Welcome to

Make your travels special

Bridges and Balloons is all about travel to special places. We create handpicked, unique itineraries, filled with beautifully designed places to stay and ways to experience life like a local. We love road trips, indy bookshops, glorious nature, farmers markets, street art and discovering the creative side of a city. We put all our finds into detailed itineraries, handpicked city guides, best-of collections and our dedicated special stays series. If your tastes are anything like ours, this site is your shortcut to creating a magical trip.

Hello!

I’M VICTORIA.

And I’m the creator of Bridges and Balloons.

I’m that friend you always ask for travel tips, who you can rely on to have done all the research and sought out the places that make a trip unique. I’m an 100% travel geek – and a certified cake and book fiend.

I live in Bristol, but I’ve been travelling regularly, sometimes full time, for the past 17 years. I travel with my husband Steve (a VR developer and filmmaker) and our son, Otis (a one-year-old whirlwind). Between us, we’ve been to 50 countries.

I started as a journalist, still work as a freelance editor and writer, and dream of having my own guesthouse.

Our style of travel

Words that epitomise the style you’ll find on Bridges and Balloons are: creative, cosy, independent, bohemian, boutique, slow, design-led and characterful. We favour a local style of travel, so don’t always hit all the “must-sees”, preferring to soak up the atmosphere and experience local life. We favour independents over chains, and while we’re vegetarian, we tend to eat in restaurants that are known to be good for all food rather than just veggie stuff. We love places that have a story behind them, and we prioritise the experience over the price, featuring both budget and luxury styles.

Random Things
TO KNOW ABOUT ME
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Cake is one of my favourite things in the world. I once had a dream job, hunting down the best afternoon teas in London.

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I’ve made a full list of all my favourite things here – it’s a page that makes me happy every time I look at it.

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TO KNOW ABOUT ME
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Steve proposed in the Grunewald forest of Berlin in July 2014. We got married in a forest filled with tipis in August 2015 and adopted both our names, so now we’re the Watts Kennedys.

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TO KNOW ABOUT ME
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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.

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TO KNOW ABOUT ME
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We came very close to buying some land in Mexico and building a yoga retreat. Perhaps we still will one day.

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TO KNOW ABOUT ME
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We were nomadic for three years, have travelled to more than 50 countries and lived for months in Buenos Aires, San Pancho, Ubud, Barcelona and Berlin.

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What you can find on Bridges and Balloons

We put all our finds into detailed itineraries, handpicked city guides, best-of collections, and a dedicated Special Stays series, featuring hip, boutique hotels, creative glamping experiences and beautiful AirBnBs. And we’ve also put together an ultimate guide with all our best travel planning tips.

We include family travel, but that’s not our focus, so our trips can appeal to anyone, with or without children. And if you do have kids, this is the place to be for tips on how to continue travelling in style.

And, alongside all this, I also share personal stories from along the way: 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.

The Bridges and Balloons journey

Our journey

In 2012, Steve and I bought a one-way ticket to Rio. I quit my job and he took his on the road. 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 cliché: 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 creative business, 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 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.

Eight years and 30 countries later, I’m still searching, but I’m no longer fixated on finding an answer. As some wise fellow once said, “the journey is the destination”. 

37 thoughts on “About Bridges and Balloons”

  1. Good for you for going for it! I saw that you love Couchsurfing — we do too. We’ve met so many wonderful people through it and part of our mission to run a hostel in Scotland is to create a bigger place for all the Couchsurfers to stay 🙂

    All the best to you on your journeys…Oh and I LOVE the balloon background of your website. Gorgeous.

    • Thanks Rachel. The balloons were Steve’s handiwork. I do agree that they are rather lovely.
      And yes, Couchsurfing – we love it! Did you see our other site http://www.ifihadasuperpower.com , which is mostly made up of interviews with couchsurfers?
      Hostel Hub sounds like a brilliant idea. I hope it goes well for you. If we’re ever in Scotland we’ll be sure to look you up.

  2. Love love love your blog, Steve and Victoria. You are living the dream that my boyfriend and I dream of daily. I recently quit my J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) this year to start my own business as an international education agency in hopes of having the flexibility to live anywhere in the world while helping others. Thank you for continuing to inspire me to keep reaching for the TRUE dream 🙂

    • Thanks Lydia. It’s wonderful to hear from people following their dreams. It’s a lot of work setting up on your own but, for me, the benefits are absolutely worth it. Today, I’m writing this from La Paz. I need to work for most of the day but, afterwards, I know I can go out and explore this incredible city. Being location-independent is mine and Steve’s dream. Good luck with your agency and dreams. They sound excellent.

  3. Hi Victoria and Steve! Just discovered your blog and I’m just loving it! I began travel blogging during a post graduation trip to Southeast Asia last year and I’m taking off again in November – to South America! I’ve got similar plans as you guys in that I’m not really planning at all. Just hoping to stay on the road for as long as possible. I know its a large continent but if we happen to end up gallivanting in the same area at some point, I’d love to meet up with some fellow bloggers! I’ll be traveling solo so I’m trying to make lots of contacts in the region (mostly so I can hand my mom a list and say- see! i’m not traveling alone!) 🙂 safe travels!

