La Vida Sunshine: is LOVE colorblind?

While I’m happily married to what I’ll say is a Caucasian man, you would never know that I wasn’t interested in dating him seriously. Why? Because he is white? Yes.

It’s embarrassing to admit. It makes me cringe internally every time I think about it. To think I almost rejected the greatest love of my life all because of something so insignificant. Let me explain why. I’m a proud Mexican-American woman. As a woman of color growing up in the United States, it has always been real to me that racism exists. It’s not something we have made up to help ourselves feel better. I really could have lived without the blatant and quiet racism I have experienced from children growing up and now as an adult from other adults.

Since all of my racism had been experienced from white people, I believe a part of me thought a white person could never understand my struggle as a Latina living in today’s society.

I would be the 1st person to say, “I could never marry a white guy!” Seriously. Bring on the internal cringe, again. Why would I say that? In my imagination, my dream marriage would have been with a fellow Mexican-American, Catholic, and someone who basically had the same life story as that of my own. We could connect and understand one another on every level; physically, spiritually, emotionally, politically, and mentally. I was convinced that my soulmate could be no one else other than a Mexican-American man. How could I be so wrong? I was. How could I be so close minded? I was.

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After 3 months of dating, he took me to Europe for our 1st of many adventures together.

As my husband and I started to date, I couldn’t stop myself from falling in love with him. If I could’ve I would’ve. He wasn’t my “ideal” person. He is everything no one else ever was and everything I never knew I was looking for. I tried to fight the idea of falling in love with him, but once I submitted to love, my entire life has changed and my heart opened like never before. I stopped to think: What if the shoe was on the other foot? What if he was discriminating against me because I am Latina? How would I feel about that? I would feel like garbage! Obviously, I got over it and let it go. Thank you, Jesus! Life has never been sweeter than it has been with him in my life. 13445739_10106450861887998_1926507803917262464_n

The funny thing is I no longer look at my husband and think, this is my white husband, nor does he look at me and think this is my Mexican wife. We are simply husband and wife. I forget or it’s not on the forefront of my mind ever when I think of him or us together. It’s not usually until someone else brings it up, not ever in an offensive way, either. I think more people are interested in how we’ve been able to seamlessly tie our two families and cultures together.

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Labor Day in Minneapolis, MN. With both our families, celebrating my sweet father in law’s birthday.

While my husband may be considered white/Caucasian he has his own culture, as well. Which people of color tend to downplay the cultures of many white Americans. While many may not even know or understand where they come from, I married into a culturally proud German, French, and Hungarian family. I’ve learned new family traditions. I’ve learned new family recipes. I’ve learned a lot about world history. I’ve learned that love is universal and people of all colors are accepting and kind. I have never ever experienced a bit of racism or prejudice from anyone in my husband’s entire family. They have been completely loving and 100% accepting of me and my entire family from day 1.

At the end of the day, we’re two Midwest kids. We come from two loving parents, who wanted more for their children than what they had. Two families that understand and embrace the immigrant experience. Two middle class and working class families. Two families that fiercely and unapologetically love one another. Two families that believe in love, family, and God before everything else. Instead of focusing on our differences, that really don’t matter, we have consciously or subconsciously chosen to focus on what has brought us together. That is love, unconditional, soulful, colorblind love.

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Our wedding day in Playa Del Carmen, MX. Where else would I have gotten married? Photo Credit: Melissa Mercado Photography

Are you in an interracial relationship or ever have been in one? How has your experience been?

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La Vida Sunshine: is LOVE colorblind?

While I’m happily married to what I’ll say is a Caucasian man, you would never know that I wasn’t interested in dating him seriously. Why? Because he is white? Yes.

It’s embarrassing to admit. It makes me cringe internally every time I think about it. To think I almost rejected the greatest love of my life all because of something so insignificant. Let me explain why. I’m a proud Mexican-American woman. As a woman of color growing up in the United States, it has always been real to me that racism exists. It’s not something we have made up to help ourselves feel better. I really could have lived without the blatant and quiet racism I have experienced from children growing up and now as an adult from other adults.

Since all of my racism had been experienced from white people, I believe a part of me thought a white person could never understand my struggle as a Latina living in today’s society.

