Therapy talk with my coworkers.


What does it take for you to have time for yourself and do things you love doing it?

The 4th of July weekend for all of us who work either in retail and the travel/hospitality industry means nothing. What I mean by that is, while all of our friends are out to party, enjoying each other’s company having fun, we are stuck inside, serving other people, under neon lights.

We get home so drained, all we want to is eat, be in total silence, and stare at the tv until we pass out to do it all again the next day. Some people do it for 20, 30 years until they are too old to enjoy whatever is leftover from their energy levels.

One of my coworkers and I were talking about this past weekend. He said he loves to play music and read books under a tree, just relaxing and feeling like he is enjoying his hobbies since during his regular workdays there is no time for relaxation. The pandemic gave him time to enjoy his life, as it was not so exhausting to live.

Life shouldn’t be a burden.

We are not all fated to work for a corporation, make someone, which is already probably rich, more money, so they could enjoy their lives, while we hate ours. While the pandemic changed most of our mindsets, there is still someone out there telling you to wake up earlier, work harder and don’t drink coffee, and eat better. Please, stop following the coach of absurdities on social media. They are draining and they are hungry for your constant state of unhappiness.

There has to be a balance between working and having fun.

And I don’t mean to get out on a Friday or Saturday night, get drunk spend Sunday getting ready to go back to work on Monday. That has been happening to me on my days off. Not the getting drunk on a Friday night at a bar. I still have to work Saturdays and Sundays.

I have a day off the next day, go home, and get into that state of mind that I only have a certain amount of hours until I’m back in that place, to work for another five or 6 days, sometimes even seven, and I’m supposed to work part-time. I can’t relax at all.

America normalized being more at work than being at home.

They rather have someone exhausted and with no productivity left in them than have an employee that does well for the company. Time is money and if I can take all your time and YOU make ME all the money, it works. If you die, you die.

Have you ever talked with people that worked for Amazon? If not, you should. The exploitation of people is real. When did we normalize this? At what point it became ok for employees to pee in a cup to not interfere with productivity, while the boss buys a 40 million dollar yacht and is not even getting taxed for it? Come on!

I always listened “but you choose to work in hospitality, get used to it” and I always fought back.

The problem too is the people that accept the work conditions because they need it to work. I have always been a rebel and I got fired a couple of times because of that. Because I fought back for my right and management didn’t like it.

I can’t be quiet when I see people working 13 days straight and when the day off finally comes, they are called in. Please! It’s because of people like you that we end up with no right whatsoever. It’s not hospitality, it’s the overachiever employees that make us look lazy for wanting a day off.

The weekly hours in the Netherlands are about 29 hours a week, which means 4 days a week. That’s why Europeans seem more relaxed, they have a life/work balance. I found my middle ground.

In Brazil, the week is about 44 hours, but it goes to 50 very fast, because you never leave work on time. It looks good on you to show you can stay an extra hour every day. Countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium are the best countries with work/life balance.

Finding balance is important and necessary.

I feel like Americans are mostly unhappy and unfulfilled because they always work too much to get by with all the expenses they choose to have. First, you put yourself in debt with a car, because when you are 16, you start driving, so you have insurance. Next, you apply for college, expensive again, a little further in life you would want to buy a house and if you live in a big city, like New York, or California, probabilities that you get one is small.

At some point in life, people will have a car payment, insurance, rent/mortgage, and student loans and that alone is a lot. An average person makes about 50K per year, even with all the degrees and if you add all the payments, you have the answer to why they have to work so hard. Why are they all a hamster in a wheel? Overworked, stressed neurotic to the bones.

I promised myself I would not do that. I did it while living in Sao Paulo and I promised myself when I moved here, I would enjoy my life. If I can work part-time or work enough to pay my bills, I’d be happy. Life is too short and you are not your job or your position at the company you work for.


You are much more than that.

