Hello, my name is Hayley.

I’ve spent the past decade travelling, working, shopping and eating. While I didn’t start out as a gym junkie (in fact, I walked my high school cross country in protest), I’m now in sneakers and sweating almost every day of the week. I enjoy stir fries, avocado toast and banana smoothies in between work and work outs… but it wasn’t always this way.

I left Perth, Australia when I was 18 and travelled around the world for a year. The trip was entirely self-funded and below a shoestring budget, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I saw the United States, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Germany, Poland, Italy Greece, Nepal, India and Thailand. I returned to Perth inspired and broke as hell. I worked like crazy for a month and left again. The pattern continued for a few more years, taking in east and southern Africa, Denmark, Morocco and many return trips to the United States.

Somehow I finished a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) and Bachelor of Social Science (International Relations) in 2011 at Curtin University, after an exchange at the State University of New York in New Paltz. The logic was that I could either be a diplomat with excellent communication skills or a really smart foreign correspondent. Five years on, I’m neither of those things.  But travel and writing remain at the core of what makes me happy.

Every now and then I’ll get a message from a friend asking for tips on a place I’ve been. Or a colleague will inquire just how that Barre class went, whether a Vitamix is worth it, or what on earth they should cook for their newly vegan relative. This blog is a place to share those conversations – a portfolio of ideas, experiences and tips that have somehow made life easier or happier.

But why ‘High Rise’ Hayley?

That’s easy. I visited New York City in 2004 and fell in love. We even ‘dated’ in 2010 when I studied upstate for a semester and then subletted an apartment in Chelsea for a month. No housework, no gardening, no need for a car. People went out, children played in parks, and public spaces were so much better for it. I had to leave NYC but I keep returning. In 2013, I bought my own apartment (albeit in Perth) and I wouldn’t live any other way.