For 2 years, I have relentlessly pursued a dream of working creatively in connection to adventure and the outdoors.
I’ve put myself out there - literally, my face out into the interwebs and to countless events, coffee dates and meetings - always in my most raw, irreverent, intense form, sharing both highs and lows, both serious and silly (lots of silly 🤗). I’ve put my work out there - photographs of the beautiful places I’m fortunate enough to explore and writings where in between the lines lie slivers of my heart and soul 🔥
I booked this month away in search of clarity. But as so often happens when you finally stop, life gives you what you mightn’t expect but exactly what you need and I realise that this month is also about celebration; celebrating how far I have come and how hard I have worked to reach this point.
This point where my work and way of living give me such joy and fulfilment, where I can directly positively impact others and where I can step back and slow it down for a month without everything falling apart. There is still so much to accomplish, both qualitatively and quantitatively (💸)...but as I sit here in my favourite place on Earth, I am overcome with pride. I am really proud of myself.
The thank you’s are infinite - But without the companies + organisations who have backed me, I couldn’t call this my job and the horizon wouldn’t look so bright. Thank you @shewentwild.co, @siruiaustralia, @lululemonausnz, @jetstarnz, @macpac, @merrellaustralia, @paddy_pallin, @fribourgregion, @ilovenelsontasman ❤️
✨burning hottest, shining brightest with you✨ ///
I want you to be
unapologetically you; to never
rein yourself in and instead, search for what understands AND totally
I want this for you because even though it is something I am just now learning, I am already catching light.
And if there is ever something worth hurting for, fighting for, it’s to feel like I’m on fire •••
@canonaustralia @sigmaphotoaustralia @siruiaustralia
It is believed that one of the keys to a happy life is meaningful work.
Some of you may know that I work part-time for She Went Wild as a Marketing + Events Coordinator.
I applied for the job because it was right up my alley in terms of skills required and time commitment…
and yet as the months have passed, I've realised how this is the exact type of work and impact that brings me fulfilment.
Yesterday, I went on an introductory climbing workshop in the Blue Mountains for @shewentwild.co with @aus_school_of_mountaineering .
(We actually went to the same area where I climbed outdoors for the very first time 2 years ago ❤️)
Seeing 7 women of different backgrounds and ages walk away all so pumped from getting up the wall, from being inspired by one another and from learning new skills is, hands down, one of the greatest moments of my year. Everything they felt and learnt will stay with them for always... That’s just how adventure in the outdoors works.
And the thing is, the impact goes beyond the actual experience, with powerful knock-on effects such as realising the importance of your health, respect for nature + conservation efforts, empathy for others, building resilience + mental strength, an appreciation for the little things and a lesson to not take the big things for granted, belief in your potential…and much, much more.
I could go on for hours. But without further ado, here are some photographs from the day - I not only got to climb myself but also finally got to shoot some climbing!
It really was all 4 of my values (exploration, creativity, connection, courage) all rolled up into one incredible work day 🔥
I want you to realise how impactful it is to let people know what they mean to you - the magic you find in them, how they have changed you, how their work makes you feel, what memories you share with them that you hold onto so tightly, what you find beautiful about them.
I have often felt super bashful and vulnerable to wear my heart on my sleeve like that…but it has always been worth it.
Yes, there has been the embarrassment of coming on too strong and the fear of it not being reciprocated.
Or sometimes, there is so much love there that it fills up my whole heart and then sucks all my breath away trying to express it into words.
But even still, I strongly believe in not leaving things unsaid 🔥
And you know, it doesn’t even have to be that intense.
Over the last week, some nice things people have said to me have been, “I love seeing you happy” and “You are so easy to work with!”. They might’ve been off-hand remarks for them but they made my day.
Words are powerful - so please be careful with them…but also be generous with them ❤️
PS. I took this photo on a project with Fribourg Région Tourism in 🇨🇭 in Jan 2018. It was my second ever job with a tourism board and it was unforgettable. You can watch the vidéo thé tourism team created on my IGTV.
