MANY of us dream to be paid to go on holiday, but one couple from Portsmouth have done just that after leaving their old lives behind six months ago.
Portsmouth-born-and-bred Graeme Robertson and his partner Theodora Van De Pol both studied International Business at the University of Portsmouth before opening up their own interior design business.
But the Southsea pair’s dream was to travel.
Graeme said: ‘For years we dreamt about travelling the world full-time but weren’t too sure how to fund it as a full-time career.
‘After estimating how much money we would need to last a year of travel, we actually realised it would be cheaper to travel the world than to live in the UK.
‘Then we decided we were going to do it and hoped that within a year we could replace our salary and make travelling our careers.’
The couple started a YouTube account to document their journey which so far has seen them visit 10 countries in 36 weeks and their channel ‘Babe, where’s my passport’ has now gained over 40,000 subscribers.
Theodora said: ‘Our first stop was Bali because it is such a great place to create video content as it has great weather, amazing but affordable accommodation and a mixture of beaches, mountains and cool things to do.’
The 30-year-old, originally from the Netherlands, added: ‘We are currently coming to the end of our tour in India which has been amazing. After a quick Christmas pit-stop back in Portsmouth we want to head to Mexico and make our way down through South America.’
Speaking about the experiences they have had so far, Graeme told The News: ‘There have been so amazing moments from swimming with turtles, hiking to secret waterfalls in Brunei and riding camels in the Indian desert.
‘We pinch ourselves when we realise that white sands and crystal clear waters are our office and bikinis and shorts are our uniform.’
The 33-year-old added: ‘I think the worst thing for us about becoming travel YouTubers was the learning curve.
‘Having limited camera skills, we were learning on the move – we made so many mistakes.
‘If we look back on some of the first videos, compared to the latest ones, we have come a long way in only a short time.’
Theodora said: ‘Our relationship was also really tested in those first few months as we had put everything on the line and it wasn’t going the way we expected to begin with.’
To carry on affording plane tickets to the Gili Islands, cocktails on the beach and train fares in India, the couple make money through adverts and collaborating with brands.
Graeme said: ‘We make money from YouTube Ad Sense which are the short ads played before each video and we have also started to work with companies to promote their products and services.
‘However, we are very selective with the companies we work with to not dilute our brand.
‘We only work with reputable companies we use or know offer great products.’
But even endless beaches and beautiful views can’t beat the little things Portsmouth has for the vloggers.
Theodora said: ‘We do actually miss the smallest of things like going to Gunwharf Quays and walking through Old Portsmouth.
‘Having the beach on your doorstep is amazing and all that fresh sea air – we definitely took that for granted when we lived here.’
The university graduates insis there is a space on social media for everyone, and gave advice for those wanting to start vlogging.
Graeme said: ‘Many people say the market is saturated but if you have the determination and work ethic it is definitely possible to make a career out of it.
‘Where you are start creating content now, even if it is about our own city, as you might be surprised about what you find in your own back yard.’
Both agreed their goals were to reach 500,000 YouTube subscribers, start a family, and YouTube around the world with their children.
Theodora added: ‘The first couple of months we only had a small amount of engagement on our YouTube channel, but once we started to post videos more regularly we began to grow a lot faster.
‘Now we are receiving thousands of comments per video and people are loving our different vlogging style compared with some of the big travel YouTubers.’
Graeme added: ‘No matter what we do or where we are, people seem to be invested in our lives and don’t want to miss an episode.
‘The messages we get really motivate us to keep going and make the best travel and lifestyle videos we can.’
To see Graeme and Theodora’s videos and pictures, visit babewheresmypassport.com