He wowed audiences and judges alike as a runner-up on the fourth season of The X Factor, thanks to his soulful renditions of classic hits.
Since then Nathaniel Willemse has carved out a successful career as a singer-songwriter, signing a deal with Sony Music and achieving ARIA chart domination with his debut single, You.
The talented performer also nabbed the mother of all gigs when he was named the supporting act for Mariah Carey during the Australian leg of her world tour.
Now fresh from his debut album release last year, Nathaniel’s career is set to go from strength to strength. He recently sat down to chat with Flight Centre about his in-flight essentials, future destinations and more travel dreaming.
What’s your favourite holiday?
America. It’s really one of my favourite countries in the world. I’d love to live there eventually; either New York or LA. I’ve been a couple of times and during one holiday I covered off both the East and West coasts. It was amazing; a real American road trip.
What’s your carry-on essential?
Headphones for the plane. I love listening to music and I’m always downloading albums. When you’re on an airplane you have time to actually listen to albums in their entirety.
How do you beat jet lag?
I don’t have a real remedy for this unfortunately. I try the usual stuff: drinking lots of water, staying up until you’re in the local time zone – I can usually push myself to stay up late – and the like, but it doesn’t always work. I think getting into a routine in general is the best thing to do to avoid jet lag.
What’s your favourite city?
New York – the concrete jungle! I just love how massive it is. I’m from Melbourne and I love a big city; the kind of place that’s just high-rise after high-rise.
When I’m there I love going out to watch live music, there are so many cool music venues around. Plus, the variety of cultures there is incredible.
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Where was your most favourite meal?
I’d have to say at a steakhouse in Times Square – New York trumps everything again! It was like an upscale version of Nandos.
There were so many different kinds of sauces and so much meat! I’m a meat-lover, so I was in heaven. Americans know how to do a great barbeque.
Adventure or luxury?
Luxury! Though I try to be adventurous when I can. When you go on holiday you want to relax and have a good time. Good hotels always have so many great facilities, which I appreciate!
Saying that, I’m happy with a bit of adventure too, whether it’s skydiving or white-water rafting.
What’s the essential ingredient for a good trip?
The weather. For me, that’s at the top of my list – I like it warm! Also, going with someone who you can travel with. Thankfully, I have my wonderful partner.
What’s your top travel tip?
Living in the moment. Just be present and appreciate where you are. I find that sometimes people really struggle to do that, just to accept the great place you’re in and be in the moment, not checking emails and resting the urge to look at your phone.
Thankfully, I’ve found it pretty easy to switch off.
What’s your biggest packing mistake?
Probably either forgetting toiletries or having moisturiser explode in my bag!
Where do you want to go next?
Europe. I’ve been to Paris and Sweden, but there’s still so much more to see. The Greek Islands especially.
Nathaniel is an ambassador for Sydney’s, The Star, a casino, hotel and premier entertainment venue.