About us – Alison and Don

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In our sixties, (Don’s now seventy-one!) with apparently no other authentic option, my husband Don and I sold our car and apartment, sold or gave away all our stuff, and set off to discover the world. And ourselves. We started in Italy in 2011 and from there have travelled to Spain, India, Bali, Australia, etc. – you can see 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, figure skating (as a fan), acceptance, authenticity, walking/hiking, joy, creativity, being human, adventure, presence, NOW. Don – the same except replace figure skating with Formula One motor racing.

245 thoughts on “About us – Alison and Don”

  1. Respect Alison & Don! I wanna be like you when I grow up :D

  2. My wife and I feel that the time to do as you have done is not too far in the future. I’d love it if you looked at my “About” page and see what you think. Looking forward to new posts, Wes.

  3. Hi Alison and Don, just wanted to let you know that you both are a true inspiration to me and my boyfriend! Greetings from Belgium and happy travels, Tine

    • Hi Tine, thanks so much. I just went to look at your blog – I knew I’d seen it before, the name was so familiar! Thanks for your kind words, and for following our blog. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journey, both inner and outer.
      Happy travels! Blessings, Alison

  4. Bec or Becca said:

    Fantastic! I’m currently in Bolivia and then back into Peru, followed (probably) by Ecuador and Colombia, and probably Mexico before I fly home to Australia from LA (in June). Perhaps we will cross paths. I’d like that.

    • We’re currently in Lima, fly to Iquitos for Amazon on 13th, on 23rd fly to Quito and will be there for a week, the Galapagos Mar3-10, then Cuenca Mar 11-24. So if you’d like to connect Quito and Cuenca would be the best times – if you’re gonna be there let us know, that would be great. Where in Oz? I was born in Melb, moved to Canberra when I was 11. Been living in Canada for about 30 yrs but still have family and friends in Canb and Melb. Cheers, Alison

  5. I have loved reading your blogs . My husband and I are 65 and ” turning “. 60 and planning on travelling and seeing what life brings us and where it will take us . Do you have a blog about basic things to take when travelling . We also will travel with small suitcases not back packs . Keep on writing as I do love reading every blog you write .

    • Hi Erica, nice to meet you, and thank you for following the blog. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journey. This post has a list of what we c array though we’ve cut down on it a bit since then:
      http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/canberra-australia-part-1/
      re things like shampoo, toothpaste, sun block, mosquito repellent, etc – you can buy them wherever you go (though I can’t vouch for Africa except in the cities). We have headlamps that can be recharged on our computers eliminating the need for batteries – one of the best things we ever bought. We no longer carry mosquito nets as we found they were provided as necessary. We find antibacterial gel less bulky than hand wipes and have a very small bottle each that we refill from the bigger bottle, and that we always carry with us. I think we are the only people we know who carry a surge protector power bar. It began in India where the power is unreliable and we didn’t want to fry our computers. Still don’t so we use it everywhere. That’s all I can think of for now. If you have any more questions please just ask. Happy travels! Alison

  6. :) I want to grow up to be like you both!

  7. You both inspire me. I hope one day, me and my wife can share a similar beautiful, exciting journey. Thanks for sharing your amazing world.

  8. You guys make life beautiful!. never stop exploring… Love & Unity. Vonj

  9. Wow – love the way you guys are doing it!! Happy travels and we look forward to continue the journey with you through your posts!

    • Thanks so much. Well I guess we really jumped in at the deep end. It was an easy choice – have a home or have a life. We’ve been on the road for two and a half years now and it has changed us in ways we could never have imagined – for the good!
      Happy travels to you too. Cheers, Alison

  10. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I appreciate it very much. :)

  11. you guys are so brave! wish I had your guts!!!! enjoy your travels..and thanks for dropping by my blog.

    • Hey thanks Martha, I enjoyed my visit – your blog has lots of good photos.
      As for being brave – well it came down to have a home or have a life so we decided we’d rather have a life. It was the best thing we ever did!

  12. What an inspiration, you two are! Can’t wait to follow your journeys! Thanks for the lovely comment and like on my blog also! Happy Travels! Cortneybre…
    http://cortneybre.com

  13. I found you through Nomadic Matt’s blog. I was interested to read the role that Artist’s Way had on your journey, because it has had a profound influence on me. Your perspective on trusting what is and what will be is a lesson I practice as well, among the other commonalities of spirit that we share.
    I have only just started reading your site and there is so much to explore and learn here, a journey, or many journeys, on its own.
    In particular, thank you so much for the thread on divesting preparatory to travel. I’m sorry, but I forgot where I saw it. That is indeed where I’m stuck, and yes, it seems daunting. However, I’ve decided that that and being a single older woman doesn’t have to stop me from smaller jaunts while I look forward to the Big One. Do you still have a home base in Vancouver for between trips? I wasn’t sure. When I clear everything out, I’m thinking of renting mine out while I try out the travelling life.
    Thank you for the encouragement and insight on not just being a tourist, or even a traveller, but a journeyer of the spirit. Would you be interested in writing a guest post for my http://www.ReImagineAging.org?

    • Hi Kate, nice to meet you. I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog, and getting some inspiration from it. I hope it spurs you on to The Big One, though it’s a great idea to rent your place out while you test the waters as a traveller. We’ve found, of course, that there was an adjustment and learning period once we began life on the road. It took us a while to internalize that home is wherever we happen to be. As for the divesting, it just takes commitment, and then it will get done no matter how daunting. You’ve written enough here for me to feel sure you’ll know exactly when the time is right to commit to it. It won’t make it easy necessarily, but it will make it happen. We would be delighted to write a guest post for the very excellent ReImagine Aging. Perhaps you’d like to send some suggestions as to the focus of it, or perhaps you have some questions or a theme we could base it on. Thanks for your kind words. Alison and Don

  14. Thank you for your response! One of my motivational reminders is, “If I had only a year to live, would I want to spend it sorting stuff or traveling?”

