Talent Spotlight: Get To Know The Miljians!
The Miljians joined the Pulse family earlier this year, and we can't get enough of their contagious enthusiasm for traveling and new experiences. From raising children on the road, to staying creative and inspired, the Miljians walked us through their day-to-day and how traveling over the past year and a half has changed their lives.
You have been on the road since September 2017. What sparked the impulse to leave everything behind and become full-time adventurers and nomads?
We have nothing to lose and everything to win. In June 2017, we were facing a turning point in our life. We had to change something and decide whether to stop doing what we were up to and get back to a normal life or to keep pursuing what we were doing. At one point, the solution came to us: why couldn’t we leave everything and start traveling the world? We know it sounds crazy but we approached it as a big challenge and, because we love challenges, we faced it with all our energy. There was no other choice, we had to succeed in doing this even though we did not know how to manage the situation. No rules. Just the four of us and the experience of a lifetime.
Have you learned any important lessons while traveling with kids? I’m curious how differently you experience a new country with them, as opposed to just as a couple.
When you have no home anymore and are a full-time traveling family, every day is a new chapter. Every day is a big lesson, from a new view through our window to a new supermarket or place to have lunch. New neighbors to smile at. Every single day is a new story to experience. It doesn’t matter in which country you are, the only thing that matters is your flexibility and how open-minded you are to receive the best from this beautiful adventure. “Wake Up. Smile. Cry. Smile Again. Kick Ass. Love. Repeat.” Living this life with our kids teaches us how to live in the world, how to face difficulties and embrace the country as it is. Children are the solution. They are our opportunity to be better people in this world.
How do you decide where to go next? Are the trips planned in detail, or is it more spontaneous?
It is quite simple: we pick the destination that we have always dreamt about (Bali, Mexico, Vietnam… It is something spontaneous most of the time); we plan 50% of the journey and we let the rest free to be lived to the fullest. Lately, some destinations have been fully organized based on sponsorships, such as Sri Lanka and Dubai. The most important thing we are focused on is to take the time to live local life, explore true cultures and admire new landscapes. That’s life!
Do you remember one country or city in particular as having been unforgettable? Do the kids have their own special memory of a particular place?
We have always said that Vietnam is our home. We love Vietnamese people, especially how they put women and children first. Teo and Lia have truly appreciated countries that love kids (such as Asia and Mexico). But, above all, our kids are fascinated by places where they have seen animals everywhere, such as monkeys in Thailand and elephants in Sri Lanka. Every time we talk about Lia feeding a giraffe with a carrot in Singapore, they both start laughing! :-)
A question for Julien... has traveling influenced your photography aesthetic? Do different cultures and landscapes shift the way you decide to create content while you are there?
Of course, it has changed my way of thinking and breathing photography. Every day we experience new locations, new people and new dynamics. You feel free to do what you want to do because nobody is telling you which rules you have to follow. And to be honest, it feels good!
In my work, I have a core idea in mind: what I photograph is what I want to remember on a sofa in ten years with my whole family. It is the only thing that matters. Everything I do in this adventure, I do it based on this idea. The rest is secondary. “Photographing memories is what matters most.”
A question for Miki... do you have any tips for creating fresh written content while always on the go? How do you find the space and time to focus on your writing when everyday takes you on a different adventure?
What I write is based on our daily lives and how it has changed throughout the years. Since the beginning, I’ve been a truly nostalgic woman. I just love mixing the past with the present. But what I adore the most is writing about my children and how life with them can be honestly super fun. They truly are a big inspiration and motivation. Changing cities and countries approximately every 3 to 4 days gives me the right input to be inspired by the place I’m living in. When you are traveling, your curiosity and your creativity reach the highest level ever. And I love that.
Finding the right time and space to write is not as easy as you would imagine. I have to be flexible and write in every situation, hoping that one day I will have the chance to do it seated at a table, on white paper, and with a pen in my hand. I’m sure it will happen soon. :-)
Do you get the opportunity to meet fellow creatives while on the road? I’m curious if you have made any meaningful connections with both locals and other travelers.
Not a lot honestly, though we have met a lot of families and couples in each country we have visited. We were convinced it is the best way to get in touch with real day-to-day life. This is the way to be as close as possible to locals and what has made us more comfortable with the places and people. New Delhi, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh, Tokyo, Mexico City, New York. Different places, a big and inspiring melting pot, but one common point, which is creating a better life for ourselves. This last point is what shakes us. You travel thousands of miles but, in the end, it is the same energy that animates us. The same energy that makes us pursuing what we do, the same positive vibes that push us beyond our limits.
What is your next dream destination, and do you expect to be heading out there in the near future?
Our life is changing a lot in these last days. There is no time for relaxing but this is exactly the aspect that we love the most and that pushes us to never give up. Our next destinations will be Qatar and Vietnam, each for more than a month. We have planned to develop solidarity campaigns to sustain local projects there. It has been now almost 600 days without a home, moving every 10 days from a house to another with two little children. No set city at this point, but things are going quick with us, so who knows where will we live? ;-)
Do you have any recommendations for a family wishing to embark on a similar adventure with their children?
We don’t know how many people ask us this question. It is everybody’s dream! But like every dream, it is really hard to transform it into reality. I always use the same example: “If you love Disney, working at Disney will change your dream into a reality. Are you ok with that? It will change the way you see Disney. Are you available to accept compromises on your dream? That’s the question." We accept it with a big smile :-) Based on our experience, there are the essential 5 conditions to have: We are talking about a one-way ticket to the world with no home base. We are independently financed. Stability in your relationship is necessary since you are going to work 24/7 with your lover. If you deal with daily difficulties as a team, your relationship will get stronger and your project consequently will get more intense and fascinating. Healthy life: daily hard work, moving every 3-4 days, homeschooling for kids, “light” relax time. Take care of your health and what you eat is really important. Flexibility and being open-minded: you have to adapt quickly to every new place you’re going to live in. Nobody will help you to feel comfortable at the beginning. You’ll have to grab every opportunity because if you don’t do it, you will come back home after two weeks. Think about your children: everything you do, you have to do it thinking about your children. In ten years, how can this experience give them extra tools to face life in a better way? Focus on what you will love to see in your photo album when this adventure will come to an end. History is fundamental. It is what remains. Positivity: when you feel down, take ten minutes to breathe and then stand up. That’s the maximum you have. No more words. Life is power. Live it. Stand up. And finally, the most important point when embarking on an adventure is having a story to tell. be unique. Be proud of yourself and show it to the world. Do what you really love and share it. The only thing you are incredibly good at is being yourself. "Be the family you wanted as a child and the world will thank you."