I first discovered Vanisha after coming across her vibrant Instagram @vanishalifeunstyled it’s filled with gorgeous images of her style, travel, food, books and tropical adventures. Vanisha leads a busy lifestyle, is torn between two countries, and is an all action kind of girl. I was naturally intrigued by her energy and I was curious to know more about the sophisticated lady behind the photos. I talked to the lovely Vanisha about life, work and travel.
Vanisha can you tell me a little bit about what you do and what life is like being a research consultant? I’d like to think that my work as a research consultant presents me with the opportunity to tell stories. I work with children, young people and marginalised groups to help explain their issues and situations to support statistics. Numbers only give you on aspect of the story. Through my work I aim to tell the human stories of suffering, hope and survival. My work requires a fair bit of travel and takes me to various locations and communities that I would otherwise not have access to.
What inspired you to start Making Connections Fiji and what does it entail? Making Connections Fiji is a consultancy firm that I started with my husband, Patrick. We both have PhDs in similar areas and started Making Connections Fiji because that’s what we valued – making connections between people, communities and issues. Many times advocacy programs lack the connection to policy, or school students aren’t able to make the transition from secondary school to tertiary or employment and we’ve realised over the years that we’re able to help people and organisations with holistic, connected and integrated approaches to issues and projects.
I understand that you work with your partner? What do you love about working together as a team? If we have a choice, I think we’d both rather hang out with each other! We think it’s a privilege to not only have found each other on a personal level but to be able to take that further. Having academic backgrounds that are complementary has been such a bonus. We balance each other out, not just in relation to skills and expertise but really the ability to cope and deal with different situations.
Travelling is a big part of your life and work, what do you always have with you when you travel? An open mind and a deep sense of respect for the cultures and people of the place I’m travelling to. I always have a brand new moleskin soft cover notebook. I start a new notebook for each country or project. I’m a huge note taker.
You regularly post beautiful images of your outfits and different pieces. How would you describe your style? Thank you Rochelle, Patrick (@thebloggerhusband on Instagram) takes many of those photos, or I used my tripod and the timer! For years I wished I had a more exciting style, sadly I don’t. I like classic pieces, I like a clean colour palette. So, classic, clean, well fitted pieces. I play numerous roles on a daily basis. I go from school run, business meeting, fieldwork, cocktails, dinner and maybe some travel so my outfits need to be fuss-free. My aesthetic is simple and clean. A normal girl, going about her day doing (what I feel are) extraordinary things. My value is in my work and my interaction with people, not in my wardrobe.
Between Instagram, your blog and work what else could we finding you doing/ involved with on a daily basis? Going on dates with my husband, being mum to Miss 10, cooking (I love to cook), I have mentoring clients (for blog related mentoring, personal skills building or business) so I do mentoring meetings/calls, I nap (as often and for as long as I can!).
Let’s talk books, I have seen many on your Instagram what are you reading at the moment? I’m an avid reader and one of the best gifts I’ve ever given people has been the gift of reading. I’ve turned many reading haters and book haters into readers! I usually have a number of books going at the same time. I’m currently reading At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson, How Children Succeed by Paul Tough, Charge Up: Build a business and manage your energy with your introversion superpowers by Claire Deane and Allie Lehman, and a bunch of academic journal articles.
Do you have a quote, mantra or motto that you go by? “And this too shall pass” I’ve had this tattooed on my arm. A reminder not to dwell on the sad times, and not to get too big headed about the happy times because both shall pass.
Compulsory girly question! What are your go to beauty products? Moisturiser! I change it up a lot so my skin doesn’t get used to (and stops responding) to one particular brand. I try to go all natural. My favourites are the Pure Fiji passionflower body cream and the Aesop resurrection hand balm. I live by the Napoleon Perdis radiance boosting primer (this is the only ‘make-up’ I really need when I’m travelling for work, I use it as a highlighter and I look healthy and glowy all day!) and the auto pilot radiance-boosting mask. On my hair, which gives me the most grief, I use extra virgin coconut oil.
And last but not least what are you plans, goals and ambitions for 2015? In 2015 I plan on growing Making Connections Fiji a bit more, a trip back to Papua New Guinea for work and pleasure and to talk a bit more about my work on my personal blog. Until recently I didn’t realise how much my readers were curious and interested in the work that I did. Oh, and I’m going to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon!
Last words from Vanisha: Thank you so much for inviting me over to your space Rochelle. I look forward to getting to know you and your readers better.
If you have any another questions please pop them in the comments section, I’d be happy to chat further x