If You're Reading This, It's Too Late

(AUTHOR'S NOTE: All Cuba-related writing is currently being processed in my mind. The experiences of the trip were so much more than I excepted spiritually, educationally, and personally. Please allow me as much time as I need to properly present the journey to you in a way that will allow you to feel exactly how I felt through my words and footage. Thank you for your patience and understanding in advance. -V 7.13.15 day 29)

If you're reading this, it means either I haven't found wifi in Cuba or that the wifi in Cuba doesn't support my blog's host website :(

I wrote a letter to my friends and family before I left. It's below, just to give you an idea of why I am here... I am pre-posting this now as I board my flight this morning but it should be viewable to you on the morning of my birthday :)

Love you all and thank you for the well wishes! 

Hi guys, 

Excuse typos this is a serious brain dump! I am so damn elated right now, I can't stop the butterflies from tingling in my tummy. Been running around for the past 3 weeks tying loose ends and fulfilling obligations, finally, I'm free! No rent, no car note or insurance, no kids, no homework, even Tay is in good care. And I put my student loans in forbearance for the summer. Who cares about interest? Ha!

Filled my storage today and walked away feeling like I won !!! There's even a thunder storm brewing - it's delaying my flight but everyone knows my theory about rain! 

My journey begins today. I wanted to let you all know that I won't have wifi in Cuba. I was telling Shelly this last month, said I wasn't going to be posting pictures while there. There's only a few places (hotels and expensive restaurants) with it, for tourists use, and you have to pay. She said there's girls that she sees going and posting stuff daily but Im sure they probably stay at those high end hotels that have wifi for tourists only. I'm renting an apartment, the law in Cuba states that people aren't allowed to have wifi in their homes in Cuba, so more than likely, I won't have access to talk. So hearing from me will be a once a week thing, unless I find alternative places. I will be maximizing the most of my time on the net, not sending individual emails but instead, I will be attempting to blog. It's easier for me to write things once. Meekz can attest to the fact that if I tell the story once or write it in my journal, it won't get retold again - that includes the blog .. I never really posted in Australia and Paris because I wrote everything in my journal. So I will be putting my thoughts and experiences there when I can find the time to sit in a wifi spot. Because I am on a journalistic mission, I won't be publishing everything. Some stories will go to the publications that I am freelancing for (yaaay me!) But all in all, if you don't see an email, check my blog. Not even sure if that service will be blocked out there. They may be anti-blog spot. Secretly, I don't mind if it is. I really can appreciate the silence that this trip is allowing me to have. 

Since my break down, when I went to LA in Feb, I wanted to go to Cuba. Al, my brother, told me I should go because he went a couple of months back. He didn't tell me anything else. Since I left him, I did my own research, reading tons of books on the history and the current political, social, and economic state. I knew the history because but many of the things I found out made me truly fall in love with it even more and in May, so many signs came to me that were confirming the need for me to go on an individual pilgrimage there. If you don't hear from me, please trust that I am well. I've done an extensive amount of research on this place and I am assured that I will be safe. It's a very safe country, American media is a liar. But rest assured, I won't go anywhere alone at night - like I did in Paris ;) 

In addition to its cultural, one of the reasons I chose Cuba is because I knew that wifi was limited there and I wanted to be focused on me me me to bring in my new year, the last year of my twenties. After this past year, starting all the way from my bday falling in love with my soul mate to moving out of my comfort zone to seeing my grandparents break up to getting my heart broken to suicide wards all the way to today, my last day in Baltimore, I just need to have some extreme solitude and reflection time. I owe it to myself. It's all my heart truly desires. 28 has been a wild year of love, pain, loss, and plenty. I almost died because the pain was so unbearable at times. Many of you were there to witness and hear my screams but nothing and no one knows what I really felt over these last 12 months. I survived. I wake up every morning and say, "look how far I've come. Look how strong I feel. Look how much peace is in my heart." I am grateful, I could be cocked up on medication right now or even worse, dead. But I am alive and well. I survived. 

You all know, I like to be alone on my birthday. I like to spend the day reflecting and praising the Lord. This year, instead of taking just that 1 day, I am taking 29 - quite fitting for the last year of my 20s, the decade that truly defined me and showed me who I am in this world. Among many colorful things, who I am is a vagabond, a loner, a nomad on a narrowed path of which the bricks were meticulously laid by God. This discovery of me being a new aged voyager explains why the most therapeutic thing for me is exploring new things on my own. Explains why I covet my freedom so much. 

But as much as I know myself, there's so much more that I really don't understand. There's so much that I have yet to discover. This trip is for me to find myself, my hispanic self. In addition to freelance writing and documentary filming, I will be taking Spanish courses - 20 lessons a week. Very intense. I never told anyone this but in DR, I had a break down and quit on my teacher. It was too much for me. I was so angry with my dad and I allowed the dragon that we all know that lives inside of me to win. I don't regret it. I needed to be angry and closed minded then so I wouldn't be that way now. My only goal now is to be fluent by 30. Moving to the heights is the perfect opportunity to be surrounded by my people and continue practicing my language and understanding my culture. Everyone has a before 30 bucket list and becoming Dominican is the only thing on mine. 

I wanted to thank everyone for being supportive of this, all of you have given me such encouragement and complete understanding of my need for freedom - and my mood disorder. Through the ups and downs you've loved me unconditionally and I will never take you for granted. 

I love you very much. Thank you for reading this. If you got this far - thank you for taking the time to read all of this. 

I'm about to take off! We are heading to Miami now! My all time favorite place !!! I'm all the way in the back of the aircraft by myself in my row, window seat 30A. So crazy, 30 is up next and I always get straight As! But for now - it's all about being 29 in 5 days, I'll chill with my hype. Im so excited!

Love and respect, 



  1. Im so proud of you! And I love you. Happy Birthday Val!

  2. My dream trip! Have fun and Happy Birthday!!!!!!

  3. 25! Thats old enough to be elected in to the US senate, but young enough to party! (Im confident you'll do both)


  4. I'm crazy late, but thank you for giving us (outsiders) a look into your life. I really appreciate your transparency. I can relate to so much of what you've written, although i've often viewed you as the type of person i aspire to be. Reading your blog always reminds me that my journey is my own, that i have something to contribute to the world (even if i have no idea what that is just yet), and like a more recent post when Marika's voice is echoing in your head "Comparison is the thief of joy.". *hugs* You inspire me, and i am grateful that you can find the strength to fight "the dragon". God bless you sis.


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