Reflections, Travel + Leisure

So you’re going on your first Euro trip…

Yay!!! Congratulations, you are all booked!! Now, the important questions come. What should I pack? How do I make everything fit in this suitcase? Should I just take a carry on? I know, I had a whole bunch of those questions too. I tried looking at all kinds of blogs and YouTube videos trying to find the answer.

First thing, is first. Add the cities you are going to visit to your phone’s weather app. You pretty much have to become your own meteorologist, and start predicting the weather. If you’re good at this, then good for you! It would trick me here and there with random rain. That being said pack a light rain jacket (preferably with a hoodie) that you can throw on top of any outfit. Also, a light portable umbrella that the wind won’t break (in case you don’t feel like wearing a rain jacket). Let me tell you, I was not ready. I ended up buying a bright pink poncho just to not get my camera wet. I don’t want the same thing happening to you.

Learn from my mistakes- Unless you are a minimalist or staying on the beach the whole time for your trip. Don’t try to fit everything on a carry on. If that’s your style, maybe I can learn from you. I, on the other hand. I’m a person who likes options. My checked bag was too small. I should have gone all in, and bought the biggest one they allow. Also, invest on good luggage that has all four 360 wheels. You don’t want to be struggling across the world.

Picture above, is not how I ended up packing at all. When it came to the packing part, I watched a lot of YouTube videos on how to pack and after finding out I can’t fold s*it…I decided to buy packing cubes on Amazon and roll everything in my packing cubes. Saves space, and gets you somewhat organized. They even come with extra bags for your dirty underwear and socks. Which, I recommend to also buy arm and hammer baking soda balls that are for shoes, and throwing it in there. Shoes and jackets are the the items that will take up the most space in luggage. I put them in the bottom of the luggage and piled everything else on top. Another reason for a bigger suitcase, souvenirs.

Try to pick clothes that you can mix and match. I didn’t end up wearing these exact outfits together, because I dress according to my mood. I did however end up mixing pieces together and creating different outfits. Take clothes you can layer in case you get hot ( I would) especially when going inside of a place. I traveled in the fall, so for you it might be different. There would be times I didn’t even want to wear pants, and wore leggings and a long sweater instead. Take comfortable shoes, Europe like most Latin America has streets that are stone/brick. Don’t bust your ass trying to do the most. Unless, you’re just a bad B in some heels 👏, or you really know you’re going from Point A to Point B (aka sitting down to sitting down).

“What kind of purse should I bring?”, might be your next question. Sure was mine! I read so many blogs that were helpful, but also put fear in me about pick pocketing that I didn’t even take any of my cute purses. Wear any crossbody purse you like that isn’t too flashy. Try to keep your purse in front of you, and/or where you can feel it. People are going to be able to tell you aren’t from there no matter how you dress. Dress as cute, and as comfortable as you like. As long as you aren’t yelling around that you have money to blow, you will be fine. Just be cautious, like you would back home during holiday shopping. If you walk around looking scared, you will only look crazy to other people and draw attention to yourself.


I hope this helps some of you preparing for your big trip. I probably forgot to mention other tips. If you have any questions, comment below 👇. Remember this site has google translate if you need it.

Reflections, Travel + Leisure, Uncategorized

Mis Raíces 🌳

September is Hispanic Heritage month, so I thought what better time to show y’all my beautiful motherland than now. I’ve always been curious of where I’m from…I know where I was born, and I know where my parents were born. I just wanted to know where my ancestors before them were from, and how did they get here? Now that there are so many DNA ancestry tests available, I decided to take one and find out.

I feel that the picture above is a good description of why I have such a blend of different cultures in my DNA. I am 48% European, and 41.2% Native American. I found out that I have DNA from countries I didn’t even expect! It was very awesome to find out that I am .7% Italian, and that my Maternal Lineage comes from Siberia. That would explain why I’ve always been fascinated with the culture in those countries. The picture above was taken in front of the church El Rosario. It shows Christopher Columbus (most likely why I have European ancestors), and Martyrs/Saints that helped Native Americans in the country during the time of Conquistadores. They also brought Catholicism with them.

The church above is called El Rosario it is located in the department La Libertad in San Salvador, El Salvador. Pictures don’t do it justice. The way the light hits the stained glass windows is breathtaking. It creates a beautiful rainbow inside the church. Filing it with warmth.

