Recently, I got to interview two female travel bloggers that have created the blog- MVMT. They are, in fact, sisters and give you different perspectives on traveling various countries around the world.
Diana is an attorney who is able to show you how to work and travel and Hope is a full time university student. Find out more about them in my interview below:
1. Where are you from?
Diana: Short answer - Chicago. Long answer - I was born in China, moved to the States when I was 4, and lived in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Michigan growing up. For the last 5+ years, I’ve lived in Chicago.
Hope: I was born in Pennsylvania, spent my early years in Michigan, and then moved to Toronto when I was 11!
2. Could you tell me briefly about yourself?
Diana: I’m an attorney in Chicago with a serious case of wanderlust. I get antsy if I haven’t traveled for a month. I’ve traveled to 30 countries and the majority of states in the U.S. Because our parents live in Toronto, we travel to Canada quite a bit. Other than travel, my other big passion is music.
Hope: I am currently a Sophomore at the University of Michigan. The travel bug started last year when I attended a school that I was not happy at and felt inclined to get away on weekends. I travelled to New York City once every month or two, Ottawa a few times, Miami, and more.
3. What inspired you to travel?
Diana: I moved around a lot growing up, and when we were moving to a different city, we were traveling somewhere. My parents (especially my dad) loves to travel, so anytime we had a family “event,” it would always be a trip somewhere. A few years ago I took my first solo trip to Europe, and that really set off the travel bug in me! Before that solo trip, I’d been to four countries in Europe. Since then, I’ve been to 18 European countries!
Hope: My family has always been very big on travelling and almost every holiday, we would take a family trip for as long as I could remember. A few years ago, my sister began travelling solo and backpacking around Europe. This inspired me to experience solo travelling, and I took my first international solo trip this past Summer!
4. How long have you been traveling?
Diana: My entire life. I’ve definitely been traveling more the last few years though as I’ve become more financially independent and have the means to travel without asking my parents for financial support.
Hope: I have been travelling my entire life but only began solo travelling this last Summer. I turned 18 last December, so it became much easier to do so as a legal adult.
5. How would you describe the way that you travel? Do you stay in a city for a long period of time or visit many cities in a short period of time? Why?
Diana: I visit many cities in a short period of time. It’s mainly because I’ve been a full time student or had a full time job my entire life, and with our stingy vacation policies in the U.S., I haven’t yet experienced the luxury of being able to travel for an extended amount of time. I do, however, want to see everything when I travel, so I’ve gotten used to darting around from place to place day in and day out and have built up quite the energy for that. I would love to slow travel or camp out in foreign cities for a few weeks at a time as a digital nomad in the future.
Hope: I haven’t had the chance to stay in many cities for extended periods of time. Between a busy school schedule and other factors, I’ve found myself spending only a day or two in most foreign cities that I have been to. I was able to stay in the city of Ulm in Germany for a bit over a month, and I loved the experience of getting able to become rooted in the community and familiarize myself with people and places. However, I also love the feeling of urgency that comes with being in a city for a short period of time. I always get an insane amount of sightseeing done and cover the same amount of ground that otherwise may have taken days! That being said, I love both styles very much.
6. What are some of your favorite countries traveling? Why?
Diana: I love Scandinavia. My favorite cities there are Stockholm and Copenhagen, but I also loved exploring western Norway as there was such much beautiful scenery there and fun hikes. I am also quite obsessed with Iceland and would love to live there for a year.
Hope: I fell in love with Germany after spending a part of my summer there. This may be because it’s the place I spent the most time in, but I loved the culture and vibe given off by the German people. I also loved Austria and found many similarities to Germany. These are the two countries I am most likely to live in in the future. I also really enjoyed more scenic countries such as Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, etc., but perhaps not to live long term.
7. What are some of your best experiences traveling?
Diana: My first solo trip will always be a memorable one. That was in August 2014, and I traveled to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges, and Barcelona. I’d recommend any of those places for an inaugural solo trip. I also have great memories of a trip to Europe I took through my law school because I was able to spend a week in Vienna with over 2,000 law students from all over the world and made some great friends on that trip.
Hope: The summer that I spent in Europe is definitely my best experience. I was able to learn a lot about myself through being in a foreign country completely alone, unable to speak the language, for an extended period of time. The following week I spent travelling to 5 different countries in 5 days was also an amazing learning process and cultural experience.
8. Are you able to support yourself traveling from an online business? If so what kind of business?
Diana: Hopefully one day our blog will turn into an online business, but for now, I fund my travels through my full time job as an attorney.
Hope: Because our blog is so new, we aren’t really able to do that yet. That’s definitely something we’re working towards!
9. Do you have a blog ? If so, what topics do you discuss? How did the sister combination of travel start?
Hope/Diana: We do! We started MVMT Blog in July of this year, shortly after our Norway trip together. We are both really into travelling and have taken many trips together, so it made sense for both of us to work together in starting the blog.
10. Diana: What interests you in living in Iceland for a year?
I'd love to live in Iceland because it's so remote and quiet. I live in the downtown area of one of the biggest cities in the world right now, and as much as I love city life and think I ultimately will stay in a city, I'd love to get away from the city for a short period of time and enjoy the peace and quiet. I also have developed a love for hiking in the last couple of years, and there are so many fun hikes in Iceland that offer amazing views. I also enjoy cold weather over hot weather, so I don't mind that Iceland can be quite chilly.
11. Diana: Being a sister duo, do you plan your trips together? How have the two of you changed each other's perspective on travel?
We've actually only taken one trip together with just the two of us, and that was our Norway trip this past summer. Hope is a full time university student, and I (Diana) work full time, so it's oftentimes difficult to coordinate our schedules. Many times we end up taking trips by ourselves or with other friends whose schedules match with ours. We have been traveling together as a family for our entire lives though, so we've traveled together a lot with our parents. When we travel separately, the places we visit inspire each other to visit those places as well. It's also been interesting for us to talk about our perspectives on certain places we've both traveled to, but separately. Sometimes we have the exact same impression on a country, and other times our views completely differ, so it's interesting to talk about why one of us might love a particular country or city while the other didn't feel as connected to that place.
12. Hope: Traveling at such a young age, how do you feel it has defined you?
I am 18 years old and a Sophomore in University. My years in University have and will continue to be some of the most character shaping years of my life. As I form my worldview apart from my parents, I am able to be independent and unbiased as I hear the unique perspectives of countless individuals. Travel has been crucial in ensuring that I adopt an open mind to different mindsets, belief systems, cultures, etc., which is especially important in this time where the nation is deeply divided on numerous fundamental issues. Travel never fails to remind me of the beauty present in everyone and everything. It's helped me develop a more optimistic approach to the world where I am able to go through life not worrying about minor setbacks. In spite of problems that may occur, travel has given me a bigger picture of the things that matter.
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Here are some photos from their travels: