Single Mom Out Loud

The joys (and desperation) of raising a boy without a man


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Big Mistakes And Unexpected Lives

Perhaps we need to be broken first before we can finally become whole.

Painful love is the worst kind of heartbreak. It’s the one we had such high hopes for, the one we gambled everything for—only to find it was a bet that would never be won.

~

So we break into a million small pieces of ourselves and wonder how we could have gotten it so wrong.

We make mistakes in love.

We choose people based on the lessons that our souls need to learn without realizing that it’s usually those difficult lessons we need to experience the most.

We can’t be changed by ease and we can’t have our minds broken open by the mundane—instead it can only happen when we are left with nothing but ourselves and our regrets.

Maybe there is no such thing as a mistake if we indeed needed it to learn more about who we are and how we love, but still there are those loves we wish we could rewind and just take back. The ones whose endings were too painful for us to want to permanently claim as part of our history.

The thing is, we need that big mistake to help propel us toward our ultimate life.

We need to be broken in order to find out how we want to put ourselves back together.

Often times the biggest mistake of our lives is a relationship that we should have walked away from the minute it began—or at the very least should have let go of long before we actually did, and way before it all went downhill.

But we didn’t, and it’s not because that love was meant to be, but because without it we might never have realized the life we were truly meant to live.

~

We always have the choice to stay in a relationship that is a constant battle of wills and ideals. Yet, no matter how many times we hope it will end differently, or just maybe work this time around—it never does.

This is because it’s not meant to.

Our mistake is meant to end, usually bitterly, and often catastrophically. Its purpose is to rock us to our core and challenge our very self and our beliefs about love.

We are meant to question what went wrong, and to wonder what love really means to us. This isn’t an overnight process , but one that we need to take the time to immerse ourselves in until we no longer hide from the truth that our hearts whisper.

It’s a state of healing that lets us know that we can send someone our love, but we can also walk away with our heads high and our faith strong knowing that we haven’t messed up the best thing we ever had.

Because the best version of our life is out there waiting for us and when we meet there will be no question about why we needed to have our hearts broken in the way we did.

Because all along they were only leading us to this—a life that was created just for us, and somehow through the meandering paths that life takes, ended up not being perfect, but still being perfect for us.

The life we are waiting for only comes when we are ready for it. When we have broken apart who we thought we should be and instead embraced who we are. The things and people that will make up this life only appears when we have gained the ability to believe that we deserve what we want.

We will allow ourselves to gaze past the superficial and instead appreciate the energy that these people and things bring into our lives, reveling in the new-found depths of connection that we are experiencing.

The life we are meant to live won’t look or feel like anything we’ve ever experienced. The friends and love affairs we are supposed to experience might come softly, or it might even enter as a wrecking ball. It might be a city you never thought about moving to, a kid you never thought you wanted, or a partner that is the opposite of what you imagined and friends you would have never met if it wasnt for your mistake. But, it will all come together and present you with a life that is beyond what we ever imagined.

And that’s the thing about life—it may not end up being how we thought it was, and it may still not come without challenges, but somehow its still better.

Because finally we realize that our “great mistake” was really a north star all along, leading us to the life we are meant to live, with the people we are meant to have around.

“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.”

 

 

 


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Endless Mistakes and The Search For Perfection

I’ve held tight to someone I loved for fear of losing him; I’ve lost him because I’ve held on too tight. I’ve held a stranger’s hand because I was terrified and I’ve been so terrified that I couldn’t even feel my hands.

I’ve obsessed on others to avoid my problems. I’ve created bigger problems because of my obsession.

I’ve been betrayed by someone who I thought was my soul mate. I’ve betrayed him as well.

I’ve broken the law and I’ve let the law break me.

I’ve believed in perfect relationships and I’ve found out they don’t exist.

I’ve manipulated and regretted it; I’ve been honest and also regretted it.

I’ve pretended not to care about those I loved and later found myself pretending to care about those I didn’t.

I’ve fought for what I believed was true love only to find out it was just passion.

I’ve had panic attacks, anxiety attacks and laugh attacks.

