Tia Mowry Wants To Send You On A Bucket List Vacation - Exclusive Interview

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With the plethora of streaming services available to us, there is an abundance of TV show options out there. However, some reminisce about a simpler time: the '90s. Considered by some as the golden age of sitcoms, particularly for the rise in numerous successful Black family sitcoms, the '90s were a great time for television. One popular sitcom that many '90s kids have continued to fondly remember is "Sister, Sister," which featured twin sisters Tia and Tamara Mowry as long-lost sisters who are reunited and have to navigate life with each other. 

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Over 20 years after the show ended, Tia has since acted alongside the legendary Smokey Robinson, written a top-rated cookbook, and become an advocate for women's health issues and Black woman entrepreneurs. When Tia wants to relax and reconnect with her family, including her sister Tamara, she enjoys traveling around the world and learning about other cultures.

After seeing how much joy traveling has brought her, Tia decided to partner with Marriott Bonvoy and Chase to promote a contest that provides a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for three lucky winners. Each of these three winners get to choose a travel experience worth $50,000, picking any Marriott Bonvoy hotel around the world and even getting to select dining options in the city of their choice. Tia Mowry spoke exclusively to The List about what's going on in her life right now, her love for travel, and why she wanted to promote this life-changing opportunity to everyone.

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Tia Mowry says her relationship with twin sister Tamara has evolved since Sister, Sister

It's been over 20 years since "Sister, Sister" wrapped up. What's your relationship like with Tamara now and has it changed since "Sister, Sister?"

That's a really good question. The coolest thing about life in general is you're constantly evolving and things are constantly changing. My relationship is very different from when we first started "Sister, Sister" to now. I feel like now, we can share each other's experiences, meaning motherhood, life. What we've learned, too, is that when we were younger, we felt like there were some societal pressures that made us feel like we had to be alike and like everything that each other liked — there were no differences. 

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Once we hit our 20s and our 30s, we were fighting for our individuality, saying, "Yes, we are twins. Yes, we do like the same things, but we're also different people."

We've had to learn how to embrace each other's differences and respect each other's differences, whether it's political issues or motherhood. We're different in so many ways, but we're also alike in so many ways. We've learned [that] when you're the yin or the yang, or when there's some differences and you respect them and you come together, you're actually a more well-rounded unit. Now, we have more of a foundation when it comes to our union and our relationship.

I had just traveled with my sister. We met up in Florence together. When I say "We had the best time," we weren't thinking about anything else, but really, our sisterhood. We weren't even focusing on motherhood, which is what we do more on a regular basis. To be with one another and focus on having a great time and being sisters — our husbands were sick of us. 

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They were like, "Okay, when are y'all going to stop taking selfies? And why is this taking so long? We need to just keep the ball rolling." We have a great time. That's the dynamic of our relationship now. It has more weight and more of a foundation to it because of what we've learned in life and what we've gone through in life.

Tia's recent trip to Italy was eye-opening and life-changing

What would you say is the number one highlight of your trip to Italy?

I'm so excited to be partnering up with Marriott and the Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. They're launching this incredible contest called the Boundless Bucket List contest. The reason why I bring that up is because, when I travel, it's all about feeling inspired and growing and learning about different cultures, learning about different foods, learning about different religions.

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One of my highlights of traveling to Italy and France with my family is learning about the culture and learning about how people live, because we are all different but we're also all very alike in many ways. I remember when we were walking all over Florence, and I thought what was so beautiful and something that I don't necessarily see here is people really embracing love. 

I'm a lover, and it wasn't just once or twice, I saw many couples holding each other and spending this beautiful moment together. Basically, it was like time stood still for them. Nobody else mattered but [those] two, and I was like, "Oh wow, this is beautiful, this is amazing," and then I would see it again. I was seeing a lot of it, and it's an Italian thing where people are very open to express themselves and express love in such a beautiful way.

