Growing up in a lower-middle class Cuban family in Miami usually meant that exotic, long-distance travel meant taking the family station wagon to Walt Disney World two times a year. Really off-the-beaten-path travel for our family included venturing south to the Florida Keys for a fishing expedition – where I often caught more sunburn than fish but, hey, sometimes I got to eat what I caught, so it made the mystery worthwhile.
Today, I’m married and a father of four young children. I also run the nation’s largest, privately held social media company in the U.S., dubbed Hispanicize. The Hispanicize platform includes the annual Hispanicize event, Hispanicize Wire, Being Latino, the Latina Mom Bloggers network, Hispanicize.com, and my personal family life and travel blog PapiBlogger. As you can imagine, this keeps me pretty busy.
True to my Latino roots, I do mix business and family quite often. It’s part of our culture and partially explains how my own children have been to more than 40 states in just a few short years. In 2011, my family and I did a major blog-related road trip that culminated in Alaska aboard a cruise ship. Alaska is my favorite state in the nation, but I guess if I had to be practical about possibly visiting a place more often, I would have to choose one of my other favorite states like Oregon, Wyoming or Arizona.
I’ve also traveled quite extensively outside the U.S., mostly throughout Latina America, with Costa Rica being my favorite because of its eco-tourism. My wife and I got engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower (hey, we have to be true to our love for travel) and we’ve even been to Rwanda as part of a church mission. That said, my absolute favorite place to see has been the island of Capri, right off the coast of Naples, Italy. Google it and you’ll see what I mean!
I enjoy traveling the globe, but traveling throughout the U.S. is my sweet spot. I travel in large chunks of time, usually in spans of four or five consecutive days, which means that when I’m away from home, I want to do three things: eat, sleep and work well.
My hotel travel style has always been aligned with Best Western because the company truly understands great value, comfort and cleanliness, all of which are of the utmost importance to travelers. Best Western’s standards are universal and that makes a big difference to me because when I travel, I want to know what I should expect. Oh, and I can’t forget about the WiFi. At a time when mobile carriers charge extra for tethering data to your smartphones, it helps to know Best Western already has free WiFi at every location, a must-have for business travelers like myself.
I’m excited to be blogging for Best Western because I genuinely love and know the brand. In fact, I remember my first encounter with Best Western more than 12 years ago when I stayed at my first property during a short work-family trip to Yosemite National Park. I remember it fondly because I had just completed a business trip to San Francisco and had failed to reserve a hotel near the southern end of the park. I frantically started searching for a hotel – any hotel -where we could stay. As it was getting dark, we stumbled upon a historic Best Western hotel and I was so happy that I remember saying to myself over and over again “Thank God for Best Western!”
My trips are no longer as short as they used to be as a kid when I would go to Orlando or Key West, but in this blogging adventure – and all of life’s adventures – I always remember this to be true: the journey is always more fun than the destination.
Looking forward to having some fun on this blog with all of you!