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Our Story

Victoria and Steve in San Pancho

Bridges and Balloons

Inspiring Exploration

 Explore the world. Explore your mind. Explore creativity.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didnt do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

The world is filled with stories. We are a story ourselves, uncovering the plot as we go along, adding colour, flavor and scent with each moment that passes by.

Bridges and Balloons is a place that inspires you to explore your story: to explore the world and your place within it. To dream of what might be and to discover what is.

Through travel stories, photos, personal tales, interviews, curated content, and practical guides, Bridges and Balloons is a travel lifestyle blog / magazine / guidebook that helps you to explore, dream, discover.

If youre new here, then take a look at this getting started page for an idea of whats on offer. 

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About Victoria

 Hello!

This site was born of a love of writing, exploration, and this particular story…

Once upon a time, there a was a small girl with a mess of curly red hair born to two parents who loved to explore. As nurses, they werent rich but theyd go away at every chance they got, even moving to Quatar for a year to work when the little one was just three years old.

As she got older, the girl developed her own wanderlust. At 13, she fell in love with Spain on a Spanish exchange. People ate at 10pm, 13-year-olds went to nightclubs, and the culture had its own scent. The world and its richness was opening up. Then a life-changing exchange trip to Tanzania at 15, volunteering in a school, experiencing African village life and seeing a world beyond what shed ever imagined, cemented travel as a love of her life.

She indulged that love as often as she could, travelling solo through nine countries at 18, from Sri Lanka to the Cook Islands, and then taking off at every chance through university, internships and work. She couchsurfed, she volunteered and learned to see the world through others eyes.

Along this journey, there was sadness. The girls Dad died in 2002 after a long battle with alcoholism. Eight years later her Mum died from MS, followed by her Nan three weeks later. The three of them stay with her, guiding spirits and inspiration. Death and grief are difficult journeys but also ones that give rise to compassion, empathy and perspective a profound lesson in impermanence.

These experiences took the girl on an exploration of her own mind. She studied psychotherapy and began to question her path in life.

At 27 she was in a job shed spent her life trying to get working for a humanitarian charity as a writer. An English BA, Journalism Diploma and endless internships had got her there. The problem was she was restless. Working in an office didnt suit her,  and every day shed stare at her desktop with its photo of a jungle and dream. 

She dreamed of the world beyond the places shed already travelled and the countless ones there were still to see. She dreamed of doing what felt right, of finding that thing that made her glow. 

So, two years after her Mums death, the girl whose hair was now less red, decided it was time to really explore. She didnt know exactly what she wanted or where her journey would take her, but she knew she needed to make a step into that unknown.

She and her filmmaker boyfriend Steve packed up their home in London and set off for South America. He continued to make films and she started this blog.

Which takes us up to now…

Bridges and Balloons started as a hobby, something to keep me creating along the way, but it’s grown into something more. Sometimes people write to me and say it’s inspired them to explore their own path, whether that be at home or around the world – and that’s why I continue to share. I share my own stories, I share our photos, I share tips, and I share things that inspire us as we go. It’s evolved into a hybrid blog, magazine and guidebook for all dreamers and digital nomads.

It’s more than two years since we left London and we’re still on the road. We tend to move much slower these days, spending up to six months in any one place, to get a true feel for the local life. One day we may stop for longer and find a place that we’ll call home, but for now that search continues. I don’t, nor can I, know where this path is leading.

The same goes for my work. Alongside this blog, I dabble in freelance writing, teaching yoga, doing writing workshops, pondering about a life of teaching, and hatching plans for start-ups. Sometimes that uncertainty is difficult and the insecurity quite frightening, but the journey is also my fuel. As someone wise once said: “The journey is the destination”.

Thank you for sharing my path.

Other things to know about Victoria

I love cake more than anyone else I know. My favourite is Victoria Sponge.

Spending time in cafes with a coffee, cake, book and crossword is one of my life’s greatest pleasures.

If a café or restaurant is described as whimsical, cosy or hipster, it’s likely I’ll be a fan.

And here is a list of all my favourite things.

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A little bit about Steve

Steve is my best friend, my love and the most wonderful man I know. He also takes a lot of the photos on Bridges and Balloons and of course features in many of the stories. Steve’s job is making films. He produces, he edits, he directs, he does a little bit of it all, and also has his own company, the most excellent Planetary Collective. In 2012, they made a film about an amazing thing called The Overview Effect. It captured people’s imagination and has since been watched by more than 5 million people online. That number blows my mind. Now he’s working on an epic and ambitious feature-length documentary about our story as life within this cosmos. He has done all of this during our travels – he’s a true digital nomad.

Other things to know about Steve

He’s a self-confessed geek, forever teaching himself new passions, from animation and coding to the finer details of Buddhist philosophy.

He uses the words snake, biscuit, mega and sandwich A LOT.

He’s creative at almost everything. Just look at this little self-portrai.

Comments

  1. says

    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.

    • Victoria says

      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. says

    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 :)

    • Victoria says

      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. says

    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!
    Britany recently posted..‘Round the World Wrap-up, 8/20My Profile

    • Victoria says

      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

    • Victoria says

      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!

  4. says

    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 ;)
    http://ifyougoin-en.weebly.com

    Stay Bum,
    Dario

    • Victoria says

      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 :)

  5. says

    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
    Marissa Carnahan recently posted..This Sunday, I ExhaledMy Profile

    • Victoria says

      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.

  6. says

    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 (http://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!

  7. says

    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

  8. says

    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!

    • Victoria says

      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…

  9. says

    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.

    • Victoria says

      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

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