Another reason why we bought the camper was to get away from everything and have some time to enjoy the outdoors life. I will drop everything and make a youtube channel of our trips. That would be a dream job. Travel, film it, edit and share it. Because I can’t forget why I went to Tourism and hospitality in the first place. Not to burn out by the job, but to not considered traveling a job at all.

And of course, I will keep writing my scripts and participating in screenwriting contests.

My tip for this week is: focus on what you love doing. Don’t give everything to someone else’s company that can replace you in a blink of an eye.

Keep doing what you love and keep yourself grounded, not letting overachiever people drive you insane. You are enough.

See you next week





The Dreams are Alive!

“Truth to be told is: My dreams were not taken away from me. They were put aside, while I work on other things. I lived some, I ate great food, I had different experiences that, for sure reflects, on my writing today.”

I’m a writer. I keep repeating this over and over in my head before I self-sabotage myself again.

I see it already happening. I got a job in a hotel, again, and it’s only a matter of time for me to put everything I’ve been working so hard, like creating content, my blog, and food photography aside, to just be another numbered employee. I have lived like this for the past 15 years.

There are days I freak out and cry thinking about the time I lost. I’m already 35, for God’s sake! How did the time go by so fast and where are all the dreams I had when I was in my 20’s?

Self-sabotaging works together with my lack of confidence in doing anything else that will turn out to be something that brings me fulfillment and joy. I love photography, but I’m too scared of turning my passion into a hobby and end up hating the only thing that makes me happy.

The majority of us can’t afford to live our dream life.


Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

As ⅔ of the planet’s population, I cannot just focus on what makes me happy, because I have bills to pay and need food and a place to live. The majority of us can’t afford to live off dreams. I have been using this as an excuse for as long as I can remember.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what happened to my early 20’s dreams and where did life take the wrong exit. About a month ago, I had one of those epiphany moments where you get yourself thinking about your young adult dreams and what happened to them.

One of those mornings before work, I was listening to a horoscope podcast and I don’t know what kind of sorcery was that, it felt like it was saying directly to me, Joana.

“Good Morning, Libra. Today is the day that you will think about old dreams, and try to restore the passions you didn’t conquer from previous years” That was enough for me to spend the rest of the day thinking about my early 20’s expectations I had for the life ahead of me. I had many dreams and none of them were achieved successfully.

In some of my previous posts, I wrote about being raised by a generation that all they knew was to work and pay bills because that was considered a success. You feed yourself and can pay for the roof on your head, everything else is a given from God.

The podcast awakening

On that morning, that podcast awakens in me, the 20 something that had been put to sleep in 2007. Until that point, I had big dreams for myself, I was only 22 and I wanted to be a travel photographer, while I read the Lonely Planet magazine, I imagined myself writing articles and taking pictures of amazing places. National Geographic would work too, I thought, but let’s start somewhere. Time passed and I replaced that dream with the previous one, move to the United States.

While I’d be working in a hotel, I would be able to do whatever I had planned. What I didn’t know was that hotels would crush your soul and will to work on anything else. That’s where my dream got lost. I started to get tired to keep trying as I would have another 14 hours shifts the next day.

I made it to the United States in 2008. For a short period, the financial crisis sent all the foreigners who were working at the ski resort for the season, back home with canceled visas. I packed my bags and moved back home with my mom and dad, in Brazil.

Sometimes you need a setback in order to move forward.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

It was such a huge setback in my life, I put all my hopes and dreams aside and focused on moving to Australia, to do another internship in the hospitality business. My grip to leave Brazil for good was intense. My writing at that point or the dream of writing anything significant had been put in a box, on the back of my closet. So did my photography.

At that point, I was more inclined to learn how to cook, for who knows, maybe one day, become a Food and Beverage Manager or Director. In all reality, I wanted to be like Anthony Bourdain.

Disappointment after disappointment with the restaurant industry made me love food, but hate the way people work. I work relentlessly, hours and hours serving tables, working in different positions, I worked in every single job as the front of the house of the restaurant. Hostess, Busser, Food runner, Bartender, barback, Catering.

