Like most of you, I was taught that getting a good degree from a respectable university, landing a good full-time job and settling down is the way to live life. So, in 2008, I left my home in Bucharest, Romania and moved to the UK to study Law with Criminology at the University of Manchester. With no wealthy family behind me and no student loan, I urgently needed to get a job to support myself and pay for my accommodation.
Things didn’t go according to the plan. My work permit got lost in the post and I needed to wait for a total of 3 months before it finally reached my mailbox. Alas, I started a job as a door to door charity fundraiser which took up most of my afternoons and evenings. Juggling a demanding job and studying full time for my degree turned out to be stressful and close to impossible.
Throughout the 3 years of university, I moved around a lot and got several jobs as a translator, interpreter, gym assistant, Yelp reviewer and street fundraiser. I was hustling for every penny while trying to maintain my grades. After all, the dangling carrot was that epic law job at the end of university.
In the last year of uni, I applied for a job at Apple. After a month worth of interviews, I finally got a job offer from them. I started out as a specialist on the shop floor, learning the ins and out of Apple products and software. I loved every single minute of my work with the team. I learned a lot about the business works, what’s marketing and why is it important and how to apply it to the most mundane things. I understood the importance of customer service and tailored recommendations. I soon started getting involved in other Apple-related projects to learn even more about the tools of the trade. In my mind, there was no doubt that my life belonged in the digital industry and not in a corporate law environment.
Once I graduated from the University of Manchester, I applied for a transfer to Bristol. Bristol was a new world, a new beginning.
It took a while to settle down, but since I didn’t have to study for my degree, I finally felt free. No more grades to worry about, I suddenly had spare time to pursue my own interests.
So I bought a bike, a notepad and started travelling around the UK on my days off. I invested my energy in writing down everything I experienced during my travels. My diary was like an old school travelling journal which became my best friend.
Work was going really well, I made a bunch of extraordinary new friends and I started developing new passions: photography and design. Once I saved enough money to buy my first mac, I decided it’s time to invest in learning web design. I’d ask my colleagues to show me new things so I could learn a new tip every day. After a couple of years, I decided it’s time for me to leave Apple and find a better paying job in a startup environment.
I wanted to be part of a company as it grows so I can plant my ideas from the beginning. I found a job at a new software company in Bristol where I had to juggle marketing, customer service and business consultancy. For the first time, I learned about digital projects, implementation stages and statements of work.
A few months after I started my job, my now husband, G, started working as a software developer freelancer. We met, fell in love and decided we should quit our jobs to try creating our own startup together. He’d be the developer, I’d be the self-taught designer. I was terrified. I never designed anything in my life, so how could I convince real clients that I’m the best for the job.
My previous experience at Apple helped a lot: I realised the crucial skills I learned for tailored service, marketing and communication. I also learned that it is important to stop worrying and start doing. The rest will come...
Things were going great, we had several clients and we were ecstatic.
Our routine was great and very outdoors based: after work, we’d walk together for hours to just forget about the jobs and spend quality time talking. During the weekend, we rode our bikes for miles on end. With the money, we earned we bought several tickets to awesome places around the world: Rome, New Zealand, Lisbon, Barcelona, Algarve, Copenhagen…
The more we travelled, the more restless we became. Our beautiful home became ordinary, our walking paths were too boring and repetitive. We wanted to be on the move... constantly.
One day, we decided to just take the leap and book a 3 week trip to Japan.
That changed our life! We loved the country so much, we didn’t want to leave.
It was also in Japan that we got engaged and bought an engagement ring from Tokyo.
Upon return, I decided to go back to my old hobby: writing in my diary about the adventures abroad. It was a great way to ensure I never forget the moments we spent in Japan, our new favourite country.
Instead of pen and paper, G created a quick website for me to write everything online. He thought it will be easier to type rather than write. After a month, I realised how much I really enjoy writing on the blog. I thought, what if I can turn this into a business? People get paid to be travel writers, so why not me?
I turned the internet upside down in search of useful information on how to become a successful blogger and how to make money online. I knew nothing about the industry, but I already had some experience in marketing, design and running my own business with G.
We were incredibly reluctant, but we decided to give it a go. I designed my site and G built it. We came up with the name You Could Travel, created a logo and a business plan. You Could Travel was born in April 2016 and has been growing since.
In May 2016 we got our first sponsorship on the blog. It was a huge deal and called for celebration. That told me things were going well and I had a chance. I was determined to learn how to do things on my own and make my new business a success.
In July 2016 we started making money and things were going pretty well for the blog. We decided to give it a mission and a vision and focus on a niche. We became a couple’s soft adventure travel blog which represents our true passion. We write as a couple for couples.
It was also in 2016 when we both got our British citizenship. We were proud to be British citizens and proud owners of two successful businesses. In September 2016 we got married and spent the most amazing honeymoon in Seychelles. It was during that time that we realised the importance of earning passive income. In February 2017 we decided to leave the UK and try a more nomadic lifestyle. We lived in Portugal, Spain, Japan and Hungary since. We will continue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future until we find a place we can truly call home.
Three years later, we are now on the road full time and have a five-member team helping us run this site and business. You Could Travel is a successful business with various revenue streams. We earn from affiliate income, consulting, SEO and social media marketing and digital sponsorships. We now both work full time on You Could Travel and have endless ideas for our business.
We established You Could Travel to inspire couples to travel to regain their sense of adventure, capture intimate moments together and pursue experiences during which they can learn about our beautiful blue planet through science, conservation, photography and storytelling.
We want to share our lives as an extraordinary ordinary couple who love to live and live to love. We are best friends and partners in love, life and work. We spend 24/7 together and we truly appreciate every single second of it. We hope to inspire you to follow your dreams, whatever they may be.
Downend Voice Bristol | Travel Writer | September 2017 - January 2018
Contributor to Downend Voice, a local print magazine in Bristol. I was in charge of creating monthly travel-related content for my own soft adventure column.
Matador Network | Travel Writer | 2018
Wrote a comprehensive travel guide to Shakespeare’s England including details about various stunning English areas like Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Kenilworth, Royal Leamington Spa and nearby villages.
Navigator | Published Finalist Writer | 2017
I was one of the lucky 80 published finalists for the travel book called “Around the world in 80 pages”. My piece was entitled “The traveller defined by everything after Tokyo”.
AFAR | Travel Writer | 2017
Created a small travel feature on my adventures around Japan.
Skyscanner | Travel Writer | 2017
Created a piece entitled “Skyscanner’s Guide to Visiting Japan on a Tight Budget”. The articles have been commissioned by Skyscanner and it contains important information on how to make a trip to Japan accessible to anyone.
DK Travel | Travel Writer | 2017
Wrote a piece on the poetry and practicalities of how to spend 2 weeks in Japan. The articles were published on DK Travel guide.
Matador Network | Travel Writer | 2017
Created a humorous article on the slang words you need to know before travelling to the UK. The piece was very well received and shared over 700 times.
BEST UK BLOG AWARDS 2018
Nominated in the Best Travel Blog category.
BEST UK BLOG 2018 - Vuelio
Named one of the top 10 UK Travel Blogs.
BEST 30 TRAVEL BLOGS - Savepedia
Named one of the top 30 World’s Best Travel Blogs.
TOP TRAVEL BLOGS - The Smart Lad
Named one of the top World’s Best Travel Blogs.
TOP TRAVEL BLOGS - Credit Donkey
Named one of the top World’s Best Travel Blogs.
BEST UK BLOG AWARDS 2017
Finalist in the Best Travel Photography category.