    As for the guest post, I’m a little torn. In general, my blog doesn’t focus on medical issues, but I do think that medical concerns, even if overblown, are a big impediment for older travelers. Your inspiration of not letting medical concerns be an excuse, combined with the practical how-tos of managing health setbacks would be encouraging regarding aging in general and traveling in particular. Of course, since you’re the guest, whatever you write would be most welcome!

    I think we need to be aware of the limitations we impose on ourselves as part of culture’s disregard of older people so that we can choose to reject those perceived weaknesses. And I think we need to be mindful of the realistic conditions that could lead to limitations. I’m thinking of the example of a young woman walking down a dark street. She doesn’t want to assume everyone she passes is there to do her harm, but she sure wants to keep her wits about her. Maybe wear flats instead of heels.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kate

  15. Vivek narain said:

    You remind me of Patricia Holm and Simon Templar,globe trotters and avid adventurers.

  16. I wish you both well. Happy travels! :)

  17. Mo Meeking said:

    Alison and Don, thank you for the inspiration; I am in the middle of emptying out my home in order to rent it and travel South America, New Zealand and Thailand/Cambodia/Laos. Just finishing the school year at the secondary school I work in then planning to fly off in September. I am a single 51 year old woman and will be travelling alone startng with a month in Banos, Ecuador, where I will take Spanish lessons (and hike volcanoes and such the like). It is refreshing to learn that intrepid travellers such as yourselves have not let age be a barrier. You inspire so many others. Bless you.

    Tell me Alison would you have felt safe travelling alone in the countries you have visited? I do not have sufficeint funds for 3* accomodations and would probably be looking at the ‘private room in hostels’ end of the market and maybe occasionally hostel dorms. I know the usual advice like being sensible and watching your stuff etc but just wanted a personal female point of view. If you were not travelling with Don could you see potential hazards that I may need to be aware of?

    Do you guys have children back home? The one regret I may have is missing my grown kids and grandkids. They are all very encouraging and are helping fund my trip but we are so close and will miss each other terribly. Any ideas how to soften the heartache?

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all. I am so excited about my trip and look forward to the emotional, spiritual and physical journey I will take and the people I will meet. It is time for me to join the global community and learn about this wonderful world and the many people who make our journey through life worthwhile.
    Namaste.
    Mo

    ps. Have you noticed many yoga classes on your journey through SA?

    • Hi Mo, sorry I’ve taken so long to reply. We’ve been in transit, now in Cyprus.
      The only thing I can think of is don’t go off the beaten tourist path alone. We found everywhere that the tourist hot spots are well policed and there’s plenty of people around. I would think tourist hostels are safe, and good for finding dinner companions so you don’t have to walk home alone after dark. Our experience is if you’re sensible places are not nearly as dangerous as they’re made out to be. And now in complete contradiction: read the info online and take notice – don’t go off the beaten path in La Boca in Buenos Aires for example – we did and were warned back very quickly by a local. Walk down the populated streets, not the empty back streets, etc. I know when I did travel alone (in my 20′s and 30′s) I always hooked up with other people so I was rarely actually alone.

      I don’t have children, but I have sisters, nieces and nephews, and ‘greats’, both in Canada and Australia, and Don’s adult son and his wife and family live in Sweden. We both miss family, and yet know we are living the life we are meant to live.

      You’ll probably find yoga classes in any of the tourist hot spots – we didn’t go to Baños but it wouldn’t surprise me if there are classes there.

      Thanks for your kind words.
      Have a fabulous trip! Like many things the more you do it the easier it gets.
      Alison

      • Vivek narain said:

        Hi alison, though i am not an enthuastic trotter despite india being a mini universe,geographically as well as culturally,my idea of travel is to venture out in 300 km radius so that i make a round trip in a day by starting out early in the morning and coming back by 10 pm.However i have always imagined if you make a friend, in the city you intend to visit,beforehand via the internet or any other reliable method,your tour can be a cakewalk.Like if you visit lucknow again i can inform you about all the pitfalls and how to avoid them as well as tell you all the places to visit within a reasonable radius and the best lodging in 2 or 3 star range.Similar sentiments should prevail in most of the places on this planet,that is how i imagine things,but you still can’t be sure about a casual acquaintance,maybe you ought to have a gut instinct for that.

  18. Hey there – just tuned in and became your newest follower. I’ve been enjoying your travel writing. Come on over to http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com for a visit if you like, thanks! :)

    • Hi thatssojacob, nice to meet you, and thanks for following. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journey. I love your blog – you have a great way of writing, very engaging.

  19. You are both an inspiration and sound as if you are having an incredible adventure! Looking forward to further stories.

    • Thank you so much. Yes, we’re definitely having an incredible adventure, though right now we’re in resting mode. I had a look at your blog – you’ve also had a few adventures I see. I’d love to get back to Africa one day.
      Happy travels, Alison

  20. Alison, Hello over there!
    Your comment upon my blog has made my day. I am rather envious of yourself and Don, travelling to all of the worlds unique places. One day I will take a cue from you two and pack up and go on a ramble somewhere awesome. Stay cool and shiny… Oh, and make sure you wear your suncream.

    I’ll be back to check in soon with you guys.
    Creative Writer Alex Kennedy.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed what I said. Go rambling – it will surprise you. And give you plenty to write about.
      We always wear our sunscreen :)
      but recently should have paid more attention to using mosquito repellent. We did at least escape the dreaded malaria.

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