Hi, I'm Ella! A girl from England with a passion for travel.
Likes include travel, writing, photography and videography
From a young age, I've always felt a passion to travel the world and explore different cultures. I'm especially fascinated by wildlife and often find myself daydreaming about all the exciting places there are to visit.
I'm passionate about writing, photography, editing photos, making videos and of course travelling. Therefore blogging is the perfect outlet for me!
I created this blog in late 2016, just before I was due to travel to the Seychelles. I just wanted to share my experience in the form of a travel journal, and more importantly, inspire others.
I'm a tad different from your typical travel blogger...
Although I blog about travel, I'm not exactly your typical 'travel blogger'.
My story is certainly not the most conventional; I didn't quit my job to travel the world.
Instead, mine is the story about how sometimes life can have alternative plans for you than what you originally had in mind and how saying 'yes' to opportunities can take you to the most surprising, yet rewarding of places.
I'm an entrepreneur who quit university to set-up her own business. I'm also a homeowner and cat-mom. I didn't plan for any of this but sometimes life just happens!
Therefore, travel has always been an enjoyment on the side, something I took-up when my business would give me a breather.
But, we'll talk more about that in a moment.
Why don't we start from the beginning?
I've been passionate about travel from an early age
I was born with a yearning to travel. I always wanted to see the world and immerse myself in rich cultures, so different to my own. In typical English fashion I moan that England is boring, cold and rainy! Instead I crave the scorching sun and tropical downpours.
Before I left home (I left home at 18), I was fortunate enough to go on some great adventures with my family. Perhaps this was when the travel bug bit me and I've been unable to shake it ever since!
There were some wild times, like the our disastrous trip to Dubai where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, the time I trod on a drug syringe with Mallorca and the time a woman died in front of me on a plane to Dominica - to name a few! I have a whole catalog of my pre-leaving home misadventures here.
View a list of all my adventures in chronological order: The Journey So Far
My first taste of adventure travel
My first solo adventure was actually with school. When the opportunity to visit Africa came up as a school trip, I just couldn't refuse. I didn't know anyone too well who was actually taking part in the trip but it was definitely worth forcing myself out of my comfort zone in order to visit Zambia.
I am so glad I went. I may have nearly been eaten by a hippo at least 3 times (eek!) but the thrill was totally worth it.
Africa had made an impression on me and to this day I think I left part of my heart in that glorious continent.
My first big trip was completely solo
I finished school the following year and took an even bigger step than last year's school trip to Zambia. I booked a trip completely solo.
I arranged to volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary in Namibia. I knew none of my friends would be interested in going so I just booked it on my own. It was terrifying travelling half way across the globe alone but once I arrived, there were so many young people in the same position as me and I made friends instantly.
I can confidently say to this day that this trip was one of the best experience of my life and I thoroughly recommend experiencing at least 1 trip completely on your own, as scary as that sounds.
The moment life deviated from my original plan
I was due to go to university that September. I always planned to take a 'gap' year after university. For years I knew exactly what I was going to do. I was going to go on a road-trip around America in a pick-up truck.
Life however, never goes to plan! After 1 term at university, I quit.
You see, the summer before I started university, I met my partner who was in business. During my time at university, I wanted to spend my time with him and found myself getting more and more involved in the idea of business. I made the decision to leave university to work full-time setting-up a business with him.
At this point, I still planned on going to America in 3 years time (the time I would have finished university). If things had gone to plan, I would have already been to America!
My life may have not gone to plan but I don't regret a single decision that I made. In fact, I'm confident I made the best decision possible.
Since plunging into business-life in 2014, I have achieved a lot of great things and experienced a lot of life-lessons that have ultimately made me a better person.
If it wasn't for my business, I would have likely never come across travel blogging and would never have been given the opportunities that I have. I would never have been able to save up for a deposit on a house and never had the money to travel from time to time.
The greatest achievement though has to be finding my little cat, Cookie - my pride and joy!
Launching a business put my travels on-hold
After working away on the business behind-the-scenes for 9 months, Lewis (my now-fiancé) and I had our first big trip together which was also my last taste of adventure for a very long time. We booked an all-inclusive (no, don't frown at me - I totally know this was a mistake now) week-long trip to South Africa.
The trip ate the entirety of our holiday fund and flopped because it was a horse riding holiday and Lewis can't ride!
It was our last adventure for a very, very long time.
Setting-up a business is a huge job and ate up pretty much all my time, including evenings and weekends.
The year of 2015 was probably the most unexciting, monotonous year of my life with only 2 long-weeks away (Mallorca and Paris).
By mid-2016 I was thoroughly fed-up and exhausted. I was missing a crucial part to 'work-life balance' - the life part.
Re-introducing travel to my now business-focused life
My mental health was taking a series toll. But it wasn't like I could just go away. Lewis and I were handling everything and anything to do with the business from dealing with customer inquiries to accounting, picking and packing orders to marketing. If we travelled, there would be no one to do this.
We managed to grab a cheeky long-weekend away to Scotland during the summer.
Then finally we bit the bullet and booked a long-haul trip - a 2-week stint in Seychelles. Lewis' parents kindly offered to help out with the fulfilment and customer service side of things whilst Lewis and I still checked our emails for hours a day, dealing with everything else.
It felt fantastic to be able to travel again but travelling with a business was sadly a far cry from my care-free days. The hours we spent waiting for painfully slow internet was enough to reduce us to tears and arguments. Still, we made the most of it and after taking around a week to adapt, we managed to have a more relaxing and enjoyable second week.
The next steps
After a good 6 months of staying put after the Seychelles, I started to get itchy feet again.
We decided to start introducing frequent long-weekends travelling to our busy working-lives over the summer of 2017. We did this in the form of camping to various places in the UK - something I would have frowned at in the past but now seemed like a luxury.
Firstly we hit the Lake District. Next on our agenda was the Peak District and finally we ended with a weekend in Snowdonia, Wales.
The turning point for my travels (and my life)
In late-2017 I booked the trip of a lifetime - a 2-week road-trip around my favourite country, Namibia.
The road-trip was everything I dreamed of and more.
When I returned form this trip, I hadn't expected my life to change that much.
As usual, I was wrong. Life will always be completely unpredictable.
Perhaps I was on a massive high after my trip, but for some reason my marketing methods began to pay off. The business grew 300% in January 2018.
This growth meant we could employ staff to takeover more jobs and it gave us stability in the business.
As a result, 2018 became my most productive year of travel since becoming independent in 2014. We travelled round Sri Lanka, visited Mallorca, spent nearly a week on the Greek island of Kefalonia and actually got engaged in Tenerife.
With every trip I went on, the more motivated I was for my business. It was like a virtuous cycle.
Where am I now?
Life is forever unpredictable. Sheesh, how many times have I said that in this piece?
2019 was actually a quieter year of travel than 2018. I finally returned to my favourite continent, Africa, this time hitting West Africa with my trip to The Gambia. Then a whole 6 months later I journeyed to the Caribbean to re-visit an all-time favourite location, Barbados, and try out a new island - Dominica.
I then jumped into 2020 with a spontaneous week-long trip to Tenerife which actually ended up being 11 days.
I am so glad I booked that unexpected trip as (like the entirety of the world) I'm spending a good chunk of 2020 stuck in self-isolation (yay!). Did I mention life was unpredictable?