“Nothing comes quickly or easily, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance.” With Ming Zhao & Talisa

Nothing comes quickly or easily, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. Before you start to see any consistent results it will be many months and so you have to have the passion to keep going during this time! At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to […]

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Nothing comes quickly or easily, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. Before you start to see any consistent results it will be many months and so you have to have the passion to keep going during this time!

At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.

As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Talisa from Two Wander.

Two Wander are digital content creators currently based in South East Asia. They document their adventures on their lifestyle blog and Instagram account with the aim of inspiring others to travel and live more mindfully.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

Thank you! We met in London in 2013, quickly fell in love and then became disillusioned with the “big city life” so I decided to set off around South America for 6 months where we first caught the travel bug. We wanted to find a way to keep up this new independent lifestyle so set up www.twowander.com in an attempt to do so but had no idea what we were doing with it! Eventually, we moved back to the UK briefly and then to Italy (where my family is from) to lead a more “stable” life but still couldn’t shake that feeling and so finally, 5 years later, we set up our Instagram profile and started taking our blog more seriously and here we are!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Honestly, the people we’re most grateful towards are all the influencers we follow on Instagram inspiring others to find their calling and live a life that’s true to themselves, as well as the people that are just starting out and trying to carve their own path because they’re the ones who give us the determination to achieve our goals and showed us it was possible in the first place! Of course, working together, none of this would be possible without each other and we are so so thankful we found a soulmate and business partner all in one.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Our website was so terrible when we first started! We were too eager to begin and started trying to run before we could crawl. We really had no idea what we were doing or the direction we wanted to go in. At that point, we were focussing solely on illustration (as opposed to illustrated photography which is part of what we do now) and so everything was a cartoon drawing and it looked more like a kid’s entertainment website rather than a professional travel and lifestyle business. We learned to gather the information necessary before starting and making sure to proceed one step at a time so as to not get too ahead of ourselves, Skillshare has been a massive help in this department!

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

Really don’t give up because you have to play the long game. Nothing comes quickly or easily, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. Before you start to see any consistent results it will be many months and so you have to have the passion to keep going during this time! Along this line, a huge piece of advice is to make sure you have money saved if possible so that you can allow yourself the luxury of time to dedicate solely to your project. We had to put our plans to the side many times (and still do) to take on other work that allows us to fund our personal goals.

Can you share with our readers some of the strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

Consistency is the absolute key, we cannot stress this enough! Times when life’s got in the way (such as first moving to China) we took breaks off of Instagram and it massively affected our engagement. Make sure you have a durable long-term strategy in place so you don’t fall off track. A lot of it is just habit and treating it like a business from the get-go. We use Later and Tailwind to schedule in our posts on Instagram and Pinterest to make sure we’ve always got content lined up. Also, it always bears repeating that it’s supposed to be “social” so make sure to always answer back to comments, DMs, reach out to others directly, etc. and form genuine connections.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart. You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

Our first daily self-care practice that helps our bodies thrive is 30 minutes of yoga as soon as we wake up. It energizes us and sets our mood for the whole day. We’ve been doing it for so many years it would feel weird now if we didn’t do it. Even if we have to get up early for a flight or something, we make sure to squeeze in at least 10 minutes because we know it makes such a difference to how we feel.

Another big one for us is trying to fit in a daily walk as much as possible to not only get the body moving but also soak up all that natural light that makes such a difference to our mood and energy levels! We also try and spend some time walking in nature at least once a week, whether at the beach or going for a hike in the hills, because this really allows us to re-set and decompress from the week and go into a new one with a refreshed sense of vitality.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

My mind thrives when I get some daily reading in, a “luxury staple” as I like to call it because I feel it’s so necessary for feeding my mind yet so easy to fall out of habit with! Reading makes my heart thrive too by relaxing me and helping to disconnect a bit. We’re also obsessed with podcasts for both heart and mind and listen to them almost daily. Our favorites at the moment are School Of Greatness, Happy Place, Mindbodygreen, How To Fail, Deliciously Ella and Russell Brand Under The Skin. They, again, allow us to disconnect a bit but also nourish our souls!

Finally, daily morning meditation and journalling help my mind and heart thrive like nothing else. It feels like my brain is being scrubbed clean and then I’m giving myself a giant internal hug.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Getting a good amount of sleep is paramount for me to feel beautiful because it instantly puts me in a good mood when I’ve slept well (as well as reducing my dark circles haha). To ensure this, we make sure to keep a consistent sleep/wake schedule, turn off all electronics an hour before bed and drink two cups of relaxing tea every night. Then, when I’m in bed, I do another quick meditation and it knocks me out like a light!

When my body feels good, I feel good so yoga definitely helps with that but so does food. We cook everything from scratch at home and try to get 10 fruits and veggies a day!

I feel beautiful when my skin looks good so I make sure to always take care of it. I make my own natural face wash, toner and moisturizer because I couldn’t find ones I liked enough and always make sure to wash my face before bed. My secret tip in this department is to gua sha nightly, I’m absolutely obsessed with it- it feels like a mini spa session every time I use it and I haven’t had a spot in years!

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle absolutely changed our lives. It expanded our perspective on so many things and made navigating all aspects of life that little bit less stressful. The Headspace app was also a really big game-changer for us by introducing us to meditation, even though we don’t currently use it anymore because we follow our own practice, we used it religiously for 5 years and the serenity it gave us in the face of uncertainty and change etc. is something we’re so thankful for. The Holistic Psychologist on Instagram is also such a major source of inspiration and change for our perception of the world.

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

I think it would definitely have to be getting cupping on our feet. We didn’t realize this was a customary practice after getting a massage in China so I was pretty shocked when they lit one and put it on my heel, it was not a sensation I enjoyed haha- neither was getting a fish pedicure (I guess I have ticklish feet).

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

We would like to inspire a movement of complete, total acceptance. Acceptance of ourselves, others and the world around us. When we totally accept ourselves, flaws and all, we can accept others more readily by not coming from a place of insecurity. When we accept the world around us as it is, not as we wish it were, we get less stressed and can react from a place of love, not fear. I believe if we can fully accept the present moment so many of the problems we create in our heads would disappear and we can use that time more beneficially for ourselves, others and the planet.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

We would absolutely love to have lunch with any of the people we mentioned above that have inspired us! It would be amazing to meet someone who impacted our lives so drastically from a distance and speak about it in person. Also, I’m sure it’s everybody’s dream to meet Oprah right?

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

They can find us on Instagram @_twowander_ and Pinterest @hellotwowander, or check out our blog www.twowander.com

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

Thank you so much! It was a pleasure speaking with you.

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