Blogging Nomads: On Wanderlust and Shared Journeys

Wanderlust calls. Image of the Bahia Honda Rail Bridge in Florida, courtesy of Paint Your Landscape.

For some people, exploration is a calling. Anita at No Particular Place to Go, Alison at Adventures in Wonderland, and LuAnn at Paint Your Landscape collaborate with their partners on blogs about travel, retirement, and self-discovery. Here, they discuss the joy of following their own paths, seeing the world, and chronicling their shared journeys.


Anita and Richard at No Particular Place to Go

Anita and Richard lived in a waterfront home on beautiful North Padre Island in Texas. Life was good, and they planned on retiring there. Somewhere along the way, they grew restless and wanted to shape a new future. In 2011, they began to whittle down their belongings, reviewed their finances, and addressed life’s administrative to-dos. Then, in September 2012, they left their island home to explore the world.

Anita and Dick at Cabo del Gatas - Nigar National Park
Anita and Richard of No Particular Place to Go.

What’s your favorite thing about blogging your shared journey with Richard?

Inspired to tell your own story? Respond to today’s prompt and tell us about your own journey.

I love the fact that there’s never any shortage of things to talk about, even after being together for over 30 years. It’s always a huge surprise to find out how diverse our perspectives are about so many things, from sharing a travel experience and absorbing completely different things to deciding what we should focus on in each post. Knowing that we’ll be writing about a shared journey gives us both more incentive to venture outside of our comfort zones, ask a lot more “why, how, and when” questions about the places we find ourselves in, dig a little deeper for an answer, observe our surroundings with greater care, and examine our own reactions and impressions. And then we get to sort through our photos, go off on separate tangents and finally collaborate and relive an experience to make sure our post tells what we hope is a good story. What a great hobby!

I love the fact that there’s never any shortage of things to talk about, even after being together for over 30 years.

What’s on your bucket list or must-do list this summer?

Interested in how Anita and Richard prepared for long-term travel? Read their handy FAQs.

We recently decided to make Portugal our home base, so high on our list is continuing to learn more about the country, history, culture, and language. Living in Europe makes working through our bucket list to visit all of its countries much easier, and we started out our summer with a drive to the Costa del Sol region of Spain. We just returned from a spur-of-the-moment trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, and now we’re planning our annual end-of-summer visit to the US to see family and friends. We’re roughing out a list of road trips to southern states we’d like to learn more about (the Carolinas, Georgia, Mississippi), including a much-anticipated visit to New Orleans, Louisiana. And then, back to more travels in Europe. The more we travel the longer our bucket list grows!

What’s one piece of advice you can give to partners who are thinking of launching a blog and telling their story?

Look at your blog as a story that will evolve as you change individually and as a couple. We’ve been traveling for four years — writing for most of those years — and our voice and style have changed as we’ve become more confident and interact with our online community of friends and readers. The blogs we love the most are the blogs where we feel like we know the writers. So, share something about yourself. And take advantage of a second pair of eyes to edit spelling and grammar and work on a coherent flow. The synergy of collaborating is and should be fun and makes each of us a better writer.

Look at your blog as a story that will evolve as you change individually and as a couple.


Alison and Don at Adventures in Wonderland

In their sixties, Alison and Don sold their apartment, car, and all of their belongings and set off to explore the world. Their journey began in Italy in 2011, and continued in other parts of Europe, India, Southeast Asia, South America, and more. “We are interested in how the world works, how life works, how the creation of experience works, how the mind works,” writes Alison on their About Us page. Traveling is as much about discovering themselves as the rest of the world.

Alison and Don of Adventures in Wonderland
Alison and Don of Adventures in Wonderland.

What’s on your bucket list or must-do list this summer?

We’re focusing on getting healthy and fit! In November we’ll travel to Mexico, Cuba, and Central America for a few months. Then in the spring we head to Europe where we’ll walk the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage across the north of Spain. We plan to walk the entire distance and expect it to take six to eight weeks. Following that we’ll take some time to explore Spain, Portugal, and northern Africa.

What’s your favorite thing about blogging your shared journey with Don?

Blogging has made writing harder as I strive to be authentic, engaging, and original.

The sheer creative joy of it. I love photography, and thanks to the tuition of sisters who are professional photographers I think I’ve improved. I hope to continue improving and am constantly looking for new techniques and angles. I’m excited by the editing process that can turn a snapshot into something more powerful. Writing has always been easy for me but I’d never been a writer until I started blogging. Blogging has made writing harder as I strive to be authentic, engaging, and original. It’s very challenging, but the result is that every time I publish a post I feel as if I’ve achieved something. The blog is my child that I’m continually giving birth to. For all the hard work, there’s a continual joy in the process of creation.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to partners who are thinking of launching a blog and telling their story?

You have to enjoy the creativity of it. Blogging takes a massive amount of time and it’s time you’re not spending sightseeing or socializing. Share the load. The blog is essentially mine. I do all the research, photography, and writing, but I couldn’t do it without Don’s ongoing help and support, and every post benefits from his keen editing skills.

Blogging takes a massive amount of time and it’s time you’re not spending sightseeing or socializing. Share the load.

Don takes care of the finances and all travel research, planning, and bookings, and the logistics of our life on the road together. I never think about currency. As if by magic Don seems to have some of the local currency each time we arrive in a new country. And he always knows how to get from the airport to our hotel. I never think about those kinds of things. As Don says: share the load and support the heck out of one another.


LuAnn and Terry at Paint Your Landscape

LuAnn and Terry, who had worked for a long time in corporate America, decided that life was too important to take so seriously. In 2011, they wrote their final resignation letters, packed their backpacks, and headed south to Mexico. After that adventure, they couldn’t shake the travel bug; they explored the country in an RV, and nature became their backyard. Today, they are based in Southern California, but hit the road as often as they can.

paint your landscape
LuAnn and Terry of Paint Your Landscape.

What’s one bit of advice you can give to partners who want to launch a blog and tell their story?

My advice is to strike a balance, then enjoy the ride. You will connect with some of the most interesting, informative, and supportive people around the globe. And if you are really lucky, you might even meet a few of your fellow bloggers and followers along the way. I’ve been blessed to meet several of both.

In my humble opinion, it’s not so much about the number of ‘likes’ or even the followers…

But if you find you are spending too much time in front of the computer instead of living your passion, it’s time to rebalance. In my humble opinion, it’s not so much about the number of “likes” or even the followers (unless you are developing a business). It’s more about the beautiful connections you make, while allowing yourself time to get out there and make more memories, and then blogging about them, of course.

What’s your favorite thing about blogging your shared journey with Terry?

It’s the feelings woven throughout the memories that emerge as I sit down to do research, write, or choose among the photos I have taken of a particular area. I love sharing our travel adventures in the hopes that they will spark an interest in someone else, igniting the wanderlust within them. But mostly it’s the feelings, which I attempt to convey with my words and images.

What’s on your bucket list or must-do list this summer?

We are taking a two-month trip to Montana and Wyoming, then to Canada to revisit and tour some National Parks that are new to us — a passion for both of us. We spent two years in Yellowstone National Park after we retired from the corporate world and are looking to reconnect with friends in the area, as well as others in Calgary. Then, it’s back to our winter home base to prepare for a two-month European adventure to France and Italy in the fall.


Inspired by these stories? In a new post, tell us about your own journey.

July 13, 2016Exploration, Inspiration, Interviews, Travel, Wanderlust, ,