Thanks for coming and checking out my blog. I’m Vicky, the hot mess behind this blog. Someone called me that once, and I thought it was funny. And then someone else did and I don’t know if it’s good or bad.
My two purposes in blog life are to inspire you to travel in a way, and to places, you wouldn’t have thought of before. And to explore the soul searching, uniting feeling of going to festivals around the world to revel in the different culture.
I used to think I’d do something cool for charity, save the world somehow, in my own little way, but I’ve decided that if I inspire the right person to relax or push out of their comfort zones with my travel writing, then maybe, just maybe, they’ll be the ones to save the world instead, and I’m indirectly responsible.
You’ve got to work with what you’ve got in this life and I’ve got this blog, a passion and a desire to help you travel better. To ‘push out of your comfort zone’ so people say and travel to places you might not have thought of in a way that suits your budget.
My recent life story
I’ve worked in travel since 2011, kind of doing the same thing as I do here, but for big travel brands, and then in 2013 I read Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Workweek Book and decided that me and him were the same (‘spirit animals’, so the Americans say). From then on that seed of a location dependent lifestyle started sprouting in my mind.
But I had a cool job and I had a boyfriend who I loved very much and was expecting to marry, and buy a house with and have babies and live happily ever after. It’d been 5 years – we’d been to mortgage meetings y’know – and he started acting strange. A few months later he ended it, while on a dream holiday in California no less. And a few months after that I found out, via Instagram, that yes, he had been cheating on me with a girl six years younger than him from work. Someone had been watching too much Mad Men, with me. That 1 year celebratory photo of their names in hearts on Brighton Pier, posted about nine months after we split up, can’t be far from the one he did for me five years previously. Eugh.
Anyway, we must grow and learn from adversity and so I did. I moved out of his mum’s house where we’d been living, with his nan too (to save money for said house). I lasted another two months in London in a scabby flat to see out my work notice and off I went. The world was my oyster and the rat race became a distant memory, as did he.
I stayed at a raw food vegan camp in Mexico – getting up with sunrise to chant my chakras every morning – I skied in Japan, sailed round the islands of the Philippines, I skydived in New Zealand, I learned to surf in San Pancho, to drive a moped, and to talk with people around the world. I met up with friends at Sziget Festival in Budapest, travelled Lombardy in Italy with my best friend, saw the Taj Mahal, went Northern Lights hunting with my brother in Norway and drove the Pacific Coast Highway in a Ford Mustang – the exact route we’d followed the days after he’d dumped me, but at that point someone else was driving (my life – physically and metaphorically).
This second time round, just over a year later, navigating the twists and turns of the mountain side I felt empowered.
I was independent – the wheel of the car, and my life, was in my hands and it was up to me to steer it the way I wanted it to go.
How the blog started
VickyFlipFlopTravels.com started as a place for me to practice the technical work I was learning during my time as a Content Editor at HostelBookers.com. When I travelled Europe for four months, the summer before I got the job, I kept a diary on my laptop every day. I had 120 posts to go live before I’d even had the thought to do a travel blog. And so it began. I found it all fascinating – Google Analytics! Links! Photography! Virality! I still do.
As I went to meet ups I started to make friends and realise there was this whole movement out there. Some of the people I met at the start of my travel blogging career are among my best friends now. It was great to have that support network.
I never imagined back then though that I’d be doing it by myself, full time and travelling the world as I go. I can’t believe that buying a domain name when I did has given me so many opportunities and joy.
two, three, four years I’ve been publishing it it’s developed into my space to share my thoughts on travel, on the people I meet and the adventures I have. It’s a way for me to be the test dummy to see how these travels work out and to hopefully inspire you, and show you, how to visit the same places I do and get as much fun and value as I do from the trips.
I love festivals, I love weekends away, I love holidays and I love the life I lead. I’d rather do it with friends but if I haven’t got any available to take I make sure to find some wherever I go.
A ‘holiday’ doesn’t have to be vegging out on the beach. It’s time to test the parameters, maybe head to a festival, learn a new skill or just do something different.
I know what it’s like to have just 25 days to play with each year, they’re precious, so I want you to get as much out of your holiday as you can.
I ran this blog for two years alongside a full time job, and a 3-hour daily commute, I know what it’s like to work hard and to want to reap the benefits on your days off.
