Interview with Michelle and Matt: Founders of We At the Sea

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Interview with Michelle and Matt: Founders of We At the Sea

Hello Matt and Michelle, can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

Hi Erika! Of course, we can. We are Matt and Michelle, the couple behind We at the Sea and @weatthesea (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter). We are full time professionals and part-time world travelers that enjoy sharing or trips and adventures.

Before blogging, Michelle was always the one researching and planning our travel and then doing the same for all our friends and colleagues. Now, we get to share a bit of everything we do, experience, and have learned with everyone.

Outside of traveling, together we enjoy all things with our dogs (2 Pugs and a Frenchie), trying new wineries and local breweries, and spending time outdoors. Luckily we are in Southern California, which makes it really nice year round.

What are your focus areas and why?

Cruise, Travel, & Adventure! Cruise – Everything ocean and river cruising. Travel – On land trips by plane, train, and car. Adventure – once in a lifetime adventures and everything on our bucket list.

Our goal is to see the world together, one destination and experience at a time. We have learned that all destinations have a ‘best’ way to explore and we intend to discover it.

Michelle cannot get enough of the ocean and being at sea. Matt loves adrenaline rushes, pushing himself to his limit, and all things historic. Together, we take our individual passions and combine them into trips for both of us.

How would you describe “We at the Sea” in few words?

A little practical, a little inspirational, and a lot passion to see the world.

Where do you think “We at the Sea” is making an impact?

Matt’s bad travel luck has shaped everything from how we pack and plan to Michelle’s crazy focus on checking every bucket list box. Along with our lessons, we hope that our readers benefit from our years of travel experience and Michelle’s love of getting the best deals for the best of all travel experiences.

Like those from other countries already do, we want our fellow Americans to follow their wanderlust and explore. We want to help them make travel a priority. We hope in some small way, we are doing just that.

What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while traveling and starting “We at the Sea”?

Time and balancing the experiences has been the biggest challenge.

When you are traveling to document your journeys, it is so different than traveling on vacation. When we first discussed starting the blog and creating content, I could feel a shift in how we traveled. It took a bit, but we learned to balance the experience and the documentation aspect of our trips and experiences.

That means, however, that while we are experiencing our destination and events, I am not writing any of the content I’ve scheduled myself to create. From our travels last month alone, I have 20 more blog posts waiting to be written that I need get to around my freelance contracts.

Of course, sponsored content takes priority, so although I cannot wait to post about some of our adventures, I have to prioritize. What a great problem to have though, right?

On top of being entrepreneurs, you both have outside jobs and side gigs, what are your rules for maintaining a balanced life?

This is one of the toughest aspects for the both of us. We are both the types of people that return home from trips needing a ‘vacation from our vacation.’ We are also the types that are always working (it’s 11:14pm right now, for example). That said, over the last decade we have learned so much about how to do this the right way.

Michelle left a role in Higher Education leadership to freelance consult and write, which helps. She can work on the road, or from home, which helps balance things. She can take care of our house, our dogs, and have things situated so we can travel at the drop of a hat. Things we couldn’t do when we were both working demanding full-time roles that required a lot from each of us.

Matt’s full-time role also involves a lot of travel, so we learned to tack on some of our adventures onto his travel schedule. Michelle can work on the road while he works, the evenings can be about discovering our location, and then we can begin our next adventure as soon as his conference or trip is finished.

Our rules are that we set personal boundaries about working. It starts with defining what work is for us (as entrepreneurs, this can get muddy) and then defining how many hours we can set aside. Essentially, we allow ourselves to work no more than 9 hours a day, 6 days a week. This includes the aspects of our travel that are dedicated to our blog, guest posts, working with brands or sponsors, and the social media related to it all. Even though we aren’t turning out a light and leaving a dedicated office, we make ourselves mentally disconnect in the same way any time we are on the road.

You both started “We at the Sea” because of your love of travel, what has been your greatest adventure?

This is so tough! We have been incredibly blessed in our lives to have seen many amazing places and met many amazing people.

Our greatest travel adventure together was our 2016 trip to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos in Oaxaca, Mexico. We spent a week exploring the city and surrounding areas, visiting local cemeteries with families celebrating the lives of their ancestors, enjoyed ruins, and also swam in a natural spring and rock formation cliff-side pool. It was once of those trips you can never repeat because everything was just too perfect.

Our most unique adventure has to have been during our trip to London last month. We were lucky enough to have been invited, and attended, a black-tie reception and dinner in the member’s dining room at The House of Commons. Definitely a once in a lifetime event I cannot wait to blog about!

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs, travelers and adventurers who want to live off the beaten path?

Plan, save, and just do it! The worst advice I ever received was to spend years saving so that I could enjoy travel in retirement.

I’m saying just the opposite! Do not wait until retirement to travel.

Experiencing the world changes you and gives you a more unique, broader perspective. Work hard to get your affairs in order, plan your trips and a general timeline. Then, get out there.

I will always suggest seeing at least part of the world by cruise ship. Matt will always tell you to experience other parts with just a back pack and a map. Together we will tell you to see enough of the world that you know how you enjoy traveling. That is when you can be content.

Any juicy travel tips?

One of Michelle’s favorite phases when traveling is, “you have received a complimentary upgrade…” Doesn’t matter where or what type of travel or trip. An upgrade is always a good thing!

So how do we get them? My biggest tip is to always send an email to confirm any and all reservations and to simply ask if any upgrades are available. Sometimes I get responses about upgrades and their fees. More often than not, we receive an upgrade of some type complimentary. It is one reason I’m very loyal to the chains and brands we belong to.

Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Our blog is here to inspire and assist our readers with their travels. I love hearing from readers interested in certain trips or requesting our guidance. I love also love to travel plan!

That said, readers are always welcome to contact me directly with questions or suggestions on what they would like to see next. I promise to always respond and either post about it or help them one on one. Whatever fits the scenario!




  • Michelle

    Thank you so much for the interview! Loved doing it! 🙂

    November 16, 2018 at 1:22 pm
    • Erika

      Thank you, Michelle. It was great to interview you – we love your blog! Keep up the good work!

      November 18, 2018 at 9:25 am