Single Mom Out Loud

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


Leave a comment

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.” ~ curiano.com

 

*This piece is for my dear friends Carrie Hill and Jason J Hill and all the other amazing people I met because of my Big Mistake.*

 

 

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

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


1 Comment

On Mother’s Day, A Message to Weak Women Who Date Absent Fathers

Recently I found myself in the most nerve wrecking situation any mother could find herself: fighting to legally keep her child. It’s the reason why I am so behind in blogging about the rest of my south east Asia trip. I promise those posts are coming soon though. 

As most of my followers and readers know, my son’s biological father is not involved in any way in in his life. Last time he saw or called my son, he was only 7 months old, exactly 3 years ago. I say MY son because I believe being a dad is not an entitlement, it’s an earned privilege.  I also have never said his name before because I don’t believe in slandering others, even those who are constantly trying to harm us. So may his identity be forever kept secret. 

Anyway, My son’s father, the one who shall never be named, is also not on his birth certificate, my son doesn’t have his last name and he rarely makes full child support payments. He has never tried to visit him, call him or get his name on his birth certificate. He has been completely absent for three years. Some would call him a deadbeat dad, I just choose to call him absent. What can I say, I am a classy bitch. 

Fast forward to April 10th, when I found out that this same guy who has REFUSED to speak to us in three years, had filed for a restraining order against me in my son’s name; meaning that if granted by the judge I would not only lose custody but I would also not be allowed within 100 yards of my child. 

He filed this based on an altercation we had back in 2011 and a very chaotic and volatile relationship that followed. In order to file in my son’s name, he falsely claimed I abuse my child, that I could potentially kidnap him back to his home country of Brasil (that’s where my son and I were born) and that I am a danger to him. Thankfully he did not win. All false allegations were rejected by the court and I kept my child. 

But here is the plot twist: all these allegations came FIVE days after I notified him that I had filed for unpaid child support. 

That’s right. For three years he never worried that I was abusing my son and that my son was in danger. It only occurred to him this possibility after I decided to go after my son’s money. Some would call him a dick for retaliating against something that is my son’s right. Others would call him a very neglectful parent for allowing “his” child to live with such an abusive mother for so long without even a single call to check if he was still alive. I rather keep my opinion of him to myself. 

Because this post is not about him. 

This post is about her. 

The “woman” who stood across from me in the court hallway for over 8 hours waiting to testify against me even though she never met my child, or for that matter, me. And I say woman in quotations because I am pretty sure Susan B. Anthony and Simone de Beauvoir would be rolling in their graves if they knew that “women” like these still exist. 

I wish I could scream her name for the whole world to hear, but I don’t want to give her the satisfaction of being known. 

We all know one or two of these “women”. They are extremely submissive. They are very motherly to their man. They speak softly, they keep their head down (like this specific one did the whole time in court), they don’t question anything they do and they are just happy being their man’s shadow and arm candy, both at work and in every other aspect of their lives. They are like German shepherd dogs, blindly loyal to their owners and what I call true weak bitches. And they will do whatever they need to do to please their man, even if it means creating fear, chaos, harming toddlers, mothers, friends and families they don’t even know. 

As a feminist, I believe every woman has the right to choose what kind of space they want to take in this world. You have the right to choose to be a stay home mom, or you can choose to pursue a career. You can choose to be an activist and fight for a better world for other women, or you can spend hours in front of the mirror applying makeup and getting your hair done. 

I believe in choice. 

What I don’t believe in is the right to hurt, harm and cause destruction on another’s life simply because you are too weak to say no. 

On this Mother’s Day I want to congratulate every single mother on this planet that has to deal with this type of “woman” in their lives. Maybe she is your ex’s current girlfriend, or maybe even his wife. They don’t know the struggle you go through every single day to raise your child ALONE but they sure know how to judge you and even hurt you.  They never had to wake up in the middle of the night to feed your child. They never stayed up all night bringing his or her fever down. They never bought them a gift. They never bothered to meet them. They know NOTHING about your child or what it is to be a mother.  But somehow they think they are entitled to judge your parenting and disrupt your entire life, simply because their man asked them to. 

