Families on the Move – Meet the Travelexperta.com

Families on the Move – Meet the Travelexperta.com
May 28, 2012 Lainie Liberti

Families on the Move

We have been blessed to connect with many amazing families online, all of whom have adapted a travel lifestyle in one form or another.  We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to them here and highlight the positive aspects travel has had on their families. Welcome our interview series called Families on the Move. Miro & I are honored to a part of this global community we consider our extended family.

Meet the Amazing Family Behind Travelexperta.com

We are a family of four.

Marina K. Villatoro – me Mom, entrepreneur, travel junkie

Federico Villatoro – the husband, Phd Student, fanatical rock climber and adrenaline junkie

Brandon Villatoro – 8 years old – adrenaline junkie, insane climber, FULL of energy, my little travel companion and just plain amazingly adorable, trilingual

Keanu Villatoro – 2 years old – laughing baby, incredibly curious, great traveler, trilingual, and doesn’t let mommy sleep at night still

Where are you now, where have you been and how long have you been traveling?
I originally started my journey solo – October 20, 2001 (11 years ago). However, on March 5th I crossed over the border from Belize to Guatemala to camp out in Tikal and happened to be one of the only campers that day aside from a cute Guatemalan guy who spoke perfect English.

At first I brushed off his questions and ignored him following me into the ruins until I finally gave in and we have now been married for ten years.

Even though I traveled most of Central and Latin America after we met alone, we did move full time first to Costa Rica and are now living in Antigua, Guatemala getting ready to make another huge move to Santiago, Chile.

It doesn’t look like our travels and relocations are coming to an end any time soon.

Why do you travel as a family?

When I first started traveling I was solo and loved it. But once I met my husband for some reason traveling alone didn’t feel as complete. But once I had my boys, that was it. Traveling without my family simply doesn’t have any meaning anymore.

Everything is a learning experience and seeing things through their eyes and talking about it with my husband, simply is the most amazing thing for me!

What are some of the benefits of family travel?

Family travel brings us together. We do so much as a family when we travel. Our kids see the world around them. The different countries, cultures, and traditions become commonplace to them. They don’t know anything other and will greatly benefit them in the future to be exposed to so much and have open minds for anything that comes along.

What inspired you and your family to incorporate travel into your lifestyle?

I never thought of it as inspiration. Traveling to me is like breathing. Without it, I don’t think I can exist and my family comes along for the ride!

How do you address education while you are traveling?

Since we only full on travel for one to three months of the year, my kids go to school wherever we are living for the time being.

How do you and your family experience being global citizens?

We are a multicultural, trilingual, serial expat family on our way to living in our third Latin American country. My 8 year old has been to over 10 countries and my 2 year old has visited seven countries before turning two.

Learning about the world around them is becoming second nature and hopefully will continue to peak their interests in other cultures, people and life!

Can you share one of your families most memorable experiences?

There are sooooo many, it’s hard to narrow down just one.

Our time in Belize snorkeling and swimming with sharks was probably my son’s highlight, he constantly says that nothing can beat that one.

Personally, Cuba had a great effect on us. My eight year old will talk about revolution and Che, in the same breath as he will talk about the Maya culture of Guatemala as he would talk about Sea World. In other words, for him having such extremes aren’t extreme but the way things should be – a mixture of all things life has to offer.

Luckily for him, he doesn’t have to see that most people in the world will only take that one lifetime trip to Disney, while in my opinion all his trips are one-time-life trips for societies. Hope that makes sense.

What’s next?

Next is Santiago, Chile for three months as we check out where our new home and life will be leading us. It’s actually one of the scariest things I am in the process of doing, since it’s so expensive and now I have to take care of two adorable boys.

However, the pressure is off for the moment, since we’re not making the huge move until 2014, so we think. This way we can simply be travelers and explore new places, cities and everything else!

Marina K. Villatoro twitter: @marinavillatoro
web site: Travelexperta.com


  1. Marina K. Villatoro 12 years ago

    Thanks guys for having us on your great site!!! You’re the biggest family traveling inspiration 🙂

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