Newsfeeds are flooded with everyone’s Top Nine most liked Instagram photos. And I have to agree, it’s a cool way of looking back on the year and the biggest moments of 2018. But not all my big moments are on Instagram. And what’s important to me didn’t necessarily rack up all the likes on social media. So instead of focusing on the Top Nine images that people liked most on Instagram, I chose to look back on my top 9 favourite memories of 2018. Here they are:
1. Standing among the dead trees in the Dead Vlei in Sossusvlei, Namibia
This was on my bucketlist for quite some time. And it was an absolutely surreal experience to actually stand there among nature’s history and soak up that unreal landscape. It’s a memory I will cherish forever.
2. Paragliding off Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa
I’ve been dreaming of doing this for nearly two years. And when I finally mustered up the courage to do it, I couldn’t believe how scared I was for something that ended up being so incredible. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t let fear get the better of you, and getting out of your comfort zone really is worth it.
3. Signing up for Zumba and Strong by Zumba and actually making it a part of my lifestyle
I’ve always said, I don’t like exercise. But somehow I ended up becoming a Strong by Zumba junky. I finally found exercise that I like, that challenges me, and helps me to live a healthier and happier life. It’s definitely one of the best things that I could have started doing in 2018. And I can’t wait to get even more into it in 2019.
4. Hearing dolphins breathing whilst Kayaking in the Atlantic
I went kayaking with my sister here in Cape Town and we were lucky enough to spot Dusky dolphins on our kayaking trip. It was absolutely incredible. We could spot them coming towards us, swimming underneath our kayak, and then hear them exhale when they surfaced again. It was a beautiful moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.
5. Finally getting my German B1 Certificate
Even though I had my last German class back in 2013 during my final year at university, I’ve always had this fear of failing the examination. This year I finally decided, enough is enough. I’m just holding myself back. I’m going to enroll for the examination. Come hell or high water, I just had to do it. So I studied, I completed the exam, and I passed with flying colours. Once again, facing my fears actually paid off in the best possible way.
6. Seeing my daffodils blossoming
Daffodils are one of my favourite flowers. So I decided to buy a wooden planter, sand it down, varnish it, prep the earth, plant the bulbs and patiently wait (and pray!) for them to grow. I was so happy when almost all of them grew. And then, on a cold spring morning I was absolutely overcome with joy when I woke up to see one unmistakable yellow daffodil greet me. Good things really take time, love, patience and faith.
7. Wine tasting at Creation Wines in Hermanus, South Africa
Creation is an incredibly beautiful wine estate in the picturesque Hemel en Aarde wine valley. And drinking fantastic wine with my best friend is certainly one of my highlights for the year.
8. Hiking up Devil’s Peak and drinking a Devil’s Peak Lager at the top
I’ve always wanted to climb all three major peaks of the Table Mountain City Bowl range, and this one was by far the one I feared the most. It was tough, like, really tough, but man, it was absolutely glorious and the views were just majestic. I felt like I was on top of the world. And having a beer with friends on top of a mountain is really an incredible memory to have.
9. Learning more about emotional intelligence and realising its importance in my own relationships and my relationship with myself
Understanding the importance of emotional intelligence has helped me to better my relationships, understand myself more, and find out what I want and need out of relationships. It’s a vital skill that we should focus on a lot more if we want to have better relationships with people and ourselves.
And that’s 2018 in a very tiny nutshell! This year might have had many great memories, but there were lots of difficult and sometimes awful things happening in between. But that’s life. You learn from the bad, you enjoy the good, and hope that what you’ve experienced this year will make you a better person in the next. Enjoy looking back on your own Top Nine memories and happy New Year.