Welcome to the new era.

We interrupt our normal programming to announce that this blogger just become a US Citizen.

 

I landed in this country 10 years ago, with 1500 dollars to my name and an extraordinary  passion to win. At that point of my life, I didn’t belong anywhere. I hated living in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro was never meant for me, and Fortaleza where my parents were living was a no go. I have tried before.

Home is where you heart is

When I arrived in Chicago, something hit different. I wanted to stay and grow roots for the first time in my life. Even during the worst moments, I could still see my future in it.  For the first time, I felt like I belong somewhere. I was not afraid of anything, I just wanted to make it work. As I walked around town, I learned really fast that in America, you HAVE to act like you belong. Just like Anna Delvey, in Inventing Anna, if you pretend hard enough that you belong, they will believe you do. That’s what I did.

I never scammed anybody, but when it comes to Fake till you make it, she got a point.

The minorities like me knows what I’m talking about.

Within 6 months living in Chicago, I had it all. But I also had something my country never gave to me.Confidence. This country is made by people that take chances, that kick the entry door. We suffer, we cry in silence, but we also brush off the dust, every day at dawn, and start over. The minorities like me, knows exactly how to get over situations fast, in order to survive. It’s a jungle out here.

You become a citizen as soon as you leave your country behind and make your way into this place. The rest is just formalities.

The reason why I wrote all that, it’s because I just got my citizenship. I love Disney movies and I recently watched Pinnochio. It resonated with me so much.

Husband said “Hold on, there is one string attached. Its your wedding ring”

Well my bad 🤣 I meant no strings with immigration.

There are no strings to hold me down. To make me fret or make me frown.

After 10 years of having nightmares about visiting my family in Brazil and couldn’t go back in the US, I’m finally out of the lions’ dent. No more wake up sweating in the middle of the night. I’m here to stay.  With all that being said, I will be focusing this blog in a less overdramatic line of writing.

September 2022
September 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

As this blog has always been about my journey as an immigrant, which I will always be, I will continue to write about my experiences, but I will also be focusing in other projects. Now that the haze has lifted, I want to participate in some writing contests, with Coverfly, travel and dedicate more of my time to the youtube channel.

I’m moving forward to more of Film/producing/ editing line of work. Live out loud too will soon be Live out loud Too Productions. I waited for this moment for a long time. Three years to be exact. I like to think I just didn’t do it because I don’t have a garage. Or because of the Pandemic. I still don’t have a garage, but I will make it work.

Hopefully if you are still reading this, please my youtube channel! I’ve been posting shorts lately, as I couldn’t focus on writing or editing for the life of me. This is the latest short I posted!

 

“Yippee-Ki-Yay, Motherf*****.”

 

See you soon!

JS XXX

Tips for traveling without a lot of money.

 

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First of all, how are my 7 readers doing? Hope everyone is doing ok. I’m overworked with the youtube channel and I’m learning a lot, so its all good.

 First things first, let me complain about being burnout.

Am I lazy? Or I’m just burnout and exhausted from all the news and things happening around me? Am I trying to do so much, that it feels like I’m running on a hamster wheel, constantly without achieving anything? Does anybody else out there feels the same? Or I’m being the odd duck again?

I can’t be the only one.

I got trapped on the millennial TikTok hole and I guess, my generation feels trapped as much as I do. We can’t buy houses, we have student loans galore, we can’t afford to travel and we work to the exhaustion levels to make a living. It all seems suffocating, can you gives us a break?

Just a little break, maybe a collective day off, and I don’t mean another endless time at home in a pandemic, because at the time we were forced to be home, we were all living in fear of dying. Or killing Grandma. I mean a collective vacation. Shut down the world internet and lets live a day like its 1983.

Let’s all go to the lake, let’s all go camping, barbecue, ride our bikes and be outside without posting pictures or scrolling the news. Without being disturbed by the gas prices or who the next president will be. Can we be happy for one day? One of the reasons I bought a camper was to be able to escape the madness. Anytime.

The complaining part of the post is done. Let’s move on to the fun stuff.

My favorite part of owning a truck camper is to be able to get away. Run to the mountains, and be completely off the hook. No internet signal. Every time I travel, I get certain that buying that camper was the best decision we made. We put it for sale on Market place, and then we though about it and removed from the listings.