I would be the 1st person to say, “I could never marry a white guy!” Seriously. Bring on the internal cringe, again. Why would I say that? In my imagination, my dream marriage would have been with a fellow Mexican-American, Catholic, and someone who basically had the same life story as that of my own. We could connect and understand one another on every level; physically, spiritually, emotionally, politically, and mentally. I was convinced that my soulmate could be no one else other than a Mexican-American man. How could I be so wrong? I was. How could I be so close minded? I was.

wp-1449868767139.jpeg

After 3 months of dating, he took me to Europe for our 1st of many adventures together.

As my husband and I started to date, I couldn’t stop myself from falling in love with him. If I could’ve I would’ve. He wasn’t my “ideal” person. He is everything no one else ever was and everything I never knew I was looking for. I tried to fight the idea of falling in love with him, but once I submitted to love, my entire life has changed and my heart opened like never before. I stopped to think: What if the shoe was on the other foot? What if he was discriminating against me because I am Latina? How would I feel about that? I would feel like garbage! Obviously, I got over it and let it go. Thank you, Jesus! Life has never been sweeter than it has been with him in my life. 13445739_10106450861887998_1926507803917262464_n

The funny thing is I no longer look at my husband and think, this is my white husband, nor does he look at me and think this is my Mexican wife. We are simply husband and wife. I forget or it’s not on the forefront of my mind ever when I think of him or us together. It’s not usually until someone else brings it up, not ever in an offensive way, either. I think more people are interested in how we’ve been able to seamlessly tie our two families and cultures together.

wpid-img_114641010926664.jpeg

Labor Day in Minneapolis, MN. With both our families, celebrating my sweet father in law’s birthday.

While my husband may be considered white/Caucasian he has his own culture, as well. Which people of color tend to downplay the cultures of many white Americans. While many may not even know or understand where they come from, I married into a culturally proud German, French, and Hungarian family. I’ve learned new family traditions. I’ve learned new family recipes. I’ve learned a lot about world history. I’ve learned that love is universal and people of all colors are accepting and kind. I have never ever experienced a bit of racism or prejudice from anyone in my husband’s entire family. They have been completely loving and 100% accepting of me and my entire family from day 1.

At the end of the day, we’re two Midwest kids. We come from two loving parents, who wanted more for their children than what they had. Two families that understand and embrace the immigrant experience. Two middle class and working class families. Two families that fiercely and unapologetically love one another. Two families that believe in love, family, and God before everything else. Instead of focusing on our differences, that really don’t matter, we have consciously or subconsciously chosen to focus on what has brought us together. That is love, unconditional, soulful, colorblind love.

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Our wedding day in Playa Del Carmen, MX. Where else would I have gotten married? Photo Credit: Melissa Mercado Photography

Are you in an interracial relationship or ever have been in one? How has your experience been?

Travel Tuesday!

Greetings, from rainy Minneapolis, MN! We’re currently visiting with my in-laws over the Labor Day weekend we had here in the U.S.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m daydreaming of Italy today! Sigh… I fell in love with Rome. Most people know that I consider it the city where I realized I was going to marry my husband. It was our 1st trip together. Besides being a beautifully romantic city, I felt as if I was transported back in time. I was in awe of all the architecture, ruins, and original statues that still remain around the city. Simply fantastic! That’s why for today’s Travel Tuesday, I picked Rome! A Must for any traveler.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Last year, I was CRAZY!  I admit it. It was our 1st Valentine’s Day as a married couple. I asked for it all. I asked for everything from flowers, cupcakes, chocolates, etc… and my husband delivered. I’ll never do that again.

This year, I actually told him, “no flowers” on one of the most anticipated flower filled holidays of the year. We’re not making reservations for any kind of fancy dinners, nor have I requested any chocolates or cupcakes this year.

I don’t know why last year, I got so caught up in the hoopla of it all. Perhaps, because it was our first year as Mr & Mrs. Whatever it was, I’m over it this year. The truth of it all, we celebrate our love often. We don’t have children, therefore, date nights are pretty normal for us. My husband does a wonderful job at surprising me with sweet treats and flowers regularly. I’m well taken care of and appreciated, as is he throughout the year.

I’ve always enjoyed Valentine’s Day because it’s a wonderful way to show and share my love with friends, family, and my significant other.  It’s an actual holiday dedicated to love, how wonderful! This Valentine’s Day, I’m actually thinking about keeping it low key. We’re going to visit a friend in the hospital. Then, we have brunch plans with a new group of friends.

