TAWP • Raya Was Here opens up about her life before and after YouTube

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TAWP • Raya Was Here opens up about her life before and after YouTube

Raya, aka 'Raya Was Here', opens up about her youth as an immigrant in America, studying abroad, breaking into the YouTube travel scene, traveling the world full time, and her public relationship with daily vlogger Louis Cole

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I know people who are trying to be someone on camera because they think that’s what they should be doing, but that’s just not sustainable for me. It’s so easy for me to just turn on the camera and talk because I say the exact same things as I would to some who was just sitting in the room. That’s my number one tip for YouTubers…talk as if you were talking to your best friend and let that vulnerability come through. - Raya

Does travel seem out of reach for you? Are you looking to break into YouTube but not sure what content to create or even how to start? Or are you just out of school, contemplating your next steps, mortified of the potential debt that universities threaten and not sure where to turn? Then this interview will appeal to you.

"I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about travel is people thinking they’re not going to have enough money because if you have anything you can travel, even if it’s going to the town nearby or the state over." - Raya.

"I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about travel is people thinking they’re not going to have enough money because if you have anything you can travel, even if it’s going to the town nearby or the state over." - Raya.

I have been following both Raya and her partner Louis on their wild adventures for much of the year, inspired by both of their authenticity and free-spirited approach to life and travel. One of Raya's videos truly caught my eye, an honest and emotional public sharing of her personal transformation video 'How I changed my life!' , and from that moment on I knew I wanted to sit down and have a chat with her.

Raya and her partner Louis

Raya and her partner Louis

We just missed each other in Australia when Raya visited recently, flying into the country alongside Louis and his best mate JP, in a light plane that Louis had bought to fly around the world. Raya joined the boys, surprising Louis in Bali, and completing her stint of the trip in New Zealand, where I was able to track her down for a conversation over the phone.

Raya surprised her partner Louis in Bali during his world flight voyage. Photo: @jcpieri

Raya surprised her partner Louis in Bali during his world flight voyage. Photo: @jcpieri

It's always tough to interview over the phone, but I'm glad we connected for this call, because Raya is such a bright, intelligent and friendly woman with much to share with the world. In our conversation we dive into her upbringing as an immigrant in America, to setting off to study in the UK, to meeting Louis and uploading her first YouTube video, to life after YouTube and how she maintains a very public relationship in front of the camera.

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did, and you can follow Raya via the links below.

Merry Christmas!

-Angie xx

P.S. I recorded this conversation with Raya two months ago, just a couple of days before I set off with Remy and the kids on our big 'Crossing Asia' journey. With the trip being such a whirlwind, coupled with horrendous WiFi, it has taken me longer than planned to post this chat, but I think it's timely to post it now just before you all break for Xmas and New Year's. Let Raya and her beautiful soul inspire you to achieve your own dreams and travel more in 2018.

Raya in the Arabian Desert. Via @rayawashere / Credit: @funforlouis

Raya in the Arabian Desert. Via @rayawashere / Credit: @funforlouis

Follow RayaWasHere

YouTube: RayaWasHere

Instagram / Twitter: @rayawashere

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rayawashere


Follow The Anicca Way

#crossingasia

YouTube: The Anicca Way

Instagram/Twitter: @theaniccaway

 

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TAWP • Luise Grossmann and the Eco Fin

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TAWP • Luise Grossmann and the Eco Fin

The Eco Fin: Luise Grossmann on merging innovation, environmentalism and entrepreneurship to create a surf fin from plastic waste in Bali

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Be brave, creative and create your own solutions because there’s no-one who’s going to come and going to find the solutions for you. Put yourself out there and just do it…no fear…there’s nothing better than just doing something. Either you win or you learn.
— Luise Grossmann

Surfing is often related to as a means in which to re-connect with nature. In the water, you are at the mercy of the ocean and every interaction on a wave is different from the one before, and the one coming. Surfers, in the past, have been commonly stereotyped as 'hippies', living simple lives chasing the surf, either in vans or beach shacks, making their own equipment from locally available materials and forming a tribal sub culture that for the most part has been lost in the modern age.

Today, surfing has become a US$7billion global industry, riddled with dirty chemicals, toxic waste, fuel-guzzling pick up trucks, jet skis, airplanes, alcohol, and fast fashion. It's an industry that forged my career as a writer, living in Japan interviewing the visiting professional surfers for the local press, until the contest scene and its subsequent distress expelled on our Mother oceans made me sick to the stomach to be a part of.

Indonesia's plastic waste reality. Via Huffington Post.

Indonesia's plastic waste reality. Via Huffington Post.

Yet surfing has, and still remains, the backbone of my relationship with environmentalism and my drive to travel to far-flung surf destinations promoting sustainable surf travel with a conscience, and it is THE pastime that has propelled my jump into film making, reality TV, and ironically, the birth of The Anicca Way podcast with this first interview.

I met Luise a few years back in Lennox Head, at my house, over a night filled with storytelling of surf travel and adventure. Over time we began to follow each others' projects more closely, as I was developing two films and Luise and her partner Felix began developing the idea of the Eco Fin.

Born in Germany with a love of art and engineering, Luise would later learn to surf in France and thus birthed a reason to travel abroad. A hyperactive nature and a zest for trying it all led Luise to partake in a plethora of internships, roles and opportunities, before eventually picking up the Eco Fin concept more seriously after time spent in Bali and later Australia raised her consciousness around the enormous issue that is ocean waste and plastics.

To talk us through how a farm girl ended up an ocean warrior entrepreneur, I invited Luise over to my Byron Bay studio a week before I embark on my journey #crossingasia with no planes and no plastics, of course in the spirit of reducing plastic waste.

This is a fun, engaging conversation that shows that no matter who you are, where you are from, or what ideas you may have, taking action is the sure way to success. As we both agree in this podcast, you either win, or you learn.

Luise Grossmann and the Five Oceans 'Eco Fin'. Photo: Angie Davis

Luise Grossmann and the Five Oceans 'Eco Fin'. Photo: Angie Davis

Sitting down to record our conversation in the Byron studio.

Sitting down to record our conversation in the Byron studio.


Follow Luise and their Eco Fin journey

Web: http://five-oceans.co/ecofin/

Instagram: @joinfiveoceans

Eco Fin founders Luise surrounded by plastic waste in Bali.

Eco Fin founders Luise surrounded by plastic waste in Bali.

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