Let’s give it another try.

We drove to Turquoise Lake at the beginning of June, when it was still super cold in the mountains. After stopping in Leadville for a couple of hours, we drove another 25 minutes into the campsite, named Baby Doe, after the infamous Baby Doe Tabor, the mad lady in the cabin. I’m reading her book and I’m fascinated by her story.

The Campsite

Turquoise Lake in B&W

The campsite is very well structured, and you can do some fun activities such as biking and fishing trout on the lake. I’m pretty sure you can boat or paddle, but I didn’t dare to try it. It was too cold.

After we parked out car and settle everything, we rode our bikes to the lake. Again, no cellphones, no distraction. Just the mountains and the nature.

We cooked on the fire outside, danced around and had fun. The simple things in life its what brings me joy. What most of people get wrong is that you need a lot of money to travel. Truth to be told, you don’t.

I have been traveling on the cheap side for a long time now.

In my early 20’s, my broke behind in Rio, used to travel very often. I couldn’t travel abroad yet, so I learnt that I could go visit coastal cities in Rio de Janeiro and enjoy my free time off. Working in the Hostel also helped because I could stay in a shared accommodation for free, for a couple of days. Some of them offered breakfast for free, so I saved on that too.

I educated myself to understand that traveling is much more than spending a lot of money. It’s about learning the culture and sharing the spaces with people from all over the world.

Don’t limit yourself due to resources. Can’t fly? take a bus.

Of course is great to stay in a refined luxury hotel, instead of sharing a room with another 12 girls, but the reality is, very few people can afford to do it, and me in 20’s was not one of them. Yes, I did share a hostel room with 12 other girls while visiting New York city in 2007. Even when I was already living in Georgia, that I went back to visit Chicago in 2014 by myself, I stayed in a hostel.

Last time I went to New York, in March, I stayed at Beekman- A Thompson Hotel. Because once again, life gets better and I keep working in the hospitality industry and getting great fares.

My camper is in shambles, but I won’t get rid of it.

 

We had a lot of problems on this trip with the camper in terms of logistics. The shower didn’t work, and neither did the heater. The internet didn’t work, but somehow we could watch Stranger Things for a little before going to bed. I joked with Josh that is the chip on my vaccine. I’m double vaccinated, so I have double bars for signal.

That was a weird night that I kept dreaming about being attacked by bears outside of the camper, a very realistic dream, we packed our stuff and drove back to Denver. Started to planning another trip on the way back. We decided to go to Las Vegas. With limited funds, as usual.  We did and that’s the next video!

Follow me for more tips of traveling while being broken bruxa 🤣

Stay Healthy, Stay safe!

JS

XXX

How to have a day job and still work on your dreams

Let’s be real, unless you are a trust fund kid or a 16 years old TikTok, dancing around for millions of people and getting loads of endorsements, you need a job. At least until your main plans take off the ground.

Unless you are wealthy, it’s a little hard to make it happen, and it’s ok.

If you inherited some money, or have money deposited in your account by a family member, so you can pursue your dreams, you are lucky. It’s easy to say “follow your dreams” when you are not exhausted after a full day of work. Real people have to have jobs and work on their dreams in the meantime.

There is no way I could simple abandoned my work, that pays for my house and utilities, to be broken again in my late 30’s in order to focus on my dream. I will have to do both. Is it working? Not yet, but at least with this job, I’m able to travel and get the content I need to put videos on my youtube channel. Getting the videos ready is a different stories. I’m getting better. At filming and editing, when I have time for it.

I’m super jealous of people that can juggle it all.

You can’t barely save the files and put it order. Sometimes you get paralyzed by fear of looking ridiculous in front of an audience, you don’t money for therapy yet, which you certainly probably need it with the internet trolls. Are you afraid of being ostracized by strangers? I’m 100% terrified of it.

How do you juggle your work life with your dream? I read in a book once that you should give one hours of your day for your projects. Its hard to get that when you give 9 hours away to a corporate job, because they have the tendency of draining your soul and your will to do anything else.

Anxiety cripples in.

