If hearing stories that feed your soul appeals to you, read on! We interviewed Daria Higgins – wanderer, event producer, creative, photographer and Epicurean as part of theSQUAD’s Live Life Inspired series. Enjoy!
Hello Daria, how did you come to be where you are now in life?
“I accidentally fell into events when after three months of travelling; I came back to London and was surprised when the credit card company wanted their money back. With that, an unsuspecting and very lovely boss employed me and so started my career in events. After 10 years in the UK, I started my events company in SA, after I stood up at a wedding and announced to all my friends I was starting my own shop. (I’m not big on business plans)
But now you’re based in South Africa?
“Yes. Shoot forward 10 years later to a remarkably familiar scene of A type perfectionism, overworking, putting everyone except myself first, over-delivering to clients, I found myself in the midst of crazy adrenal fatigue. I fondly call it my universal ‘snotklap’ . After years of ignoring what my body and soul needed, everything literally stopped.”
Many of us in the events industry can relate!
“I realised that I’d forgotten in the middle of it all, how much I loved being creative and what allowing that space in my everyday means to me. I slowly started shifting things to make the space. I restructured the company, my life and started putting myself first – a healthy dose of self love.”
And you found your way back to photography?
“Most importantly! I registered to study photography, especially in food and travel. Cooking was a central part of my growing up and it is core to who I am and how I engage with people. Hands down one of my favourite things, is to spend a day in the kitchen and having folks around for a meal. Casual, loud, messy, in the middle of the kitchen, belly full type of eating.”
What do you love eating?
“My favourite breakfast: bowl of labneh with salty, tart preserved lemons and black coffee. Food is best when it is simple.”
What quote resonates with you?
“There is a saying ‘ Tell me what you eat, and ‘ll tell you who you are’ - I keep on exploring food and the culture around it, because it’s a core expression of who people are, and where they come from. It brings communities together and reflects an identity that goes beyond how people look or speak.”
You’ve travelled a great deal – where else feels like home?
“My favourite destinations are Edinburgh and Beirut. Primarily, it is where my families come from and I love the sense of connection to that history. Edinburgh is the one place where my soul just nestles and I can breathe. Beirut because it’s fucking awesome – the food, history and the constant celebration of life that has seeped into everything aspect of life.”
What else makes you happy?
“Having my passport in my hand on my way to somewhere – new or old, it’s the sense of expectation of something to be experienced. Each place has a list that been researched on museums, restaurants, walks, best place for a martini and always with camera in hand. (I’m a joy to travel with).”