We are a family of 3 highly creative people and a mostly well oiled, harmonious team. The fems on the team can be “live wires” and intense at times, but the sole male handles it well with his zen master calming nature and wit. Luckily we all have a good sense of humor and we love to laugh. We have been married for 16 years and consider each other soul mates. We named our child & committed to her soul in our wedding vows.
We knew that a big reason we were coming together was to be a family, but we also really enjoyed our 9 1/2 years together as just a couple. The best way to describe our first meeting is that unusual song from "Bagdad cafe/Out of Rosenheim " movie....a kind of haunting "knowing" and ancient destiny feeling from the start, but unexplainable in words. We married after knowing each other only three months, but it felt right and was. We are thoughtful people who deeply analyze choices in an attempt to make the best one, but sometimes one must just trust one's heart and jump.
I had been having dreams about this child for some time and knew her name. When I told him about her during our first conversation, it seemed to make perfect sense to him and he started having dreams about her too. The funny thing is, today she looks exactly like the child we dreamt about.
We had both done just about everything before having a child since we were older (traveled, career success and fulfillment, spiritual and personal development, friends & family closeness, couplehood etc), so our main goal was just to do one child well and to really enjoy the experience. We felt like we had done everything else except have our own little family. We are not your typical family ,but then we are not typical types even as individuals. We are all a little bit different and we like it like that. We are artists, creators and Spiritual seekers at heart.
We have always wanted to have international travel be part of our family experience once she was old enough to enjoy it and be enriched by it, but this particular plan has evolved over time. Many factors came together including our ages, the housing market, schooling and a desire for more quality family time and freedom. We were inspired by many others listed elsewhere on this blog and made a plan based on our dreams.
We knew nothing about blogs when we began and had little experience with photography or writing. We wanted a way to keep connected to family and friends, so we quickly pulled a site together days before leaving. We were surprised when so many wonderful people found us and enjoyed this site and that has enriched our journey immensely. We were thrilled when early on, National Geographic Traveler called us "One of the best family travel blogs in cyberspace."
Our daughter's education and exposure to the wonders of the world has been a primary motivation, along with a desire to immerse her deeply in her second language and culture. We believe in community-based education and see the world as our global community.
She has been raised as a bilingual from birth which has been no easy feat because her father is not a native speaker. For her first 2 1/2 years he only spoke Spanish to her. By 15 months she had figured out the code and said “daddy says cocina and mommy says kitchen”. She has always been a very verbose child in both languages, so by 2.5 her father felt he needed to speak in English so they could talk more extensively, but he continued to read to her daily in Spanish.
We also helped her with native Spanish speaking babysitters, playgroups, music, books, and limited TV shows, so she is the most fluent in Spanish in the family. Just by using so much Spanish in our home and hearing it daily, all of us improved. We were blessed in the early years with an amazing teacher from Columbia named Margarita who had been the head of their bilingual program. The summer before leaving we hired a wonderful tutor named Christy who helped her prepare for school in Spain, so that the transition would be as easy as possible.
Mozart started out as a trilingual (in Mandarin Chinese), but later we dropped that because we did not want to drive an hour to the school and maintaining a language is time intensive, especially if neither parent is a native speaker. She can speak some words in several languages and we are happy she will be exposed to many on this journey.
She has been lucky to have lots of different languages in her life thus far and has always enjoyed them and learning about other cultures. Her Godfather is from France, her Godmother spent her early childhood in Pakistan and a summer living with a Mexican family and most of our friends have similar multicultural experiences or are from other lands. Before she was even born she had a blessing on tape made for her in Mandarin and Aramic. I lived in Italy for a year when I was young which affected my perspective.
We have been involved in many peace groups over the years including IIWP (http://iiwp.org/) and think experiencing other cultures and learning other languages helps one have a more open perspective which is always needed on this planet, but perhaps even more so today.
Here is a bit about each of us as individuals. As I mentioned earlier we will be going by nicknames after some of our heroes.
A wonderfully exuberant spirit who is full of joy de vive and is lots of fun to be around and has endless energy and creativity. She has always loved people from purposely engaging every person in a large restaurant at 3 months old to crawling over to older babies and hugging them at 4 months old. She enjoys people of every age and makes friends where ever she goes including lines in the grocery store! She is definitely a girl who likes to have fun. She is an ectomorph who is solid muscle who has inherited her father’s natural athleticism.
She was 5 year old when we left and has many talents. In some ways she has never been her age and in others is very much her age. She is a girl in too much of a hurry and fearless by nature. She not only walked, talked, crawled, read, wrote, swam etc.very early, but she did them all very fast from the start. She has hummingbird boundless energy and eats like an air fern. She has always had a bold personality and is a strong and determined manifester who seems to know how to get what she wants. The Pediatrician at her birth said “she looks delicate, but she is a powerhouse” which was right on and remains true today.
If she is interested in something, she learns very quickly and has always enjoyed novel stimulation and has an incredible imagination and memory. She has always had an interest in music, other languages and cultures, performances of every kind and books, books, books. She has been playing the violin since 23m and piano since 3 and loves to sing, dance, make up songs and do elaborate imaginative play.
A great husband, father, artist and human being. He has many talents and abilities and appreciates beauty from all perspectives. He is an award winning creative director, designer, consultant by profession who has worked in high tech in Silicon Valley for over 20 years. He loves to garden, work on land and has interest in wines and vineyards and built a Pinot Noir boutique vineyard from scratch. He loves Jazz, abstract art, architecture, photography and likes hiking, swimming, biking and is a baseball fan.
A loving and fun wife,mom and writer. Another one who appreciates beauty in all its forms. An entrepreneurial spirit who was a former actress and Ford model who appeared in many magazines, films, commercials, TV shows and theatrical productions many moons ago. Later she started 2 successful small businesses. She has also been a nurse who worked in ICU and a psychiatric hospital, a flight attendant for TWA and a Playboy bunny. She loves to read, learn, garden, create, meditate, listen to classical music, dance, massage, sing, laugh, cuddle and play.