2015 has been a crazy year. It’s hard to look back and reflect on everything that has happened, but below are some of my personal highlights. I mostly write this for myself, so I can look back at it next year again — You might do the same.
? Panic & Anxiety
I kicked off the year with lots of anxiety and the first panic attacks I had in my life. (or maybe I did not know about them before?) Dealing with it took most of my energy last winter and early 2015.
It’s not an experience I like to repeat, but I’m also glad it happened. It pushed me into an intense phase of self reflection. I might write about this in the future, its a very sensible topic and there are many reasons for why things happened the way they did.
Planet earth is beautiful and I believe every human being should spend as much time as possible to travel and explore. It’s in our DNA, it’s who we are.We were not born to sit on a couch and binge watch cheap TV series. We’re born to explore, discover and hug this fucking planet.
In 2015 I visited 23 different cities around the world and gave 20 lectures. Meeting all these different people all over the world inspires me to try harder & work more on the things I care about.
PS: I know, next year I will get my ass out of US/EU.
My travel in 2015
New York ✈️ Los Angeles ✈️ New York ✈️ Sarasota ✈️ Los Angeles ✈️ Palm Springs ✈️ New York ✈️ Amsterdam ✈️ Thessaloniki ✈️ Athens ✈️ Barcelona ✈️ Vienna ✈️ Amsterdam ✈️ NYC ✈️ Salt Lake City ✈️ Reno ? Lake Tahoe ? San Francisco ✈️ NYC ✈️ Stockholm ✈️ Nice ✈️ Stockholm ✈️ NYC ✈️ Los Angeles ✈️ NYC ✈️ Boston ✈️ NYC ✈️ Chicago ✈️ Little Rock ✈️ Houston ✈️ New York ✈️ New Orleans ✈️ New York ✈️ San Francisco ✈️ New York ✈️ Brussels ? Namur ? Brussels ✈️ Tel Aviv ? Jerusalem ? Tel Aviv ✈️ Vienna ? Graz ? Vienna ✈️ Brussels ✈️ New York ✈️ Puerto Rico ✈️ New York
?? I Quit my job
In July I left my full-time job at Spotify without a new job lined up. Spotify was my first real full-time job experience. I worked on my own and had my own company before joining Spotify. I miss the team a lot and loved working there, but I learned that being a 9 to 5 employee is not how I like to spend my life.
I got a new bike in late May and rode more than 4000km since then in New York alone. I use Strava to track most of my trips if I don’t forget to activate it.
I’m pretty sure I will beat my milage 2016. Biking in New York is the best decision I made this year. Even after almost 5 years in New York, this year I felt like the first year I really got to know the city, thanks to biking.
A couple weeks ago I started my own podcast/radio show. I’m a designer & not a native english speaker. Starting a podcast just by myself is way out of my comfort zone, and that is exactly one of the reasons why I’m doing it.
I launched my own Beardoil in collaboration with Beardbrand. It has been a dream of mine for a while to have my own Beardoil, and I’m even more happy that it turned out to be my favorite and best I ever used. The best thing, it even got featured in Playboy Magazine.
I had the honor to receive Awwwards Designer Of The Year award and net magazine Designer Of The Year. ? This is nuts and I still can’t believe it. It means so much to me, because I spend so much time trying to support the design community as much as I can, and this is a sign that people like what I’m doing. It’s not just an award for me, but recognition from my peers, the same peers I admire and respect so much. Thank you!
On top if it, I had the privilege to be a jury member at the Cannes Lions Festival and the Art Directors Club in the Netherlands. These experiences mean so much to me & I’m thankful for being part of it.
I made reading a consistent habit this year. I finished dozens of books and even shared my tipps on “How to read a book”. I know, who doesn’t know how to read a book? ? In addition I started sharing my reading recommendations on my website with you.
Besides speaking at dozens of conferences around the world, I had the honor to give a talk at the Disney HQ in LA and at MIT Media Labs in Cambridge. These were two of my highlights, because:
1. I’m a huge fan of Disney, speaking alongside legendary Disney animators and producers at a company wide event in front of 600 Disney employees absolutely blew my mind. Especially after receiving this email after my talk:
2. I’m a high school drop out. Being on stage and speaking in front of MIT Media Labs students is far beyond my imagination.
Thank you for this amazing year. I can’t wait for 2016.
I’m sure I forgot so many other things that would be worth mentioning here, but just writing this piece helped me to digest & reflect everything that happened. I highly recommend you to do the same, even if it’s just for yourself. If you do, please share it with me on Twitter.