Meet Anne Ditmeyer and her fabulous blog Prêt à Voyager where she seamlessly marries design and travel into one aesthetically pleasing, adventurous lifestyle. This Paris-based blogger, world traveler, freelance designer, and writer gives us a sneak peak into her life in our interview below:
An Interview with Anne Ditmeyer of Prêt à Voyager:
1. Travel and design are obvious passions of yours. When did they begin to peak your interest?
I’ve always had a visual mind. As a kid I used to wake my mom up at the crack of dawn to make crafts. In college I studied Art History undergrad, and fell into Anthropology at that time. Later design interested me as a way to help put together and synthesize ideas. I was lucky to grow up in a household where travel was the norm. Every spring break we’d go somewhere new (I’ve now been to 47 of the 50 states), and every summer we’d visit family in Boston. On top of that my dad was regularly traveling to places like Swaziland and Malawi, so it just felt normal to me. Most travel sites out there don’t interest me, so I started Prêt à Voyager to explore the creative ways which design and travel come together.
2. Tell us the story of how your path crossed with Design*Sponge and how you began writing Sneak Peeks for them?
As soon as I discovered Design*Sponge it was love at first sight. Grace, the founder/editor and I actually have fairly similar backgrounds – same age, from Virginia, etc. and some people even think we look like sisters. I first made contact with Grace when my best friend and I offered to write the Baltimore City Guide for the site. Soon after Grace had a call for first intern, I got the job, and before I knew it I was a contributing editor. It’s hard to believe I’ve been part of the team for over 3 years now, and it’s been a joy to watch the site grow and develop.
3. Give us a sneak peak into an average day of your life.
That’s a tough question, because there is never a typical life. I’m a freelance designer, who dabbles in a lot of things, and up until I defended my thesis last week, I was also a full-time student, but even as a student I found a way to weave travel and design into what I’m doing. More and more I find myself working late, but letting myself sleep in. I like to fit in a swim whenever I can, and many days include meeting up with designers and creative folks at cafes. A couple years ago I wrote this “day in the life” post. Basically, I’m always on the move, doing, seeing, or thinking something.
4. If you had a list of best-kept travel secrets you’d recommend, which would you include and why?
My best kept travel secret is to live like a local. Doing the most mundane tasks – going to the market, sitting in a cafe, walking in the park, can be the most rewarding moments of a trip (also highly cost effective!).
5. What are some tips you can recommend for someone who is attempting to narrow down their travel destinations and pick just one this year?
Don’t go somewhere just because some list tells you to. Go with your gut and with your passions. If you’re a big reader and inspired by Russian literature, go to Russia! Do what appeals to you, and it’s ok to have an excuse for your next trip.
6. Looking out 3 to 5 years, beyond the obvious trends, what do you think will be the next big change in design?
Currently I’m really interested in the field of “design thinking” and the way that design can be used for social change. I think the platform OpenIDEO is doing a great job and leading the way. And just today I was reading in GOOD about how this kind of design thinking is making its way into schools.
Anne, it was an absolute pleasure getting to know you better! Thank you for sharing your insights and great tips for travel (hmm…you said follow your gut—curry is sounding phenomenal right now. Thailand here we come!)—we look forward to keeping up with you and your adventures on your blog! Thanks and congratulations on your thesis!