Positive change through hospitality, business and leadership.
Hello, my name’s Dan, and I’m the author and editor of this site. You can find out more about my personal journey here.
Please read on to discover more about my journey, purpose and vision.
If you have any questions or queries, feel free to get in touch with me here.
With a passion for hospitality, travel and education, I believe in the power of business and leadership as a force for good in shaping a happy, peaceful and sustainable world.
In 2012, I decided to travel and through my own adventures I discovered a passion for hospitality, travel and education. Through meeting lots of people from all kinds of different cultures I recognised that people shared the same fundamental need to belong, share and grow, which led me on a journey to create Podstel.
The first Podstel opened its doors in 2016 in Bucharest, Romania. Today we have two locations in the city, and have welcomed and hosted 1000s of guests from over 100 countries. Throughout my journey I have witnesssed the importance of social entreprenuership, business and leadership as a force for good and I want to spend the foreseeable future creating businesses that make a positive difference in society, while teaching other people to do the same.
To start this story, let’s go back to July 2012. My life was a lot different back then:
The Early Days
Straight out of university, I was confused and didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. All the way through University I’d told myself and my friends and family that I wanted to start a business but I wasn’t sure what kind of business.
I was driven and hard-working, but I was motivated by external approval. I thought I needed to drink alcohol to enjoy myself, be social and have a good time so most weekends I went out and drunk beyond my limits, which led to all kinds of problems in my life.
I primarily lived my life based on other people’s expectations and what they thought about me, spending most my time doing things I believed would impress other people at the expense of myself and whether it actually made me happy.
Upon graduating from University, and not knowing what to do do with my life, my best friend Joe persuaded me to join him on an adventure to Australia to work, save some money, then travel the world for a year. Based on the prospect that we had a job lined up in a grain factory somewhere in the outback, we booked a one-way flight to Australia.
Like most things in life, my plan to travel for a year didn’t turn out that way. Through a series of serendipitous experiences and people who I met in the early days of my journey, I quickly discovered the power of going on a journey as a great catalyst for self-discovery. Little did I know that it would be this belief that would end up fuelling a 4-year journey of exploration, leading to a few significant life changes.
I kept a journal since the very beginning of my journey as I hitchhiked and CouchSurfed from place to place. Instead of writing a repetitive account of the day’s events, I wrote about the people I met – their story, life, beliefs, dreams, fears & philosophy – followed by a personal account of what I thought I could learn from each person I met.
I didn’t choose the people I met and wrote about along the way. Instead, I allowed the journey to take its own natural course, knowing that everyone I met had their own story to share. I didn’t judge or make assumptions, just listened with the empowering belief that I could learn something from every person I met.
8 years and dozens of journals later it’s now 2020 and a lot of things have changed.
I discovered a love for a hospitality, travel and education, and using business and leadership as a force for good. I set up Podstel with my friend to bring the world together to share and learn from each other.
I quit alcohol in April 2015 and haven’t looked back since (read more about that here if you’re interested). I also continued to grow my love for writing and since August 2018 have written 500 words every single day.
Moving forward I am commited to learning more about business, leadership and management, and using my skillset to start more social conscious businesses, while teaching others to do the same.
Moreover, in May 2020, I will embark on my biggest journey yet, fulfiling a childhood dream to cycle across Europe. I’ll start at the the top of Britain and cycle 5,000km all the way to Bucharest. The journey will be one made through people, rather than destinations, telling the stories of those I am fortunate enough to meet along the way.
The journey will be a community based journey with a broader purpose to raise awareness for climate change. The plan is to raise money to plant 5,000 trees – 1 tree for every kilometre of the journey. If you’re interested in joining part of the journey then I’d love to hear from you, and you can get in touch here.
Going on my own journey helped me discover what I want to do in life but I believe that many of the changes I’ve made so far life were due to some of the great people I was lucky to encounter.
I am forever grateful for what all the people I met taught me and now my mission is to use my skillset to pass on the gratitude I was shown to help others.
That’s my story so far, and I hope our journeys cross path in the future.