10 Things I’m Ready To Admit in 2016

10 Things I'm Ready to Admit in 2016
Beach in Dibba, Oman

I know, I know I’m a little late to the end-of-year party but after many a disappointing process of trial-and-error I’m willing to admit that I’m no good with resolutions, like most people. It makes complete sense because we’re literally given the chance to start over and make a change every single new day of our lives and yet somehow we make resolutions after wasting 365 whole days expecting that these will magically work. Somehow. So my ‘Welcome 2016’ post this year is going to be different from last year’s post- I’m not going to make any resolutions, instead I’m going to shamelessly admit all the things I realized I was terrible at as a result of failing to keep the promises I made to myself in the beginning of 2015. Some people say that acknowledging your shortcomings is a big step towards self-improvement. I don’t know about that but it sure is way easier to do than making a bunch of resolutions that you know you probably won’t fulfill anyway. So here are the things I’m ready to admit in 2016.

1.    I’m a Creative. Through and through.

One of my biggest realizations in 2015 has been that I’m a 100% creative as opposed to the part-creative part-business person that I need to be to catapult the success of my blog. It was in 2015 that I realized that most successful blogs require business-like thinking with solid marketing and promotion strategies in place. Of course, it’s about the content but it’s also equally or maybe even more about marketing that content- something I’m not very good at. I admit I need to change this but considering how much I hate multi-tasking and love writing (in its purest, most unadulterated, ‘pour-your-heart-out’ and ‘it-doesn’t-matter-who-reads-it’ form), it looks like a long, slow and pretty much torturous process.

2.    I Detest Being Always (Digitally) Social

There, I said it and I don’t care if it makes anyone question my skills as a blogger.

I have huge respect for bloggers and social media influencers who relentlessly post on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube at regular intervals every single day and work non-stop in building and maintaining their following on these platforms. But it’s not something I can do constantly and without exception, and just maybe, it has to do with my real-life personality of an introvert who needs some time without conversation and engagement. I’ve been told more than once that I need to appear more ‘chirpy’, ‘cheerful’ and ‘extroverted’ on social media just because I’m a blogger but those are not words anyone would use to describe me in real life, so I can’t fake being someone I’m not.  Constantly updating Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram is something I find exhausting and unrealistic-considering I’m not a machine.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t post regular updates on my channels or use scheduling tools- of course I do. But I’ve always tried to ensure my social media persona is as true to who I am in real life- so you’ll never see a happy picture of me on my page on a day that I’m actually feeling like shit. And you definitely won’t see a picture of every cup of coffee, bowl of fresh fruits or ice-cream sundae that I’ll have because that’s not something I share in real-life even with friends.

In other words, if I don’t have something worthwhile to say or share, I won’t say anything.

3.    I listen to my heart 99% of the time.

You know what they say about keeping the perfect balance between the heart and the mind and how it leads to better decisions? I’m pretty much incapable of asking my heart to shut up, even when my mind puts up a really strong fight. I’m not saying I completely hate this personality trait- it’s what led me to take huge risks career wise and make some bold moves which have eventually paid off. It’s also why I always speak my mind on my blog and never tone it down because who wants to be practical when you can be raw, honest and fierce?!

But, while this has worked out well so far, there’s no way of knowing it will always work and no way of knowing that things would not have worked out better if I had taken more practical decisions once in a while. This is also one of the reasons why I identify myself as a creative (because that’s all heart) and not so much as a business-minded person.

4.    I’m not as brave as I’m supposed to be or sometimes seem.

A travel blogger who quit a secure job so she could set off on adventures whenever she pleases while paying for travel through freelance jobs doing what she loves- it all seems so ideal and inspiring. It sounds like the ultimate dream.

The truth is I’m not as fearless as it can sometimes seem, when it comes to both travel and an unconventional career. I routinely have sleepless nights filled with self-doubt where I lie awake in bed thinking about the articles I could write, those that I really want to write but cannot because of other better-paying projects, the magazine editors that did not respond to my queries and pitches, the things I need to do to grow my blog and audience, the next trip I want to take but cannot afford, the invoices that I have been following up on for months, and the hours I simply don’t seem to have to better my skills in writing, photography and video. With so many things running through my head, I’m often overwhelmed to the point where I simply need a time-out and it can often feel like I have no idea what the hell I’m doing.

Even while traveling, I often shy away from adventures that would drag me way out of my comfort zone (you won’t see me bungy jumping off a cliff anytime soon), taking baby steps with micro adventures instead. But I’ve chosen to allow myself to respond to my fears because they are what make me who I am- my insecurities, vulnerabilities and failures.

5.    I miss the times when travel was just about travel and not about blogging.

No confessions post would be complete without me admitting that I miss when my travels were about literally getting lost in some obscure town, disconnected from social media for weeks and without a mental to-do list of photo vantage points and storylines. Back then, I wrote for myself and even though my writing or stories weren’t half as good as they are now, there was something very fulfilling about writing at my own pace and without the need to sell my stories.

That being said, I’m very grateful for how things turned out for me as a travel writer and blogger. I do what I love and get paid for it (in terms of money and travel opportunities)- so there’s nothing I would change even if it means that my travels now involve more focus and a conscious effort to dig out quality stories.

6.    I like travel but I won’t be anyone’s travel planner for free.

Everyone knows there’s a job such as travel planning where people actually get paid to plan itineraries and book hotels, tours, activities and car rentals, right? That price is what people pay for the convenience of having someone else do the research and taking the pressure off them, or just for being lazy. Seeing as how I have a full time job as a travel blogger, writer and digital influencer with a lot on my mind (see point 4), I don’t get how anyone can assume that I’m super excited to spend days planning their trip unless they’re paying me for my time and expertise, or taking me along all-expenses-paid (in which case I’m totally cool by the way). Of course, I don’t mind sharing recommendations for the places I’ve been to and I’ll be happy to let others in on secret spots I’ve found but people, please don’t ask me to design your entire trip for free.

7.    I don’t even like travel planning that much.

Just like the average person who travels often, I get tired of excessively planning my trips and like to have a good degree of flexibility and spontaneity because not only is it easier to travel like that but it can bring you to some completely unexpected but amazing experiences. Travel planning, beyond a certain point, completely stresses me out. I like to plan my trips in a way that leave extra time to wander off somewhere on a whim and have plenty of days of doing very little.

8.    Nothing pisses me off as much as someone telling me I can’t do something.

I really do believe I can do whatever I set my heart upon and I have a hard time agreeing with anyone who thinks otherwise. I might eventually realize that I’m not good at it but that’s something I’ll accept only after I’ve tried and tried (and failed) many times. Then, I’ll just find an alternative and teach myself how to rock that instead.

9.    I’ve never committed to anything as much as I have to this blog.

That’s right and I feel zero guilt in stating this because this blog has brought me to unbelievable experiences that I wouldn’t have been offered otherwise and has never once let me down when I’ve put in the work and hours. All of the effort I’ve put into it has been completely worth it and the successes that follow only add to my self-confidence and skills. It’s unexpectedly become a huge part of who I am and I’m more deeply vested in its success than I’d first imagined I’d be.

10. I think selfishness is highly underrated.

I will openly admit that I’m unapologetically selfish and I don’t like to watch life pass me by while I’m busy fulfilling my duties and responsibilities to everyone else but myself. My travels, this blog and my new career have all shaped up as a result of prioritizing my own dreams and life goals and focusing on the core of what makes me happy as an individual. I can’t think of a single reason I’d want to change that. In other news, I’m chasing another selfish life goal by traveling to Iceland soon and hopefully getting to see the Northern Lights, but more on that in another post.


There you have it, these are the things I’ve learnt about myself in 2015 and just sharing them with you makes me feel more grounded and real. I spend all of my time working in the digital space where it’s easy to get affected by everything that doesn’t stand up to the images of perfection we’re constantly fed with. Admitting this stuff gives me room to accept the things that I cannot change about myself and direct my energies to improving others in a way that won’t affect the integrity of my voice and work.


I’m curious- if I had to ask you, what did you learn about yourself in 2015? And is there something you’d like to change?

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10 Things I'm Ready to Admit in 2016





  • Elen says:

    There’s so much that I can identify with here, especially the point about not even liking travel planning that much, and wishing it was more about the travel and less the blogging 🙂

    • Natasha Amar says:

      Thanks for the comment Elen. Sometimes I wish I could disappear for a few days and just live the story instead of broadcast it on social media. I did exactly that for a few days in Iceland and it isn’t surprising that’s another reason why I loved that trip so much.

  • Shaun Alex says:

    Point 7. I hate being told I can;t do something. OMG. That’s me. Someone says I can’t, I bloody do it. Dedications and hard work trumps talent most times, which is a good thing for me. Conrats for getting out there and doing it.