None of those fulfilled me or made me feel accomplished on anything. You are nothing but a number, a robot, a rusty machine. As you get older, you start to have pain in places you didn’t even know existed in your body. In 2016, after an acquaintance wrote on Facebook “I’d rather be in Brazil and than being a waitress in someone else’s country” Something hit me differently inside of me.

“Am I only a waitress in someone’s else country?”

The question played on repeat in my head. “Why have I become numb and just a working body?” As Josh was going through chiropractic school and shouting around the house that he was going to be a doctor and I was the only one working, I thought “What am I, but a waitress money-making machine?” It was time for a change. I already had my documents, so I proceed for the first time in 10 years, to create a blog about traveling.

If I only knew about blogging what I know now, it would probably be a different story. The blog was going to focus on showing the international students about life in the United States and how not everything is rainbows and flowers. I would travel to different colleges and universities, like cities that are considered “student towns” to show people how cool and different life in America is.

The only place I wrote about was Chicago and Orlando. I couldn’t afford to travel around, neither I would have the time. After 6 months, I deleted the blog. I felt deep in my heart, like once again, I had no right to dream. I had to start another 12 hours shift soon. I was bitter for the longest time, and my marriage was all over the place. Josh’s school offered some free therapy sessions, counseling for married students, so I ask him to set up an appointment.

You are the only person responsible for your happiness. Period.

My photo from 2010, in Broome, Western Australia.

At that point, I knew I need help. 2016 was an incredibly difficult year and 2017 wouldn’t be different. The devil took his place in the presidency. Josh and his entire family voted for him, my soul was nowhere to be found. So I went to therapy. On the first session, the therapist told me “You are the only person responsible for your happiness”

The next Monday I was slowly coming back to my body, got a phone call from Full Sail, and decided to go for it. That brings us back to today. I became a writer with a Creative Writing degree diploma.

“Truth to be told is: My dreams were not taken away from me. They were put aside, while I work on other things. I lived some, I ate great food, I had different experiences that, for sure reflects, on my writing today.”

I would not be writing the way I do today if I had to write 15 years ago. Joana from 15 years ago was naive, inexperienced, has a voice, and learned that sarcasm can take you long away, let me tell you that.

Not all is lost.

Hear me out! This week we are, hopefully purchasing a travel trailer, so I can somehow, make the dream to be a travel writer/photographer out of the box. It takes time, but you will make your dreams come true at some point.

This year, I will “summer” differently. I hope you do too!

Please let me know in the comments what are you working on to live your life to the fullest and how you are building your dreams!


This is my Meditation Video on my new youtube channel called Mindful Edge! I’ve been testing my video editing skills! Subscribe if you like this type of content.

Is Influencer The Most Trending Thing Now?

Hi Friends! Hope you had a great Christmas! This week I’m back with something that it was on my mind for a few weeks now.

Do you have what it takes to be an influencer? Or all it is left are endorsements and your self image?

For me, an influencer is someone who spread positivity. Who share stories about failure and encourage people to try their best. To keep trying.

Do you have what it takes to be one of them? I don’t have it. I don’t like my face or everyone else in my business. I enjoy my quiet writing and being at home. I write so people can find some comfort and realize it’s not all fun and games to live in the USA. Not only for immigrants, but for the born and raised American too. If my voice can be used for something good and I will do it!

Do you have the time to be even more on social media than what you already do? There is a fine line between yourself and the world you created to portrait your life. It has to be new and exciting. All the time.
I’ve seen all this frenzy starting. I was part of all those phases, since the beginning of Facebook in 2006, when the status updating was as simple as “Joana— is eating at a nice restaurant today” or posting entire albums on it and adding captions to all 66 pictures.

At that point it was all private, only friends could see what I was up to. The years passed and today we have instant celebrities, on IG, TikTok, Twitter, and all that comes next. Kids who grew up with phones in their hands and now are making tons of money dancing on Social Media.