This coming Saturday, I will turn 29 years old.
As a way of reflecting, I’m putting together a list of 29 moments that have set my soul on fire over the last 12 months...
I remember being at this year’s Vivid Sydney and standing at the artwork, Wish Happiness, which was inspired by Tibetan prayer wheels.
"Wish Happiness transforms a playground carousel into a colourful illuminated ‘wheel of positive energy’. Visitors who turn the wheel generate a collective wish for peace and happiness to all beings.”
My wish was for those I love to find fulfilment ✨
I’m not finished recollecting my 29 moments yet…but there are already some trends I notice.
I realise that many of them involve seeing my loved ones come to life.
Seeing them ignite stokes my fire.
Here is my best friend @bc_norris on top of Rocky Mountain, just outside of Wanaka, NZ.
Ryan turned 20 on the Monday after our mountaineering course.
For someone who was still a teenager in our days in the backcountry, he showed so much wisdom in his enthusiasm for life. Youth is definitely not wasted on him.
At one point, we were hauling sleds uphill and I asked him how he was going.
He was sucking in the big ones (breathing deeply FYI) and practically exhaled, “this is the best”.
I think it is so rare to find your light at that age and I hope it never dims Ryan ✨✨✨
WHY I LOVE ART • Sometimes, words fail and that’s where art steps in.
With words, there are so many unshakeable connotations & established imagery that can immediately taint our interpretation, taking away our ability to colour it how we want.
Words are also merely not enough for when something is felt so profoundly such as heartbreak.
(By the way, I totally understand the irony of me using words to explain all this)
It may have something to do with the creative process.
If you've ever painted, sculpted or drawn, you might be familiar with that flow state you enter.
It's as though your hands are directly transferring your thoughts & feelings from your mind & heart onto your medium. All inhibition is lost. Barriers that obstruct raw truth like fear of judgement and social constructs of right & wrong are smashed through.
What is left is an honest, visceral and subliminal expression.
No dogma, rules, standards, expectations.
Art unbridles and gives me the sincerity and intimacy that I crave in life. •••
Thank you to my pal @etchd for this photo of me ❤️ I don’t have my photos of me doing or being around what I love and it is so nice to be reminded of how I look when I am full of light ✨ Photography matters xx
One month ago, I said I wanted to be more cheerful + uplifting here on IG.
I think I’ve kinda managed to do so but there is something I have to get off my chest…for selfish reasons and in case anyone has ever felt the same...
Every day, I fight between gratitude that it is more than enough and sadness that it is far from it.
There is this insatiable thirst for PASSION that has always been a deep-seated part of me.
But they’ve always told me that I’m too idealistic, with too many dreams, that fire fades so I let myself believe it and stopped looking.
But instead of feeling settled, a heart-wrenching ache has settled within me.
A feeling of incompleteness has simmered in the background, flaring up on + off for years.
I know what they say - I’ve heard it all before.
I want + expect too much that nothing would ever be enough for me.
Maybe they are right...But maybe they are wrong.
What if there’s something out there or in me, that I can find, that is more exquisite than anything I’ve ever known; that will be as close to “enough" as ever.
I think I want to live with fire so much that I am willing to burn + get burnt.
I’m wondering what the f*** is wrong with me.
I’m confused because I genuinely love so much about my life and am so filled with thankfulness every day.
I don’t know many people who know what they stand for, who put those they love first, who appreciate the little things and who attack life the way I do.
The smile you see is real and often unstoppable.
And yet so is the storm I feel that is destroying me from inside out.
I’m confused how one small person can feel so much, that I can write line after line and yet feel like I will never get to the bottom of it.
