About Matt and Alison


Matt and Alison discovered their passion for travel (and each other!) while living in Italy nearly 20 years ago. As newlyweds they discovered a mutual love of nature photography at an Audubon Society workshop in Maine. Since then, they have combined travel and photography with a variety of outdoor activities. From trekking in Nepal to safari in Africa, from backpacking in Patagonia to canoeing in the Boundary Waters, the camera has served as a constant reminder to pause and savor the subtle beauty of nature. As one of their favorite bands sings, “You get to know things better when they go by slow!”

While not on the road, Matt & Alison reside in Chicago. Matt teaches Latin, Greek and Ancient History at a private high school, while Alison teaches computer at K-8 public school. They have been active members of Riverwoods Nature Photographic Society for the past 8 years which they credit for helping them hone their skills.

32 thoughts on “About Matt and Alison

  1. Despite tons of info online about Kili, your blog is hands down the most helpful in preparing for our upcoming trek. Would you mind sharing how you powered your electronics? Did you use solar chargers, external power packs, etc.? Also, did you backup photos/video while on the mountain?

    1. Thank you for such a nice compliment, Erika. One of our main goals is to share useful travel info, so we are thrilled that you are finding our Kilimanjaro posts helpful. As far as electronics go, we, too, were really stressed about what cameras we should take and how to power everything up. In the end, we took one still camera and one video camera between us. We brought three fully charged batteries for each device on the trek. Truthfully, we didn’t take nearly as many photos or video as we hoped (or probably should have for this blog), so power was not a problem at all. I am not sure if we even drained an entire battery. On Summit Day, it is super cold though, so you will want to keep a spare battery in an inside pocket next to your body as batteries drain quickly at low temperatures. Your body heat will help keep the batteries hold their charge until needed.
      I think a solar charger would be a better idea than an external power pack in terms of weight, and we just made sure to have plenty of SD cards for shooting. They are a lot lighter than any hardware we know of for backing up photos!
      If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    1. Wow, thanks so much for the honor! We really appreciate you stopping by to check out our blog, and we are even more happy that our posts are useful to you in planning your trip to Tanzania. Have a wonderful time, and we’ll look forward to reading about your trip on your blog. Cheers!

    1. The band is named Poi dog Pondering, and the song that line is from is called The Ancient Egyptians off their Wishing like a Mountain and Thinking like the Sea album. We have followed them since college, which is quite a long time ago now!

  2. Hi Matt and Allison! Great website! I’m actually a hobbyist photographer in Chicago just getting into hiking and also looking to join some photography groups. What groups are you a part of? Do any of them do local hiking trips?

    Louis (you can check out my site at louishterry.zenfolio.com)

    1. Welcome to Chicago, Louis! The only club that we are members of is the Riverwoods Nature Photographic Society. It is a great way to meet other photographers but not the best way to go hiking. Most of the members are on the older side, so, while we do have photography outings, they usually don’t involve a lot of hiking. You are welcome to come to a meeting on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month if you would like to see what RNPS is all about. You might also like to check out Chris Smith’s Out of Chicago website. He organizes all kinds of photography walks in downtown Chicago, and that might be a fun way to meet other photographers, too.

      1. Thanks for the info! I checked out the RNPS website and it looks really interesting, but I live in the city. The Out of Chicago website looks like a great resource though, and I’ll definitely check it out.

  3. Hello. Marko here. I met you all out hiking the Wonderland. This photoblog is inspiring and beautiful! I look forward to seeing your images of Rainier. Happy trails.

    1. Hey, Marko! Thanks so much for stopping by our blog. We really enjoyed meeting you on the Wonderland Trail and are looking forward to posting about this summer’s travels as soon as school settles down a bit. Hope all is well with you back in Seattle. Cheers!

  4. Hi Matt and Allison
    What an interesting story. First off, thanks for the follow on our blog; I hope we learn to take pictures as nice as the ones on your blog. You’re yet another example of what Diane and I might have done had we met 15 years earlier but then again we would have probably opted for the boring job first followed by the adventures while having saved enough cash to skip the work life.

    I’ll be following and enjoying your future stories
    Rob and Diane

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Rob and Diane, and congratulations on being featured by WordPress! I just had a quick look at your blog and am looking forward to exploring more of your past posts and following your new adventures in Malaysia. We definitely dream of early retirement options, and a foreign sojourn like yours will probably be our best bet, too. I had never heard of Malaysia’s MM2H program before. Thanks for all of the details about why you decided on it and the application process. You have lots of excitement ahead of you. We can’t wait to follow along. Cheers!

      1. Hi. Did I make freshly pressed? I didn’t even know but was wondering why I had such a traffic surge today. How do I find it ? I’m only small phone all day so have trouble looking for stuff. Anyway thanks for the comment

    1. Thanks so much, Bob. We would love to present our Iceland program at Arlington. We’ll contact you via email and see if we can arrange something. FYI: we are presenting at CAPS 2015 this November and will be discussing how we plan our DIY adventures. We will cover some of the Iceland info along with how to do a self-drive safari in Africa. We hope to see you there!

  5. What is the best way to get into contact with you guys about a product we just launched and would love to get into your hands? Its a portable solar charger that weighs 4.9 ounces. I think it would be a great help on your hikes!

  6. Hi – chatted with you briefly today at Blackwell (altitude 836) as my son and I headed back for waffles and bacon. Looking forward to reading and being inspired by your hiking/photo adventures. Thanks for stopping us today to chat.

    1. Hi Carol! It was great talking with you. Let us know if you have any questions about hiking Kili. We love talking travel! Good luck on your upcoming hikes. You are going to have a wonderful time. Happy trails to you!

  7. Hi Matt and Alison,

    The weekend of the 4th of July is approaching and I can’t help but to remember how our paths crossed in Yosemite almost exactly one year ago! Do you remember that grizzly looking hitch hiker that you picked up on your way to start the JMT? Well just wanted to reach out and say hello again! I haven’t forgotten your act of generosity taking me back to my car. I still owe you both a drink as a way of expressing my thanks!

    Please let me know if you are ever out in the Bay area again and I will do the same if I find myself in your direction!

    PS – I still remember how sweet those grapes you shared with me tasted 🙂

    1. Hi Andrew!
      So nice to hear from you. Did you see that we just finally posted about our JMT experience on the blog? If you read about the rest of our day, you will see that picking you up was a definite highlight of driving across Yosemite that day! It was great to meet you, and we will definitely look you up the next time we are in San Francisco! And those were the best grapes ever, right?!?! We hope you are doing something very cool this 4th of July weekend, too. We are actually hiking in Albania right now, and it is really beautiful. It is the kick-off to a summer of hiking in Europe.
      Matt and Alison

      1. Hi Matt and Alison,

        It’s me again! I instantly thought of you both when I found out a few days ago that I was selected for a JMT permit this September! I’m so excited! I’d love to set up an hour to chat about your experience, as well as catch-up in general! Let me know the best way to be in touch!



      2. Congratulations, Andrew! The JMT is still one of our very favorite trails. You are going to have the best time. We will get in touch via email soon, and see if we can find a time to talk! 🙂

  8. Hey guys! Kristin and I really enjoyed talking with you on the CT! We hope you’ve made it safely home and are succeeding in the transition back to normal life. It’s been an event getting back to Mississippi but things are looking up. 🙂 Looking forward to your future posts!
    – Jon

    1. It was so great to meet you, too! We wish we could have spent some more time on the trail with you. Sorry for the trouble in getting home, but we are glad to hear that you made it ok. The school year here is getting underway, but we are still missing the trail and looking forward to planning the next one. Where do you think you guys will go next?

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