In 2008, Alison Turner quit her job in ad sales, hit the road with her rescue dog, Max, and didn’t look back. Over the past seven years, Alison and Max have circled the US three times, driven over 100,000 miles, and made several trips to their favourite destination, the American Southwest.
“Ever since I can remember, I have been independent and curious,” Alison told Business Insider. “Being on the open road is a feeling I can’t get anywhere else. It’s a feeling of freedom,” Alison said.
“The first year is the hardest — if you get through that and want to continue, then the road is for you.” Though living out of a van isn’t easy, Alison’s GoWesty serves her well. “Everything you decide to bring along must have a function. There isn’t room for things you don’t use.” Weather is an important factor, and Alison generally travels following the good kind. “What the weather is outside is what it will be in the van. I have camped in over 100 degrees and below freezing.”
Photography has been an integral part of Alison’s travels. Since beginning her journey, Alison’s client list has grown, and her work has been shown in galleries across the US. Between her GoPro, Instagram, and DSLR, she’s documented and shared her journey, inspired by the people she’s met along the way, the sweeping landscapes, and, of course, Max.
Take a look ahead at some of Alison’s best images from the road.
Max, who has been with her since day one of her travels, is the subject of many of Alison's photographs.
He's also the deciding factor when it comes to where Alison goes, since she can stay only at national parks that allow dogs.
'Companion, goofball, and scruffy' are the three words Alison uses to describe Max. He's a constant source of entertainment and inspiration for Alison.
That makes the pop-up sleeping area of her van that much more important. Alison says that sleeping in the pop-up van is a lot like sleeping in a tent, just higher up.
For breakfast, Alison generally eats oatmeal and drinks pour-over coffee. She keeps her meals simple, and canned items and drinking water are kept in ample stock.
Since she was a young girl growing up in Southern California, Alison always enjoyed family camping trips and being on the road.
Alison prefers to be on the road, moving to her next destination rather than sitting at camp. She's driven up to 12 hours a day if she's excited about her next pit stop.
The bond between the fellow travellers whom Alison has met has made a lasting impression on her -- they just get each other, she says.
You can follow along on her Instagram, as big things are on the horizon for Alison and Max for summer 2015.
(Instagram) I did it! For those of you who wonder about our favourite campsites, I posted a new blog (link in profile) with a few worth exploring. Time to get your reservations in if you haven't already! Here we are at white sands watching the sunset. #tentwithaview #mytentview #vanlife #campvibes #getoutside #rei1440project #getoutstayout #camptrend #camping #campingwithdogs #maxtravels
A photo posted by Alison Turner (@alisontravels) on Mar 23, 2015 at 1:39pm PDT
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