Nostalgia for Her

28c4411cddb61af9740f61a11d6c60d6.jpgnostalgia (noun): a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

I wake up at 4:00am in the morning by the voice of my elder sister, as soon as I see her red face and her puffy eyes I know something is wrong, very very wrong. Her lips open but words don’t come out right at the moment, I stare blankly and think about the worst… Thing is I was wrong, what came out of her mouth was THE worst. 

“Mom is not with us anymore”

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Share the Light

65321202I’ve been quite busy lately. I’m finally sort of done with (almost) all of my tough courses in university so I got overexcited about having a tiny spec of free time and decided to join every possible extracurricular activity I had interest in. This took me back to my high school years when my mom would be exasperated by the amount of things I got myself into and would ask me “Do you really need to do all this!?” and I would go “But but… MOOOM”. The funny thing about now is that I have no one to keep track of my activities so I just went all out. For this same reason I have not found much time to paint or write blogs, though now I’m keeping a mini journal (nothing interesting really, just me babbling whatever is in my mind)

Aside from the fact of trying to keep myself together during the week and enjoying  my (still sort of busy) weekends, everything has been sweet. All though now I understand one of the reasons my mom got so stressed about me and my everything activities… THEY-REQUIRE-SO-MUCH-MONEY. I’m literally broke as I can get right now… but it’s okay. Who needs money… haha… or stability, right?

So now, let’s get down to what I was thinking to write about…

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South East Asia Taught Me…


Rice field at Hoi An

Where to start from? First of all, I don’t want to bore you with the itinerary of my 35 day journey throughout South East Asia since you can find that in lots of blogs and travel websites around the Internet. So, let’s keep it simple and I will try to do my best to make your time reading this entry worth it (or at least entertaining).

I won’t deny it has been one of the coolest things I’ve dared to do in my life and also accept I was missing my bed by day 10. Travelling has become one of my favorite things to do since I moved to Taiwan but it was the first time I left home for so long with not much planned and just 7.42 kilos (that ended up being almost 10) in a backpack. So yeah, I was everything but ready for all that happenned and more than a couple of times I thought to myself “Why am I even here doing this?” but now I can tell you this from the bottom of my heart: it was all worth it. As every experience this trip was full of lessons, so this is what I will share (today) about my trip.


Halong Bay

Get your tickets, solve the rest later. Before leaving to this trip I had lots of issues, especially with my passport, that lead me to think I would end up staying home for the winterbreak. Thanks God (and my amazing


TukTuk friend in Phnom Penh

family) all this was solved on time… then I realized my savings were not going to make it, so again I found myself in an existencial crisis… but then again, I was saved (this time by art). The thing is, that once you have your tickets you’re already one step out of the country, if any of these problems would have happenned and I didn’t have my tickets I would’ve probably stayed at home thinking there was no possible solution.


Hanoi Airport 4:00am

Every place is good enough to sleep if you are tired (or creative) enough. When you have really early flights and all the accommodation or transport to the airport goes way out of the budget spending a night in the airport is not such a bad idea… okay, actually it’s the worst idea you can come up with but it happens from time to time. I have to say though that Phuket airport is way more comfortable than Hanoi’s. Oh, and also: any commutting time can be nap time. By the end of this trip Laura and I could sleep in anything that moved: cars, buses, airplanes, ferries… you name it.

Cheap might end up being not so cheap. With this I’m not meaning that by buying cheap food or cheap things it might end up being something of bad quality… all the contrary. In Vietnam I had so much cheap food (Bahn Mis I miss you) that I ended up eating 4 or 5 times a day just because IT WAS TOO CHEAP. A delicious sandwich for 1 dollar? GIVE ME FIVE. Oh, this pair of shorts are just 2 dollars? I want them all! By the end of Vietnam I spent almost a third more than what I expected… So I would recommend a bit of self control in these situations. (I would do it again, though)


BahnMi from BahnMi Queen, Hoi An

You might want to save your adventurous crazy stories for when you’re safe back at home. While in South East Asia I reported myself daily with my family. Even though they sort of had no choice but to let me go on this trip, I am pretty sure if I had told them we walked with Laura through desolated streets at 2:00 am, they would have come all the way from Honduras to bring me home themselves. So, every day I showed them the pretty pictures, told them the nice stories, and insisted on Skypping once I was back in Taipei to give them full detail about the trip.


