Hi, I’m Allison

Wanderluster | Africa-phile | Budding Calligrapher

I was born in Colorado, but grew up primarily in Oklahoma. My dad works for an airline, which made it easy–almost inevitable–to develop a love for travel. After high school, I moved out to Utah. Although there was college and work, Utah quickly became more of a base from which I would travel to many places all over the world. But it was in Africa that my dreams became reality and served as the launching point for nearly every big decision I made.

In my early twenties, I traveled to Africa with Mothers Without Borders twice, and several more times with a non-profit called The Ungana Foundation that I co-founded with some friends while at Utah State University. During this time, I lived and traveled through 10 different countries on the African continent, and completely fell in love with Rwanda and Zambia. Jeff’s paths would eventually lead him to Africa as well, although we didn’t meet there.

Similar to Jeff, I, too, had some failed relationships, dead-end or passionless jobs, and my dream of finding someone who cared about adventure and travel, especially to Africa, seemed to be fading away.

Some friends I had met through my Africa connections prompted me to apply for a position where they worked, a treatment center for teenage girls. That’s where I met him. Over time Jeff and I transitioned from co-workers to friends until the timing was right and we realized this was far more than a friendship. We enjoyed a short engagement and were married in August of 2013.

Our initial idea for our honeymoon was to travel overseas, but when we realized the severity of our wanderlust, we knew traveling for just a few weeks wasn’t going to cut it. We started making plans to move abroad and hopscotch around the world on a motorcycle. Because of Jeff’s web media studio, Vagabond Original, we have the flexibility to travel to anywhere with WIFI. Working, designing, and creating together everyday has been amazing, not only for the design experience I’ve gained, but it continually strengthens our relationship and there’s more incentive to be more productive so there’s more time to play and travel.

Our travel plans aren’t set in stone and will continually evolve as we go. We’re whole-hearted, wandering vagabonds, remember? But the basic plan is to start in Morocco and Spain and then travel the northern coast of the Mediterranean on motorcycles, eventually making our way to Greece, and then down through eastern Africa until we arrive in my favorite place, Zambia.

I hope you’ll follow our nomadic adventures as we share with you stories, photos, DIYs, freebies, and travel tips as we wander the wild.

Hi, I’m Jeff

Motorcycle Guy | Commercial Artist | Hired Gun

I grew up in Utah. The natural beauty here provided the landscape for my adventures as a young boy. My first motorcycle trip was at age 14; we rode up through Idaho, into Montana and Wyoming–Yellowstone, Cody, Jackson Hole, and back to SLC–all on the back of my dad’s bike. I would never be the same. I got my own motorcycle when I was 17, and have been riding, touring, and exploring ever since.

At age 19, I left for Chile as a missionary for my church. Upon returning, I promptly enrolled in flight school, college, and other specialized training and instruction. I found myself working for web media studios and in corporate marketing and IT roles, interfacing with clients, design teams, programmers, instructional designers . . . I have found great joy in design and animation.

However, what I really found during all of this was that I like being autonomous. Working in those stuffy environments, I found myself grumbling. Sitting behind a desk, churning out mediocre design rubbish for an ever uglier corporate job with a fantastic salary and dismal job satisfaction . . . the endless political infighting of the mutually antagonistic IT and Marketing clans . . . hearing the words “outside the box” and “synergy” one too many times . . . years of seeing this pattern was teaching me that I don’t fit into it well.

So, on Christmas day of 2011, I set off for Morocco on a walkabout, to do some soul searching from the back of a motorbike.

I had finally pulled the trigger on my dreams of travelling to the Mediterranean and Africa.  And – like my experience at 14 after riding through Yellowstone on a bike with my dad – I would never be the same.

While I was there, I knew this was what I wanted. Not vacations, but travel. I wanted it to be my lifestyle, not my retirement. I knew what I’d known for years: I want to see the world, and I want to do it on a motorcycle.

When I returned, I knew it was time to quit my job. I needed to go into business for myself; I was thrilled at the notion of being able to work from anywhere in the world that has wifi.

Newly self-employed, I decided to pick up some part-time work. I found myself working at a Residential Treatment Center for troubled teenage girls.

That’s where I met Allison.

. . . . .

We realize that we’re pretty lucky to have this opportunity. Being my own boss can be scary. And yet, it gives me the flexibility to travel and work from nearly anywhere in the world, to pick and choose my projects and clients, and to work side by side with Allison – my wife and best friend.

Our web media studio, Vagabond Original, has a blog as well, so you can see more of our work and inspiration over there, too. Either way, thanks for joining us, friends.