Steve laughed at me when I said I was writing a Bridges and Balloons manifesto. “Since when did we get political?” he said. But my understanding of manifesto is different.
According to the dictionary:
man·i·fes·to [man-uh-fes-toh] a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, organisation or movement.
‘Movement’ is described as as “an abundance of events or incidents”. Yes, I know that’s not the movement they were referring to, but I’m taking it. Bridges and Balloons is full of events and incidents, and it’s also a little organisation of Steve and I, so here’s our manifesto.
- 1. Bridges and Balloons exists first and foremost because we haven’t yet found a way to become Magnetic Zeroes. If you don’t know what we’re referring to, you need to watch this. Rest assured, we are learning the ukulele so may yet be in with a chance.
- 2. It also exists because we decided that mixing work and travel was the life for us. We left our lives in London – including a beautiful home, excellent jobs and wonderful friends and family – and took our careers on the road. We blog about where that choice has taken us.
- 3. We belong to the tribe of digital nomads. As well as blogging, we have other online occupations. Steve is a director at Planetary Collective and is currently working on the company’s first feature-length documentary. He’s also a programmer. Victoria is a freelance writer and is soon to launch The Vegetarian Travel Guide.
- 4. We are hybrid travellers. We mix long-term apartment rentals with bouts of flashpacking and couchsurfing. The emphasis is always on quality and value. We stay in comfortable, cosy hostels, quirky hotels, eco-lodges and beautiful apartments. We can either scrimp or splash out when it’s worth it.
- 5. The people we meet are one of our favourite things about travelling. It’s why we couchsurf and use sites like AirBnB. We interview these people for our series If I had a Superpower.
- 6. Our blog posts fall into a few different categories. We share tips on how we travel and live as digital nomads. We post photo essays of beautiful places we visit and include some practical info on how we did it. And we write thoughts from along the way – or ‘think pieces’ as we like to call them (we’re not being douches – honest – we’re just quoting the very excellent Almost Famous).
- 7. We believe strongly in following your dreams and living the life you want to rather than the life you think you should. That doesn’t mean we think everyone should travel – it’s up to every individual what they choose – but if you have a dream then you should try and make it happen. It takes courage, but it’s worth it.
- 8. We hope Bridges and Balloons helps and inspires those who want to, to travel or become digital nomads. We’re always happy to give advice to those who want it.
- 9. We are a couple that can’t stay put. There’s so much to learn and see on this planet and we get antsy when stuck in one place. It’s this wanderlust and desire to learn and explore that fuels our travels.
- 10. Bridges and Balloons is named after a song by one of our favourite musicians Joanna Newsom. The first line is “We sailed away on a winter’s day with fate as malleable as clay”. A fitting epigram for our journey, we think.
So there it is, the Bridges and Balloons manifesto. Even Steve likes it now.