Big Airports And How To Get Lost In Them

Airports are like magical waiting rooms on your way to or from home. Like any magical place, you have to be ready for adventure to happen at any moment. At least that was what I was thinking back on February 5th 2021 after hugging my brother and walking into Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico with Jay as my trusted sidekick.

Once inside, everyone seemed to know what they were doing and where they were going except me. After getting our bags inspected by the USDA and losing the sticker 20 seconds later, we were ready for every safety protocol and flying to NYC. Piece of advice here: don’t put money in your pocket. You’ll look funny holding it in your hands and triggering every single thing inside the body scanner. Let me tell you that I’m not scared of flying. But when you’re in a plane full of people and scared to even breath inside your mask because of Covid, you start playing different scenarios in your head and even think about every airplane accident and how no one survives it. I think I have an overactive imagination or maybe I just need to download more movies the next time… who knows.

JFK International Airport in NY is huge. From skywalks inside the airport to the Airtrain to connect passengers to their terminal I think you get the idea. Security is very tight so we were checking our watches every few minutes and praying to make it in time for our next flight. It took us around 2 hrs to get through security and everything and we even had time to spend $30 (price for 2 combos) in a McDonalds because we were scared to wander away from our gate. We took our time to eat, charge our devices, made some calls to family and friends and to our surprise, there was another boricua (someone from Puerto Rico) taking the same flight to Cairo. Here (PR) we have a saying about that: “you can go anywhere in the world and you will find a boricua”. Turns out “our plantain stain” showed by the way we talked Spanish. We spent the rest of the wait and flight talking and sharing food with Felix (forget about Covid and all). When it comes to food, we boricuas forget about everything else going on; it can be the end of the world and we’d still be cooking and/or eating.

Flight from NY to Cairo is a little over 10hrs. There is no amount of movies, books or music in your device to prepare you for it. Trust me. EgyptAir is an excellent airline. It’s like going back to preschool; they serve you food and then turn off the lights so you can take a nap after eating. Looking at the screen that shows you the map and route gave me enough time to think about planes crashing into the ocean. Luckily, I didn’t have internet to search about it or the desire to know the odds. Let’s just say I have a greater chance of having an accident in the streets of Cairo even if I’m not the one driving.

We arrived at Cairo around midday the next day and our next adventure began. Cairo International Airport is easy to navigate even for foreigners. The amount of security makes you feel at ease and everyone is very helpful – even when the soap dispenser in the bathroom explodes all over you – just ask Jay about it.

There are no words to describe the feeling of walking outside and seeing my husband waiting for me at the door. He remembers the only word I said while hugging him… “finally”. One word to try and say everything my heart was keeping inside. Ten months later (December 17, 2021 to be exact) we got to replay that scene. Only this time he was the one whispering in my ear “finally” while he hugged me once again outside the same door. Feels amazing to be here with him again if only for a few weeks.

I Am that I Am (Erin’s Monologue)

“Myself. My self.

That’s the problem. That’s the whole problem with the whole thing. That word, “self.” Thats not the word. That’s not right, that isn’t…How did I forget that? When did I forget that?

The body stops a cell at a time, but the brain keeps firing those neurons.

Little lightning bolts, like fireworks inside and I thought I’d despair or feel afraid, but I don’t feel any of that. None of it. Because I’m too busy. I’m too busy in the moment. Remembering. Of course. I remember that every atom in my body was forged in a star.

This matter, this body is mostly empty space after all, and solid matter? It’s just energy vibrating very slowly why there is no me. There never was.

The electrons of my body mingle and dance with the electrons of the ground below me and the air I’m no longer breathing. And I remember there is no point where any of that ends and I begin. I remember I am energy. Not memory. Not self. My name, my personality, my choices, all came after me.

I was before them and I will be after, and everything else is pictures, picked up along the way. Fleeting little dreamlets printed on the tissue of my dying brain.

And I am the lightning that jumps between. I am the energy firing the neurons, and I’m returning. Just by remembering, I’m returning home.

And it’s like a drop of water falling back into the ocean, of which it’s always been a part. All things… a part. You, me and my little girl, and my mother and my father, everyone’s who’s ever been, every plant, every animal, every atom, every start, every galaxy, all of it. More galaxies in the universe than grains of sand on the beach.

And that’s what we’re talking about when we say “God.”

The cosmos and its infinite dreams. We are the cosmos dreaming of itself. It’s simply a dream that I think is my life, every time. But I’ll forget this. I always do. I always forget my dreams.

But now, in this split-second, in the moment I remember, the instant I remember, I comprehend everything at once.

There is no time. There is no death. Life is a dream. It’s a wish. Made again and again and again and again and again and again and on into eternity. And I am all of it.

I am everything. I am all. I am that I am.”

When I Die (Riley’s Monologue)

When I die…

My body stops functioning.

Shut down. All at once, or gradually, my breathing stops, my heart stops beating.

Clinical death.

And a bit later, like, five whole minutes later…

My brain cells start dying.

But in the meantime, in between…

Maybe my brain releases a flood of DMT.

