About us – Alison and Don

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In our sixties, (Don is now seventy-five) with apparently no other authentic option, we sold our car and apartment, sold or gave away all our things, and set off to discover the world. And ourselves. We started in Italy in 2011 and since then have travelled to Spain, India, Bali, Australia, Southeast Asia, Sweden, Mexico, South America, New Zealand, Cyprus, and more – it’s all in the blog archive. We will continue travelling until it’s time to stop – if that time ever comes. So far it suits us very well. We are interested in how the world works, how life works, how the creation of experience works, how the mind works. As we travel and both “choose” our course, and at the same time just let it unfold, we discover the “mechanics” of life, the astounding creativity of life, and a continual need to return to trust and presence. Opening the heart, and acceptance of what is, as it is, are keystones for us both.

Interests: Alison – in no particular order: travel, competitive figure skating (as a fan), blogging, photography, writing, acceptance, authenticity, walking/hiking, joy, creativity, being human, adventure, presence. Don – the same except replace figure skating with Formula One motor racing.

To discover more go here to read an article we wrote for Retirement and Good Living and here to read an interview we did with Nomadic Matt.

Changes: in March 2017 we made the decision to stay in Vancouver for at least the next twelve months. After five years and eight months travelling the world without a home we knew we needed a time out. Travelling is stressful and Alison’s body felt pummelled. She needed to stay in one place long enough to see doctors so that she could sort out some major muscle imbalance. Then we found the apartment! The rent is about half the normal rent for such a place in Vancouver. It was too good a deal to pass up. So once again we have a home, and for the first time since the end of August 2011 we own a car and furniture. We will continue to travel though not in the way we did before.

Alison has a seven-week solo trip to Japan and China beginning in late April 2018. Don is staying home this time to take care of the bears.

594 thoughts on “About us – Alison and Don”

  1. Hello. I have become a fan of your posts! :-) Loved the write-ups and photography :-)

    Looking forward to stay connected :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful blog… so glad I found it. I look forward to following your adventures in the future. Ali

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey there Alison! You inspired this blogpost of mine: https://thesnowmeltssomewhere.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/real-travel-experiences/
    Just wanted to let you know! :) Have a great day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful website.I read your all blog posts except the posts in last two month but i hope i will read them too.I love your way of telling travel tales. I read a lot of travel blogs but your blog is the one which i really like most and read all of it!.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Bless you, Alison! I just got an email from the Editor that my blog has been selected to be featured on WordPress Discover next week. All because you sent here the recommendation!! I am really just speechless, and I am so thankful that you have done such a kind act for me and my family! I don’t have the words right now to express my gratitude, but truly thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    Stephanie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh you are so welcome! I’ve been following your blog from nearly the beginning I think and loved your story. I’ve watched as your writing and photography has gotten better and better. The Bride of Cotopaxi! I *never* would have thought of such a wonderful metaphor! And you carried it all the way through so well. Anyway I knew they’d like what you’re doing. I look forward to seeing your blog show up in Discover!
      Alison

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely enjoying your blog so far and I look forward to reading more. Best, Ash

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Alison and Don – Your site was recommended to me by Simone at Retirement and Good Living. I currently reside on Vancouver Island, but previously spent many years abroad. I blog at RetirementReflections.com. I look forward to following your adventures and reading more.
    Donna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Donna, nice to meet you! I’ve been checking out your wonderful blog. I love how all the connections come about! (Thank you Simone). If you’re ever in Vancouver we could get together for coffee. I imagine we have a lot in common, including a belief in miracles :)
      Alison

      Like

      • Hi Alison and Don
        Just read your recent blog. See you are in Vancouver, we have just come back(last week) from a month in Vancouver and Alberta did 2000 miles driving in Albeta, visiting relation up north near Grand Prairie and as many places we could inbetween. Had 10 days in Vancouver renting a flat in our favourite part by false creek. My husband is when possible actively involved with the oldest wooden tug in Canada based at Britannia boatyard – SS Master – she will be open for visitors this end June/July – Canada day. We had a terrific time, as we hadn’t been to Alberta before, can’t wait to return. It’s on our list …… One or two or three other places a little before that yet but return is on cards to see our relations. Also met up with penfriend of mine of some 40 years, in Vegreville, she lives in Provost, so that was great for us too. Pity we didn’t know you were in Van we could have met for a chat. Maybe next time…… Jean

