Introducing your guides.
One travel industry pro, two travel bloggers and three passionate travellers, we are the Williamsons.
An fairly unspectacular Aussie family living in the somewhat less unspectacular Lake Macquarie region of the land Downunder.
It is actually an amazing part of the world in its own right, featuring some of the world’s best beaches, a magnificent lake, river and the highly regarded vineyards of the Hunter Valley all within 40 minutes of our house. And the sights and sounds of Sydney no more than 2 hours away by car.
Sounds perfect, so why would we ever leave?
I’m pretty sure I will throw in more detail about our local area another time, suffice to say that many people consider this area an ideal place to live and even more make it a feature of their own travel plans.
For me, if not my wife (to the same extent), it is not “everywhere else”. And everywhere else is so much more mysterious and exciting.
By that I mean I would love to spend the rest of my life seeing the rest of the world without needing to come back. In fairness I would probably appreciate the charms of my current home more as I stay away for a longer period but I would be more than happy to test that theory given half a chance.
Pauline and I had both discovered the joy of travel before we met in 1990. She had done the “right of passage”, alcohol fueled, party fest of a Europe tour for 18-35’s that Aussies have grown to love.
More 20+ day Pub crawl than an actual travel experience, but it did manage to ignite her interest in what the world could offer. Although I believe she has seen her lifetime quota of flashers in Amsterdam!
Pauline had also done the typical Aussie Queensland Gold Coast and Bali things before we met. Looking back it seems that spending her formative years in the dreary north of England saw her return as a young teen determined to do every cliche holiday trip the typical Aussie has on their list.
On the other hand, and not counting the barely remembered trip to New Zealand I took as a 12 year old to visit family, my first overseas adventure was to Hong Kong.
For the life of me I can not remember why I chose to go there but it was definitely an eye opener, and without a doubt made me want to see a lot more.
During our first few years together Pauline and I visited USA (a few times), Mexico, England and Singapore, as well as a few parts of Australia.
In 1998 we met our newest traveling companion when our amazing daughter was born. There was never any question that she would want to travel the world, before she was born she had already visited Bali and done a Tasmania road trip!
Both those trips she was carried the entire time by her mother and it seems she has tried to continue that tradition ever since.
Since then she has added Fiji, Vanuatu, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, USA, Mexico, Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, England ,Wales, Canada and Costa Rica . So she’s done alright for herself.
She has her own up and coming travel brand now as the Wandering Donut so it is a rare , if much coveted, opportunity for all of us to travel together.
So what is this “Living la Vida Global” thing anyway?
The La Vida Global Blog was started in 2015 when I egotistically decided I had something to offer to people who love to travel. Stories and tips, and some pretty decent photos (even if I do say so myself).
I had been looking at travel writing but computers are more my thing than dealing with publishers and so a blog was born.
The name was not our first choice but it was pretty high on the list. A take on the Ricky Martin song “La Vida Loca”, our name roughly translates (with some poetic licence) to living the Global life, a pretty good definition of our desire to see the world and never be stuck in one place.
Active travel is the way we approach our vacations. That doesn’t mean adrenaline junkie type stuff but we do hike a bit, walk around towns exploring for hours on end, snorkel, kayak and a lot more soft adventure type activities.
While the girls do like a bit of time to laze around a pool or beach it doesn’t take long for me to be struck down with cabin fever and I have to get out and explore.
Dana has pretty much gone off to do her own travel thing now so Pauline and I are looking at different types of travel from those of the past 18 years or so. Hopefully Dana will still join us on an occasional trip but let’s wait and see.
We hope that our stories and tips, and those we will share from some of other travel experts, will inspire you to get out and experience the world. Or at least give you a glimpse into some of the the wonders that are out there if you prefer to live through other people’s experiences.
How we live la Vida Global
We definitely love to travel with some flexibility. Short stays, road trips, only booking accommodation in advance when we have to be somewhere on a certain day. Rail, cars and a lot of walking.
We did have our first ever guided tour, with Peregrine Adventures in South America, in August 2016. It was a great experience but we would only consider the option in certain parts of the world.
Comfort of a night is always welcome, but we prefer cheap and cheerful to luxury (most of the time) and boutique to chain.
When it comes down to crunching the numbers, an amazing activity will always get funded before a 5 star bedroom. That doesn’t mean we haven’t stayed in some incredible places like a Mexican All-Inclusive or a medieval French castle, it just means I do my research and find hidden gems.
As I mentioned above, we also walk… a lot. While driving is the best way to get between stops there is no better way to get a feel for a new town than to wander the streets. We used to take the HOHO bus for an overview but we worked out that we ended up taking bad photos through a window and never getting back to all the interesting places.
Funky local food, historic places and amazing scenery are the things that float our boat, or sprinkle our donut as Dana now prefers to say. Medieval towns in Europe, street food around the world, incredible street art, ancient civilisation ruins, nature at its best. These are the things you will find here.
Our promise to you
As you read at the top of the page, between the three of us we have …
- one Travel Industry Pro (Dean has had over 30 years in customer service, travel and tourism)
- two Travel Bloggers (Dean has lavidaglobal.com while Dana has wanderingdonut.com)
- three passionate travellers. (not hard to work this one out)
We love to seek out new places and share our enthusiasm with everyone we can get to listen to us. As you can tell from the photos above, I spend all my free time researching when we arrive.
But seriously, I am a planner and researcher at heart and will spend hundreds of hours combing the internet for as much knowledge as I can find on a new destination.
Luckily Pauline is more of a travelling free spirit and so our vacations always allow us to wander where the road takes us but with some inside tips already to put to action wherever we end up.
We want to share this information we have gathered over the past 25 years, give you access to my desire to research and plan, and hopefully entertain and inspire you to travel as far and as often as life allows.
And we promise to be honest and open in our stories. If we didn’t like something or somewhere we will let you know why. Everything is not always awesome when you travel.
Join us and over 60,000 fans, followers and friends as we live la Vida Global and help you do the same.
Welcome to La Vida Global