I am a former telecoms strategy management consultant who one day decided there was more to life than 15h working days seven days a week.

I managed to make that decision because I had finally taken some time off for myself which I invested on a sabbatical in the South Pacific. Away from the boardroom filled with executives of some of the multi-billion-dollar companies I advised, I found clarity. I loved my job, and the 5* hotels and business class flights it afforded me, but I did not want it to take over my life.

I did not quit straightaway but a year later, I exchanged my high paid job that earned me more in a month than most of my friends made in a year and I opened a hole in the wall take-away cafe, became a barista and started a blog as a means to put my thoughts into writing.

 

Behind the bar, I was a nobody, a 30-something expat who was filling take away cups of coffee for busy expats in smart suits heading to corporate offices. My degrees and my MBA did not matter, my previous experience was silent and this gave me the chance to reflect on what I wanted to do next.

I took a year to myself. I spent hours in the cafe grinding beans and steaming milk. I became an angel investor in a couple of travel startups. I embedded myself into the startup community thriving in Singapore. I launched the Travel Massive Singapore chapter. And I built this blog, doing it for myself first. After nine years traveling 75% of my time to over 80 countries, I had a lot of stories to tell! If only I had started earlier.

My plan was not to spend the rest of my life brewing coffee. I only wanted to do something different, something which utilised only a small portion of my brain, so I was free to think. And I had the same romantic idea every consultant or banker has: open a B&B by the beach, setup a winery or start a bohemian cafe. The novelty quickly wore off and after losing three kilos in a month from walking up and down all day, I realised having an F&B business was much harder than I thought and not as fulfilling, financially or otherwise.

Since opening a winery was out of the question because I grew up in one, I was ready to go back to the job market. The only thing I knew was that, this time, I did not want to sell my soul to a heartless and purposeless company, no matter the money. The offers from headhunters to rejoin the world of consulting or of telecoms kept streaming as I was very senior and there were very few professionals of my experience in Asia.

But I had done it, I had reached as high up in the professional services career as I ever wanted to. I had nothing to prove to myself or anyone else and I did not want to go back.

A job title was not important, a career working for a large corporation did not define me. I wanted to learn, I wanted to be inspired and I wanted to travel the world. I needed a meaningful job at a company that respected my private life and that treated me like an adult. A company I respected and which respected me.

After a few months of considering opportunities against my aspirations and ideals, I settled for Google. The company was a natural fit and after a lengthy recruitment process for a few positions, I joined exactly a year after I had quit my consulting job. I sold the cafe the week before starting and I kept the blog, still as an online diary of sorts, mostly for myself.

If you tell good stories, people will find you.

And they did.

My blog started to grow organically in number of visitors. My social media followers kept piling up. I attended a blogging conference where my entrepreneurial and business mindset were awoken again and I hit a tipping point.

I realised I could turn this platform that was my daily source of inspiration and meditation, into a lifestyle. Not that it was going to be easy, building a blog is truly hard work, but I could do it and I could build something I could be proud of.

Since then, I have worked with dozens of companies in the travel and hospitality world and made hundreds of connections with inspiring individuals. I continue to be involved in the investment and entrepreneurial communities in Singapore and I regularly speak about pursuing your passion.

Since 2017, I started helping smaller companies define social and digital marketing strategies and consult them about improving their presence and results.

In February 2018 I left Google to focus full time on this blog and on Singapore n Beyond, my second blog. I now spend the majority of my time writing, traveling and consulting to companies on digital, social and influencer marketing. My corporate experience, my years as a management and strategy consulting and my success building a travel blog are proof that I am experienced and a lot of travel brands need help getting started, maximising the value they get from influencer collaborations or improving their digital marketing strategy. Even the large travel companies.

If you are curious about how I make a living while staying in one of the world’s most expensive cities, you can see my Income Reports here where I explain how I make my money. Or buy my book, 30 Ways to make money online with or without a blog available on Amazon Kindle or paperback version.

A bit about myself

I am trilingual and speak Catalan, Spanish and English.

I can communicate in French. Enough to understand and speak badly.

I understand Portuguese – don’t test me.

I have lived in 8 cities.

I have visited 100 countries. Rwanda was number 100!

I have worked in 40+ countries from South Africa to the UK, from the US to Australia.

I have a degree in Business and an MBA from ESADE, Top-10 best in Europe.

I build business plans for every new business idea.

I even have a business plan for my life which I used to decide when to quit Google.

Take a look at my travels from the sky and under water

Some more fun and interesting facts about myself

My first ever “real” trip overseas was to Cuba in 2001. Previously, I had been to Switzerland as a little kid and plenty of times to Andorra and the southern most part of France, just because it is very near home. But Cuba is the first ever trip I consider. It was also the first time I traveled abroad alone, albeit with all my university colleagues

Map May 2018

Countries visited 47%

Things I've done, Hotels I have stayed at, Airlines I've flown