What is an influencer?

According to a Wired website article an influencer “is anyone who has the power of selling an idea, items or a lifestyle thought their social media accounts”. It started in the early ’90s with the forum website pages on the internet, where people used to get the value of their products and generate interest based on what certain people had to say about them. Today an influencer can be anyone who has enough talent to manage a website with content to create affiliated sales, the so-called affiliated marketing.

There is a lot of different types of influencer in the media these days, for example, beauty bloggers, travel bloggers, Fitness, health, gamers, and others. Their job is to create content and attach their brand to the product, generating income for themselves and whatever it is they are trying to sell. The other branch of influencer is coaching. People who have some type of knowledge and instigate in you the need to be a winner in life. Over and over.

Why does everyone want to be an influencer these days?

Paris Hilton- The selfie pioneer.

In the early 2000s, Paris Hilton created a persona, based on what she knew and thought it was cool to be at that time. A rich heiress, socialite, who was blond, thin, and reckless. Her job was to be famous and to continuously followed by the paparazzi. If you are younger, you probably don’t know that she was the one who started the Selfie. I watched her documentary on youtube, and in 2004, she was already taking photos of herself in a little digital camera.

Making all the faces kids born in 2005 are mimicking today.Paris started this maniac seeking attention. And guess who she was friends with? Kim Kardashian. So whatever they did in 2004/2005, are the reflection of kids today.

Everyone wants a piece of the attention, with all the social media being so open to all kinds of people, it’s easy to get dragged into this “influence world”. People started selling themselves as a brand and with that, endorsing products, clothing, food, restaurants, club, making them look cool among the other humans

Who do they influence?

The unicorn cupcakes with sprinkles gets my attention.I’m sold.

I don’t know who they think they influence, as I’m not a marketing person. What I understand is there is a niche for all kinds of people. People who work out a lot, influence people who want to be fit, people who live off their beauty, influence people who want to be beautiful as them, and people who sell food, influence the chubby kids at heart. I’m a fat kid in my mind and I’m influenced to eat that unicorn cupcake with sprinkles. Get into my belly!

The problem with the influencers, most of the time is that they started acting like celebrities, as soon as they get some status on social media. As their brand grows, so does their ego. They start to pick and choose who they are gonna work with, like a company. Most of the time it’s some bland people, selling necklaces, or some other product. How many times have you seen this image: A blond girl, holding a coffee mug, in a white sweater, in a monotone photo?

The answer is dozens and dozens. Pinterest is full of them. What are they selling? The necklace, the coffee mug, or their boring lifestyle? People lost the hang of their creativity to look and act what it suits the eyes. I’m ok with whatever you do, unless you are biased.

Please don’t be that person.

I’m sorry, but you cannot yell Black Lives Matter, post a black stick-on IG, Justice for Brianna Taylor and George Floyd and continuously erase people of color or Black business because it doesn’t fit your “brand”. Be a better person with the influence you think you have.

The fact that you, as an “influencer” hurt people that I love and that I work with, it’s not gonna pass. There is much talent to be seen beside the pastel monotone, leaning in a granite counter photo.

I’m not an expert in anything, what I feel is like people are losing track of their lives, to be a product of social media. That instigates a lot of younger people and even older people to think they are not up to their standards, when in fact, not everyone wants to live that kind of lifestyle. Some people are just ok with how they live.

Influencer as a career choice.

Being an influencer is now some type of career. Ask anyone younger than 20 years old, and the answer will be the same, they will either want to be a nurse, an influencer, a TikTok star (who wouldn’t since there is a 16-year-old making 100K a month only on endorsements on the platform) or have an account n OnlyFans.

You can do whatever you like, of course, the only advice from the 35-year-old me, who saw the internet transformed to what it is today, is: Don’t forget to be a decent human. Being a decent human doesn’t cost you anything. Even though being trash will keep you giving some good endorsements, don’t forget who is on the other side.