I’ve destroyed phones, doors and windows out of anger and I’ve let that same anger destroy me.

I’ve kept from expressing what I was thinking to please others; other times I spoke words I didn’t mean to hurt them.

I’ve told lies because it was easier than telling the truth. I’ve believed lies for the same reason.

I’ve tried to be someone else so I would be loved and I’ve loved those who pretended to be someone else.

I’ve fell countless times thinking I wouldn’t get back up; I’ve gotten back up thinking I wouldn’t fall again.

I’ve tried to desperately change others but I struggled to change myself.

I’ve texted those I didn’t want just so I wouldn’t text those who were on my mind.

I’ve dated the wrong people hoping they would turn into the right ones. I’ve spent a lot more time looking for a great man than I did becoming a great woman.

I’ve thrown away my dignity and I’ve embarrassed myself multiple times. But always for the same reason. And the same person.

I’ve pissed away my reputation but only because I didn’t know any better.

I have literally chased a car just because it was taking away the one I loved; I’ve run away from those who loved me.

I have insecurity issues, abandonment issues and many other issues.

I’ve hurt so many but hopefully I’ve harmed none.

I regret many choices, many actions and many words. But I don’t regret the experience.

I constantly wonder what could have been and should have been if only I hadn’t done that one thing to that one person.

I am constantly learning and I’ve learned that I will always make mistakes.

I am looking to improve because I know improvement is essential.

But I am not looking for the right formula.

Because I know I won’t always get it right. 


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How To Love a Survivor

The woman who has been to hell and back is not easy to love.

Many have tried. Most have failed.

The weak need not attempt, for it will take more strength than you even know you possess; more patience, more resilience, more tenacity, more resolve. It requires a relentless love, one that is determined and not easily defeated.

For the woman who has been to hell and back will push you away. She will test you in her desire to know what you are made of, whether you have what it takes to weather her storm. Because she is unpredictable—at times a hurricane, a force of nature that rides on the fury of her suffering; other times a gentle rain, calm, still and quiet.

When she is the gentle rain that falls in time to her silent tears, love her.

When she is the thunder and lightning and ferocious winds that wreak havoc, love her harder.

She is a contradiction, a pendulum that will forever swing between fear of suffocation and fear of abandonment, and even she will not know how to find the balance between the two. She will want you to stay close, to tuck her hair behind her ear and kiss her on her forehead and hold her in the strength of your arms. But tomorrow she will crave her independence, her space, her solitude.

For while you have slept, she has been awake, unable to slow her thoughts, watching clocks and chasing time, trying to make the broken pieces fit, to make sense of it all—of where and how she fits. She fights her demons and slays her dragons, afraid if she goes to sleep they will gain the upper hand, afraid if she goes to sleep she will no longer be in control. Tomorrow she will be tired, and your presence will smother her. She will need only herself.

When she reaches out to you, love her.

When she pushes you away, lover her harder.

She will live in fear of not being enough and always being too much—an endless battle to find the middle ground. Ashamed if the scale falls one way or the other, ashamed to be herself for no one has ever loved her both when she is small and also when she is tremendous.

When she feels too much, love her.

When she feels not enough, love her harder.

Sometimes she won’t hurt and the light will shine from her eyes and her laughter will be a rare and precious melody. But sometimes she will hurt so much from the trauma still in her body; she will ache, she will feel pain and anguish. The light will grow dim and the music will fade. Depression will take over.

When she is the light, love her.

When she is the darkness, love her harder.

She will always love you with caution, with one foot out the door. For she does not understand a love with no conditions, one that is powerful enough to withstand hard times. She cannot allow herself to fully trust in your love, and she will keep parts of her heart hidden—the parts that have been hurt the most, the parts she can’t risk being hurt again when she has worked so hard to stitch them together.

When she wants to love you, love her.

When she wants to leave you, love her harder.

Being out of control terrifies her. Don’t ever make her feel powerless, trapped or without her freedom. Never clip her wings, for if she will always need the freedom to fly even though she will always come back to you.

She does not need you. She has chosen you.

