Why We're Going Home (For Now)
I'm writing this from the Keflavik International Airport in Iceland which means we're nearly halfway between Central Europe (our favourite region in the world as of lately) and Canada (our home). In a few hours, we'll board a 7-hour flight to Vancouver with no international travels planned for the next little while. After over two years of bouncing around the world and living out of our suitcases, we've decided to go home, unpack and fulfill another dream.
Allow me to backtrack in case you're new to our story.
Our YouTube Journey
In February of 2016, we uploaded our very first video to YouTube. We didn't know what would come of our channel but we knew we wanted to share all of the fun we were having in Mexico at the time and help people experience the country on a budget as we were. We continued our 6-month backpacking trip around Mexico and uploaded videos in every city we visited.
The travels continued and, in August of 2016, we landed in Poland where everything changed. Our YouTube channel started growing pretty quickly and we developed this incredible fan base in Central Europe. Over the course of six months, we travelled from Poland all the way down to Serbia and came to love everything about this region in Europe. By the time February 2017 rolled around, we were feeling a bit restless waiting for the weather to warm up. One Skyscanner search later and this itch to head somewhere warmer had us flying into Bangkok where we spent the next 3 months in Thailand and Japan. At this point, our channel was really losing momentum and we could tell through our YouTube analytics that there wasn't all that much interest in our Asia content.
The summer months of 2017 were spent back in Canada where we decided to make an investment in our travel vlogging gear. We were ready to improve the quality of our videos and used this time learn as much as possible, picking up odd jobs along the way. In October we set off for a campervan road trip in Ireland and Northern Ireland before housesitting in the UK. Then we made our highly-anticipated return to Poland, I flew home for the holidays, Wes celebrated Christmas in Budapest with our friends and we reunited for another winter in Croatia. That's when the inevitable itch to fly south came again and we started the 99 Days in Mexico series that we've just wrapped up. And that pretty much brings us up to date!
Sidenote: You might have seen our video submission earlier this month that we posted for WOW air's summer job contest. We applied even though we had already made travel plans for the summer because we thought we'd be a really good fit for the position. The airline was looking for content creators to promote destinations through video and blog posts (which are two things we know and love doing!). In the end we didn't get the job and but still decided to cancel our summer travel plans...
From Travel Vlogs to Making Films
As much as we love filming and travelling, we realized that doing more of the same this summer wouldn't give either of us the room to grow that we were looking for. The routine of travel planning and moving from place to place while filming, editing and uploading a video coupled with trying to work remotely to sustain the lifestyle AND planning for the next destination/video/client can be draining to say the least. At one point, we were both pretty excited for summer since we had each picked a new country to celebrate our 30th birthdays but that excitement dwindled down as the desire to create something bigger grew stronger.
And so, after lots of going back and forth plus long talks over Mexican beer, WE ARE MOVING TO VANCOUVER AND STARTING A PRODUCTION COMPANY! The caps are to emphasize how excited we are about this. ☺ Over the next few weeks we'll be working on the logistics of setting up a business, getting all of our ducks in a row and ideally filming for companies and clients all over Canada (and beyond!). Being based out of one city will give us the opportunity to network within the community, build connections with others in the industry and create the kind of videos we've been longing to make. We still plan to travel as often as we can but it will be so nice and refreshing to have a base to come home to, unpack and find a healthy work-life balance.
Everything Happens for a Reason
I've always been a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason. If our channel had blown up and we became 'YouTube famous', we likely wouldn't be heading home now. Instead of trying to find a sandwich under $20 at this airport, we might have been enjoying $2 smoothies in Bali. Or eating khinkali and touring vineyards in Georgia. Or trying to navigate our way through the Golden Ring in Russia. And, while I hope one day we will get to do all of those things, I believe we're doing the right thing at the right time in our lives. Sustaining a living and lifestyle on YouTube right now wouldn't allow us to grow in filmmaking and storytelling the way we really want to. We really want to create a business that will carry us well into the future and we're looking forward to sharing this chapter with you as we grow.
When we quit our well-paying jobs in Edmonton nearly 4 years ago, we were most certainly taking a risking that might not be for everyone. But that risk paid us back tenfold with adventures all over the world and lifelong friends we can't wait to visit again. In many ways, we're choosing the hard way one more time. To build a business from the ground up so that we can develop the skills we're most passionate about. We're both turning 30 now, after all. And this dream to evolve from travel vlogs to telling stories through film isn't going to happen unless we make it happen.
What You Can Expect to See From Us
Since we first started travelling, our spontaneous nature has thrown you (and our families) a lot of curve balls along the way:
"Well, we were going to go to Turkey but found this cheap flight to Bangkok yesterday. So we leave tomorrow."
"We thought about the beaches in Portugal but we're going to Ireland to live in a van for two weeks."
"Oh, no, we're not going to Romania now. We're spending 99 days in Mexico instead."
I know this might be the biggest curve ball yet but this isn't a sappy goodbye post or anything like that. Despite not having any immediate travels planned this summer, we are keeping our options open. There is a lot of the world we're still eager to see and share with you, when the time is right. For now we have a lot of travel content planned on this blog as well as resources and tips to help you travel longer and on a budget. There are several trips I haven't written about yet and stories I'm excited to share that are deeper than the "10 Things to do in this City" kind of posts (though those are some of our highest-performing posts!).
We'll still be active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and have already had a peak at seat sales and flight deals from Vancouver. You may not see as many YouTube videos on our channel but we'll still be sharing our journey here and showcasing the new videos we create. We're really looking forward to taking you with us on this journey as we navigate new territory creating videos for companies and clients in Canada. Clearly we have a lot of work ahead of us but we hope that sharing this chapter with you all will inspire you to continue being true to yourself and your goals, regardless of what others are doing around you.
A very excited and soon-to-be Vancouver-based travel filmmaking couple ♥