The 40 -over- 40 Women's Campaign
Niki is a such a warm and open woman that you immediately feel like you've known her for years. She has her own company, Oleander Travel BV where she arranges bespoke and un-touristy tours for her clients in Cyprus, Greece and Jordan. (If you're feeling the need for some sunshine, contact her!)
She turned 60 last year and had never had a professional photoshoot done before and her 60th birthday was a great milestone for a portrait experience. She wanted some professional and beautiful portraits as well as some images with her 2 daughters.
If your friends/family had to describe you in 3-4 words, what would they say?
Enthusiastic, generous, warm, open
What is your occupation and how to you like to spend your free time?
I am a Tour Operator organising holidays to Cyprus and Greece specialised in fly drives, active holidays and holidays made to measure.
What are you most proud of?
This is a big question....we all have challenges and new experiences and traumas in our lives. Life is beautiful but sometimes demanding. I am simply proud of the way I have handled and faced all kinds of circumstances in my life. Sometimes I say I wish I knew in my 20s as much as I know now, but this is wrong....I am who I am now because of all the experiences I had during all these years. I am really very proud for making a new home in a new country, for starting my business after being a "trailing happy housewife" for almost 10 years, for bringing up two miracles - my daughters - in the world, for overcoming financial problems and for surviving breast cancer. Pick and choose....every experience in my life has been just as important and determining in my life. I am proud for all of them.
What is your favourite poem, quote or saying?
My favourite quote is "Be Positive, Stay Positive. There is always light at the end of the tunnel"
What advice would you give your 20-year old self looking back?
Stay true to yourself, listen to yourself and your gut feeling.
When you entered your 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's or beyond, what did you find were the most significant or poignant changes?
I have just become 60 and I am really enjoying it. What I experience with this big milestone in my life is (even if I don't always show it) is an inner peace and wisdom. This is for me the biggest change I felt entering my 6th decade.
Do you have a story about yourself that you would like to share?
For many years we have been unwillingly childless. After 6 IVFs and after loosing my IVF twins at 25 weeks because of a doctors mistake and after a 1,5 year of moaning I had decided that this is it. There is no room for kids in our lives. I had said to my partner that this is our "cross". We would take one more dog and travel with his work the whole world around. My brothers had already children and those would become our children as well. We had spent a beautiful summer attending the wedding of very dear friends in Norway and then we continued our holiday in Cyprus. Skinny dipping, getting drunk, going on a jeep safari, doing silly things, things that you only do during your summer holiday. After 5-6 weeks I started feeling sick....bum....unexpectedly pregnant....9 months later our first was born, two and a half years later our second one came to complete our happiness. Both of our girls are a miracle and a true gift given to us from God!
What are your thoughts on ageing?
Let it come, this ageing thing. Many people are concerned about it. I say be happy being allowed to age. It is a blessing and carry it with proudness and acceptance. Make sure you live as healthy as much as you can and let the rest come to your path. Some things you cannot control in your life. Enjoy what you are and who you are at this stage of your life. And stop making additions and subtractions to see how many years you have lived and how many more you have to live. Simply live your life.
Do you still have a dream or big goal that you would love to accomplish?
I would like to bring Oleander Travel to the next level. Since 2005/2006 I am offering specialised authentic an active holidays direct to individuals, B2C we call it . Since last year I started working more intensively designing travel products (holidays) for other colleagues, called B2B, especially for groups. This turn in my work has given me an extra boost and energy . Working with and for other colleagues gives me new challenges and energy. "To the next 10 years" I say ;)
How did you feel about doing this photoshoot?
Being me I went to Jules on the day of the shoot full of guilty feeling that "Oh I am so vain" to do this photoshoot only for myself. WRONG! It was like going to a life coach. The photoshoot revealed my three sides...me as professional, open and ready to design a nice holiday for my clients, me the proud mother, (I did a few photoshoots with my beautiful daughters) and me Niki, the fun loving gipsy in her soul crazy Niki. I just loved it. The gipsy Niki pictures I will place somewhere I can see them every day to remind me of the fun Niki and help me go though my day. I definitely recommend Jules and taking such an opportunity.