We need planning. Planned content is the way to go. If you have an undiagnosed ADHD like me, and your brain works a million miles per hour, it might be hard to focus.Especially when you are at your day job, and you have ideas that you’d like to work on, instead of focusing on the job that pays you.

Your creativity is on the highest peak when you can’t do nothing with it.

People tell you to keep a little booklet with you at all times, to write ideas as they come to you. The muse plays me like a fiddle. Sometimes I’m talking to coworkers and I have a brilliant idea to write about something, and just like sand in my hands, it slowly vanishes away. Or When I sit at home, with a document open, just staring at a blank page.

I’ve seen people work on novels,  personal projects and make things work, while they have a 9 to 5 job. In my experience I’m still trying to make it happen. Do I lack confidence because I’m an immigrant or do I lack confidence because I don’t have any at all? There is something holding my feet and I would like to know what is it.  That’s why it’s hard to risk it all.

My day job gives me a sense of belonging.

The hotel I’m working is giving me the opportunity to stay in hotels from the same brand for a cheaper price. It’s a great discount on food outlets, spa services and parking. After 15 years working in hospitality, I finally think I made the right choice. They encourage you to travel and to take time off. The hotel also has a good care of your mental health, as they give you counseling and apps that you can use to take care of yourself.

Your Day job have a purpose in your life.

It can’t only be pay the bills. It has to be a step forward into your goals on a daily basis. You can’t also put a deadline in it. We all have different paces, and different timing, don’t overwork yourself, because when you get to where you want to be, exhaustion it’s the next exit.

Keep working and try to find small joy in simple things.

My job allows me to travel and stay in beautiful properties with a high discount. That also allows me to film my trips and post it on my upcoming youtube channel. What does your day job bring you, while you are working on something that you really want to? Some people like to make music, some people like to make art, and some like me loves writing. How can you take a moment of your day to feel accomplished with your art?

We just got out of a two year pandemic, where most of us had the chance to work from home. Most of us also had the time to focus on our craft. I never wrote so much as the time I was stuck at home.

You were not expected to improve during the pandemic, but some of us needed that time for ourselves.

Travel Vlogger

My blog had 50 something posts on 2020, which is a miracle, because I don’t have the time I need to create content, neither do I think that people actually read it.But I keep going, with my day job and my dream of being a writer. Which I’m already, I just don’t get paid for it. It’s my art.

My latest creation is this :

New Logo

What is your art?  how do you manage to have a day job and follow your dream? Please let me know in the comments!

 

 

Turning Red – What awakes your Red panda?

Disney has a special way to cater for kids and trigger adults watching the movies.

In Pixar movies, the villain has always been something within inside of  the characters.

Something that bother from the inside, something they don’t know what it is, but it’s there.

Making waves and pushing it forward to make a change. Is always about wanting to proof your self worth and your ability of taking care of yourself, and figuring out the need of people in your life.

All the Pixar movies work with the same premises and Turning Red is not different. Move over Abuela Toxica, I’m utterly obsessed with the red panda now.

Eugene on Twitter Fanart

The main character Mei Mei  is asian/canadian and she lives in Toronto with her family,but the coolest thing about the movie is that it’s based in 2002. The movie creator and director found the inspiration in herself living in the same time and age as Mei Mei, in Toronto.

The family struggles.

Of course, I don’t have any place to relate with the Asian culture,I have a different type of family struggle and expectations, but I do relate with Mei’s behavior of trying to be the perfect daughter and not disappoint her mom. Between not disappoint your mom and breakout to be yourself is the hardest thing of growing up.

We all have a Red Panda inside of us.

Some control it very well, other just make it part of their personalities. Who doesn’t have a friend that is always angry and aggravated by something? I have a few.

The Red Panda in Turning Red means learning how to control your emotions and the how to deal with all those changes and emotions your body is going through.

I was a very shy teenager, mostly in my own world, writing my stories in a notebook, hoping someday I would break out of that shell and wake up beautiful some day.

I manifested my future in those stories.

Life wrecked me in so many ways, I had to put my writing dreams on the side. Again, why do we bottle up our dreams and put it in a shelf, instead of working towards with what makes us truly happy?

Some people can get out of it, others find a job as a bank clerk and forget about what they wanted and who they were when they were younger.

