1. My lucky (and favorite) number has been 40 since I was a teenager. That is why I am doing 40 facts about me 🙂
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  2. I have a big addiction to fruit: mango, melon, dates, frozen bananas and rambutan (when I can find it).
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  3. I am an advanced scuba diver. I got certified when I was 16 years old then moved to my advanced certification at the age of 21. I have had the opportunity to dive in many beautiful places around the world, such as the Great Blue Hole in Belize.

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  4. Although I am an American citizen, I am a Spanish resident. It was a huge fight to finally get residency and I was even locked up and deported from Italy in my attempts to get all my paperwork figured out.
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  5. I obtained an advanced level of Spanish after living in Spain, but I never studied a day of Spanish in my life before living there in 2013.
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  6. My nickname with many of my Spanish friends is “Tata”
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  7. My older brother Justin is the person that I care about most in my life, although I don’t get to see him as much as I would like.
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  8. When I was a child I used to be obsessed with my Super Nintendo and playing NBA jam with my brother.
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  9. In my earlier years of traveling, I visited 25 countries, spending less than $1000. During that time I only stayed with local strangers in their homes and traveled only by hitchhiking. No airplanes, buses, or trains. It was a wild adventure!
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  10. I am a licensed nurse, but I quit my job in 2013 to move to Spain and work as an Au Pair and teach English. I only was planning on going for a short time in order to learn the language and then return to the USA to work as a nurse in both languages.However, I fell in love with Spain and I decided to call it home.
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  11. In 2016 I returned to the university and finished a bachelor’s degree by distance, while traveling full-time and visiting 20 countries. It was one of the biggest lessons that I’ve ever had on time management.In the end, I graduated with honors, was published in different newspapers and was awarded with “Student Making a Difference.”
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  12. I have done two different 10 day silent retreats. The first one was in India (Vipassana) and the second one in Thailand (Suan Mokh).20 days in complete silence was a huge challenge for me, but I’m so glad and proud that I did it!Check out my experience here: Suan Mokh & Vipassana 
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  13. When I graduated from nursing school one of my ex boyfriends bought me a pink pistol. Most Europeans fall over in shock when they hear this….My family has many, many guns in the house and are huge supporters of this…I am not….
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  14. Before moving to Spain, I paid off over $45,000 in student loans and took on a minimalist way of living.In order to achieve this I had to work countless hours of overtime, double shifts and every single holiday during more than 1.5 years to pay off everything. I now travel the world debt free and without credit cards.
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  15. For my 25th birthday I took a road trip to Switzerland to jump from the 007 James Bond bungee, which is the highest dam in the world.
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  16. I have been to many of the most famous world festivals: Carnival in Brazil, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Tomatina, Running with bulls in Spain, Feria de Abril, Las Fallas in Spain, and the Full Moon Party in Thailand.
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  17. In my solo trip across Central America I had a pistol put to my head and was robbed by 2 men dressed in all black. (One of the reasons I probably do not like guns).
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  18. My worst travel experience happened in the spring of 2019 when I was diagnosed with a very serious form of Malaria while traveling overland across West Africa. I was completely alone and was eventually hospitalized.It was hands down one of the scariest things that I have ever lived, because I honestly was prepared to die…It was a living nightmare.
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  19. I went completely vegan for more than 2 years before moving to Spain.
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  20. My favorite drinks in the world are: coconut water, kombucha, water and freshly squeezed juices/and smoothies.
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  21. When I was young I used to eat fast food on a weekly basis. Now I am totally disgusted by just the thought of it.
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  22. I ended up going to 6 different colleges before graduating with my 2 degrees.. a bit crazy, I know…..I changed my mind so many times, but I learned something amazing from each experience.
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  23. My parents divorced when I was 7 years old. My parents were together from the age of 13 years old and together for 19 years. My mom has another husband, but my dad continues to be single.
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  24. My mom was a junior high drop out. When my parents divorced, she moved us to another city in Arkansas, with barely any money and decided to go to college and get a degree and make something out of her life.She now has her masters degree and works as a teacher in Arkansas. I give her so much credit, because she went through hell and back to achieve this on her own, with two little children and a drug addicted husband that eventually went to prison.
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  25. My biggest fear has always been speaking in front of crowds.  In 2016 I spoke at the largest TEDx conference in Spain in Spanish.Two years before this event I could not even speak much Spanish. Now I speak all over the world, but still get very nervous before every engagement..To watch my TEDx talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1x0dbvRthc
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  26. My first heartbreak was on my 15th birthday when my first boyfriend broke my heart at my birthday party. He spent the whole day having fun with us and right before leaving he ended it all.
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    I spent the whole entire night crying and listening to the song “Happy Ending” by Avril Lavine and missed my sleep over at my own house with more than 15 friends.We can all look back and laugh at this now, but it was SUCH a drama at the time.
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  27. I have made over 30 appearances on TV over the years and grew almost 30,000 followers in one night while being on a show with a famous man that shared my social media on the bottom of the TV screen during the talk show.
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  28. When I was in nursing school I had my life totally planned out: Graduate college, get married, buy a house and have kids. I had no idea that I could actually create a different type of life for myself outside of the “should’s” that society placed upon me.I am SO thankful that I dared to dream differently and did something very outside of the box.
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  29. In my travels around the world, I have stayed with over 250-300 locals in their homes (I am also a host in Spain for travelers).  Connecting with locals and being immersed directly into the culture is my way of traveling. I do enjoy nice hotels and try to have a good balance. The more ecological the hotel, the better!
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  30. When I fist moved to Spain I gained over 17 kilos. I felt absolutely terrible physically and mentally and decided to change my whole entire life. I stopped eating the large amounts of sugar like before, started exercising and lost all the weight. To this day I average around 58-60 kg and feel like a new person.
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  31. When I was born the doctors noticed that I had a strangely shaped head and thought I was going to have problems because of it. The left side of my head and face was weaker (and lower) than the right side and it caused me many insecurities over the years, especially when I was in junior high.
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  32. Out of all the places that I could live in the world, I chose Zaragoza, Spain to be my base. It is located in an excellent place in Spain and I can reach the major cities, like Barcelona and Madrid within 1 hour and 30 minutes by train. I do not want to live in a huge city, which is one of the reasons I love Zaragoza.

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  33. I lived in the middle of nature while growing up. It took me 30 minutes to get to town and for that reason I was granted my legal driving license at the age of 14.I hit more than 7 deer in my car when I was a teenager. I think I am a deer magnet 🙂
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  34. I have been speaking every Saturday morning on a 100,000 W radio program in the United States since 2016. I share a morning motivational message place around the world to my listeners.
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  35. I tend to be quite hard on myself at times, which is something that I am changing and improving over the years. I expect and demand a lot out of myself and need a good balance of exercise, whole food, nature, travel, work and ME TIME!
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  36. My biggest pet peeve is snoring. I literally cannot sleep next to someone that snores or even breathes loud.
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  37. Sadly, I used to be close minded and quite racist. Growing up I was never exposed to diversity in my town of less than 10,000 people.  However, traveling the world has changed me from the inside out and I now see the world through a completely different lens.
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  38. I follow daily an application on my phone that counts my steps. I do minimum of 10,000 steps a day and keep track of it.
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  39. My favorite desserts (apart from fruit) are: coconut ice cream ( with a waffle cone) and dark chocolate. However, I have very little amount of sugar in my daily diet (with the exception of fruit).
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  40. When I’m not working or traveling my favorite hobby is learning something new. I always watch videos or read articles to learn something new, especially related to geography and travel.

 

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