Surviving My Thoughts

I had a lot of time to sit and ponder about life yesterday. This was due to the fact I was stuck at the doctors office and hospital for a total of nine hours and my phone died during the first three.

I have always been fascinated to understand why people choose the majors they do. Whenever I ask people or see fellow classmates or students on campus, a series of questions run through my head. Did something significant happen in their life that could be related to a certain major and they wanted to pursue it because of that? Are they studying a certain major just because there are money benefits? Or were they expected to go into a concentration because it was a family trade?

Although this will always be a fascinating subject for me, I have found that I have now moved onto a different series of questions. (I think this is due to the fact I am nearing the end of my college career.) However, to get to those set of questions you have to sit and read how my day went yesterday…

Flashback to October 21, 2015
Where:  Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
When: 8:10AM

After waiting patiently at the doctors office for 15 minutes my name was called via intercom with a thick Puerto Rican accent. I told the doctor all of my problems and she sat patiently trying to understand my frantic English and occasional Spanish. She looked at me with caring eyes and told me very calmly where to go next, what to do, and what was going to happen. After I did everything I was required to do, including a lovely shot in the nalga (butt), I laid down in a bed to see if the pain would decrease. I was also “rewarded” with a heating pad to help with the pain. I must say resting in an AC room and a heating pad on your stomach is rather relaxing and every doctor office should offer this! After leisurely waiting an hour and a half for my shot to kick in, the doctor came back in to asses my issues. Because my condition did not better within time, they loaded me into a mini ambulance and took me to the nearest hospital. Even though it was entertaining to ride in the mini ambulance, it was rather unnecessary in my opinion.

I arrived at the hospital after a short drive. Because there were no rooms or people available I had to awkwardly wait on a stretcher in the middle of the ER for about 30 minutes. During this time I proceeded to people watch (my favorite hobby) and observe everybody who worked there to people who look like regulars at the ER or people who were very sick and obviously needed help. I finally got loaded into a tiny office where I had to explain all of my problems and my background information to somebody who could barely speak English. After about 15 minutes of struggling with the language barrier, I got transferred to a small area with curtains as walls and sick people as neighbors. I looked around and realized I was the only gringa there and that I was the only person who didn’t have somebody that had accompanied me. I continued to observe everybody for an hour until my doctor finally presented himself and proceeded to ask all the same questions the lady asked me an hour before. It took two more hours for a nurse to take my blood, give me medicine, and order me to pee in a cup. She then scurried off and let me marinate for another hour in my curtain room until I could get wheeled off for a few tests. It wasn’t until 5:00pm hit, that my feet touched the cement of the streets outside for the first time since the morning.

I guess long story short, I had a lot of time to people watch.

As somebody who is currently majoring in the health industry, the hospital is a very interesting place to be. I saw workers there who I could tell hated every moment, I saw others who loved their job, I even saw people who were neutral about it and looked like a robot. However, they all had something in common; they worked hard to earn their degree/degrees, they had to take boards and do all this with good grades. It made me happy when I saw the people who enjoyed their work, it gives me hope that I will find a job I enjoy just as much as they do. But, what about the people who were robots and looked like they were being tortured? These types of people make me confused, and make me doubt my college education at times. Why did they go through all that, just to hate their job? What happens if I don’t find a job in my field that I like? Will I even find a job? What if I got a degree all for nothing? What do I want to do with my life?

I know that this crisis will only worsen as graduation approaches. Specially since the only thing I want to do in life is travel the world (my wallet would convince you otherwise.) All I know is going to school, by the time I graduate I will have been in school for 16.5 years, it is rather likely I will have an identity crisis but who knows how small or big that will be. Don’t get me wrong I will enjoy not having to worry about tests and homework, but it will be different once I am completely finished and just have to worry about a job. However, do I even want to grow up? Can I just not grow up, work at a hostel or restaurant, and travel the world?

Thank you life!

This one is for you Manuel.

I try to publish blogs when I know I have things to talk about. However, these past couple weeks I have been having writers block. Well that, and the fact I have been overwhelmed with making sure I pass my classes and having somewhat of a social life. Thus meaning, my social media has been “lacking” the attention that I normally provide it. There are many things that I could write about; I could complain about how I wish I had a car to take me places more frequently and reliably or how extremely hard it is to stay motivated to do homework in my house. I could also brag about how I have been experiencing some of the best times of my life, and I am the happiest I have ever been in a long time. However, I do not want to complain or brag, because who wants to read about that, it gets too repetitive. Also at this particular moment I would rather live in the moment more then write about it.  That is why I have written about thoughts or tips that I have rather than experiences.
Check back in on Sunday, and there will probably be another post. 12096135_10207150492312451_8545277737931033859_nIMG_574012112377_10207150493272475_5038340915331267691_n

Getting Fit or at least maintaining.

