Annual Review 2018

In Self Development, Writing
Scroll

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving – Mother Theresa

Introduction

We’re closing in on 2018, and following usual tradition, it’s that time of the year where I sit down to write my Annual Review.

I began writing my own Annual Reviews many years ago after being inspired by a writer I am fond of called Chris Guillebeau.

Since last year I now like to practice this process in public to give myself accountability, and to serve as a means to speak openly and frank about my life. That doesn’t just mean the happy and fulfilling moments, but also my struggles and hardships, because I believe this is where the real opportunity to learn is often found. 

My hope is that you’ll enjoy reading my Annual Review, and perhaps it will inspire you to grab a pen and start writing your own. And, if you do decide to write your own, I’d love to take a read, so be sure to let me know.

Walking the Camino Del Norte – June 2018

Reflection on 2018

Personally speaking, 2018 was a year defined by simplicity and subtraction, becoming laser-focused on the things in my life that are important to me, and just as crucially, the things that are not.

As a result, this change in perspective has opened much more space in my life. I feel that I’ve grown and learned a lot through 2018, especially with the way that I manage stress. The first year of running Podstel was tiring, stressful and overwhelming, but I now realise that’s because I chose it to be that way. As a person who typically works long hours without breaks, I finally understand the benefit and importance of good rest, and that the idea of working hard, long and with no focus or priorities is a sure way to burn out. Effective time management, setting the right priorities and clear boundaries coupled with a strong work ethic and knowing when to stop and relax, giving my body time to repair is what works best for me. 

As I wrote in last year’s Annual Review , towards the end of December 2017, I stepped away from the day-to-day and on the ground operations at Podstel so that I could focus entirely on leading and growing the business. So professionally speaking, 2018 was defined by a very steep curriculum to learn how to manage, delegate and become a more compassionate leader.

12 months on, I can say that decision proved pivotal, and it led to an intense learning curve in trying to understand how to manage, delegate and lead to tie everything together in a 15 person team, with a collective responsibility of managing the experience of up to 60 guests between both Podstels (we opened a second unit in 2018 – yippee) every single day. It certainly wasn’t an easy ride and although I’ve learned a lot, it’s clear there’s a long way to go on the journey to become a better compassionate leader – more on that below.

Again, travel was a big part of my 2018. I attended a dozen or so hospitality and self-development conferences, and also spent my month off (aka “clarity month”) walking my 4th Camino in Spain – this time the Camino Del Norte – a 900km pilgrimage from Irun, along the coast of Spain to Santiago De Compostela. Excitingly, my older sister Laura also got married and I flew back to walk her down the aisle which was a magical experience (more about being home below). 

Finally, closing out summer in the 3rd quarter of the year was the most special part of the year for me as we hosted our second Podstel Annual Gathering. It was a week spent with 75 friends & family from 25 countries, including two of my Secondary school teachers, Mr Barber and Mr Bell. We spent 5 days or so together, everyone getting to know each other while enjoying events, workshops, activities, and good food. The 5 days were magnificent and this confirmed that having a place to bring friends together from all over the world is one of the best parts about having our own space and working in the hospitality industry.

Key Moments of 2018

Travel

I believe that travelling is one of the best ways we can way learn & grow. As a result, I regard travel as one of the most important priorities in my life, and it was a big part of 2018. My time travelling can be split into both events & conferences and personal travel.  

Events & Conferences 

Hostelworld Conference – Jason and I flew to Dublin at the end of January for the Annual Hostelworld Conference. It was a fantastic event, catching up with friends and fellow hostel owners from the industry, and while we were there we picked up the award for Best Hostel in Romania 2018 for Podstel Bucharest. 

I also got chance to catch up with my good friend Ayesha who I went to University with and hadn’t seen in 5 years. She works at Google and she invited me to the Dublin campus where we spent the afternoon together discovering the crazy and wacky world of Google. 

After the conference, I headed up to Northern Ireland to stay with my good friend John Paul Conway for a week who I met while working in Australia at the very beginning of my travels back in 2012. 

Hostelworld Conference – January 2018

Franchise Convention London – Since our mission is to grow Podstel through franchising, in February I flew out to London to join The Franchise Show, an annual convention which brings together franchise operators and enthusiasts from all different industries to share knowledge. It was very insightful with many big firms like McDonalds, Hilton and Subway representing. I learned a lot about the process of franchising, made some useful connections in London while also having a few days at the end of my trip to catch up with good friends. Also a big thanks to Ioana, my dear friend from Romania, for hosting me in London! 

Hostelskills –  In 2018 we attended two Hostelskills conferences. The first was in Krakow during April, and it was awesome to catch up with the community again, with this event usually attracting smaller independent hostel owners. A big thanks to Pim & Asia for hosting us at The Woodpecker Hostel too – what an awesome cosy place they’ve built together.

After the event, and to shake things up in true Podstel fashion, we turned our trip into a bit of an adventure, hitchhiking our way back to Bucharest. It was a success, and a lot of fun, since it was the first time Ambrose had ever tried hitchhiking. 

The second Hostelskills conference was held in Lisbon in October, and this time we were representing and speaking. Ambrose presented on behalf of the Podstel team in a talk titled ‘The Art of Hospitality’. Although he was super nervous, I was very proud to see him overcome his fear of stage fright. He’d put a lot of hours into practicing and his delivery was excellent and it paid off with many people enjoying his presentation. You can watch that here if you are interested in learning about hospitality.

Hostelskills Krakow – April 2018

Tbex Ostrava – In July, I flew out to Czech Republic to join the Europe edition of TBEX – a travel conference for bloggers held in Ostrava. Although travel blogging is outside my usual field of hospitality, I like to learn from and meet people from different industries in the travel, and with so many wonderful creative people attending, TBEX is a great place to do that.

LifeHax – A Bucharest organised event hosted by a couple of good friends of Podstel which was focused on exploring what it meant to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. It was also a pleasure to see Podstel’s Jason Gastaldo get on stage to talk about life living in Bucharest as an expat and his travel experiences. 

Power of Storytelling – I believe that storytelling underpins everything we do in life, so when I saw this event being hosted in Bucharest, I was keen to participate and learn how to tell better stories. My biggest takeaway point was that I have a lot of room to grow as a storyteller, but to do that I need to switch my trajectory and dedicate more time to writing and speaking, which is one reason I decided to commit to writing 500 words a day on a theme of my choice (more on that below).

TEDx Bucharest – A wonderful 2-day event with 20+ speakers with stories and ideas to share. A good friend of mine, Steven D’Souza, was speaking, so I was there to support him, and he rocked the stage with his talk about “The Paradox of Not Doing”. I was fascinated by a couple of the talks, but the biggest take away of the event came from a talk by UN Ambassador for Romanian, Laura Raetchi whose talk was titled “On War and Peace”. One sentence I’ll never forget Is… “what we need more in the world is leaders with strong minds, good hearts and powerful voices.”

A nice surprise seeing Cassie there too!

Personal

Istanbul – In April, Julia and I visited Istanbul and stayed with Ezgi – one of Podstel’s previous guests. We had a lovely several days together exploring Istanbul and decided that instead of flying back to Bucharest, we’d make it a journey and take a sleeper train (a fantastic adventure in itself) to Sofia, followed by hitchhiking our way from there back to Bucharest. We set off at 10pm at night in Istanbul, arriving midday in Sofia the next day, and by 8pm that evening we’d managed to hitchhike our way back home to Bucharest. 

Sister’s Wedding – In June I flew back to England for Laura & Rob’s wedding with Julia joined too. It was great being home, and having lived away from England for 6 years now, I realised how much I miss many small parts of the culture and being close to family.

The wedding was lovely with all our crazy family coming together, even my father… For many years my sister has a sticky and painful relationship with our dad because of his alcoholic past and his neglect in our upbringing so of course, she was sceptical to invite him. I used to feel the same, but several years ago I came to peace with everything and decided to let go. I knew that Laura would regret not inviting him in many years to come, so I persuaded her to give him a chance on the condition that I would be responsible for him (she was worried about him drinking and ruining her day).

After much persuasion, she decided to let him come, and even though the day before her wedding she went back on her decision, I managed to convince her that it was going to be ok and I brought dad along with me on the basis that he would be on his best behaviour. And indeed, as I hoped, dad was well behaved and Laura had a great wedding.

I am very happy that Laura married Rob – he’s a great man and they’ve built a lovely little family together. But one of the happiest moments of my year came as we were leaving the wedding at the end of the night. Laura came up to my dad and gave him a big hug and thanked him for coming. She also said that she wanted him to see his Grandchildren again and spend time with them, which in my eyes is a huge step forward.

Confirming my belief that anyone can change, I believe that holding on to wounds from the past, anger or grudges causes much unnecessary pain and suffering. No doubt, pain takes time and experience to heal, but love and forgiveness is the only way through. 

