The Travel Hack: How it all began
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 – 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.
- Hong Kong
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 – 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.
2011 – We left Australia and travelled through South East Asia again on the way home.
I then moved to London to complete an NCTJ in journalism and work on a start-up travel website.
^ 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.
^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!
^ 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
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 – We travelled a lot with George and then had our second son, Joseph.
2017 – I released a Travel Hack Cabin Case!
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.
2019 – What will 2019 bring? I honestly have no idea! More family travels, more adventures and more time in Wales.