New? Start here

Hello and welcome to Bridges and Balloons.

I’m delighted you found us.

Victoria and Steve Helsinki

We love to seek out all things special – the kinds of places you want to share. If you can describe it with the words cosy, creative or unique, then it’s pretty likely we’ll enjoy it. We’re also big fans of awe-inspiring nature. To find out the story behind the site, head over to our about page.But if you’re ready to start exploring then this page is a good place to start.

Topics covered on Bridges and Balloons

Travel Stories | Personal Stories | Thoughts | Photo Stories |Special Places | Travel Planning | Destination Guides | Digital Nomad Guides | Vegetarian Guides | Interviews | Favourite things (curated creative content) | Don’t Knock It Til You’ve Tried It

Some of our most popular tips

Digital Nomad Money Guide | Travel Planning: Health | All-seasons packing list | Top 10 Cafes in Palermo, Buenos Aires | Barcelona Essentials | London Essentials | Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Buenos Aires

Some stories to start with

I’ve divided them into the following categories:

My personal journey | That time we nearly started a retreat in Mexico | Favourite places ­| Photo stories | Facing fears | Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it | Something to make you laugh | Thoughts | Amazing paces to stay | Interviews | Inspiration

My personal journey…

What life would have been like if I’d never left my home town | On healing, guilt and self-discovery – part one and part two | Death, Christmas and a different sort of day | Comparison is the thief of joy, and other stories | A cancer scare in Ecuador | Why this is no longer a quest

That time we nearly started a retreat in Mexico…

Why I’ve been distracted | On plans and patience

Favourite places

54 reasons to love San Pancho – Part 1 and Part 2 | We love Barcelona: a photo story | 17 Reasons to love HelsinkiOur digital nomad life in UbudA Portrait of Helsinki in WinterThings I missed and miss | South America Highlights | Welcome to Vilcabamba, land of conspiracy theorists | When you’re done with the city, go hunt for UFOs: Magic in Capilla del Monte

Photo stories

A year on the road in photos | Year two on the road in photosPerito Moreno Glacier and a drop of whisky |What’s worth 48 Hours in a bus? Whale watching in Puerto Madryn | The texture of Finland The magic of Devonshire lightThe day we went in a hot air balloon. Oh my. | When friends come to visit | Introducing Avatar therapy | Into the wild on Bolivia’s Salt Flats Street Art in Sao Paulo

Facing fears

On facing fears | When fears become fun: sandboarding in San Pedro de Atacama | Walking on ice

The Don’t Knock It Til You’ve Tried It experiment

The Conundrum of the Eat Pray Lovers |Energy 101 | The words I needed to hear | Time to say F*ck it

Something to make you laugh…

Attack! An Involuntary Invasion | Is Argentina the Sweetest Country on Earth? I have the teeth to prove it


Can I sleep on your sofa? An ode to couchsurfing | Why are so many Argentinans in therapy?Where is home? | What is a yoga teacher training course really like? | Marketing, manipulation and authenticity | Why stories taste better

Amazing places to stay

Village Above the Clouds | Mas Can BatlleCasa Isabel,  Yelapa | Most amazing places we’ve ever stayed


The best of our superpower interviews | Jorge Selaron | Tony Wheeler, Founder of Lonely Planet | Dan and Audrey of Uncornered MarketKash, Budget Traveller

And don’t miss my favourite things page – it happens to be one of my favourite things too!

11 thoughts on “New? Start here”

  1. Just found your wonderful photos of Scorrano’s Festival of Lights.
    Am off there in two weeks. Its looks amazing.
    My partner and I are from New Zealand, retired , and explore Europe each summer.
    I will be checking your site for more ideas.
    We are buying a canal boat this year and plan to spend 3-4 months enjoying
    the waterways of France.

  2. Just finished reading the newest blog from, Kim talked about your blog so glowingly, so took a look and I love it. Can’t wait to read everything.

