Control Freak

Let Go and Let God

“I have a plan for my life.”

If you know me, then you have heard me say this at least 100 times. I have always liked having a structure for my life and I really can’t stand when things don’t go according to my plan. In the past three years I have had to adapt to many changes that I hadn’t “planned” for which completely turned my world upside down. I began to get easily overwhelmed and even shut down for a few days. I would sit in my room and just stop everything, the problem with this is that instead of trying to find a way to work around my problems or situations I would just drop everything and instead accomplish nothing. 

Trust me when I say that I can’t stand change, at least not when it isn’t foreseen like a scheduled trip or something along those lines. I was never that spontaneous girl until today, I now seek adventure and trips. This change was only made possible by one thing; FAITH. Now, I’m not trying to get all religious on you or push anything on anyone I’m just speaking from my personal experience. I kept thinking “man, life shouldn’t be this hard” and believe me I know that I don’t have it as bad as others but in that moment I felt like everything that could go wrong was going wrong- I felt so lost. I began to flake on my friends, on assignments, and  even push away my family. I had suffered the loss of my mother and in that time I felt only she could console me and that wasn’t an option so I did the only thing I hadn’t tried and that was praying. I prayed for strength, courage, to be fearless, to feel free and you know what? God has definitely been listening and answering. I have long since given up control and let God decide what is best for me.

I know I don’t have the answers and that’s okay because I’m not supposed to, you don’t have to feel alone all the time, you don’t have to feel defeated or hopeless because He was there for me and he will be there for you too. He brought people into my life to help nurture me back to my old self with an edge. Trust his timing. I am now more fearless & I don’t consider myself indestructible but I know that any challenges or obstacles that come my way I won’t have to face them alone because I have Him by my side. 

In my experience, letting go of the wheel has been the best decision. I don’t feel like I have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I finally feel liberated and loved and I know He’s proud of my progress and it brings me so much happiness and fulfillment. My heart is no longer broken but it’s not yet healed because things take time, but they do eventually get better. 

Stay strong & keep the faith.  He will guide you to your destiny. ❤️

xo

Love Yourself First

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Growing up in the 21st Century it’s easy to find relationships so appealing, you have Disney movies growing up as a child, then Nicolas Sparks’ movies as a teen, and lastly movies like Fifty Shades of Grey in your 20’s. We’re programmed to always consider relationships to be something a girl should strive for. Depending on your culture you’re also inclined to grow up treating the men in your family a certain way, whether it’s obeying their every order or catering to their every need or just staying silent when you’re around them.

I can’t even begin to express how much this bothers me. Yesterday at our mid-week service at Keeping It Real Church the service was about Defying All Odds. These odds can be anything from failing a test to the most difficult of circumstances like losing someone dear to you, I just want you to remember that this current situation that you find yourself is temporary and I beg of you to not let it consume you. In the service Isaac said that the odds you’re facing are so intimidated by you, they know you have it in you to overcome and it’s up to you to walk with God and know that through Him all things are possible.

You can do this, whatever is standing in your way from achieving something will not stop you. You are a strong force to be reckoned with, let those obstacles you’re facing know it! Remember that your current situation is not your final destination and you are not your failures or mistakes. Also, just because your family has had a certain track record does not mean you are destined to follow in their footsteps- you can always pave the way to something greater and I have faith that you will. I know that in times that are hard that’s the easiest time to give up on God, but know this, God will never give up on you.

As a female I have learned a few things, you either become someone else’s perception of you or you become your own. I used to care what people thought about me or being in a relationship but I honestly don’t see the point in being with someone if your heart is not in it. I rather work on myself and accomplish my goals before ever joining my life to someone else’s when I still have things that I need to do on my own. I don’t see anything wrong with taking a break from relationships and things they entail to really focus on YOU. You matter, because at the end of the day who do you have to look at in the mirror? Yourself. I ask you to take time out of the day or week and journal or read a book for pleasure, or go to your favorite spot to think and spend some quality time with you.

Enjoy & Relax

XO

Costa Rica: Reflecting 

    
As my time here in Costa Rica has come to an end (for now) I have learned many things on this trip. Had I not come I believe my outlook on things probably would be very different. First I’ll recap on how we spent the last few days.

