Tag Archives: millenials

Is Food an Anchor, or a mode of Transportation?

As I mentioned in a previous post, Millennials are the most global generation in history thus far. Many of us live far away from where we were born, many of us have an insatiable hunger to get to know the world that surrounds us; and for the times we can’t physically travel to a location, there is something we can use in order to take an instantaneous journey: food.

As I’m sure travelers from all generations will agree, food can be perennial to a location or a particular culture, it really doesn’t matter where one takes that bite; you can instantly be transported to wherever you associate the meal to be from originally. There is nothing quite like food to get your senses to transport your mind to another culture, or place. Especially if taken the time to enjoy and flavor Every. Single. Bite.

Close your eyes and have a slice of the best pizza in town. Let your imagination transport you to the streets of Naples. Overlook the navy blue water at the Mare Lungo while you are there. Have a bite of crepe with a touch of sugar and a cafe au lait; and imagine yourself in a street side cafe in Paris, just about to go for a walk in the Champs-Élysées.

Just as it can transport you, food can also be a delicious reminder of your roots. An anchor in the best sense of the word.

My anchor keeps me from straying too far from my home. An anchor that with every bite, reminds me of a simpler and more carefree time where I would jump out of bed to run to the breakfast table to have a meal with my family.

My anchor is the arepa, what Venezuelans call home; and with every bite, no matter my location, I suddenly find myself back in Caracas, having breakfast, overlooking the hills of the Avila mountain, and feeling that warm caribbean breeze.

What food transports you to a different place? Would love to know! Comment below, or contact me!

Cheers,

Why Eating Pizza in Napoli Changed My Perspective on Food

After an hour on the “Frecciarossa” (Italy’s express train), I was already savoring what would come next. The world famous Neapolitan pizza. I stepped out of the train on a Saturday morning in the middle of October to find a sort of beautiful chaos ruling the southern city of Naples. There were pedestrians challenging the cars and walking among them. Vehicles taking the traffic signals (if there were any) for granted; resulting in a disarray of cars, vespas, and taxis going in all (and unclear) directions. This was a day trip. a discovery trip; I wanted to rediscover pizza.

A few days earlier I was in Rome and I had called my friend Tiziana to ask her if she would meet me in Naples for some pizza. Tiziana lives in Salerno (to the south of Naples), and there was no better friend to guide me through the not-so-orderly south of Italy. She very clearly told me to stay in “Napoli Centrale” (Napoli’s train station) and wait for her before exploring on my own. Titi (as I call her), was among the many voices to tell me that Naples would be too chaotic for me to venture out on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the chaos, the anarchy. It was exhilarating and full of life. Who wants calm and order all the time? I mean, after all, this was an investigation in the name of pizza; which is basically the meaning of life. What better sort of food is worth getting lost over?

We zigzag the neapolitan streets, passing what seemed like an endless amount of leather shoe stores. We walk through small cobblestone alleyways that showcase other Naples delicacies, like the babá and the sfogliatella. I want to try it all; but I keep my eye on the prize – just as I keep an empty stomach to prepare it for a feast. As I mentioned, like any self-respecting pizza lover should know: Naples is the birthplace of pizza. Naturally I had to pay this place a visit and try it. Titi and I reach the Lungomare, the seafront promenade in the bay of Naples. A beautiful sight of Mount Vesuvius and the mediterranean sea. Along the Lungomare there is an alluring amount of restaurants and bars to enjoy an aperitivo, or a pizza, while enjoying the light sea breeze. We almost sit down for our meal, but we opt to go a bit deeper, a bit more local.

We find a small ristorante in the heart of Naples. A place called “Sorbillo,” very much known to the native Neapolitan. This is the kind of place filled with locals and bustling with provincial vibes. A restaurant which mostly serves pizza. We are lucky. On that particular day, we don’t have to wait long to be seated. We are lead upstairs while we ogle the other costumers’ cheesy pies. We can’t wait, so the story goes… we both order the original pizza Margherita. Originally made for Queen Margherita de Savoy after her visit to the city in the 19th century. Let us take in the fact that the emblematic pizza Margherita was made for royalty; and before it acquired its fame, it used to be a dish for the poor. This only goes to show the revolution of history and of food. How a dish can transform cultures and societies; and no, this is not an overstatement.

The pizza Margherita (my favorite btw), is topped with San Marzano tomatoes. – which naturally grow in the volcanic plains south of Mount Vesuvius, – and with Mozzarella di Bufala di Campania, which is made by the milk of water buffalos strictly raised in Lazio or Campania. The flour used in its purest form is what Italians refer to as “00.” Neapolitan pizza has to adhere to guidelines of authenticity! So you can imagine the purity and delight. The pizza is a success. Of course, the supposed “anarchy” of the city does not put a damper on my trip, nor should it. It gives a city character, life, oh and you will likely get a good story out of it. 

In short, food is partly about the taste, but to truly enjoy the marvels of food, make a real experience out of it. Cheers!

I would love to hear your thought! Comment, contact me, or share!

Un bacio!

What Is It We Are Supposed To Do?

On my last post I talked about working less. Working intelligently. About making sure that our life is not centered around the idea that we have to feel busy to be fulfilled. That we need time to create. Time to be. Time to connect with the people in our lives. That being busy should not be a badge of honor. That being busy is not synonym to success.

That is all true. Something that nags at all of us at some point in our lives is not necessarily that we are busy doing something; but when we are going to be busy, what shall we be doing?

