Celebrating a Birthday Overseas

Celebrating a Birthday Overseas

Gabriela’s 6th Birthday!!

This would be the first time that we had ever celebrated something without our family and friends. We usually spend Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Birthdays, and more together with my parents, siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts, grandparents, friends, and so on. I come from a BIG Mexican family and that is just how we do things. So the thought of celebrating Gabriela’s birthday overseas was something that really stressed me out. What would this year be like without all of our family and friends around to celebrate with us?

I have always been kind of over the top when it comes to my kids birthdays (as you can see in the above images of her 2nd & 3rd birthdays parties). I really enjoy making personalized things for my kids & husband on their special day from take-away treat bags and decorations to homemade cakes. It’s the one day of the year I can go all out just for them and I truly enjoy making and designing things so this is the perfect day to use my skills to create something magical for them. I am an architectural designer so design and creating are something I do daily for work but this is the one time of the year I can use my design skills just for them. So how would this year be different?

I knew there would not be a big party with all my family and friends and I also knew I would probably not be making anything from scratch. Not even the cake! The Airbnb we were staying at did not have an oven nor did it have any kind of baking supplies. I know it seems silly but I was really worked up about this. Was it because the crafting monster inside of me needed to be feed with glitter and glue or was it the fact that this was the first time we would be celebrating something without our families and friends nearby? I think its probably the second but I’m sure a little bit of the first as well. Would my daughter still have a great birthday? Would she be sad because her friends and family (or any other children for that matter) would not be present for her special day? All of these thoughts crossed my mind but I pushed them away and moved forward. 

First things first I needed to find a cake. We went to our local grocery stores but they did not seem to make cakes to order they did have a few you could buy off the shelf but going from a homemade from scratch birthday cake to one you get off the shelf did not sit right with me so we kept looking. If I wasn’t going to be able to bake her a cake I wanted to find someone who could. We went to several bakeries around town only to find donuts and pastries but no cakes. I finally found a lady (by looking up cakes in Auckland hag-tags on social media) who made cakes out of her home that looked amazing and according to her clients also tasted great. So I sent her a message and she gave me a good price for a homemade cake so I placed the order and gave myself a pat on the back. She showed up at our Airbnb the night before Gabriela’s birthday to hand deliver the cake. We also managed to snag some balloons, a birthday banner, and a gift at The Warehouse. 

She woke up surprised to find the small kitchen at our Airbnb decorated for her special day and we let her decide what she wanted to do for the entire day. She was so excited!!! We started the day off by eating cake for breakfast, followed by lunch and playtime at McDonald’s, a movie at our local mall (We watched Smallfoot and it was amazing if you haven’t seen it you should), and ended the day with Pizza at a local pizza shop. We also got to facetime with all our family and friends who sang her happy birthday and even though it wasn’t the same as having them near it was something and in that way they were a part of her birthday overseas as well.

So if you are celebrating something while traveling try not to stress out too much. We have since this day celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years overseas here in New Zealand and they were different in a lot of ways compared to how they where when we were in Oklahoma but in lots of ways they were the same. I am excited to share all of those stories with you all so stay posted and find out about those celebrations soon. May all your celebrations no matter where you are or what you are celebrating be just as great as our little girls 6th birthday in New Zealand. 

Our Story

Our Story

Short Version

Hi, Friends! Welcome to our page. We are a family of four (Sean, Lorena, Mireya, & Gabriela) who love traveling and work hard to make it a priority in our lives. At first this meant one family trip and one husband and wife trip each year. No matter what, we always tried to keep this tradition even if it meant taking a trip in our own backyard. We are from Oklahoma and love it dearly, but we wanted to travel full time. We made a plan, stuck to it, worked our butts off, and crossed our fingers. So, the search is on, where is home? Is home in one location, or is it just a place where we are together? We decided we would travel the world with our girls, have amazing adventures, learn through experience, and let our hearts lead the way!

