1) Hi Phoebe, and congratulations on being featured as a globelle gal in focus! Can you tell us where in the world we'd currently find you?
Right now I'm running my very first Kaptain Kenny Collab Camp in Croatia. We're staying in an eclectic three story villa in the hills of Split!
2) What inspired you to first start travelling?
Really, I began to understand the concept of 'travel' once I moved to Germany at the age of 23. I've been based in Frankfurt ever since and it's the perfect position, smack bang in the middle of Europe and very easy to go anywhere.
3) What's been your favourite place to visit, and why?
Oh, tough one! Can I pick 20? I would have to say the Faroe Islands first and foremost. Mainly because it was scenery I'd never seen before in my entire life. I was completely swept away by its isolation, rolling hills with 50 shades of green and the puffins, which had been on my list for years and years.
4) What's the worst thing that's happened to you since being on the road? How did you deal with it?
I know this is seriously boring but I am fairly organised and nothing really bad has ever happened to me on the road. Do I have many funny stories from my trips? YES.
One that springs to mind is when I was teaching English in Vietnam for a month at the University of Danang. I got food poisoning and had to turn up to an interpretation class full of 60 Vietnamese students and half way through the class I had to run out, find a bathroom and well... I'll leave that up to your imagination.
5) Obviously life on the road is about fewer possessions and more moments, but what is the one thing you can't travel without?
My travel pillow! There was a Kickstarter campaign recently from an Australian company which made this insane 5-way travel pillow system. Their motto was 'upgrade to sleeping class' and as I'm usually stuck in cattle-class, this appealed to me. My favourite thing about the pillow is that it has a strap which can attach to the headrest of your chair and you lean forward and it suspends you in your chair. I'm sure it's hard to imagine but it looks like the shape of a massage chair and it's really helped me to have more options when sleeping in uncomfortable economy chairs! (HQ: On our wishlist!)
6) You're fluent in three languages (English, German & Spanish) - what inspired you to learn these languages in particular? How did you go about learning them, and how do you think it has enriched your travel experience since?
Well I moved to Germany in 2011 because my boyfriend at the time (now husband) is German and my initial plan was to stay 6 months. It's been 7 years now so I think it's still going well, haha.
I enrolled in a language school immediately and four months of an intensive course later, I was able to speak fluent German and I got an internship at the Australian Consulate in Frankfurt. I was able to put my German into full practice there and pretty soon became very fluent. About three years ago, I felt I wanted a new language challenge, so I flew to Valencia and enrolled at a Spanish language school for a month. I just wanted to see how far I could get in a month. I ended up getting to a point where I could have a nice basic conversation so I wouldn't say that I'm fully fluent but I think it would be lovely to continue working on those skills and do another course somewhere in the world.
7) One of the things we love about you Phoebe is your willingness to confront aspects of your life which impact many of our globelle community (e.g. Instagram overuse) and ask whether they're really positively impacting you. Can you talk us through how you dealt with that particular moment, and what your general process is when you realise something might not be quite right?
It's a really tough scenario for people who are creative and trying to get exposure so I think being active on social media is quite necessary but it's also a necessary evil. There was a point where I was continuously spending 4-6 hours a day on Instagram alone and enough was enough. I realised I didn't want to be 50 and looking back on all those wasted hours so now I have an app called Moment which tells me how much I'm spending on my phone. I try to keep my total phone use at 3 hours a day now.
8) You live in Germany now - any tips as a local you'd care to share with anyone thinking of heading there for a travelling destination?
Germany is a lovely place to visit and there are many beautiful must-see spots. First of all Bavaria and the Alps down in the south near the border of Austria are very beautiful. Then there's the Romantic Road stretching from Würzburg down to Füssen which is a series of picturesque villages with gingerbread style buildings everywhere. The most famous castle is in Bavaria: it's called Neuschwannstein Schloss and it was the inspiration for the Disney castle. But if you want my best tip: visit Burg Eltz too, which is closer to Frankfurt. It's a very medieval, fairytale like castle which is just a wonderful little day trip.
9) What are your plans for the future, and what do you hope to achieve through all of your hard work?
Right now I'm thinking about organising more Collab Camps, which are events where people from many creative fields come together and support and learn from each other during a week. I like the idea of building and supporting community rather than just promoting the self and it gives me a better feeling overall to be a connector and a community leader.
10) What does travelling mean to you?
Easy answer! Travelling means strengthening your acceptance of the diversity of the world. The more you see, the more you want to see and the more you become comfortable with 'different'. This reduces racism, intolerance and all in all just makes you a more interesting person at parties. Now when I go to events with lots of different people from all over the planet, I have a way to connect with them instantly because I've usually been to their country or know of some beautiful spots in their land. If you can find an instant connection with someone who you have just met, it's so much more comfortable!
11) If you could offer one piece of advice to those travelling for the first time, either as part of a group or solo, what would it be?
Be more trustful of others as most people are usually kind and similar to you in some way. We have more in common than you would think. We all want to work and provide for our families and have friendships. Whether people are from Africa, Europe, the Middle East the Americas or even my 'little' country, Australia :)
12) And finally, how can girls get in touch with you, and keep up to date with where you're exploring next?
They can find me here: https://www.instagram.com/kaptain.kenny/?hl=en
Or on my Team Kaptain Kenny group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/teamkaptainkenny
Or on my blog: https://kaptainkennytravel.com/