Day 7&8 complete ✔️

On Thursday my friend Eli and I knew we wanted to go zip lining at some point in our trip so we called around this was the day to do it! We went to a place called Pura Aventura which was only about an hour or so from our hotel in Liberia. The experience was so amazing I loved it. (See previous blog post for pictures & video) 

On Friday we went to visit the famous Volcan Arenal, the biggest volcano in all of Costa Rica. We first parked the car then hiked down to the river of the volcano and swam inside. Also, there was black sand which is incredible for your skin so we put it all over and scrubbed- my skin was so soft afterwards! (see below):  

  

 

After the river went on the next trail to the waterfall. The trail was inside a resort but you don’t need to actually stay there to enjoy the trails which was super amazing, see video below of the waterfall at the end of the stairs:

On the way to Arenal we passed the biggest lake which in Spanish is Laguna, and it was such a sight to see.  This was a picture from my snapchat story.
 
 The landscape was so green and lush and breathtaking I truly fell in love.

On Saturday, our last full day we went to El Rincon de la Vieja with a couple of the locals. This location had a national park and it’s very own small volcano! There was also a hidden waterfall that you had to pay $5 to get to because it was on private property. Trust me when I say it’s worth it ! Do it and visit the waterfall it was my favorite from the whole trip to swim in, the water was so turquoise it was stunning. See below:

   

   

This trip taught me to be humble, to be open to new experiences and to cherish the people around you and the places you visit. So thankful to have come on this trip. Click to see Vlog #1 of Costa Rica 2016!
We will miss you Costa Rica, until next time.❤️ 

XO

Costa Rica: Sweet Escape


Day 5&6 complete ✔️

I have come to the realization that I really needed this trip more than I thought for more reasons than one. I just left a job that was leaving me very unhappy, I have let some poisonous people out of my life, I forget sometimes how truly blessed I am.

We rented a car so we drive everywhere and it has really opened my eyes to how lucky I am for all that I have, I am so blessed to have a roof over my head and a car that gets me from point A to B. I’ve met people here who walk miles just to get home on a daily basis. How foolish of me to think that it wasn’t “that hard” for them, in fact it’s only worse is Nicaragua from what I’ve heard. Supposedly the wages there are practically unliveable. Being here has been a slap in the face of sorts to thank god everyday for all the blessing He gives us, often times we take the little things for granted when we really shouldn’t.

One must always cherish what you have as you never know when it could be taken from you. 

On Wednesday we had a late breakfast at the hotel and I drank coffee from Costa Rica for the first time ! So good guys, I’m buying some and taking it with me, my dad is going to love it. Now, I am Salvadorean so I am used to a certain breakfast and luckily the breakfast here is pretty close! We eat eggs with tomato, rice mixed with beans, bread (instead of tortilla), and I ask for fried plantains (if you’ve never tried this – do it asap!) which is very delicious! Next we went to Playa Conchal which was so cool, the “sand” at this beach isn’t sand it’s broken seashells. We went a little late so the waves were pretty high and I didn’t want to get swept away so I just by where the tide barely hit, then we walked over to the next beach which was Basilita Beach which was also very pretty but the water was not cold at all because of the heat. I have tanned quite a bit even if I put a layer of sunscreen every day. We then had dinner and came back to the hotel to deshell ourselves which was not so fun- I had shells Everywhere.

On Thursday we woke up to get ready and stopped by a small market to get something quick and made our way to Pura Aventura where we had made 1:30pm reservations. We ended up getting there like two hours early on accident but the girl who worked there; Gabby was so sweet and she kept us entertained meanwhile. Once everyone was ready we headed up to start Zip lining ! This was my first time so I didn’t really get nervous until I was about to jump the first one but it was AMAZING. I feel like I really have been missing out, the views are insane and the people are so nice and they let you feel safe. I will definitely be doing that again wherever I travel next. Afterwards we headed to Playa Negra to enjoy the view, I wanted to see black sand but it wasn’t what I was expecting because it looks just like Cali sand. We made it to Restaurant Latina which was on the way back and had some nachos with chicken and a pineapple juice (freshly made) and it tasted like heaven. Lastly, we came back to the hotel and went for a swim before showering and calling it a day.

Once again words cannot fully express how lucky and happy I feel to be here, and I am taking every day in slowly and making sure I remember it all. I’ve included some pictures from today below.


    


More to come!

XO

Costa Rica: Relaxing Oasis 

 Day 3&4 complete ✔️

On Monday we decided to take it easy as my calves were beyond sore from all the hiking we did at Rio Celeste, so we decided to go to the beach. We went to Playa Hermosa (pictured above). 