Laura’s Wedding – Cumbria, UK – June 2018

Camino Del Norte – Straight after Laura’s wedding, I flew out to Spain for my yearly tradition of taking off a month to walk in solitude (aka a “clarity month”). During this month, I simply walk, write, read and connect with people I encounter on my journey. 

But this journey was extra special because I got to walk the first ten days with my best mate Joe, who I went travelling with for the first time to Australia 6 years ago in 2012. Those 10 days were like walking alongside a brother, reminincising and reflecting about the funny times and adventures working the grain harvest and driving our shagged out car around Australia in the early days of our travels.

When Joe left I walked on alone which I was also excited about. I’m pretty independent and I enjoy being alone, especially if I’m walking in nature. And my gosh what a beautiful walk it was. 900km’s across Northern Spain passing through gorgeous coastal towns like San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, followed by a picturesque journey through the Primitivo mountains, then finally winding down into Santiago de Compostela.

I walked for 30 days straight, and I wrote every single day, journalling the raw thoughts from my mind and posting them publicly on social media. My key takeaway from my walk was that gratitude, giving, and helping others by doing what I love is my path going forward.  

I’ve walked 4 Camino routes now, and each one has had a big impact on my life, so much so that I will be walking again in May 2019. I’ll be walking the Via De La Plata, which is the longest Camino route in Spain at 1,0007km, and also said to be the walk with the most solitude.

Walking the Camino del Norte – June 2018

Romania – Romania is a beautiful country and I made a pledge to myself at the start of 2018 that I’d see more of the country during the year. And that i did. I went on a 2-day hike with Sam to explore the Bucegi Mountains. It was awesome. We had great weather, and since our life and relationship had been pretty business focused since we’d arrived in Romania, this was an excellent opportunity to switch off from Podstel for a couple of days and laugh about the good old days and memories growing up in England together.

During 2018 I also travelled along the famous Top Gear road – the Transfagarasen Highway, and experienced the delight of seeing Jason submerge himself, naked, into an ice cold tarn at the top of the pass in front of about 50 shocked tourists. Definitely a highlight of the year and that man never ceases to surprise me.

On another trip Julia and I went to visit the beautiful German medieval towns of Sibiu and Sighisoara for the first time, which on the way back, involved a magical train journey perched on the edge of the doorway watching the sunset over the mountains. Priceless memories to cherish for a lifetime.

I finished off my travels in Romania with a trip to Brasov with Paulo, my dear friend from Brazil, discovering a love for trail running in nature when I ran up Mount Tempa one morning. 

Bulgaria – At the beginning of 2018 I found out that my legendary Secondary School Teacher and Head of Year, Mr Barber (now known as Keith – it still feels weird calling him by his first name), had bought a summer house in Bulgaria and was living there.

Through further investigation it turned out he was only a matter of hours from Bucharest. Keith came and visited us at this year’s gathering, and then Sam and I decided to hitchhike down to his place in Bulgaria and stay with him for the night.

He’s done a great job with his summer house, but more important than that, Keith is a wise man, and it was great listening to his life experiences, stories and catching up with one of few teachers both Sam and I looked up to as a role model in Secondary School. We’ll definitely be taking more trips to Bulgaria to visit Keith, and he’s also going to come back to Bucharest and stay again in 2019.  

Germany – My final trip of 2018 outside of Romania, was a trip down memory lane to Leipzig. For those who are unaware, Leipzig is where Sam, Jason and I tried to set up Podstel and used to live before we moved to Romania. I was back this time to visit Julia. Leipzig is her hometown and she is starting a new journey studying to become a teacher. She moved into her new apartment and she’s settled in well at University.

Leipzig feels like home for me and I’ll be visiting more often now too. I was there for a week, and asides from a very special Vivaldi concert, it was a lot of living the simple life which I enjoy – we cooking, going on walks and visiting friends and family.  

Podstel

Best Hostel in Romania Award – In January 2018 we received an award from Hostelworld for the “Best Hostel In Romania”. I am very proud of the whole team since this award was achieved in our FIRST year running Podstel Bucharest. Our rating for the year was 9.7/10, and we received about 500 reviews. A big thank you to all the guests who stayed with us!

As it stands, we’ve kept up the high standards and we’re on to receive the award again this year, but results will be revealed in January 2019. Fingers crossed!

Podstel #2 (Podstel Umbrella) Was Opened! – I wrote in my 2017 Annual Review that we’d open another location, and I’m glad to say we achieved that mission. In all honesty, we did not have Bucharest in mind for a second location, but the right opportunity came at the right time and in hindsight it was a great decision.

