Summer is almost over and the beautiful autumn months will soon start to cool down the earth, and change nature’s colours. Today is a special day as I am delighted to introduce my best friend, Natascha Trittis as our Ms. September ( it is also her birthday 🙂 ).
Natascha and I met in 2007 in university, oddly neither of us remembers the exact moment, however as we both didn’t belong to any particular clique or fit into any stereotypical “uni” circle, our paths crossed on more than one occassion. My first memory with her is when we spent a glorious sunny day strolling along the promenade in Montreux, eating ice cream and giggling … it was in that precise moment that I felt, I had a connection with her. The more time we spent together, we realized how much similarity we had, in our interests and our diverse expat background. We supported each other through thick and thin, and it broke my heart to leave after graduation, when our paths took us in separate directions.
She has been my rock for 10 years, always taking my side no matter what, supporting the decisions I have made in my life, and somehow, always managing to push me further with her headstrong perspective, and kindest heart. When we are together, it feels like we are Edina and Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous, and time definitely has only made us closer.
She is one of the strongest people I have met, with ambition and dedication always guiding her to pursue more, and with that … I give her the floor.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I am a child of the world and I suppose in some ways it is true. With a Cypriot father and a German/French mother, I definitely grew up in a multi-cultural home. To complicate things a bit more, I was born in South Africa and spent some years in the US before moving to Switzerland for university. With family all around the world, I have always loved travelling and have a real passion for sport, particularly synchronized skating (not sure what it is, check out this video).
I get to live this passion for sport every day and combine it with travel to some truly wonderful places in my role at the International Olympic Committee. The Olympic Games are truly unique and I am grateful for every edition that I get to experience. I have had a bit of a different career path, studying hospitality and event management in undergrad where I realized I am better as a guest in a hotel than an employee. This however opened my eyes to many other possibilities and with some luck and hard work I managed to fulfil one of my dreams of working for the Olympic Games. Through this I discovered my interest in communications and recently graduated with my masters from Syracuse University. My head (and many notebooks) are full of ideas and I hope that I get to make at least some of those a reality in my lifetime.
2. How did you handle difficult times in your life?
To be honest, you first have a good cry. Whenever I’ve had a particularly hard time in life a good cry has always helped. Then you pick yourself up and make a plan. Break the problem down into more manageable pieces so it doesn’t feel like you’ve got Mount Everest looming over you. Then tackle the problem one rock at a time.
3. How do you balance your life between being a career woman and finding time to do what you love?
While I worked full-time, completed a master’s degree in another time zone, and coached my team, the one thing I found is that if you want it, there is time and you can make it happen. Finding balance was hard but keeping to a schedule and making lists with priorities is a great way to make sure you have time for the things you love most. (something we both share a strong passion for: notebooks and lists 🙂 )
4. What are your hobbies?
I’ve already mentioned the figure skating but I also love baking cupcakes. I absolutely detest cooking savoury things but anything sweet is right up my alley. I love to bake and share my creations with my colleagues at work, even if they complain I don’t make the healthiest of treats 🙂 As a very active person, in the summer months I have taken to mountain biking throughout the Swiss Alps and skiing in the winter. I love to fill my free time with sports!
5. How do you de-stress?
Depends. If I can, I will get on the ice and just skate. The minute I step onto the ice, its as if the rest of the world ceases to exist even for that brief time. As an introvert, I love spending time by myself and is one of the main ways that I de-stress and re-energize. And of course, eating chocolate while I decorate my Erin Condren planner!
6. What are your tips for happiness?
Be yourself! The more you try to fit into someone else’s mould or do things that please other people, the more you will find it hard to be happy. Don’t be afraid to be different.
7. Do you have a motto or favourite quote?
My favourite quote goes along with finding happiness, “Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons”. Don’t be afraid to show what makes you unique, no matter how small.
8. Who is your role model or someone you look up to?
There are so many people that have had an impact on my life and continue to that it would be unfair to just mention one. They all however have shown perseverance in what they have accomplished. Their larger than life imaginations have allowed them to reach their goals and I only hope I can follow in their footsteps.
9. What have been the most exciting milestones in your life?
Definitely completing my master’s this past May. It was a gruelling 2 years with a lot of roadblocks and sleepless nights along the way but I couldn’t be happier that I managed and can hang that piece of paper on my wall with pride. (SO PROUD OF YOU FOR ACHIEVING THIS!)
10. What advice do you have for women today, trying to balance a career, family and personal life?
You are capable of having all 3 and its about finding the right mix that works for you because no two lives look the same. And most of all, find moments every day to laugh and enjoy life!
11. What makes you feel feminine?
Hair and Nails! I love having perfectly manicured nails and hair that’s got the perfect bounce 🙂
Happy birthday darling and cheers to growing fabulously old together!
Disclaimer: Thank you to Natascha for collaborating on this post and sharing an insight into how fabulous she is!