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Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.

Maica Rivera

Maica RiveraMaica Rivera is what is called a freelancer. She writes for newspapers, tourism magazines, public/private websites.

I could find little about Maica, but in her photographs and written words I sensed an extremely interesting woman that shunned the conventional.

So, unless I come across a biography of Maica Rivera I decided her own words would nicely paint a verbal picture of the unique woman she appears to be.

Her words and the thoughts that preceded them call to mind a woman of high intelligence with a passion for living that demanded she drop everything, walk out her door and go inquire about the state of the world and her place in it.

So far she has made a brilliant start and is gracious enough to share her discoveries with us.

She prepares talks on marketing and tourism courses and even manages social media accounts. She works on everything that allows her to travel and write every morning.

Maica RiveraCurrently Maica is in charge of the visibility and marketing of the companies belonging to ToursGratis.com , and weekly she publishes newspaper articles and video reports in the newspaper, LA RAZÓN.

"I would define myself as a traveler, an explorer of the globe, its history, its different cultures, its colors, aromas, and flavors, because the planet 'knows', 'smells' and 'suffers'."

"And I, an unrepentant traveler, who is not stopped by discomforts, risks or dangers, began to write without being able to stop more than nine years ago."

"And in that madness, which is inherent in any human passion, I abandoned everything that surrounded me."

"It was not an easy decision. Give up the so-called "comfort zone", take suitcases and leave. When asked why; I still can't answer anything."

"Currently I am in charge of the visibility and marketing of the companies belonging to ToursGratis.com, and weekly I publish newspaper articles and video reports in the newspaper LA RAZÓN

"She walks lost, but she does not care. Her senses, fascinated by the new, border on madness. For her, traveling is like falling in love with a person whom she would follow to the ends of the Earth..."

Maica Rivera"Awake, and still almost asleep, she approaches the window of the hotel room where she is staying. Through the glass she glimpses the image of a city unknown to her."

"As you contemplate it, try to guess what it will feel like to walk through its streets or what you will discover when reading about its history."

"Curiosity drives drowsiness away. She dresses in comfortable clothes and goes outside impatiently as a companion."

"That is one of the reasons why she is passionate about traveling: the rush - that urgent need to do something - does not leave her: life floods her and overwhelms her."

"At every step the city reveals a smell, a sound, an image. Details that are captivating her and to which a little piece of herself delivers."

"As night falls, back in the room, it strangely feels incomplete. Perhaps it is that the day has taken too much of her or, perhaps, that impatience at that moment is not with her."

"She dumps the photographs of that city that is no longer unknown on her computer. In them she strives to find that "something" that she thinks he has lost and that has neither weight nor form."

"She goes through her memory, but finds nothing. He wonders if he will ever even know what it was."

Maica Rivera"Then her thought reveals to her that what she is looking for are the "butterflies" that traveling causes her, and with this, she feels the need to discover the world again, the rush as a companion returns, and she feels complete again."

"Traveling is like falling in love with a person, when that happens, madness borders on you."

"Her. It may not have a fairy tale ending. That first night alone, everything was chaos that reminded her that her life was no longer ordered"

"The apartment was small. She chose it that way so that there would be no empty spaces in which nostalgia would settle."

"That first night alone, everything was in chaos that reminded her that her life was no longer ordered."

"Surrounded by boxes, she told herself that she was calm, that the chosen loneliness would not weigh in at dawn."

"She was afraid and on the floor, lamps that had to be hung; mirrors above the bed so that the glass would not break; leaning on the sofa, pictures that were waiting to be hung."

"About the furniture, nothing. She felt disoriented. She did not know how to install lamps, she did not feel strong enough to lift mirrors and she had never drilled or used plugs or nails."

Maica Rivera"But what most intimidated her was that there was nothing on the furniture. She wondered how she could start a new life without "nothing."

Her. "I imagine her desolate in that closed night. Her past becomes my present when I listen to her. She has not eaten. She hasn't slept in days. She hasn't spoken to anyone in more than a week."

"She has isolated herself in her decision to reinvent herself. She is afraid. Doubts assail her. And then she remembers the reason for being without "nothing".

"She wants to be the woman she dreamed of when she was little."

"Search through the boxes. Find your computer. She rests it on the table - the one in which there was "nothing" - and begins to write a story, her own."

"Since that night she writes every day to ward off the loneliness that, contrary to what she thought, weighs in the early morning. It's hard not to feel dizzy if no one grabs us."

"I know part of what it will narrate, I know that it will catch with each word, but I warn that I do not think it ends with a fairy tale ending."

Maica Rivera"Think about him today. Time has passed. She has returned to listen, to understand, to feel. Not that I miss him, or maybe I do."

"Maybe you just need to know if he has forgiven you for leaving that morning without explaining anything."

"A deep look between them. It was a morning. Many years ago. They were at home. Her and him. His and hers. They spoke, but she was no longer listening."

So it was every day. She does not remember when she began to hear without understanding, to speak without saying anything, to feel without perceiving, to want without loving."

