5 Reasons to Visit Puerto Rico!

If you’re wondering where have I been? Well, let’s just say I needed a break, although it feels like I left you all hanging, I am thankful for the messages that I’ve received in my absence. So, it’s been 3 months since my last post but I promise this HIATUS was worth it.(will explain in next VLOG) but I wanted to share with you all this piece of happiness that took place for my birthday weekend.

I know I’m not the only one who take birthdays seriously. It’s a national holiday in my world and everyone in my life knows that this day is non- negotiable, no party poopers, no bad vibe, no  pettiness is allowed.

So, this  year I decided to take a trip and honestly I think I might have started a tradition.Traveling the world or visiting an unknown place does good to my heart. When I booked my trip I had a plan and I wanted to stick to it.  I kept telling myself “ Nathalie wants a beach, an outdoor shower, drinks lots of coconut water and party the night away.” My expectation of my trip was plain and simple and as I was getting closer to it I was excited but had a little bit of doubt. However now that it has been two weeks since my trip I can assure you that it exceeded my expectations. I believe it  was Paulo Coelho who said ” When you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”  and that my friend was the summary of my trip. With that being said here are 5 reasons to visit PR.

  1. El Morro

El Morro is located in the city of Old San Juan. It is one of the most impressive structures on the island with breathtaking views and historic background. The walk up to this beautiful fortress  is not for the faint but it is worth it as it seems like you are stepping back into 5th century. While there I took advantage of the wind and flew a kite, lay on the grass and just grasp the beautiful scenery.

2. Food

Contrary to popular belief, don’t let this small frame of mine fool you!. I love food and I don’t think the feeling is mutual. While in Puerto Rico, I THOROUGHLY  enjoyed their culinary. From having fresh mofongo, Cocina Criolla, to sour sap juice,  fresh coco water and drinking Pina Colada, I mean it is where it originated from; this girl right here was a happy camper. Also what I found very intriguing is that some restaurants didn’t have menus and their reasoning is simple they use whatever fresh products they get that day!For the health conscious travelers that should be music to your ears!

3. Music

If there’s a beat my feet automatically takes control and the rest of my body follows. With that being said there’s no lack of party life in Puerto Rico.  Friday nights in Santurce or Isla Verda will definitely keep you pumping and that’s want my heart was searching for.  Luckily for me while driving in Loiaza  (Afro Puerto Rican  town) came across a drummer who was practicing for his set. We immediately had a connection when I told him he looks like my uncle.Not only  did he take the time to teach me  different sounds of PR music but he serenading me with a Happy Bday song! ( The Universe was with me ya’ll ).  Ohhh PS.He was very impressed with my dance move resembles those of the people of Loiza, WHO KNEW?

4. El Yunke Rainforest

El Yunke Rainforest is the only tropical rainforest that belongs to the U.S. Forest Service and it is magical! If you love nature and want to take on a challenging hike this is the place for you. I decided to do   this 3 ½ hour hike on my birthday and It was totally worth it, even though it was pouring it took as  mother nature clearing my new path.  ( I know i’m deep ASF)

5. The People

Life is really simple and it get’s even better when people are nice to each other. The people were charming, charismatic and welcoming!

Bonus: Stay at The DREAMCATCHER PR.

I wish every place around the world had a bed and breakfast place THIS COOL. By far it exceeded my expectations.In addition to having the beach 100 feet away literally ( I counted the steps) my outdoor shower  and listening to the Coqui signing at night was the highlight of my trip

PS. I encourage everyone to go out and travel or get out of your home town when you can. It doesn’t have to be a HUGE trip but get out and explore the world. Until next time! : )

Learn How Founder of Don’t 4get Me, Simone Goss is Helping Teen Moms.

Simone Goss is on a mission of empowering teen moms through her organization Don’t 4get Me. After becoming a mom at an early age, she realized that something was for missing. However, instead of complaining, she took a leap of faith and created an organization that was geared toward teen moms. Let’s find out more about her journey to motherhood but also her organization.

Don’t 4get Me is a clever name, what was your thought process when deciding the name?

