Carmen, Dave and Ruby

Carmen and David Allan-Petale seek personal and professional freedom through the pursuit of a different kind of life, which they now share with their young daughter Ruby. Their family travel is at a slow pace, experiences are valued above possessions, and living in the moment is pursued.

The name Double-Barrelled Travel comes from the combination of Carmen and David’s last names – Allan and Petale. These were ‘double-barrelled’ when they got married in 2012 and started their nomadic adventures with a seven-month road trip through Canada and the United States.

That was followed by more than two years exploring Latin and South America, the Caribbean and South East Asia. It was during a trip to Japan that Carmen found out she was pregnant, and after growing their baby in Bali, she and David went home to raise their newborn amongst their families.

Now an adventurous toddler, Ruby has joined her parents in exploring their homeland of Australia on a ‘big lap’ in a caravan. They would love for you to follow their family travel adventures as their journey continues.



I first knew 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 give it up now. Once you taste the freedom, it’s highly addictive.


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.