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Long Version 

Background Info

Sean (the Dad) grew up traveling and had traveled to five countries before meeting Lorena (the Mom). Lorena grew up traveling as well but her travels mainly consisted of traveling all over the USA and Mexico. So of course, when we met and became friends traveling was one thing that we not only bonded over but shared a huge passion for. Over the course of the next 8 years we traveled to London, Spain, Mexico, and nine states in the USA. Soon we started planning for something bigger.

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We have one daughter (Mireya) who had just finished high school and one daughter (Gabriela) who was just about to embark on her educational journey into Kindergarten. We decided this was the perfect time to go explore the world as a family. We knew Oklahoma was no longer the place we felt was our home but more of a great stepping stone in our journey. So, the search is on, where is home? Is home in one location, or is it just a place where we are together? We decided we would travel the world with our girls, have amazing adventures, learn through experience, and let our hearts lead the way.

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Sean and Lorena’s Story

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Get ready folks (yes, we are from Oklahoma) it’s a corny one and we love to tell it!! The day Lorena and Sean first met sparks flew (literally). They were both in architecture school at the University of Oklahoma and Lorena volunteered to help Sean’s class build a park pavilion because she is cool like that. She walked in talked to the instructor and was introduced to Sean. He was wearing a welding mask and welding a piece of steel so sparks were flying in the air as he turned the torch off and proceeded to lift his mask the chemistry began. Not really, they worked together for a day and then didn’t see each other again for another semester where they had a class together and competed against each other for their professor’s attention. They did however start to develop a friendship at this point and later when Sean came to a job fair to interview with the firm Lorena was working with at the time she was quick to give him a recommendation. He got the job and they became not only classmates/friends but also co-workers. Their friendship truly developed at this time but Lorena is a hustler and was too busy to think about boys or have time for any of those shenanigans as she was focused on being a great single mother to her daughter and had a plan to work, get licensed, and buy her and Mireya a house they always wanted…she did that shit. However, after having worked together for over 2 years their friendship blossomed into more. They started dating and although the first date was a really strange one (mainly because neither of them was sure it actually was a date or just two friends hanging out and Lorena shouting at the waiter that the bill was SEPERATE) they continued to fall for one another. Lorena realized that he was the one when Sean not only told her but proved to her by his actions that he not only loved her but loved Mireya as well. Things happened rather fast after that. They dated for a year, got engaged, and surprise Gaby decided it was her time to show up!

Mireya

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Mireya is a recent high school graduate trying to figure out her path in this world and the direction her future will take. She loves cats, K-POP, Mexican food, fashion, and makeup. She graduated from Norman High School and was accepted into the University of Oklahoma. Her parents (Lorena & Sean) were ready to travel full time and wanted her to come along. She had a choice to make, travel with her family or start that dorm life. After much thought and lots of going back and forth she made a final decision to come on this adventure. How could she not?! She applied for her Working Holiday Visa and got approved for 1 year!!! She plans on taking some online college courses to complete some of her basics and then fine tune her class selection and re look at Universities once she has more of an idea what she wants to major in. She is also currently looking for employment in New Zealand to help the family with the trip and buy herself makeup and cloths. Because this girl LOVES to shop.

Gabriela

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Gabriela is 5 years old (not 5 ½ she makes sure everyone she meets knows she is 5 not 5 ½ although her bday is next month and she will be 6) and she is a wild one. She loves going on adventures with her daddy, baking with her mommy, and playing with her sister. She loves joking around (as can be seen in our about me photo) and making houses for her stuffed animals. She loves to critique architecture and interior design. She loves to decorate and redecorate after mom decorates. She loves animals from the smallest bug to the biggest elephants. She likes to jump and play and make up her own stories which she can convince people are true but are usually fiction. She wanted to jump off the Auckland skytower today and was very upset to find out you have to be 10 to do it. She was not happy about this one Auckland. She is CRAZY about any and everything ninja turtles and wants to be a ninja turtle when she grows up (Donatello is her favorite).

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