Soneva Jani’s Digital Storyteller and Astronomer: The Best Job in The World
My typical day could possibly be nominated for the best job in the world because I am able to do two things that I love the most, in paradise.
Photography has been a passion of mine for many years. The reason I picked up a camera was to take images of the spectacular objects I would see whilst working as an astronomer in the United Kingdom. Astronomy has been with me since a very early age. In 1997, my Uncle Alan showed me a comet, since then I have been addicted to the wonder and majesty of the universe and everything within it.
My day starts around 08:00 when myself and Jacqueline, our other Digital Storyteller at Soneva Jani, have a small meeting in our office overlooking the resort. The views are spectacular. We outline the tasks for the day, which could be a photoshoot with guests who want us to capture memories of them. It could be a video shoot with one of our chefs, like Chef Okabe, our Japanese Grand Master Chef. These shoots are immensely fun, we create mouth-watering content by videoing dishes that our chefs spend hours perfecting. My favourite part of these shoots is that we get to eat the food after, mmmmm!
There’s always excitement
Sometimes we have shoot requests where we have to pinch ourselves afterwards. I will never forget making a video for our new Soneva Seaplane. I had to stand in a speedboat, 50 metres away from the plane as it took off from our turquoise lagoon. The wind rushed over me and my adrenaline was pumping even faster. The plane did a few laps of the resort, and afterwards I remember shaking with excitement. The next day I made a video of a cheesecake recipe being made, so it’s quite a diverse role.
Working with local communities
One of my favourite parts of my day as Digital Storyteller is when we visit our neighbouring islands for community engagement. We could be at a local school talking about the importance of sustainability. Other days we might be helping a local community with an island clean-up, collecting the alarming amount of plastic that washes up on the beaches in the Maldives. This role gives provides entertainment, purpose, challenges and friendships that will last for many years.
Then, the stars come out to play
Once the sun sets and the stars appear, the next part of the best job in the world begins. At Soneva Jani we have an impressive telescope which we use as our window to the universe. Our 16” Meade can observe the rings of Saturn and the moons of the largest planet in our Solar System, Jupiter. I adore communicating astronomy to our guests. No matter their age, nationality or how much delicious food they have eaten at our unique So Starstruck Observatory; they are captivated by the beauty of what they see through the telescope. They are blown away by learning the answers to: What is a Black Hole? How big is the Universe? Is the Earth Flat? Which, of course, it’s not.
For me, I love that our So Starstruck experience leaves guests captivated, feeling like they have learned something. In closing, my roles at Soneva are unique in their description and even more unique in their location. I am proud to be here at this point in my life, continuously learning, surrounded by my Soneva Family.