It’s the psychedelic drug released when we dream, so…

I dream.

I dream bigger than I have ever dreamed before, because it’s all of it. Just the last dump of DMT all at once.

And my neurons are firing and I’m seeing this firework display of memories and imagination.

And I am just… tripping.

I mean, really tripping balls because my mind’s rifling through the memories.

You know, long and short-term, and the dreams mix with the memories, and…

It’s a curtain call.

The dream to end all dreams.

One last great dream as my mind empties the fuckin’ missile silos and then…

I stop.

My brain activity ceases and there is nothing left of me.

No pain.

No memory, no awareness that I ever was, no…

That I ever hurt someone.

That I ever killed someone.

Everything is as it was before me.

And the electricity disperses from my brain till it’s just dead tissue.



And all of the other little things that make me up, they…

The microbes and bacterium and the billion other little things that live on my eyelashes and in my hair and in my mouth and on my skin and in my gut and everywhere else, they just keep on living.

And eating.


And I’m serving a purpose.

I’m feeding life.

And I’m broken apart, and all the littlest pieces of me are just recycled, and I’m billions of other places.

And my atoms are in plants and bugs and animals, and I am like the stars that are in the sky.

There one moment and then just scattered across the goddamn cosmos.


365 Days Of LOVE

When we met, I didn’t expect life to lead us here. I’m happy to walk hand in hand with you into this magical adventure we call life. A year ago we decided to spend the rest of our lives together when we said the words “I Do”. Our love was always written in the stars and today I can say without any doubt that in any world, in every life, across the Universe I’d choose YOU. It will always be you.

My three wishes today: A lifetime of memories by your side. That our love keeps growing even while apart. That the life we’re building together takes new meaning with each new plan.

Let’s keep writing our happily ever after…. Happy Anniversary My Love. One year down, forever to go.

Love Is Not Tourism

Love Is Not Tourism is a global movement dedicated to raise awareness about long distance relationship couples and families separated by travel bans/border closures during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some couples had to wait for a long time before they were allowed to travel and reunite with their loved ones. As of today, some of them are still waiting.

Ahmed and I had to wait because we married during strict measures. But 2021 came full of hope for us so we would like to share some of it…

You can visit their website Love Is Not Tourism If you would like to share your success story or feel inspired by others, then you should check out The Love Visa.

My Egyptian Adventure: How It All Started

I’ve wanted to share all about my relationship for the longest time. But for some reason, this part of my life feels so special that I wasn’t ready yet. A lot of people had asked me a thousand questions since I came back from my trip to Egypt so I guess it was time I shared a little of it.

I met Ahmed back in 2019 on a dating website. But before you say anything , no, I wasn’t looking for love in all the wrong places. Someone suggested I check the website out and since I was single, why not look at some profiles? I got a message from that cute egyptian and soon enough we exchanged Instagram accounts. I have to tell you that it was a recipe for disaster: he was looking for something serious and I just wanted to meet people and make new friends, he’s all fit and I’m all fat. A few days and insults later, we decided to delete our dating profiles and give it a try. You can like someone because of their looks you know, but you fall in love with their soul and that’s what was happening to us. You can say we met each other by chance, but stayed together by fate.

He was everything I didn’t know I always wanted. We tried our best to get to know each other using every social and messaging app available to us and of course, we met each other’s parents via video call. Did I mention he was very serious about this relationship? As a heart attack. So it wasn’t a surprise that I wanted to impress him on Valentine’s Day (here’s how) and guess what? It worked! He asked me to marry him that day and I said yes without thinking about it twice. I was more than happy. We made it official the next month and that means we told our families. His family was very happy and supportive about it. Mine thought I had lost my mind. Maybe I did lost my mind for him?

A few weeks after that, the Covid 19 pandemic was announced and it felt like the whole world came to a halt. We saw our hope dwindle as airports and borders closed and traveling was restricted. We never stopped looking for options. Then my friend Sean suggested we get married online. Ahmed and I discussed the option for some time. He still jokes about it and tells me it was worse than a job interview. I mean, he was applying for the husband position after all! We married online on August 10, 2020. Yes ONLINE! Yes, legally. It was kind of a secret. I didn’t want my family to call me crazy until after I was married. To my surprise, they were ready to support me in my decision (after saying we were crazy of course). It took us around 4 months to certify, translate and legalize papers to have our marriage registered in both countries (US and Egypt).

Fast forward to February 2021 after months of texting, talking, video calling and sleeping together “on calls”, my brother took my son Jay and me to the airport. Ahmed and I were finally ready to start writing the next chapter of our love story in Egypt! Our journey to Cairo was a mini adventure… but that’s a story for another day.

Long distance relationships are not easy. Closing the distance takes time. So until then, we will keep writing the most beautiful love story. Our happily ever after.

Giby’s Misadventures…Now streaming.

I started this year thinking that it felt kinda like a trial subscription to a streaming service that you can’t cancel. Three months into it and I still ask myself “What will happen in today’s episode of Giby’s Misadventures?” I mean, last season in the show that is my life was incredible. It was full of unexpected things like making it through a pandemic (we’re still doing it) and getting married. Even I didn’t expected that one but turns out that it was the best decision of my life. Will tell you about it later.

