Occupation: National Geographic Explorer, Scientist, Author, Speaker, and TV Host
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
When I was 5, I wanted to be both a ballerina and a baker.
What are some different jobs you’ve had in your life?
I have had such an unusual career path! At 15, I worked at a Go Kart track. During college, I was a model on Sabado Gigante, a secretary, a babysitter, a bartender, and an NFL cheerleader! I began my studies as a pre-law student, majoring in English and philosophy, but then discovered anthropology and became a PhD scientist!
What do you work toward in your spare time?
As a mother of 6 with a busy career, I don’t have a lot of spare time! But on rare occasions that I can slip away, there is nothing I love more than spending time near the ocean, or enjoying a movie night with my husband. I’m also trying to start working on my second book!
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Both. I wake up at 5:30 every day, and do not go to bed until 1am! With such busy days with the kids, I get a lot of my work done while they sleep!
What are you most proud of?
My children. Their kindness, confidence, independence, work ethic, talents, and love of the world makes me incredibly proud.
What are you known for?
In the media, I’m known as the Female Indiana Jones and for discovering the world’s smallest primate in Madagascar. I also hope I’m known for my integrity, professionalism, and sense of humor!
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in both people and nature. Strong women like my mother, and my grandmother, who instilled good values in me, taught me to never take no for an answer, and to always pursue my dreams.
I also find inspiration in pioneering women like Jane Goodall and Sylvia Earle who have devoted their lives to raising awareness about the plight of our world’s most endangered species and making great strides in helping to protect it. And of course strong, self-made women like Oprah.
I am most inspired when I’m trekking through a remote jungle completely surrounded by nature and the beauty and peace that comes with it. It’s grandeur is humbling and a reminder of what’s important. It is from nature’s inspiration that I am driven to try and make the world a better place, whether that be through my job as a conservationist and science communicator inspiring people to care more about our planet, or by raising children who are kind and caring people who also want to make the world a better place.
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
I’m allergic to ginger, and I love nachos.
Why did you apply to be an O Mag Insider?
I have been a lifelong fan of Oprah and the values she espouses and lives, like kindness and empathy are ones I live by. I also saw this as an opportunity to be a part of a group of women who are also global change makers.
How do you live your best life?
More than ever before, I live in the moment. With all of life’s ups and downs, it’s hard not to worry about what could happen, or get distracted by the juggling of a hectic life and schedule. I’ve learned there are no guarantees in life and worrying about things that could happen but may never transpire denies you the beauty and the gift of the present moment. I cherish the small, seemingly insignificant and routine moments the most. I’ve also realized that while my children and my family are my priority, it can be all- consuming. I’ve definitely made changes to take care of myself and treat myself to little things, as simple as applying a face mask or lighting a scented candle, because it’s these little things that make me happy and allow me to be my best self and live my best life.
What are you reading now?
Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming
What’s a day in your life like?
As a globe trotting Explorer and the mother of 6 children under the age of 13, no two days are ever alike! Every morning, unless I’m traveling giving lectures for National Geographic or in some remote unexpired jungle in the world, I get the kids ready for school and then work as a teacher or on my filming projects. When the kids are back I put on my dance/soccer/taekwondo/acting/music-lesson mom hat on until it’s time to get everyone bathed, fed, and in bed! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Visit Mireya’s website: www.mireyamayor.com
This is part of an ongoing series, introducing you to the dynamic individuals who make up O, The Oprah Magazine’s Brand Ambassadors known as the O Mag Insiders. For more information on the program or to apply, click HERE.
Read the last O Mag Insider feature HERE!