. I lived for the chances to be outside. I grew up with horses and dogs and cats and the occasional parrot. I have however spent the last 10 years of my nursing career in Chicago IL. I began climbing in Chicago about 4 years ago and have always wanted the chance to learn to climb outside on the real stuff. It's a beautiful city on a magnificent Great lake but you really have to travel pretty far from the city to even come close to real-nature. If I have the chance to be outside that is where you will find me.
I need a vacation asap!!! My friend and I were talking about leaving and going on vacation for the past 6 months. We haven't seen each other in the last 8 months so it was long over due. She stayed in another city and I had just move back to North Carolina after staying in another state for about 4 years. A lot of things had changed since the last time we seen each other but at the end of the day that was still my girl so it was time to get turnt up for the summer. Our friend wanted us to come to Florida for her Birthday for a week. Can I say, Perfect Timing!! My friend and I scheduled the time off of work and got everything ready for the trip. We got the car rental, food, and drinks for the 10 hour drive. We was Geeked!! The traffic was not as bad as we thought and we only stopped a few times. It was my second time being in Florida so I already knew how the weather was going to be and that's what I was looking forward to.
Dust in my eyes, a dense jungle landscape surrounding our path, the low rumbling of ATV engines in the background, and the voice of our guide saying “Please! Take as many pictures and videos as you want, but don’t talk and don’t yell. This is where the puma, snakes, and jaguars come to drink of water and we don’t want to be their lunch.” This was the scene about an hour into our “Mexico adventure”. Standing in the initial weight of that statement, I was reminded that, as a group, we decided to trade our unlimited Don Julio margaritas and poolside cabanas for this; for adventure, but this part of the adventure wasn’t advertised. Let’s go back to the beginning.
I dream of better days with warmer skies. The lack of human interaction causes my mental health to drain, creating a biome of thoughts I'm desperate to escape from.
When you have been in quarantine as long as we have, the world becomes small and confined. The thirst to travel and see people again becomes a distant dream you want to be in.
You know, most college kids go someplace a little different for spring break. Now that they (many average college kids at least) are able to FINALLY get away from their parents, they go, perhaps to Florida...? I was never the most traditional. Perhaps Vegas? I must be honest, my only college Vegas experience was seeing a drugged up homeless man walk out into traffic and get killed on impact. Right outside of our hotel. But, I suppose thats enough of the morbid. This is about living, not dying.
I was born in South London to Peruvian and British parents. Growing up, “Latinidad” didn't really have a meaning to me. It was simply just the way things were. Spanish was spoken at home, Peruvian food was served, we’d buy our food at the market and on Saturday mornings I’d have to get up to clean! Our friends were Peruvian too, so nothing felt unusual to me. Moreover, being raised in a multicultural environment like London taught me that everybody did things differently at home.
I stare at her. Pale girl, brown hair pulled back into a bun, wisps falling around her eyes, staring at the ground. She clutches her knee to her chest, sitting on a rock by the little black brook. Like I’m looking in a mirror, the girl is me.
How can I keep this short? I could write a book about El Camino de Santiago. I’m in love with this hike, this experience, this journey. Whatever you want to call it! But I’ll try to summarise and share with you the best bits!
When the girls are out there is no one that can stop them. Doing a best friend trip & living your best life with your girls will not only create stronger bonds and amazing experiences. Spending time with your gurl friends is necessary, so show your love for them and plan that girls trip!