Thanks for reading and let me know in the comments by who and what are you influenced by? I’m influenced by food and travel tips! Can’t have enough of this type of content!

Stay Healthy and be safe!


Why I prefer my 30s over my 20’s

Why I prefer my 30s? I’m much wiser and careless about what other people think of me.

My 20’s ended about five years ago and I’m finally ready to talk about it and go through a little reflection. Maybe because I lived through half of my 30’s already, I feel like an old wise aunt, ready to shower with advice. 

A lot of things change and thank God it did. I can’t imagine myself living in the same neighborhood, sleeping in my teenage twin bed while waiting for my mom to cook me food at 35. There is a lot of people in my country who still live like that. Latinxs have a hard time moving on with life and most of us live with our parents until we get married. In some cases, the spouse moves and they all live like a big family of 16 members in the household.  

In 2005, when my 20’s started, it was like coming out of the shell. I was in my first year of college and started working in a Hostel. I had just started to speak English, barely, as there were not many people to practice the language with. I started talking and practicing a lot. During that time I sound like Borat and guests thought I was cute for trying. To talk not to sound like Borat, that came out a year later. 

I still felt ugly, but working with people from different nationalities every day, gave me some confidence that I was not that bad, I was in the wrong place. Rio de Janeiro is a place notorious for beautiful people, as they have to show off at the beach and nightlife constantly. So, if you don’t follow the pamphlet of what to wear, how your hair is supposed to look like, or what God forbid you to wear glasses, they either discard you or make fun of you endlessly. Mine was the second option. 

Once I started gaining some confidence, life started to get easier. There are some specifics aspects I would like to write about what I prefer in my 30’s instead of my 20’s


 I was too nice. Every time my boss asked me for something, I was ready to do it. I had a hard time saying no and ended up overworked most of the time. I was always at work, and when you work in Hotels, you can say good-bye to social life. You either get there really early, or you leave the workplace late. Exhausted. A big part of my 20’s was wasted because I was too nice to set boundaries. My friends with a Monday to Friday job were always up and running to enjoy the weekend. All I wanted to do during weekends was cry. 

In my 30’s, especially because I was already in the United States and married to a badass American, I learned to say no. For some reason, he taught me way more than English, he taught me to stand up. I learned that I was not going to get fired if I didn’t want to go to work on my day off because someone else got hangover sick. I also learned to have a voice. If I don’t want to do it, I won’t do it. If it’s a table of Brazilians trying to harass me, because I was waiting for tables in someone else’s country, I would just ask my coworker to get that table instead.


You accept the love you think you deserve. With that being said, my 20’s were a mess. Right before I turn 20, I broke up with my first boyfriend, we were together for about 2 years. It was not a good breakup because I had never broken up with anyone before, so I just ghosted him. I was the pioneer of ghosting. During that decade I fell for guys in all forms and shapes and they all had the same thing in common, they liked me until they got what they wanted and then they didn’t like me anymore. 

Rocking my Kylie Jenner LipKit and Josh.

Always too nice, understandable, caring. All I heard was crickets. When there were no crickets, there were lies. Enough of gaslighting, I decided to stay true to myself. When I understood I didn’t need to find my other half, I was already a whole, what I needed was someone to tag along and be a partner. Instead of completing what I thought was missing, I found Josh. Being so true to what I’m, and not caring about what other people think of me, set me free. 


The other day I was watching Gilmore Girls, on Netflix. It just made me think of how much things change since I first watch that episode I was on. When the episode aired, in 2004, I agreed with Rory, and the last time I rewatched a couple of days ago, I was totally on Lorelai side’s. In the episode, Rory lost her virginity to Dean, and like that poor mistress, she believed when Dean said his marriage was over. When Lorelai finds out about it. She freaks out, because, oh well, he is married. When you are in your 20’s you see life with goggle eyes when it comes to love. You tend to not listen to your family. At all. 

When you are in your 30’s you tend to stand by the correctness side. The adventurous time almost slips through your fingers. 