I’m starting this season with a different cast. People who I thought would always be there for me left and others who left in the previous season came back. People I never gave a chance are now recurring characters in my show. Of course I’m always grateful to the ones who stay no matter what goes on in the show. I’ve made a few mistakes, I know, but I keep learning as the show goes on.

Contrary to a show you see on TV, There’s no pre-written script. There’s a lot of improvising going on. I’m learning that things don’t always go the way I plan them or the way I think they should. There are things that go wrong and I can’t always fix them. Sadly, some things have to stay broken even if I wasn’t the one who broke them. Turns out I don’t have an unlimited supply of props in this show.

I visited my husband in Egypt last month (Episode 2?) and I learned that you can actually forget about bad times for a while and keep looking for better ones as long as the people who love you are by your side. But that whole Egypt thing is a collection of stories that need some time to tell so I will be writing about it soon.

So stay tune for the next episode of Giby’s Misadventures. Now streaming on My So-Called Life.

Another Trip Around The Sun…

When I was a kid I loved celebrating my birthday. December came and it meant I would get like 3 gifts, one after the other, or one big expensive gift because my birthday, Christmas and Three Kings Day were weeks apart. But then as I grew up it became less exciting (even when I always bought something special for myself) and I would say that “after 25 you don’t celebrate your birthday, is more like you commemorate the day you were born, just another trip around the Sun”.

Fast forward some years and that trip around the Sun became the yearly reminder of everything I’ve failed at and what I couldn’t accomplish in “all my trips”. Today is no exception. I’m still thinking about getting a Chocolate Stampede like usual, because chocolate understands that everything changes but my life stays the same. At least that is how it feels after all these years. Sometimes I think that it’s too late for changes while other days, like today, I allow myself to dream.

“And in all the world, I see,
Man dreams whatever he be,
And his own dream no man knows.
What is life? a tale that is told;
What is life? a frenzy extreme,
A shadow of things that seem;
And the greatest good is but small,
That all life is a dream to all,
And that dreams themselves are a dream.”

Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Today I want to think that life is but a dream, in which we are all dreaming of who we are and what we can be. Will you dream with me?

Always Something To Be Thankful for…

This has been a challenging year and it isn’t over yet. In spite of everything that might be going on in our lives, global pandemic included, there’s always a reason (or a few) to be thankful. We have seen how our whole lives can change in a second and we wouldn’t even know that it’s coming. Before, we thought we knew what kind of world this is, but after, everything was different for a lot of us. Not bad, maybe, not always, but different forever.

Each of us has a journey. The destination may change for some of us but we are always on the road. Sometimes is not the destination that gives us happiness but the road traveled and the people who accompany us in our journey. Today I am thankful for all the people in my life. The ones that are still here (you are blessings) and the ones who aren’t anymore (lessons) because they left me with experiences that shaped my life in some way.

Thankful for the people helping me write the story of my life…my family by blood and the family I chose by love (you know who you are). It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a page or a chapter… let’s keep writing a masterpiece. Last but not least, I should thank the universe for a special person who decided to make our journeys one for us to share. The rest of my life will not be enough to build beautiful things that will last forever.

For the brave people who decided to love me…


Hold On…Before It’s Too Late (Stay – version 2.0)

Sometimes we write the words we wish to hear. Because I know how it is for your soul to be tired. Tired of living the same day over and over again because every day is a repetition of the one before. So predictable, it actually hurts. Four letters in my mind: SSDD (same shit, different day – Stephen King described it perfectly in his book Dreamcatcher). People who can’t understand our feelings will give us detailed instructions on how to change our lives. It isn’t so easy for us,  the ones living the life others say is so easy to change. We don’t need instructions. It isn’t like we don’t try. It feels more like we’ve spent our whole lives trying and it becomes a race without a finish line, with no real way to win so we can finally say “I’m here, I made it, this is the life I always wanted”.

I know the feeling of wanting to disconnect yourself from the rest of the world or maybe just disappear for a while. After constant reminders of how you are not good enough you start to feel that it must be true, because after all, you’ve always felt like you don’t belong. So you wish you can just leave everything and everyone for a while, knowing they might not be there when and if you come back; of course you try to stay for as long as you can. A little support would be a lifesaver at this point but how to explain, how to talk about the secrets you don’t want to say? But we do, we stay… each time for a little longer because it is expected. We are adults. Maybe we stay because there is someone who will miss us or maybe because there is someone we always miss?

I’m scared that someday I will not find the courage to stay when all I want to do is to escape. Though sometimes late…I have to say it to myself: STAY. Stay because you’re missed. Stay because you are loved. Stay because life goes on and he makes it worth staying every day. Stay even when it’s taking a little bit more time to change; but sometimes what we are doing is changing the life of someone else. Whatever you do, know that there are people who want to understand… that they can’t live without you, and you don’t want to live without them. So Please, STAY.