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My point is that I love to learn about different cultures and experience different cultures. No matter how many times I go to Italy or no matter how many times I travel, I'm always learning something new, even about myself.

What was your favorite Italian dish when you were there?

It was this pasta, and it was [a] very simple pasta. It had this creamy sauce, but it was marinara-based. The way that this pasta and this sauce came together was like [chef's kiss]. The other thing I should say about the pasta that was good — it's hard to pick, [and] you'll probably freak out about this, but sardines and how they eat their sardines. 

They eat it on their pizza. They do all of that, but a staple way of how they eat it is they basically put it on bread. It's this small piece of bread and then you put the sardine on top and sometimes you can put some butter or olive oil. When I say sardines — these sardines were so delicious, and I don't eat sardines. I don't eat them here, but the way that they're so fresh from the Mediterranean, it is like [chef's kiss]. Oh my gosh, so delicious.

Tia is helping promote a travel contest by Marriott Bonvoy and Chase that will allow three lucky winners to enjoy a travel experience

You're helping to promote this travel contest that you've partnered with Marriott Bonvoy and Chase on. Can you tell me a little bit more about that and why you decided to help promote it?

I'm very inspired by traveling. This partnership is in alignment with what I believe in and what they stand for. The "why" behind this campaign is just basically encouraging people to get out in the world and explore and create beautiful and amazing experiences. They have this awesome contest called the Boundless Bucket List contest. This is a contest where three winners will have the opportunity to travel to a destination that's on their bucket list. 

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It's extremely accessible, which is another reason why I like it. It's very easy to join. All you have to do is go to boundlessbucketlist.chase.com, submit a Pinterest board of your place, your destination that's on your bucket list, the place that you have always wanted to go to or dreamed of. Then, you either do a 60-second video or an essay explaining why this would be life changing for you, why this is so important for you. This is valued at $50,000.

I'm so excited because I know what it feels like to travel and to learn and to grow. I feel like the more you have this worldview of what our world is, it builds character. If we all could get out more and not be so focused on our own ways of living, you would be less judgmental. If we have more people in this world that are giving and loving and accepting, what an awesome world would that be. That's one of the main reasons why I'm really excited to be bringing awareness to such an amazing opportunity.

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You brought up that the three winners get to choose from different travel destinations and experiences. Do we know what some of those options look like?

It's pretty much anywhere, where you want to go. What's really cool is, it's not just this contest, it's not just all about giving them the opportunity to go to one of their favorite places or destinations in the world. They'll also be able to have incredible dining experiences and also be able to stay at a hotel that is basically a Marriott property that's supporting this Bonvoy campaign. That could be a hotel such as the Ritz-Carlton. It's such an amazing opportunity.

Tia reflects on the importance of cultural awareness and education across generations

You're talking about creating a Pinterest board. I would like to know what is on your dream vacation Pinterest board?

Right now, it would be Tokyo, Japan. I say that because I haven't been there and I'm really saving myself from going there, because I want my first experience into Tokyo to be with my son. My son, Cree, he's 11. I told him that once he's a teenager, I would love to travel with him and to go there. 

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He loves all things anime. He loves the culture, he loves the food, from ramen to sushi. I said, "What better way for him to learn and be educated about a place or a culture that he's so passionate about than actually going there?" That would definitely be on my Pinterest board. What are the top five places to eat at, or what are the top five places to visit in Tokyo?  Best sushi, best ramen, best gardens — the list goes on and on.

I want to pivot a little bit to your TV/movie career. What was it like getting back into the sitcom world with Netflix's "Family Reunion"?

I feel so blessed and grateful to be able to still be working in this industry and acting. It's something that I'm really passionate about, and to be able to do a show such as that was extremely fulfilling and rewarding. This is a show that is multi-generational, meaning children can watch it with their parents, and children can watch it with their grandparents. It's also a great platform to educate children.