The drive only took about 20-30 minutes and once we got there it was easy to find parking you just tip the person who is watching over your car and they do watch over them because I left something valuable and it was still there when we got back. Next, we were going to take a snorkeling tour but because the person we bought the access from  didn’t warn us about the unsteadiness from the boat and we had a minor accident that could have been much worse but luckily that wasn’t the case for us. Caution: If you are going to be doing any activities make sure the guides are from a company with good reviews, you’re better safe than sorry. After the accident we decided to not let it drag us down and we chose to tan and take pictures while we were in such a beautiful destination.  See pictures below:

  
   
After the beach we had a late dinner at Papa Johns and chilled out in the room. In case anyone is wondering my bathing pictured above is from Pacsun. 

On Tuesday we decided to have a late start but mostly because we slept in & we ate at a restaurant nearby in the town and I definitely recommend eating close by rather than trying to find some well known restaurant because odds are you will end up spending more money than you’d like. For breakfast/lunch we only spent $6 USD each for our food which was flavorful and a good portion. Afterwards we headed to Cataratas Llanos de Cortéz which was about 20 minutes away driving and a small hike down to the most stunning views of the waterfall. I would 100% recommend visiting this site, it’s cheap and gorgeous and you get to cool down. We went to a side trail as well where we found a smaller waterfall where I took the  seated picture, see below:

  
 

All in all today was not planned but still filled with adventure and hidden gems. Waterfalls have always been one of my favorite things and I’m so happy to have swam in one and made a couple friends out here while we were at it, they were friendly and very sweet.

I’m excited for what the next few days will bring, stay tuned! 

XO

Costa Rica: Chasing Waterfalls

   
 

(All pictures are mine, please do not steal)

Day 1 complete ✔️

Today started early at 6:30am sharp with a delicious breakfast and acquiring of some cold water (coconut water per a regulars recommendation).  We hopped in the car and started towards Rio Celeste. The approximate drive was about 1.5 hours so we ventured toward the unknown, about 9km from the final destination we discover that the road turns into another road which is completely unpaved. We had a Nissan Versa which was very difficult to take up such steep conditions but my friend Eli handled it like a champ as I was not the one driving. 

We finally got to the desired destination and  we paid the $12 USD to enter the hiking trails and decided not to get a tour guide because we knew there would be signs therefore the rest was pretty straight forward. We hiked down to the Rio Celeste waterfall then back up the intense stairs to the blue lagune (Laguna Azul) and to the intersection of the two rivers where the sediments cause the change of color. 

See below the video of where the two rivers meet with the sediments causing the color change:  

 
Next, we had a delicious lunch at a spot a little ways down from the Rio Celeste entrance which was cheap but so worth the stop! Once we were finally out of the scary unpaved road and onto the highway we had a little concert in the car and enjoyed the scenery. We got back to the hotel and I can already tell my legs will be jell-o tomorrow with a lot of soreness. Let me tell you, it was worth it.

My friend Eli (@ellierodlove -insta) made a video to give you a quick peek into our day, hope you enjoy there will be more to come!  Most importantly  today was my beautiful friends birthday and I am beyond honored to have spent the day and the remainder of the trip with you.

    
Xo

i Pura Vida !

Let’s Go On a Trip: Costa Rica

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Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport – Unknown

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to travel, regardless if it was just a short two-hour road trip to San Diego or a flight to visit family in different parts of the world. It has always been something I am drawn to because I rarely like staying in one place for too long, I start to get an itch to travel or wanderlust if you will. At the beginning of every year I make it a point to plan at least one international trip and a series of local trips within the state.

I feel as though the main reason many people choose not to travel is because of financial reasons which I completely understand, however, the most expensive thing is the plane ticket a lot of time. For example, a flight to Bali can be pricey but a massage once you get there can be less than $10 USD. Aside from the US dollar being worth more internationally, I am always dumbfounded by the beauty that surrounds us all. Living in California all my life I have been spoiled by the beach, the beautiful weather year round, and the proximity of Los Angeles. When I have traveled people I meet are always so jealous of my living in the United States and I just have to remind myself of how blessed I really am!

Thus far I have been blessed to travel mostly within the United States, Panama, and El Salvador but this coming week I will be able to add Costa Rica to the list! Yay! I hope my excitement transcends virtually to you as well. I am mostly looking forward to the food I will be exposed to, the beautiful beaches, waterfalls, celebrating my friend’s birthday in such a tropical location. You can expect a lot of pictures and a blog post all about the trip. If you would like to read about anything specific regarding the trip please leave it in the comments and I will follow them up with posts! I’m excited to be sharing this new experience with you all, let’s go !

xo