Looking back at 2015

December 3, 2015   /   bynatalie  / Categories :  Personal, Uncategorized

It’s 4pm and I am actually desperate for a glass of wine. DESPERATE. It’s almost the end of a long a crazy year and I can feel myself itching for a holiday. The way I feel about my upcoming break is the way you feel when you’re waiting for your date to pick you up. My tummy is full of butterflies and it feels like the inside of my skin is itchy.

I’ve never run a marathon but they way I feel about the how the 23rd of December is looking on my calendar right now is how I imagine the finish line must look to a runner. Like heaven’s gate. Like a macaroni and cheese-topped pizza after a carb cleanse. Like that glass of wine I’m going to have at 4,30pm.

I don’t think I’ve every felt this wiped out at the end of a year and I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m so particularly tired. Like, brain-fried tired. Body tired. Too tired to cook or even order food tired (but never too tired to eat, obviously). Just exhausted and so super ready for a break.

So I’ve decided to take some time to reflect on the past year and really soak up what I’ve done, been through and achieved. To try get some perspective. Do you take time out at the end of the year to reflect? I find that scrolling through my Instagram feed serves as a nice catalogue of memories and sometimes gives me a lot of feelings.

2015, in retrospect

We lived in Hout Bay for a month

While we were waiting for our apartment to be ready for occupation, we stayed with my aunt and uncle for a month. It was actually so super nice to spend time with family, even though it can be exhausting to feel like a “guest” for a month. During this period I worked from two great coffee shops in Woodstock; Origin and Tribe.

 We moved house

We moved into our first apartment together and as exciting as it was, moving is always a pain. Thankfully we won’t be moving for a looong time.

I got some #GrootbosMagic

I spent a few days at one of my favourite places in the world. Read about what makes Grootbos so magical here.

We drove to Namibia for a long weekend

Yes, you’re right, that *is* a very long way to drive for a long weekend. But it was so special and so beautiful and I’d do it again a thousand times. Read about our trip to Namibia and the great Fishriver Canyon here.

We visited Akasha Mountain Retreat

This was one of my highlights of the year. A weekend with special friends in the mountains. Read about our weekend at Akasha Mountain Retreat and see more pictures of what heaven on earth really looks like here.

I went on a whirlwind trip around South Africa

I spent 9 days roadtripping through the country with South African Tourism, working from the road and at 2am from hotel rooms. Read about the trip here.

I ate Stellenbosch

I spent a week exploring more of Stellenbosch with the #Stellenblog campaign. I also helped to run the campaign with Destinate, which went on to be one of the most successful campaigns I managed this year. Read about things to do, see, eat and drink in Stellenbosch here.

I was a speaker at INDABA

I joined a few of South Africa’s most boss girl bosses on stage at INDABA, Africa’s biggest travel show to talk about the business of working with bloggers. It was a real honour and I was proud to be associated with a group of such talented women.

We took major advantage of Cape Town’s winter specials

All winter long. I always say that winter is Cape Town’s season for locals, so we stayed at some of the city’s most stunning hotels and ate of some the top restaurants and it was incredible. Make a note to spend next winter luxuriating it up! Read about our stay at The Mount Nelson here and Twelve Apostles here.

I ate myself into an actual sugar coma

I didn’t know it could happen but it did. Read about eating myself into a sugar stupor here. It’s pretty funny.

I visited Dubai and was blown away

I was invited to visit Dubai with Dubai Tourism during the holy month of Ramadan and I fell in love with it. I had no idea how much I would enjoy the food, the energy and the culture. Read about my trip here: Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

I got to spend a week alone with my mom

My mom came down to Cape Town for our joint birthdays and it was one of my favourite weeks of all time. Like, when did you ever get to spend a whole week just with your mom? I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity and it was so special to have her all to myself. I took her to the winelands and we spent a couple of days eating and drinking some wonderful things. Read about it here.

I got to know Soweto

Even though I grew up in Joburg, my life could not have been further removed from Soweto. I went up to spend a few days in Soweto during the Soweto Wine Festival and worked on a campaign with Destinate. It was a really awesome trip and I’d advise anyone and everyone to get to know the real Soweto by meeting the locals and hanging out at local spots. Read about why I loved it so much here.

I gained a Godbaby

Noa Grace Deall was born and I fell instantly in love with her. I had no idea how much I would feel immediately connected to her and protective of her. She’s such a sweet blessing and I can’t wait to watch her grow.

I got back into presenting

Something I didn’t think was ever going to be part of my life again came round and now I’m presenting again. Read about my new show Ruil My Styl here.

I hiked Reunion Island

I was lucky enough to go back to Reunion Island to hike for 3 days to a remote part of the island. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I will absolutely, definitely go back one day to do it again. Read everything you need to know about travelling to Reunion Island from South Africa here.

We decorated…and decorated and decorated

I’ve heard before that an artwork is never truly finished, just abandoned. And that’s how I feel about home decor and DIY. It’s never truly perfect. It’s never finished. It’s always evolving. I’ve really really loved building a home with Keenan this year.


What was your favourite part of the past year? Or your biggest achievement?



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