Carmen and Dave

151103_carmen_0030Carmen and Dave Allan-Petale dedicate their lives to the written word and the captured image – seeking personal and professional freedom through the pursuit of a different kind of life. Their travel is slow, experiences are valued above possessions and living in the moment is pursued.

Both Carmen and Dave are trained journalists with long experience across TV, radio and newspapers. They combine a tool kit of professional skills and ethics with a dedication to creative writing that pushes their boundaries and encourages adventurous ways.

Double-Barrelled Travel celebrates vivid, literary travel writing in the form of short ‘travel sketches’ and longer written journalistic pieces that tell the stories of people and places in deep detail. They also dip their toes in to luxury stays once in awhile. Carmen and Dave’s writing and photography has featured in The Australian newspaper, Business Insider, Oi Vietnam magazine, Expedia, Wanderlust magazine and many more.

The name Double-Barrelled Travel comes from the combination of Carmen and Dave’s last names – Allan and Petale, which they ‘double-barrelled’ when they got married in 2012.

The Allan-Petales have been on the road continuously since mid-2013, and would love for you to follow their adventures as their journey continues.151103_carmen_0039


I first new I had a passion for travel when I was 15. I set off for Paris on a year’s student exchange. The smells, sights, culture – and the cheese! – fascinated me. I think up until then I thought travel was simply flying somewhere to take a holiday.

It was on this trip that I realised travelling deeply goes further than some time spent on a beach. It’s about uncovering a language, a culture and the people who live in a place. It’s tasting the foods, walking the streets and speaking with the locals.

Travel is about discovery and exploration.

I’d had high dreams to ‘travel forever’ but up until a few years ago I thought this was simply a pipedream. Working as a journalist, and then later at a creative agency in London, I resented my bosses having so much control over me, telling me how I needed to live each day. And even though I was supposedly focusing on creative projects, my work was uninspiring and soulless.

Dave and I called it quits and set off, intending for our journey to last six months. But the more we discovered, the more we realised there was to discover. Not wanting to end this constant learning curve, we worked hard at building a writing business to support us as we moved.

Our lifestyle has grown around our love of travel and I don’t think I could now give it up. Once you taste the freedom, it’s highly addictive.151103_carmen_0037


My favourite story is The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson – you know, the one where a canny tailor fools a vain king into wearing his birthday suit and the only person daring enough to say anything is amiss is a brave little boy.

I aspire to be that kid, the one who questions and points out when things are askew, and from time to time I like to think that I’ve done it.

I was a professional TV and radio journalist in Australia for five years and covered everything from elections and mining accidents to a grisly murder in a banana plantation.

I then moved to the UK and went behind the camera as a TV producer at BBC World News in London, getting stuck into all the big stories until I realised I was just sitting in an office, far, far removed from what I was writing about. I had to admit that the emperor had no clothes, and for once it was me who was starkers.

I now write what I see, do and experience, and meet characters big and small who show me their lives and loves and concerns. One thread at a time, I’m making new clothes – and I hope you see them.151103_carmen_0051