Besides being a third-culture kid who grew up in the Philippines and always dreamed of moving back overseas again (read about it here) there are some other basic things you might want to know about me.
Food makes my world go round. I will try just about anything once… or twice. This includes sea urchin, cobra adobo, durian, and many other exotic morsels. I love all varieties of raw fish salad– ceviche, kinilaw, tuna tartare, poke salad, and anything else that tastes like saltwater and sunshine. There is nothing better, as far as I’m concerned, than sitting down to a lovingly prepared meal with friends or family, lingering over it with wine and good conversation. This is what I was made for. One of my greatest passions and pleasures is rediscovering lost kitchen arts. The table and the kitchen used to be the heart of a home and a community. I want to help bring that back.
I’m kind of an idealist. I try very hard to live out my beliefs about what makes life good, whether it is cooking all of my family’s meals from scratch, not having a television, growing food in our back yard, living with only one car, not being too busy, raising chickens, sitting down at the table to eat each meal, or spending as much time as possible with farm animals… Or maybe I’m just old fashioned.
I am an introvert. I’m not sure how I survived growing up in a noisy family of nine, but even three can be a crowd these days. Being an introvert as a foreigner can be really convenient, since it takes a long time to get your social life going. It can also be tricky, since I actually like people, but struggle to find the energy and gumption to go meet them. But I love the community that keeping a blog and reading those of others has developed– I am always amazed by the thoughtfulness of people I have never met, as they follow with us on our journey and reach out to let me know they related to something I wrote, or that they are just wishing me and my family well. I never expected this!
Home is important to me. We may not always feel like we belong in whatever country or place we find ourselves, but being at home is really valuable to me. I love spending my time and energy on setting up a warm, calm and inviting place to live. And I love having people over.
I care about health, and women’s health in particular. I am passionate about helping women heal from emotional issues that have settled into their bodies, allowing more freedom both physically and emotionally. I love researching nutrition, and my favorite techniques are Craniosacral Therapy and Visceral Manipulation. I have recently opened a bodywork practice in my new home in El Puerto de Santa Maria.
Ever since I can remember, I have been missing someone and someplace. This is part of the cost of living unconventionally. When we moved as a child, I missed my grandparents and cousins. As each of my siblings became high school aged, they went to boarding school, and I missed them. When I went to boarding school myself at 13, I missed my parents, younger brothers, and Filipino friends. In California, I missed the Philippines, and my parents, and my friends from boarding school, who were disseminated all over the world. Coping with missing is a big burden on my heart for my daughter. I have tried to communicate the bittersweet truth that it is a blessing to have people to miss. That means you love them, and that they love you, and that is a gift. Oh, but it’s not always an easy gift to carry!
A few random bits:
I am freakishly good at word games.
I am slowly embracing my artistic side, through photography, watercolor, drawing and ceramics.
In junior high, I saved my allowance to buy a goat. Her name was Oreo. I love the smell of goats, but I can’t eat the cheese (but I’m working on it!)
My immediate family lives in: California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Chicago, and the Philippines.
I dream of owning a lot of land someday, and having a miniature farm.
I love French movies and music, and hope to speak it fluently someday.
I am very frugal, but I like nice things.
I am at my best either in the sunshine or near the ocean. Both of them together produces a very real euphoria. Living in Spain is a total dream come true.
I completely balked at the idea of starting a blog, back when everyone else in my family already had one. I caved in eventually, just to make my mom happy. Now I can’t think of a better idea for recording and sharing our stories and discoveries, as well as connecting with incredible people all over the world!
Here are some interviews with me on various things– travel, living abroad, food, home design, etc.
Real Food Whole Health Podcast
The Fermentation Podcast
A Dangerous Business
Girls Guide to Diabetes
The Kitchn: My Daughter’s Butterfly Birthday Party, A tour of my Bavarian kitchen, A tour of my Portland kitchen
Feature in Imbibe Magazine