I am laying on a beautiful sandy beaches. Now i am constrained to a chair while trying to convince myself I can study and work on homework. But not to long until I have to walk down nine flights of stairs to run of to my classes knowing that I am required to pay attention to and if my thoughts venture somewhere other then my teacher I am lost for the entire class. The best time of the day is when I am able making food to pass me by or preferably explore restaurants and eat my favorite meal ever…rice, beans, tostanos, and meat. However, I still find time to have a social life because by ten a night I leave my apartment once again to go tall to friends and drink. But who has the time to work out, when there is something always going on?

When I am home I tend to be a rather active person. I enjoy going to the gym because I am able to relieve my built up stress and further procrastinate my homework. I typically have some sort of motivation to get to the gym (all the pages of hot fit females I follow on Instagram) but when I get incredibly busy or when I am traveling my exercise decreases. The longer I stay sediment, the more I start to scrutinize myself…which is not fun for anybody.

My thought process of when I would/could work out went …
I could wake up 6 every morning, and go on a run then…but who wants to wake up that early, and lets not mention how hard it is to wake up at that time when you have been drinking since 3AM the night before.
I could wait until after school is out and go then… but then factor in the fact that I am exhausted by that point of the day from school and the heat, I am thinking of all the homework I should be doing and whether it is raining or not and it is possible to go on a run.

Slowly but surely I am starting to find ways to stop making excuses and pull a Shia LaBeouf and JUST DO IT. I found that even though I am a complete zombie at 6AM, it is a lot easier to convince myself to run at that point rather then at 6PM. I am also trying to attend zumba classes and yoga classes. Although I do not exactly like the classes sometimes, at least it is movement! I do have to give a lot of credit to my roommate who helps me be motivated to run. Everybody needs a cheerleader, she is mine and I am hers.

Because I am away and don’t have access to everything I would if I was at home, I have to be creative. Instead of doing weights, I do a workout at home. Instead of weighing myself, I take photos of body in different angles every month to later compare. I also personally like to measure different parts of my body and record it and see where and how much I have gained or lost.

My Tips:

  • Don’t try to loose weight while abroad, just try to maintain it.
  • Stop making excuses, there is time for everything.
  • Prioritize your time.
  • Attend classes like Zumba and Yoga that the school offers. Classes like these are fun, and people are there to attend the class, not judge who sucks or not.
  • Work out with people/find people who like running, swim, etc.
  • Like weights but don’t have access? Research at home workouts, or find a close by gym.
  • Take photos of your progress.

Until next time, pura vida mis amores!

Second Time Traveling?!

I have not traveled many places before coming to Puerto Rico, but the places I have gotten an experience to travel to (outside of mainland USA) are Costa Rica (6 months) and Nicaragua (2.5 weeks.) I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to say I have been to these beautiful places and hopefully my travels will not end anytime soon.

As I was preparing to come to Puerto Rico I was mixed with many emotions (and no it is not because I am a female.) Meeting new people, adventuring to new places, eating/trying new food, the thrill of it all are what I absolutely love about traveling. As time progressed to my departure date, I started realizing I was experiencing more anxiety rather then what I should be…excited. Considering that this was not only my second time leaving Colorado but also when I left for Costa Rica I only felt excited, it did not make sense to me that I was so anxious. As I laid in my bed countless nights (due to insomnia) I realized I was scared due to the fact it wasn’t going to be the same. It wasn’t going to be Costa Rica, I wasn’t going to have the two best friends, it wasn’t USAC, I don’t know who my roommate is, it just was not going to be the same. To be completely honest it took me a couple days to admit that I was even experiencing this problem. I kept saying to myself, “You knew it wasn’t going to be the same,” “You say you like traveling, but your scared of going to Puerto Rico.” and it kept going on and on.

On top of the argument taking place in my head, I had spent less time packing and more time in preparing for my trip by buying things (shower necessities, sunblock, etc.) Typically I would say doing both is very beneficial because if you spend too much time packing it is worthless because you are bound to forget something and if you buy too little then you have to go to the grocery store a lot. I have heard various people from both Costa Rica and Puerto Rico say they have wished they brought more things from home once the first month rolls by. However, there is an amount that is NOT ok. I was so confident that my both of my suitcases were under 50lbs, it hit me like an unexacting bat to the face to when I got to Denver International Airport and both weighed around 80lbs. Luckily, I was about 2.5 hours early and my flight was at night so it was almost deserted. Thus meaning, it was a lot easier to frantically go through my bag and determine on the spot what I needed and didn’t need while occasionally looking up at the people working and the people in line giving me the “I pity you” stare.

Now I am sitting here in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico in my apartment, right next to my roommate (who I absolutely adore) and I have LOVED everyday I am here! It has reminded me to why I absolutely love traveling and makes me crave to do more!