The first couple of months were incredibly tough juggling 3 businesses at the same time. But now I am glad to say that we are well above water and everything is running smoothly at both Podstels.

Podstel Annual Gathering 2018 – At the end of September, 75 people from 25 countries joined us for our second gathering in Bucharest. There were many beautiful moments, but the stand out memory for me was our 30 person group hike to Mt. Omu in the Bucegi Mountains of Romania – what a great team effort all round despite the weather! It was also incredible that two of our ex-teachers, Mr Bell and Mr Barber, from the secondary school that Sam and I went to, managed to join for the event too.

Podstel Annual Gathering #2 – September 2018

Automation & New Team Members – Since 2018 has been a year dedicated to managing, delegating and leading, we realised it was time for all of the managers to step away from the day-to-day operations running Podstel and focus on building the business. This was a slow process but by December we had managed to find a brilliant new team to replace us.

So I’d like to thank our new superstars Dragos, Mihail, Iolanda and Hitesh for joining the team and all their hard work so far. Having staff running the day-to-day operations at Podstel is a game changer and now means that we can now spend our time testing ideas, building systems and scaling Podstel

Teamwork – In the middle of 2018, we noticed we were all working way too much feeling like machines with one day drifting to the next. I hate to ruin the dream, but running a couple of hostels does not mean socialising with people from all over the world every single day. We realised that we needed to invest more energy in building the team and our personal relationships, so that’s what we decided to do. In addition to more group sessions and time spent together outside of Podstel, we dedicated Sunday to what we named the ‘holy day’ where the team would get together and do a fun activity together. So far we’ve cooked, completed an escape room, played board games and even gone to a cardio interval class together. We all get a lot out of doing this and it’s a big step forward for the culture, and indeed the Holy Day will be there to stay for the rest of Podstel’s existence!

Smiles sitting in our 2nd location – Podstel Umbrella

Milestones

3 Years No Alcohol – April 12th marked 3 years of no drinking alcohol, which was monumental considering that just several years back I couldn’t imagine living a weekend without alcohol. Life’s a lot different now, and I can really feel the positive effects of quitting on my health, mindset and body. This will continue indefinitely!

Quitting Processed Sugar – I spoke about my problem with sugar in my 2017 Annual Review. I’d realised that sugar had a big hold on me. I could polish off a big chocolate bar in minutes. I was addicted and it was something I needed to address. I’ve found it difficult to quit in the past and stay consistent, but this time was different, using the affirmation and experience of quitting alcohol gave me the power to take control. So I quit chocolate and processed foods all together. No fizzy drinks either. It’s been months now and I’m still going strong, and my mindset is thanking me for that. 

Quitting Running To Compete – I wrote in last year’s Annual Review that I wanted to beat my personal best in a half-marathon. In May, after 6 months of training, I achieved that and ran my fastest half in 1 hr 25 mins, which was 13 minutes faster than my previous personal best. 

I was then scheduled in to run the Marathon in October but during the Camino I had a realisation that I had turned my love of running into a competition with myself and that I was doing it for the wrong reasons. It was ego fuelled and I realised that I had lost the joy of running. So when I returned from the Camino, I decided to quit the marathon and focus on running for the simple joy of running as a simple ritual of looking after my health. I’m enjoying this new frame of thinking towards running, and it’s now a solid habit in my life that I look forward to each day.

Finishing the Bucharest Half Marathon With Margot – May 2018

Writing 200,000 Words in less than 5 Months – Probably the biggest breakthrough of 2018 came with my hobby of writing. I’ve struggled with consistency and procrastination towards writing for years, and I couldn’t fathom out why.

Even though I’ve kept journals for most of my adult life, I have long dreamed about writing as a profession. I get into it for a little bit and then I lose the enthusiasm and the consistency drifts away. But in August 2018 I decided that once and for all that I would commit to writing 500 words every single day whether I felt like it or not. Wake up, pick a theme and write. That’s it.

Initially it was only meant to be for a month, but I enjoyed it so much that I extended it to 2 months, then 3, and then I decided that it’s a daily ritual I want to keep for the rest of my life. 

Since August 9th 2018, I’ve written about 200,000 words which is the equivalent to about 3 books. I know great writing is not about quantity, but I realised that consistency and repetition is crucial in the early stages of forming a habit. Once I nailed the consistency of the habit of writing (it took about 2 months), I focused on chiseling the words and focusing my time and energy on a quality 500 words instead of writing whatever came to my mind.  