This is putting The Red Panda inside of a charm and forget it ever existed, or suppress it. Thats what happened with Mei’s mom Ming, in the movie.

The Red panda in her was consider too dangerous and had to be put away for good, inside of the amulet. Once the charm breaks the panda is out and Mei is in big trouble.

The Early 2000’s. If you live that era, you know it means.

Mei’s character portrayed how was to be a teenager really well in the early 2000’s. The boy bands, the Tamagochi, the stickers on the bag, the boy drama, the friendship with other girls.

The movie soundtrack is catchy, because boy bands were catchy in 2002. The movie is a mix of nostalgia for us and evaluation of what we become and what happened to the red panda. Is it still here?

What Awakes the Red Panda?

The Red Panda is awaken in me when something I created a lot of expectation on, goes wrong. I’m a very creative and imaginative person, a dreamer, some would call. It’s all my fault when things goes awry because I fantasized beyond the reality limits. Like when I draw something beautiful in my head, and the drawing comes out chaotic. I’m not good at drawing, but I’m good in my mind.

Other situation that awakens the red panda, is the immigration subject.  You want to see me going full on panda, dare to tell me immigrants are here to take American jobs and the social security money.

Or that a refugee is here making 3k a month on the Americans hard earned money. Believe me, I heard that from a family member, while seating in my couch, at my house. I’m fuming just writing about it. Anyway, let’s go back to the movie.

Friendship, boyband obsession, family embarrassing you right and left. The movie has everything and if you haven’t watch it, go for it. Songs are so catchy that a 36 years old me singing at work.

You’re never not on my mind, oh my, oh my I’m never not by your side, your side, your side
I’m never gon’ let you cry, oh, cry, don’t cry
I’ll never not be your ride, or die, alright

The original songs are from Finneas and Billie Eilish, and I couldn’t expect anything better.

I remember when the Backstreet Boy were everything to me and I went to the concert in Rio, with some of my friends, at the age of 15. My mom didn’t destroy the stadium, like Ming, but she was very worried about me being alone with friends on a school day, at a concert. In the biggest soccer stadium in Brazil.

Some similarities with Encanto are noticeable.

Like the way Meilin wants her mom’s approval and how she wants her wishes as a teenager to be respected. The biggest difference is her mom is aware of her transformation and unlikely Abuela, she doesn’t blame Mei for what is happening. Maybe Abuela needs to put her red Panda on a charm and let it go.

The movie is a must see and another one of the Pixar’s great creation. I love that we are seeing so much diversity in Pixar/Disney movies lately. No more wacked out princess doing everything for love. Yes Ariel, losing your voice for legs to get the guy its not worth it.  Dumb wench.

If you haven’t seen the movie, watch it. I watched a couple of times and I can’t wait to be a hit overnight like Encanto.

Let me know in the comments if you watch it and how could you relate to the movie and the characters!

 

 

ReInventing Joana – The most VIP trip ever.

I was walking around in on of those high end boutique streets in Soho and a few steps in front of me, a lady with a trend coat, talking with someone on her phone.

It was a loud conversation, and for what I understood, she was mad with an employee of her company, like the girl did something absurd and she, the boss, wasn’t going to tolerate such mistake.

I walked a few steps behind her and notice that her New Yorker attitude was saying a lot about how we present ourselves to others. Maybe thats why the fraudulent Anna Delvey got so far with her scheme in the city. They love everything that shines.

Fake till you make it.

It doesn’t matter where you come from, in the big city, especially a city like New York, you have to stand taller than others. We’ve seen so many movies about a girl who was treated like trash, changed her attitude and her looks and grab the society by the hair.

One of my favorite movies “The Devil Wears Prada” talks about this city dynamic. I’m convinced that behaving like that  actually works here in America. Unapologetic.

I forgot to use my Anna Delvey Accent. It was not VIP, Vivian.

Whenever I travel, I like to walk around in different streets, to make me feel like I’m a local, like I actually belong to the place I’m visiting. I’m not against visiting touristic spots, like libraries, museums and historic sites, but I’m not dedicating my precious time to see what I can see in any youtube channel, for an entire day.

