Our very own Eat, Pray, Love.

I've never seen the travel-inspired movie "Eat, Pray, Love" but I can say the last quarter of our lives has involved a whole lot of eating, praying, and loving. As we've traveled from one Latin American country to another, we've had to create a new routine. A routine that's made life on the road one big adjustment.
It's no surprise being in nonstop vacation mode leads to eating a lot of very good food. We've had our fair share of delicious eats over the past three months and how could we not when visiting flavor-packed destinations such as Puerto Rico, Mexico, and now Guatemala.
However, vacations are often all about over-indulging and we can't quite do that all day, everyday. What we are experiencing abroad is a lifestyle. We are living not vacationing everyday of our lives. So while we've truly indulged in international cuisine, we've also eaten many home-cooked meals and kept meals simple and healthy. Last week, my favorite go-to me…

Consequences vs Sacrifices

This beauty right here was my old, salvaged 1995 Honda Civic, AKA "The Blue Mamba." Since we have no need for a car while we travel, I begrudgingly had to sell her before we left. But that's the end of the story, let's go back to the beginning. 
Despite her age, appearance and salvaged title, this was the most significant car I've ever owned. 
Consequences Let’s start about a decade ago. In 2007, life was looking pretty good. My wife and I had good jobs, we had just bought a home in Orange County, California and we recently had our first child. We were making a smooth transition into full-blown Adulthood. 
In the next 24 months we would experience the most difficult time of our lives. Due to a series of bad financial decisions, immaturity and unfortunate housing market conditions, we entered a very stressful and trying time. In short, I had to sell my first car, our other car was repossessed, we had to short-sell our home and eventually became delinquent on an…

30 Lessons Learned After 30+ Days of Travel

1. There's no place like home.

2. ...and any place can be home all at the same time.

3. We don't need a lot of stuff. Seven to ten outfits per family member works wonders.
4. Our kids will master Spanish in the next year because being bilingual opens us up to so many relationships, experiences, and cultures.
5. Packing and unpacking gets easier and easier. We will not live out of a suitcase no matter how short our living stint. Making ourselves at home settles our gypsy spirits.
6. Extended travel tests and hopefully improves our patience since there's plenty to wait on: cabs, planes, buses, and each other.
7. It's important to meet new people abroad and find a way to make friends. It can get very lonely otherwise.
8. It's been essential to keep in touch with loved ones. I call my mother more now than I did when I lived 15 mins. away.
9. There's something so sexy about a husband and wife team working together everyday to move their family along.
10. The best M…

Cancún: A Love Story

I've spent over half of my life infatuated with the same man. I remember a few years ago driving down the street and somehow realizing "I am a Quevedo!" A rush of pride came over me to be married into an amazing family and to the man of my dreams (and the occasional nightmare, too)! 
Diego and I met in high school but never ran in the same circle. Senior year I noticed him like I'd never quite noticed him before. I was in a relationship with someone else at the time, so things were complicated. Yet, I was drawn to Diego, and have always believed a higher power drew me to him, corny as it may be.
At that point in the late 90's, high schools orchestrated senior class grad. trips to tropical destinations. Not sure how it made sense to send 17 & 18 year olds to countries where drinking was legal, but it happened, and it was AHH-MAZING! 
I was pretty much paid up to attend our Cancun senior trip when I got dumped by my boyfriend at the time. I deserved to get dum…

Is Our Family Safe?

The biggest concern we heard as we planned to leave our home in the U.S. was how unsafe this could all turn out. I wondered if I had been headed to Europe if there'd be so much concern. Latin America and so many of its beautiful countries appeared to be getting quite the bad rap. Now, I get it, I do. 
News warns us of everything from Zika all over Brazil to the drug cartel wars all over Mexico. It's all there and it's all scary, of course. But the world will never not be scary.

I first traveled to Europe right after 9/11 and my mother was terrified. Luckily my brother stepped in giving me money to travel and reminding her not to "hold me back." My mother's fear of my travels never went away. She was afraid of every journey that followed... my first time in Brazil, those amazing spring breaks in Mexico, and what was scariest to her before Queventure, my move to study abroad in Barbados. 
I understand now that her fears were uncontrollable, and I don't hol…

Feeling So At Home in Mexico

When people ask us where we are traveling from collective pride spills all over the person we're speaking to. Diego pridefully claims Guatemala of course, and I say: "Yo soy Mexicana de Michoacán." At times, folks look at us strangely; likely the kids give us away with their choppy Spanish and fast-talking English.

Puerto Rico and Belize were such a great start to our adventure. However, I've been most thrilled about this leg of our trip. Mexico just feels like home and it'll be just that for five weeks this summer. 

As soon as we crossed the Belize-Mexico border, I was ready to share the joys of Mexico with our children. Today, that joy meant educating them on who Frida Khalo was and what she means to art. In Mexico, the kids seem at ease and happy. My husband in particular has enjoyed the food, alcohol, Caribbean climate, and probably most importantly, the price tag for it all.

We picked a city flying well below most tourists' travel radars for our first s…

Why Not Have It All?

I've been a size 2 and a size 16 waist, loved my marriage and hated it. Same goes for motherhood. It hasn't always suited me. Motherhood and marriage challenge my greatest weakness everyday: impatience. And yet this impatience is the reason why I meet goals. I meet pretty huge ones because I am always impatient enough not to. I have it all even within the limitations of my so-called weakness.

Today, my family is  truly a work in progress and no matter the hills or the valleys, because there have been plenty of both, we've always had it all, always.
When my husband and I were so broke that we experienced eviction and car repossession in a six-month period, we still had it all. We had our love though it was tested a lot. We had our health though we neglected making healthy choices. We also had our family. At the time, our only son was 2-3 years old and he was the center of our world regardless of all the apparent brokenness that defined us. Looking back, we had it all then,…