My tips for future travelers who are planning another excursion:

  • It is ok to be nervous when traveling even if you have gone somewhere before. You are only human, and if the place you are going to is completely foreign to you, you have a right to be nervous. People are naturally very unsettled about the unknown.
  • What ever you do, DO NOT compare. It will only end in disaster and will only promote bad thoughts and experiences.
  • Make sure to pack light but not too light. You don’t want to be like me in the airport but you also don’t want to come here realizing you only have two pairs of underwear either.
  • It is normal to be nervous and excited at the same time, although it is rather confusing at times.
  • Try to not overthink, everything tends to get more complicated when you over analyze.
  • Everything will be just fine, and just remember to have fun!

Until next time mis amores! I hope this helped!

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Puerto Rico

Today marks the eleventh day I have been on this beautiful island, and the more time that passes, the more I do not want to return home. However, that is not possible..so I will enjoy my time here while it lasts (which will be very easy.) For those who do not know, I am studying in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico for the Fall semester of 2015.

When I first arrived to Puerto Rico, I was experiencing a bit of culture shock. I found this rather surprising because I had lived in Costa Rica for six months in the year before. I think this occurred because Puerto Rico is a latin island but at the same time there is a lot of American influence here. For example, there are signs in Spanish and then on the same sign there is the English translation, or the fact there is Burger King and Church’s chicken located in many areas in the city I am currently living in. However at the same time there are so many differences. But like I kept chanting to myself on the plane to Puerto Rico, “I CAN NOT COMPARE!”

The people here are amazingly nice. They speak rather fast with a thick accent so it makes understanding them rather difficult at times. Sometimes when they realize I am not a Spanish speaker they will resort to english, which I love and hate, because all I want to do here is learn Spanish not practice my English. The last program I did was through USAC (which is amazing for people who leave the country the first time and don’t speak another language well.) This time I went through NSE and I am so glad because I am WAY more immersed in the community and language here. There are only 5 Americans here, which makes it necessary to speak Spanish to communicate with everybody in the exchange program. Also I am enrolled in classes that only speak Spanish. With being here for only eleven days I am already thinking way more in Spanish and find it hard to put my brain back into English. Which makes writing this even more entertaining because I want to say some words in English and Spanish…One would say I am currently perfecting my Spanglish haha.

It is a bit difficult because I currently do not have any internet at my apartment because internet companies down here want you to be involved for an entire year and not just a semester (which makes sense.) This makes doing any homework difficult and makes my motivation to complete it, very low. At the same time I like not having that much connection to the internet and keeping more to myself rather then always being on the phone.

I feel as if I have so much to say and explain, and I don’t know where to begin or end.  I want to talk about how different everything is and how beautiful is but there are so many that I would be writing for many hours everyday..

But I will end my rant on this note,, Puerto Ricans are amazing people and they remind me why I love traveling because if you are open to meeting people and getting out of your comfort zone, one can meet so many great people and have countless adventures! IMG_4816IMG_4833

PS. I know I am not that great of a writer however I do hope I can convince/inspire somebody out there to travel/study abroad. It is the best decisions I have ever made and I know it is hard and scary (The first time I ever left the US was when I went abroad to Costa Rica and I am the only one of my family to do so.) but I promise it is an experience of a lifetime!

Inappropriate Words over Frozen Yogurt

I work at a frozen yogurt shop here in Durango, Co. It has been around 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) pretty much all day, which causes a lot of people wanting frozen yummy treats. Which is typically great for the business and for whomever is working. I had a great time working, and enjoyed all of my customers!

There was a group of girls around Junior High/Middle School that sat down to eat their yogurts. I would occasionally glance over and (not meaning to) overhear their conversation. Some of the topics they talked about, one could just roll their eyes or chuckle at. (We all remember our Junior/Middle school years.) However, I overheard something that made my heart just drop.

Their conversation was pointed towards some poor boy who would I guess would try and flirt with the girls. One girl stated word for word…
If he touches you just yell rape…I did that in PE during basketball..(proceeded to explain the event of basketball while laughing and eating froyo.) ” …a few girls chuckled along with the story.

What that girl said is very wrong. The only time one should yell/scream out rape is when it is about to or is happening. For young women like this to be joking about such a serious topic, is very disappointing. I do not think their parents taught them to say that, and I hope they would be just as disappointed in hearing this as I was. If I was to rant about this it would be pages upon pages long, and I have homework I am procrastinating and no one wants to read that either…because (hopefully) they would know why I would be disappointed.

I cannot even put into words how important it is to teach our youth what is acceptable to joke about and what is not. Also to teach them when to say these things and when not to.

Cheers to a Clean Start

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Hello all!
My name is Madeline, but Madi for short.
I am a proud Coloradoan, and have been born and raised in this beautiful mountainous state.
I attend Fort Lewis College, and currently a Public Health and Spanish double major.
I have traveled to Costa Rica, and soon Puerto Rico to study abroad/nationally.

My goal is to keep this blogging up so I can share my photos/adventures/thoughts/etc. with everybody when I am in Puerto Rico and some time after that.

I cannot say this blog will the best blog one would ever read, but I will try my best try at this and see where it takes me!