"She was sitting on the sofa, he was standing, and behind the window a city alien to what was going to happen."

"In the living room they were surrounded by furniture they chose when they were still dreaming."

"On them, photographs of when they loved each other, books that were given and objects that testified that they lived a time when they believed in fairy tales."

Maica Rivera"She was trembling. But he did not hesitate. She spoke words that hurt and at the same time relieved:"

"I don't want to stay married." They cried. She knew that maybe she was wrong. She felt that at that moment something inside her was hurting her. It's not easy to say goodbye, not even when you don't love yourself."

"She has left home. She feared that if she stayed she would be overcome by fear and tears. He had asked her not to leave."

"Think about him today. Time has passed. She has returned to listen, to understand, to feel. Not that I miss him, or maybe I do."

"Maybe you just need to know if he has forgiven you for leaving that morning without explaining anything."

"A great nostalgia invades her. Of everything. Even from herself. She has changed so much that she wonders what she would do if she were back in that city, in that house, in that life."

"I would like to know what became of him, if he is happy, if he still thinks about it at dawn."

"She now lives a thousand kilometers apart, and despite this, incomprehensibly, she sometimes feels closer to him than when they were not separated by distance."

Maica Rivera"When starting to write (whatever theme it is about), the first thing I try is to be able to summarize the 'essence' of the text in a sentence."

"In an exceptional way and with the certainty that sometimes, in this "crazy" life, we do not have more than a minute, next, I will cite a few words, which are the inspiration and soul of the text."

"Although we may genetically be predestined, all of us, absolutely all have the ability to change."

"Reading the paragraph above you will have had the essence, reading what continues below, you may be able to read about something familiar."

"What causes the «discomfort» that sometimes surrounds us without warning? Up to what degree human beings are genetically predisposed to some of the most feared diseases of this century, such as depression or anxiety?".

"Daily news of suicide, bullying, gender violence ... leads to a question: Is the world crazy or sick?

"And most importantly, what percentage is our attitude and lifestyle responsible for our mental health?"

"It's attitude and not aptitude, because honestly, thinking that genetic predisposition may unmovably determine our life IS crazy."

Maica Rivera"The question that I think we should really pay attention to for that minute is to decide on the uneasiness that surrounds life, shall we promote a change or live with it?"

"According to the WHO (World Health Organization set up in 1948) mental health is defined as:"

A state of welfare and balance to cope with the daily stresses, in which the individual is aware of his/her own abilities.

"Being aware that life quality is affected by a lack of balance in mental health, is essential to break old taboos, boundaries and conventions. What brings us to the need for living in constant approval from others?"

"Are we living as we want? As 'Superman' or 'Superwoman' in constant tension - the best professionals, parents, children, not to mention being the most stylish, classy, physically enviable and charismatically irresistible?"

"Our 'malaise' stems from the main disease of trying not to be different from the rest, continuous competence to be the best, isn't that crazy?"

"As the tireless traveler across cultures, customs and religions I am, I have come to the knowledge that each country has a different concept of happiness, there is no mathematical formula for welfare, but there is one for discomfort; not to make decisions to change."

"Listen to that inner voice that whispers you are not living the life you want, we heard it but set it aside, lest we become aware and we have to decide to change our lives."

Maica Rivera"Sometimes, when I am back from a trip, I recognize that the clash of cultures upsets me so that I feel strange with everything around me, the apartment, my job, the pace of the city."

"I rejoin daily life like a dream, unable to distinguish reality for a few days, aware of how we can change with a decision around our world. It gives vertigo."

"Sometimes, to document items or chronicles involving information about human behaviour, I have consulted who is already a great friend of mine today, Dr Victoria Rodriguez."

"I ask her to give me reasons for the importance of knowing that although there are different degrees of genetic predisposition to psychological illnesses, a greater or lesser development of these diseases and of course a treatment for them can be foreseen with our attitude."

"Without going into technicalities, but rather as a conversation between friends, she explains the importance of mental health care:"

"Identifying the discomfort that disturbs us as an illness, is the first step to take consciousness about the fact that we can fight it."

"The discomfort may come to invade our inside, conditioning career development, personal life, or even start somatising resulting in physical pathologies, which are nothing but body expressing its emotions."

Maica Rivera"There should be a moment in life of forced reflection, in which we wonder whether we are living as we want, or we are letting ourselves be carried away by what is expected from us."

"After that moment of honesty with oneself we must seek balance, it is the only thing that can lead us to welfare and through it, to get mental health."

"All of this is not easy, this involves decisions that our environment may not be able to understand, and of course, we are not guaranteed to get it."

"But, I think being aware that there are options, is already in itself, a giant step towards the goal. Remember that there is not a greater genetic disposition for ones or others, just different lifestyles, and that's something you can change."

"The intensity of the information from Dr Victoria, reminded me of another conversation with a lady in Egypt, in a Nubian village on the banks of the River Nile, not even two months ago."

"And what surprises me when I remember her, are her words, the wisdom she shared with me is the same as that of a PhD in psychology."

Maica Rivera

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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look

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