Bella Vida by Letty


Best Travel Quotes

For excitement and inspiration is a curated list of the best travel quotes.

explore dream discover

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

changing horizon

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”  Christopher McCandless

along the way

“It is not the destination where you end up but the mishaps and memories you create along the way!” Penelope Riley

be a traveler

“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” Andrew Zimmern

better to travel

“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive.” Robert M. Pirsig


“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” Wendell Berry

ravel for romance

“We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost.” Ray Bradbury

wise traveler

“A wise man travels to discover himself.” James Russell Lowell

like cities

“This was how it was with travel: one city gives you gifts, another robs you. One gives you the heart’s affections, the other destroys your soul. Cities and countries are as alive and feeling, as fickle and uncertain as people. Their degrees of love and devotion are as varying as with any human relation. Just as one is good, another is bad.” Roman Payne


“You must go on adventures to find out where you belong.” Sue Fitzmaurice


Do you have a favorite travel quote?

Which did you like best?


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Celebrating International Women’s Day

Eva Peron Quote

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s.  It’s a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.  Throughout the day there are many events going on around the world.  My contribution is a roundup of inspiring quotes by Latinas.

The world is full of strong brilliant women who have had to overcome.  Their stories are not found in history books. The voices which have been marginalized in mainstream media are the ones I chose to highlight in this space.  

While many milestones have been achieved the reality is women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts,  are not present in equal numbers in business or politics.  On a global level women’s education, health and violence against them is worse than that of men.  This is unacceptable.  Let us be inspired to continue striving for equality  because we deserve it, out daughters deserve it and the whole world needs it to happen.  

Julia de Burgos quote

justice sonia sotomayor quote

celia cruz forgive quote

dolores huerta quotes

What are some of your favorite quotes from strong women?

Please share the quotes that inspire you because it is sure to inspire others and ignite change.

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10 Quotes to Inspire You to Travel

travel quotes

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

  “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” Maya Angelou

  “Not all those who wander are lost.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

 “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”  Christopher McCandless

 “The world is a book and he who doesn’t travel only reads one page.”  St. Augustine

 “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller

 “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” Pico Iyer

 “Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element.”  Audrey Niffenegger 

 “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”  Marcel Proust

 “If I’d learnt one thing from travelling, it was that the way to get things done was to go ahead and do them. Don’t talk about going to Borneo. Book a ticket, get a visa, pack a bag, and it just happens.” Alex Garland 


“Little by little, one travels far.”  J.R.R. Tolkien


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The Most Inspiring Dr. Martin Luther King Quotes

“Believe in yourself. Believe you are somebody. Nobody else can do this for us. We must move into our inner soul and sign our own emancipation proclamation. Be proud of your heritage. We don’t have anything to be ashamed of. Somebody told a lie one day and made everything Black ugly and evil … something degrading or sinister. Let’s get the language right so everyone here may cry out: ‘Yes I’m black and I’m proud and beautiful.”


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Believe in yourself!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest orators and speech writers.  I’m happy his birthday is honored every year giving people the opportunity to revisit his words.  You can read more of my thoughts on MLK here:  Lessons for Latinos from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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You Never Know What Someone Else is Going Through

I always put my best face on just like everyone else does.  I work hard at my craft and present to the best of my ability on this site.  I guess that’s why it might be easy to make assumptions about other people.  However we can never truly know others.  You never know what someone else is going through.  Some people don’t even take the time to know themselves.  I’ve been thinking about this for some weeks now after reading about the suicide of two different bloggers.  Even though they put themselves out there, no one imagined either of these two people would go so far as to kill themselves.

Everyone has stress.  I know I sure do.  For some it might be health, relationships, financial problems or work related issues.  There is no way to know.  Even when the person reaches out we can never really know the extent it is effecting them.  Just this past week a good friend has been cyber bullied, another is going through some health issues while another’s mother is seriously ill.

I practice and teach compassion.  No I am far from perfect but I can try.  I can stop myself from judging others, being critical or cruel.  I can chose to smile and say something nice and I can chose to speak up against wrongs.  Perfection is a unicorn.  Fun to chase.  It’s all about the chase.  Every bump in the road, every person you meet or the situations you avoid are details that make up your unique life.


If you care to do me a favor please subscribe to the newsletter.  When I launched in May everyone was unsubscribed.  I tried to make it very easy.  You can subscribe either below or in the sidebar.  You can also click here if you prefer.

I thoughtfully chose the name Bella Vida because I wanted a constant reminder to slow down and take in the details that make this life and everything in it beautiful.  I personally need that for myself, Letty.  I feel it is my mission in life to share that feeling which is why I put it out there everyday on this site.  I’m grateful if I can make someone smile with a word, photo or artwork.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for your comments and kind words.