Because you have what it takes to survive the storm.

Because even when she doesn’t know how to love, you know how to love harder.


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2017- A Restrospect 

Today I took my son’s  favorite Christmas toy to the park. His happiness was palpable. 

He actually said “mommy this was the best Christmas ever! I got so many cool toys but I was naughty some days. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten so many” and I told him that what matters is that he was nice most of the days and that nobody is perfect 100% of the time. He then replied “I love my gifts! but my favorite thing is that you are not going to work (I am off Till the 2nd) and we are playing Every day! That’s my favorite about this Christmas!”

Every child loves toys. But they love affection and attention way more. That helicopter would have meant nothing to him if I wasn’t there playing it with him and cheering him on. 

I know a lot of feminists these days are anti children. I have felt the discrimination more than once. Having a child is a choice. I made my choice and I don’t regret it. And it doesn’t make me any less of a feminist. In fact I think it makes me an even stronger one. I like to think of my son as my progressive contribution to the world. And to be honest if I had the means financially I would have at least 3 more. God knows the deplorables are doing their part in overpowering the good people in this country. 

And let me tell you that these little beings are the most innocent beings alive. They are filled with love and they see the world with so much purity it hurts because deep inside you know one day their pure soul will get crushed by this shitty world of ours. 

Children are the future. They are ones capable of changing this country, and our world for the best. And there is nothing, I repeat, there is NOTHING more fulfilling than raising our country’s future. 
But this “fulfilling” feelings comes with a huge price tag. And you work and you work and it never seems enough. 

Most of you know that I work a shit ton to support kaio which means he is at pre school from 7am Till 6pm every day. It means the poor kid has to be up at 5:30 every day. It means We don’t get much time together. It also means I don’t get much time for myself outside of work and motherhood. 

It’s hard. Because unless you are very privileged, life is hard period. 

But 2017 was more than just your regular hard. This year broke me. It whooped my ass both financially and emotionally. It matured me. It humbled me. It fuxking exhausted me. But it also made me smarter and wiser. It showed me snakes and Shitty people are everywhere. Friends is just a title and family is more than blood and both means nothing if the love and loyalty is not there. 

2017 taught me to be a better parent regardless of others think of me. It taught me to fight fiercely for my son. It taught me to have more patience with both Kaio and myself. And it was also extremely exciting because I got to travel to the beautiful state of Alaska and ended up going on a solo trip to Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.   

So basically 2017 was the best and worst of my entire life. Hoping for a calmer 2018. 

May y’all look at my son’s smile and remind yourselves that the future is still bright and pure. Let’s not fuck it up. You have kids in your life? Either your own, or nieces and nephews? BE KIND TO THEIR SOUL. it’s easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult. If you want a the next decades being governed by kind and SANE people, Handle them ALL with care. We don’t want them turning into Paul Ryan’s and Donald Trumps. 



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Waiting Line

You are a wild horse running alone

and he tries to tame you

compares you to an impossible highway

to a burning house

says your smoke is suffocating him

He mistreats you, pushes you away 

There is something about him that 

simply can’t treat you the way you 

Treat him 

And you tried to understand 

But at what point will you choose 

yourself over understanding him? 

You are always too intense

frightening in the way you want him

unashamed and sacrificial

he tells you that no man can live up to the one who

lives in your head

and you tried to change didn’t you?

closed your mouth more

tried to be softer

prettier

less volatile, less loud 

but even when sleeping you could feel

him travelling away from you in his dreams

The truth is darling, he doesn’t think you are good enough

There is nothing you can do to make him see your value 

To him even the cheapest is better 

so what did you want to do love? 

split his head open?
You can’t make homes out of human beings

someone should have already told you that

Some men are just not into good loyal women

So if he wants to leave

then let him leave

Don’t let him come back 

Eventually every ending  becomes final and every unreciprocated love dies

You are a rare diamond

A jackpot waiting to be cashed in

You are smart but intimidating 

something not everyone knows how to love.


