Rocky landscapes, hazy horizons and snow covered mountain tops – Renee’s Instagram feed showcases just how wonderful and awe-inspiring nature can be. Based in Boulder, Colorado, this young Aussie packs some serious talent as a budding photographer and spends her weekends exploring and capturing the outdoors.
From a small family farm in Melbourne, to the impressive landscapes of Boulder, Colorado, you’ve travelled quite a distance to make a new home for yourself. How did you decide on the US?
My husband and I first traveled to the US in 2012. We spent 3 months road tripping across the country and totally fell in love with the diverse landscapes and opportunities for adventure. In 2014 we were lucky enough to win the Green Card Lottery, which allows us to live and work anywhere in the US without constantly renewing visas. We chose Boulder because of its closeness to the mountains, young and progressive culture, and the weather. We love hiking, camping and snowboarding, so being near the mountains just makes sense. I also love the seasons here… summer is warm and sunny, fall is absolutely gorgeous, winter is like a wonderland, and spring is lush and green. Australia will always be “home” but the US is where we want to currently live and explore.
Your photography really is quite beautiful – how has travelling influenced that creative venture?
Thank you! I have always loved taking photos of my travels, but up until about a year ago I was mainly using point-and-shoot cameras or my iPhone. My husband is a professional photographer and he inspired me to purchase a DSLR and start capturing my own perspectives of the places we travel. I think for me a lot of my work is about trying to capture a moment and share it with others, as if to say “look how magical this place is, you have to see it for yourself!” I aim to capture the “feeling” behind a moment, not just the view. By doing this I hope it inspires my followers to get out and experience the world for themselves.
You mention on your blog that travel has been a big part of your life and inspiration ever since you were little. What is it that makes the experiences through travel so important to you?
Travel has taught me so much. If we simply stay inside our homes, towns, states, or even countries, we will only ever know what is familiar to us. Breaking out of your comfort zone teaches you about other cultures and opens your eyes to other ways of living. Visiting a third world country always makes me want to donate most of my possessions and never buy anything new again… for a time anyway. But in all seriousness, traveling shows you that possessions are just things that we hold onto. Experiences will leave lasting memories and encourage growth and change. Another aspect of travel that I value is the friendships made along the way. I met one of my best friends on a holiday 10 years ago, and have made countless other friendships during my travels.
With such a strong desire to see the world, what destinations are hot on your bucket list and why?
- Patagonia- for the hiking, beautiful landscapes and photography opportunities
- Faroe Islands- for the same reasons as above, but I want to visit before it blows up like Iceland has in terms of tourism.
- Africa- I want to see all the wild animals, especially the elephants
- Italy- I have only visited the Lake Como region but I would love to experience the Dolomites and the Cinque Terre. Also, Italian gelato is the best so I need to get back and experience that too…
- Greenland- it’s still so untouched and I would love to experience its unique beauty
Your scariest or most challenging moment while traveling…
Probably when I had cash mysteriously stolen in Chile. I went to report it to the local police and ended up walking out after being interrogated and feeling like I was going to wind up in jail. I was only 19 at the time and the experience freaked me out.
Most rewarding experience you’ve had while abroad…
The experience that first comes to mind would be when I traveled to India with my father and some family friends. We were involved with various projects in the small town of Ganeshpuri. I remember one afternoon playing “footy” (Australian Rules Football) with some local children and the look of pure enjoyment on their faces was just priceless.
Best travel advice you’ve ever been given…
Always have some toilet paper or tissues on you.
Best travel advice you could give to someone else…
Don’t worry if things don’t go to your original plan. Sometimes the best experiences happen when you end up doing something you didn’t plan for.
There are countless things to discover and learn when we travel – about ourselves and about the places we visit. The most valuable lesson you’ve learned while traveling is…
That I am stronger, braver, and more adventurous then I sometimes give myself credit for. After getting to the top of a steep mountain, or pulling multiple suitcases up endless hills, or dealing with a potentially dangerous situation… I will think to myself, “wow I just did that!” It’s a pretty awesome feeling. I now trust my instincts and intuition so much more than I used to, and I think that confidence has been influenced greatly from my experiences traveling.
Recently I’ve thought about how much inspiration and knowledge I gain from my favourite wanderers and so decided to feature them on my blog! So much of what I’ve experienced during my travels has been by word of mouth, another blog or an Instagram post/comment – advice that comes from first-hand experiences usually wins over any guide book available. I hope you gain a little something from their insights like I have!