Wouldn’t it be great to live life with the mindset that every day is like a vacation? That is exactly what Mu-Hsien Lee and Alla Feldman of Live Like You’re Traveling do. These long time time friends created an outlet that inspires culture-lovers to explore new places, try new things, and to literally live life like you’re traveling. We especially love their mission statement and their five keys to living an enriched life.
We were able to pick their brain about their favorite places, how they keep fresh content on their site, and of course how they maintain the Balanced Babe lifestyle.
BB: It must be fun to have a friend as a business partner! When and how did the two of you meet?
Alla: We met on a school bus when I moved to Illinois from New York in highschool. Mu-Hsien complimented me on my outfit, then I promptly told her all my secrets, we’ve been friends ever since!
Mu-Hsien: I was compelled by her chic New York urban vibe and we quickly became travel buddies exploring the east and west coast beaches to lush Costa Rica, the turquoise waters of Sardenga, to the countryside of France. Since graduating high school, she’s been the constant “presence” in my phone, playing long-distance friends, first when she moved back to New York, and now in Amsterdam. And somehow along the way, she’s been in-person in many key moments of our lives and it’s amazing how technology has enabled us to maintain a strong connection.
BB: When did you decide to turn your passion for traveling into something more?
Alla: Actually, we’ve been talking for years about working together in some way. There was a walking tour company we were going to create, a fancy loft in Rome we were going to buy and turn into a B&B, I believe our initial 100$ deposit is still in a joint bank account somewhere… So it was more the passion to create and work on something together that led us to start Live Like You’re Traveling.
Mu-Hsien: I think we were in a place where we were ready for a creative passion project that we could build together. Despite me being in Chicago and her in Amsterdam, it gave us an excuse to talk to each other more often and we have both always shared a desire to learn and connect with other cultures and to do so in a way that would enhance and inspire the lives of others.
BB: Can you give the Balanced Babe readers an idea of what your site, Live Like You’re Travelling, is all about?
Mu-Hsien: Live Like You’re Traveling is a movement to live with a travel mindset, to turn everyday into an exotic adventure. On the blog we explore the key concepts around traveling that motivates us to feel so curious, open, and see beauty everywhere. Through challenges and ideas that anyone can do today, we encourage our community to take action and to break up the stagnant and blah parts of our day. We take a daily trip around the world through our *global neighbors* on instagram, inspiring us through their corner of the world, with new cultures and perspective to infuse that high we get from traveling, and yes…even a week night!
BB: What have been some of your favorite moments since launching the site?
Alla: Our favorite moments working on the site happen from getting to know the amazing people we’ve interviewed or collaborated with! It was fantastic to have a chance to meet Portuguese Jewelry & Graphic Designers, Vanessa and Joanna, of dua2Por3 and explore Porto when I visited last summer.
Mu-Hsien: For me, meeting Sofia of Cuero Papel & Tijera (Artisanal Leather Goods) when she visited Chicago this fall was such a treat! She happened to be staying in an Airbnb just a short walk away, making this global neighbor into an actual neighbor! I invited her and her husband over for a home cooked American inspired meal, where she shared that one of our challenges put her into that open travel-mindset which led her to serendipitously make new international friends! Ultimately it’s all about the connections we make.
BB: How do the two of you maintain the Balanced Babe lifestyle?
Alla: I try to build into my day at least one element of adventure! The easiest way is to be, what we call a #LunchtimeTraveler! I make sure to take a full hour for lunch and use it to take a walk, nip into an art gallery, or simply sit down at a cafe with a book. For me the key is to have moments daily when I disconnect from work and do something completely different!
Mu-Hsien: I used to burn myself out, until I made some very big changes to own my own business and be able to work from home. With this flexibility, I am able to make a conscious effort to slow down and choose my pace. One of the best changes I’ve made has been to stop “rushing around.” I take breaks to go for walks, have a meaningful conversation, notice the beauty in my environment all throughout the day. Much like Alla, I make a big deal around meals, especially lunch. Both my husband and I are home at that time and we often cook together, knowing that we’re purposefully choosing the foods we eat.
BB: You’re both working women, so how do find time to stay fit? Any go-to workouts?
Mu-Hsien: Dance & Yoga. I like discovering new music and learning about a culture through dance. I studied samba dance for many years where my dance teacher would also teach in Portuguese. I loved that! Occasionally I’ll take a West African Dance class because it’s so freeing and such a great way to let go of tension. And yoga for me is such a great way to be active and calm mental activity… and it’s travel friendly! No equipment needed.
Alla: My go to workout has always been martial arts. I used to practice Ju-Jitsu and now I do Krav Maga which is a fighting technique that has been developed by the Israeli army. I love martial arts because it’s a high energy, high pace full body workout.
BB: What’s your favorite way to relax and unwind after a long day?
Alla: My moment to unwind is when I cook dinner. I find cooking so relaxing and centering because it requires complete focus. It is also very satisfactory after working in the virtual environment to actually make something with your hands that you can see, and eat!
Mu-Hsien: During the warmer months, I love working out in my garden and arranging petal pick-me-ups. During the winter months, dry brushing and a warm espom salt bath is soothing and essential.
BB: You’ve traveled a lot, but where’s your all-time favorite destination?
Alla: Such a difficult question! If I had to choose it would be places that I have shared with loved ones and where I have made friends. I will never forget standing with my husband overlooking Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia. It was then that we decided to have kids. We would love to go back and share Patagonia with our two boys.
Mu-Hsien: São Paulo, Brazil, where we got engaged and got to travel with local Brazilian friends who welcomed us into their home, lavished us with their favorite foods ,and showed us how they vacation in their own beautiful country. Our hearts were full, making new friends, and experiencing the “deliriously happy” nature of the the Brazilian culture and it combined two loves of my husband and I, samba and soccer.
BB: What’s next for Live Like You’re Travelling? Do you two have any big goals
Mu-Hsien: Ultimately we want to help others live a life in high-def. A multi-sensory, engaged life that’s grounded in travel and cultural inspiration. And part of that, requires finding our own “path” in life… creating a lifestyle we love. One that requires us to follow our beliefs to take risks and explore our authentic selves. So next up, we’re excited to be working on creating fun tools to empower people to address and breathe life and adventure into key aspects of their lives.