Hanoi Streets at 2:00am

Food is risky but yummy. I’ve been preparing myself for this type of food my whole life. I am not sure if I had told you, but I’m a street food lover… Once I made my mom take me to some (dubious) delicious hot dogs that were sold from 10pm onwards in the corner in front of one of the apartments I lived in back in Honduras and since then I’ve always tried anything I feel like eating. Baleadas from the market, pupusas from street carts, french fries sold in downtown, plantain chips with every sauce and salad you can think of, dumplings, danbings and fried onion pancakes from any source, etc etc. Now in South East Asia I didn’t stop to consider the risk of food poisoning and tried all the food that my tummy asked for. I am proud to say I survived through it all and I am back with nothing but good memories of all my cravings. Though of course, I recognized I was lucky since I know lots of people who have suffered from food poisoning and others, so be careful.

Traveling spontaneously is not for everyone. Throughout the trip we met lots of people who travelled spontaneously, they woke up and decided they wanted to leave to the next city (or country) and so they did… free as the wind. We had Vietnam and Cambodia sort of well-planned so we didn’t have the chance to try this travelstyle until Thailand and… it didn’t work at all for us. We got stuck in Bangkok for more time than what we would have liked to, we couldn’t find the train we wanted to take, we ended up having one more airport night than planned, and so on… so yeah, it’s not a travelstyle everyone can have.

Pictures lie. Have you seen the pictures people (including me) post at these amazing places that look empty with no other tourists? Well, most of them are just taken in a PERFECT PRECISE moment… tourist are EVERYWHERE (including me).


The REAL Angkor Wat

Talk to strangers, befriend strangers. During all this trip I met many awesome people. I’ve learned so much from them, even when they were not trying to teach me anything at all… but just talking with them and seeing the world in a way I’ve never seen it before (through their eyes) was enough to move something inside me. I will go further on this in another entry since I believe they should have their own entry… but yeah, we were never alone and it was always fun. From our first night out in Hanoi, to drinking cheap beer and talking about friends of them we don’t know at all, to laughing about nothing in the darkness of the dorm room, to having “a big brother” on a club, and having a family breakfast in a morning on a small town. They just made everything better.


Sunrise at Banyon Temple, Siem Reap

Sometimes the must see’s can be skipped, SOMETIMES. It happenned a couple of times we quitted the must see’s to try something different and every time it was worth it. Of course, the must see’s are must see for a reason but sometimes, just sometimes… it is good to take a rest. After having a crowded sunrise in the dunes of Mui Ne we decided to go to a different place rather than Angkor Wat for the sunrise and it was perfect, quiet and peaceful. We also stopped the temple tourism after a couple in Thailand and changed them for good conversations in the hostel’s lobby. And have you heard about the beauty of Hoi An in the night? Well, it is even more beautiful at 7am when just a couple of locals are up and around and the streets are peaceful and with enough space to dance around without bumping anyone.

Music is necessary. I try to quit Spotify for this vacation break… what was I thinking with bus rides of 7+ hours?!

Sunrises and sunsets are a thing. Normally sunsets make me feel nostalgic, I don’t really know why but I just end up feeling a bit blue inside. Anyways, they’re also great for inspiration and to make a close up of chapters. The sunrises I got to watch where in really espectacular places (in the Sand Dunes and the temples), but still I think my favorite sun-moment of the trip was in a bus entering to Cambodia. I was trying to fall asleep when I noticed all these crazy colors in the sky and the orange sun setting behind the mountains. I had no other option than to wake up the Argentinan sitting next to me since it was not possible he would lose such an amazing sky show.

The small things, it’s all about the small things. Have you ever felt the softness of your towel against your body while it dries you up? Probably not… but after using a microfiber towel for more than 2 weeks that was a real experience. Lowe bunk bed?! Wow, I must be the luckiest today. Hot shower after a long day? The nirvana. A fruit smoothie under the killer sun, sitting down under a tree after walking for kilometers, having free water at a hostel, Thai food with the right amount of spicyness, having WiFi with decent speed to load a video or making a call…. oh, the difference these things make.

