Sometimes people reach out to us in order to be interviewed for this series and others we ask talented individuals to take part on this project.
This interview belongs to the second group. As we were stunned by the content these guys are creating – specially their videos!-, we wanted to know more about how they got where they are and how someone could follow their steps.
Without further ado, let us introduce you to Jenna and Micah Kvidt, Wander The Map, a couple of travel bloggers who travel the world filmmaking outdoor and urban adventures.
#1: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started to travel. Do you remember your 1st travel experience? Why are you passionate about traveling?
Jenna: I started traveling with my family as a child–my first “big trip” was to Florida when I was 5. We made our way to Disney World and the one thing that stands out in my memory the most was all the different countries at Epcot, and I vowed to visit them all one day. When Micah and I started dating in high school, he ended up joining in on our family trips and we’ve been traveling together ever since. We love travel because it gives us a look into other cultures and has given us many amazing adventures to share!
#2: Now that we know where you come from, could you tell us where are you heading next? Which are your upcoming plans in terms of traveling?
We are trying to leave our schedule open for spontaneity this year, but we do still have a few trip son the books. As of right now, we are planning on visiting Alaska, Chicago and Ireland, and there are quite a few other trips on our radar that we would like to plan, as well!
#3: What do you think of traveling with a purpose or meaning in mind? What do you look for when traveling long term?
We think traveling with a purpose is always a great idea. If you have a purpose and drive with what you want to accomplish on the road it will make your travels more meaningful. When we take longer trips we like to slow down and try to build a connection to both the people and the place we are visiting. So, if we can stay in a place that is culturally very different than what we are used to, it makes the experience more enriching.
#4: How do you fund your travels? Have you found a job or income source that allows you to be on the road full time? Could you tell us what exactly you do for a living?
We make a living from photography, videography and our travel blog. We partner with companies both at home and on the road to create marketing materials in the form on photos and videos, and we also partner with businesses via social and blog campaigns on Wander The Map. We have a home base in Minnesota, but since we both work on a freelance basis and most of our work is while we are traveling, we aren’t home all that often!
#5: Did your job, studies, volunteering experiences or other projects help you to travel the world? Where have you been thanks to those? Tell us a bit about those experiences.
My first international trip was to Paris and London for a study abroad course in college, and Micah traveled to New Orleans for a photography course in college, as well as the Dominican Republic for a couple of volunteer trips. All of these experiences helped strengthen our love for travel and they opened our eyes to new cultures and experiences that we are grateful to have had.
#6: What would you recommend to someone willing to follow your steps? Which kind of training or studies would be advisable or necessary? Would an investment be needed in the first place?
Please give 3 pieces of advice (you wish to have known before starting) of what to do and what to avoid in order to succeed.
We don’t think you necessarily need formal training such as college to do what we do, but some type of course (either online or offline) in photography, videography or writing would definitely be helpful. The only real investment would be the equipment you need like cameras, lenses, etc.—depending on the quality you are trying to achieve, it can be a large investment. 3 pieces of advice: Network and connect with others who are doing what you want to be doing. Surrounding yourself with successful people in your field is one of the best ways to learn and succeed. You don’t need the most expensive camera equipment when you start out—technique is more important than gear when you are starting out. It takes time to develop a client base/audience, so don’t give up. It’s temping to be hard on yourself if you don’t see immediate progress, but if you keep working and networking it will come in time.
#7: What does a perfect day in your life looks like? Do you follow any particular routine?
We don’t really follow any routines—when we are home, we are typically working on our computers most of the day. But, a perfect day to us would be to do some type of adventurous activity in the morning, such as hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, etc. Then in the afternoon/evening we would spend time getting work done, relaxing and exploring the destination we are currently in.
#8: Where do you come from originally and where you call home now? Can you give us some insider tips about your hometown?
We are originally from Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, and we now call Saint Paul, Minnesota home. We love living in the “Twin Cities” and enjoy all the outdoor adventures that can be found within the city limits, such as kayaking on the lakes and rivers and hiking and biking the extensive network of trails that run throughout the entire metro area. Also, most people are surprised to find how great the art culture is in Minneapolis/St. Paul—you can always find fantastic broadway shows at the theaters, we have a wonderful music scene with live music almost everywhere you turn and plenty of great museums!
#9: Do you read, write, draw, listen to music, sing, watch movies or do anything else while traveling? How’s your relationship with technology and which gadgets are taken with you everywhere?
Finally, how about your favorite book and movie titles?
We are big fans of music; we always have tunes playing and we love going to live shows, as well. We also write and take tons of photos and videos when we travel. We are a bit technology dependent and have our phones and cameras with us at all times. One of our favorite movies is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and one of my favorite books is The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.
#10: Do you keep a bucket list? Which are your craziest travel dreams? Where are your favorite destinations on earth?
Our bucket list grows longer every day, but currently at the top of our list is Antarctica, Greenland, Patagonia and New Zealand, and one of our favorite destinations is Iceland. I guess we are on a bit of a glacier kick lately!
Thanks so much! Can’t wait to catch up with you somewhere around the world soon!
Browse more On The Road interviews and learn how to successfully combine travel and work.