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After A While You learn… (Poem)

After a while you learn the difference,

the subtle difference between

holding a hand and chaining a soul

 

And you learn

that attachment isn’t love 

and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn

that kisses aren’t contracts

and presents aren’t promises.

 

and you begin to accept your defeats

with your head up and your eyes ahead

with the grace of woman,

not the grief of a child.

 

And you learn

to build all your roads on today

because tomorrow’s ground is

too uncertain for plans

and futures have a way of falling down

in mid-flight.

 

After a while you learn

that even sunshine burns

if you get too much of it 

 

And you learn that it takes years to build trust

but only seconds to destroy it.

And that you can do things in a split second

and regret it for the rest of your life.

 

You learn that the true friendships continue to grow

even with long distances.

And that what matters is not what you have in the life,

but who you have in life.

 

With time you learn that good friends

are the family we were allowed to choose

and that you and your best friend can do many things together

or nothing at all but still have a great time.

 

You start to learn that It takes a lot of time

to become the person we want

and time is short.

So please don’t compare yourself to others,

but to the best that you can be.

 

 

After a while you learn that love,

just like patience,

requires practice.

And its not because someone didn’t love you the way you expected them to

that they didn’t love you at all. 

 

After a while you learn that

it does not matter in how many pieces your heart was broken;

the world will not stop for you to fix it.

 

So plant your own garden

and decorate your own soul

instead of waiting for someone

to bring you flowers.

 

And you learn that you really can endure

you really are strong

you really do have worth

and you learn

and you learn

with every goodbye you learn…


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Wishes 

Well, first I wish you love. And I wish it’s easily reciprocated. But if it’s not I hope you find the strength to pursue it. 

There is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. 

But you lose it, I hope you are quick in forgetting. And when you do, do it without resentments. 

Later I wish you are never alone. 

But if you are, feel the loneliness without despair. 

I also wish you have many friends and even if they are irresponsible and reckless, I hope they are courageous and loyal.

I wish in at least one you can trust without doubts. 

And because life is the way it is, I also wish you enemies.

Not many. Not few. 

Just enough so sometimes you can reevaluate your certainties.

I also wish you confidence, but never enough to make you think you are irreplaceable. 

And in bad times, when there’s nothing left, I hope this confidence is enough to keep you on your feet. 

While at it, I wish you tolerance and understanding. 

But not with those who make few mistakes, because that’s easy. 

But with those who screw up repeatedly and irreparably.

I hope this tolerance and understanding can be a good example to others. 

I wish that while you are young, you don’t try to mature too quickly. 

But when you do, I wish you don’t insist in getting younger. 

But above all, when you finally get old, do not feel desperate. Each age has its pleasures and its pains and you need to let them run their course within you. 

I also wish you some sadness. 

Not the whole year. 

Not a whole month or a whole week.

Only for one day. 

And on that day, I hope you learn that daily laughter is good 

But constant laughter is insanity. 

I hope you discover, with the utmost urgency, that there are oppressed people all around you.

Be grateful you are not one of them.

Be their voice. Join their fight. 

I wish you money, because its practical and fun. 

But at least once a year, put a portion of it in front of you and say: 

“This is mine.”

So you remember who owns who. 

I also hope none of your loved ones die. Both for them and for you. 

But if they do, I hope you can cry without self-blaming and suffer without resentments. 

I also wish you change. Not much. Just a little every year. Not for others. But for you. Change is progress and it’s important to improve ourselves every day. 

Finally, I wish you integrity and I hope you become a good man. 

And you find a good woman that will love you just the way you are. 

And when you do, appreciate her. People come and go, but to a precious few you should hold on. 

And when you do, I hope you learn to love her slowly. 

Love at first sight is infatuation. Real love grows. 

And as weird as it may sound, I also hope you two argue at least once a week, so you both remember you are unique individuals with independent personalities.

And if all this happens, I have nothing more to wish you.


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His Name is Kaio. 

I got the best one out of all. He is an old soul coupled with sarcastic witty personality. 

A caring little dude. 

A mini activist who likes to run around the house singing “love Trumps hate!” and “if he builds a wall I tear it down!”. 

