We’ll begin in 2007 and skip the tedious parts, the work-our-ass-off-climbing-the-social-ladder-parts that defined our 20s. At that point, we were not terribly unhappy with our lives, but a four-month barrage of personal tragedies, including two deaths in our immediate family and the realization of our inability to have children, pushed us to our limits. It broke us down in grief and forced us to truly consider what our lives were meant to be.
We had learned, the very hard way, the impact of the age-old cliche: life is too short.
We made our move. In 2009 we blindly transitioned from a 2,100 square foot house full of unnecessary goods into combined luggage space of 200 litres, and began a life of travel that was endlessly fulfilling. We taught underprivileged kids to swim in Bolivia, rode camels in the Sahara Desert, kayaked among icebergs in Greenland, and so much more.
Quite simply put, we went from scraping the bottom of life’s deepest hole to blowing the roof off the top. For almost eight years we lived out of our suitcases and across the wide world. We had found our true happiness and had no intent on settling down.
Dark twists of fate weren’t quite done with us yet.
In late 2016, while housesitting in Washington State, a rush of unexplained symptoms forced Dalene into an emergency room. We learned then that she was days, if not mere hours, away from death. A rare strain of leukaemia was making quick work of her, and we were immediately on a plane back to Canada for treatment. What followed were weeks of hospitalization, months of intense treatment, and finally, molecular remission.
We are once again able to celebrate our health and ability to travel. There are zero reasons to believe that it will ever return. Her oncologist has used the magical word of cured. It’s been over five years since her diagnosis, and after spending those years rooted in Lethbridge, Alberta near doctors and family, and then hunkered down while the pandemic ravaged the planet, we are on the move once again. For now, you will find us living in Edmonton for a few months before we begin a cross-Canada road trip to settle in our beloved Nova Scotia.
Along the way, we are still working hard to build our other business (HMI), implementing influencer campaigns (like “Creator House“), performing social media management, creating new websites like RoadTripAlberta.com, and more.
Our travel looks different now. We are not the nomadic duo we once were. After almost eight years of freely roaming the planet, and then five spent focused on our personal health, we find ourselves desiring a much more settled life. And while the velocity with which we used to post on this blog has waned, we are still always here and will tell stories as they compel us.
Since we began our worldwide travels, we discovered that we like to tell stories, and so that is what you will find here on this wee blog. If you want to be swept away to a foreign land with choice photography and video, stories of meeting new people, feasting on new foods and experiences, then that is what we are here for.
If you want to know about the ups and downs of being on the road, of dealing with cancer, of growing a business, and of our relationship, then you best start here: behind the scenes.
As well, these articles are also a great way to get to know us even better:
- The full story behind our decision to live a life of travel
- A look at our love story. Also, seeing as we’ve been traveling for nearly half of our marriage, you can bet that we have lots of marriage tips to give for travelers and non-travelers alike
- Learn about our favourite method of travel: housesitting
- We answer some of the most frequently asked questions about how to travel long term
- One of our best moments from all of our travels
- And another story that speaks dearly to our biggest rewards in this travel lifestyle
- Interested in learning about the businesses we’ve built while traveling? Check out our latest “State of the Business Address“
- Also! We have a few more blogs! If you want to learn more about traveling around our home province, we give you Road Trip Alberta, which is a beautiful site full of guides and trip ideas around Alberta. Then we also started Road Trip Manitoba with fellow blogger Brenna Holeman. And finally we just launched Travel Trivia Challenge, which puts our depth of travel knowledge to use!
We are also thrilled to have been honoured by the industry with the following:
- The 2016 bronze medal for “Best Independent Travel Blog” by the North American Travel Journalists Association.
- For this piece, we were finalists for an Alto Award for tourism media in Alberta, Canada in fall of 2015.
- In 2014, we were named National Geographic “Travelers of the Year”. Read our thoughts about the win here.
- In 2012, Dalene earned her first nod as a BlogHer “Voice of the Year” for her revealing post about why we began our travels. She won again in 2014 for our story on visiting the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland.
Dalene is the Chief Storyteller, Ladyboss at Hecktic Media Inc., and slayer of Leukemia. She was schooled in business and spent her twenties as a corporate climber, before discovering her true passions while on the road. Dalene’s ultimate goal, however, is to be a groupie/roadie for Arcade Fire.
Pete is the Chief Pretty Photo Maker and is also the guy who fixes everything Dalene breaks on this website. Pete was an accountant in his former life but now enjoys snapping photos, cooking, sampling the weirdest of foods, and discussing conspiracy theories.
Join us on our journey!