The Travel Hack: How it all began

It was about time I updated my introductory About Me page so here we go….

 

Hi and thank you for stopping by The Travel Hack!

This is my blog, my online home and the place I record my travel adventures and share my travel tips and advice.

My name is Monica, I’m 31 and I live in North Wales with my fiance, Sam, our two little boys, George (3) and Joseph (2) and our dog, Louie.

 

The Travel Hack is all about having experiences over ‘things’.

I live by the motto that I’d rather have a head full of memories than a house full of stuff, which is why I travel often and try to experience as much as I can.

Oh, and I have an incurable case of wanderlust!

I find ways to make travelling affordable without sacrificing incredible experiences. I’ll cut back in some areas and splash out in others. I might stay in a 5* hotel but I’ll be taking the cheapest flight to get there! Or I might splash out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience and stay in a hostel, eat where the locals eat and find ways to save money on my trip.

The Travel Hack began in 2009 and has evolved with me and my life. It all began as a backpacking blog while I travelled for two years through Australia and South East Asia. I then moved to London and got on the career ladder and it was all about budget weekend breaks squeezed between a hectic life! I was then a full time travel blogger and travelled here, there and everywhere! And then I moved to Wales, had children and focused on family travels and weekend breaks.

And now? Now you’ll find a mixture of all those things. I take a lot of family holidays with the kids but also take a lot of weekend breaks without them. I write about our life in Wales, running an online ‘lifestyle business’ and living the slow life.

This is what The Travel Hack is all about and I hope you enjoy reading my blog! Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years and links to summaries of my favourite posts each year.

If you’d like to keep up to date with the blog, you can sign up to my newsletter where I send out updates every two weeks.

 

Here’s my blogging timeline…

 

2009

2009 – I finished university where I’d studied English Language and Literature at The University of Liverpool and I then set out on a backpacking adventure with Sam.

It was a spur of the moment decision to book our tickets (possibly brought on by wine) and we booked one-way tickets to Australia with a 3-month stop in Hong Kong. From Hong Kong we flew to other places in South East Asia.

We visited:

  • Hong Kong
  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam
  • Laos

And then flew to Sydney to work for a few months and spend Christmas and New Year there.

Read more: How and why I started travel blogging

 

2010

VW campervan in Australia

2010 – We bought an old VW camper van and drove around the entire coast of Australia.

We stopped to work on a scuba diving and fishing island on the west coast and gained our second-year visa for Australia.

Read more: How to survive living in a campervan…for a year…with a boy

 

2011

2011 – We left Australia and travelled through South East Asia again on the way home.

We visited:

  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Home!

I then moved to London to complete an NCTJ in journalism and work on a start-up travel website.

 

2012

^ One of my favourite trips was to Sun Peaks in Canada

 

2012 – This is when I started to really get into travel blogging and I realised a career in blogging would be much more exciting than a career in journalism!

I started working as a social media manager for a large travel agent and began attending lots of press trips for my blog.

My travel highlights from 2012

 

2013

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

^During a dream trip to South Africa

2013 – I quit my full time job to travel blog full time – this is when the fun really started and I was travelling 2-3 times a month.

Read more: I’m going freelance!

My travel highlights from 2013

 

2014

^ Taken during an epic trip to Miami

2014 – I moved from London back to North Wales and Louie, our gorgeous fur baby, came into our lives. Oh, and I continued to travel a lot!

Read more: The real reason I got a dog

My travel highlights from 2014

 

2015

2015 – Sam and I bought our first house which we renovated over a year and we had our first son, George.

Read more: The house renovation project: 8 months on

 

 

2016

2016 – We travelled a lot with George and then had our second son, Joseph.

My travel highlights from 2016

 

2017

2017 – I released a Travel Hack Cabin Case!

My travel highlights from 2017

 

2018

Watergate Bay Hotel review

2018 – 2018 was the year of finding the balance between travelling, family life and running an online business. There was a lot of travel and a lot of fun, but also a lot of time spent at home in the UK and discovering some gorgeous places on my doorstep.

Read: My travel highlights from 2018

 

2019 – What will 2019 bring? I honestly have no idea! More family travels, more adventures and more time in Wales.

 

 

 

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Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel.Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

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SHOWHIDE Comments (7)
  1. Honestly, if i can replicate your life when I have children (or close to it as I can!) I’ll be a happy woman. Your work / life balance seems great and I am in awe of it!
    Bee xxx

  2. I really enjoyed seeing your travel timeline and having a little roundup! I’ve only started to follow you recently and I’ve only started travelling out of the UK in the past few years. I’ve recently been to North Sweden and oh my I loved it so much! I’m excited to see what 2019 has in store for you :).

    Emily | Snippets of Emilys Life xx

  3. This is a truly inspiring post. Been traveling and writing for almost 15 years, but it’s only 3 months since I started to blog. Loved to read about the evolution of your project -and how everything moved forward in your personal life, too. Your kids are really lucky for having such a wonderful lifestyle from day one. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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The Travel Hack Travel Blog

The Travel Hack is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

We believe luxurious travel can be affordable and isn't just for the rich. Follow along with our worldwide adventures as we share our trips and tips for incredible travel experiences on a modest budget.