If you’ve been searching for insta(nt) inspiration, look no further. With the brightness of an unlimited watt light bulb, the flexibility of an olympic gymnast, a sharp eye for scenic backdrops, and the wisdom of someone who’s twice, well, actually, more like four times her age (she’s 19!), it’s no wonder that Sjana Earp (pronounced See-Ah-Nah) is on her way to becoming one of the most soul-stirring women on the internet.
This wunderkind from Down Under is rapidly racing towards 1 million Instagram followers, runs a Youtube channel that’s about to reach its tipping point, and writes a viral blog packed with practical advice and good vibes, appropriately titled SMYLE (Secrets to Make Your Life Exceptional).
Here — between standing on her hands and climbing up city walls — she shares her tips and tricks, her highs and lows, and a passionately playful approach to life that is nothing short of positively contagious.
You travel a lot, but is there one place you’ll always call home?
Australia for sure! I grew up there my entire life, and all of my best memories were had in my house or with my family. I wish I could say that home was somewhere tropical, but to be honest, I’m just as proud to be able to call Australia home! It’s quite the divine country!!
What’s your favorite Australian saying/phrase/word that Americans have no idea about?
Probably “Woop Woop!” Aussies use it to describe something is really far away, e.g., “he/she lives out in Woop Woop!” Another one that isn’t exactly an Australian phrase — it’s more like an American phrase that is stereotypically used to describe Aussies, but we don’t actually say it — is “Shrimp on the barbie” (as in a shrimp on the bbq). But to be honest I don’t know one Australian who calls it a shrimp! We call them prawns haha!
A huge part of travel is enjoying all sorts of different cuisine — how do you balance eating healthily while also enjoying local cuisine?
My parents have always instilled very good knowledge about health and food in myself and my brothers, and we have been blessed to always have a large abundance of healthy foods available to us (my mum is a ridiculously incredible cook!!). Healthy eating has always been a way of life for me, so I find it relatively easy to eat healthy even when travelling because that’s what my body craves! I try looking for local farmers markets (meaning I get to explore the different local produce anyway!) or unique eateries that have good reputations in the area! In saying that, I love trying new foods and local cuisines! So I have no problem tasting new things (as weird, wonderful or as unhealthy as they may be)! I just don’t go overboard and ONLY eat those things. Everything is alright in moderation.
We enjoyed watching your video on finding the right fitting bikini for your body type — what do you think are some “staples” of fitness wear that every woman should own?
Ooh good question! I’d say a supportive sports bra to comfortably hold the girls in/down/flat! A good pair of leggings that express your personality! And shoes! I’m all about having shoes that are not only comfortable and supportive, but also make you feel proud of what your feet are wearing! Which sounds silly, but when it comes down to it, I honestly believe the right pair of sports shoes can help provide you with motivation to move (and show them off!!) ;)
What do you look for when shopping for activewear?
I always look for colours I love! I prefer bright/light colours, so generally go for those kinds of shades! Or some groovy patterns and high waisted shorts/pants. Call me old school but I love nothing more than high waisted garments!
Any tips/tricks for getting a great photo? Favorite photo editing apps/filters?
Keep them free of clutter, simple, with visually appealing backdrops, and try to keep the horizon straight and take advantage of bright/natural light. My favourite filters are definitely from an app called VSCO cam! (And it’s freeeeee! Free is my favourite number!)
When we met you’d had three hours of sleep and were right off the plane, fresh faced and bubbly as ever…so we have to ask, what’s your best cure for jet lag?
My best tip for curing jet lag is probably just doing things and pushing through it then intentionally adjusting to the new time zones! And I’ll admit, my top tip has flaws! So if anyone has a better idea, please let me know!!
“Showing that people's lives aren't always the way we perceive them, and that everyone has their own story or struggles is really important.”
You’ve recently opened about a very personal subject — depression and suicide — on YouTube. Instagram, Facebook, and social media in general is often criticized for only portraying “perfect lives” and “FOMO” inducing moments — we’re wondering how your fans and followers reacted to seeing your struggle and you showing your emotional depth.
The one thing I’ve noticed about being open and transparent is that it also helps so many others as they can also relate. Showing that people’s’ lives aren’t always the way we perceive them, and that everyone has their own story or struggles is really important. It removes boundaries, validates someone’s own experience and normalises it so no one need feel alone or the odd one out – which I LOVE! We’re all only human. And to be honest, human is a pretty incredible thing to be….
Was fitness an integral part of your recovery from depression?
Yes definitely! Not only because it alleviates stress and releases endorphins, but also because it is such a wholistic way of better understanding our own strengths and potential both physically, mentally and spiritually! My entire family was always VERY athletic and we thrived off multiple sports and fitness (swimming, surf life saving, gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer, dancing, athletics, cross country running, netball, aerobics, tennis etc) – and loved it!! But as I got older I slowly began to stop these sports one by one (in retrospect this was in response to bullying, poor self-esteem and dropping mood). And then after having depression I found/felt that forcing myself to do the things I didn’t want to do was actually so helpful!
As someone who shares so much of their life, is there a time or are there moments for you that you feel are “off-limits?” Or do you believe in being a totally open book?
Being open for the most part, as it helps people relate! But there are of course parts of my life that I don’t share. I don’t feel the need to share the negative things — especially as they happen. My social media sites are about helping to promote happiness, health, fitness and all things beautiful in this world! I have no desire to share/spread negativity. But I am more than happy to share what I might learn from these experiences and how it has helped me grow. And the same “off-limits” label applies to many experiences — the positive, the negative and the mundane — around family, personal issues and relationships. I probably won’t share the details of the experience, but I might share the lessons, the growth or the way it has changed me.
You have a tremendous following and a great ability to connect with people. What’s the coolest thing about having that extended reach?
Definitely the people it allows me to meet!! I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most incredible, inspiring, passionate, creative, motivated, dedicated and absolutely down to earth people I know purely because of social media! And I am thankful for that everyday as well as excited and curious about who I might meet in the future !
Best beauty secret?
Coconut oil!! For EVERYTHING!! From cooking, to moisturiser to hair care to oil pulling! I LOVE coconut oil!!!
Is it hard for you to differentiate when you’re “working?” and when you’re just doing you?
Sometimes…while my job certainly has its perks, there are also a lot of times where I feel I’m unable to fully enjoy experiences for what they are because I’m so busy trying to film/photograph/document it for other people or brands. And I am definitely thankful for the opportunity to do those things to begin with, but I would be intrigued to know how much of the experience I am potentially missing, if any…. However, working with incredible brands, people and companies always makes work worthwhile!
Any exciting projects in the near future that you can give us a sneak peak of?
I’m about to head to Africa for a month!! I’ll be working with a charity in some of the local schools and communities there — I cannot wait!! Apparently the experience is nothing short of life changing — and I don’t doubt that at all!