I’ve established that writing is very important to me and I see it as a form of therapy, so this may be a tall order, but I am confident in saying this: I am committing to write at least 500 words a day for the rest of my life.

You can hold me to that. 

Braces – I got braces! Although this decision came 15 years too late, it was about time since there was a tooth that was protruding and crowding my mouth which would bleed and cause discomfort every time I brushed. When I was younger I cared a lot about what people thought about me and I was very afraid to get a brace. So although it’s just getting braces in your mouth, it means a lot more to me and shows that I’ve come a long way from that insecure 13 year old kid. 

I’ve had the braces in for about 3 weeks now and they took a bit of getting used to. I bought the Damon System and the whole treatment plan worked out at about €1,500 for the two years, including appointments, which is about 1/5 of the price I could expect to pay in the UK. My teeth have already started moving and I can’t bite with any of the front teeth which is annoying. I also have to wear elastics and I must’ve swallowed a lot of rubber now with forgetting to take them out before I eat. 

I now have to take extra special care of my teeth, and I’ll have the braces on for two years. Learning how to look after your teeth is interesting with braces. I was advised to buy an electric toothbrush and a water flosser which turned out to be both game changers. I realised how much I neglected caring for my teeth as a kid and how inconsiderate I was as a young adult too, but luckily everything is OK, and considering I don’t eat any processed sugars anymore, it’ll be much easier to look after my teeth going forward. 

Things I Want to Work On

Finishing What I Start – I say this in relation to completing my book project. I’ve been procrastinating on writing my book for 3 years now. It comes down to my resistance towards writing and probably a bit of fear of being judged too. However, my ritual of 500 words has slowly shifted my thinking and perceptions towards writing, which has had an incredible knock on effect on the progression of my book.

I used to believe it was difficult to write 500 words but I’ve established it’s not as hard as I thought. It takes about 15 minutes each morning so there’s no excuse but to show up and write my book. I’ve now shifted my daily 500 words to writing my book and it’s going well. Granted Podstel took my attention for the last several years, but now that the business is in much better order so there’s no excuse, and my plan is to finish my first book and have it published by September 2019.

Attention – I have tried a lot to protect my attention from unnecessary meetings, notifications, social media and all kinds of junk that doesn’t matter. Back in University I was incredibly disciplined and could work 12 hours through without any breaks (not healthy I know), but now I get distracted much more easily and can manage keeping my attention for about 2 hours max. It’s my own fault, and I am aware of it. I am putting measures in place to limit social media and unnecessary meetings to make sure I can focus on deep work in 2019. 

Obsessive Working – I’m slowly beginning to see the fruits in relaxing and taking time off to do nothing. I still grapple with the constant urge to be productive, and I don’t know where it comes from. I used to be on the side of the narrative of “hustle” and “grind” at all costs, but now I realise that’s a sure path to burn out. For me, a healthy life is all about living holistically and in balance, so anything extremely out of whack will eventually drive you to a negative place. In 2019 I will focus on giving myself more space and time to relax and cut off from work. 

Public Speaking – I’ve shied away from public speaking for the past years because I don’t like to be in the spotlight, or when all the attention is on me. I also get nervous as well, but now it’s time to confront it. I want to become a more articulate speaker and I’ve been using Instagram stories to document my life as a means of improving my ability to speak and improvise in front of the camera.

I’ve improved a lot too, and in confidence as well, because several years back I wouldn’t speak in front of a camera. So 2019 means more personal documenting, interviews, and speaking in public. I am also interested in hiring a speaking coach, so if you know anyone who has helped you, please put them in touch. 

Putting Plans into Action

Realisations from 2018 

Stories – Our mind and what we believe is a collection of stories we’ve been told (or told ourselves), and some of these stories are helping us grow and some of them are hurting us. We must realise that everything we know, even ‘truths’ are subject to interpretation.

With this in mind, we must be very careful with the stories we tell ourselves. For example, if I say to myself I’m not a morning person, what kind of behaviour do you think is going to manifest in my life? The promising part is the other side, though, because you’re just one moment away from telling yourself a new story that motivates, inspires and encourages you to change.

Everything I believe to be true is subjective and simply my take on the given the stories and information I’ve consumed over my life of 28 years on this planet. 

Running a Business – I wish I learned this earlier but saving a bit of money and not employing staff to run the day-to-day operations of your business is not a good game to play. You become drowned in the operations and can never find time to grow your business. When you do find time, you’re so tired and burned out from the day-to-day operations that you feel like doing NOTHING.

