Almost born in an isolated Pacific coast fishing village, Alison Gardner got her first taste of adventure travel at birth. This was on a stormy January night when a Canadian navy patrol vessel captain gallantly agreed to deliver her and her mother (and father) to the nearest hospital four hours away. As a result of many floating log collisions en route to the hospital, the vessel subsequently had to be scrapped, while Alison began planning her next adventure.
First pursuing a career as a university librarian, then as a technical writer, she took up freelance writing and magazine editing 33 years ago. During the 1990s for six years apiece, she was managing editor of two national magazines, Canadian Maturity and Home Business Report. In 2000 she wrote the first adventure travel guidebook for active seniors, Travel Unlimited: Uncommon Adventures for the Mature Traveler, showcasing nature vacations, educational, cultural and historical travel, and volunteer vacations worldwide. Having plenty of research material left over from the book, she became an early web magazine pioneer, by launching Travel with a Challenge web magazine, www.travelwithachallenge.com, in 2001. Today, the publication is a world authority on alternative travel for older travelers, with 1.6 million readers.
In addition to freelance travel writing and magazine editing, Alison is a travel speaker and workshop presenter, her most requested lecture being on volunteer vacationing. She is also an alternative travel development and marketing consultant whose clients are tour operators and travel organizations, small communities in economic transition, and government tourism boards.