Nataly Osmann, the Russian beauty heralding from Moscow, is a journalist and co-creator (with her husband, Murad) of the Follow Me To travel series. A phenomenon that has taken the world by storm since going viral in 2012 – seriously, upon finishing reading Nataly’s interview below, head over to their Instagram accounts (links at bottom of interview) and get lost in their world of wanderlust and wonder.
She is kind and incredibly passionate: about her work, her love, her family and making the world a better place. She is a wonderful supporter of #womensupportingwomen. She has traveled around the world and knows first hand that kindness prevails. In every interaction I have had with Nataly I have been blown away by her kindness and her time – something she is so generous with.
Nataly truly is in love with the world and boy-oh-boy is that evident in everything she does. It is evident in her work, it is evident in her words and it is evident in her outlook on life. And you just can’t help but become swept up in her infectious zest for life and be inspired by the pure joy and love that pours out of her every breath. Viewing the world through her eyes is magical. I discovered #FollowMeTo a few years ago and I was incredibly intrigued from the get go and inspired by Nataly and Murad’s story, (In a nutshell, on one of their first trips Murad went to take a photo, however, Nataly turned away at the last minute and happened to pull Murad forward as he took the shot. When looking through their photos from that trip, that became one of their favorites, Murad uploaded it and the rest is history) their journey to becoming two of the most coveted travel bloggers in the world and, it goes without saying, I also completely fell in love with their photography. As you can see by just the small sample of their work below, every photograph encapsulates a feeling. It transports you to another place, it tells a story, it highlights and celebrates so many of the amazing treasures and cultures of this wonderful and diverse world we live in. For Nataly and Murad, it was all born out of love. I think this is most evident in their story, they never set out to create an empire. They just did what they loved – travel and photography – and shared it with the world. Their success has literally all been born out of love, following your passion, listening to your heart and sharing that joy. And as two sweet, loving, kind and hard-working people, they couldn’t be more deserving,
As any of my friends will tell you, I love love – I’m a hopeless romantic at heart and I will take a rom-com or 80’s love ballad over another genre every day of the week. And I love seeing their love. Their philosophy in everything they do is love, just love. You can see in their photographs together how their eyes light up when they are looking at each other. They are ridiculously cute and everything they say about each other is filled with pure love. When posting an image from their wedding, Murad wrote: ‘I promise to hold your hand and tell you I love you every day for the rest of our lives’. I know right, goosebumps…this is the stuff fairytales are made of. Pure love.
I am so grateful to Nataly for sharing her time and I hope by reading through Nataly’s interview you are reminded that no matter how big and vast this world is, if you follow your heart, lead with love and work hard, you can achieve a life beyond your wildest dreams.
NATALY OSMANN // JOURNALIST & CO-FOUNDER #FOLLOWMETO
One word you would use to describe yourself?
‘ I believe that our thoughts materialize.’
What would you tell your younger self?
I would give this advice: “Enjoy every moment in life and don’t be sorry for anything!”
How would you describe your outlook on life and your way of living?
First and foremost, my outlook is always peaceful. I am inspired by travel. As for way of life, suitable adjectives for me are: healthy, harmonious and active!
What are some ways you practice self love and self care?
The first and my most important – is yoga! Yoga and yoga again! It’s something that helps me to keep afloat, feel confident, strong and inspired! It sometimes helps loneliness too. In addition to yoga, I find conversations with myself help too.
Why do you believe in positive self talk? And in what ways can we be kinder to ourselves?
If you don’t love yourself first and don’t believe in obtaining success, you’ll never get anything. I believe that our thoughts materialize. And I’m just adapting to a positive perception with the help of yoga.
What makes you feel loved and supported?
I feel love, when I feel cared about.
Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
My parents and they even still have an affect now: I really listen to them and appreciate their advice. And of course, Murad, as my life and life in general has changed dramatically after our meeting.
What is the greatest life lesson you have learnt?
It is the understanding that you cannot stop difficulties in life. Always put yourself out there, look at experiences as tests and evaluate mistakes. And most importantly do not perceive them as defeat, but perceive them as a great experience.
How do you deal with stress / anxiety?
I try not to bring myself to become stressful.
Two things I find: both yoga and driving help me, when I feel like something is bothering me. I love to drive and I find I really rest and relax behind the wheel. I find I can sit in the car and just go to my destination, almost aimlessly.
And music always helps me. I love listening to music always and everywhere I go, I will never leave the house without headphones.
‘Always put yourself out there, look at experiences as tests and evaluate mistakes.’
What brings you joy in your work?
All my work brings me joy! Starting from boarding the aircraft to jet lag after flying. (Laughs) Many people think that I don’t work and all my work just a solid rest. But this is very misleading, because we often have to work for 24 hours straight. This includes very little sleep, getting up early and traveling for a long time to get to our destination. Because we give ourselves fully and give it our all, our filming takes away a lot of energy, but it still always brings me joy.
In your opinion, what is true strength of character?
The most important thing is self-discipline! In any case!
Have you had to deal with fear and failure? What have you learnt about yourself from these experiences?
Everyone has to deal with setbacks, and I’m certainly no exception. I just have a good outlook that I have learned for myself over the years that a bad experience is also an experience!
Life is too short to tolerate… Laziness
What is the best advice you can offer on beliving in yourself and following your dreams?
The best advice: “Do not give into anybody or your dreams and never give up!” If you have a goal, go for it, without turning around. Don’t listen to anybody! All great stories are born from a small dream!
‘If you have a goal, go for it, without turning around. Don’t listen to anybody! All great stories are born from a small dream!’
Why do you believe in kindness?
Because it is impossible to achieve anything without faith…in ourselves and each other!
Why do you believe it is important for girls and women to support one another and build each other up?
It’s important to realize this. To understand that a woman that supports and builds other women up means everything, we can’t do it without each other. Men can be infinitely gallant, courteous and charming. But it would not exist without women and their participation in shaping the progress of society. And I think that makeup, nice clothes and diamonds would not be so in demand without constructive competition. (Laughs)
Through #followmeto you have experienced so many different countries and cultures, what is the one common theme you have noticed when it comes to love and kindness that transcends everything else?
The human eye! Interethnic the way a person looks at you which transcends the need for any words. Eyes can tell all! The ultimate purpose in life is a big and happy family. It seems to me more important than any whole thing in the world!
How do you deal with judgement; both outside and self inflicted?
I believe judgments are needed to take stock, learn, get better and grow. And for this reason I try to use them in a positive manner.
What is something you don’t tell yourself enough?
That I am grateful for the opportunities that have presented and opened in front of me and from that I have been able to travel halfway around the world, learn a lot, meet so many new people, traditions and unforgettable stories!
‘A woman that supports and builds other women up means everything, we can’t do it without each other.’
Who / what inspires you?
New countries! And the old too (laughs). Music, meeting friends and love!
Your favorite place in the world…and why?
Moscow – a city in which I found my happiness and India! India – my love! This is the most memorable experience that I was able to survive. Three times!
A beautiful video about this trip:
In your travels, have you encountered anyone or any experience that has changed your perception on life?
I have been to very poor countries where people are grateful for any food and clothing. It teaches you to be grateful and to realize the value of what you have.
What makes your soul shine?
Your healthiest habit?
Yoga and proper nutrition!
What is your message to young girls and women around the world?
I would like to convey the idea, that career and wealth will not make you wake up every morning happy and loving life! Just love can! Love inspires and makes us stronger!