I’m a bit more realistic this year than last. I’d really like it to be about what we can give to others this year. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, expensive, or even in a heart shaped box. Maybe, call an old friend and wish them well. Donate a little more to a local church. Donate clothing, food, or even blood. Perhaps, offer to babysit for friends who don’t get to get out as much. Volunteer for your favorite charity or animal shelter. There’s plenty of ways to celebrate and share the love this Valentine’s Day. The world needs more of everyone’s love. As always, I wish you love, peace, and continued blessings. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Married to a Traveler

Early on in our relationship, it became apparent, I was going to have a lifetime of adventures with this man. From an early age, my husband has had a wandering spirit. Why does this matter in a marriage? Because if you happen to marry a man like mine, know that his wanderlust will never end. Being married to a traveler means committing to his traveler’s lifestyle. Are you ok with that?

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Our 1st trip together in Rome, Italy. May 2012

 

One would think that I would get used to the unexpected booked trips, but after four years, this man still surprises me. I never know where or when we’ll be headed to next. It’s an amazing privilege. I’m not complaining. However, there are things that have to be taken into consideration when you become a traveling couple.

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Engaged and in NYC! My 1st time there. Oct 2013

 

First, if and when, you’ll have children? How will those children affect your traveling lifestyle together? Can you afford to have children or a child and travel? Do you want to have children and travel? Where can you go with children? All of those questions should be discussed pre and during marriage often.

Second, be clear about where you will and won’t go. It’s important to always be considerate of your partner’s boundaries while traveling together. That even includes something as simple as to stay in a hostel or a 5-star hotel? Everyone has a different level of necessities while traveling. Safety is always the most important consideration wherever you go in the world together.

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On our honeymoon in Mexico. Tulum, MX May 2014

 

Third, something people don’t realize but, is important finances. Who is financing all of these trips around the world? How will you budget as a couple or individuals for travels together? Do you split the costs of everything from restaurants, accommodations, activities, transportation, airfare, etc… If the man you’re traveling with pre-marriage expects you to share all the cost, chances are probably during marriage you’ll still split the expenses. It just might come out of a joint account, instead of an individual account by then.

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With our tour guide leading the way in Machu Picchu. Nov 2015

 

If you marry a man with a wandering spirit, know that moving is always an option. Moving countries, moving cities, just might become your normal. That is a deal breaker for some relationships, especially for someone who plans to have and raise children near family. Can you live far away from your families? This needs to be discussed at length and agreed upon before marriage.

Life married to a traveler means expect random text messages during the day about airfare deals he can’t pass up, like our most recent NYC purchase. He got those tickets before I could even respond.

Life married to a traveler means don’t be too surprised that when you wake up in the morning, he has already looked at deals to places online and purchased tickets before lunch, like our most recent purchase to Japan and China.

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On the train in Barcelona, Spain. Oct 2012

 

Life married to a traveler means always expect the unexpected.

Life married to a traveler will be fun.

Life married to a traveler will be full of challenges that will help you grow as a person.

Life married to a traveler will take you to places you never dreamt was possible.

Life married to a traveler will never be ordinary.

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From my 1st trip to San Francisco. I had no idea how my life was about to change.

 

Life married to a traveler will also turn you into a traveler.

Are you ok with that?

Selfish and Married.

They, someone, people, say to be married you can’t be selfish. I agree, to an extent. While I do have to take my husband into consideration in everything I do/decide and vice versa, we still are pretty selfish as individuals, just not with one another.

Mostly, because we don’t have children. Being a parent is the MOST Selfless thing a person can do and become. My husband and I, have been married for almost 2 years. Just today, he text me to let me know he booked us a trip to NYC for the weekend. We can do that and I love that. We don’t have children. We don’t have pets. We don’t even have plants because we travel too much. We come and go as we please, have weekend brunches with friends, or weekly date nights all without having to worry about finding a babysitter.

Before and during marriage, we discussed our wanting of children in our life. Do we really want children or not? I know for some it’s not an option or question, but it is a matter of necessity to being a married couple. We aren’t those people. We decided to wait at least after our 1 year anniversary to try to expand our family of 2. We wanted to buy a house first, continue to travel the world together, and fall in love with our new roles as husband and wife. Then, we decided to wait even longer because there are still places in the world we want to experience.