  3. WOW, Victoria, you are a hell of a travelogue writer. I’m damn honest to say I have never been effected by any content of travelogue literature like this before. It’s not only the content, because I would be lying if I said I haven’t read reviews about Ireland before – for example, but rather it’s -to a far extent – your writing style. It’s your way of taking the readers there, taking their minds and hearts to those places and making them see it with their own eyes- through your eyes – so vividly with the cogent enthusiasm in your writing style. And if I’m to be honest about the extent of effect I’ve got from reading your terrific blog, I’ll say while reading the piece on Ireland I got into weeping with tears, yes literally, because I found myself there at those places, one by one, just one single step after you. And you know it’s really a hard confession to make about weeping when you’re a male, but you deserve to have this feedback about how extremely powerful, potent and influential your writing style is. I will never miss a piece by you ever again, whether here on the website
    Oh and in case you’re wondering how I came to know about this last one, I’m an enthusiastic reader of your articles and a friend of yours on that website. I go there by the name of Tan man. Thanks just so much for being that genius.and creative.

  4. Hello Victoria and Steve – so glad I found your blog – lovely, well laid out website and great name and great photos, travel tips and anecdotes. I have done a bit of travelling also in my time and plan more of course – the bug never leaves you 😉 I was interested in your trip to India as my partner will be 50 next year (and we have recently become engaged) and I thought I may look into a trip to Southern India for his birthday. I have been reading up on the Kerala snd Goa areas and like you we are wanting to avoid too much city bustle. My partner absolutely loves all thing Indian, including the food and he also likes kayaking so I was going to try to incorporate something of these things into our trip to India. I wanted to know whether it would be cheaper and better to plan our own itinerary or whether we should go to a travel expert who does it all for you. I did my own around the world a few years ago but most places spoke English whereas I am not sure how organised India is and how easy it is to get around. i don;t really want to be too prescriptive but I’d like a plan and some thing known and arranged in advance. How did you guys go about it? We may only have a 2 or maybe 3 weeks but like the sound of Goa and Kerala regions and homestays, not hotels Also when would be the best time to go so it is not too hot. Are the trains and buses easy to get? I am thinking they will be comparable to the ones I took in Asia which varied but were mostly quite ‘interesting’ compared to European standards 🙂 We are not veggie but I am allergic to peanuts and Brazil nuts this is a small worry also. Look forward to hearing back from you and do you have any plans to travel this year? Keep up the blog and website it is really appreciated and fascinating reading 🙂 Heidi & Olivier (France)

    • Thanks Heidi 🙂 It would definitely be cheaper to plan it all yourself, but it really depends on how much effort you want to put into the planning – hiring an expert obviously eliminates all of that! A lot of people in India speak English so we didn’t have any problems in that regard. But it certainly isn’t known for being the most organised country! We arranged most things as we went along, but just booked the first few nights in advance, and the days over Christmas. If you wanted to plan a more set itinerary, you’d be able to book in advance. All the places I mention in this itinerary are available for advance bookings, including the home stays. If you want to stay in the houseboat we used, then I’d recommend booking that in advance too as I believe it’s quite popular. We were in India in December, which was a good temperature, but I can’t speak for the rest of the year. And we found the trains to be really good and simple to understand too (and you’re right, they are comparable to Asia, for example Thailand).

  5. I just found you after an almost random search for an address here in Mexico City. Your post about the highlights of Condesa showed up, and I loved it. Now, of course, I won’t rest until I’ve devoured all the contents of your blog.

    So, I guess, see you around here, time and again.


  6. Hi there, Im Anang from Indonesia.
    I just read several contents on your blog and it inspires me to do the 1-year trip with my wife. But I still figure out what Im gonna do while traveling. I mean, what kind of job that I need while traveling. I atill search for that

  7. Hi Victoria,

    Just stumbled on your site because I am staying in an AirBnB in Bellenden. I wanted to check out Peckham and your site came up with some great information. Because I love travelling I will continue to explore your articles. I am also going to Ireland and Scotland, perhaps I will find some cool tips and info!

    Dion Santiago


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