It was winning a trip to Zanzibar that started me off with this world of adventure. I became obsessed with competitions and soon won a trip to Amsterdam, to Sharm El Sheikh and most recently, to Cuba (took mum)!
I was never someone who travelled much, until I hit 19 that is. I went to summer camp to work as a camp counselor and the experience changed my life. I went back again the next year. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I hadn’t gone for it. This was the catalyst for travel in my life.
Then I travelled Australia (on a credit card). I taught English in Madrid, I went to Ibiza (five times), I popped into Mexico and then my brother went travelling for two years and I had a thirst to do the same.
I was focused on my much-wanted journalism career though and travel ended up taking a back seat while I worked my ass off in London. It wasn’t until I was made redundant in the financial crisis, and my ex hated his job, that we decided to take the plunge and travel for that four months round Europe. Sometimes it’s when life gets a bit shit, that it’s about to get a whole lot better. In my experience anyway.
Travelling at these key times in my life has been such a tonic for me. Having the excitement of an open world ahead of me has been a distraction and a purpose. Travel is a great way to get some perspective on life and it’s having these new experiences that opens the mind to what could be possible in life.
That’s why I’m interested in showing people how they can have more interesting, adventurous and rewarding holidays.
I’ve been going to festivals since I was 16 years old – when I was just a terrified kid from the countryside too scared to go to the toilet at Reading Festival in case someone tipped it over and set fire to it, as they were. For many reasons I’ve stuck by the festivals and now love including a few cultural and music ones into my yearly calendar.
I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to Bestival, to Oktoberfest, to Tomatina, the Bardolino Wine Festival and Bilbao BBK, among many others. I’ve also gone stateside with a trip to Coachella and an amazing two weeks at SXSW too.
Being a Digital Nomad
By not sitting back and letting bad points in life overtake me, but grabbing them and using them as an opportunity I now live a crazy life where I pretty much do what I want every day.
I’ve recently discovered the whole digital nomad community and have been enjoying getting to know different people around the world who share my passion for an adventurous and curious life.
I’ve travelled to 59 countries on 6 continents and had some incredible times along the way. Of course being by myself there have been some scary and isolated times along the way, times when I question this life I’ve carved for myself. It’s not easy being on the go all the time – it’s not even doing something different every day, everything is different in a day – but as soon as I settle for more than a few days I’m ready to go again.
I’m addicted to travel.
I don’t have rich parents financing my life, I haven’t won the lottery and I don’t have a sugar daddy – all my travels are either paid by me or I’ve been invited on press trips which are a direct consequence of my hard work. I earn enough from my projects and clients to finance my life, and to put some away for a house one day too.
If you travel wisely, and make travel priority, then there are definitely ways that you can introduce a few more holidays into your life too.
My Travel Blog
When I was a kid I always used to change my room round, it was honestly one of my favourite things to do of an evening. Now that I don’t have a room, I change my blog around instead.
I love the ever changing landscape. I love how there’s so much to learn, play with and do in the world of blogging.
More than 2 million people have read my blog over the years – and even the President of Estonia shared a post on his Facebook page. I’ve won ‘best blogger’ accolades from companies I was once desperate to work for, now they come asking me to write articles for them, while my long lost CV rots somewhere in their inbox circa 2010.
I get to partner with awesome brands, have been invited on trips I wouldn’t have even had the knowledge or imagination to comprehend just a few years ago and have made some awesome friends in the travel industry since the day I started.
– Monica from TheTravelHack.com | Cherie from FlightoftheTravelBee, Alicia from AliciaExplores.com and Brenna from ThisBatteredSuitcase.com
Travel has totally changed my life, my belief in myself and made me believe that so much can be possible if you just have the right mindset and discipline.
I’ve been featured in Wanderlust Magazine, YahooTravel, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and many other newspapers too.
I created vickyflipfloptravels.com as a place for me to learn about blogging, travel and to connect with other travellers, but it’s now a resource for that with my Travel Blogger High series, my travel advice section, and my list of my favourite UK-based travel bloggers. All of which I’ve had the pleasure to meet.
My blog, in short
- Having the life you knew and thought you were in for pulled out from under your feet doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
- Perspective and attitude are the key to happiness.
- If you want something, go for it with everything you have but don’t give up the day job until the time is right.
- Festivals are awesome and I want to see them all.
- There’s a huge world out there, channel that curiosity and tenacity and go explore!