Letter to My Daughter: Leave While You’re Young

Leave While Your Young - Pura Vida Sometimes - Teotihuacan

The photos of your new life are breathtaking. You decided to leave with a one-way ticket, to get a change of scenery. Some fresh air in your lungs. It was time. Your family misses you, and although my advice may not be popular with them, I just wanted to tell you…don’t come back. Don’t even consider it. Not yet. You have to leave while you’re young. This is your time. You were born with a great restlessness that many never know and most won’t understand, and they’ll try to lure you back. Being away from everything you’ve known will allow […]

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Germany: Oceans Away, a Clear View of Home

I went to Germany last month on a real vacation. No work, no real planning, no agenda – just me and a good friend, and a chance to experience a new place. It was relaxing and tiring and amazing, and I though I fully expected to return home with renewed vigor and blog ideas burning my fingertips, I experienced quite the opposite. In my week away, the first like it since I got married and had my baby, I was able to step away from the noise – bills, meals, housekeeping, landscaping, marketing presentations, rides to and from here and […]

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A Huge Border Wall is Not the Answer

A Huge Border Wall is Not the Answer on Pura Vida. Sometimes.

In the late 1800s, my family came from Solingen, Prussia and built their homestead in a canyon on the Mexican border before Arizona was a state. At that time, Nogales was literally a walnut grove bisected by an international line with little more than a railroad station and post office. My grandmother and all her siblings were born on that land, as was my father and his siblings, and it’s where we spent summers when my mom dropped us off with family and went to work. When I was growing up, the fence, as we called it, was literally a […]

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You Know Nothing About Cuba

You Know Nothing About Cuba on Pura Vida Sometimes

No matter how many books you read, classes you take, or how up on current events you are, there’s no way to understand Cuba, even if you’ve been there. It is a country of contrasts and incomparable warmth and beauty. I studied and was obsessed with the country – its politics, revolutionary history, intellectual capital, and culture – for about 15 years before I had the opportunity to visit the island. After a week in Cuba, the one thing I knew to be true, in the words of Aristotle, was “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” I began studying Cuba at the university […]

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10 Things to Bring for a Happy Road Trip With Toddlers

Happy Road Trip with Toddlers on Pura Vida Sometimes

Over the next few weeks, many of us will take advantage of long weekends to go on a road trip. Getaways of yesteryear when we were footloose and fancy-free are distant memories when you have kids. Now we have to plan and prepare and exercise all our OCD rites. But there are a few things you can take that will make the journey smoother. Most kids and especially mine get testy when their physiological needs are challenged. More specifically, the weeping and snotty tantrums on the floor with limbs flailing happen when they’re sleepy or hungry, so do everything you can to make […]

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Skip the Lines and Become a Trusted Traveler

Skip the Lines and Become a Trusted Traveler on Pura Vida Sometimes

 Travel used to be easy. Lines were short, and the process was uncomplicated. In fact, I lived close to a small airport and could roll in with my carry-on a half hour before takeoff and be fine. No longer. Recently, security lines at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix have been getting me down. But my last international trip sealed the deal for me – it was time to become a trusted traveler. If you’re traveling anywhere, and especially internationally, it behooves you to become a trusted traveler. Luckily, in four relatively easy and definitely worth-it steps, I gained a […]

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Create a Moment: Spa on the Road

Create a Moment - Spa on the Road - Pura Vida Sometimes

If you’re single and your time is all your own,  enjoy it. For the rest of us, we have to take full advantage of the intermittent and fleeting moments of respite to self-indulge. Business trips, for me, are long days of hard work and evenings in the home-away-from-home spa. Seize the opportunity to create a relaxing experience when and where you can. When I travel, I’m most often in 4- and 5-star hotels, far nicer than anything I’d be able to afford on my own. And although I’m working 10 to 12 hour days talking to people and wishing I […]

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Have Passport – F Your Rules

Have Passport - Pura Vida Sometimes

When I was literally 18 and a day, I traveled overseas for the first time. It was an amazing, illuminating experience – all that I’d hoped it would be, in most ways – but a couple of days into the trip I broke the travel rules and was labeled a delinquent and punished for the remainder of our travels. In hindsight, do I feel bad about what I did? Nope. I was invited to be part of a musical ambassador program, for high school musicians (or in my case, recent graduates) in which we traveled to seven countries in two […]

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Learning to See Through a Child’s Eyes

Learning to See Through a Child's Eyes - Pura Vida Sometimes

Over the long holiday weekend, we decided to escape the triple-digit heat in the Valley of the Sun and retreat to the pines, filling our lungs with clean air and disconnecting, if only for a few days.  Excitedly anticipating a poor network connection, and being too Type A to not to have an agenda, my main business item was to clear out the photos in my iPhone. Easy enough – my idea of relaxing. I also had a list of attractions in the area to visit if the fancy struck us, to make the best use of our limited fun […]

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An Introvert Birthday in China 75 Floors Up

An Introvert Birthday in China

When I was a child, I grew up in a tiny town on a cul de sac lined with cute little houses in some variation of one of five models, where in each lived two to four kids, and most of the dads on the block worked with mine. Facing our house lived my best friend, my sister’s best friend, and my parents’ best friends – they are family, no way around it. On my sixth birthday, we strolled on over to my best friends’ like any other day and, “Surprise!” All my friends were there to celebrate with me, […]

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