I have friends that found their passion, their life’s purpose when they were young and they have been fortunate not to change their minds. That is not my case. That is not most people’s case. 

A lot of us constantly question our choices. Decide a career or major isn’t for us. Then we ask, but which one is it? Then comes some type of fear. We fear choosing the wrong one. So we create a quiet turmoil in our heads. We go through the motions every day but we wonder. Is this really for me? Is that for me? What if I don’t like that if I leave this?

The truth is we can’t think our way to our purpose. We have to try things. We have to do. Do our way into our purpose. And for many of us who have many interests, we also have to come to peace with the idea that perhaps there isn’t just ONE THING we are supposed to do. We need to let go of that.

Our 20s is a time for self-discovery and reflection; but also for action. I realized recently that no matter how many books I read, or how many people I talk to. I cannot reflect my way into what it is that I really will love doing. I have to do. Identify something that seems interesting and work at it. Perhaps some passion will develop and it will lead to something else. Perhaps I will just learn what it is I don’t want. 

Identify those things and go do them. Then you will slowly find your way.

Resolution: Aiming To Do Less

As we come into a New Year, many of us (yes, myself included), are mapping out our goals for 2018. Getting ready to make this year bigger and better. For a lot of people – especially in the country that has been my home for the last few years – this means to enter, or continue in the “culture of Hustling” as Morris Berman refers to it. These days, millions of people glorify sleeplessness and the constant state of being busy.

As a girl in my mid-twenties (scary times), I agree that “grinding” or “hustling’ to create a life and career you love is something valuable and sometimes necessary. 

But don’t just hustle for the sake of it. Don’t stay busy just to brag about having no free time. We are not here to work to work to work to die.

One piece of advice that I think Arianna Huffington would agree with: when you wake up in the morning, don’t immediately look at your phone or computer. Put yourself in a state of creation and not reaction.

I have lived in a couple of different countries outside of the US. Those countries being Switzerland, Italy and Venezuela. When living in Europe, I noticed there is a shift in my priorities. Only a shift. I was more focused on my happiness than my monetary success while living in Europe; especially in Italy. I am talking everyday happiness. Where I enjoy the present moment. The slice of pizza, the morning cappuccino. 

There is definitely value on the hustle; but I believe it should be used as a springboard to success, not a constant for success. Not success itself.

Because hustle, hustle, hustle, eventually gets you burn out. Good hustle is that which feels like an adventure to enjoy. I guess the takeaway is; if you are building something, in which “hustling” is required, work intelligently. Get help where you need it, delegate. Get some rest and reset your mind constantly.There is no real glory in a busy life with no real rewards outside of the work.

Dreadlocks… and our oversensitivity as Millenials

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-6-32-39-pmCultural Appropriation… or rather: the permission of social media justice warriors to get everyone upset about something that has absolutely no real importance. All of this while ignoring real problems of the world.

We have become a generation that gives way to hyper sensitivity. Victimize yourself and feel good while doing it. We must coddle everyone. Shield people from anything and anyone that might offend their sensitivities.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are certain things I agree we should not mess with. Religious symbols that are vital to a culture falls in that category – using an outfit to poke fun at a culture. Hairstyles? Not so much.

Recently there is a wave happening all over my beloved internet. A wave of anger dedicated to shaming anyone who dare use something on their body that is not original to their own culture. 

I am currently very confused on what to do with myself. Am I allowed to wear braids? Should I take a DNA test to check where all my ancestors are from and then research if thousands of years ago those same ancestors wore braids? or wore the jewelry I now like to wear? Just kidding, I know my DNA won’t matter, it will all come down to how I look at this very moment. White skin, dark hair.

 Should I adopt Spanish customs? No, I was not born in Spain. So I should just stick to purely Venezuelan outfits and hairstyles.

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Hmmm… but what are those? What is purely Venezuelan without a doubt? What I have worn all my life has been influenced by Europe and the United States, perhaps some Middle Eastern jewelry here and there. Is that cultural appropriation? The calamity! The humanity! I should be ashamed of myself.

Now seriously, the topic of cultural appropriation has become very very hot these days. People from all races and backgrounds jumping in to defend a culture that does not even care enough to say anything. Why is this kind of social media activism happening so aggressively? Why don’t they do something that matters and protest against Starbucks cups not being Christian enough? Oh wait…

Actually, if people focused on real issues perhaps we would have a chance to tackle them. Issues like, well i don’t know, children being killed daily in Syria by International disagreements, government oppression in South America, or actual blatant racism or sexism here in the United States. 

No, people want to get sweaty over braids and dreadlocks. People want to feel that they are doing some good by discriminating against those that happen to like a style predominantly used by another culture/race (btw dreadlocks and braids aren’t only historically part of black culture). 

The argument is: well they have been discriminated against for wearing them, so we shouldn’t wear them either. Sooo we discriminate some more instead of fighting the discrimination itself? 

Sounds like a good tactic. 

Just kidding.

How about everyone get off their high self-righteous horse and attempt to solve issues that actually matter. Realize that people using symbols of other cultures are not claiming ownership over them… well most of the time. screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-6-47-29-pm

If I want to walk around in a bavarian outfit with henna all over my arms because I think it looks cool… I should be allowed to (even if it really will look strange). 

Where is the line going to be? We are getting out of control, next thing I know some activist will be yelling at me whilst I am eating a taco because I am not Mexican.

We should be embracing each other’s cultures. Praising the mix, the diversity. Otherwise, the division will lead to more hate, more separation, and more resentment.

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