If you, a mom, have dealt or are dealing with these creatures, I am sorry. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry. Know in your heart that it’s not your fault. You are not a bad mom because some stranger thinks so. It’s not your fault your child is fatherless. You are not broken or less than her simply because she has him (not that we want them anyway). And you should never EVER feel any fear of losing your child to these “women”. That is not a fear any single mother should EVER feel. And most importantly: know that THEY WILL NEVER BE YOUR CHILD’S MOM even if one day you have the misfortune of being forced by a judge to allow this creature near your child. Your motherhood is something they will never take from you, no matter how hard they try. 

I wish I could say that I wish upon these “women”, the same pain they inflict in others if they ever become mothers themselves. But I can’t. Because the fear of losing a child is not something I wish upon anybody. Not even the lowest and ugliest human beings. 

She will never understand the pain she put me through. She will never feel the anxiety and knot in my stomach every time I thought about the possibility of losing my son. She wasn’t there to hold me up when I was having a panic attack. She didn’t see me sleeping at friends’ houses the whole week before trial because the sight of my son’s bedroom and toys would trigger an emotional meltdown. She wasn’t there to see how much I cried, how little I ate, how much I spent and the hell she put me through. She didn’t see any of it. She didn’t think of it. She didn’t care about it. All she did was what she was trained to do: follow around and obey her owner regardless of anything, like a well trained dog. 

To these women I wish strength, a louder voice and the courage to claim their space in both their relationship and in this world, which every day tries to confine us into societal cages. But above all, to these women I wish compassion and a sense of sisterhood towards other women. This is something their weak and submissive personality seriously lack. 

I even thought about writing this “woman”, that sat across from me with the intent of taking away the most valuable thing in my life, a very angry email after the pain she inflicted in me. But I thought it would be more generous of me to just give her a whole page on my blog instead, since I also learned in court that she loves printing and collecting my writing. 

So this one is for her. This one is for her collection. May one day she become a more empathetic and stronger human being. 


Special note: Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there ESPECIALLY the single, hard working moms like myself pulling double duty every day because some guy out there thinks he is too cool to do his share. May our days be filled with peace and may those who think they can fuck with our cubs think twice. 


Leave a comment

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, knows I hate zoos and captivity. But this place rescues tigers from circuses and zoos and rehabilitate 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

Leave a comment

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 Cel 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 Cel 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. 

This gallery contains 33 photos


Leave a comment

My Own Eat Pray Love Adventure

Ah, Eat, Pray, Love.  Is there any book that has been so simultaneously embraced and reviled by women everywhere?

To those of you unfamiliar with the book, Eat, Pray, Love is the memoir of a woman in her early thirties who was left broken after a terrible divorce.  She decided to spend a year around the world: four months in Italy, where she would rediscover pleasure (EAT); four months in India, where she would meditate in an ashram (PRAY); and four months in Bali, where she would learn how to fuse the two (LOVE).

And without giving too much away, she rebuilt her soul in a beautiful way.

I read the book back in 2009 when I was just 23 and right after ending an engagement and soon later finding myself in a very passionate and chaotic relationship with an older man who 4 years later would become the father of my child. At the time the book resonated with me in ways that no other book, movie or story has ever done. 

I knew I wanted to go on a solo trip myself. Some type of journey to find myself just like Liz from Eat Pray Love. But at that age I lacked the money, the strength and the clarity to take the plunge. 

I started dating when I was 15. He was 23 and very abusive. After I turned 20 and gained the maturity and strength to leave him I found myself jumping from relationship to relationship with sometimes not even a week between them. I was codependent, terrified of being alone, completely addicted to the idea of love and repeatedly filling my life with drama and chaos in order to fill the void. 

During these 15 years of broken hearts, failed relationships, and horrific life choices that always pushed me in the opposite direction of where I wanted to be in life, the one thing I always remember wanting to do was travel the world. I wanted to see everything. But I just never gained the courage to do so. A lot of times I did travel. But always with a man. Always because thats what HE wanted to do.

Fast forward to mid 2014 when my son’s father (the guy I dated after my broken engagement) kicked me and our 6 month old son out of his house. I was homeless, jobless, and completely emotionally shattered. It took me roughly a year to get back on my feet. I spent many nights on friends couches with my newborn, I depended on food stamps and relied heavily on my mom for support.

When 2015 came around I was in a much better place, I had rented the loft of my dreams in downtown LA, I was succeeding at my career, my writing was starting to be recognized and featured in major sites and money was starting to flow once again.

But something was still missing.

It wasn’t the desire to be in another relationship again. It wasn’t men. It was my desire to travel.

