What My 40´s Year Old Self Would Tell My Younger Self

What My 40´s Year Old Self Would Tell My Younger Self

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE ENOUGH: Seriously, you look great but of course you do not know that.  As a matter of fact, you will later regret not knowing that you were this beautiful in your 20´s. How you look at 25 is very different than how you will look at 35.  You have health right now, which will be drastically taken away from you in your 30´s.  See, you are about to make some poor choices in love and career that will have you taking a wrong turn in life.  This will affect both your health and your body.  Enjoy being 25 at the peak of your beauty, but also start to figure out whom you are on the inside because ultimately that is what will take over.  We ALL fade physically, but our essence can become brighter and more beautiful the more we work on ourselves. Also, you do not know this right now, but YOU ARE ENOUGH.  You got out of college and now you want to prove to yourself that something will come of it.  Let me tell you something, success is not something you achieve as if you will get everything that you want in that next relationship or that next job.  There is not anything OUT THERE that will fill the void inside of you.  It will take you a long time to learn this, but in the meantime, enjoy making all of those mistakes that you are about to make because ultimately you WILL learn and you will be a new and changed person because of it. 2. THE NEXT 20...
The Un-Life of a Train Conductor Vs. Trump’s America

The Un-Life of a Train Conductor Vs. Trump’s America

When I tell people I was once a train conductor I get a big gasp of disbelief.  It seems I am not the image of a train conductor and I am pretty sure I do not look like Tom Hanks.  However, I really hated it when people didn’t have their ticket or when passengers wanted to use some lame excuse as to how I was “singling” them out because of some irrelevant yet a hot trending issue.  It is not easy being around hundreds of people every day.   Managing different personalities with lack of sleep combined with the over-worked lives of our travelers is a skill that cannot be taught. However, the position taught me how to observe people from all walks of life and how to eventually be able to write articles like this one. The truth is that at one point I LOVED being a train conductor.  I was able to use the train for free and I took advantage of that very much.  I was able to go from one side of the country to the other.  I was able to hop in my car (yes, my car) from Virginia to Florida as I wined and dined on the Auto train.  It was a magnificent time and I enjoyed every minute of it—until I didn’t.  See, riding the train and working on one are two totally separate experiences. I wrote this article to honor all the railroad employees and  staff from the Engineers to the Snack bar employees and Train conductors.  I call it the “un-life” because so much of our everyday lives are sacrificed.  From...
Overcoming Claustrophobia in Rio Secreto

Overcoming Claustrophobia in Rio Secreto

Welcome to Rio Secreto– A Nature Reserve that is no longer a secret outside of The Playa del Carmen area.  Hands down, this will be one of your most spectacular life experiences.  Imagine an underground world that stayed hidden for millions of years until an Iguana Hunter accidentally stumbled upon it in 2006.  The experience has been compared to walking on the moon and The Mayans believed that this underground cave was a pathway to the afterlife. Rio Secreto is a once in a lifetime experience worth having.  However, I was not entirely at peace before the adventure, and confronted my claustrophobia head on.  When people ask me, why am I afraid of dark and enclosed spaces?  I am not entirely sure, but I do have a theory.  I was personally in The World Trade Center on 9/11 and it is quite possible that the thought of being there that day and knowing the fate of the Trade Center affected me.    For many months after that horrible day, nightmares of being inside of a falling building affected me and my therapist at the time thought I was having symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress.  Wherever my claustrophobia came from, Rio Secreto helped me overcome them.  I knew that it would be dark and I knew that in some areas the space would be constricted, but it is so breathtakingly beautiful that I forgot about my phobia and instead embraced its mystical beauty.  The guide Núnez  was such a charming and informative gentleman that my nerves quickly normalized and I was able to enjoy this magical experience.  You will walk,...
Criminal of Birth

Criminal of Birth

CRIMINAL OF BIRTH Written by Elaine Mercedes Mendoza 2001 I am a criminal of birth. My sentence is indefinite. My whole family moved here when I was only a child and since then I’ve managed to keep my “American” spirit alive. Now I’m feeling like I’ve been brainwashed all these years. After the initial shock I did see stars. True colors are starting to appear. I’m red with anger, and white isn’t the color of your lies but I assure you the bruises on my spirit are of the deepest ocean blue, and today I question you like a lover will you do for me as I have done for you? It all started way back “then.” In Elementary school. I was taught that I was “In the land of the free and the land of the brave.” I even recited the morning speech, ” A pledge of allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America.” Now these words run mockingly through my head now I’m no longer “American” I’m a criminal instead. Now I’m a criminal without a name because an A# has taken its place. Thomas Jefferson wrote that “All Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” But now Jefferson is probably not resting in his grave, but you could say I’m feeling like a modern day slave. I’m being “traded back” for free cause the flight of deportation has no charge. I have no Lincoln to save my day. I’m only like Churchill alone against...
The Nomadic Blues

The Nomadic Blues

It sounds ungrateful to say anything negative about my life.  After all, I live two blocks from the Caribbean, my rent is one/sixth of what I use to pay in the USA and my lifestyle is full of freedom.  However, I like to give an honest opinion of what it feels like to live a nomadic life.  It is not always endless drinks at the beach or romantic sunsets.  There is a lot more to this story or this lifestyle. The nomadic blues hits all of us in one way or another.  We are surrounded by beauty no matter where we go but we are also surrounded by emotions that surface when we least expect it.  Perhaps we see a couple holding hands along the Seine in Paris.  Other times we may notice the new bride getting her professional pics taken along the banks of Venice.  All of these triggers remind us that we are somehow alone in this great big beautiful world. The nomadic blues surfaces when our old belief system meets the new one that we have not yet defined for ourselves.  We are told that by a certain age we should be married, have a mortgage that has locked us in for 30 years, and kids that we are working hard for.  What happens to your mind when you do not have any of those things?  That part of you that comes from that predictable world is now face to face with this new world we have created for ourselves and we are being judged.  The irony is that it does not matter who is judging...
2016 Report Card: The Good, The Bad, and The New Vision Board

2016 Report Card: The Good, The Bad, and The New Vision Board

Last year, I created a list of everything that went beautifully and what can be improved upon. I thought after completing my second year as a nomad that I would continue the tradition of writing everything down.  I strongly suggest that you write down all the moments that were successful which in turn increases your gratitude. To me, success is just whatever makes you happy. Success means to live a life that you love.  It has nothing to do with money, fame, or recognition.  If it makes you happy, you are successful. Below, I chose five items for each topic but they are in no particular order. Five Things I get an A+ on 1) Traveling. 2016 Started with a trip to Istanbul, Turkey, a return trip to Prague, and a new town in this beautiful country called Karlovy Vary. I always try to discover small towns wherever I go. Then, I went to London, Ibiza, Formentera, Barcelona, Tarragona, and Sitges. Finally, my European adventure for 2016 ended in Paris, France (as it usually does). After Europe, I returned to The Riviera Maya and climbed Coba before it closed and discovered the dreamy island of Holbox. Speaking of Mexico, it brings me to my #2 accomplishment. 2) Travel Organizing: The Riviera Maya tour 2016 was a success! I took a group of people to experience some of my favorite places, beaches, and food in this part of the world. Judging by the laughs, glasses of wine, and the sore legs after climbing a pyramid, the trip was a joy for everyone. I do not just create budget friendly trips,...