When you hear the word “YOLO” (you only live once) screamed out somewhere, you tend to roll your eyes and wait for something interesting (and sometimes stupid) to happen around you. The idea behind YOLO is that you should give everything a go at least once as you don’t know when or if the opportunity will arise again. As much as I hate to say this, but I do agree with the principle of YOLO. I don’t think we live once, but I think we live every single day and opportunities are always around us – we just have to see it as an opportunity. And when we see that opportunity, we need to grasp it with both hands and we just need to run with it.
Take the movie ‘Yes Man’ with Jim Carrey (yes, this movie is hilarious especially the bit where he drinks red bull for the first time!) as an example. The principle behind this is that he says ‘yes’ to everything that he is asked. Can you imagine if you said yes to everything? I must admit that I don’t say yes to a lot of things in my ‘normal’ day to day life but when I travel, it is different. I do say ‘yes’. Where would you be right this second if you did say ‘yes’ to everything? Just think about it.
You might be thinking, why am I reading this? And I thought this was an ‘About Me’ page? Well yeah, sorry, but I think if you really want to know me than you will have to get my thought processes behind why I travel and why I have been to some of the destinations I have been and to some of the things I have done.
Now that I have given you this blurb about saying ‘yes’ and taking opportunities when they arise, I should probably introduce myself. Here it goes….
Well, hello! My name is Helena Kreis and I am the writer and creator behind ‘Through an Aussie’s Eyes’. I live in Canberra, Australia and have been here for over 20 years. Canberra isn’t exactly known as the excitement capital but we have a very much ‘let’s get it done’ attitude which is definitely a good motivator. If you come to Australia, it is pretty unlikely that you will stop into Canberra (even though it is the nation’s capital) but I am hoping that I may be able to change the mind of a few people as it is actually an awesome place. Well, I will give it a go anyway!
I have a double Bachelor Degree in International Studies and Public Relations and I am currently studying remotely to get my Masters in International Security. Although it is years away until I actually finish it – sigh.
I guess I am not exactly the ‘typical’ travel blogger. I have a ‘normal’ job, meaning that I don’t solely rely on my blog to fund my lifestyle. Unfortunately my ‘normal’ job does consume a lot of my life so I really try and have a healthy balance between that, uni, this blog and the rest of my life. Coffee is a really good mate of mine. Not only do I have this standard 9-5 job but I also own my house and have 2 cats (Midnight and Sassy and they are very cute). I have a really stable life here in Canberra and I actually love it. Travel blogging allows me to go out and be adventurous and live this awesome life that I could only dream of for a couple of months a year because it must be remembered that full time travel isn’t for everyone and sometimes it just isn’t possible. I actually like the routine I have. Routine isn’t always a bad thing. You just have to remember to shake it up every now and again.
So why bother with a travel blog? I actually really like inspiring people to travel around both domestically and internationally. As a kid, I told my parents that I wanted to be an author as I just loved to write. My parents also use to take us away every school holidays. We are from Queensland so we use to do the 16 hour road trip to see the relatives every summer. My parents also use to take us out exploring all over Canberra and basically up and down the east coast of Australia. Travel and writing has always been a part of my life and always will.
As I was getting through school, I decided that I wanted a career in the Commonwealth Government (which is a typical Canberran move). I spent my high school and college days prepping to go into university. In my second year of uni, I went to Costa Rica as a part of a leatherback turtle conservation group. It was 5 weeks away and it was one of my most memorable moments in my life. Looking back, it was a pivotal moment as it really was where I was bitten by the travel bug. While I was in Costa Rica, I met a travel blogger and I had no idea it was a ‘thing’ let alone a career. I remember thinking ‘wow, that is so cool. I would love to do that’. But when I got back home, it was straight back into uni.
Fast forward a couple of years, I was doing the Bondi to Coogee in Sydney hike with my (ex) boyfriend. I told him how I had always wanted to have a career in travel and that I thought I should give being a part travel blogger a go. He basically just laughed at me and said ‘no one would ever bother reading that rubbish’. It was a bit of a kick to the guts, so I just pushed it to the back of my mind. Over the next year or so, I contemplated doing a travel blog but my ex hated me using social media and effectively controlled my use on it [side note – this was definitely a form of emotional abuse. No one, guy or girl, should ever and I mean ever, put up with that sort of rubbish. There were lots of other things that he did but I won’t go into detail. But looking back,it really is a form of domestic violence] so I ignored my urge to travel and write more. When I dumped him (you should have heard my family and friends cheer!), I was like ‘okay, I can do this’. I started out with a Facebook page and then I started to get more and more involved with travel bloggers group and boy, was it an eye opener! My little Facebook page looked so sad and lonely. So on the 23rd of April 2016, I launched Through an Aussie’s Eyes and started to get a following on my social media accounts. I had no idea the time and effort involved with travel blogging!
Over the years, I have had quite a few travel highlights. Just to name a few – bungee jumping in Costa Rica, sky diving in Wollongong, Australia, scuba diving at Scapa Flow, Scotland, snorkelling at night with manta rays on the Big Island, Hawaii, seeing geisha’s working in Kyoto, Japan and flying over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter in the US. So I guess I can’t really complain about some of the awesome stuff I have done!
To wrap it up (and in case you aren’t sick of me yet), here are 10 random facts about me for your enjoyment:
- I collect badges! I have just over a 100 and a fair few of them are from around the world. They are an awesome thing to get while travelling as they are so little and light.
- I completed a gap year in the Royal Australian Air Force in 2010.
- I had a knee reconstruction in December 2016 after I snapped my ACL playing indoor soccer.
- I really like writing letters. I have quite a few snail mail penpals from around the world.
- I play cricket and I am a leg spinner. Our cricket team is pretty good, if I do say so myself!
- There are 5 of us in my family. I am very lucky as my parents and younger
brother and sister only live a couple of suburbs away from me. My family will often feature in this blog as they are the perfect travel buddies.
- I am obsessed with writing lists. I write way too many of them!
- My favourite tv shows are The Simpsons, Orange is the New Black, American Horror Story, Pretty Little Liars, the Amazing Race and the Handmaid’s Tale.
- I had braces for two years and a year worth of twin blocks to fix my teeth.
- My favourite foods include Mum’s potato bake, hot chips, anything with lamb, chocolate donuts and friend chicken – note the unhealthyness!
Enjoy exploring my blog!