  • Dariece says:

    This is SUCH a great post! I feel like so many of us can relate to most of these points. And self-realization is such and important thing. Sounds like you’re off to a good start in 2016. 🙂

    • Natasha Amar says:

      Thank you Dariece! I suppose most bloggers do feel overwhelmed with all the to-do’s at some point, so I’m relieved I’m not the only one feeling this way.

  • Hey Natasha! This is beautiful and a sign that you are already comfortable with being your genuine self. The road to happiness is honesty and giving importance to what we feel than what others think about us. Thank you for openly sharing your story!

    • Natasha Amar says:

      Thank you Trisha! I guess happiness is being completely content with who you are and taking that with you as you try to navigate life and work. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Mar says:

    I cannot agree more about the not wanting to be connected all the time and about traveling being better before blogging. Something just tells me sometimes, that it is so much better to just avoid documenting all the trips because it is just more organic, less planned. But years don the line it’ll be great to re-read it all!

    • Natasha Amar says:

      It’s always a trade-off and how much we still enjoy our travels even with all the documenting depends on how well we are able to keep the balance.

  • Jenna says:

    Such a great post! Totally agree with you about resolutions–I hate making them. It’s good to realize what works for you and what doesn’t. Number 6 is so true–so frustrating when people want you to plan trips–it’s such a personal thing and takes so much time! Definitely should be a paid service. Happy travels and 2016!

  • Hugo says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    I totally agree with #2. It’s a big pressure to handle and I try to schedule a few things so I don’t go crazy.

    I really like travelling and talking about it, both on the blog and out of it. But #5 is also very important. I don’t mind replying to a quick email about planning, but can’t be anyone’s travel planner for free. It takes too much time and effort.
    Hugo recently posted…Casas particulares: staying local in CubaMy Profile

    • Natasha Amar says:

      I’m sure this happens to most travel bloggers and I have not figured out a nice way to say ‘I don’t work for you’ yet. I hope I do a better job at saying No or maybe I’ll just send them a link to this post 😉

  • Kathrin says:

    Oh god this speaks to me on a deeper level! I agree with you so much in so many points! I’m also not very good at marketing my content. Have to work on it. I also have dedicated so much effort in my blog, I just love to write it even if no one reads it 😀 I love to write down my travel stories and I love my blog but I also agree with you that sometimes it’s just great to get lost and not think about writing the “next story”

  • amazing post you got it here! I guess it’s about time that everyone should create their list of things that they are ready to admit this 2016. Loved your entry!

  • Kim-Ling says:

    Great post! I can relate on so many levels. It is definitely a huge job making the travel blog successful, and one that many people don’t realise how involved it is! I’m trying to get on top of it all, but like you, I think I’m more creative than business-savvy (we can be a work in progress though, right?) And good on you for no. 10. There’s nothing wrong with chasing your dreams and doing things for you! (as long as it doesn’t hurt people along the way). 🙂
    Kim-Ling recently posted…Wanderlust Fatigue: Is There Such A Thing as Too Much Travel?My Profile

  • Stefan says:

    I feel EXACTLY the same way – a decade ago I travelled alone to Latin America and back then there was no Facebook, smart phones, blogs, digital cameras etc etc. But I love our blog cause it keeps us on our toes and makes us really get into our travelling.

    Like you I prefer the content and am really bad at the business side. I’m really lucky my partner is more savvy about that end of things. And man do I hate planning with a capital P….!
    Stefan recently posted…What’s it like travelling as a gay couple in AsiaMy Profile

    • Natasha Amar says:

      Stefan, you’re lucky that there’s two of you in this together. You can split up the work and the pressure of creative chaos based on individual strengths, but doing this as one person who’s terrible at multi-tasking is very challenging.

  • Hi Natasha – I think travel can accelerate self-awareness in many people. I know that it’s changed my perception of the world and the place that I occupy in it. One of the biggest things I learned in 2015 while traveling full time is that my values continue to change. I’m a long ways from prioritizing the things I paid the most attention to just a couple of years ago. I’m sure you feel the same.

    • Natasha Amar says:

      I agree Betsy. It’s funny how as bloggers we’re supposed to (okay maybe not supposed to but that’s what a lot of successful bloggers do) make ourselves the protagonists in the story of travel (bohemian adventurers free from the evil clutches of corporate life) when in reality I feel less and less like doing that simply because the stories and experiences themselves are the protagonists. We’re so unimportant in the larger scheme of things and how can anyone be fascinated with what I did or did not do to make my travels happen when they could be fascinated by how the tribes live in Vietnam or the landscapes in New Zealand?

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