My name is Kassey Downard and I am the founder of ‘Paperluster’.

I wanted a space where I could share my love of reading, makeup, photography and travel alongside my sister.

We are inseparable and behave like we are twins – finishing each other’s sentences and saying the exact same thing at the same time…which is crazy because we have an 8 year age gap between us. I think that is what allows us to be so close. We never went through that ‘I hate you, you’re so annoying phase’.

We had always thought we would open our own library/cafe but soon realised that wasn’t big enough for our dreams. We ultimately want to work online while travelling and share our passions with the world.

It’s in my DNA

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to explore the world. There was never one time where I was bitten by the travel bug because I truly believe it is hardwired in my DNA.

When I was younger I would take off on my own exploring the back of my grandparent’s farm (which I wasn’t allowed to do…but when has that ever stopped me?). I can remember that there was a creek with a massive log laying over top like some ethereal bridge. When standing on this log you could see the eels swirling beneath you with bits of sunlight peeking through the overgrown trees. In that moment I felt like I was the fairy queen of the swamp lands.  

High school came along and I found I was still dreaming up foreign lands and cultures, imagining all the ways I could bottle up that feeling I had at the creek when I was younger.

Being born in New Zealand is a traveller’s dream!

I decided before I went on any massive overseas trips that I needed to focus on exploring my own backyard. Too often people would ask me about places I had never even been. People from all around the globe travel to New Zealand and I realised that it was extremely important that explore my own country first. This led to some of my favourite memories and photos I have ever taken.  

Now that I have explored my backyard I am ready to take on something bigger and scarier.

I am a sucker for a good narrative

Movies and books play a massive role in where I want to travel to. I am a sucker for a good narrative!

A book that stands out is ‘Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’. I love the girls and their strong sisterly bond but even more so I was so inspired by Lena Kaligaris and her time spent in Greece with her family. When the movie came out, it was all over. The blue and white domed houses of Oia had captured my heart.

All work and no play

I am a qualified primary school teacher. I have been teaching for 6 years and it is something I am extremely passionate about. However, no one told me how much of my life teaching would impact on. I spend more time teaching, planning, marking, making resources etc… than anything else. It is a 24/7 job. As I get older I am beginning to realise that no matter how much I love teaching, children and learning, I need something that is less stress and more enjoyment.

I have always loved photography and reading. When I left high school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It is safe to say I panicked and picked something I thought I would be good at. In hindsight, I should have taken a year off and explored the world before deciding what I was to do for the rest of my life.

Now being 26, I feel like it is very tricky to ‘start again’. Bills and adult life make me very reliant on my income. I know I need to follow my passions and do the things that are ultimately going to make me happy, no matter how scary this ‘change’ may be.

I always pack too much

I like to think that this is a metaphor for the amount I load myself up with in life. I always pack far more than I need in my suitcase when I go somewhere and I always bite off far more than I can chew. I don’t do anything by halves. I am all in or as my mum likes to say I am like a bull in a china shop!

“You’re a ghost driving a meat skeleton made from stardust, what do you have to be scared of?”