Yes, I taught him those things, but he still chooses to learn and carry it every day which is rare for 3 year olds who are usually obsessed with super heroes instead. 

He is my super hero. 

He is confident and he doesn’t let others bully him. When I took him back to school wearing a pony tail, the older kids started making fun of him that he looked like a girl the moment we walked in. He then quickly responded “So? I like girls. Girls are cool. Right mom?”

He is a feminist. 

He is strong. Although he doesn’t have a “dad” he doesn’t care. He knows how to tie a knot, ride a skateboard and even throw a punch. He acts every day like his life is perfectly complete. Most of the time I am the one hurting for what he doesn’t have. He simply lives and does so with a continuous smile on his face. Sometimes I even wonder what it must feel like to be so happy all the time. 

He is so happy. 

He is loving too. I wake up with kisses almost every day. There are constant “I love you’s” throughout the day for no specific reason. Just because he has that much love to give. 

But don’t be fooled. He is far from perfect. 

He is stubborn and he has the worst potty mouth a toddler can have. 

Like every other human being he is flawed, but he knows it. And that’s what makes him so great in my eyes. 

After a bad tantrum or a bad word spoken, there is always an “I am sorry mommy. That was bad of me. I will try not to do it again ok?”

“I will try” is my favorite part of his apology. Because damn don’t we all know that trying to change is all we can really do? 
This is Kaio. I made him. I care for him every day. And I am damn proud of it. 

Today is not my day. Today is his day. 

It’s the day I celebrate everything he teaches me and remind myself how lucky I am to have been the portal that brought him from some unknown dimension into this world. 

I am just the messenger. 

He is the message. 


#mothersday2017


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Relaxing in Phuket and Surviving in Phi Phi 

Let’s start this post with Phuket, because not only it was my destination after Bangkok but also because it was the easy part of this two destination leg of my trip. 

Phuket is gorgeous. Getting there was easy. You can either take a bus from Bangkok, which I don’t recommend, or fly there. I bought a one way ticket for $30 dollars and the flight was only one hour long. There was no way this tired bitch was going to sit on a bus for 12 hours just to save $15 dollars. I am too old for that shit. 

Anyway, I arrived in Phuket early morning and right at the airport you can get a shuttle to any destination you want. They have different shuttles for different parts of the city. They all cost 200 baht and they drop you off right at your hotel lobby. A taxi costs around 1000 baht. No thank you. 

I spent just four nights in Phuket and even though it was enough to do everything on my list I could have easily stayed longer. It’s just one of those places that you just don’t want to leave. 

Day one was spent pretty much doing nothing and just relaxing by my very awesome resort pool. The one I ended up having to pay all by myself because my friend bailed last minute. 

I literally spent the whole day drinking, relaxing, sun tanning and facetiming with my Alaskan friend Carrie, aka Pocket Pal (a story for another story). I was exhausted from Bangkok and still jet legged from the 24 hours it took to get to Thailand. Doing nothing was necessary for survival. 
 

Day 2 was much more productive. I visited the Tiger Kingdom and did one of the scariest things of my life which was getting into a cage with a wild beast 6 times my size. I am not quite sure what I was thinking. It must have been the three shots of their local rum that gave me the courage. 


NO they are NOT drugged. They are very alert. In fact there are two trainers with you at all times. One holds a meat in front of them and the other takes your pictures. They all look healthy and all I saw was love from the trainers to the cats. People that know me, know I hate zoos and captivity. But this place rescues tigers from circuses and zoos and rehabilitates them. That’s why they are tamed. Not because they are drugged for my pleasure. With that said… we bonded over our patterns. 


Day 3 was spent at the beach sun tanning and getting all the massages I could get, each for $8 dollars for one hour. I had two that day. 

I stayed in Karon Beach which is a smaller beach just south of the famous Patong Beach. Patong is known for its party scene while Karon is more laid back. And since I was going to spend 5 days in Phi Phi Islands (the spring break capital of Southeast Asia), I was avoiding crowds and mostly alcohol while in Phuket. My liver needed to prepare itself for the beating it was coming it’s way. 