Being a mother is not easy, and while there are many support groups and services for pregnant woman, there seems to be a lack resources towards teen mothers. These young ladies are no different, in fact, they need the support more than you can imagine. That’s why I wanted to make sure the girls knew that they aren’t forgotten and that there are people are willing to support and help them become successful individuals.

Why is it important to you to help young teens moms?
I was a teen mom, I know first hand the obstacles teen mothers face, from the snide remarks to the stares and the whispers. So I wanted to create an organization that could guide and help encourage them every step of the way. For me, helping them become successful individuals would complete my life but also help with my goal of transforming them from “Statistic” to Success.

We all stumble at some point in our lives, was there ever a time during the creation of your organization where you wanted to give up?
Absolutely!! When I first started out I wanted to put together a Christmas event for teen moms in foster care. I reached out to 100 shelters, sent emails but the response rate was surprisingly low, calls were ignored and one shelter told me, they couldn’t work with me because I wasn’t a 501 c 3. I remember being devastated and couldn’t understand why it was so difficult to help people in need.

What did you learn from it?

I learned that persistence is key. Just because one door closes or never opens doesn’t mean you can’t get in! You just have to try another door.

What does my freshman year of life mean to you?
To me it means the very beginning of my life, and that there are other chapters to be discovered.

How are you ensuring young girls that they can be successful?
By sharing my story and arming them with the resources they needed to be successful.

What do you want people to know about the challenges of being a teen mom?

Being a teen mom is not easy, besides caring for a child we also have to balance caring for ourselves, finishing school, securing a job and making time for a social life.

How many young women have you helped since starting your organization?

We have helped at least 20 girls so far since starting in June 2016.

How can others help the mission of the organization?
They are many ways you can help. We’re always looking for mentors, volunteers, and sponsors. We need people who are passionate about helping our young ladies.

What is your favorite quote that motivates you?

It is by Mahatma Gandhi “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

If you were to write a letter to your younger self about pursuing your dream what would you tell her?
I’d say my love ,this won’t be an easy journey. There will be days that you will feel like the world is against you. You’ll question and second guess yourself , BUT God is building your endurance so you can help a million girls like you become successful.

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Here’s How Danielle Fontus is Helping Women Live a Daring Life

In light of women’s history month, I wanted to shed light on an amazing individual who created a platform for women to lives their best social life. Danielle Fontus is the creator of She Dares, a women’s adventure community, where she helps women step outside of their comfort zones through experiences, from happy hour to horseback riding. Let’s find out more about Dani!

Tell me about yourself 

I may have also been spotted in a few adventures myself like Carnival in Trinidad and jet skiing in Tobago. I love to travel, eat, dance, play and indulge in whatever tickles my fancy.

Since graduating from Emory University in 2007, I have found a home in hospitality. I am now transitioning into the area of retreat planning while building my personal brand as an adventure influence.

Where were you 6 months after graduation?

I graduated on May 14, 2007 and started a job at a tutoring center in September thanks to a friend. It seemed like a good idea – I went to school with the intention of being a child psychologist. So the position made sense. For my first job, it was decent. I lived at home with my mom, and my loans were in deferment, so bills were minimal. In some ways, I was living my own piece of the post college dream. Yet there was a little piece inside of me that was restless and unsatisfied. I didn’t LOVE what I was doing, and I was craving more and starting to feel stifled. Come November 2007 (6 months after graduation), I was trying to figure out how to get out of my job and didn’t have a plan for what was next.

Fast forward to December 2007, I was laid off because the company downsized, which was such a serendipitous blessing for me. At the beginning of 2008 I spent 6 weeks in Trinidad that absolutely changed my life.

What prompted you to start She Dares?

During my time in Trinidad, I was so awestruck that I really wanted to share it with those who had never experienced anything like it. That year I started Her Journey travel magazine, which was an enhanced rebirth of the newsletter I used to send to my college friends to motivate us through those days when college life got real.
After doing that for a while, I wanted to CREATE these experiences instead of just writing about them. After doing a lot of these experiences alone, I realized that I wanted to find more daring women like me, I created She Dares to help form genuine connections in the best way I know how through fun and adventure. I LOVE meeting new people and finding out about them and I LOVE a good adventure. Putting those two things together, She Dares was born.

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