Places where I find my Inner Chingona

Some days, I am in search of refuge, of a place to recharge my batteries, to find my creativity, where I can completely be myself.  Today was one of those days…I didn’t want to be in my oficina!  As I drove from appointment to appointment, I thought about the places where I head to when I need to clear my head, connect with Inner Chingona and hear myself THINK, I jump in my Jeep and go…in no particular order…


Starbucks:  My baby niece Yazi always tells me when she sees a Starbucks:  “Nina Carmen, that’s your work!”   Some folks need complete silence, I am not that person.  The music, the conversation, that it’s cool, almost cold, and of course, the cafecitos and teas on ice.  I can actually practice my interpreting drills and usually not bother anyone.   Like today, I came into one of my fav locations escaping the heat, and after a cafe on ice, I am the calmest that I have been today.


Snow:  When living in Colorado, I was both excited and freaked out when I first saw, felt, and tasted real snow. Snow that didn’t go away right away, where it was really COLD, where I felt the cold blast as I got out of the car, and learned to drive in the tracks of the other cars.   I totally LOVED the snow, especially as it was falling or when I woke up to snow.  I remember the first time it was zero degrees y yo toda contenta/happy and I loved it. I remember driving home from an event at Copper Mountain, kind of nervous because I was right in the middle of the Rocky Mountains and it was icy and had that type of what I called snow fog.  So I’m driving with both hands tight on the wheel and then the fog lifts, the sky turns blue and I see the most awesome snow-covered mountains, I remember shouting “WOW!”    After that, I used to regularly get in the car to check out the snow and I love it when it ‘smells like snow’  Pic 1 is the actual street that I learned to drive in the snow in Littleton, CO near my place.  Pic 2 was similar to the snowy mountains I saw that first time, pic is similar and doesn’t come close to how spectacular it was at that instant.



ocean beach 1

Beach:  Love love love the beach.  Whenever I get near the beach, I can feel my breathing settle down and I completely relax.  I can sit there for hours watching the waves, listening to the sounds the water makes as it goes back and forth and I’m good for a few days after a day at the beach!


“My” Lake:  I love walking near the water and I have favorite lakes, or ponds in some towns, where I love to walk.  My all-time favorite place is Lake Merritt in Oakland, all 3.5 miles of it!  I remember being told, “…once you decide to walk Lake Merritt, commit to it because, even it you go halfway, you will have to walk the same length to go back anyway…so it’s better to keep moving!”  First time I walked it, I thought that it would never end LOL  Once I got used to it, I knew at almost the exact point that I would start to relax and unwind!  I used to walk it every day when I worked in Oakland…now, a few pounds heavier and a lot of miles away from my Lake, I so need to walk it again.


WHERE is your place of refuge, not counting your home, where you connect with YOUR Inner Chingona?




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