When I discovered the Australian beauty Sjana Earp’s Instagram I was immediately intrigued. This 19 year old is just as stunning as the part of the world she lives in, on the Gold Coast of Australia. From the exterior, Sjana is an inspiring and strong young lady with the world at her feet and a body to rival a Victoria’s Secret model. But the inside is even more impressive. Her humble and positive outlook on life is what makes her personality so addictive, so it is little wonder this photojournalism student has a loyal following of over 375,000 instagram followers.
When asked if she believes time away from routine to travel and explore is healthy, Sjana Earp explains
There are two types of education, institutional […] and a worldly education – the kind only attained by curiosity, adventure and personal experience… It cannot be taught, it must be lived.
Sjana’s name is as intriguing as the girl herself, however Sjana explains she is “100% Aussie made and grown!”. But Sjana hasn’t always resided on the Gold Coast of Australia, having grown up in Newcastle, NSW. After moving to the Gold Coast to further her university education, Sjana has a first hand experience of what it’s like to move to this beautiful part of the world – so without further ado, here’s Sjana’s guide to living on the Gold Coast of Australia.
WOW: If you could summarise where you live in 3 words, what words would you use?
Spontaneous, Fun and unpredictable!
The Gold Coast has such a diverse environment.. Beautiful sandy beaches, great centres of excellence in learning, a busy night life and social area, thriving tourist destinations and just on the other side of the highway are thousands of tiny secret rainforest escapes and waterfalls just waiting to be explored in the Gold Coast Hinterland! It’s an exciting place for the adventure seeker that’s for sure! If one allows and enjoys spontaneity and exploring, one will never be bored!
It also has a reputation for having a “good” night life/clubbing.. personally it’s not my cup of tea. But every explorer to themselves hey!
WOW: Where is your favourite place to pass time on the Gold Coast?
Submerged beneath the waves.. Anyday! Even in winter! It can be a bit chilly and evoke some uber goosebumps, but there is no feeling quite like gliding through a wave as it softly crashes over your head. Weightless, limitless and free! Ever since a young age I have been heavily influenced by the beach; I am incredibly blessed to have grown up with nothing in between my house and the beach, and can’t imagine my life without that kind of escape.
WOW: Where would you say is your favourite spot for a picnic lunch?
Picnics are always a fantastic excuse to explore – grabbing a friend, a bag of delicious, healthy, yummy food and heading off in search of a new place together.. But I don’t think I’ve ever picnicked at the same location twice. But picnics with a view tend to be the greatest; on top of a hill, side of a cliff, or overlooking a beautiful place. I have a spot back home which is my favourite, and there is a protruding rock on the edge of my local cliff that you can (if you’re careful!) climb out onto. The view is surreal as you can literally sit on the edge of the earth and see a horizon infinitely extending, dangle your feet over the edge of a cliffside drop and even see people on their workouts/walks 100m below you. It’s terrifying but the adrenaline is sometimes an essential and welcomed boost for LIFE!
WOW: Do you have a favourite local cafe?
Commune! An organic, home cooked, local secret! It’s one of those cafes that plays quirky music, is a coffee lover’s best friend, none of the plates or cutlery match and they hang cute and funny things around the place. The chairs (and couches) are all odd and antique, you’re handed a Uno card as your table number and the wait staff are happy to indulge in a conversation with you about absolutely anything! I’m always leaving that place with a happy tummy and a wide smile!
WOW: Where would you suggest to take a road trip nearby?
Waterfalls or hidden beach locations.. My best friend is (thankfully) just as spontaneous and crazy-natured as myself. Having a partner in crime to explore with is wonderful! And most weekends we will end up barefoot, sun drenched, lost and loving it! All the places are incredible, but I think at the end of the day life is always about the adventure not the destination … being around those who reciprocate your energy and vibes and who bring you joy (the feeling of grinning on the inside!) … being in a beautiful place is just a bonus!
WOW: Do you visit Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, often? What are your thoughts on Brisbane?
I have been travelling to Brisbane quite a lot lately! The commute is becoming somewhat pleasant! An hour and a half drive and I will arrive in what seems like a different land!
Depending on where you are in Brisbane, the essence can differ dramatically. The city is very business-focused; lots of high rise buildings, men wearing suits, people drinking too much coffee … a lot like Sydney/Melbourne really.
And places like West End ooze vibes of care-free, fashion culture and are a food lover’s dream. It’s also the kind of place where you shouldn’t be surprised if you see someone sitting up in a tree with a book and a bag of bananas.. Weird, but wonderful!
WOW: How about the Sunshine Coast?
Noosa is my favourite!! Being heavily involved in surf life saving as a kid, I got to travel to Sunshine Coast every now and then for competitions. When I stopped racing, I still went to watch and support my friends if I had the chance. And Noosa is certainly one of the most beautiful places! All of the beaches on the Sunshine Coast are beautiful, but nothing competes with the paradise feel of Noosa! If you’ve never been; I highly recommend it!
There are walks around the headlands quite like there is here on the Gold Coast, good hiking spots and waterfalls in the mountains similar to the GC, just generally a little quieter and slower moving. It’s like a home away from home I guess!
WOW: What do you love about Australia?
The diversity, culture, climate, people, beaches, outback, nature, food, and opportunity. I LOVE that it isn’t unusual to walk around bare foot in your swimmers at the shops, to eat almost any kind of food with your hands in public, there is never a sunrise or a sunset that ceases to take your breath away wherever you are in Australia, between dawn and dusk most plans revolve around the weather and outdoor activities and that your day to day life can be as incredible and adventurous as you allow it to. I am very VERY blessed to live in Australia.
WOW: Would you ever live elsewhere or do you see yourself in Queensland/Australia for the rest of your life?
Australia will always be “home”, but the ultimate dream would be to become a wandering gypsy! Eternally travelling with no definitive end. The thought of growing and learning from experience, excites me. I want to live, not just survive…
WOW: Where do you want to travel most in the world?
Everywhere! Absolutely EVERYWHERE! I want to see, smell, taste, touch, hear, absorb and experience everything I possibly can in this world! Maybe even out of this world who knows! I want to learn, grow, teach, play and give. There was a stage in my life where I was severely depressed and suicidal. I have since then turned my life upside-down completely and now thrive off life and it’s potential. I don’t ever want to take life for granted again … and I want nothing more than to be able to share that kind of passion with others too. Travel and adventure sets off that spark within me, so I’m going to squeeze it for all I can!
A big thanks to Sjana for being available to do this interview and for inspiring me on a daily basis when I scroll through my instagram feed. What an inspiring young lady with a world of opportunities ahead of her!
Also be sure to check out Sjana’s blog for motivational posts.