I just realized that besides the really short introduction on my about page I never fully introduced myself. So here’s a little bit about me.
My name is Nicole, but ever since childhood my nickname was Nikky – I do listen to both names, so whatever you want to call me is fine. Why the weird spelling of Nikky? There’s actually a little story behind that:
Everyone used to write it differently when I was a kid (Nici, Nicki,…) and when I was about 13 or 14 years old it started to bother me. I wanted that one true spelling for my nickname, that was unique and no one else spelled it that way. Back then the actress Nikki Cox starred in the TV show “Unhappily Ever After” and I thought, that the spelling with kk looked kinda cool. But of course, there was already a Nikki – so I turned it into Nikky. I used to get really mad, when people spelled it “wrong” – I’m cool with it now, but somehow that name in that particular way is part of me now.
Got a little sidetracked here, sorry. So, my name is Nicole or Nikky and I was born on 13. November 1985 in Austria. Number one in the Austrian single charts was “Vienna Calling” by Falco at that time (that might have been some kind of fate, because Vienna is still calling to me) and in the US billboard charts the “Miami Vice Theme” was on top (can’t get any more 1980s than that I guess).
I grew up in a small town in Upper Austria – it’s called that way, because the region was, and still is, situated above the Enns River – whereas Lower Austria is located beneath the Enns River (a little free history lesson). If you’ve been to Austria, you most likely didn’t visit my hometown, or even Upper Austria. I don’t blame you. Even though there’s some nice spots to visit, especially some nice lakes and mountains (if you’re into that kind of tourism), there’s really a lot more interesting things to see in Vienna or other parts of Austria. Do come and visit though, we have amazing food and are mostly nice people…
I went to elementary school and middle school in my hometown and then I spent five years in boarding school because I attended a high school for fashion design that was too far away from my hometown, to commute every day. Fashion design? Yes, I attended a special high school for fashion design and garment making (there’s actually a lot of specialized high schools here in Austria for all kinds of professions). I realized pretty soon, that the fashion industry was probably not what I was headed for, but I finished it with my high school diploma and it’s quite nice to be able to sew and work with fabrics.
Here’s a picture of me in my prom dress (that I made myself in school of course). The year was 2004 and looking at it now, is more than just a little weird.
I’ve always felt, that Upper Austria was too small for me and I had the urge to see the world. So after high school I took a gap year (2006) and spent it the USA as an Au-Pair. I lived in Virgina with a nice family with three kids (8 months, 9 and 11 years old). It was a great opportunity for me to explore the US (I got to travel a lot and see many beautiful places), improve my English and live in a different culture. That year is probably the reason for my taste for burgers, chinese food and take-out. But also for sometimes doing things that scare you so much, but you still do it and it turns out great. I’ve only been back to the US once since then – for my honeymoon to Hawaii in 2013, but there’s lots of places that I haven’t explored yet and that I want to visit.
Here’s a generic picture of me at Grand Canyon (at a time in my life, where my sense for fashion was completely lost)…
After coming back to Austria I worked for a couple of months, before I finally moved to Vienna (it was calling me) to start University. I got my BSc. and MSc. in urban and spatial planning. At first glance this seems like an odd choice for someone with a background in fashion (but then again, look at me back then…). But I never regretted that choice – the courses were interesting and gave insights into a very broad field of work. It also increased my love for cities and urbanism which is something that will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. Right before moving to Vienna, my best friend introduced me to my now husband and we quickly became an item in 2007. We got married in May 2013 and there’s really no words to explain my love for him (there might be some songs about it in the future though). So I have lots of good feelings attached to my relocation, which is probably where my love for Vienna stems from. I’ve been living here now for almost 12 years and I agree with the mercer study, that this city has the highest quality of living in the world.
After University I was lucky to find a job in spatial planning where I could focus on research in the fields of (active) mobility, citizen participation and local development. This year I switched jobs and I’m now working in the public transport sector (and of course in the social media, blogger, influencer business).
Here’s what I looked like on my wedding day (already with one of my big tattoos):
I guess I already told you almost anything there is to know about me – the only thing left are my tattoos (since a lot of you write me about it). As of today I have 10 tattoos. Some smaller ones and some really big ones. Starting at my feet, there is a flowering dogwood (state flower of Virginia) on my left foot. On my right inner calf is 5. HMa (that was the name of my senior class in HS) written in Hebrew. On the left side of my belly is a gun with roses. Not because I’m a Guns’n’Roses fan, but my favorite book is the “Dark Tower” series from Stephen King. On the right side of my belly is a ukulele. I got it about a year ago and it’s one of my favorite tattoos so far.
On my right arm are Shere Khan, the Big Bad Wolf, Rose Red and Snow White (because my favorite graphic novel is “Fables”) and on my left arm are a strong, Wonder Womanesque weightlifter and a little Hippo (there’s a story about that one coming up in my blog soon). On my left wrist is an owl (got it after graduating university) and on my right wrist is a fish (a friendship tattoo) and finally on my left collarbone are the words “Make it Work” with a little cat at the end. That’s my favorite phrase from Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn and I got it after I lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago.
If you read all the way to the end – congrats, you now know more about me than most people. Please don’t use it against me…