Life Lately: July 2017July 11, 2017 / bynatalie / Categories : Personal
I realised the other day that it’s been a while since I did one of these life updates. In fact, it’s been a whole year. This time last year it was round about my birthday and I was feeling nostalgic. Maybe it’s the cold weather, maybe it’s my own mortality, but I find this time of year to be really introspective.
It feels like an important time to take stock of where I am and where I’ve been and where I’m going. And maybe it’s because my final birthday in my 20’s is coming up, but I’ve been feeling particularly concerned with reflecting on my life recently.
In the past year, I’ve experienced some incredible travels, ticking major dreams off my bucket list. I always find it so interesting to take a quick moment to look back over the past 12 months, so allow me a little bit of time to reflect.
A few highlights from the past 12 months
Exploring the Robertson Wine Valley
While Stellenbosch and Franschhoek feel like my own, very beautiful backyard, Robertson was a little more foreign and far away. We spent a weekend last year exploring this exceptionally stunning part of the world and I fell in love. Read about a weekend exploring the Robertson Wine Valley here.
Relaxing in Bali
When we travelled to Bali for my sister’s wedding last September, we made sure to take few days break on Gili Trawangan, a tiny island just off Bali. It was such a dreamy and relaxing holiday and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a true break. You can read my guide to Gili T here.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Watching my little sister marry her incredible partner at a beautiful villa in Bali was one of the most precious moments of my life. Get ready for major wedding inspo, and check out a gallery of images from their special day here.
Our little apartment is a constant source of inspiration and joy in our lives and I have absolutely loved renovating it and making it our own, adding things here and making little changes there. You can see a post with before and after pictures (and believe me, it’s a big difference) here.
I had the opportunity to explore a part of the country I’d never seen before and it was such an amazing experience. It was a great reminder that there really is so much to see in South Africa. It’s actually inspired us to plan a great South African roadtrip over this Christmas and New Year. We’re planning to drive up the East Coast, spend NYE in Coffee Bay and then drive back to Cape Town through the Karoo. Read about my Limpopo experience, and why you should definitely visit, here.
Last Christmas was my first one in Cape Town in a while and I sure made the most of it. Can you believe this beach is like 10 minutes from my house? I can’t wait for summer to be back.
If you haven’t been to Up The Creek yet, I recommend you add it to your calendar for next year. It’s probably my favourite festival of the year. The music is great, the energy is fun and spending all floating on the river is a dream. It’s a small festival, which keeps it easy to navigate and it has the best vibe. Read about my 2016 experience, and a guide to the festival that might come in handy for next year, here.
The Trip of a Lifetime
Visiting Iceland was my biggest travel dream and in early 2017 I got to experience a trip that was literally once in a lifetime. Two of my best friends and I hit the Iceland Ring Road for 10 of the most incredible days of my life. We swam in geothermal pools, cuddled up to Icelandic horses and saw the Northern Lights. It was one of the best times of my life.
On the way back from Iceland I had a quick weekend stopover in Amsterdam. It didn’t take me long to eat my body weight in delicious Dutch cheese and chips. I loved the city and I can’t wait to go back to explore some more as soon as possible. Read my guide to 36 hours in Amsterdam here if you’re planning a trip of your own.
The Oyster Box
I’ve wanted to stay in the Oyster Box FOREVER, so when my friend Kiersten invited me to join her for a trip to the iconic red and white seaside hotel, I jumped at the chance. It was too dreamy! You can see all my pictures and read more about it here.
All Aboard Rovos Rail
Known as one of the most luxurious trains in the world, Rovos Rail is an absolute bucket list experience. Kiersten and I boarded the five-star train in Durban for a safari trip up to Pretoria and it was every bit as magical as I’d hoped it would be. Read all about it here.
My first trip to AfrikaBurn was back in 2011 and I was wildly unprepared. It’s a long, tough, beautiful, otherworldly week in the desert that will literally change you as a person. We went with the most amazing crew of people this year and I can’t wait to start planning for 2018. I’ll have a full guide to AfrikaBurn up soon, but for now, if you’re planning on joining the fun in 2018, you can read my guide to what to wear here.
Yes, Yarra Valley
I surprised my sister when I visited her Melbourne just as winter was hitting and we spent a couple of days exploring the stunning Yara Valley together. You can read all about it here.
Falling for Franschhoek
Just when I think I’ve explored everything the winelands have to offer, the seasons change and it’s like a whole new world. We got to soak up all the luxury Franschhoek has to offer for 24 hours and it. was. insane! Read all about it here.
I’ve been having a bit of a tough time recently, and when you’re feeling low it’s easy to lose perspective. It honestly feels sometimes like I’ll never make enough money or be successful enough and it gets me down. Does everyone feel like this?
Specifically now, as my 30’s become a reality. I look at other people my age, and think about where my parents were when they were my age, and I sometimes feel so left behind. But taking a moment to look back over the past 12 months really helps put things in perspective. Cause realistically, even when I’m feeling like a loser, I’ve got it pretty good.
Thanks for reading. What was your favourite part of the past 12 months? And is it just me, or is winter pretty soul-destroying?