Konstantin Vulkov:Is there such a thing as Australian lifestyle? I mean - an Australian way of life, an Australian way of spending the day? If yes - please describe.
Susy Capelja:Is there an Australian way of spending the day? I don't think there is one particular way of spending the day but Australians love the great outdoors. You can find parks just about everywhere, many have free BBQ's so you will usually find people from families with young children to friends catching up over food, drinks and probably a kick around with the football or playing our local sport 'Cricket'. We have many beaches from the local bays to the surf coast where you will find all the ocean lovers and surfers unwinding after a busy work week. There are well kept camping grounds and national parks just a few hundred kilometres out from the city and so there are people who love to escape and go off the grid for a weekend to camp, fish, hike and just generally get in touch with nature and recharge the batteries.
There is no shortage of culture here. Many people love to start their weekend over a great coffee and brunch with friends then maybe move on to one of our museums or galleries especially if there is a great exhibition on or hit the stores for some retail therapy.
Aussies also love sport and at any given time of year and on many weekend mornings you will find families going to watch their sons and daughters play Tennis, local Aussie rules football etc. There is always something to do and somewhere to go around here to fill our day.
Konstantin: Tell me about your typical day and what would you like to change in it?
Susy: Before I get to the typical part of my day, here's a bit of background.
I was working in the Aged Care Nursing industry for some time as well as Home Care. And while I'm still doing home care I am in somewhat of a career transitioning stage so I think that would also answer the 'what I would change' part of the question.
My typical day starts off like many others with having that first cup of coffee of the day. I like to get through all my emails while having my morning coffee and that usually sets the day for me.
Being a Home Carer means my daily routine changes from day to day depending on what needs to be done. I don't mind that as it keeps my day interesting and not repetitive. Before my day ends my attention turns to photo edits and some product photography that might still need to be done so I work on that and once I'm done then I can relax. That's my typical day.
The transitioning part of it is that not only am I aiming to get into Travel Photo Journaling and part of my week will now consist of a short course into that field (it's never too late to start a new career no matter how old you are in my opinion) I have slowly been turning what was a hobby for me into a on the side job in freelance Product Photography which kind of happened by chance earlier this year. Even though I've been photographing Travel adventures for a while now product photography is something new to me and I was only introduced to it this year. I have had offers of future collaborations which I am still in talks with one up and coming business owner but it is something I am looking forward to and I am also looking forward to many more future collaborations. Ultimately I would love to be a Travel Photojournalist that is my main aim. For so long I felt like something was missing, like I needed to do more than just work in the nursing industry and slowly over time, it dawned on me that it was my two passions in photography and travel that was stirring the pot inside and I knew I needed to do something about it, so why not combine the two. I'm grabbing the bull by the horns and just going for it.
Konstantin: Espresso or cappuccino?
Susy: Cappuccino please. On the rare occasion I might have an espresso.
Konstantin: They say Australians have a great coffee culture... Is that true?
Susy: Australians love their coffee, there are no if's or but's about it we have developed a coffee obsession in this country. There are many independent coffee shops and cafes here and It's rare to find a Starbucks here on every corner. They do exist but there are not many around.
Aussie's like to sit and socialise over coffee on a daily basis so you are spoiled for choice on where to go for coffee. It's with thanks to the many Italian and Greek immigrants who first migrated here that introduced quality coffee to this country. Who would have thought that a nation isolated from the rest of the world would develop such a world class coffee standard.
Konstantin: Favourite spot to go and have lunch in the city if you have a day off?
Susy: That's a tough one. There are so many good places to dine at. Here are two. First would have to be MoVida. If you like Spanish Tapas this place is a must and with its consistently good food it's no wonder many like to return. But my all time favourite would have to be Pellegrinis which is a Melbourne institution serving homestyle Italian food It's been operating since the 1950's and not much has changed especially in terms of diner decor but you don't go there for the decor you go there for the quality and hearty Italian meals.
Konstantin: In all of your travel experience what are some places that unexpectedly excited or inspired you?
Susy: Anywhere in South East Asia. For a long time I did not travel to S.E Asia and only started to about 5 years ago travelling to that region and it has got me hooked. I love travelling there so much I get excited just thinking about it. But also travelling through 3rd world countries makes you realise how lucky we are to live where we do. I've met so many wonderful local people in the countries I've travelled to in this region and all have something in common. They mostly live in huts, they don't have much other than a roof over their head and their family and yet they are the happiest most kind and appreciative people I have ever met. These people have inspired me to better myself and to not take life too seriously.
Konstantin: Do you travel sometimes just without direction and any specific thing to do or your prefer to travel work-related?
Susy: I have been known to randomly just out of the blue book trips to somewhere. It doesn't take much to convince me either. I just love travel period. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that. So when I usually travel I like to play it by ear. I like to just wander and take my time and explore off the beaten path places, I find that's where you find the real hidden gems and how people really live. Sometimes things are booked and day trips are planned due to however short the trip may be or my reasons for travelling to a destination but otherwise I'm a bit of a wanderer.
Konstantin: You love to take photographs. What should be learned for travel photography before taking any photos?
Susy: If you just bought yourself a DSLR for the first time and for an up coming trip, learn how to operate it before leaving home. There's nothing worse than losing valuable travel time trying to learn how to operate your new camera.
Take a course in photography to help you better your skills. Get inspired by the work of other Travel Photographers. Look through magazines, travel blogs and other travel websites, even visit galleries and look through photography books; anything that could and would inspire you.
One thing I learned early on is to remember that the best light to capture a subject is in early morning after sunrise and in the evenings just before sunset. I also just really like the quietness of a city early in the morning. It's like you have the streets to yourself when they are still empty and people are only just waking up.
Always keep travelling but remember you also don't have to travel far to exotic places to find beauty. You can keep improving your craft just by finding beauty in your local town such as at the local market, park, cafe or festival.
Konstantin: If you were able to travel in time, where would you like to go?
Susy: To Ancient Egypt. No particular reason why other than that era has always fascinated me. I also used to love watching Cleopatra movies and documentaries on that era gone by and what civilisation was like back then. I wouldn't want to have lived during that time but visiting for a day would be pretty cool.
Konstantin: Australia is best enjoyed in which season?
Susy: Any time but my favourite season is summer. The extra hour in the day, the long days spent by the beach or in the surf, day trips to the vineyards, the summer festivals, cultural events and sporting events. Warm evenings in the city at one of the many bars sipping on cocktails and catching up with friends. It's just a generally nice time to be here.
Konstantin: Favourite song right now?
Susy: Cheerleader by OMI
*** Susy Capelja lives in Melbourne. She is an avid traveler, photo enthusiast and the first yamabahari brand ambassador. Follow her Instagram: https://instagram.com/itssuzc/