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Living The Dream

Living The Dream: You Need Money To Travel

We met Marina from Travel Experta in Guatemala 2013. My kids still talk about her kids. She was so sweet showing us around and I love that she has filled in our interview series for ya’ll to start Living The Dream

Marina Kuperman Villatoro

What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it? 

I've been traveling since I was three months old around the Soviet Union, on the Ukraine side. Then we migrated from Russia to USA via Austria and Italy. 

But I was too small to remember those countries. So my first real memory of a great new country, outside of Canada which was kind of an extension of the US for me, was Paris, France.

I remember it really well cause my father wept. Coming from Communist Soviet Union he never ever dreamt he would travel to Europe or other exotic places. And that made the biggest impression on me and truly awoke the wanderlust in me. 


When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?

I studied abroad when I was 19 years old and that's when I knew I had to backpack around the world. I did a quick run through then, but my main travel came when I was 27. I took off with a backpack. I started in the US, and headed south. My goal was unlimited travel heading south and then to the other side of the world. 

But I made it as far as Guatemala, fell in love, got married and was able to make it all through South America. So I still have a lot to see, now with my family. 


Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuos travel? And why do you choose that style?

My family and I have a base from Antigua, Guatemala. This is where we call home until it is time to move again. But I prefer to have a home base with two small kids. Especially because we don't homeschool so having them in a good environment for their studies is a huge deal for me. And Antigua is perfect for us for now. 

However, we do travel for 2-3 months every year. 


How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?

I work online so I can work anywhere in the world. My site is my main work, and now I'm starting my Day Trading lifestyle which also allows me to work anywhere in the world, as long as I have internet connection and am up with the market open. 



If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?

Don't be cheap. 

Sometimes you get so caught up in saving money for longer travel that you miss out on what is right in front of you. Trust me, saving that couple of hundred dollars on a tour today will make you really regret it later cause at the end of the day it is only a couple of hundred dollars, but who knows if you will ever return to that place again.

So splurge and enjoy your actual travel experience. 


What does "Living The Dream" mean to you?

To be able to work anywhere in the world, have enough money to see the world, and most importantly have money in case of any health issues ever arise and to be able to have my parents join us on me. To not worry about money ever.


You can find Marina here -

Website: Travel Experta

Twitter: @marinavillatoro

My goal is to help and inspire families to find all they need to know where to eat, stay and play with their families worldwide. 

Here's what you have to say...

"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Deia @ Nomad Wallet on
Tours and activities are two things that I think are worth splurging on. When traveling, I think it's important to know what's important for you and budget for it. There's no point in going somewhere and not doing what you came to do.
Posted by Marina Villatoro on

I totally feel the same. Why else go???
Posted by NZ Muse on
Agreed. I got a lot of flack on my blog for our expenditure - but most of the places we went, we'll never visit again, so of course we were going to make the most of it on our RTW trip.
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