I confess I lost my hair comb before the third week of this trip, didn’t take any make up or accessories, and by the end of this trip as long as I had showered I was already good to go. Looks, hairstyle, matching clothes… there’s no space in my backpack for all that.


All the patterns, black leather and don’t dare forget the flip flops, of course.


The Bombfire of Deep Conversations, Pai

Everyone has a story or something interesting to say. At some point I was tired of all the “Where do you come from? Where have you been? Where are you going to next?”, but what comes after that is so worth it. I had deeper conversations with people I cannot even recall their names (or that didn’t even tell me their names) than with people I’ve known for years. I talked with someone about our dreams and goals, one man told us his story of superation all the way from jail to being a master graduate, other told me about his family and way of seeing life, one girl gave us fashion classes, and with other I spent at least half an hour talking about food. Talks about death, fears, life, love, meaning, the past, the future, estability, society, politics, history, literature… and all these with perfect strangers.

History class is nothing. Okay, I did learn a lot in history class and I had good teachers but… how come I didn’t learn almost nothing about the war in Vietnam? Why did I learn NOTHING about the genocide in Cambodia? This are really important events in history, so many lives lost, countries totally destroyed. Of course, this is also one of the amazing things about travelling you get to learn the history, step on the same places, feel it… but still I’m still surprised and disappointed of the small coverage that is given to those countries that are not in the mainstream spotlight (even today it’s still the same).

There is no age limit. Travelling I saw and met people I can say they could be my grandmas or grandpas, and there they were exploring, discovering and amazing themselves just as I was (probably with a better hotel and a bigger budget but it is still tiring). For example, in the boat we stayed one night around Halong Bay, the last one standing dancing all night long was a grandpa who had just ONE dance move and there he went all night long dancing through disco, to rock, to pop and techno.

Invest in moments, experiences, memories, all the rest is secondary. Even though I regret (a bit) not buying a GoPro and a Kindle before this trip… It also proved to me how the money invested in experiences like this one is so much worth it than the other I’ve used for material acquisitions. After travelling around with one single backpack and being able to survive from it all this time I come back home and look at my closet and all the stuff in my room and it really makes me think how much of all this I really need. I accept I wouldn’t be able to live as a backpacker forever, but at least this trip openned my eyes a bit more to the person I am being during my routine. All this buying, consuming, trying to fill spaces with things that I don’t even need… 


Dancing at 7am, Hoi An

Finally, this trip helped to the biggest lesson I’m learning throughout these years: LIVE THE MOMENT. I know it sounds like a cliché and it might be, but it’s also one of the best things we can learn to do. Hakuna Matata life a bit, forget about what might happen or


Koh Phi Phi

could have happenned, leave the worries behind and breathe the
present. It will take me a while or maybe a whole lifetime to stop being an overthinker tiny human being but meanwhile that change takes over me I will keep on enjoying and exploring this amazing place called Earth and also this universe I was given upon birth: myself.

So, yeah! South East Asia trip was AWESOME! I will keep on posting about it for a while (hope you can keep up with me and I won’tannoy you… too much) Have a nice day and leave your comments or thoughts in the comments! Meanwhile I will go to the laundry to dry my covers and read Pedro Páramo. Oh routine,  sweet routine…


Goodbye, it was good though.

tumblr_nhfhajdu2o1rkao3fo1_400As 2016 is finishing we have to manage to say goodbye to one part of us. One whole year of experiences, challenges, memories, opportunities, people. As any other cycle it must have its end or it might turn into something harmful to us . So let’s embrace these last days and get ready to whisper goodbye as the fireworks light up the night sky of the first day of 2017.

The task that comes together with beginning a new year is not easy, somehow we have to look through all what has happenned on these 12 months and decide what to keep and what to let go. Of course, we fill up our “luggage” with everything we can but as in any trip there is a maximum weight, so no… You cannot take everything.

So, what are we supposed to take?

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Mi Refugio – My Safe Haven

(The entry in English is below.)