You can call me ungrateful, unreasonable, unfair but this is my truth at the moment and I’m not going to hide it or hide from it. I see the world through my heart and live with it on my sleeve and sometimes, that will be beautiful and other times, it will be like this. So there you go 😕
Sometimes, I am out of words and so I borrow them from others: "What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”
- Alan Watts
Sometimes, it helps to think that there is no right or wrong, that I am already enough as I am, to be more kind to myself xx
The views at Mount Bushwalker in Morton National Park are stunning and less crowded than the Blue Mountains. Highly recommend this short but super scenic trail.
@canonaustralia 5D Mark III and 24-105mm f/4
@siruiaustralia carbon fibre tripod
Breaking out of my Instagram mould and sharing with you what I got up to yesterday because ultimately, Instagram is part of how I express what has impressed upon me and outside of the outside, I love art (though I’d argue that the best art is found in nature 😁). Art gives an insight into another human’s story in a deeply personal and thoughtful way and it can offer commentary on issues that are so complex that only words fail.
I especially love art that is embedded in everyday life and that bridges the gap between maker and viewer; that invites you to interact with it, that engages more than just the sense of sight.
For this reason, I love sculpture (preferably that you can touch), street, installation and performance art.
Art can be beautifully and viscerally vulnerable…which is how I found the Hidden 2018 Exhibition at Rookwood Cemetery. Initially, it seems odd, maybe even insensitive, to hold an art exhibition here but it isn’t only sadness, anguish and loss that is associated with death but also remembrance, celebration and love.
Visiting a loved one who has passed on is forever an emotionally charged experience because grief never leaves…but I hope that this exhibition brings people some joy ✨
Thanks @rookwoodcemetery, @etchd, @declanblackall and @mattbarryimages for having me ❤️
Thanks @yanoflies for directing + taking the second photo of me ❤️
You know I love the mountains + the cold...but that summer nostalgia and carefreeness gets me every time. With only one week left of winter, I have to admit I’m getting excited to strip it back to basics and spend those long, sticky, languid days in a bikini from sun up to sun down, barefoot in the warm sand, salt in my unruly hair, becoming ever so frecklier, exploring every nook + cranny of the beach and its little rockpool worlds. My aim is to collect as many hot days + nights in a blissed out stupor as possible ☀️ •••
Self-portrait on my 28th birthday last year, hosted by @reflectionsholidayparks ❤️
I have always been a huge romantic. It’s something people have tried to stamp out or have believed would dissipate as I get older. Instead, the opposite is happening. As the years tick on, my heart gets bigger and I feel myself becoming increasingly rhapsodic, seeing poetry in everything and everyone.
And importantly, not being afraid to show and express it. I know that along the way, I will likely get burnt. But at least I won’t have regrets. •••
📷 photo taken by my insanely talented friend @etchd ❤️
It took us 3 x the signposted time to do the River Walk at Jenolan Caves...just one of the things that made me think about the concept of time this winter.
It was as though there was no past, no future.
We existed only in the present, experiencing moment to moment. And every moment was slow and full and we were totally taken in it, just for what it purely was. Only now, when looking back, can I assign principles like minutes, hours, metres, colours. Instead of just the feeling.
There are differing thoughts about the human construct of time. I don’t have any of my own that have taken enough shape to share.
I just know that I love to spend time so intensely that it loses all definition.
I also know that whilst we (those who are lucky enough) are always able to make more money, time is exhaustible and never the same; so how we use it should be deliberate, to the best of our ability ❤️
Moving slowly, gruellingly through a grand landscape like this teaches you your place.
That you are part of something bigger so be kind (to yourself + others) and don’t sweat the small stuff.
It also teaches you that nothing that changes you for the better will ever come easy.
And that the beautiful moments in your life will be just as fleeting as the light + conditions in the mountains...so hold still and let them saturate you.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to hold on (in fact, you shouldn’t). You just need to keep moving. Your next steps are taking you onwards and it might be beyond your wildest dreams ✨
If you dream of bigger, higher mountains, like me, I can’t recommend @aus_school_of_mountaineering’s Introductory Mountaineering course enough to place the building blocks of skill, knowledge, confidence and direction.