Monica Lucy: How it all began

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Hi and thank you for stopping by MonicaLucy.com!

My name is Monica, I’m 32 and I live in North Wales with Sam and our three kids, George (5), Joseph (3) and Alba (1).

I’ve been blogging for 12 years and I’ve been doing this full time for eight years! The thing I’m always asked is, ‘How did this all begin!? And how did you keep blogging after so long?’ 

So here is my blogging timeline to show what I’ve been up to for the past 12 years and to show some highlights from each year….

If you’d like to keep up to date with the blog, you can sign up to my newsletter where I send out weekly updates.

Here’s my blogging timeline…

2009

2009 – This is when I started my blog and it was originally called ‘Me and My Backpack’. The name didn’t last long as I couldn’t handle this grammatically incorrect name so I changed it to ‘The Travel Hack’. This was a name I kept until 202!

In 2009, I finished university, where I’d studied English Language and Literature at The University of Liverpool, and I then set out on a backpacking adventure with Sam.

It was a spur of the moment decision to book our tickets (possibly brought on by wine) and we booked one-way tickets to Australia with a 3-month stop in Hong Kong. From Hong Kong we flew to other places in South East Asia.

We visited:

  • Hong Kong
  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam
  • Laos

And then flew to Sydney to work for a few months and spend Christmas and New Year there.

Read more: How and why I started travel blogging

2010

VW campervan in Australia

2010 – We bought an old VW camper van in Melbourne and drove around the entire coast of Australia.

We stopped to work on a scuba diving and fishing island on the west coast of Australia and gained our second-year visa so we could stay a little longer on our Working Holiday Visas.

Read more: How to survive living in a campervan…for a year…with a boy

2011

2011 – We left Australia and travelled through South East Asia again on the way home.

We visited:

  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Home!

I then moved to London to complete an NCTJ in journalism and work on a start-up travel website.

Read more: What my journalism course taught me about blogging.

2012

^ One of my favourite trips was to Sun Peaks in Canada

2012 – This is when I started to really get into travel blogging and I realised a career in blogging would be much more exciting than a career in journalism!

I started working as the UK social media manager for Flight Centre and began attending lots of press trips for my blog.

My travel highlights from 2012

2013

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

^During a dream trip to South Africa

2013 – I quit my full time job to travel blog full time – this is when the fun really started and I was travelling 2-3 times a month.

Read more: I’m going freelance!

My travel highlights from 2013

2014

^ Taken during an epic trip to Miami

2014 – I moved from London back to North Wales and Louie, our gorgeous fur baby, came into our lives. Oh, and I continued to travel a lot!

Read more: The real reason I got a dog

My travel highlights from 2014

2015

2015 – Sam and I had our first son, George, and bought our first house which we renovated over a year.

Read more: The house renovation project: 8 months on

Introducing Baby George

2016

2016 – We travelled a lot with George and then had our second son, Joseph.

My travel highlights from 2016

An Introduction to Joseph

2017

2017 – I released a Travel Hack Cabin Case!

My travel highlights from 2017

2018

Watergate Bay Hotel review

2018 – 2018 was the year of finding the balance between travelling, family life and running an online business. There was a lot of travel and a lot of fun, but also a lot of time spent at home in the UK and discovering some gorgeous places on my doorstep. We bought a caravan on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales too so we spent a lot of time on the coast!

Read: My travel highlights from 2018

How I’m managing the work/life/blogging/babies/travelling balance

Buying a static caravan

2019

2019 began as a very busy year with trips to Morocco, Montenegro, Menorca, Switzerland and lots of UK trips. I also launched The Travel Hack Backpack! The second half of the year was busy in a very different way as we built an extension on our house and our baby girl, Alba, joined our family!

Read more:

Our first three months with our baby girl

What’s it like to have three children?

The Travel Hack Backpack

2020

Aston Rose pushchair by Ickle Bubba

2020, wow, what a year. It’s fair to say that 2020 has turned the world on it’s head, chewed us all up, spat us all out and we’re currently wiping ourselves down and hoping it doesn’t happen again.

Despite the global pandemic, I have actually been very lucky and all of my loved ones are safe and well. But COVID-19 and lockdown did make me rethink a few things and use the downtime as an opportunity to rethink my career as a travel blogger. I decided to stop travel blogging and move into family lifestyle blogging.

Read more:

I’m quitting travel blogging

13 Comments
  1. Julie 2 years ago
    Reply

    I love that I feel like I was able to “catch-up” on your whole life from the last 10 years…and what a 10 years it has been!

  2. Bee 2 years ago
    Reply

    Honestly, if i can replicate your life when I have children (or close to it as I can!) I’ll be a happy woman. Your work / life balance seems great and I am in awe of it!
    Bee xxx

    • TheTravelHack 2 years ago
      Reply

      Aww that’s so lovely to hear! Things do feel pretty nice at the minute and, as a blogger, there’s no reason why you can’t do exactly the same!

  3. Emily 2 years ago
    Reply

    I really enjoyed seeing your travel timeline and having a little roundup! I’ve only started to follow you recently and I’ve only started travelling out of the UK in the past few years. I’ve recently been to North Sweden and oh my I loved it so much! I’m excited to see what 2019 has in store for you :).

    Emily | Snippets of Emilys Life xx

  4. George 2 years ago
    Reply

    This is a truly inspiring post. Been traveling and writing for almost 15 years, but it’s only 3 months since I started to blog. Loved to read about the evolution of your project -and how everything moved forward in your personal life, too. Your kids are really lucky for having such a wonderful lifestyle from day one. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • TheTravelHack 2 years ago
      Reply

      Thank you George! Great name 🙂 I hope our boys appreciate this lifestyle and don’t think this is just normal! We’ll see but I hope they love travelling as much as I do.

  5. Henry 2 years ago
    Reply

    What a great anthology! Love the storyline! Keep up the amazing content! 🙂

  6. sumit saini 2 years ago
    Reply

    I truly appreciated seeing your movement course of events and having a little gathering! I’ve just begun to tail you as of late and I’ve just begun going out of the UK in the previous couple of years. I’ve as of late been to North Sweden and gracious my I cherished it to such an extent! I’m eager to perceive what 2019 has in store for you

  7. Danica Watson 2 years ago
    Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  8. Liz Allan 1 year ago
    Reply

    I really enjoyed seeing your travel timeline and having a little roundup! I’ve only started to follow you recently and I’ve only started traveling out of the UK in the past few years. Thanks for sharing ?

  9. Joyce 10 months ago
    Reply

    In all photos you look so joyful such a great photography and i am appreciating your blog. Perfect Travel blog.

  10. Jessica Friend 4 days ago
    Reply

    This felt like the Monica’s ‘Greatest Hits’ in a lovely feel-good way! And I’ve loved revisiting all your milestones again – avid follower from 2010! 🙂

    • Monica 4 days ago
      Reply

      Hehe, I should have made a cheesy album cover for the greatest hits!

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