¡Hola a todos! Estoy de regreso por estos rumbos de escribir. Pensé que mi primera entrada iba a tratar sobre Colombia, magnífico país con el que inauguré mi verano este año… sin embargo algo pasó esta mañana que cambió mis planes. Antes de comenzar un anuncio muy importante: El blog será bilingüe. No, no significa que voy a escribir en Spaninglish a través de mis entradas, sino que escribiré la entrada tanto en inglés como en español. ¿Más trabajo? Si. Pero tomé esta decisión debido a que tengo lectores que no saben inglés y otros que no saben español… así que vale la pena el esfuerzo.

Bueno, regresando al tema. Hace unas semanas retomé mi página de arte en Facebook: Ericka Bastias, con el propósito de trabajar caricaturas con mensajes. Contrario a lo que pensaba ha sido un éxito (yeay) y me siento muy motivada en mantener la página activa. Además de subir las caricaturas con una frase y una canción también paso muy pendiente de los comentarios para responder a la comunidad cualquier duda, halago, chiste, lo que sea que comenten. Esto casi siempre termina en ver como Filomena etiqueta a Isidro en un post romántico y se dicen cuanto se aman… y yo ahí leyendo. Pero a veces también tengo una muy bonita interacción con los que comentan. Hoy en la mañana me puse a revisar las notificaciones cuando vi un share de uno de mis posts favoritos hasta ahora:


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Secretos de Notepad

Sé que me he desaparecido y no tengo a nadie a quien culpar excepto a mí misma, ya que sé que pude haber aprovechado las largas horas de vuelo y unas cuantas horas de escalas en aeropuertos para escribir unas cuantas entradas pero… el hubiera no existe. 

Me la pasé pensando anoche que podía hacer para rectificar esta falla como blogger y hoy al estar limpiando mi celular de fotos viejas y otras cosas, terminé en mi Notepad. No sé ustedes pero yo mi Notepad además de usarlo para mis listas de super, mis cuentas utópicas que nunca cuadran a fin de mes, anotaciones de vocabulario en guaraní (no pregunten), también lo uso como “diario”.

En las noches que no puedo dormir abro mi Notepad y comienzo uno nuevo, anotando frases o hasta escribiendo pequeños poemas. Normalmente son desastrosos y al día siguiente que los leo me dan vergüenza pero ahí los dejo siempre, no me gusta borrar cosas que en algún momento me parecieron lo suficientemente “memorables” como para anotarlas en el super Notepad. Comencé esta pequeña actividad nocturna en junio-julio el año pasado y así se fueron acumulando muchas cosas. La mayoría de estos son del año pasado (parte del proceso para escribir los 21 fue escribir TODO, hasta las peores cosas) y creo que ya es tiempo de limpiar todo el Notepad, pero no sin antes compartirlos con ustedes como pago por mi ausencia.

Les presento a una Ericka con insomnio, una Ericka desvelada y un tanto inspirada que no mide palabras ni sentimientos. Espero los disfruten y capaz les guste uno que otro, son totalmente inéditos, muchos de estos nadie nunca jamás los ha leído (nótese todos los negativos juntos para exagerar la situación) así que no les prometo calidad literaria pero sí mucha honestidad y recuerdos.  Continue reading

Yo Te Elijo

Con tanto Pokémon Go apareciendo en mi newsfeed lo primero que pensé al escribir este título fue “BULBASAUR YO TE ELIJO” sin embargo esto no tiene nada que ver con Pokémon (y así fue como la mitad de las personas cerraron mi post después de leer eso… rayos). Este post tiene un toque más dulce, algo de sonrisas, mucho de cursilerías y una canción en repeat.

92e5ff47e564cbcf3aea658eb1f6922cCreo que más de una vez he comentado mi fascinación y alegría al observar a una pareja de viejitos caminando por la calle tomados de la mano. Mi pareja favorita hasta el momento ha sido una que me encontré en el Riverside Park un día que andaba corriendo. Se trataba de esta viejita en bicicleta que iba más lento que una persona joven caminando y este viejito que iba “trotando” sin camisa a su lado. En un punto el señor paró y ella dejó de pedalear para pasarle agua, a esto él la miró, sonrío y sin más palabras siguieron su camino. Hubo algo en ese momento sin palabras del cual fui stalker espectadora que me susurró que esto ya era una rutina, de la cual los dos disfrutaban.