    • Hi Britany, Of course, we’d love to meet up with you if our paths cross. We’ll likely be in Ecuador/Colombia in November and then heading up through Central America. Hope to see you, Victoria

  4. What an attractive looking website. Outside and inside. Look forward to following your stories and I hope our roads will cross one day. (We are in Brazil and will be heading for the Andes in January).

    • Thanks for the kind words Karin. I’m pleased you like it! And yes, that would be lovely if our paths crossed. We’re in Mexico now, then who knows!

  5. I just started following your blog and find it so inspiring. You are both very brave for doing what you’re doing and many of us wish we could follow suit! Makes me wish that my husband and I were still expats. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  6. Hey guys! How’s life?

    I discovered your blog, and it’s fantastic! I love your idea of travelling and sharing, and completely understand your passion, I’m a travel addict too ^^

    It’s just what I was looking for! I and my friend Flavia are working on a project. We would like to interview people who believe in an alternative, different world and work on that changing their way of living. And we’ll do that on the road, retracing the Hippie Trail toward East. It would be fantastic to interview you, if you’re gonna be around!!

    If you like, have a look here 😉

    Stay Bum,
    Dario

    • Thank you. Steve uses a Canon 5D Mark 2 camera. He also has a Canon 24-70 L lens, and we use Colour Efex Pro for editing. I also have a Canon G12, which is especially handy for macro shots and when we don’t want to lug the big camera around.
      Pleased you like the photos 🙂

  7. Victoria,

    I am really loving your blog – I can’t stop reading. Your “Eat Pray Lovers” article was quite interesting and I couldn’t help but nod and agree. I also really liked your article about what life would have been like if you stayed in your hometown – it struck a chord in me. Anyway, I’ll be following along, friend.

    Marissa

    • Thanks Marissa. I’m so pleased you like it. Thanks for reading and I’m delighted you’ll be following. LOVE the name of your blog, by the way.

  8. Victoria/Steve,

    Love your blog! I’m actually down in Cabo right now with my folks on an adventure of our own. I actually helped make a tool for travelers to share their adventures.

    It’s called StoryApp (https://www.itunes.com/apps/StoryApp) and it records your voice over a series of photos. You basically tell the story of your trip using the photos you already took and your voice describing it.

    I’d love to know if it’s as fun for you as it has been for us!

    Hope all is well!

  9. Hi Victoria, Steve!
    First of all I would like to congratulate you on the lovely blog which you run! It’s very informative and fun to navigate from people who love travelling like me!
    I wanted to let you know a bit about my new venture with the hope of tempting you to visit our beautiful island, Gozo!
    I am the owner of Gozo Segway Tours, a new, fun and eco-friendly way to explore Gozo’s hidden treasures! If ever you are in Gozo please make sure to let me know as I would love to take you on one of our lovely sightseeing tours and to personally meet you!
    In the meantime take care and safe travels!
    xxx
    Kevin

  10. You have such a beautiful and colorful blog! Your posts are interesting and make me dream all the time! I just have one question for you: can you tell me what theme you’re using for your blog?
    Thanks! Keep going!

    • Thank you! We don’t actually use a theme per se. Instead we use the Genesis Framework with the Dynamik Theme Builder by Cobalt Apps. The site was designed by Steve initially and then updated by Hannah at Further Bound. I coded it with Dynamik 🙂 Hope that helps…

  11. You have indeed inspired me Victoria! I would love to spend time with you in a cafe with a coffee and cake and hear more.

    We share a similar zest for writing, journeys and self-exploration… my family is off again for seven months in Buenos Aires to experience the city and explore South America. I pinned a lot of ideas from your blog and am particularly interested in Salta and Cloudhead. It sounds like the experience I’ve been seeking for my husband and I and two daughters, 12 and 15 years old.

    Now that I’ve found you, looking forward to more. Muchas gracias por todo.

    • Thanks for such a lovely comment! Lucky you off to Buenos Aires. It’s such a great place. I feel pretty nostalgic for it right about now! You’ll have a lovely time with Cloudhead. Leigh and Noah are great! Have a wonderful time x

  12. Interesting! How did you two meet, by the way? How did your paths cross? Maybe you already write it somewhere, and I just missed it. Anyways, nice to get to know you two and your lovely, inspirational blog!

  13. Hola Victoria y Steve!
    What a beautiful site you have! Found it extremely creative. And so refreshing!
    I left my career and country ( Argentina) 15 years ago to marry a a british gentleman… Together we lived in 7 countries and 3 continents. Our daughter Gala was born in Mexico. We LOVE moving around and we are always planning our next city… I just started my own blog and while I was searching for inspiration I found yours… Thank you for sharing your incredible story! Sorry to hear about your papi!
    Wish you all the best!
    Vane

    • Thanks for your lovely comments Vane. Sounds like you have had lots of adventures too! Wishing you all the best too. Happy travels! (P.s. Gala is such a lovely name!)

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