2019 in Review – a year full of changes

I can’t believe that another year has passed. When I think about what has happened at the beginning of 2019 it feels like yesterday.

I love writing these yearly reviews because I can see how much I’ve achieved. 2019 was a great year and I think I deserve a pat on the back. It probably was the best year of my life and I’m only planning to make 2020 even better.

Let’s see why 2019 was such a great year.

couple on a bamboo raft at Cambugahay Falls, Siquijor

2019 in numbers

Where I’ve traveled in 2019

Compared to 2018, I’ve traveled less but I’ve visited some pretty incredible places. My favorite destination of the year was the Philippines. I spent one month exploring the most beautiful beaches, going island hopping, and visiting some stunning waterfalls.

Out of all the places I visited in the Philippines my favorite was Siquijor Island. This underdeveloped island, with just a few tourists, is a true paradise. With crystal-clear water, beautiful beaches, and some of the most jaw-dropping waterfalls, Siquijor stole my heart.

Tubod Beach to Apo Island snorkeling tour
Swimming with the turtles in the Philippines

I’m happy to say that for a few months in 2019 I’ve made Bali my home. There is something about this island that makes me feel comfortable and welcomed. If there is one place outside my home country where I’d live, it’s Bali.

I love the food, the people, the spectacular nature, and the weather. We lived in Canggu, a small town in the Southern part of the island, close to the beach. Canggu is a paradise for digital nomads and for good reason. The prices are reasonable and the internet is super-fast.

We’re already planning to go back at the end of 2020.

Couple on the edge of an infinity pool overlooking the rice fields in Bali

I also managed to explore more of Indonesia and visit Java. Even though most of the people only visit Bali and the nearby islands, there is so much more to discover in Indonesia.

I was impressed by the temples of Yogyakarta, saw some crazy waterfalls, and visited the rainbow village of Malang. Java is full of awesome tourist attractions and it definitely deserves more attention.

Borobudur Yogyakarta

Towards the end of our stay in Bali we explored the northern part of the island. We found some hidden waterfalls, endless rice fields, and some breathtaking views.

Leke Leke Waterfall couple, Bali
Leke Leke Waterfall, Bali

Since returning back home (more about this below) I also had the chance to visit a few countries in Europe. I went to UK to my first blogging conference. I went to Bologna with my best friend Madalina and I visited Bruges and Ghent for the second time with my mom.

Bologna
Rozenhoedkaai postcard view Bruges
Bruges
Bruges

Moving back home

2019 was also a year full of changes for me. After traveling full time around Asia, me and Dan decided that we need a break from traveling so we returned home. My days changed from doing exciting things each day to sitting on the couch and working on the blog. But this is not a bad thing. From time to time I need stability and routine.

Moving back home is not the end of the journey for us. We plan to hit the road again in the second half of 2020. We have some pretty exciting plans that we’ll share with you soon.

Meanwhile, we’ll be traveling in Europe. I’ve been waiting to visit Portugal for such a long time and finally we’ll explore it in February. We also plan an awesome trip to Georgia but more about this soon.

I have to say that I like being at home. I like my comfort zone and I have a lot of time to focus on my blog which leads me to the next chapter.

Best beaches El Nido
El Nido, Philippines

My travel blog – from passion to business

Time passes so fast when you do what you love. I took my passion to another level and with a lot of sweat and tears I transformed it into a business.

If somebody told me that after getting my Masters Degree in Business Administration at one of the best universities in the world and working in Advertising, I would end up being a travel blogger I would have laughed. I always imagined myself climbing the corporate ladder but life had something different in store for me.

After working in Marketing and Advertising for 3 years I quit everything, every bit of stability, and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. We decided to use our savings not to buy a house or a new car but to travel and everyone thought that we were crazy.

I started documenting my travels on my blog but I never imagined that I could make money from it. At first, it was just a passion project. I loved sharing my experiences with the world and seeing that people read my content made me extremely happy and proud.

Couple in infinity pool at The Hamsa Resort Bali
North Bali

After my blog started to gain some traction, I found out that there are several monetization opportunities. I spent weeks reading and learning about how to take my blog to the next level and finally, my work paid off this summer when I was accepted to Mediavine (my blogger friends will understand why this means so much).

Now, Daily Travel Pill is read by almost 100,000 people each month. I plan to double that number next year.

I am extremely grateful for having this awesome job. For me it’s not even a job because I love what I’m doing. It’s my passion. I am one of the few lucky ones that get to travel the world and make money from it and it’s an incredible journey but not an easy one.

When people hear that I am a travel blogger, they all think only about the good parts of traveling. None realize how stressful and tiring it can be. I’m not complaining but what I’m trying to say is that sometimes social media distorts reality.

I currently work on this blog more hours than I used to work at my full time job in Advertising and I also have Dan’s help and support. He is the mastermind behind all the technical stuff. Still, I love what I do and I wouldn’t change it for anything in this world.

Blogging is a big commitment and I’m here for the long run.

Plans for 2020

Apart from small trips inside Europe, we plan to hit the road full-time again in 2020. We plan a huuuuge trip around the world that we hope will never end.

My goal is to take this blog to the next level and write more blog posts. I still have a lot of catching up to do. I haven’t set specific goals for this year but I feel extremely motivated.

Until next year, read my monthly journals if you want to be up to date with my life.

May the travel bug bite you!

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Disclosure: Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend companies and products that I trust and the income goes to keeping this website running. Thanks!
Aurelia Teslaru
Aurelia Teslaru

Aurelia Teslaru is a professional travel blogger and the writer behind Daily Travel Pill. With a 4-year experience as a travel writer and photographer, Aurelia only shares travel guides about destinations that she visited.

She has been to more than 40 countries during the past 10 years and aims to explore 50 countries before turning 30 years old. Aurelia is a digital nomad who transformed her passion for travel into a lifestyle. Read more about her here.

To follow her adventures, check out her Instagram and Facebook pages!


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