Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

Elisa Batista, a mother and student of Chinese, helped found the parenting site, MotherTalkers.com, rants and raves on modern motherhood. Prior to the birth of her son,
Aristotle, almost three years ago, she worked as a reporter for the
technology website Wired News in San Francisco. She has also written
for the Boston Herald and several weekly Boston-area newspapers.

It was in Boston 10 years ago that she met her husband, Markos Moulitsas,
the founder of the popular blog Daily Kos.com. They have been married for
six years and now reside in Berkeley, California.

MotherTalkers.com is a blog with news, parenting information and a
supportive online community of mothers from every walk of life. We live
all over the world and are single moms to stay-at-home mothers and
everything in between. Our goal is to inform and encourage mothers to
live a fulfilling life.

* * * *

Visionary Diva Questions:

1. What was the best decision you made in your life?

To marry my husband Markos. We have been together 10 years. We share similar interests in terms of family, politics and travel. Life has never been dull.

2. What is your most memorable travel moment?

I visited Cuba (legally) with a
cousin my own age who had two half-brothers and a half-sister she had never met. I
hadn’t been to Cuba — both our fathers are from there — since I was 2. We
returned in 2002 and what an emotional trip it was! It started when we got off the
bus at the northeast town our fathers are from, Baracoa, and eight family members
awaited us. Even though we had never met them before — I hadn’t seen them since I
was two! — we immediately locked eyes and started sobbing. After many kisses,
intense bear hugs and sentimental speeches, we were shown the homes and old
pictures of our fathers. I will never forget that trip.

3. What was the worst travel experience you had?

Two years ago we visited my
mother-in-law in El Salvador when our son was about 6 months old. He got sick with
vomiting, diarrhea, and had colic, which kept us up at night. My husband and I
were tired and crabby. Traveling with sick kids, in general, is never fun.

4. What have you learned about yourself through traveling?

I am happiest when I am
busy. Yes, I like to spend a day relaxing on the beach. But the rest of my trip
has to be filled with things to do: visiting the sites, seeing how people of that
culture live, going to a movie in that language and eating out at different
restaurants. I like going in with knowledge of the language and sites. (I speak
three languages and am learning a fourth, Chinese.)

5. If you could choose your ultimate travel companion, living or dead, real or imaginary, who would it be?

My husband.

6. What moment in your life did you feel the most alive?

Right after my son,
Aristotle, was born. After 23 hours of labor, I pushed out this 8.5-pound-boy with
no tear and no episiotomy. (I was 110 pounds before I got pregnant with him. So,
yes, I was proud!) But, physically and emotionally, I felt like I could do
anything.

7. If money and time were no object, where on earth would you go?

China.

8. Who is your hero?

My Cuban (paternal) grandmother.

9. Name a place in the world that you know a lot about and would make a great resource for our Divas. Tell us about it.

Baracoa, Cuba — if it were legal,
I would own a home there. Located on the northeast coast of the island, it rains
there more than anywhere else in Cuba, so it is vibrant with bright, colorful,
lush vegetation. The beaches are warm and calm and so clear and clean you can see
your own feet! There are a lot of restaurants, museums, and churches. Catedral de
Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion — which is where I was baptized — has a replica of
a cross supposedly left behind by Christopher Columbus. Baracoa was the first city
colonized by the Spanish in 1512 so it carries a lot of historical significance.
This person has a pretty comprehensive list of my favorite sites there (www.cuba-junky.com/guantanamo/baracoa-home.htm).

To travel legally to Cuba, I contacted an agency in Miami called Va
Cuba
. While it is relatively
easy for Cuban-Americans to visit the island, I understand that
Americans can go on religious grounds. (For example, they can say that
they practice santeria or are going on a religious mission there.)

10. And finally a word from our Featured Diva, you in your own words- give us a stirring, Diva-worthy battle cry for women everywhere to hear!

Rather than
chase after men in their world, women need to create their own paths and write
their own rules. I can honestly say I have achieved every life goal I have set for
myself whether it be working as a journalist, becoming a mother or studying
Chinese. If I were to die today, my tombstone would read “No Regrets.” Actually,
I’d prefer to be cremated and have my ashes scattered in Baracoa. :-)

Thanks, Featured Diva! Brava!

No, thank YOU!

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