As usual, I always save the best for last so my last day in Phuket was spent at their elephant sanctuary riding one around their trails up the mountain. If I wasn’t atheist, I would have called the experience spiritual. Let’s just call it enchanting. 


If you are ever in Phuket this is a must do activity. Find the time, find the money, find a way. I can’t really put it into words what it’s like to be so close to these majestical creatures, let alone ride one around the highest point in town. Elephants are highly smart, sensitive and they will be extinct soon. Don’t listen to the negative things people say about elephant tracking. Yes, some places are horrible, worse than zoos and circuses combined so be sure to do a lot of research of the place you are going. I personally picked a sanctuary. The elephants are rescues from zoos and circuses and they stay there for habilitation. And the way these sanctuaries are able to survive are by allowing a limited amount of tourists to do tracking with the habilitated elephants. Reservations and required and you have to book in advance. 


After packing my days with activities in Phuket, I set off to Phi Phi Islands. My last stop in Thailand.  

Ahhh Phi Phi Islands. 

The most beautiful place I have ever seen in this lifetime. And I have been to many beautiful places. Phi Phi Island is Thailand’s island-superstar. It’s been in the movies. It’s the topic of conversation for travelers all over Thailand and even with all the hype it doesn’t disappoint. 

But it’s also the most dangerous for a borderline alcoholic like myself. I swear if I had stayed one extra day I would have died of alcohol overdose. Or something similar. 

Koh Phi Phi is like the Hunger Games Arena. Everything is either trying to eat you (in a good way 😏), kill you or completely blow your life into tiny pieces. 

I got there by taking one of their ferry boats from Rassada Pier on the other side of Phuket; an hour from my resort. The boat ride alone is about 2 hours and it’s a trip in itself. 


You pass many other islands and it’s hard to look away from the Hollywood style scenery all around you. The islands seem to rise from the sea like huge walls of rocks. 


Once you arrive in Koh Phi Phi, the main island, you are automatically pulled into the party atmosphere. There is a bar every 30 feet. The tiny streets are nothing but hostels, bars, clubs, local stores and restaurants. The music is blasting, the people are having a good time and it’s a non stop party. It can be very confusing for those used to a more organized city life but also an once in a lifetime experience. 

Like every other city before me, I stayed in a hotel rather than a hostel and it was located up in the hills a bit which helped me sleep at night. The main complaint I heard from the people I met who were staying right on the beach was that they couldn’t sleep with their walls vibrating from the music 24/7. 

The day after my arrival I rented a taxi boat and went straight to Maya Bay. It was that one place on my list that I had been waiting for my entire Thailand trip. It’s the island in which the movie The Beach was filmed and it was everything I expected it to be. 

It’s very important to get there early, around 6-7am before the cruises and boats loaded with people arrive. Anytime after 8am and you won’t be able to take a single picture without a hundred tourists and boats behind you.  

Once you leave Maya Bay, ask the boat guide to take you to Pileh Bay. It’s on the other side of the island and the PERFECT spot to snorkel and free dive. 

The next day I went to Monkey Beach which was also pretty amazing. Monkeys everywhere! But be careful because those fuckers know how to open purses and bags and they STEAL! You don’t want one of them taking your go pro and disappearing into the jungle with it. So keep your belongings next to you at all times. 

I then hiked what I call the “hike from hell” to the top of the island. There is absolutely no way this hike is from the lord. This was designed by Lúcifer himself. It kicked my ass. Mostly because I did it at noon, in a 97 degree weather and in sandals. Yes, I have this tendency of forgetting to pack tennis shoes for my trips. But even though the hike was cursed the view was worth every tear and “fucks” I said on the way up. It was by far the best view of the island. 

The rest of my time in Phi Phi was spent relaxing, getting drunk, passing out, getting drunk again, passing out again and repeating. With some rated R fun in between because only Jesus knows I am human.

On my third day I met the most amazing group of Brazilians in the island and the rest was history. I swear we are taking over the world, one booty at a time. 

