Who we are

Our Fish Bowl

What started as a friendly travellers info request on Facebook, turned into a quirky courtship nearly 2 years later. As we say, “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it all.” We have taken this to heart and turned it into our families life mantra.

Six years ago, Nikol and her then 3-year-old daughter travelled from California with their most prized possessions to the Canary Islands off the northwestern coast of Africa. They were welcomed by Alejandro, full of enthusiasm, ready to open the first official CrossFit affiliate in Spain, 2009. This was just the beginning of what we now recognize as our lifestyle of LIVING THE DREAM Now embarking on our biggest adventure yet, we’ve packed up our house, put the best people in charge of our businesses, and we’re off to explore the world through food, fitness, and more importantly as a family. We are Small Fish in the Big World .

People sometimes tell us how crazy we are for the seemingly easy life changing choices we make most often over night. Craziness could be part of the equation. Luck, too. We think where you end up in the world is determined by who you are and how far you are willing to go to chase those dreams. The journey for some people, no matter how brave they are, may not be too far from home. Ours on the other hand has moved us thousands of miles from where we were raised. Our dreams will continuously move us and our children around the world discovering the magic of different cultures and lifestyles. Through this living account, we hope to inspire other families and couples- alike to take the leap of faith and bask in the possiblility of an alternative lifestyle if so desired to do so. If not, equally welcome – live vicarously through our kindered spirits and enjoy the ride.

In our very biased opinion our family is quite extraordinary. Each of us bringing a unique trait to our lil shoal (aka fish family).

picture in turkey
Alejandro Palomar – Big Fish

 Alejandro, the perfectionist, determined to get everything planned , organized, and as close to the time table as possible. Have you ever lived or even “more” fun… travelled with a perfectionist? Patience comes to mind immediately! It’s hard to get a perfect 10 with this big fish. But his commitment to the family adventure and his laser focus show me that there is a reality surrounding me that on occasion requires a more serious point of view than the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants attitude, which is my way most of the time. Just a little king-of-the-sea charm can go a long way and quite possibly keep us out of a misadventure.

Countries visited:60% of USA States, Western and Eastern Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Most of Europe, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Korea, Philippines, India, Nepal, Morocco, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and some more that I have forgotten…



Family Trip Blog - butterfly
Deia, the butterfly spirit of our fish bowl.

Deia, our Lil’ Butterfly, jumps from pleasure to pleasure and enjoys life to the fullest. She is a daily reminder of the importance of living in the moment and basking in the greatness that surrounds us. To date, she has taught me some of life’s best lessons: unconditional love, patience, forgiveness, and fun. Life is short, if you don’t believe me ASK A BUTTERFLY.

Countries visited: America (California, Colorado, Nevada), Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras (Roatan Island), Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Morocco





Small Fish Big World - Family travel blog
Nemo Picture for our Family Travel Blog

Teo, the “Nemo” of our shoal, is a little treasure box full of surprises more valuable than I ever could have imagined. Like most little boys, his pockets are full of mishief and his doings are full of adventure. Teo is always up for anything, incredibly flexible, though most often found standing-in as Mr. Personality whenever duty calls.

Countries visited: Spain, Italy, Portugal, Romania,  Philippines, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey






Small Fish Big World - Family Trip
Mama Fish – a Family Travel Blog

And then there’s me: Nikol. Since the age of 6-years-old I remember dreaming of the other side of the world and what it was like. My “American Dream” consisted of living in Europe and becoming a chef. Twenty years forward I found myself living in Central America and owner of The Bagel Barn in Antigua, Guatemala. As fate would have it, my childhood dream came true when I met Alejandro in 2008 and moved to Europe. Apart from our passion-filled businesses, I publised my first cookbook, January 2014 – Your Inner Chef: A Paleo and gluten-free cookbook with recipes from the Global Soul. I would best describe myself as the colour yellow—bright, warm, and vibrant. I always look on the bright side – drives the Mr. crazy. Warm is my baseline, though my heart can heat up to fiery, passionate temperatures – must be the Arias in me. And as most people will quickly notice, I’m hard to keep up with since I’m so active, vigorous, and full of life.

Countries visited:USA, Canada, Central America, Colombia, Spain, England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherland, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Philippines, India, Nepal, and many more..


What are some of your dreams?

One comment

  • Donna

    July 18, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    I have many.
    1. Come and visit my family ( you)
    2. Pay for my daughters Sarah’s wedding. Coming up.
    3. Travel to places on my dream board
    4. Own a beach house. Not sure of the beach yet!
    5. Help as many people daily become better people.
    6. Meet and marry the love of my life. Had one, ready for #2.
    7. Travel, too many places to list…
    8. Continue to grow! Mentally , physically , and spiritually!
    9. More to come!


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