December is always a big reflection period for me. It’s also the best month of the year, because come on now – SILLY SEASON.
I’ve just turned 26 and I have never felt better. Reflecting on the year that was, 6 months ago I really had to dig deep and face some inner demons. I knew I needed to make some significant changes in my life and as someone who is constantly seeking to personally develop, I wrote an action plan for my life and areas I knew I needed to invest time and energy into – like building new relationships, improve existing relationships, connect with people, and to make time doing the things I love doing and essentially further develop professionally but also establish myself as a freelancer. Nerdy? Perhaps. But fuck, writing down my goals and visualising it would happen one day made such a difference to my journey this year.
So here I am today, 26 years of age, surrounded by my family and I am grateful for my life and the opportunities that have come my way. There is so much goodness and so many incredibly inspiring people out there. Find em’. So many significant moments throughout my life have shaped the person I am today. 2016 was truly a year of growth, because I honestly lost myself for a little while. My values remained the same as it had always been, but my identity disintegrated. Here are 18 life-changing moments throughout my 26 years of this crazy thing I like to call life that I am grateful for as 2016 draws to a close:
1. I was born in the city of Wellington, so I’m technically a Kiwi ay Bro
2. We migrated to Indonesia and I lived there for 8 years until a civil war broke out, heartbreakingly watched my Aunties and Uncles homes burnt down to the ground and we were taken and rescued by the army
3. I was then sent to school in Wellington with my sister for a year whilst my parents looked for a place in Sydney to relocate to
4. We then finally moved to Sydney, Australia (best decision ever)
5. Went to Marian college for 6 years, and met some life-long friends who I am still very close to today 12 years later (You know who you are)
6. Nailed HSC. Partied way too much, failed nearly every single subject at uni and then dropped out
7. Eventually went back to University and received a marketing degree (still no idea what I wanted to do at this time ha)
8. Couldn’t find a single job, “You have no experience” they said. So I saved enough money and booked a one-way ticket to South East Asia, fell in love and this travel experience pretty much changed the entire course of my life
9. Started Nat Asia Tours (Now We Are Wildlings) in Bali which failed and turned into a personal blog which made me realise how much I loved to write and share stories with the world
10. Found my dream job in 2014 with Contiki having minimal experience but a deep passion for travel, social media and content (Thanks Brett Morgan and Tim Connew for believing in me ha I may or may not have lied about my photoshop experience ) 😉 But especially Vanessa Stavrou for being my greatest mentor in life and friend!
11. Travelled from LA to San Francisco on a road trip with my family and then spent a week through the Canadian Rockies alone, experiencing one of the most scenic train rides in the world from Vancouver to Jasper
12. Faced ONE of my biggest fears in 2016 and bungee jumped 134-metres in Queenstown with the one and only Lara Lain
13. Travelled to Sri Lanka to rejuvenate, disconnect and reconnect with myself. Re-branded my blog and worked on building my professional website (Now http://www.nataliesiagian.com/) Yes – that’s my real name…
14. Took up my FIRST freelancing gig after many months in the making (Jai-Dee Tours “Good-hearted tours of Thailand”)
15. Travelled on my first work/Contiki trip through Thailand and Malaysia with some incredible humans, learned more than I could ever imagine and realised the career path I would eventually like to go down
16. Found myself again after slowly losing my identity
17. #UberDates. That is all.
18. And finally? Nothing brings me greater joy than the experiences I have been lucky to have had with y’all from all around the world. To all my family, friends, colleagues and yes – even strangers – thank you for helping me and shaping me to become the very best version of myself I can be. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may it bring you an abundance of goodness, sunshine, good times and success.
But I’ll leave this year with one question: What did you do in 2016 that you’ll remember forever? And what will you do in 2017 that you’ll remember forever?
Big love to you beautiful humans & the world! Anything is possible, never stop looking for the magic in everyday life – because those are the most special moments in time that define you for the rest of your life. Now off to celebrate Christmas and New Year with the people I love and let’s make 2017 even bigger and better ❤️🌎✨🎉
Nat Asia xoxo