Interview by Summer Y.L. Photography by Rachel Kuzma
Diana Reyes and her husband, Matthew Mills, are the power couple everyone aspires to be. Diana’s intensity and warmth are balanced out by Matthew’s dry British humor and charm. When the pair first met in Kenya, sparks flew instantly. The couple has been inseparable ever since.
The connection and love between Diana and Matthew is unmistakable. The pair supports each other at work, shares ideas and inspires one another to be the best version of themselves. It’s easy to tell that they aren’t just a “couple.” They are best friends.
Diana is the head of the popular lifestyle blog, “Flight of Spice.” The blog’s mission is to inspire readers to take risks and follow their passions in order to live their best lives. Matthew is a coffee trader who travels often for his job. Although the two are very different, their love for adventure and each other has created a strong bond between them.
Matthew and Diana have lived in many countries together, have grown with each other and have embraced each other’s very distinct culture every step of the way.
Diana, who gave us the exclusive coverage to announce her pregnancy in this interview, and Matthew will be expecting their first child in 2018.
Let’s get into the conversation we had with the power couple below.
- What do you do?
Matthew: I am a coffee trader. I buy and sell coffee around the world working with coffee producers, importing the coffee here into North America, and buy and sell to coffee distributors.
Diana: I’m a lifestyle blogger here in NY, and I have a design company, Alva De La Selva (link http://alvadelaselva.com/contact/) with my brother in Mexico. We do product design. (According to Diana’s website, the design studio is, “where aesthetic and real-life inspiration are curated.”) The focus is lighting.
- What have you been working on recently that you can share?
Diana: I’ve been focusing on giving my blog more of a design focus. So I’m focusing on fashion from a design angle. The motto is “design your life,” so to give a bit more depth to everything.
- How many countries have you lived in? Which country made the biggest impact on you, and why (be specific)?
Matthew: Obviously England, Kenya, Colombia, Costa Rica, and I’m now in the United States. To say which one had the biggest impact is very, very hard because each place is very different, special and impactful. Possibly, because of the link, Kenya. It’s the first country I left home for. I lived there for 3 years, and that’s where I met my wonderful wife.
Diana: I’ve lived in Mexico, Spain (first, I had an internship there and it turned into a job so, I ended up staying there for a bit), Australia, Kenya, Colombia, Costa Rica and The United States.
I’d have to say Australia made the biggest impact on me. I arrived for the first time, and it felt like home. The weather, the people, the balance of career and lifestyle… everyone is super relaxed. There is a really high level of education, so the conversations are around art. I don’t know, I love Australia!
- How many languages do you speak? Any languages you want to learn?
Diana: I’m completely bilingual in English and Spanish. I studied French for 5 years, but I don’t consider myself fluent. If I could, I would obviously perfect French, learn Italian and (maybe in another life) I’d like to learn Mandarin.
Matthew: I speak English and Spanish. With Spanish, I wouldn’t go so far to say I am fluent, but it’s pretty good. When we met, I didn’t speak any.
- How did you meet?
Matthew: Diana was traveling from Mexico to Australia and was coming to Kenya for a short stay. We met each other in Kenya, and the spark happened, and I spent the next year chasing her to Australia.
- How do you inspire each other and work together?
Diana: I think I’ve learned a lot from Matthew. I’m very creative, and I’m very abstract in my thinking, so he grounds me a lot. I really like the way he works, and I’ve learned a lot from him. I try to support him with coffee. He travels a lot and stuff, so I let him do his thing.
We bounce ideas off each other all the time. Also, he’s my photographer.
Matthew: I think, particularly because of the way we have lived, we are best friends. We do everything together. Each time we change countries, we have to do that. We support and guide each other all the time. It’s a natural state.
As for specific projects, we do everything together… the design business, my coffee, the travel, whatever it is. We kind of just do it together in a natural manner.
- What are your favorite parts about each other’s culture?
Diana: Matthew’s definitely not going to say the food. He can’t do spice.
Matthew: I’m a complete wimp.
Diana: I actually grew up in a British school, from kindergarten through the end of high school. I guess I was forced into being an anglophile from a very young age.
For example, I’m a huge Mony Python fan. The culture is so proper and funny. I got it! The sense of humor. My favorite thing.
Matthew: In terms of Mexico, it is beautifully vibrant and diverse country and culture. I’ve always been fascinated by its history, and how deep that goes. I’ve studied the history, and what makes it such a dynamic country and culture.
Diana: He’s an honorary Mexican!
- What is the place (country) you call home?
Diana: My heart will be always in Mexico. That’s home. However, where I think the both of our hearts are at ease is in Costa Rica. We’re very outdoorsy.
Matthew: For us, we were there for 5 years, the quality of life is probably the highest we’ve ever experienced. It’s somewhere we’d love to go back to at some point and spend some more time.