I’m honestly thankful we have waited, traveled, bought our first home, and continue to grow together and discover new things about one another as a married couple. I have no regrets that we live as if we’re still newlyweds and travelers in love. This is the only time we can take in our lives for it to be all about us. Selfish? Maybe. Happy? ABSOLUTELY! This is what has been right for us, and it’s not for everyone. While we get pressure from our families more than anyone, I think it’s most important that other couples like us be honest about it. It’s o.k. to say, “ya know what, we’re still enjoying our time together as husband and wife.” Every now and then, you’ll run into someone who says, “Good for you! Enjoy it while you can.” We’ll never get this time back again. I don’t want to wait until we’re older to travel.

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Travelers in Love! Springtime in France. 

 

The more we travel, the more grateful I am that we’re going and experiencing the places that we want to now, while we’re young, mobile, can eat and drink whatever we want. That truly makes us happy. While some wouldn’t consider us a real family, because we don’t have children, I think we’re a great family of 2, even if we’re both still a little selfish.

TEN.

Italy. Poland. The United Kingdom. Spain. Germany. Mexico. Argentina. Uruguay. France. Peru. When my husband told me back in 2012, “the only requirement I have of you, you must be willing to travel the world with me.” I said, “yeah, o.k. sure.” I mean, what woman would say, “no.”?

I never considered myself much of a traveler. Now, I guess I can’t deny it. I’m no longer a tourist in the world. Yes, there’s a difference between being a traveler vs. tourist. I’ll save that debate for another time.

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Sleeping on the train in France. The best way to travel throughout Europe. April 2015

This is how I found myself being a traveler in love. Most people start their world travels in college. They either do a study abroad, peace corp, or take a year off during or after college to travel throughout Europe. I didn’t do any of that, nor was I interested in it at that point of my life. I crazily enough knew I was going to wait to see the world with the love of my life, my husband (even though I didn’t know who that would be). I didn’t grow up privileged. I also wasn’t going to take out loans to travel and pay for it for years to come. I spent my 20’s trying to survive and pay my everyday living expenses on a non for profit salary, not finance dream trips around the world. I worked for everything I had, my apt, my car, my bills… Which is why I completely understand the struggle of plenty of 20 year-old’s.

My husband has always had a travelers spirit. As long as I’ve known him, he has wanted to see the whole world.

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My favorite travel buddy! On our way to Strasbourg, France. April 2015

To this day, he has probably been to double the amount of countries as I have. I’m still not interested in seeing the whole world, as silly as that sounds. Each country has a different purpose or meaning to us whether it was to fulfill a dream, eat or drink their food, or to celebrate a friend’s wedding. There’s no doubt in my mind we’ve been blessed to have traveled to 10 countries in 3 years together.

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Sopot, Poland. May 2012

We’ve learned so much about one another through traveling the world together. Foreign places challenge each and every one of us in different ways. By foreign, I mean, when neither of us speaks or understands the language, doesn’t know a soul for thousands of miles around, and completely out of our comfort zones. My husband shines in these situations. There has yet to be a country where I haven’t felt safe with him.

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Rome, Italy. May 2012

In Rome, Italy, May 2012, I decided I was going to marry this man. It was under a church awning, while he held an umbrella over my head, while he got soaking wet, so I could eat my gelato. I said to myself, “this is the man I’m going to marry.” This was our first trip together, and he told me, I could pick any place I wanted to go to. I picked, Rome, Italy, as it was always a dream of my grandmother to visit Rome and The Vatican. It was my pilgrimage for her.

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The Vatican. St. Peter’s Basilica. May 2012

In Poland, overlooking the Baltic Sea, I asked him, “Do you think we’ll ever return here?” He said, “I don’t know?” I said, “Maybe, we’ll have kids one day, and they’ll marry someone from here and we’ll return.” He said, “I’d like that very much.” That was after 3 months of dating. Crazy! I never thought about going to Poland, but now that I have, all I want to do is go back.

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Sopot, Poland. May 2012

The U.K. aka United Kingdom, was also the 1st country I had visited outside of North America. My husband used to live in London. To our delight we continue to have friends we consider family there. Which is why every trip to Europe requires a trip to London. At this point, London, is starting to feel like our European home away from home. We do such normal things there like dinner and plenty of pub nights with friends.

