Stephi.lk – just a girl who adores nature
Stephi Wimalasinghe, better known as stephi.lk on Instagram, is a well-known travel content creator on the platform.
What started as a hobby, uploading travel photos to Instagram has grown into something a little bit more, with Stephi starting a YouTube channel as well where she shares her love for adventure travel.
Sharing with us her story, Stephi expressed that nature has always been an integral part of her life. “If the Instagram factor is taken out, I’m just a girl who loves outdoors and in love with nature,” she said. She is also a fitness enthusiast, considering her interest in adventure, sports, etc. good physical fitness has become a requirement.
Having grown to love travel from her childhood, inspired by documentaries from the Nat Geo and Discovery channels, she dreamed of experiencing those places in real life. As soon as she was able, Stephi was out travelling, where she would then upload all of her photos from her travels on Facebook albums to hold on to the memories, as she wasn’t really involved in targeted social media at that time.
However, around late 2018, due to her friend’s insistence, she started up a YouTube channel, to which she posted her first video of her trip to Africa. Things pretty much progressed from there for Stephi, and come 2019 she was all geared up to make things happen online.
“I started to upload my travel photos on social media, and I realised that there’s an acceptance when I noticed the comments I received. Then I decided to inspire the people who follow me using those photos like how I was inspired,” said Stephi, adding also that with her videos on adventure travel: “I wanted to encourage the girls to take up more on adventure activities.”
Speaking about her content philosophy, and how she continues to churn out travel content that is engaging, she shared that what’s most important is to be unique. “Being different, or having a style that people recognise as only belonging to you will be the key to success as a travel content creator. So, I always keep that in my mind when creating content. I love nature, and I love to make content related to nature, so I want my followers to build a connection with nature and to know the importance of it to our lives as well,” she said.
Considering her success online, we can certainly deduce that she knows what she’s doing, and Stephi also made sure to thank her husband, Ramesh Perera, who has been her travel companion: “He is my travel partner, my photographer and videographer, who is always with me during my adventures and the man behind the camera. His support is immense in all my social media content.”
Sharing with us one of her most memorable experiences, Stephi said that her favourite destination to travel was Africa. “That trip was able to change my perspective on travelling. Travelling teaches a lot of life lessons depending on the way travelling is perceived.”
Sharing her experience there, she said: “I trekked to the mountains in Uganda to see Mountain Gorillas. Silverback Gorillas are categorised under endangered species. I was lucky enough to see them in their natural habitat just 10 m away. This East African trip was an 18-day camping trip. Just as I like, I had to stay in tents and do camping. I used to be fussy and picky on certain things, but when I saw the lifestyle of the African rural community, it changed the perspective of life; how they are living a life with poverty yet so happy with the little that they have.”
She said that she hopes to continue to expand such experiences and a particular dream of hers is to visit the Patagonia region in Argentina.
With plans to become a full-time travel content creator, Stephi is already making moves. However, the pandemic proved to be a grave obstacle.
“Creating content with the pandemic is not possible at all, rather than just challenging. That’s because we have had plans to travel overseas and also some other activities with the locals etc. But everything has been halted since the pandemic hit,” she said, adding also how her affiliated activities have all been halted as there’s no tourism.
Despite the obstacles, Stephi shared that they are hopeful things will turn around soon, and soon they can all get back to traveling as much as possible. “Travel as much as we can, is our plan! Desire only doesn’t work, there’s always a cost involved, so currently we are working on that.”
Finally, coming to the end of our chat, Stepi wished to leave things off with a quote: “No matter what we do or how we travel, loving nature and protecting the environment is an utmost responsibility we all carry.”