Bridges and Balloons
Hi, I’m Victoria. In 2012, I quit my job and bought a one way ticket to Rio. In part, I was on a journey of healing, having lost my Mum two years before, and my Dad eight years earlier. But I was also in search of that classic travel cliche: I wanted to “find myself” and work out what it was I truly wanted to do with my life. I was hoping for an epiphany.
And along the way, I had many epiphany moments. I started a company, I trained as a yoga teacher, I did a course in nutrition, I learnt to program, I started research for several books, I studied mindfulness, I was a digital nomad, I did a foundation course in psychotherapy, I tried ayahuasca and ibogaine, I freelanced, I nearly started a yoga retreat, I did the Artist’s Way, I threw myself full-throttle into creating a successful blog, I taught writing classes, and I decided not to knock anything until I’d tried it during a maddening experiment in Bali.
Four years and 29 countries later, I’m still searching, but I’m no longer fixated on finding an answer. As some wise fellow one said “the journey is the destination”.
What do you write about on Bridges and Balloons?
I mostly write personal stories about all the ups and downs that go with trying to “find yourself” – stories of grief, false starts, love, nomadism, working on the road, frustrations, freelancing, confusion, trying to start a business, and the good, bad and ugly side of travel.
I also have a knack for planning and finding great places to stay, so I share a lot of tips, including full itineraries and travel planning resources. My friends once joked that I should start a company called ‘Victours’ and this blog is the closest I got to it. Have a look at the ‘Getting started’ page for a look through some of the archives.
How much do you travel?
I was nomadic for about three years, travelling with my husband Steve. We slowed down our travels until we started to spend at least six months in any one place, including San Pancho, Ubud, and Berlin. We were searching for a base. In the end the base we chose was the the city we’d started in – London. That’s where we are now. We still travel a lot, sometimes just for the weekend, and other times for a few months. The wanderlust lives on.
What do you do for work?
Before leaving for Rio in 2012, I worked as a writer for a humanitarian NGO, and before that I worked for other charities and also as a journalist. Nowadays Steve and I run a small creative agency, Bridges and Balloons Creative, and I also freelance as a writer, editor and blogger, specialising in charities and travel. I write features, personal narrative and interviews for magazines, including Oh Comely. I also occasionally get work through this blog.
Some facts about me:
I took my first solo trip when I was 18, traveling around the world and stopping at 11 countries from Sri Lanka to the Cook Islands. I also went on a school exchange to Tanzania when I was 15, and lived in Qatar when I was three.
Steve and I came very close to buying some land in Mexico and building a yoga retreat. Perhaps we still will one day.
We are both vegetarian and often shape our trips around food. Sourdough pizza, South Indian cuisine and most types of street food are among our favourites.
I was once held hostage by monkeys.