About us – Alison and Don

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Hello! We are Alison Armstrong and Don Read.

In our sixties, 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, and we both needed to stop for a while. 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 did a seven-week solo trip to Japan and China May/June 2018.

We both went to Paris, India, and Japan for 8 weeks in Feb/March 2019, and to India and Malaysia in Feb/March 2020.

We’re now both in our 70’s though it doesn’t seem to have slowed us down much. We’ll set off again as soon as Covid lets us.

661 thoughts on “About us – Alison and Don”

  1. Nancy Baye said:

    Hi, Nancy from Accessible Journeys here. I created a short bio / intro for your Hollyburn blog and include it here for your review:
    The adventurous seventy-somethings, Alison Armstrong and Don Read, ditched their home, car and belongings in 2011, setting out to discover the world, and themselves. Their travels have spanned Europe, India, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico and South America. In 2017 they took a rest, hunkering down in Vancouver, BC, with only sporadic travel stints before COVID-19 hit. While awaiting the easing of pandemic restrictions they did some exploring in their beautiful BC playground.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your content! Contact me if you want to join a community of travel bloggers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting thought , must think about blogging as we travel far and wide over the year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Jean, I’ve been writing this blog for over 10 years. It’s an excellent way to keep a record of your travels – like a scrapbook only better!
        Alison

        Like

        • Hi Alison, I have been reading your blog for a couple years now, love the photos. I always write a journal when we travel, reminds us of places and people. Also take hundreds photos – thank heaven for digital cameras! Not sure how to go about writing a travel blog tho, we will be travelling in a couple months, would be interesting to start. Jean

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you so much! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog.
            The one thing I know for sure is that when I started I also didn’t know how to go about writing a travel blog; I learned by doing it.
            You can start one free of charge on WordPress. I found it easy enough to set it up, and I’m truly not very tech savvy. It’s all pretty user-friendly.
            When I’m stuck for what to write I just pretend that I’m writing a letter about my travels to friends and family. In a way I am, though I do more research for some posts than others.
            If you’re keeping a journal you’re already more ahead of the game than I was. I’m constantly regretting that I didn’t make more notes, or do more research.
            Do it. It’ll be fun!
            Alison

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            • Hi Alison, thank you for getting back to me. I have never blogged before so don’t really know what to do, what is Word press please? Is it expensive? Is it like a subscription? Sorry but I am a complete beginner on blogging altho it would be great to do it as I really enjoy reading what other people are doing and where they travel to. Are you away now or in Vancouver? Jean

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’m currently in Canberra, Australia. WordPress.com is a blog hosting site. It’s free up to a certain amount (13 gigs I think it is, but that can last a long time with just writing and small photos.) It’s not a subscription, you just set up a blog. Google WordPress.com and it will give you all the instructions.
                Alison

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    • Thank you so much Igor. While I applaud your idea I’m currently not interested in monetizing my blog.
      Alison

      Liked by 1 person

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