Especially because I don’t have much time when I travel, so I have to be smart with my choices. When I go to DisneyWorld, I know I will spend half of my day in a line, for a five minute ride, but when I go to New York, I have to be precise which neighborhood I want to visit, instead of waiting at a line to see the Statue of Liberty and waste my entire day.

Feeling like I truly belong, at the train station, I was looking around to figure out which letter train I would take to West Village, when a girl in need of information approached me.

She asked me if that train was going to a certain place. I baffled and try to tell her, I didn’t know either, but yeah sure, the train was going to that place. The poor girl is probably still lost in the city. I turned around and asked the lady working at the train station, who gave me the same answer I gave the girl “Yeah, sure, it goes there”.

Wants to feel like a true New Yorker? Give people misinformation about the subway system. It’s too complicated even for locals to understand.

People from the hotel, in other hand, were all very nice to me. Maybe because I work for the same company, or maybe because they were highly trained to be nice. I stayed at The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel and got upgraded for a suite.

The hotel was a truly VIP experience *read it in Anna’s voice* .
 Inside  The Beekman- A Thompson Hotel

The hotel is located in Lower Manhattan, close to World Trade Center memorial site and the Brooklyn Bridge is a walking distance. Staying at the hotel feels like you were transported to a 1920’s site, in the prohibition era. The restaurant looks like a Speakeasy and the vintage decoration gives you the feeling os travel in time.

The room had dim lights  and every time I left the room and came back, I had turned down service. When I came back at night, I noticed my curtains were closed. The bed was made, some water bottles were left by bedside table, with a room service menu on the top of the pillow, in case I wanted to order something for breakfast. I made some videos and I should post it soon.

I was really considering staying at the hotel and resting, instead of walking 12 hours a day. But I choose the second option. Getting lost in the city it’s my kind of trip. 

Friends Apartment Building – Manhattan

Next day, after breakfast in the hotel, I was ready to tackle the city. I wanted to visit the Friends Apartment building, so I took the train, got out in the wrong station and walked. And walked some more. The Goggle maps confusing me and my sense of direction, so it took me a little longer to find it, but I did.

The building is very crammed inside of a neighborhood, with a few cute restaurants and other apartments. From there, I walked to Soho, to visit some stores and see the lady yelling at the phone about her employee.

 

A very walkable city

In terms of food, I didn’t want to spend much. Once again, I look for local shops and not Tourist Trap restaurants. When I arrived on Monday, I walked to Chinatown to meet my friend and had some Dim Sum,  we shared and it was ideal to not spend much.

The next day, I had breakfast the hotel, it was about 25 dollars and if you are not starving, you can always share some items, if you traveling with someone. Josh didn’t go with me, because he had to work and I was only going for 2.5 days.

Find cute local shops and not Tourist Traps.

During my walk in Soho, later on, I stopped to eat a sandwich and a smoothie, in a very small and cute cafe. Joe and the Juice is a perfect spot for a quick bite.   https://www.joejuice.com/  Prices are reasonable and you don’t feel like breaking the bank. Again, don’t fall for tourist traps restaurants.

Moving on to Times Square, this time by train, I was amused by how busy that place is. I went to the Disney Store, M&M’s and kept walking to Bryant Park and Fifth Avenue. Later on, I went to K-town to eat at a Korean Food Court, that my friend who is a local in New York City, knows about.

Again, I had a Korean seafood soup for dinner and a soda that it costed about 13 dollars. Next day, the day I was coming back home I walked to Eataly, close to the hotel and got some pizza slice with a soda before traveling, also pretty cheap.

“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere”

New York is an expensive city, if you want to do expensive stuff. Things aimed to tourists are really overpriced and it makes it look like you have to be rich to be in a place like that. Yes, I got the hotel for a cheaper price, but even when I didn’t, 15 years ago, I stayed in a hostel sharing the room with 12 other girls and ate the same way I did on this trip. It’s about connecting with the local culture.

Apart from eating cheap food, I wanted to walk around high brand stores, see how people behave on a daily basis and have some fun. It’s easy to understand why to succeed in this city, you have to be a bit rough and put on a show. It’s the vibe of the city. Play pretend. Act like you belong among them and you will see how it work.

We are coming back to the city in May and I’m taking Josh this time. I can’t wait to show him around and show him the city dynamic, while getting mad at the train.

 

 

 

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