We’re often asked why do we do this? Why do we vlog? Comments range from This seems like a lot of work to Who wants to hold a camera for their entire vacation?
First and foremost this isn’t work for us. Video takes time and effort but it’s not work. It’s a passion project, a way to connect with Stefanie and our combined effort to put a little joy in the world.
We love video. We love travel. We love each other. Why not start a channel?
Bonding Through Adventures.
There’s something really cool about co-developing a YouTube channel with your spouse. Seriously. Of all the hobbies and shared experiences this tops them all. Vlogging forced us to step outside of our norm and do things we’d never do. This led to going to places we’d never go, meeting people we’d never meet, etc. Our channel started with daily vlogs and evolved to the cruise and travel vlogs that you see today. Little did we know that our lives would become dramatically different with each video that we uploaded. Stefanie and I are both forever changed as a result of this new journey. I believe that everyone should vlog with loved ones.
A DVR for Our Relationship.
Truth be told I don’t remember what I did yesterday let alone several trips or months ago. Vlogging is a great way to capture the memories for years to come. I can’t wait to watch these things 10-20 years from now and relive all of these amazing journeys with the love of my life. My average work schedule is 4am to Midnight, seven days a week. Want to know why Stef is always so excited to be on a ship? Why she acts like a kid on Christmas morning? We work an insane amount of hours. Which leads to my next reason.
There Has to Be Balance.
Yep, 4am to Midnight. No joke. Friends text me and email me at all hours and are always shocked to get an instant reply. Our business is just Stefanie and myself. I clear a 40 hour work week by the end of Tuesday. We started our company to help other video creators create their own content. It’s an amazing opportunity to help people reach their creative vision. The flip-side to running your own business is that it’s all consuming. We spend our days and nights working on client projects. Our vlogs allow us to create for us, for no other reason other than to spread happiness and fun. There’s something truly freeing about being able to create for the sake of creating. This thought led us to my next reason.
We Love to Travel But We’re Not Rich.
Turns out traveling costs money. I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career.
No, I’m not an assassin or spy. or am I? I work in the film and video industry. I’ve been working for TV, Film, Commercials, Music Videos, various Military Branches, Theme Parks and even Cruise Lines for over 20 years. I’ve created content for dozens of marketing divisions, Directors, Filmmakers, etc. I’ve spent my career designing for others. I’ve learned something and acquired new skills from everyone that I’ve met. Now Stefanie and I design products to help other video creators achieve their goals and in exchange we get to go on more trips. So the more we work right now, the more likely we are to be on a ship in the next couple of months.
We were recently called spoiled. That sucked. While perception can be reality, in our case we travel as often as we do because we work hard and make it a priority. I don’t have a fat bank account, a trust fund or weekend spot in Ibiza. I don’t know where or when my next paycheck will come in. We 100% invest our time and resources in each other, our business and our YouTube channel. All you need is a little faith, trust and pixie dust…
Helping Individuals and Small Businesses.
What we didn’t realize after starting this channel is that we can help people. Our channel isn’t huge and as such we never thought for a second that we could influence and help people. We were wrong.
I just recently found out about Fathom Travel. It’s a way to give back to the communities that we all visit on vacation. It’s impact travel. From the Fathom site: Fathom is a travel experience that delivers the best of both worlds – a true vacation and an opportunity to give back.
We met and worked with amazing women in the Dominican Republic who started their own chocolate factory, called Chocal, as a way to provide for their families and not have to travel to find work. Prior to this business, these women would leave their families for days or weeks just to earn a living. Thanks to Fathom we were able to make our way up in to the mountains of Altamira and work with them for a day. Every single person at Chocal is a fantastic human being. We loved every second of this experience. To be able to give back and help is a wonderful feeling.
When we posted our Chocal video the emails and comments started pouring in. Asking how they can book a Fathom trip. How they can do more. How they can be a part of this thing. Saying they never knew about impact travel. How they want to bring their kids to these places. It was incredible to read these messages! We are elated to know that we brought some attention to a thing that does good and people are signing up for it right now. This feeds the soul. Stef and I are so happy to see the positive impacts of a YouTube video. All I want to do now is all the other Fathom trips. Literally ALL the trips.
Spreading Happiness and Positivity is our Mission.
There is a lot of anger, turmoil and outright negativity in the world. We receive dozens of messages from people every day who are going through a serious tough time. People are hurting. We know this and we’ve got nothing but love for you. Truly.
Like I just said, We’ve got you. Stef and I have been through it all. Personally She and I have endured tragedies and traumatic life changing events that neither of us will ever fully recover from. Terrible things. In addition to that, I suffer from anxiety and extreme daily pain. Debilitating, raw, awful pain. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
Professionally we’ve been stolen from, lied to, lied about, slandered, robbed and pretty much left for dead. Companies have tried to force us to sell or go out of business. We just recently got hit with an orchestrated fraud attack that cost us pretty much everything we have. We came back from a trip to find our accounts thrashed. As a result, we’ve had to cancel some future trips, sell some gear and take on extra work. That’s OK. Stef and I are alive and together. All that matters. The endless emails, DMs, Private Messages and phone calls from our fans keep us going. Our mission is to travel, emotionally invest in each other and spread positivity and light everywhere we go.
I said this in a previous article: The more positivity you put out there, the more it comes back. We are personally and emotionally fulfilled by the amazing people we meet, the wonderful connections we make online with each of you and the absolute AMAZING emails and comments we receive every day.
One time in St. Maarten a woman stopped Stef, gave her a massive hug and started crying. We didn’t know her, but she absolutely knew Stef. This woman told Stefanie that she was an inspiration to her and that above all else to keep our channel going. That was equally amazing and surreal. She was from Europe, we’re from Orlando, we happened to run into each other in a port in the Caribbean. All tied together by a YouTube channel. A random slice of data in the sky. That is wild. This is just one of hundreds of examples of the kinds of encounters we have and messages we receive every day.
If we can make you smile or take you away from a bad situation, even for a moment, we’ll take the W. Life is about taking things in stride. It’s about persevering and never letting anyone or anything keep you down. It’s about knowing that we’re not alone and we can connect with each other. We can always get back up.
We have a small Facebook group that I’d like to invite you to join. Just a little thing that we call the Sean and Stef Cruise Buddies. Everyone in there is family. If you need someone to talk to or just want to be around other people who love life, travel and helping others come on by. We’d love to see you there. As someone who suffers from daily pain and anxiety, I don’t want you to feel alone. I know all too well how destructive that feels. You aren’t alone. We’re here for you. We love and adore each and every one of you.
Sean Mullen is a Travel Filmmaker, Vlogger, VFX Artist, Brand Ambassador and the CEO & Lead Designer of Rampant Design, Inc. He is a 3 Time Emmy Award Winner and former Walt Disney World Monorail Pilot. Sean is married to the AMAZING Stef IRL. See Sean’s Portfolio here: http://seanmullen.media