About one and a half years ago, I was backpacking in South East Asia. Koh Lanta was one stop I made but luckily I chose that small non-touristy island to stay for few days because I got a chance to meet a passionate girl who was always behind the bar serving me some cocktails. Yana is an Ukrainian girl who left her hometown to be in Thailand to volunteer for 3 months but turned out 7 months staying on that beautiful island to find the definition of happiness. During the time I spent on Koh Lanta, I gotta get to know Yana and her passion for art. I still remember how impressed I got after seeing her art works. After one and a half years, I feel happy to have followed her journey and her works all this time.
So, what is the story of Yana Shvets?
In Ukraine, Yana always thought that having a job and working hard to earn good money would satisfy her. Hence, she worked in an PR company and she was proud of what she had done. However, after awhile, she realised that it did not fulfil her. Yana asked herself – “What is happiness? What is like to be fulfilled?”
After spending months to think about what makes her happy, after sipping several cups of coffee each night and letting her mind lost in thoughts, she decided to quit her job and her flat, and took an internship for 3 months in Greece. In 2014, she wanted to go somewhere warm and easy to enter with the Ukrainian passport so there she flew to Thailand and got a volunteer job. After that, she luckily got adopted by a Thai family in Koh Lanta to work for them for awhile. During this time, she spared her time to pain more and sold her amazing works to several people. She felt happy. Those 7 months had fulfilled her and brought her back to life. They got her realised how happy she had been doing things that made her happy.
Late 2014, she decided to move to Chiangmai to take part in a volunteer project. She met up a group of digital nomads and it brought her thoughts of being one of them.
“Is it possible to earn money doing what you are passionate about?” – that’s the one question in Yana’s head.
And then, that’s how TravelArt was found.
Yana’s goal is to inspire people in wherever she stop by to paint, inspire people to take a risk and do what they really love doing but not just follow the social standards. Yana’s started several workshops based in Chiangmai, Thailand to help people learn about watercolour painting and inspire them to create art. Talking with Yana and listening to her sharing how happy she was seeing her students grow and their works getting better, I was inspired. Not much of an artist or painter but the power of her voice passionately shared with me gave me a push. She travels, she works and she inspires. Let Yana inspire you as well!
“Art will be always with me no matter what I do or where I go”