Am I an Island? - This American Girl

San Blas


Is a question I asked recently.


I have certainly stepped foot

on many deserted patches of isolated sand

and admired how beautiful

how pristine

how perfect

they remain

undisturbed, untarnished

by the land offshore.


How they manage

to be so content

completely alone.


San Blas


Before I started traveling

my days were filled with work.

My nights were scheduled with events.

My drives were accompanied by phone calls.


San Blas




I escape town

on long walks on the beach

to let the sounds of the ocean drown my thoughts

uninterrupted by conversation from another human being.


I step away from the party

to sit in silence

and stare at the stars.


I take romantic trips

to exotic locations

all by myself

in the company of

the love of my life

my favorite person

my best friend



San Blas


Traveling has taught me

to feel free

to be happy

and content

all alone

just like those beautiful islands.


I am now accustomed

to meeting incredible people

building connections

and letting them go.



Losing touch with old friends

Struggling to stay in contact with family.


Little Corn Island


I have come to accept

that people leave

people hurt

people disappoint

for no other reason

than the simple fact

that they are people.


Little Corn Island


I feel free of dependencies

knowing that I need no one

that I own no one

that no one owns me.


Complete in myself

the one person

who has everything

I could ever need.



Little Corn Island


But recently I wonder

if I have begun to alienate myself

from the rest of the world.


If in freeing myself from my expectations of others

I have encaged myself with walls

to protect my delicate soul

from being let down.


Closing myself to the beauty I could receive

by unlocking the dead bolts

and opening the door.


Little Corn Island



The girl who once desired to be smothered with attention, hugs, and praise.

Who gauged her own happiness on the state of her relationships with others.

Who bore her throbbing heart with pride and ease.

Who pitied those who did not know how to love freely, fearlessly.


Little Corn Island


But more than traveling

what I believe

has formed these new but sturdy walls

has been my experience living here

in the place I love

Puerto Viejo.


The same place that taught me how to be ok

with being alone

in the first place.




Listening to incessant gossip

constant drama






abuse one another

with little remorse.


Being sexually harassed


at all hours of the day

no matter what I wear

simply for walking down the street.


Seeing beautiful


capable women


in a place

in a relationship

that doesn’t fulfill them

that they don’t deserve

because they are addicted

to the unsatisfying love

of a controlling unfaithful man.


Playa Chiquita


Watching every guy in town cheat

with any tourist he can snag

instead of staying home

to snuggle his darling babies

and respect their beautiful mom.


Knowing that once upon a time I was that tourist

ignorant to the reality of his life

vulnerable and trusting

in his comforting web of lies.


Learning to accept






Learning not to cry.

Learning not to care.


Punta Cocles


Living under the constant threat

of being robbed if I carry a purse

raped if I walk alone

used if I offer a hand

deceived if I assume the best.


And perhaps you can imagine

how it might cause me

to build a gate of titanium

around everything someone might try to take.


Isla Tortuga


So now here I am.

An island.


Separated from the dangers of the world

with deep uncrossable waters.


Content and fulfilled in myself

yet unwilling to share my goodness

with anyone else

because I am so afraid of losing

what I was finally able to find.


Convinced that I will never get

from another person

anything as good

as what I can already give myself.


Isla Tortuga


But the blissfully naïve girl

who lives freely on that little patch of land

far away from the shore

sees the sadness in that.


She does not see the world through my jaded eyes.


And lately

as tough as I often wish I was

I miss her.


Tambor ferry


So I have decided

to little by little

let that wall down.

To allow myself to receive the goodness that exists in the world.

The goodness that exists in others.


Maybe I can make it all alone

but why should I have to

in a world filled with beauty

filled with blessings

filled with love?


Why simply self sustain when I can overflow?


Little Corn Island



with this new intention

I opened up.


If you find

that your experiences

over the years

have left you jaded


living behind walls to protect yourself from being hurt


I encourage you to do the same.


Tambor ferry


I danced with the little girl who pesters me in the cafe.

I waved hello to every misogynistic rasta I passed on the road.

I had long conversations with complete strangers without worrying about the time.

I accepted invitations I might dismiss otherwise.

I beamed and no one stole my light.


And now I feel a little vulnerable.

I feel a little scared.


I fear I might lose myself

in my journey back towards others.


Taganga, Colombia


But I trust that one day

I will choose a piece of land

that is not a deserted island

nor a public park

rather a solitary place

connected by a path

protected with a welcoming gate.


And if I’m lucky

maybe there is someone else out there

who will fit perfectly

with me

on the other side.



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