Meet the Gypsies: Dawn of Life, Love and Adventure

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Meet the Gypsies : Dawn of Life, Love and Adventure

Dawn Kealing is the creator & writer for the travel blog Life, Love and Adventure. She started traveling in May 2012 with her first adventure through Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. She has been traveling as much as possible since! She is grateful to have traveled through over 10 amazing countries in the past 2 years with many more adventures to be planned for the future! In mid-2013 she decided to take her passion for traveling and write it all down on a blog to be shared with whoever wished to read it, at first it was just friends and family but since then it is branching into bigger things than she imagined. She has accomplished traveling through all but 2 countries in Central America as well as heading overseas to travel throughout Egypt and Jordan.

1. Who are you?  Where are you from?  Where are you now?

My name is Dawn Kealing; I am the owner/creator of the travel blog Life, Love and Adventure. I am from a small town near Vancouver, BC, Canada. I am currently home in Northern BC trying to bear through another freezing winter!

chichen itza, mexico

2. What’s your packing strategy?  Heavy or light packer?  Suitcase or backpacker?

My strategy when packing is to take the minimum amount of everything, I like to pack light. I never fill my bag full just because I have the space, I always bring along packing ‘peanuts’ & packing ‘pillows’ to fill the empty space with air. That also benefits me if I want to bring souvenirs home, I can take out the filler and leave it behind if I don’t have enough space! On my first two adventures I had a rolling duffle that is HUGE!! I look at it now and I feel slightly embarrassed that I packed that around all the time. For my last few adventures I purchased a duffle bag that has straps so I can carry it on my back as a backpack, I love it!! It is almost 100% waterproof as well which is a great feature.

3. How do you afford your travels?  Budget traveler or lean more towards luxury?

My partner is the owner of Happy Monkey Tattoo so while we are home we are working there to save up for another trip! As well, while we are home we pretty much live on a budget so we can save more. We are budget travelers; we travel through a tour company though to take some of the stress of travel planning off. We went on our very first all-inclusive travel trip in November last year for a friend’s wedding and proved true all our assumptions of how all-inclusive travel is not for us.

 4. If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

I know this is vague but it would be Africa, anywhere in Africa! My partner and I have been eyeing up Africa on our radar for a long time, it’s just all about seeing as much as we can at one time so Africa will be sometime in the future when we can spend at least a month to a couple months away.

5. Is there anywhere you won’t travel to and why?

I honestly can’t think of any place in the world that I wouldn’t travel to. But, there is a place I wouldn’t travel back to… that place would be Egypt. If you have not traveled to Egypt please don’t let me change your view on traveling there or not because honestly there is so much history and amazing sites to see there, I highly recommend it. Still though, I wouldn’t go back because I have seen everything I wanted to see there and it is a bit of a stressful country to visit, at least for a blonde haired blue eyed girl. While I was there I was tense and stressed quite a bit unfortunately because people are very in your face about many things and trying very hard to make sales at their shops. Walking down the street sometimes was a bit of a struggle because people were constantly pulling at me and trying to pull you into their shops. Egypt has been through a lot of hardships so you just have to understand that the people there are doing this to make a living for themselves and their family.

pyramids, cairo, egypt

6. What’s the most adventurous thing you have eaten?

Well, being a chef we had the opportunity to try some pretty weird things while in class. I tried some cow tongue which if I enjoyed eating meat, I do not, I may have liked it but knowing that it was cow tongue didn’t help… 😛 Another strange thing I had a chance to try was camel meat, the stew it was in tasted really nice but again, meat is not so much my thing. My partner on the other hand loved it.

7. Your first overseas trip was to Egypt and Jordan which is quite amazing.  What were the things that surprised you on this trip?

Traveling to Egypt and Jordan was the most immense culture shock I have experienced so far in my travels! It felt like I was in a completely new world at first. Their culture and lifestyles are very different than here in Canada and that was very apparent once I arrived. It was an amazing experience embracing their culture and getting to learn more about it, that’s one of my important tips while traveling, embrace the culture of your destination, it makes your adventure much more enjoyable. Unfortunately as I stated in a previous question, I did have some hardships in Egypt mostly, if you’re a blonde haired female you attract a lot of attention. The funniest part for me though was what people would say to us when they found out we were Canadians. Every single time they would respond, “Ah, Canadian Dry!!” Canadian Dry is a soda beverage like ginger ale. 😛 It was pretty entertaining! Egypt had so many beautiful, breathtaking sites to explore; it was extremely enjoyable in that aspect. Jordan was exactly the same in that way, walking into Petra was definitely an experience of a lifetime! If you go to Jordan you really must go to another site that you may not have heard of, I had not at the time but our guide said we MUST go to it. It’s called Jerash. It’s a Greek-Roman city by the capital of Jordan, Amman. You must go there!!

petra, jordan


8. You’re a Level 2 Professional Chef.  Does this influence your travels–i.e. making sure you get the best food in a place?