12987213_10153679500233892_7271603889340773743_n.jpg

For years I had put that desire away due to boys and self created dramas and entanglements with the law. Then later came my big break up (that one that changes everything about us) and all the stress and responsibilities that came with single motherhood. But once my life started to fall back on track and I was finally emotionally stable, I knew that it was time to do what I always wanted to do. Slowly I started to take short trips. I went to 7 different states last year and 2 different countries. One of them was Costa Rica. I spent 10 days there in a solo adventure that empowered me in many ways. I stayed in hostels, I hitchhiked, I made great friends who since then have come to visit me here in LA.

But I wanted more. I wanted a longer trip to a farther destination. A place I did not speak the language. I speak Spanish so Costa Rica wasn’t much of a challenge. And thats what I ultimately wanted: a challenge for my soul.


But I also knew that I couldn’t take 6 months off work or away from my son. Time was limited so I had to plan accordingly. I then reached out to one of my girlfriends and asked her if she wanted to spent two weeks in Thailand with me. To my surprise she did and we immediately booked tickets and I booked all (non refundable) hotels. When traveling alone, I highly recommend hostels and airbnb so you can meet other people who can show you the local hidden gems of your destination. But because hostels charge per person and it was two of us traveling, we came to the conclusion that hotels would be a better option. In Thailand you can book 4 star hotel rooms for $50-60 if you go off season like we were going.

We picked the best options I could find. I paid for them and we would later figure out the details of who owed who. I sent my child to Brazil with my mom for 2 months and things were all set to go.

Then 3 weeks before our trip my friend backed out due to reasons that I rather not discuss because everyone has different morals and opinions on whats right. But I was angry, disappointed and terrified at the same time. I had spent all this money on hotels (that she obviously would no longer pay for her part), I had spent money on my kids ticket to Brazil, I had requested the days off work and I was then faced with two options: Cancel my trip as well and lose all the money I had already invested in it or suck it up and find an alternative.

If this had happened when I was younger I am positive that I would have not had the courage to venture out to southeast Asia alone. But now, at almost 31 ( and with my birthday planned to be spent in a spectacular resort in Phi Phi island), I just couldn’t back out.

I studied carefully my options, safety statistics of Bangkok, Phuket and Phi Phi and I jumped right into what I call my own Eat Pray Love Adventure. I went even further and extended my trip two more weeks to Indonesia (Bali) and Singapore.

If we are going to take a leap of faith might as well jump from the highest cliff.


So in 5 days, my month long Southeast Asia journey begins and I have to admit I am equaly excited and terrified. 

Adventuring alone is exciting, but it’s also scary. But until I realized that I had places I wanted to go and no one to go with, I struck out on my own because my desire to continue traveling was greater than my fear of traveling alone.

Don’t wait as long as I did. When you are in your 20s time is your most valuable asset. Not money, not your job, but your time. Use it wisely.


If you have some place in mind and can’t find anyone to go with, take the plunge yourself. Once you make the decision to go it alone, you can get started planning your awesome solo adventure. The nicest thing about a solo trip is that you get to pick exactly everything you want. One of the best things about solo travel is that you don’t have to compromise with others on what they want from the experience. You can eat wherever you want, do whatever activities you enjoy and spend as much (or little) money you want. Everything is about YOU.

People who have never traveled alone often describe their first solo trip as an almost religious experience. To take in new surroundings unfiltered by the prejudices, tastes or preferences of a traveling companion can be heady stuff. Traveling alone gives you the chance to indulge yourself fully.

12994542_10153686699143892_7109618277710404360_n.jpgOf course, single travel has its perils too — such as safety concerns, loneliness and the dreaded single supplement. But a little preparation and common sense can save you money and get you through the rough spots. I learned this when I went to Costa Rica.

While you shouldn’t let safety concerns totally dampen your wanderlust, you should take it into consideration when choosing your destination. Do research before booking your trip to make sure the place you’re going is okay for you to travel alone.

Also, make sure you know your basic self defense moves, familiarize yourself with scams common to your destination, be aware of your surroundings, let friends and family know our itinerary and keep them updated throughout the trip so they always know where you are. Make sure you also have the necessities on you at all times in case you need to make a quick escape. This includes enough cash for a cab, a phone card, your ID, and the contact info for your accommodations. Know a few helpful phrases in the local language, such as “help”, “hurt”, “doctor”, and “hospital”.  If you’re in a foreign country, know where the embassy is and roughly how to get there from areas you’ll be spending most of your time. And lastly, time your arrival and departures for daylight (especially if you’ll be lugging a big suitcase with you) so that you can try to avoid anyone wanting to steal your stuff. This was not possible for my SE Asia trip. All my flights are overnight and I don’t arrive in Bangkok, Singapore and Bali until around 2-3am. So in this case I am choosing to wait at the airport until sunrise to get a cab. This will also save me a couple nights in accommodations. 

