31 / Miami, FL / Travel + storytelling.
Also stoked about?
I love flea markets, vintage hunting, and repurposing items to give them new life. I’ve been feeling the need to use my hands more, so I’m excited to see where that leads me. I’m all about physical movement. I also dig food. Not in the Instagram-worthy sense, but in the cultivation + craft of it.
Favorite place to get outside?
Locally, I’ve come to love just walking the Venetian Causeway. You never know if you’ll spot a stingray or a manatee. I love going to Key Biscayne, Bill Baggs, and Oleta State Park. Paddleboarding is always an option. When traveling, I’m drawn to mountainous areas since I don’t see them daily. I’m particularly enamored with California, Colorado, and Utah. I also love British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.
Go to Gear?
My MPG backpack. It is waterproof, holds everything I need, and has a sleek exterior. My Lululemon Baller Cap. It’s made from athleisure material so I can wash it by hand. My Nike MD RUNNER 2 MID sneaker-boot. It handles the snow and terrain well. And Sabahs are awesome for traveling.
What’s your story?
I was born in Puerto Rico, raised in South Florida. My mother worked for Delta so she had us traveling before we could walk. We took annual family trips and the first time I flew alone was at 10 or 11. “Doing things” was important to my parents so we’d get in the car and drive places at least once a month. An hour to get a certain sandwich, to The Keys to go to a certain beach, or to Redlands just for cinnamon rolls. They let us try whatever we wanted: dance, sports, arts. And when it no longer spoke to us, there was no pressure to keep it up.
This subconsciously instilled a sense of independence, self-security, and curiosity. This freedom and support helped me find my way to writing, which now allows me to chase whatever curiosity is teasing me at the time. I didn’t put all the pieces together until I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Flight of the Hummingbird.” I am a Hummingbird. As for my creative and outdoor side; I don’t know where the hell that came from. My only gripes growing up is that we didn’t have a backyard and never traveled anywhere that dropped below 70 degrees.
What’s something you’ve accomplished recently that you’re really proud of?
I finally learned how to ski in January and spent a solid chunk of February putting together a women’s health event for International Women’s Day. I have endometriosis and having the opportunity to finally bring an open forum for this to fruition was deeply rewarding.
Anything coming up that you’re stoked about?
I got a free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass, so that has to happen this year. My partner and I are calling this year “The Year of Living Vicariously Through Ourselves.” We’d like to dive into our places of origin. I’m taking him to Puerto Rico to visit the caves, the bioluminescent bays, the rainforest. We’re also trying to go Italy. My goal this year is to build. And I’m only saying ‘yes’ to things that stir me. I’m ecstatic to create space for things that are more truthful. Energy is reciprocal, so I’m being extra conscious about what I put out there.
Who inspires you?
My parents. They are tremendous human beings who decided to live life their way but have also created this ferocious sense of unity between us all. They wanted us to fly but never forget our perch. And my niece, whom I adore. I’m trying to see the world through her eyes and make sure that the world I leave her with is better than the world I came into.
How did you get into writing?
As a teenager, I was flipping through an in-flight magazine and noticed the editor had their email listed under their letter. Emailing was still new and exciting so I naively decided to send them a query asking how I could write for magazines when I graduated college. And they actually wrote back. Their effort resonated with me.
My Hummingbird-ness weaved me through a lot of career possibilities before I eventually made my way back to writing. I did athletic training, radio promotions, showroom sales, and public relations before I decided to apply for a local newspaper gig. The pay was atrocious since it was right after the economy crash, but I was so excited that I took the job anyway.
What is Moxie & Meanderings?
It’s my personal site and a place that holds all the things that make up my point of view + portfolio. I have few ideas for its evolution but haven’t really given myself the space to put that into fruition yet. This year is it. “Moxie” because I’m attracted to bolder or braver things, and “Meanderings” for the play on it’s meaning. It’s my desire for physical and mental exploration.
Getting paid to show up to events, travel and explore seems pretty ideal. Beyond the glitz. what are some of the challenges you face?
My line of work functions on multiple levels. I have worked with clients who flew me to destinations to help them evolve their branding. Outside of clients, I’ve been hosted for a lot of dope stuff, which has opened my eyes to a world of things I would have never experienced otherwise. I’ve been to destinations I’ve never heard of and tried foods I normally couldn’t afford. It’s an enormous privilege, so I’m very cautious about what and how I publish or pitch. On the editorial side, I don’t get paid until a story is accepted so it’s always a game of throwing darts. The constant need to pitch and the fact that you don’t always have the final say on what or how something gets published is the most daunting part of it.
When you’re not creating content or checking out a new city, what are you up to?
I try to be as dynamic as possible. Movement is important to me. Fitness, yoga, walking, dancing; I try to get something in daily. It’s actually quite difficult for me to stay seated for too long. And resting. Because the battery needs to be recharged too.
What’s something that you have learned from being a freelancer that everyone should know?
Freelancing takes an absurd amount of discipline, tenacity, and self-awareness. There is a level of financial uncertainty and self-imposed stress you have to learn to live with. It can also be quite isolating. No office parties or holiday gift exchanges here. Yes, I do have more freedom than most, but I’m also responsible for every aspect of my own success. I am: the accountant, publicist, office manager, creative director, website designer and social coordinator, etc. To succeed as a freelancer, you have to operate as a business. You have contracts, invest in a lawyer, learn to say ‘no.’
What has helped you balance adventuring + everyday responsibilities?
In healthy adventuring, something has to be structured. It’s an oxymoron, but your life has to have an axis to spin on. I know I’m not a 9-5 person. I thrive in a freelance environment, but if there isn’t something that binds it all together, it can sometimes feel chaotic. I realize I need a sense of calm and fluidity that actually allows for spontaneity.
For me, it was committing to a trainer schedule. It helped simplify my life and is a commitment and investment to my health and balance. Knowing that certain times and days are blocked out helps me gauge the activity for the rest of my week: Have I slept enough to maintain this workout? Have I eaten properly? Did I drink the night before? Am I saying ‘yes’ to events and invites because they are new, out of some strange FOMO or, do I truly want to experience them? Committing to this one act has significantly helped me declutter my life.
What’s something really important to you?
Having endometriosis has made me become very self-aware of my wellness. It is my top priority. After that, my relationship with my family, partner, and friends. Everything else falls into place.
One Instagram account that you’re crazy about?
@thejungalow The plants!
Go to drink?
Sparkling water with lemon or lime. An IPA with bar food or white burgundy when I’m feeling fancy. Spirits are usually met with a ginger ale, ginger beer, or club soda.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. Keep exploring, + inspiring.
Stranded on Land