A huge part of travel for me is the people I meet and the friends I make in the places I get to experience. Some of, well most of my best friends are people I have met while living overseas & the number one thing we have in common is that we get it. Get what? This whole travel life. The coming & going frequently, the moving towns often & regularly. The fact that we will rarely live in the same place for long. And the feeling of saying goodbye/reuniting with each other. So when I meet people who share this same passion I immediately want to know more about them and where their adventures have taken them.
#TeamKaptainKenny. What is that you might be asking? It’s a hashtag yes, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a community. It’s a brand of creatives who want to share their content in the hopes of inspiring others and themselves. It’s a hashtag that was created by none other than this month’s WanderWoman, Kaptain Kenny aka Phoebe! Hailing from Australia, and now currently living in Germany Phoebe’s account and blog caught my eye a few years back, and in the last few months I’ve gotten to know her a little more through her IG stories, posts & as a member of the Team Kaptain Kenny Facebook group (which is seriously the best place ever to find info on places you want to go, and meet up with people in those places. Having just completed her first ever Collab Camp I’m more inspired than ever, and couldn’t think of a better lady to have the title of WanderWoman for July!
Alright girl, tell all these wanderers about yourself…
Hello and thanks for having me! I’m an outgoing Australian girl who left perpetual summer weather for Germany seven years ago. I told my boyfriend I was just staying six months… seven years later, here I am – oh and he’s now my husband. In these last few years, I’ve been to 40 countries and I’ve got a huge passion for meeting people all over the world. Friends, come at me!
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
Although I can speak German now, I couldn’t string one sentence together before I got here. I’m really glad that I enrolled in an intensive language class from day one, otherwise I fear I might have never started. I sometimes get told that I sound Swiss or Swedish when I speak German but that might be my Australian inflection coming through.
Did you always want to travel/what made you start?
Growing up in a coastal area of Australia, I had always known the main capital cities like Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne but travel was never a huge part of my family culture when I was growing up. I did fly to England by myself at the age of 11 and met my grandfather’s family there at the airport. That was my first overseas trip. I went to a British school for about a month and they took my to Turkey for a week, so that was cool. It was moving to Germany that made me realise how easy it is to travel in general. I’m in the middle of Germany, which is logistically the middle of Europe, so it’s never been easier to get away.
How do you decide where to travel to?
It really depends on my financial situation. Sometimes I’m time rich and money poor so in those cases, I opt for the good old Ryan Air €9.00 flights. I took one back in January when I went to Ireland. It was practically free so I couldn’t not go. I do have a bit of a wish list though and I’m trying to work hard on ticking those spots off. In the old days, I would go wherever I could just to see something new but now it’s more about dedicating my time to places which have really sparked my interest.
When you first started #teamkaptainkenny what did you hope it would become and how have you been surprised by what is is now?
So this brilliant idea belongs to Belinda from NZ (@misswanderingbelle on IG) About 9 months ago, she messaged me on Instagram saying I should start a hashtag called #TeamKaptainKenny because she’s noticed I’m very active and supportive in the community. I gave it a go and here we are – 9 months in and it has almost 35000 images uploaded now.
Why did you want to host/create a collab camp?
The Kaptain Kenny Collab Camp was a chance for 10 creatives from different fields to come together and befriend each other, network, ask questions, engage in workshops and Q&A sessions and combine that by living in momentary luxury and by enjoying a solid travel experience too.
It was a win-win-win. I got to put my name on a seriously cool concept, the participants I chose got to join free of charge and be part of something very special and the owner of that luxurious villa on the hills of Split got to have a team of professionals come in and do their ‘thang. If you look at @thebohoho’s IG page now, I’m sure you’ll agree we did a fairly good job!
What is something you wish you could share with your pre-travel life self?
Accept ‘different’ more. Just because someone doesn’t act, look or sound the way you do, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. You haven’t seen any of the world so you don’t know this yet but you will. Humans are all inherently the same – we all want what’s best for our family and friends and no one wants to suffer or hurt anyone. With that in mind, you should try to see the world through new eyes.
Best & worst travel moment?
Best: standing on top of a Faroese mountain in the middle of summer, surrounded by a colony of Atlantic puffins. My cousin had just stood up and noticed she was sitting in sheep shit and she had a huge poo stain on her pants. I laughed until I cried. With my parmesan and rocket sandwich in my hand, I raised it high and said ‘Life is too good.’
Worst: Probably throwing up in the middle of a Vietnamese-English interpretation class where I was a guest in Da Nang. I had probably eaten something a little wrong and I had to rush out and throw up in my linen bag, which as you can imagine wasn’t the sturdiest of containers. (Gross!)
You’ve been in Germany for 7-8 years now, is it somewhere you seen yourself (and your husband) calling home for good?
We’re both currently trying to figure out our future plan. He’s got a permanent visa for Australia so theoretically we could move tomorrow. The issue is that my entire network is here in Germany/Europe as I’ve been here since my early twenties. So the thought of moving back home is exciting but daunting at the same time. What will I do for work there!?
Famous Last words for all the wanderers out there...
‘ I should have paid extra for the waterproof option.’
( I have waterproof hiking boots, raincoats, backpacks and sunscreen. You just can’t trust the Apple Weather app.)
And there you have it folks! I found it was only fitting to publish this article in the WanderWomanWednesday series after meeting Phoebe earlier this month at the #TemaKaptainKenny meet up in London having gotten the chance to meet her in person and really get to chat to her properly. It was a great event that brought out 20+ people not just from London but from Amsterdam, Edinburgh & of course the Kaptain herself from Frankfurt! Such an amazing day spent talking to so manye people with the same passions for travel and photography as I have and definitely have a boat load of new adventure partners because of this little hashtag. Do yourselves a favour and check out Phoebe's links below (give them a click) for all things Kaptain Kenny & more!