El Salvador is a country rich in European, but mainly Spaniard culture. El Salvador declared it’s independence from Spain on September 15th of 1821. When you walk around and take in the architecture you can see the influence Spain had in El Salvador during colonization. This statue is in El Parque La Libertad, and it represents what it means. If you haven’t guessed by now “Libertad”, means liberty.  It’s a beautiful monument to look at. Theres just a certain type of way it makes you feel when, you stare at something that has such great meaning.

The part on my ancestry test that put a big smile on my face, was when I saw that 38.4% of what I have as Native American is from El Salvador. I’ve always been proud of my roots, and thought of my parents country just as my own. I spent as many childhood summers there as I have spent in Houston as an Adult. There is so much greenery, and just such a more beautiful way of life. People appreciate the little moments in life, and take every good moment in to make it through the tough moments. They have such a contagious positive attitude, and their vibes make you believe in yourself more. These are all thoughts that go through my mind as I stare at this beautiful waterfall in Perquìn with my family around me.

If you find yourself in Perquín, because you wanted to chase waterfalls. Then, I suggest you stop by El Museo de la Revolución. Where you will get educated on the civil war that was not that long ago. El Salvador’s civil war did not end until the 90’s. The entry is inexpensive. There is a tour guide that will tell you the whole history, and all you do is leave a tip.

Monseñor Romero is the most iconic, and respected in El Salvador’s history. Next month he will be named a saint by the Catholic Church. Learn more about him when you visit the museum, or really anywhere you go in El Salvador someone will be more happy to tell you the impact he’s made to the country. El Salvador is a beautiful country filled with its history, and I thought I would share a few of its light since mostly what is shown to the world is the dark.

La Catedral de Santa Ana speaks for itself. I’m a sucker for architecture, and it turns out we were there right when the the celebration for St. Anne (the patron Saint) was about to start. There is a festival, the streets are filled with people selling all types of food, souvenirs, and there’s local entertainment. These are just a few of the things you can find in my parents country, that is also very much my country. Amo a El Salvador como las Pupusas aman a el curtido 🇸🇻💕

Reflections, Uncategorized

Don’t Fret

DSC03586Every once in a while, you get moments in your life where everything is on a roll. It seems like your stars are aligned and the blessings are piling up. When you feed more positive vibes to it, you notice everything is going better (bigger blessings). Then, you get a little voice in your head (negative thoughts/people/situations). Don’t fret.

I get it, it’s hard. They say, “it’s all on YOU”, and “it’s your mindset”. Take control of it. It’s so easy to say, but the truth is…just like all great things in life it takes time. Shit, I’M still working on it. I have gotten to that point where I’m super positive, and things are going SO great that I decide to spread that positivity to others BUT they aren’t ready. They have a comeback to everything, as to why everything you are suggesting wouldn’t work, to what they’ve tried. Don’t let it stop you. Keep your head and vibes up.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama

Yes, some might say they aren’t being pessimists, but that they are being realist. That can be true, and trying to change someone’s mind who is determined on sticking to their mindset is only going to drain your battery. Maybe they are just going through a rough patch, and don’t want to hear it. Just let them be. Know this, the positive energy you have in YOU should not stop because of this. Happiness comes from within, and although the mood and circumstances of those we love can change our mood (temporarily) we can’t let that kill our entire vibe.

It took me a VERY long time to even get to a point where I can talk about positivity, motivation, and being inspired again. It took this blog, a detox, and having an inner conversation with myself to get to this point again. I’m not letting anything or anyone stop that from rolling. During lent last year, I gave up social media and read many books about “happiness”. One stood out called, “The book of JOY”. In one of the of the chapters called “Nothing Beautiful Comes Without Suffering”,  the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu talk about “how we face the negative in our lives is what determines the kind of person we become”, and that spoke to me.

I’m not saying give up on people, or cut them out of your life. I’m saying, don’t let a series of negative thoughts/circumstances/comments dictate your future/thoughts/moods. Use those as lessons to create something beautiful. Be like the lotus flower that grows in the mud, or like Tu Pac would say, “the rose that grew from concrete”.

What is stopping you today? See you next week.

Love,

 

Jenny