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Jean, nice to meet you. Sounds like you had a great time out west. We also love False Creek. It’s a nice part of the city. Maybe we’ll get to meet next time you’re in town.
          Cheers, Alison

          Like

  8. Sylvia Strawford said:

    Hello Don & Alison
    Came across your blog whilst browsing. I am seriously thinking of selling everything up and travelling the world solo,when I travel I need to do it alone. I’ve travelled in the past alone and it doesn’t phase me. I would like to start in 2yrs time when I’m 60. I feel life is too stagnant and here is not enough of a challenge in life at he moment. So in the next two years I will do plenty of research before I commit myself. I would then like to travel for the next twenty + years,health permitting…. Sylvia

    Liked by 1 person

    • This sounds great Sylvia. Of course I say Go for it! It sounds like a fabulous plan, and clearly you’re used to travelling alone. And anyway you’re never alone as you always meet people along the way.
      Alison

      Like

  9. you guys didnt come to africa though.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ester wulkan said:

    Hello .I am looking for your blog.
    My name is ESTER WULKAN

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Ester. I deleted your email address. I do not reveal my email address to strangers. The link to this blog is alisonanddon.com, but since you are already here on the blog you know that.
      Alison

      Like

  11. Hi! Amazingly, one of the places you haven’t been (yet) is Morocco! We just spent 2 months there and loved it. You can read about my adventures there at http://yvonneandmike.com. You have to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don hasn’t been to Morocco. I was in Morocco in 1979 as part of an overland expedition from Johannesburg to London. And yes, I loved it and would love to go back. Sometime soon probably we’ll take a couple of months to explore Portugal, Spain and Moroco.
      Alison

      Like

      • Since you’re people who like to take time, take time in Morocco. They are among the most hospitable people I’ve ever met, and it’s so worth staying in places long enough to get under the surface (except perhaps in Marrakech; they’re so overwhelmed with tourism there).

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Alison and Don
    We took the same journey of body and mind about 30 some years ago. Sold the house, had a big yard sale. We never fully returned to a “normal” lifestyle of consumerism like good Canadians are supposed to.

    Your posts are very insightful. I discovered you during a trip to Ek Balam and Ria Lagartos as I was looking for info on Merida. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi George,
      Thanks for your kind words. Hope you liked Merida better that we did :)
      Ria Lagartos was definitely a winner! And that whole time in the Yucatan was fascinating.
      It sounds like you’ve had a rich full life, as most unconventional lives seem to be. Better than the alternative :)
      Alison

      Like

  13. We never made to Merida this trip, I did visit there before. I had a really good feeling there, but that was lo those 30 years ago.Ria Lagartos was interesting for me, but if I did not have some Spanish language skills I think it would have freaked me out. We had a real problem, arriving on a national holiday weekend and the hotel we’d reserved had no record of us and literally no rooms anywhere to be had. Ah, trust in the gods of travel to help us, and they did.

    Like

    • Gotts love those travel gods :)
      And yes there’s frequently been times we’ve been glad of (some) Spanish language skills. We had no problems in Rio Lagartos, but did in other places.
      A.

      Like

  14. Me and my husband are very inspired by you two. May be we will do the same when we are older and our kids are around the globe…..

    I love love love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful compliment. I can only say that 5.5 years of being nomadic was the best thing we could have done and I really recommend it. It has changed us both enormously. We have recently settled again in Vancouver, though we are certainly not done travelling, just taking a bit of a break. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog.
      Alison

      Like

  15. Hi Alison & Don!

    I didn’t find your email so I write you here :)

    Just a quick note to let you know that I featured you in a recent article named:

    Top 30 International Retirement Blogs in 2017

    Here’s a link to the article:

    http://www.welovecostarica.com/top-30-international-retirement-blogs-2017/

    I’ve also made a special badge for you here:

    Feel free to download and use it anywhere you wish!

    Once again, I hope your inclusion in the list drives some new readers to your blog and I look forward to staying connected!

