Where are you from?
Originally from Berry NSW which is a little country town of about 2000 people.
What’s your background?
I grew up on the south coast of NSW. I went to school in a little country town, in Nowra, from Kindergarten to Grade 3, then moved to one in Wollongong which was about an hour from where I lived and did that for about 3 years. Then I went to boarding school in Sydney. I had a scholarship and it wasn’t my favorite thing in the world but it was a very privileged position to be in.
That was good because you could spend time in the country, and in the city. Before that I was a real country girl, liked horses and mud and all that stuff. Then I started at university but that didn’t last long. I dropped out to pursue other things.
Describe your life right now
In flux. Recently I was trying to think a bit deeper about my career and what I really like doing, what I enjoy doing on a day to day basis and how I wanted to shape that.
So, I was trying out a few different projects and seeing what I actually enjoyed instead of the identity that I felt like I crafted for myself about 10 years ago when I started getting into tech startups.
So that’s been interesting coming to a realisation “maybe I don’t want to do that. Maybe I want to be teaching,” or doing something traditionally I hadn’t really thought about, my work that I actually enjoy the process of. Just figuring that out has put me in a bit of flux.
What’s important to you and your life?
Freedom. It’s basically like choices and freedom and the freedom to do what I want, when I want, where I want. I don’t like having a lot of restrictions placed on me. So, it’s like “okay, who do I choose to be?”
And if that means I want to do business because I love it then that’s great, or if it means I want to travel or whatever… Yeah, I think one of my highest values is freedom and I think, as I’m starting to get older, realising that perhaps I want like a little bit of security as well because I’ve never really valued that.
And now I’m getting older, maybe I should start thinking about security — not security in the traditional sense that most people think of it, but thinking about that and valuing that a little bit higher.
Typically I associate security with same thing day in day out, which is not really what it was. It was just a limiting belief I had from the way I was brought up and that view of security that was there.
Maybe it’s just like I buy a place as a home base. I don’t have to live there all the time…or buy a place overseas. But just that idea of having a home instead of living out of a suitcase all the time. That’s kind of like, in terms of location, in terms of building deeper relationships with people, and deeper connections with people by staying in a place a little bit longer.
I think it’s a side effect of traveling and it’s also the nature of the people I hang out with. They’re equally ambitious. And so if I’m somewhere, they’re here for a few months and then they’re off.
So even if I was to stay somewhere, the people I hang out with tend to be a bit more like that. So yeah, just like learning how build deeper connections with people and then how to live a bit more of an alternative lifestyle that I know I would enjoy, but managing that around other needs I have around security, deep friendships and connection.
What specific experiences, people or events have shaped your view?
I’m a very creative person and it’s like life is this canvas and who do I want to be within this? And in order to do that you need choices. You can’t express yourself properly and be the best version of yourself unless you create choices for yourself.
I think that’s part of where freedom comes into it. I’m a very curious person. I consume a lot of information and I talk to a lot of people and you get inspired by people doing cool stuff in these kinds of communities like Fishburners or overseas. I think that’s where I get some of my inspiration but I’ve always been a bit alternative in my parents minds–the one that wasn’t going to go down the same path as everyone else.
So, I think I’m probably just hanging out with like minded people, reading and seeing “oh there’s communities of people doing this kind of thing” and then trying it and seeing if I like it.
Nikki Durkin is the founder of Codemakers.