Sin embargo también me rodean y he visto muchos casos relaciones que no duran más que unos cuantos meses, divorcios después de unos cuantos años de matrimonio o después de muchos años, lo que me ha llevado a preguntarme ¿cuál es la clave secreta? He visto suficientes películas y Facebook posts que hablan de detalles románticos como serenatas, flores sorpresas, un Play Station nuevo y el Fifa del año, vida sexual activa, regalar toda la línea de labiales MAC, saber cocinar, tener la sonrisa de James Dean, nunca ponerle nombre a la relación/nunca casarse… Pero ¿quién dice esto? Nadie quita que sea un hombre divorciado y despechado que vive con sus 5 gatos o una mujer que nunca ha estado en una relación seria.

Así que me fui por lo que creí más sabio y le pregunté a algunas de las parejas que han sobrevivido los años, problemas, falta de dinero, enfermedades, la pubertad de sus hijos, la celulitis, la calvicie y quien sabe cuantas cosas más… y la respuesta se resume en tres cosas: aceptar, renunciar, elegir. 

Aceptar que no siempre tenemos la razón y aceptar que aunque a veces tengamos la razón es mejor dejar eso de lado por el bien de la relación o el bienestar de la otra persona. Muchas veces somos tercos, terquísimos (¿existe ese término?) y estamos acostumbrados a discutir mejor que un abogado o un político… pero ¿vale la pena? Además es fácil que nuestro ego nos cegue y no nos deje ver puntos más lógicos y realistas… Si, a veces debemos aceptar que no necesitamos un trampolín adentro del pequeño departamento o a veces tenemos que asentir, abrazar y dejar que la otra persona CREA que tiene la razón.

Renunciar a la perfección, ya que no existe en este mundo humano. Uno de los errores más grandes al comenzar una relación es pensar que podemos hacer que la otra persona cambie, o “ajustarle” esos detallitos que no nos agradan a traves del camino. Si es cierto que podemos impulsar a la otra persona a ser mejor (y viceversa, lo cual es maravilloso), no podemos andar creyendo que es un proyecto que tenemos que terminar o mejorar. Nadie cambia por otra persona, el cambio se genera dentro de nosotros mismos y por elección propia. Por eso, como me dijo una mujer muy sabia “No hay persona sin defectos, por eso necesitas amar y cuidar a aquella con los defectos con los que podás vivir día a día y quien sabe… hasta a veces disfrutarlos.” Después agregó que sí andaba buscando alguien perfecto iba a morir sola y hasta sin gatos… pero no creo que deba agregar eso a la cita.

Elegir amar, respetar, cuidar a esa persona día a día. Cada mañana cuando uno se despierta, puede decidir TODO (o bueno, mucho… a veces no tengo más elección que desayunar avena)… y dentro de eso está ser y dar lo mejor a esa persona especial. Porque si bien ds cierto que los sentimientos no son algo que se puede controlar, nuestras acciones (que son las que los demuestran) sí están a decisión. Yo he llegado a la teoría que no decidimos con quien conectamos, pero llega un punto en el que estamos al borde del precipicio de enamorarnos y vemos hacia abajo, tenemos un milisegundo para decidir sí saltamos a lo desconocido o nos quedamos seguros en el borde… Por eso, todo se trata de apegarnos a esa decisión de haber saltado, recordar lo que nos llevo a dejar lo seguro por la posibilidad de lo desconocido y disfrutar de esa elección que bien podría ser la mejor que hemos tomado…

Así que hoy los invito a aceptar, renunciar y elegir. Dejar de lado todas esas cosas negativas que van destruyendo algo tan bonito como el lazo que se forma entre dos personas que se entienden sin mucho decir, que logran soportar esos defectitos y hasta encontrarles el lado bonito, que hablan por horas de trivialidades sin sentir el tiempo pasar… y hasta logran ceder el último pedazo de pizza sin sentir (tanto) dolor.

Creo que todo lo que quiero decir es que los invito a querer: a querer sin egoísmos, sin mentiras, sin miedos… sin miedo al mañana porque cada mañana sabrás que “yo te elijo”.

PS: igual, nadie dice que está mal los detalles románticos mencionados al principio, es más supongo que todo colabora a la relación para bien… pero las relaciones reales no se basan en momentos de Hollywood, las mejores fotos de pareja, el mejor regalo de San Valentín, etc… todo va más allá. ¿No creen?