At 12 years old, Natasa Vojnovic’s universe was torn apart by war.
That formative experience rendered a sense of peace and a feeling of home integral to her well-being forever.
At age 19, Vojnovic began a whirlwind career as a model, walking high-fashion catwalks and gracing important magazine covers. But, despite the love she felt for the fashion world, she also felt the urge to flee and experience something different, perhaps learn about herself. She put her career on hiatus and traveled to West Africa, where she found the fresh perspective she sought.
In the upcoming Live The Process Spring 2015 collection images, Vojnovic inspires us all with her energy, positivity and authenticity. She embodies everything Live The Process stands for and projects to the world.
Here, the model describes how making peace with her reality has allowed her to appreciate more:
Live The Process: You were raised in Bosnia, but were forced to leave your home as a war refugee in Serbia at age 12—how did this experience inform your worldview?
Natasa Vojnovic: I was born in Serbia but I grew up in Bosnia until the war started. Back then it was all one country: Yugoslavia. These definitions didn't mean as much as they do today.
War is a dramatic experience; when the country fell apart, my family did as well, and, with it, my whole world collapsed.
Such experiences left an indelible mark on my appreciation for the basic gifts in life: health and wellness. Once something is taken away from you, you realize how important it is. The base of wellness to me is in the feeling of undisturbed safety, peace and home.
LTP: What were some of the biggest lifestyle challenges you faced once your career gained momentum?
NV: At a very young age, fashion became my home. And, like it happens with all unexpected changes, soon enough, fashion became a home from which to escape too. I needed to gain perspective to then go back to it with a different mindset.
I flew to Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. I took four seasons off at the height of my career, and I have never regretted it once.
Fashion has its way of rewarding bold choices and, once I went back to it, I was able to live the very same experiences with new, refreshed eyes and to give more to it in exchange. My job is my passion, my art and my life. As I grew as a human being, I grew as a model. In a way, my trip was an instinct to bring wellness back into my daily life. As a result, I am now never afraid to leave, nor to come back.
LTP: Does your constant traveling and long hours present an obstacle to your health?
NV: Once I started flying seven days a week, I made a conscious decision to come to terms with it; I had to turn flying into a productive experience. I learned to sleep on the plane, to eat, to rest, to read, to learn and to make the most of every minute. Meditation and yoga have been a great help— they taught me the value of spending time alone, and there is plenty of time to be spent alone on a plane.
LTP: Are there any self-care routines you’re religious about following?
NV: My only secret is water. I am very sensitive to it and I realize how much water itself, or the lack of it in any shape or form, affects my well- being.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
NV: Happiness looks like love to me—love to give, love to receive, love for others, love for nature and ultimately self-love.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
NV: As I learned that the journey is more important than its destination, I also learned that the process is more important than its result. The process is a result in itself. We create ourselves day after day; constant improvement and incremental change is the secret to great change.