It’s true — so much more happened in 2019 than I could have ever imagined. As an avid believer in regularly taking a bit of time to take stock of our achievements and failures, especially in a bid to gain a better perspective on our lives, I wanted to spend some time this morning reflecting on the year that was, as we wrap up this chapter and prepare for the start of a brand new one.
2019 was a fruitful and joyful year for me personally, as well as for Hello Happiest., so I’d like to preface this piece with a note of gratitude for everything I got to experience this year. I found myself writing a loooong list of things I wanted to include here, meaning that it was a full year that can’t really be faulted, so I can only be thankful for the ride, which brought with it many opportunities to continue to learn and grow.
Yoga and Movement Improvements in 2019
On the personal front, there were a couple of goals around yoga and movement that I set for myself at the start of the year. Completing my Advanced Yoga Teacher Training was one of them, which was an intense and enlightening month long experience that sticks out as a big highlight. I also managed to overcome shoulder instability around the same time, thanks to nurturing my body and actively working towards doing my first pain-free downward facing dog and handstand since 2016. This was quite an emotional experience, and anyone who experiences physical pain or similar limitations will know what overcoming a challenge like this can do for your self-esteem.
Subsequently, I now have advanced poses in the works, including more handstands, pincha and I’m aaaaalmost there with the splits. Almost. These personal accomplishments gave me the confidence boost necessary to commit to the opportunity to be the go-to yoga teacher at Colina Verde in Mozambique. This is something I’d like to do more of in the new year, as I’d generally like to experience more yoga abroad. By putting the intention for this out there in 2019, I got the chance to do yoga along the entire Florida coastline in the U.S, I’m hoping for more opportunities like this as we head into the new year as well!
A New Willingness To Develop Additional Passions
While Hello Happiest. remains my baby, and I’m wholeheartedly committed to and passionate about it and the wellness industry, I recently started branching out more into another field I’m passionate about. Photography is an old love of mine, and this year I got the incredible chance to work on two recipe book projects; one as lead photographer, and the other as food stylist (a perfect match considering I got to couple two of my loves: creativity and cuisine).
I recently shared some pics of one of the launches on Instagram, which was a special moment for everyone involved. This year, I have also become the go to Full Moon Cape Town Yoga photographer (something I can highly recommend) and to start to explore new product collaborations in other industries as well. This is something I’d like to continue exploring, as I learn more about photography and work to develop my craft.
Making Time For Fun: Travel & Food Experiences
Personal and professional goals aside, anyone who knows me can tell you that I love to travel and to experience different cultures and food. In 2019, I had the privilege of visiting six countries in Africa, I got to travel to Russia for the second time (where I had made it my mission to try their unique food), spent a bit of time in Mozambique, and I’m wrapping up the year by heading to Namibia for some time off.
These experiences all included trying some things I never thought I would do for the first time, including open water dives in Sodwana, gorge swinging (yikes!) in Zimbabwe, staying in a treehouse with hippos as our neighbours at some point (they’re friendlier than you think), and even seeing eight black rhinos in one day while in Etosha. Africa sometimes gets a bad rap as a travel destination, but in my experience this year, it remains one of the gems of the world, with breathtaking nature and wildlife, cultural diversity and providing the opportunity for you to get out of your comfort zone. I’d love to explore more of the continent next year as well!
Turning My Attention to 2020
All-in-all 2019 was a very full year, and I am looking forward to taking a little bit of time off, before kicking back into high gear for all that 2020 may bring. We have so much planned for Hello Happiest. in the upcoming twelve months, including doing more private events, crafting some new concepts for retreats and events to leave you fulfilled and inspired, as well as gearing up for our first international retreat later in the year.
December is also a great time to start setting some new goals on the personal and professional front, and if 2020 is anything like 2019, I’ll be in for a wonderful year of learning and growing. I’m open to new opportunities, travel experiences, and collaborations all the way. I’m looking forward to diving into the unknown together, and here’s to having a restful and wonderful festive season with loved ones before we both take the plunge. See you in the new year!