About Me

Valen Dawson

Hi, I’m Valen.  I created this website for those who are in search of their own Paradise. I love to travel anywhere I can, but I especially tend to gravitate towards beaches, oceans, and islands. The harder I have to work to get there, the more isolated and remote, the more I enjoy the place. And once I’m done visiting one place, I’m already in search of the next undiscovered paradise.

Gili Meno www.thiswaytoparadise.coom

I am here to help you discover these places for yourself. Of course, there are a few special spots that I consider paradise where the only water around is in the bathtub. But don’t worry, I won’t keep these special spots to myself. You get to know about these, too.

I’m also going to give you all of my travel tips.  I will tell you the things you should know before you set out on your big adventure. What you should take with you, what you should leave behind.  (Besides all of your cares and concerns).

I got the travel bug on my first adventure by myself when I was 24.  I decided to go visit the country of my heritage, Switzerland. France and Italy also appealed to me, so I went there as well. It was very much the adventure as I left with pretty much no planning, a guidebook, and very little else. I stayed in  hostels, learned how to ride a subway, and, I learned how to get around on my own.  This trip changed my life as I saw the world was so much bigger than I knew, and I suddenly wanted to explore every corner of it!!

Since then, I have saved my money and gone without things like a brand new car or cable TV just so that I could buy plane tickets. I also haven’t stayed in one place for very long.  I have lived in Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, Atlanta, Honolulu, San Francisco, Thailand, and, Portland, OR. (Pretty soon, I will sound like a Howard Dean campaign!)

San Miguel de Allende

It was on a trip to Mexico that I was sitting on Zipolite Beach and lamenting that my three weeks of vacation per year just weren’t enough for me.  I asked my work to let me take an eight week leave of absence and that, coupled with my three weeks of vacation, gave me eleven weeks of time to explore Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

I returned from that trip, and sold everything I owned to travel  and decided to move to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I also did plenty of traveling through Europe, and I also lived in Thailand for a short time. After three years of being a nomad, I returned to Portland, OR to travel on more of  a part time basis.

I also wrote a book and created two more travel websites, Travel Scamming and Eating The Globe. I’ve also been a speaker at The Digital Innovation Asia Conference and am available for speaking engagements, travel planning, and social media work.

I truly hope that my adventures will inspire you.  Get out and see the world. Go somewhere (anywhere), turn off your phone and remember what it’s like to truly listen to an ocean wave, to have your toes in the sand, the sun shining on your beautiful face. And know that everything it took to get you to that place was worth it. Go out and discover your own secret place or better yet, go out and discover yourself.

Because you will. Because when we travel, everything becomes brand new again. There is new food to taste, time slows down, we take time to ponder, to talk to strangers and to remember what it is we really want and who we really are.

So, get inspired by my blog or start planning your own trip with the many tools I have made available to you. To get my blog updates and travel tips, sign up on the email list.  That way you won’t miss anything!

To get you started, I suggest these articles:

Letting Go Of Baggage: A Weight Loss Plan For Your Stuff

Where Is Home?

How To Blog For Money

10 Things You Should Know Before Quitting Your Job To Travel The World

If you don’t want to plan your own trip, I can do it for you. Ask me about my trip planning services. I can help you plan your itinerary and even book your flights, hotels, and car rental.

Thanks for reading this site. Feel free to send me an email at [email protected] if you have questions or want to share the news of your own adventures. If you like what you see here, you may also like my other two websites Travel Scamming and Eating The Globe.

All the best,


Portrait of Valen by Stasia Garraway

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