A huge part of travel for me is the people I meet and the friends that I make in the places I get to experience. Some of, well most, of my best friends are people I have met while living overseas and the number one thing we have in common is that we get it. Get what you might ask? This whole travel love. The coming and going frequently, the moving towns often and regularly. The fact that we rarely live in the same place for long. And the feeling of saying goodbye/reuniting with each other. So when I meet people who share this same passion I immediately want to know more about them and where their adventures have taken them.
Now who of us reading this has a sibling? I raised my hand (younger brother), and bet quite a few of you did. Okay so next question, how many of you would or could travel with that sibling? Fewer hands in the air I can imagine (mine is down at the moment). Now it's not because we don't love them, but maybe we can all love them a little better when not sharing a room with them again right? Well what if I told you there are a pair of sisters who are doing this whole travel thing on a whole new level, together and apart?! No joke! Diana & Hope are the sister team behind MVMT Blog and have collectively traveled to 65 countries (and counting) and as their blog states are traveling beyond bounds. I was introduced to their Instagram page a few years ago and was amazed at how they were both traveling, what seemed like constantly, while holding down a full time Law job and a full time school course load + multiple part time jobs. They make the most of the time they have away and don't restrict their travel to just going with each other, they mix it up by going with their parents, friends & even a fiance (for Diana). The way they take on the world with an incredible zest for like and a curiosity that takes them to some unreal places is just one of the many reasons they are the ladies behind this month's WanderWoman Wednesday article!
( Left - Diana / Right - Hope )
Alright ladies, tell all these wanderers about yourselves…
Diana: Hey wanderers! I’m Diana, the older sister in the sister duo behind MVMT Blog, where we write about all our travels. In addition to travel blogging, I’m also an attorney for online entrepreneurs, bloggers, and creatives.
Hope: And I’m Hope, the little sister in the sister duo. I’m finishing up my final semester at the University of Michigan before heading to New York to work!
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
Diana: That I’m a lawyer! “Travel blogger” and “lawyer” typically don’t mix, so people are surprised to discover this totally different side of what I do.
Hope: I think that people are surprised at how I’m able to travel as much as I do as a full-time student working three part-time jobs (two of them are remote). When it comes down to it though, it’s all about priorities and what you’re willing to sacrifice to go on one more trip!
Did you always want to travel/what made you start?
Diana: Our parents took us on a lot of trips when we were kids, so we’ve grown up traveling, but I really got hooked on it after taking my first solo trip to Europe about 5 years ago. Since then, I’ve traveled to about 50 new countries!
Hope: During my freshman year of college, I was at a school that I really didn’t enjoy and was overall very unhappy. Because of my strong dislike for being at my school, I found any excuse possible to be away and travel. I started taking small domestic trips during weekends, and eventually moved into more cross-continental trips (mostly to Europe). That’s what really triggered the travel bug, particularly the solo-travel bug! To date, I’ve been to about 45 countries, the majority of which I visited during and after freshman year.
How do you decide where to travel to?
Diana: It really depends, but nowadays it usually starts with a cheap flight I found or a company I really want to work with that wants to sponsor us on certain dates.
Hope: I’m generally very open about where I travel to. I use Skyscanner’s ‘everywhere’ search tool to see which cities are cheap for the dates that I’m looking to travel. I also am an avid fan and follower of Secret Flying, and have booked flight deals that I saw on there more than a few times.
What is your travel style?
Diana: Minimalist. Both Hope and I only ever travel with a backpack (I tested out a rolling suitcase on a recent trip to Japan and just felt clumsy and burdened the whole time). I love staying in hostels when I travel solo and most love experiencing cultural or adventure activities. My least favorite thing to do while traveling is shop.
Hope: Two things - minimalist and spontaneous. As Diana said, I absolutely despise travelling with a suitcase. In fact, I don’t think I’ve travelled with a suitcase in at least 3-4 years. I spent a full three months in Germany two summers back and only brought my Minaal backpacking bag and my Fjallraven backpack. I have also realized over the years that planning is not my forte. I usually end up arriving at my destination, and THEN looking up things to do and going with the flow. I enjoy being in a new location, surrounded by people of different cultures and backgrounds, and don’t feel as strong of an urge to visit all the sites and see everything in one trip.
Top 3 bucket list places you want to visit?
Diana: Patagonia, Antarctica, Central Asia (Silk Road)
Hope: South Africa, Pakistan, North Korea
What’s different travelling together VS travelling on your own?
Diana: There’s not a huge difference to be honest. We have pretty similar travel styles for the most part, but generally speaking when I travel with anyone else, there’s a much smaller chance of me meeting any fellow travellers on my trip because I’m so content just spending time with my travel buddy.
Hope: Diana is more of a planner than I am, so when we travel together I know that our trip will be more structured than it is when I’m travelling alone!
Does social media affect how/where you travel & why?
Diana: Definitely. Social media (and the internet in general) makes it so easy for fellow travelers to connect, share their photos and stories, and help each other plan trips to new places. I’ve taken multiple trips based solely on the recommendations of a fellow traveler I met on social media.
Hope: Social media affects where I want to travel to eventually, but I like to think that I have a bit more time to hit all my bucket list places. I still predominantly base my travels off of ticket prices, but maybe after I graduate, I’ll be able to be more picky with where I go!
Best & worst travel moment?
Diana: I have so many bests and worsts (because travel isn’t all rainbows and butterflies… it can be exhausting and terrifying, too) that it’s really hard to pick just one. There was one travel moment that I’d consider a “best” and “worst” at the same time, and that was when I summitted Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. After hiking for days and hiking through the night on our final summit day, I was colder than I ever felt before and more sleep deprived than I ever felt before, so as far as comfort goes, that was probably my worst travel moment. However, it was also one of my best travel moments because the feeling of reaching the top and watching the sun rise below me was such a euphoric and happy moment that, if I hadn’t felt like such a zombie at the time, might have brought me to tears.
Hope: Last year, my Dad and I were in Glasgow when it started snowing pretty badly. It was nothing we weren’t used to, but apparently snow isn’t as common as we’d expected it to be in Scotland. All the airports, trains, and businesses shut down for days. Unfortunately, we had to be in London the next day to catch our flight back to Toronto, but our flight was rebooked for three days later. We ended up finding one of the only car rental places that was open and driving from Glasgow to London, which was one of the scariest car rides I’d ever been on (they’re not great at shovelling highways up there either, and we’d never driven on the opposite side of the road before). Best travel memory seems impossible to choose, but it probably has something to do with a couchsurfing or hostel experience where I was able to meet new people!
Famous Last words for all the wanderers out there
Diana: Life is short. Go live it.
Hope: If you are always comfortable, you’re doing something wrong. Everything you want is on the other side of fear!
To check out where these travel hungry sisters are off to next (and if it's together or apart) then be sure to give them a follow on any (or all obviously) of their channels below!