Listen when I say that if you are ever in Phi Phi, you must, I repeat, YOU MUST go to the Ibiza Hotel Pool Party. This should not be an option for you. Repeat with me: “I will go to Ibiza’s pool party. I will go to Ibiza’s pool party”. It was crazy, wild, and everything that can possibly go wrong (in a good way) it will in that party. 

Obviously besides trying not to overdose on booze, you should try to do the usual beach stuff, like kayaking, paddle boarding, etc. you can find everything you want in Phi Phi. And I mean, EVERYTHING. 

On my final day there I decided to get a bamboo tattoo. You simply can’t go to Thailand and not get a tattoo. It shouldn’t even be legal to leave without one. So without any hesitation I tattooed a poem I had written for my son the day the Orange one, who should not be named, won the election back home. 

Translation:

“May your enemies run far away from you. May you know the power of your own strength. Always fly, but wherever you go, may you always be protected. If you see injustice, speak up. And every day may you find the courage to fight for what’s right. The world is beautiful and so is your kind wild heart.”

And that friends, is how I ended my Thailand Trip. 

So next time you are looking for a place to go in this beautiful world of ours, consider Thailand, more specifically consider Phi Phi Islands. I promise you it will be the best decision you will make. 

Check back in a week for my Bali Blog! 

Solo Travel Part I: Hell in Shanghai and Love in Bangkok

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Stay with me because this is a long two part post on the first leg of my solo trip through Southeast Asia. (At least there are plenty of nice pictures.)

Let’s start from the beginning… Silly me thought I could book a ticket with the longest layover in Shanghai so I could explore the city a little. Who doesn’t like two trips for the price of one?
So there I went and booked a 12 hour layover. I figured it only took the bullet train 8 minutes from the airport to the city center which meant I would have at least 8 hours to eat some good Chinese food and breathe their impeccable air quality. 

As I packed my bag I checked the weather of every single city I was going to visit. Do I need a coat? Boots? Parka for -40 degree weather (hi Carrie!). The weather was fabulous in pretty much every town in all four countries I was planning on visiting. Low 70’s, high 90’s. What else could a Brazilian girl ask for?

So off I went. Alone, a bit terrified and totally relaxed on some Xanax a friend scored me. 


The flight was fine. Mostly because I don’t remember it. Did I mention the Xanax? Yeah, it put me to sleep for 10 out of the 14 hours I had to spend crushed like a sardine in the economy class. I swear I need to be rich in life. 

I made it to shanghai. At that point I was wide awake. I was excited. Let’s fuck this bitch! I get my passport stamped with their 24 hour transit visa and off to customs and security I go. If you didn’t know this, you don’t need a visa to visit China if you are staying for less than 72 hours. They have three transit visas: 24, 48 and 72. A great way to visit of you have a long layover like me. 

Back to security. 

I put my huge ass backpackers bag down. It goes right through. I was pretty sure I ate the whole Xanax so there was nothing to find there. Except that there was. As they tell me to open my bag I am start to sweat. Did I forget anything? Shit must be my pepper spray. Please don’t be my pepper spray. 

No it wasn’t. It was my goddamn $40 power bank for my iPhone. Aparently that’s not allowed in their communist country. 

If you know me you KNOW I can’t live without my phone. It’s just as part of me as my beating heart. In fact, one day while holding my infant on one arm and my cell phone on the other and tripping through a set of stairs, I seriously considered dropping my infant instead of my phone. Baby’s bruises heal fast. An iPhone’s broken screen not so much. Don’t worry, I was able to hold on to both. 

So that Was how china welcomed me. By taking away part of my life. It’s ok though. I still had the regular wall charger. All I needed to do was find an outlet to plug that baby in. 

Success. 

Wait. Why the Fuck can’t I access my gmail and Facebook? What the fuck is going on? I promised my boss I would be connected. 

I start to panic. At this point I start to feel the tears coming down my face. 

I search for the next white guy I can find and ask him if he is having the same problem. “Mam’m this is China. Facebook and google are not accessible.”

What the Fuck did I just hear? 

Oh yeah it all came back to me. I chose a long ass layover in a goddamn communist country with no access to Facebook, google, gmail, google maps. Plus did I mention it was pouring raining and 45 outside? This bitch wasn’t going anywhere for a long time. The only option left was to call my Alaskan friends who I knew would cheer me up by savagely laughing at my situation. 

At least FaceTime still worked. So I bought myself a big ass gin and tonic and got drunk right there and then. Thankfully China hasn’t forbidden booze yet. 

So that’s how I spent 10 hours in shanghai. Stuck at the airport freezing my ass to death and completely unable to access my life. 

Now here comes the better part. The best part I should say: Bangkok. The land where you go to Bang cock. God I’ve been wanting to say this joke forever. 

And it’s true. Hot men are everywhere here. Australians, French, Argentinians. It’s like dick grows on trees in this place. And it’s 2-1; Way more guys traveling alone than women. Trust me, this is every single woman’s paradise. 

But back to my arrival. 

I arrived at 3am. Customs and security was easy. Everyone spoke Some English and they were extremely friendly. And most importantly, Facebook and google are fucking allowed. 

The first thing one must do after arriving in Bangkok is getting a local SIM card. You can do it right at the airport. Pick up your baggage, go though customs, walk out and there will be at least two local cell phone booths waiting to help you. They are open 24 hours a day. I set mine up in less than 5 minutes. It cost me 300 Baht which is about $8 USD for unlimited internet for 8 days. You can’t beat that. 

I then took a long nap until sunrise before going to my hotel. For safety reasons I just don’t feel comfortable taking a cab or the subway at 3am alone in a third world country I don’t speak the language of. 

May I just take a moment though to emphasize how magical Bangkok is? Yes it’s dirty and underdeveloped but I think that’s why I love it so much. It reminds me of Brazil. It’s real life. It’s messy and chaotic and passionate and warm and above all it’s happy. 

I had rested so much on the plane (damn I love Xanax) and then again on the airport floor that by the time I got to my hotel I was wide awake and went straight into exploring the town. 

The temples, the local merchants, the bright blue sky. Everything felt so right. Just like I imagined. I was able to see the grand palace and the reclining Buddha. I watched people from all over the world praying and even though I am an atheist, it felt good to see genuine faith. 

I then went wat pra kaew:

The next day I took a ferry across the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). 


In my opinion It’s the most beautiful temple in Bangkok.  A must see! But get there early before the crowds. I woke up at 5am and I was there by 7, right when it opened. There was literally  no one around so I was able to really enjoy the peace and quiet, and obviously take some awesome pictures. 


Wat Arun is Especially majestical at night when it lights up. Unfortunately my iPhone camera and all the lenses I bought still didn’t do justice to it’s night beauty. 

I then HAD TO go to Lebua Sky Bar. If you have seen the movie The Hangover II, it’s that rooftop bar/restaurant they go to look for their friend. To me it was the icing on the cake. It’s a must go destination in Bangkok. Not only the food and drinks are amazing, but it’s also the tallest open air bar in the world. You get the most breathtaking view of Bangkok… if you are not afraid of heights of course. 


The rest of my time here in Bangkok is being spent just literally wandering the city alone with no destination, people watching, eating like a cow and appreciating every little detail around me. 


If there is one thing you have to give it to Thailand is their attention to detail. Every street corner is a surprise. (This elegant man is the deceased king of Thailand. I’ve heard he was an amazing man). 

Here is the best advise I can give a solo traveler: invest in an iPhone tripod with a remote shutter (that’s how I took my own pictures) and create a bad ass soundtrack on your phone. 

I can’t emphasize enough how amazing it is to cross the city canals on boats, to wander the crowded streets and ride buses listening to your favorite music. It’s takes you even further into your experience. It emerges you into the moment. A few years from now I will listen to “To Binge” and “Cough Syrup” and I will remember exactly where I was during my trip. 

There is no better way to refresh the memory and pull us back into time than music. 
In summary, the first few days of my solo adventure have been pretty amazing (Fuck you China). Check back in a few days for some tips and adventures in Phuket and Phi Phi. 

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