H. Luiz Martinez

When we look at perfect images and read amazing posts on social media, we come away thinking or feeling that we want that life for ourselves. That is not attainable because no one is perfect! In fact, it’s imperfections that make us so interesting.

I’ve been told by friends and strangers that my life seems so perfect that they often wished they could trade places with me. The first thing I say, after I laugh that is, is that I don’t know why they think my life is so perfect and if their life is not, why would they want to trade me into that place? Then they explain that what they really mean is that when they log into my profiles and feeds on social media, it looks like I have a beautiful life. I point out the fact that they are equating a beautiful (and attainable life) with perfection. Now I know we’ve been groomed to think this way, the “American Dream” and all that, but we really have to cut through the smoke and mirrors to see that life, a beautiful life, is very attainable.

Personally, on my social media handles, you’re not going to see negative imagery nor see my speak negatively about anyone or anything. So automatically, I try to create a “safe-space” for all my followers. Do you know how many people I had to mute, unfriend, unfollow and even block so that their negativity wouldn’t get on my nerves and potentially ruin my day? Some family members even asked why I unfriended them. I’m always direct when answering: I just don’t like seeing negative images, it affects me.

If I’m having a bad day, why would I post that energy for you all to see? If my political views were being disrespected, why would I share that with you all? If the restaurant I’m in didn’t quite cook my steak how I like it, why would I blast them for the world-wide-web to see? I believe that’s the number one reason people trust what I say/write when I travel or visit any place. I just don’t find that being negative or a “critic” to be necessary. If I have a negative experience, I just don’t write about it- why flood the web with negative posts? If I have positive experience, I want everyone within my reach to hear about it so that they too may experience a good time as well. When you come to my social media handles, you know that you’re going to get a “good time” via pictures, videos and posts- free of drama and negativity. Do I have bad moments and even bad days? Of course I do- I’m human aren’t I? You’re just not going to hear about it on social media (or even in-person for that matter!)

I not only post about beautiful foods I cook, I also show you how to create those foods so that you may enjoy them yourself. My travel destinations are not about “look where I am and you’re not” but more about “you too can stay here, have a great time, and not break your bank account.” I like to illustrate that having a beautiful life need not be expensive. I always try not to show privilege or status on social media but to show an experience anyone can have- like sharing trail mix with my beautiful Partner while gazing at the sunset. Or making a no-bake strawberry tart (lots of my Followers in other countries do not have ovens) for guests with just 4-5 everyday grocery store ingredients. I like to give money-saving tips when travelling and recipes that do not require expensive or exotic ingredients.

Trust me, a beautiful life is quite attainable. We just have to get away from the mindset that a beautiful life costs lots of money. We also have to stop believing that what we see on social media is the “ideal” or what we imagine “perfection” to be.