This is the downfall of most small independent business owners. Instead, unless you see yourself having fun as a career as an employee inside your own business, before you begin and set up your own business, have a game plan for exiting the day-to-day operations. 

Communication – Effective communication and our ability to articulate ourselves well in writing, reading and speaking is the skill of the future. Healthy relationships, thriving businesses, or making a difference in the world – it all comes down to our ability to articulate ourselves.

Journeying – I have become fascinated with the idea of going on a journey as a form of self-improvement. I believe that one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves in life is time to get to know ourselves and one of the best ways to do that is to go on a journey of self-discovery.

Higher Self & Lower Self – Two hats are sitting on your shoulders – the higher self and the lower self – and we get to choose between them with every decision we make. The lower self is obsessed with things like violence, negativity, speaking about others and self-pity, whereas the higher self is wise, humble, peaceful and keeps you in check. The higher self is concerned with traits of gratitude and growth and self-improvement. But most important of all, remember that with every decision we make, we get to choose which hat we put on our heads.

Gratitude & Serving Humanity – After much reflection, particularly while walking the Camino, I have realised that I am here to help others. I am here to help humanity, and to spread a message of peace and the necessity of quality education. I believe quality education is pivotal and the root of everything we do in life, so my mission going forward in everything I do is to help as many people as possible access quality education. Whether that’s through building Podstel or taking on other projects – that’s for the future to decide.

Looking Forward to 2019

Conferences – I will attend a small informal hostel gathering in Rome, Italy at the start of January, followed by the Hostelworld Conference in Dublin. I will also be at ITB in Berlin in March and then i’ll be back in Czech Republic in April for the HostelSkills Conference. I also want to attend Brand Minds in Bucharest, and make my way out to the World Travel Market in London in November. 

Walking the Camino – As I wrote above, I will be heading back to Spain to walk my 5th Camino – the Via de la Plata. It’s a 1,000km route and I will walk out of Seville on May 15th for a month, heading north towards Santiago. It’s going to be hot (40 degress Celcius +) but I’ve already started training. I’ll also be walking alone, and I’m very excited about the solitude, and having more time out to reflect, read and write in nature. 

Podstel – 2019 is going to be another big year for Podstel. We’ve just opened an NGO and we’ve got some exciting plans to start helping young creatives and artists in the city. We are also going to be working on the systemisation and automation of Podstel while taking time to iterate our blueprint and franchise model that we’ll use to help other people set up their own Podstel in the future. Although it’s distant thought, we may open a second Cafe in Bucharest in the latter part of 2019. We will focus a lot more on running events around our mission of giving locals and travellers the opportunity to share, learn and belong. So you’ll see a lot more team building and self-development orientated events being held at our locations, as well as the possibility of organising a small self-development retreat to the Romanian mountains with a handful of best friends. 

Personal – On a personal note I am happy, healthy and fulfilled right now. Content is complacent so I like to describe the state as “ambitiously content”. April will mark 4 years sober, and I want to continue taking time to look after the fundamentals of sleep, exercise, eating healthily and nurturing deep and meaningful relationships with fewer people because I believe that these things are the foundation to living a happy and healthy life. I want to continue learning German and have began learning Spanish as well as I am planning an overland trip in the next several years from North America to South America. Other than that I will focus on becoming more articulate in my communication on my path to becoming a more compassionate leader at Podstel.

Walking the Camino with Joe – June 2018

Conclusions

I believe that this year has been a powerful awakening for me in realising a deeper purpose to give my all to help other people. I’m not sure how and what form it will manifest itself in yet, but I it certainly feels right to dedicate my life to serving humanity. 

It’s been a beautiful year with many experiences, learnings, and realisations, and I am ready for 2019.

It’s time to spend New Years with the rest of the Podstel family and I hope to see as many of you in 2019. 

Before I leave, i’d love to finish on a question for you in hope that you’ll also write your own Annual Review: 

What was 2018 like for you and what’s in store for your 2019?

I’d love to hear your comments & feedback, and if you decide to write your own Annual Review be sure to pass it on to me.

Have a great New Years,

Daniel Beaumont, 28th December 2018


About the Author

Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.

I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.

I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.

Your turn…

If you enjoyed reading this article, please share it with your friends and join the discussion below by posting your thoughts and questions.

If you want to read more articles like this then please subscribe to my mailing list here to receive content directly to your inbox.

2 Comments

  1. Daniel. Beautiful read this is. Truly.
    Inspiring.
    Happiest of New Years to you.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *