I believe life is a never-ending quest for knowledge, beauty and wisdom. My mission is to live a fun, adventurous and simple life while sharing what I learn, spreading kindness and helping others.
Hello, I’m Dan – the author and editor of this site.
You can find out more about me by reading my bio here.
Please read on to discover more about my journey, purpose and vision.
If you have any questions or ideas to share, feel free to get in touch with me here.
In 2012, I decided to travel, discovering a passion for hospitality and helping people. While meeting all kinds of people from different cultures and backgrounds, I recognised that people shared the same fundamental need to belong and grow, which led me on a journey to start Podstel with my best friend Sam.
The first Podstel opened its doors in 2016 in Bucharest, Romania. Between 2016 and 2020 we set up 3 locations in the city, hosting over 50,000 travellers from 110 countries. In addition to Podstel, we also set up a health-conscious cafe and events space, as well as an NGO that gave talented locals a platform to share their passions and skills with the world.
Throughout my journey, I have discovered the importance of helping people and building sustainable businesses that benefit people, society and the environment. I believe in the power of entrepreneurship and that purpose-driven business mixed with solid leadership is a force for good. In turn, I will devote my future to working alongside others to run, manage and lead organisations that make a positive difference in the world.
Upon graduating from University in 2012, I was confused and didn’t know what I wanted to do next. I’d studied Business Management & Finance, and although I had a passion for business, and knew that one day I’d like to start my own, I wasn’t sure what kind of business I was interested in.
I decided to travel and take some time to explore and learn about myself. I set off to Australia with the intention to work, save money, then travel the world for a year.
My plan to travel for a year didn’t turn out how I imagined it to. Through a series of serendipitous experiences and people I met in the early days of my journey, I discovered a passion for hospitality and helping people, provoking me to make some important life changes.
I kept a journal as I hitchhiked and travelled from place to place. Instead of writing a repetitive account of the day’s events, I was fascinated by the people I met and wrote about our interactions – their story, life, beliefs, dreams, lessons learned & philosophy.
I didn’t choose the people I wrote about. 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; I simply listened – intently – with the belief that I could learn something from every person I met.
After meeting so many fascinating people on the road, I decided that I wanted to couple my love for business and helping people and created Podstel – a place where travellers and locals could come together to share their stories and learn from each other.
After spending a few years researching, learning as much as I could about hospitality and raising finance for the business, I set up the first Podstel in 2016 with my best friend Sam, in Bucharest, Romania. We spent the next years building our business from the ground up, and after only a year of operating, we were awarded “Best Hostel In Romania” from Hostelworld.
On the back of that success, we set up a second and third location in Bucharest, and by early 2020 (before Covid hit), we had built a strong team of 20 staff, hosting over 50,000 travellers from 110 countries around the world.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Once Covid hit and travel came to a halt, we decided to pivot and turned both of our locations into accommodation for Erasmus students coming to study in Bucharest.
Using this strategy, we managed to sustain our businesses for a year throughout Covid, but in March 2021, we decided to sell our businesses and close this chapter in Romania.
The decision was mainly for personal reasons and wanting to move home to be closer to friends and family after over 8 years of living abroad. I am excited to start a new chapter in life with all that I have learned from my experiences travelling, living abroad and running my own businesses.
I believe life is a continuous quest for knowledge, beauty and wisdom. Moving forward, I am committed to learning as much as I can about well-being, business and human nature, using my skillset to build purpose-driven businesses while helping others to do the same.
But first, once I return to the UK I will set off on a 3-month bicycle tour around the country. The purpose of the journey is to catch up with old friends and rediscover the UK with new eyes after living away for a long time. I will also use this time to write, read and reflect on what has been an extremely rich last 9 years of my life since graduating from university.
Upon returning from the journey, I will be exploring new opportunities in business, starting a new life in the UK, and adopting a more local way of living, going on adventures much closer to home. I’m excited about living in the UK again, and all that’s coming next.
Going on a journey all those years ago was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I am grateful for all the experiences I’ve had and the people I met on my journey and what they taught me.
Now my mission in life is to commit my life to learning and helping others.
I hope our journeys cross paths in the future.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or ideas to share, please get in touch here.