“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”  — Marilyn Monroe

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”   Maya Angelou

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Knowing Yourself Is the Beginning of All Wisdom

Knowing Yourself Is the Beginning of All Wisdom
To become the most complete human being you can be requires taking the time to know yourself.  Spend time alone.
Ask yourself big questions: your hopes, beliefs, dreams and desires.

Do you take the time to know yourself?

I get to know myself through my writing.  I’m naturally curious and always asking questions.

“Don’t exist.
Get out, explore.
Challenge authority. Challenge yourself.
Change forever.
Become who you say you always will.
Keep moving. Don’t stop. Start the revolution.
Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero.
Just because everyone doesn’t know your name doesn’t mean you don’t matter.” 
Brian Krans

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Frases y Dichos en Español

I grew up listening to frases y dichos (quotes) from my Puerto Rican family.  Colorful ways of passing on advice.  I enjoy reading and pinning inspirational quotes but don’t always come across ones written in Spanish so I thought I would share a few with you today.  I’m thinking of making this a weekly or monthly series.

miguel de cervantes dichos frases de amor

“El amor es invisible y entra y sale por donde quiera sin que nadie le pida cuenta de sus hechos. ” Miguel de Cervantes.

frases y dichos de amor pablo neruda

“En un beso sabrás todo lo que he callado.” Pablo Neruda

Lo último que se pierde es la esperanza

“Lo último que se pierde es la esperanza. “

Lo que dejes para después, para después se queda

“Lo que dejes para después para después se queda.”

Crecí escuchando muchas frases y los dichos de mi familia puertorriqueña. Consejos en forma de dichos. Me gusta leer y fijar citas de inspiración, pero no siempre los encuentro escritos en español, así que pensé compartir algunas con ustedes hoy. Estoy pensando en hacer de esto una serie semanal o mensual.

My Pinterest Board, Frases en Español is one of my most popular.

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Key Largo Road Trip: Things I Found at the End of the Road

Key Largo Florida


Every so often I get the urge to get in the car in search of new adventures.  I recently set off on another road trip, this time determined to find roads which ended at the ocean.  It’s not too difficult a challenge to accomplish in Florida but it can be a bit tricky.  After discovering a road I’ve never traversed on a map we headed to Key Largo.  Card Sound Road is smack in the middle of protected lands and Florida State Parks which go on peacefully for miles upon unhampered miles.  There’s nothing out there except nature and a sprinkle of people canoeing alongside crocodiles in canals or quietly tossing fishing lines off bridges.  It is the perfect place for these types of activity.

Needing to stretch our legs one of our stops was at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park where we ended up participating in our very first Geo Caching.  Geocaching is a real world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS enabled devices or an app you can download to your iphone. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.  You sign the log, include whatever you’ve taken and left then share with others.

For more info check out the website    Have you tried geocaching?

We had a blast searching for treasure and leaving behind a little something but had yet to accomplish our original mission.  Continuing on our journey we traveled down many streets until finding the perfect dead end road leading us to the shore of the Atlantic.

Key Largo Florida

What I found at the end of the road.

The end of the road separated from me from my routine and the excesses of city life.  The excess of people, manmade structures, noise pollution and constant rushing about.  It was not quiet nor absent of movement yet very peaceful.  I allowed myself to open up to receive what my spirit needed.

The first thing to hit me was the wind.  The air was salty and humid but it felt cleansing.  Closing my eyes I breathed it as deeply as I could.  This wind did not carry city sounds, only the loveliest of bird calls, beautiful sounds I hadn’t heard before.  My next realization, was there is no real end of the road.  Nothing truly ends.  There was plenty of life happening all around me.  There are no sandy beaches in the Florida Keys just lots of shells, rocks and wildlife.  Birds and fish preferring the deeper waters a few yards from me.  Not intimidated by my presence crabs, shrimp and snails crawled near my toes in clear shallow water.  One little fella even tried to hitch a ride on my leg.

Metaphorically what I found was the removal of boundaries.  We tend to walk around collecting imaginary boundaries and imposing limits on ourselves without analyzing why.  The moment you stop limiting yourself, you are opening yourself up to new perspectives and greater possibilities   Life has and will find a way to continue on as I witnessed at the end of the road.  Tossing out limitations will allow us to achieve ever greater things we have yet to imagine.


Key Largo Florida



“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”   Nelson Mandela


“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”  Martin Luther


“Change: A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn. ”   Helen Keller


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True or False? You have no idea what you’re capable of.

True or False? You have no idea what you’re capable of.
Kite Festival Miami Florida
Kite Festival Miami Florida

I’m up early today reading and coming across the word courage several times while reading posts from intelligent successful women I admire.

The follow up question is what dare I to do?


“Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.” Jodi Picoult

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” Paulo Coelho

“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” Thomas A. Edison

“When I say do your best, I mean your very best. You are capable of so much more.” Gordon B. Hinckley

“When you chase a dream, you learn about yourself. You learn your capabilities and limitations, and the value of hard work and persistence.” Nicholas Sparks

“Whenever there is inspiration and enthusiasm there is a creative empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of.” Eckhart Tolle

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Don’t Hold Back ~ Vive la Vida

“You never lose by loving, you lose by holding back.” 
 photo libertadSCollage_zps3aa9f346.jpg
Libertad pa’ las Muñecas
Today is my birthday!!!

For the past last week I’ve been thinking about the fragility of life and the courage it takes to live the life you want and deserve.  I’ve also been working on several pieces for a series of mixed media paintings for a series called: “Libertad pa’ las Muñecas”.   They are both related in the sense it takes a strong belief in yourself, your works and your message to give you the courage to put it out there.

My birthday wish is for you is to be courageous.
Create something ~   Tell someone what they mean to you
Take a risk  ~  Vive la vida!

There’s a song by the Puerto Rican band, el Gran Combo, which really exudes my sentiments called ‘Que me lo den en Vida’.

If you have something to say or share with me, give it to me in life.



“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

“Memory is a snare, pure and simple; it alters, it subtly rearranges the past to fit the present.” Mario Vargas Llosa

“One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.” Antonio Porchia

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” Rainer Maria Rilke

“I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.” J.G. Ballard

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Life With No Limits

“The only limits for tomorrow are the doubts we have today.” Pittacus Lore
moss growing on rocks


Experts say the best way to form a good habit is through repetition.  Today I want to practice thinking big and dreaming bigger.  This means letting go of any preconceived notions or bias that might be in the way of future achievements.


One example of this are those negative thoughts that sometimes creep into our minds creating doubts of our capabilities.  Let’s give them a big kick sending them out of our minds because the truth is we are very capable of achieving our goals and every try makes us stronger/smarter.


What new things will you try today?


“Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” James Baldwin

“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” Arthur C. Clarke

“I don’t think that there are any limits to how excellent we could make life seem.” Jonathan Safran Foer

“Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you?” Steve Maraboli

“The only real limitation on your abilities is the level of your desires. If you want it badly enough, there are no limits on what you can achieve.” Brian Tracy

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Thank You

I’m grateful for all things but most of all for you. 
Bella Vida by Letty business card
Thank you for your visits, your support and your comments.  They mean so much to me.
Sending you all my love and positive energy.

When I look back on this year I see seeds sprouting and the many possibilities to come.

I’m looking forward to new adventures.


“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Siddhārtha Gautama

“Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.” Mark Twain

“Thank you for the tragedy. I need it for my art.” Kurt Cobain

“Thank you…for gracing my life with your lovely presence, for adding the sweet measure of your soul to my existence.” Richard Matheson (What Dreams May Come)

“Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“I wanted you to thank you for being my friend and letting me play a part in your story.” Christopher Pike

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Soaring With the Little Gifts I’ve Been Given

“Man’s hope can paint a purple picture, can transform a soaring vulture into a noble eagle or morning dove.” Ralph Ellison

Florida Beaches

We each have our own ways of dealing with tragedy and mine is to soar with the little gifts left behind for us. They are truly precious and I know I’m lucky to receive them. Little gifts gently shed the weight of sadness and negativity off my shoulders not allowing my heart to grow stone cold with indifference. Little gifts are the reminders of what we know to be true. Little gifts fill me with love and light. I rise. I rise until I’m soaring above it all because I already have the only weapon I need and that is love. Practicing and teaching compassion is the cure.

My little gifts are the reminders of what is true:
– Every human is valuable
– It’s okay to cry
– Crying is an outlet of intense emotions
– Love gives us courage
– We need each other
– We receive much more by giving
– Helping others always helps ourselves
– We are capable of so much love
– The future requires unity
– The future requires compassion
– I am love
– I’m not afraid to love
– Every positive action creates a reaction
– We already have the answers
– We are not alone
– I am capable of change
– I have so much love to give
– Emotions are universal

Thank you for my little gifts may you rest in peace.

Florida Beaches

“The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” Helen Keller

“When love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. Love, soar.” Victor Hugo

“The bird that would soar above the plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. ” Douglas Adams

Happy is he whose thoughts soar like the lark to sing,  As through the morning skies, in freedom, he ascends,  Who, gazing down on life, completely comprehends The language of the flowers and every speechless thing!” Charles Baudelaire

“The doubters said, “Man can not fly,”
The doers said, “Maybe, but we’ll try,”
And finally soared In the morning glow
While non-believers Watched from below.”  Bruce Lee


Sharing with Miercoles Mudo

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Living Outloud

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas
“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” Émile Zola

“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” Anaïs Nin

“A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.” Oscar Wilde

“Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.” Maya Angelou

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Nourishing My Spirit

Unicorns at the Elle Spa in the Eden Roc Renaissance
Unicorns at the Elle Spa in the Eden Roc Renaissance

“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” Deborah Day

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” Bob Marley

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” Siddhārtha Gautama

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” Anna Quindlen

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