    You can reach me at maxwell@welovecostarica.com

    Regards,

    Maxwell Salo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Maxwell! We are so very honoured to be on your excellent list.
      And thanks for the badge – I’ll add it to the sidebar along with the WordPress badges.
      We’re so pleased to be included!
      I’ve added you to the list I keep of future travels – so I’ll be sure to contact you if we decide to come to Costa Rica.
      Alison

      Like

  16. Carol Ownly said:

    Hi from a fellow Canadian,
    Read your daily budget. Am going to
    Australia soon and wondering how you
    kept costs down.
    I noticed air bnb’s surprisingly inexpensive
    and have used many over the years.
    Otherwise Australia seems expensive.
    Do you have any tips on cutting
    costs in Australia or did what I might,
    just suck it up ha.
    I think it is absolutely fantastic that you decided to travel full time.
    Carol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Australia is expensive, no doubt about it. I’m Australian so we stay with relatives some of the time. Also probably the best deal for accommodation is cabins in campgrounds (sometimes known as caravan parks or holiday parks, or some variation of that). These are self-contained cabins sleeping anywhere from 2 up. You have a bathroom, kitchenette, dining table and beds. Simple, but effective. Since you have a kitchen you can make your own meals and cut costs even more that way. We’ve stayed in some beautiful places this way. This site will give you some ideas, but there’s way more beyond this.
      https://www.turu.com.au/accommodation/caravan-parks
      You’ll find them in the cities too, though probably not centrally located. And the big cities also have hostel options. Hope this helps.
      After 5.5 years we just recently finally decided to give up travelling full time. Time for a time out :)
      When do you go, and where in Oz are you thinking you’ll go?
      Alison

      Like

      • Carol Ownly said:

        Thanks for info.
        We go Feb and March/18.
        Picking only 4 areas and taking it slow.
        We can go back next winter to do more.
        Like to stay in an area longer than
        “13 countries in 8 days” type of travel.
        May be our new place to escape winter.
        We have done parts of S America,
        Vietnam, Az. wherever it is warm in our
        winter. Bali/Singapore on list.
        Will read more of your travel experiences
        and thinking it was fantastic you just
        got out and did it.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Beth Kovatch said:

    I’m thrilled to have found your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi,

    Hope you are doing good!

    I just reviewed your site alisonanddon.com and impressed with the quality work on your site.

    I was wondering if you allow some Sponsor Posts with do-follow links.

    Could you please send me the Pricing/Details?
    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Regards!
    Nageen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just so I understand – you want to pay me to advertise something here on the blog? Is that it? I’m sorry but I wouldn’t be willing to do that. I don’t do sponsored posts.
      Alison

      Like

  19. Enjoy reading your travel tales! I read some of them and i myself learn a lot from your travel stories by just sitting on my couch. Thanks for sharing such inspiring tales.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. mycountryepoque said:

    I just found your blog. And I would like to follow. Juli

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Juli. I must update this page. We are actually no longer nomadic, having reestablished a home in Vancouver, but we are still travelling – Japan and China coming up in the spring.
      Alison

      Liked by 1 person

      • mycountryepoque said:

        Thank you Alison. I need to read your whole blog which will take more than one day since I am still busy at work, though I am self-employed, I do find time to do all these things. Thank you for responding. Happy to learn that you are now settled in Vancouver, wow, is on my list of travel.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. How inspiring your profile is! Thrilled to have chanced upon your blog.

    Like

  22. Hi. I just want to say that yours is the first blog I’ve ever followed, and it is still my favourite. My husband and I are doing something similar – well, not exactly similar, because on a much more modest scale. But you are so inspiring. Plus, would it be cheeky of me to ask what kind of camera you use? Your photographs are stunning – a testament more to your talent, I suspect, than the camera!
    with kind regards, Bev x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Bev. I’m always pleased to be an inspiration, just because I think of all the people who have inspired me over the years and how we pass it around and keep sparking off each other to go live a richer life.
      All the photos over the past 3 years were taken with a Panasonic FZ1000. I’ve just recently upgraded to a Panasonic G85 (mirrorless) but haven’t put anything from this camera up on the blog yet. We’ll see how it goes. All the shots from my upcoming trip to Japan and China will be with the new camera of course.
      Alison

      Liked by 1 person

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