Merlino & Gonzalez January 2018

The Lifelong Benefits of Travel 3 WAYS TRAVEL CAN TRANSFORM YOUR KIDS

M&G IN 2018 New Initiatives for the Office The start of a new year brings the chance for goal-setting and planning. We may have recently launched our new and improved website, but that’s not all we have planned for 2018. Here’s a look at what’s on the horizon for Merlino & Gonzalez in 2018. First on our list is giving our email system a facelift. We communicate a lot with our clients via email, and we want that communication to look as spiffy as possible. It might not seem like a big initiative, but you’d be surprised by how many small decisions go into creating an aesthetically appealing email system that doesn’t skimp on information. Of course, security is another concern. But don’t worry — we’d never use any form of communication that we weren’t 100 percent certain would be protected from prying eyes. We’ll also be taking strides to get some new equipment in the office. The days of simply needing a fax machine and filing cabinets are long gone. With technology always marching forward, we do our best to keep pace. Luckily, we have team members like Eva who keep us plugged into the latest trends. Whenever we pinpoint a product When you go on a trip, whether it’s a quick jaunt to a neighboring town or a weeklong stay in an exotic locale, you interact with new people and cultures. It’s one thing to hear someone talk about the laid-back vibes of the West Coast, but you can’t really feel them for yourself until you’ve meandered through the redwoods or watched the sun set over Puget Sound. Now, imagine the positive effects this kind of cultural awakening could have on a young mind! While we tend to think about the worst- case scenarios and added stresses of traveling with kids, they stand to benefit as much, if not more, from travel as we do. You never know — your son or daughter may realize a passion for a subject that will one day become their career. As you’re plotting destinations for the new year, keep these life-changing possibilities in mind. 1. HISTORY WILL COME TO LIFE. Yes, your kids will read about World War II in school and take state capital quizzes. But in the end, nothing compares to firsthand experiences of culturally significant locations. Imagine showing a child the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin’s famous theory of evolution was conceived, or having the chance to talk about the beginnings of the Revolutionary War while strolling through Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts. If you live in a state with a rich history, make it a point to visit one of the nearby museums. If you’re planning a vacation abroad, incorporate visits to historical sites. Take the opportunity to learn as a family!

2. THEY’LL PICK UP NEW SKILLS. In addition to learning about history, your child may discover a new skill. They may learn a bit of conversational Spanish during a trip to Mexico or they might play soccer with a group of children and realize they have a knack for it. By fostering a sense of healthy curiosity about new places, you’ll help your child feel confident enough to branch out of their comfort zone and make new friends at home and on the road. 2. THEY’LL UNDERSTAND COMPASSION. After a trip to Fiji, Lonely Planet Kids writer Patrick Kinsella found that, long after they returned, his eldest daughter continued to reflect on her experience. “It’s an eye- and mind-opening experience, especially for Ivy, who has never before considered that someone her age might not have a TV, let alone lack electricity,” Kinsella writes. “For many months afterward, Ivy talk[ed] about Po, imagining her Fijian friend’s life.”

Because they’re so open-minded, kids are the perfect sponges for new experiences. At the very least, they’ll be less

likely to take what they have for granted, and they might even develop an expansive and exploratory worldview.

or service that will allow us to improve our processes, we jump at it. We like new gadgets as much as the next firm, but we always adopt new technologies with an eye toward improving client experience. It wouldn’t really make sense for us to provide staff Fitbits, would it?

Finally, and perhaps most exciting, we are looking to expand the Merlino & Gonzalez family this year. We’re growing all the time, and we’ll need another smart, friendly person to help deal with our increased volume. Adding to the team isn’t a decision we take lightly, so we’ll have to make sure we find the right person. Nevertheless, we look forward to it.

2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for us. We’re excited for the surprises it will bring.


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