Hi and thank you for stopping by The Travel Hack!
My name is Monica, I’m 33 and I live in North Wales with my partner, Sam, and our three kids, George (5), Joseph (4) and Alba (1).
I’ve been blogging for 12 years and I’ve been doing this full time for eight years! The thing I’m always asked is, ‘How did this all begin!? And how did you keep blogging after so long?’
So here is my blogging timeline to show what I’ve been up to for the past 12 years and to show some highlights from 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 weekly updates.
Here’s my blogging timeline…
2009 – In 2009, I finished university, where I’d studied English Language and Literature at The University of Liverpool. I then set out on a two-year backpacking trip with Sam. I started the blog as a way to document the journey – partly because I’d always loved to write a journal and partly because I was hoping to pursue a career in journalism so I saw the blog as work experience (little did I know that the blog would soon become my career!)
Back in 2009 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 in Melbourne and drove around the entire coast of Australia.
We stopped to work on a scuba diving and fishing island on the west coast of Australia and gained our second-year visa so we could stay a little longer on our Working Holiday Visas.
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 I started working for travel site called Gap Daemon. I was also doing a lot of travel copywriting at this time to help with the living costs in London!
^ 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 the UK social media manager for Flight Centre 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 had our first son, George, and bought our first house which we renovated over a year.
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. We bought a caravan on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales too so we spent a lot of time on the coast!
2019 began as a very busy year with trips to Morocco, Montenegro, Menorca, Switzerland and lots of UK trips. I also launched The Travel Hack Backpack! The second half of the year was busy in a very different way as we built an extension on our house and our baby girl, Alba, joined our family!
2020, wow, what a year. It’s fair to say that 2020 has turned the world on it’s head, chewed us all up, spat us all out and we’re currently wiping ourselves down and hoping it doesn’t happen again.
Despite the global pandemic, I have actually been very lucky and all of my loved ones are safe and well. I’ve missed travelling this year but COVID-19 and lockdown did make me rethink a few things and use the downtime as an opportunity to rethink my career and introduce more family lifestyle content to the blog.
I really hope you enjoy reading The Travel Hack and please do follow me on Instagram for daily updates!