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Tell us something about you….
Hello! We are Kim and Raphaël (or @letyouwander on Instagram), two travel addicts raised in the Caribbean. We started @Letyouwander when we did our first big trip together, to Cuba, in 2017. We were doing a long-distance relationship at the time, which lasted almost 4 years. For us, starting @letyouwander and letyouwander.com was a way to stay connected no matter how far we were from each other. It was our passion project and it became bigger with time. Now, we not only have friends and family supporting us, but we’re sharing our journey with thousands of people.
do you have any specific goals for your videography/photography?
Yes, we do! Our dream, in the long run, is to be able to travel full time. We are not sure where we’re going exactly, but we’re enjoying the journey and trying to learn as much as possible. This is really what this all about: learning, growing and having fun while doing it. Raphael is very passionate about improving his photography skills. I, on the other hand, I’m finding my happiness in writing blog posts on letyouwander.com and doing stories. We are very lucky to find different things interesting because, when we combine them, we create something beautiful together.
how would you describe your style?
Our style is influenced by the places that raised us. We have this very tropical and Latino style coming from our country of adoption: the Dominican Republic. Rapha was raised in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, France, and Spain. I also was raised in the Dominican, France, and Sweden. And, you see, all of that created our creative DNA. We are very genuine, playful and we are not afraid to make mistakes. One feedback that comes back often from people is that we’re not trying too hard to be „Instagram perfect“. We’re just us, we’re sharing a very imperfect journey, and people can connect with us. Our style is raw, honest and clumsy. And, tropical tropical tropical!
what advice would you give for finding your personal style?
I don’t think you can „find“ your personal style. I think that you can only allow it to grow within you. We’re raised to fit in boxes, not really allowing our creative self to explore, express itself. We’re all unique. We’re all weird (and I say it as a good thing). We’re all influenced by different styles, arts, and cultures. Like a friend of ours says „we’re all soups. We all taste different because, even if we share some ingredients, they’re all mixed differently“. Each experience has its color, and our canvas will never look twice the same. Sadly, society is trying to make us look all the same. To „find“ your personal style, you have to accept that you are different and that you need to look within yourself for inspiration.
do you feel pressure (on the internet, etc)?
We have felt the pressure on Instagram, for sure. Rapha has been very passionate about our page, even before me. And, sometimes, you don’t reach your goals as fast as you’d like. Even if everyone says that it’s okay, it is hard to accept. We’ve learned to use Instagram as a tool to fulfill our dreams. Not as the only way of doing so. But, even so, social media are very demanding. And sometimes it can be hard to keep up. We learned, and the hard way, to find a balance.
do you have a favorite photo? What’s your favorite shot a project which meant a lot to you?
We actually have two. The first one is from the trip that started all of this: Cuba. We had a broken iPhone 6 and no idea that we would do an Instagram page after this, which makes it the most genuine photograph ever. The second picture is our favorite photograph, to both of us. It was taken in Rio de Janeiro, a few before we finally ended our long-distance relationship. We love it because it is us: an explosion of colors, in a country where we relate to the culture much and, our last trip goodbye before being reunited for good. We met in Rio after 5 months of not seeing each other, and this picture reflects the love and passion we have for each other.
who is the most inspiring person /artist you know and why?
As I said earlier, we are inspired by everything and everyone. It can be the people we meet while traveling, an art piece we see somewhere or book. But I think we both have a huge admiration for my parents who have given me this passion for traveling. When they talk to their travels when younger you could see Rapha’s eyes sparkling. They’ve been everywhere. They didn’t have much but they experienced a lot. Nowadays my dad tells me „Don’t play it too safe, I had the life that I had because I took risks. I don’t care if I don’t have all the money in the world today. Because, at the end of the day, I have what you can’t buy“.
goals for 2020?
Well, as you know 2020 started in a weird way. We had the amazing experience of going to the Dominican Republic for the first time together, even if we both grew up there. We came back and the COVID-19 crisis exploded. Our goal for 2020 is to put some money aside, build our platform and learn more about photography. We hope if everything calms down, to be able to start our world trip at the end of 2020, or beginning of 2021.
Your favourite place you always love to travel to? Place you would love to live one day?
We love Barcelona and Paris. We used to go there a lot when we started dating. They were our go-to city and Rapha has lived in Barcelona for a while. So these two cities hold a special place in our hearts. But, we still don’t know where we would like to live. We have high expectations. And every place has pros and cons. We never land on a conclusion. We just know that we love palm trees and the sun. Here in Sweden, we have none of these two. So yeah, anywhere that is sunny with palms will do.
How would you describe your lifestyle?
Our lifestyle is super simple. We’re trying to stay healthy, humble and active. We both love exercising, at the gym or running. We are both plant-based, and we really enjoy cooking and learning about nutrition. We are careful about our consumption but in a healthy way. We try not to buy things we don’t need, we buy cruelty-free and we don’t buy too many clothes (and even on Instagram it works). We are educating ourselves about sustainability (as a whole not just eating plants), and we try to stay close to these values.
How long have you been creating content now?
We’ve been creating content for 2 years, but we started really slow. We were not so serious about it. As I said, it was mainly to have a little project of our own during our long-distance relationship. We really started becoming more serious 1,5 years ago, when we went to Bali.
What was the best that happened to you?
The best that happened to us is this. This healthy relationship where we share the same passion for traveling. Rapha didn’t really like traveling before he met me. I forced that passion for him. And it worked, now he’s even more obsessed with it. We are good for each other, and Instagram has allowed us to use that passion and make something creative out of it.
What does motivate to you to do what you do?
We are both motivated by different things. Raphael is dreaming about photographing the wold, capture every place and, create a beautiful portfolio on Instagram or any platform that we’ll use. I, on the other hand, am passionate about meeting new people. I love writing, I love to have letyouwander.com and sharing my experience. In the long run, I’d love to work for a (or even create my own) non-profit. We both were raised in very poor countries and we’d love to work with kids. We just want to give back, you know.
How was it to move together after a long-distance relationship?
It was amazing. At first, I was petrified. I have been in a long-distance relationship before and, when we moved in together (with my ex) it went south. I was traumatized by this experience. But, Rapha was very supportive, as always. He was just very happy, and his energy just made everything easy. I actually wrote an article about it, in case you want to know more! (https://letyouwander.com/2020/01/04/long-distance-relationship-moving-in-together/) We had to make some adjustments, get used to sharing our personal space again, but it was pretty smooth.
You’re vegan, why? What is your favorite vegan recipe?
We are plant-based because the meat industry is the most polluting in the world. Farming used 92% of our freshwater and one-third is related to animal products. Animal waste (from intensive farming) is responsible for dead-zones in the ocean, we deforest the most beautiful places in the world and it has a huge impact on climate change. I have a lot of serious articles if you want! But you get the idea. Oh, and also we feel more healthy. It helped with my acne and digestive system. We love it, we’d never go back. Oh, and for the favorite recipe: vegan moussaka.
How did you meet? what was the first time?
(I think this question should go in the beginning what do you think?)
We met in France. We came back to France after the Dominican Republic. We didn’t know each other there, but shared some common friends. One evening my friends invited me to hang out „with someone that was also from Santo Domingo“ and this is how it started. We became friends. Then, we became best friends, and after a few flirts, we started dating. There is nothing more beautiful than being dating your best friend.
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