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Our 1st time in London together. May 2012.

In Spain, I watched my husband carry a conversation in French for the 1st time and then talk politics in Spanish.

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Dancing the night away in La Garriga, Spain. October 2012

I learned there is no such thing as too much jamon iberico. I seen one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen in my life, La Sagrada Familia, and I’ll never forget that for as long as I live.

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Walking around Poland. May 2012

In Germany, I remember, for the 1st time everything being completely foreign to me. I didn’t recognize the language, the street signs, the words on the menu, nor the train map.  It might as well have been Chinese for all I knew. Again, having my husband, who dabbles in German, was a lifesaver. He was able to at least explain the menu to me and get us around town via train. I remember asking our waitress, “what do you recommend?”, as I would in an American restaurant. To which she responded, “I don’t know what you like!”, but with a firm and stern German accent. I think I ordered something based off of a picture because she slightly scared me.

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Tulum, MX on our Honeymoon. May 2014

If I only could visit one country for the rest of my life, I will always choose Mexico. Mexico, will forever hold some of our most beautiful memories. We celebrated our engagement, we were married, honeymooned, and my husband surprised me with a 6 month anniversary trip, all in Mexico. Mi querido Mexico. Mexico Lindo. 

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Our Wedding. Riviera Maya, MX. May 2014

In Argentina, we ate what would probably be the best steaks in the world and drank more Malbec than I’d like to admit. Every stomach ache was worth it, because as we learned, our bodies aren’t meant to to process that much meat everyday. We didn’t eat red meat for at least a month after that trip. I’ll also never forget my first professional soccer aka futbol match in Argentina.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina. May 2013 @ my 1st soccer match

The energy of the crowd was infectious and had the whole stadium moving.

Uruguay, was a welcomed surprise. We took the ferry from Buenos Aires, Argentina. For those who have visited B.A., you know it’s considered the Paris of South America, which is true in many aspects. Which is why, once we got off the fairy in La Colonial, Uruguay, I was excited to smell wood burning and walk on cobblestone streets. It reminded me of my hometown in Mexico. It has a  welcoming small town feel. Almost like it was hugging us and letting us know it will wait for us to go back.

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The top of the lighthouse in La Colonia, Uruguay. May 2013

I learned there’s so much more beauty to France, than just Paris. I mean, Paris, lives up to the hype, but I hope everyone gets to experience other parts of France, as well. For the lovers in the world, Paris, does not disappoint. Paris, is romantic and sexy, without trying to be, it just is. A fabulous place to have celebrated our 1st year wedding anniversary.

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Paris, France. April 2015

Very few places and countries have captured my heart, but I have to admit, aside from Mexico, Peru, has come a close 2nd. Besides fulfilling a lifelong dream of going to Machu Picchu, this country is abundant in history. They have ancient ruins in the middle of their modern day cities. The food is some of the BEST of the world. Lima, has become the true culinary capital of the America’s. We ate and drank our way to bliss there for sure.

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Machu Picchu, Peru. November 2015

I didn’t know, wait, yes, I did, that traveling the world with the love of my life, my husband, would be a dream come true in itself. I guess, I just didn’t really believe it could come true for me. However, God, had a greater vision for me than I could even dream possible.

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun. May 2014.

Getting to experience the world with the person you know God created for you is a Blessing. I’ll never take that for granted. People tell us to travel while we’re young and don’t have children. I have to agree to an extent. If we should ever be blessed with a child or children, one day, we’ve already promised to keep traveling. Maybe, the trips will be shorter? Maybe, the trips will now be all in the United States? Who knows? Before we exchanged our marriage vows, we discussed and continue to discuss the importance of us taking time for our relationship.

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Rome, Italy. May 2012

Nothing makes us more present in life than traveling, meaning nothing makes us more present in our relationship than travel. I’m fortunate that I chose to wait to experience the world, every new adventure, every awe struck moment, new foods, different cultures, ancient history, and every once in a lifetime experience with one man, my man, my husband. Who to this day, continues to promise and deliver me the world and a lifetime of adventures. He has turned me into a true traveler in love. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 countries will be. Our list is always growing. That’s the beauty of travel, it’s has no expiration date. It’s a lifelong journey full of adventures. Wherever we go, it will be my favorite, until the next place. As long as we’re there together, that’s all that really matters.