In my 30’s I learned to appreciate the family time, I called my mom more than I ever did, and sometimes she doesn’t answer, I get mad. Who I’m gonna talk to about the recipe I just saw on the TV? Or comment on something silly so she can judge me, while I now, laugh? 


In your 20’s, you are more insecure about relationships and you tend to believe everyone wants to do you good. Henceforth, romantic relationships. Friends have a great way to either drag you up or drag you down. Not until recently, I learned in a podcast, that you become more and more like the people you surrounded yourself with. So in your 20’s, if all your friends are doing is drinking, partying, and being messy, that will probably spill on you. Don’t mind me, it’s fun as hell, but I was always too lazy and overworked to enjoy life at its fullest. So I had to find friends who were more like me. Friends that rather go for a walk than be awake until 5 am every weekend. I couldn’t afford that lifestyle anyway either. 

Halloween in Perth 2010, Australia. I had no idea of who this person was . I just wanted to hug the giant panda.

In your 30’s, you learn how to set boundaries. In my case, I learned that my own company is enough. I’m not a lonely sad person, but I learned with my mom, as long as you think of yourself as a good company, you are good to go. Also, I became very selective. If you want to be my friend, awesome, if you don’t, just move along. I’m not going to try to convince you I’m cool, I’m too old for that. 


When I was 20, my dream was to be a Lonely Planet guide writer. Or a National Geographic photographer. I love traveling and sharing my ideas of places with people sounded like a tangible dream. On my first experience abroad in 2006/2007 to North Carolina, I started a blog called “Where the hell is Joana?”. The title was indeed a bit aggressive, but I was thinking about Where is Waldo when I created it.   

For the longest time, I wanted to be a travel writer, and in 2009 I found out about Anthony Bourdain. And I was like “Wait, can you cook, travel, and write about it? Sign me in!” When I got back from to Brazil from Australia, I got a scholarship for Culinary school. I never enjoyed any class that much in my life. I got a bunch of kitchen gadgets, books, learning about different techniques. Until the first year of scholarship was over and I ran out of money. And time for it.  

My two weeks internship at a Pastry in a hotel. When I got paid very little to get yelled at.

Even though I’m in my 30’s my dreams are constantly changing and adapting. I finally managed to go back to school and graduate in Creative Writing, something I should have done in my early 20’s. Another point to be made is, it’s never too late to keep dreaming and improving. As soon as I’m released into the out, I will take writing for TV workshops, baking workshops, and all the fun things that make the wheel go round. 

If you are alive and breathing, It’s not too late to have plans and dream about it.


This is the only part I would say I prefer would’ve stayed my 20’s. My health is fine, and thank God I never got Corona. Even though, if I had anything I was probably asymptomatic. Josh probably had it last December, when he was coughing like crazy, couldn’t sleep laying down, out of breath, had a fever and was exhausted. By that time, the virus didn’t have a name, but I’m sure a lot of people had it. At least two of my other friends had the same symptoms. 

I miss eating like a construction worker and just be fine with whatever. After turning 30, I started to realize I have to watch what I eat carefully. I can’t eat fried chicken very often, the oil makes me gag and the cheese platter I always dreamed to order in a restaurant, makes me bloated, like a Dollar Tree Baloon. Cheap Liquor wakes me up in the middle of the night, scratching my stomach, to remind me I’m not as young as I used to be. Cheap wine keeps banging my brain the next day like I’m at a rock concert. 

As the time passed, I started paying more attention to what I eat and how I eat it. Especially after the Corona Crisis, I started paying more attention to what kind of nutrients I put in my body. 

To wrap it up

To finish my thoughts on why I prefer my 30’s over my 20’s, I wanted to say that everything falls into place. Sometimes we rush to get things done and end up on the wrong path. I did it multiple times, and I will probably do it again, but this time I’m older.

There is no timeline for dreaming and accomplishing! Please let me know in the comments how do you feel about your age group!

Stay well and Stay healthy!


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