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We were able to tap into conversations and topics that people wouldn't necessarily talk about, like police brutality when it comes to young black boys. Being a parent myself, we were also able to talk about the natural cycle of life, meaning, when you have somebody pass away, how do you bring up those topics to your children when it is a part of our life and a part of our world? For them to be able to make it entertaining, a safe place for families to watch, and educational, that's why this show resonated with so many audiences.

Are there any updates? Do we know if there's going to be a Part 5 by any chance?

No. It was pretty bittersweet when we found out that we got picked up, because they told us, "The good news is that you guys got picked up, but the other news is, this is your last season." Especially when it comes to streaming, to have four parts or to basically do four years of this television show, I am very proud of and I'm very grateful and I'm definitely walking away from this show feeling very fulfilled. I loved playing Coco. She is the closest character to who I am as a person in real life. She's a fun mom. She's all about embracing and accepting all things and I really loved playing her.

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Tia on working with legendary Motown musician Smokey Robinson and upcoming projects

I know you recently starred in Lifetime's "Miracle In Motor City." What was it like filming alongside Smokey Robinson?

Smokey Robinson was incredible. This is a legend. Smokey Robinson has been around for years and he was a part of the incredible Motown movement. Why that is so impactful to me is because my mother grew up around that time and I, because of her, grew up listening to Smokey Robinson and all of the other entertainers that he was around and created music with. 

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My point is, to be able to be creative with him and to work with him, it was such an honor. The thing that I like to share is, he's this legend but he's also very humble. You don't really see that a lot. To see his humbleness and his spirit was amazing. We'll text each other and I'm still going, "Oh my God." He says, "How you doing, girl? How you doing, darling?" And I'm like, "Oh my God, this is Smokey Robinson." He's really cool. He's a really nice guy.

Do you have any additional upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?

I am always doing something. I always have something under my sleeve. Some of the things that I can talk about is, I do have a cookware line: Spice by Tia. I'm all about encouraging and inspiring people to get into the kitchen and have a great time. I have some great essentials for people like yourself. If you want to have a great time in the kitchen, I try to set you up for success.

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I have a YouTube channel, Tia Mowry's Quick Fix, where I'm doing inspiring videos, talking about my personal life stories, the things that I've gone through, and also cooking — fun, easy hacks. I do have some other things under my sleeve. I can't necessarily talk about it, but look out for it soon. I love being an entrepreneur, I really do.

My purpose in life is to talk about the importance and the awareness about representation, especially when it comes to women and women of color and diversity. I have a platform to be able to have a voice and if I can bring change in any kind of way to make our lives easier and better, then I'm all for it, continuing to push that narrative.

Tia says organization is key to successful home cooking

In addition to being an actor, you're an accomplished author. In 2021, Food Network dubbed your cookbook, "The Quick Fix," one of the best cookbooks of the year. What are your tips for getting cooking for anyone that might be a little apprehensive?

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Have a glass of wine while you're cooking. It'll relax you [and] take a little bit of your anxiety away. No, on a serious note: A hack is, and I actually mentioned this in my book, "The Quick Fix Kitchen." My goal is to set you up for success. First of all, organize your kitchen. When things are in disarray or when they're all over the place and you don't know where anything is, it can make the experience not so great. Organize your kitchen. Make sure that heavier items such as the food processor or the blender are on the bottom, as opposed to the top.

Organize your pantry. I always love to store my ingredients in clear bottles so that you can see what you have, what you don't have, the essentials that you need when it comes to cooking, so you don't always have to go to the grocery store. Get some rice, get some pasta — different types of pastas — get some beans so that you have pretty much everything that you need. I give a list of this in my cookbook too. For the fridge, [you want to keep] dairy, milk, butter, cheese, stuff that's on hand or handy, so you're not so overwhelmed.

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To enter the Marriott/Chase Boundless Bucket List contest, click on this link and follow the instructions. First, you'll be asked to create a Pinterest board featuring your dream destination. Then, you will either have to submit a one minute video or a short essay that talks about how winning this contest would change your life. The contest starts today and ends October 6, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

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