Solo adventures offer you a sense of freedom in many ways, but the most important thing is to keep yourself safe.

Lastly, document your experience. You’ll be able to give recommendations when people ask in the future. One of my favorite things to talk about with other people is where they plan to go, and to share my suggestions. Making someone else’s trip a little bit more awesome with insider information always feels great!

Traveling alone isn’t for everyone—but you should at least give a try. You’ll have a chance to completely embrace your interests and engage in some self-reflection. Remember, it’s okay to go alone.13015434_10153690508418892_128315276921738469_n.jpg

And don’t forget to check back here and on Instagram/brisaoutloud for (almost) daily updates of my Eat Pray Love Adventure starting March 11th!


Leave a comment

Aleppo Christmas Massacre: Apathy Kills

baby26

“Did you hear about women committing suicide in Aleppo to avoid rape?”

“No I didn’t. That’s horrible.”

“Yeah I know. Did you get the report I sent you? Its due today.”

Apathy kills.

I read the news about Aleppo after hearing about the rape avoidance suicides from my boss. Its heartbreaking. I could feel their pain. I cry. Time to be productive though, my report is due and I can’t afford to not get a bonus. There are Christmas gifts to buy.

Apathy kills.

There are claims that there has been at least one incident of children being burned alive. As president Assad’s forces appear to have taken control of Aleppo which has been at the centre of the country’s bloody civil war for the past four years, there are now concerns for up to 100,000 civilians trapped in the city with no way out. But I need to focus, there is a meeting later and I need to finish a PowerPoint presentation.

Apathy kills.

I drive to lunch, order my salad and read some more. Assad’s army are invading homes and slaughtering women and children. People are sending their farewell messages all over twitter and Facebook. “Where is humanity? Why wont the world help us?”. Why won’t we? My salad is ready; I need to eat quick. My report is still not done and I need that bonus.

Apathy kills.

“If the US and the international community continue to prevaricate on action, we could see 100,000 people killed in Aleppo over Christmas.” Said one newspaper. I cry again. It’s the third time just today. Its a real Christmas massacre. But there is nothing I can do really. Taking in refugees is dangerous to our country. I mean, would you take a handful of skittles from a bowl if you knew one could kill kill you? Of course not. Children being rapped and slaughtered in Aleppo is sad but we can’t risk the skittles. But I want to be clear that I am pro life.

Apathy kills.

Assad’s army are moving in the last rebel controlled area of about 2.5 square miles. At this rate the battle for Aleppo should be over by next week. Right before Christmas. Shit, I still have to buy my Christmas dress.

Apathy kills.

The Syrian regime has made it abundantly clear to all that it will take Aleppo at any cost. And we stand and watch as a slaughter unfolds on our screens in real time, while those who complain about everything are silent and those who could help explain why they can’t. My report is almost done.  I need some coffee.

Apathy Kills.

Another article about Syria on my Facebook feed. I cant help but read it. Assad’s army just bombarded a building with 100 children inside. UNICEF is asking for help. My report is finally done. Its 5pm and I need to pick my up my son. I can taste my bonus.

Apathy kills.

Dinner is ready. My kid is bathed and fed and as I put him to bed safely and healthy I cant help but think about the thousands of children trapped in Aleppo who are hungry and cold and bleeding and dying. I cry yet again. I need to get my mind off of it. A cute puppy video. This is better.

Apathy kills.

Syria reports of massacres against children are all over the internet and TV. The whole world is watching. But instead of intervening, France will just turn off the lights of the Eiffel Tower tonight in solidarity with the people of Aleppo. Instead of protesting the silence of our government in the wake of such brutality, we just continue to write cute posts on Facebook. If we look away long enough it will be over and we wont have to put any of our brave men and women in harm’s way, and can look forward to President Trump charging over the hill to pick up what’s left and do one of his great deals with Putin. He is a great businessman and he will put America first. That’s what matters. And Christmas. And all the gifts under the tree. And my bonus of course.

Apathy kills.