I love lists, and I love random facts, so it was so much fun to put this together! There is a bit of a chill in the air here today in the Netherlands, along with some gray skies.
So, grab a bit of tea or coffee to enjoy with me even if it’s warm where you are – it makes it more fun!
1. I went skydiving my freshman year of college, just because it terrified me. The tandem instructor gave me no time to think when we were at the door – he just said, “ready – go!” and we flung out into the air.
On the free fall the air was rushing so hard at my face I found it hard to breathe. Once the parachute opened, it was much nicer to take in the 360-degree view of the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado. It was an amazing experience that I would definitely do again.
2. I’m nervous around contact sports. Soccer, basketball, wrestling, you name it, I don’t want to do it. It freaks me out when people are running towards me, and my coordination is something I need to improve a bit. Even gymnastics was too much for me – doing flips or watching people do a flip still scares me to this day. Your NECK people, it’s a fragile thing!
When it came the time in gymnastics to learn how to do a flip (around age 8), I was all, “peace out, not for me.” I love to move though, so because of the contact sport issue I LOVED dancing and swimming while growing up and became a yoga instructor four years ago (yes, I realize hand stands and contorting mess with your neck, but it’s a much slower process to get into the posture in yoga. I never said the fear made sense!).
3. If I chose a different life path I would be searching the world for new and delicious coffee beans. I was a Barista at Starbucks while in college, and they had a Coffee Master program I joined. I learned all about coffee, it’s origins, how to taste it all fancy (like a wine), and teach others to do the same.
Upon college graduation, I looked into some amazing graduate school coffee programs in Fort Collins, Colorado, but ended up moving to South Korea instead to complete my MBA. No regrets, but I still am obsessed with coffee and tea facts to this day!
4. Even though my name is Hispanic, and I look like someone who should speak Spanish fluently, I do not. It was my first language, but I moved back to the States with my mom who is Minnesotan and ended up never really speaking it again (now I look Mexican, but speak with a Minnesotan accent!).
I took side classes all through elementary, middle school, and high school, studied abroad in Spain and Costa Rica, but because I don’t practice it every day, I get terrified to speak Spanish. I’m just on the tipping point to speak really comfortably, so it is a goal of mine to get there before I have kids. I would love for them to at least be bilingual!
5. Most kids rebel from their parents by going to theater school or music school, but my biological father is a theater movement instructor, my mom is a multi-media artist, and my dad encouraged me to do anything creative.
So, naturally, I rebelled by going to business school. No joke. Even though I now have my MBA in international business management, I got over my polarized phase, and am now a yoga teacher, writer and run my own business. Mixes are best!
6. I am obsessed with limes and lemons. After I squeeze them into my food or drinks, I eat the rest. I know it’s bad for my teeth (I drink water after), but I can’t help it. They are so GOOD! My brother is the same way, so we are special together.
7. The author Elizabeth Gilbert is my hero. I read Eat, Pray, Love when it came out while I was on my first study abroad in Spain in 2007. It was my major eye-opener to the possibility of lifetime travel. As the years went on, I came back to the book after a breakup with my boyfriend of six years, and the book had new meaning for me (at the same time reading Committed, her next book about marriage).
Then, I had the opportunity to meet her in person at a large book signing in Colorado and heard her speak for the first time. She was mind-blowing. After fumbling a “you inspired me to write” sentence to her in line (I was terrified and they weren’t letting people say much to her), I went on to read her most recent book, A Signature of All Things, my favorite book of all time.
Her Facebook (actually operated by her) has DAILY inspirational messages and a community of women who encourage and praise one another. It’s amazing. I want to be her best friend. We need more women role models exactly like her.
8. I LOVE camping. Anything outdoors, really. Hiking, swimming, running, picnicking, you name it! There is just something about smelling pine trees, or making a fire at night, or looking up at the stars that just makes me all warm and toasty inside. The first time I ever made my own fire, I was so proud, I took a picture of it! I love snuggling down in a warm tent and eating smores cooked on a fire.
When we walked out of my office building once in my past job, I turned to my coworker and said, “Doesn’t it feel nice to just be outside?” He looked at me and said lovingly, “You really need to be a Park Ranger or something. You don’t belong indoors in an office!” I now teach yoga and work from home, so it was good advice (but I still have a secret desire to be a Park Ranger somewhere…).
9. I love smoothies. I drink one every day, usually including spinach and some other veggie, mixed with bananas and another fruit. They are surprisingly delicious – the bananas make them sweet. It’s a great way to start the day, and I hooked my parents and grandma on them as well. I’d love to try the Raw Till 4 PM type way of eating, but for now a shake in the morning makes me feel amazing.
10. I got horribly sick in Morocco after eating a delicious chicken dish. No one else in my group did, so I have no idea what it was. I had an amazing time there, it is such a beautiful country with amazing tea, bazaars, spices, and people.
Unfortunately for me, on the bus back to Spain, I was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. I held it together most of the trip, but it left me permanently scarred towards chicken and rice dishes for life. Separate, fine. Together, no way.
What is a random fact about you that you like to share? I’d love to know! Let’s connect below or on Instagram