Accidental YouTuber

When people ask me what my job is here in Singapore I usually say I work part time in a school, which I do and have done since college. But I was starting to spend more time and focus on our YouTube channel. Last year I felt a little silly saying I was a ‘YouTuber’ as it felt more like it’s the dream job of teenagers and still isn’t seen as a viable career by many not in the social media world. This November YouTube congratulated us on two years of our channel and I felt proud of what we’ve achieved with our Wonderlust community. As I’m writing this we have 6,823 subscribers. For us it was never about the numbers, I guess the subscriber count gives me some validation that what we are doing is being well received and enjoyed, but when we set out to start this we didn’t imagine what it would become and I don’t think we had even thought that far ahead. Many people have turned travel videos into a viable way to continue to travel the world, sharing make up and fashion tips on YouTube has led to careers and a new wave of influencers giving honest reviews on products and I know it’s where I go to check out a new product or holiday destination as I want to see it for real. Now I know not everything on the Internet is real. I’m pretty sure cats can’t make omelettes, but its entertaining all the same.

Let me take you back a couple of years to covid lock down, just for a few minutes as we all have memories of that time we may not want to relive. But as we sat at home Jonty and I were preparing to relocate to Singapore from Surrey, in the UK, and we actually lost the job that would see us moving out here. It was pretty devastating, but don’t worry it has a happy ending.

After several emails back and forth between Jonty’s employer we were again able to relocate and so we decided to document our experience so our friends and family could keep up to speed with what was happening, bearing in mind we weren’t allowed to see any of them. So we filmed on our phones with a ringlight we bought online and started to document our move. As a family, and I guess the fact that mobile phones had much better cameras, we had changed from taking photos to take more videos on holidays and then Jonty would edit them into a longer family video, with music and animation. He fondly remembers sitting at home of an evening as a kid with his family and watching the family VHS’s with a bowl of sweet smelling popcorn and we found we enjoyed doing the same, with our kids taking it in turns to ask for a particular holiday or day out.

Our YouTube channel has also become a way for us to document and keep memories of our holidays and experiences. Some evenings we sit together watching an episode the kids have chosen and its good to be reminded of those times and the wonder we found. Wonderlust – finding the wonder in our everyday lives. It’s become a bit of a family motto for us, to seek the wonder in all we do. And I say seek as sometimes it’s not as obvious. It’s easy to see the wonder when you’re watching a sunrise on a beach in Bali, snorkelling with fish for the first time in Malaysia or trying our hand at making clay bowls together. Sometimes we plan a day out and it’s not what we thought it would be or the kids are grumpy and would have rather stayed home with Lego but we turn it around, just takes a bit more finding.

We committed to making a new video every Friday and back then I didn’t know how to edit videos. We started editing on an older MacBook, but the poor old thing began to struggle, so we invested in a Mac and upgraded our editing programme to Final Cut Pro. When Jonty got the Mac I asked where the other box was. He looked at me blankly and told me it’s all inside the one screen! I was imagining the old computer I had at home as a teen that had a large box on the floor for the CD’s…any way I’m showing my age. It’s been a learning curve and I watch other channels for ideas and found YouTube is helpful for learning new skills. Jonty watches the vlogs when I’m done and makes some tweeks here and there before we upload. Back to 2022 and I can edit videos much faster, I still watch and learn on YouTube for inspiration and ideas.

We’ve had so many amazing opportunities through our channel; guided nature walks, product reviews, hotel stays and media passes to events. When we were looking to relocate we watched everything we could find about Singapore on YouTube and we realised there wasn’t a lot out there for families so we also wanted to fill that gap. I wouldn’t say we are a family only channel, we have a wide range of aged viewers and I would hope any one of any age can find something to enjoy to watch or go and experience for themselves. We’ve met some awesome people through our channel, that’s why I called it a community at the beginning. Through YouTube and our instagram we’ve had a variety of people get in touch asking for advice on relocating or just dropping us a message to say they enjoy watching our channel to get an idea of what Singapore is like. Most interestingly our local viewers often comment to say that we’ve explored more of singapore in two years than some have in their lifetime here. I guess it can be like that when you live some where, you think it’s always going to be there. I know there are plenty of places we haven’t visited in the UK despite being a drive away. With travel opening again we’ve been able to share some awesome places abroad too and love hearing about our followers’ trips.

So now when I’m asked what my job is I say I work part time in a school and make content for our Youtube channel, and I’m proud of that. Like any business or venture you often start out small and it grows and develops along with you and I’m excited to see where this takes us. We won’t be living off our youtube wage anytime soon but it does give us some extra pocket money for our weekends out. But more than the financial gain we’ve enjoyed experiences we may not have done had we not had the channel and we’ve made some very good friends along the way, of which I’m very thankful for. Helping people relocate and being able to offer some help within that feels good, it can be difficult to leave a life behind and start over. If you’re looking to move to Singapore feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll help if we can.

With a Wonderlust attitude I believe you can see and experience so much more. Our kids love looking for Saga seeds, little red seeds that burst out of their cases and can be found over the rainforest floor. Wonder – its all around, sometimes you have to look in a different place to spot it, but when you do, you start to notice more and more.

2 thoughts on “Accidental YouTuber

  1. Love hearing of your experiences and your journey of actually getting to Singapore.

    I’m so proud you’ve embraced many new ventures.

    More to come in certain.

    Mum 🦋

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