Being a Chef mostly has its benefits at home because while we are traveling I rarely ever have time, access to a kitchen or the equipment to make a meal. On my last tour through Central America there was another professional chef on my tour so everyone kept talking about us making dinner for the group, it would have been fun and I may have even got some tips from another chef but we were never able to find a kitchen.

9. How do you balance working and being able to travel so much?

I am very lucky to have the job that I have, because my husband is the owner of the business we work at we are able to come and go as we please, obviously to some extent. At home we work a lot, as much as we can and then when we travel we usually take about 3 weeks off depending on the length of the trip we are going on, last year we managed to go on 3 trips.

10. What’s #1 on your bucket list?

#1 on my bucket list right now would be Africa. I so badly want to travel through Africa and see what it has to offer!!

sarapigui, costa rica

11. Most importantly, where to next?

This summer we are going to be doing some traveling through Canada, British Columbia and Alberta to be specific. There are so many places close to home that I still have never seen, it’s almost a shame! It’s time for me to take advantage of the beauty around me!

Follow Dawn on Facebook.


Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.


  1. Sammi

    February 27, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    Such an awesome post- though if you’re off to more of North Africa, Dawn, I would expect the same sort of experience. Particularly in Morocco and Tunisia.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 27, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Dawn’s interview was great, just like yours Sammi! 🙂

  2. Dawn Kealing

    February 27, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Yay, thank you so much for the interview, Ashley!! 🙂 Sammi, I am mostly dying to see Southern Africa but I do eventually plan to visit Morocco as well!

  3. Anastasia Sofia

    February 28, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Great interview, always nice to get to know new bloggers. I also wasn’t a big fan of Egypt. I’ll be sure to check out her site 🙂

  4. Bob R

    March 1, 2014 at 6:22 AM

    Nicely done, Ashley and good to meet you, Dawn! It’s really unfortunate that so many –women, primarily– have been made to feel uncomfortable in Egypt. Conversely, I’ve come across many Egyptian women who were instrumental or very much involved in the upheavals there in recent years.

    I’d love to try camel stew.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 3, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      I’m excited to visit Egypt and see what my opinion is as a woman!

  5. frankaboutcroatia

    March 1, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    Nice to meet another travel blogger! I also struggle with the places where people try too hard to sell you something. At least Egypt didn’t kill Dawn’s desire to see the rest of Africa. 🙂

  6. Stef

    March 1, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    Great interview! It must be tough for a chef to travel and not being able to really cook 😉

  7. Gabor Kovacs

    March 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    It was nice to get to know Dawn a little bit closer! The most interesting part was to read about the issue of eating from a chef’s point of view!:)

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 3, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      That would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? I just eat things–I have no idea how to determine what’s in them haha

  8. Chris Boothman

    March 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    We love doing interviews with fellow travelers and it’s nice to read others that we have never featured. Everyone has different questions which makes it unique to them and just finding out a little more about our friends in the travel world is really cool.

    Nice to get to know Dawn more also here, I am not sure I would have the guts to try cow tongue but kudos to you for being able to stomach that. Also, we were so close to getting to Africa last year that I would like to see us have this higher on our bucket list also! Problem is, the bucket list is never ending so how on earth do you begin to prioritize.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 3, 2014 at 10:17 PM

      No cow tongue for you Chris? Come on! Africa is so high up on my list too!

  9. Sam @ Travelling King

    March 2, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    I agree with Chris, its nice to meet travelers that we havent met before.
    I love food but hate cooking it, have a few freinds that are chefs that love cooking, it would be interesting to understand certain flavours and travel the world tasting different foods

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 3, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      Thanks Sam! I’m sure traveling as a chef is a different experience–I just eat the food haha

  10. Samantha @mytanfeet

    March 8, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Nice interview, how fun it would be to be a chef and travel the world and actually know the science behind what you’re eating!

  11. Pingback: Ashley @ A Southern Gypsy Interviewed :) | Life, Love and Adventure

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