Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Only You Know What Matters To You

Barreto Family at Universal Studios - Studio City, CA Spring 2013

I was recently asked "how in the world do you afford to travel so much with two kids?"

The simple answer is it is our family priority.

And the complex long winded answer is it is our family priority.

We are committed to exposing our kids to our country and many others around the globe as much as possible. It has been a priority since we got married. It was even a priority of mine personally before I ever even had my passport.

As a kid, we did most of our family travel to other family members in states across the Midwest or Eastern Seaboard. It was fun and I enjoyed it thoroughly. But as a voracious reader who'd traveled the globe through my books from a very early age, I vowed to travel.

Then I married my husband who hails from central Mexico and also had tremendous desire to travel. Early in our marriage, we were blessed with a short stint of me working in marketing at United Airlines where we had complimentary stand-by travel and we were hooked.

Over the years, we have made it a priority to see the world.

We don't wear designer clothes.
Most of our furniture was bought used and/or at garage sales.
We drive out of our way to shop for most of our groceries at a bargain local grocer.
Our kids only have two activities each, at any given time.
We buy most of our electronic gaming accessories used.

This past year, when our income has slipped back to 2009 levels we saw a few less movies in the theater.  We ate out a few less times per month. Our normal "celebrations" and family traditions toned down a bit.  We are currently exploring ways to drop cable and find more creative solutions for our small box viewing pleasure.

I could keep listing innovative solutions our family engages to stay 100% aligned on how we live in order to fulfill our collective desire to travel and "see things."

It is definitely tough especially this past year. The conversations we have had as a family caused us to rearrange priorities over and over until we got the result we wanted. Living the life we all could enjoy daily as well as occasionally.

My hope that we are laying the framework for our kids to have a great relationship with priorities. Our life examples give them clear messages; it is no one else's responsibility for you to have the life you want. We own the decisions that make our lives fulfilling or not. Our short term and long term priorities are fluid enough to adjust to conditions yet solid enough to give us goals to work toward. They work for us. And I love to share that with folks who may somehow think I'm sitting on a fortune over here that allows us to travel at our whim. It takes work, planning and refinement to live the way we live and I would not change it.

What about you?

What are your priorities for life? What action are you taking to make your priorities realities?


  1. Great post. The culture in America is to spend lots and sit still. So your view is revolutionary and counter culture all at once. But I love how you live it with confidence and happiness, like this is the adventure we SHOULD all be living. It is contagious and makes me want to make similar lifestyle changes to live out what I feel is important. I like this different, unique, effective change of perspective stuff. BILL

  2. Thanks is all about our priorities and having the courage to really build your life around the priorities you want! Thanks for stopping by