Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison Andrews.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Allison. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I tell stories for a living. It’s really all I’ve ever done professionally. Now I am about to embark on the biggest story of my lifetime that will take me around the world, reconnect me with old friends and share new experiences with people I love the most. I was a TV news producer for more than 25 years… earning multiple Emmy’s and getting a front-row seat to hurricanes, elections and history-making events like 9-11. Several years ago, I left the TV news business full time in search of new challenges that would also allow me to be home more with my daughter. I started Andrews Creative, a content creation company. I create all kinds of content, mostly for small businesses and brands (though I have a few fortune 500 companies I also work for).
In the midst of changing career paths, my life was undergoing some major changes too. My marriage of 23 years came to an end, leaving me incredibly sad and feeling lost. My only daughter was becoming a teenager and I was staring at 50. Yes, it was a lot. I felt the weight of the changes. At first, I threw myself into work and knocked back an extra glass of wine at night. I needed to set my sights on a better future. I didn’t want my divorce to define my life. It was time to dream on my own again. So I created a plan to visit 50 places I’ve never been the year I turn 50 in 2020. That’s how Milemarker 50 was born. At the time, I had no idea how a newly single mom was going to pull that off but step by step it is becoming a reality.
In less than two months, I’ll set out on my first trip! It’s hard to believe that after two years of planning and saving and talking about it to anyone who would listen, my dream is about to become a reality. I am so excited! Not just about where I am going but also WHO I am going with! So many friends have offered encouragement by offering to join me on an excursion. Some of the trips are reconnecting me to old friends. Others are allowing me to experience new things with my daughter and family. I’ll be traveling to Paris, Spain, Italy and Greece as well as places around the US and Canada. I’ll be traveling by plane, train, ferry, car and even a cruise ship. My first children’s book is also coming out in the Spring of 2020. The Adventures of Sid and Eli is based on the bedtime stories I used to tell my daughter about her and her cousin. I’ll be mixing some book signings into my travels.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve had to embrace a reinvention mindset over the last few years to put the struggles into perspective. From starting my own business and not even knowing how to create an excel spreadsheet (I never needed to know that in a newsroom) to saving for these trips, I’ve learned that the more I am willing to fail the more I can overcome. Saving for the trips has required sacrifice and there have been times it has been a struggle. I have picked up extra work which means extra long days. Among other things, I have saved tax returns, cut back on eating out, and eliminated luxuries like having the house professionally cleaned. The process has also pushed me out of my comfort zone. For the first time, I made a real estate investment, I even got life insurance finally at age 49. Struggle for me just means I need to figure something else out. Fortunately, journalists are really good at figuring things out. Some weeks I seem to remind myself of that a lot! I’ve turned my personal struggles into triumphs, writing about them for publications like the Washington Post, Good Housekeeping and Chicken Soup for the Soul. By the way, the Chicken Soup for the Soul story was a life moment for me. I remember reading them ALL as a teenager. It was the first time I felt the power that words could have on a person.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I ghostwrite blogs and e-books, create newsletters and social content and produce videos. I’ve taken my skills as a live producer and put it to work field producing for client events, and conferences. I’ve used my inside knowledge of the newsroom to help other people pitch their stories to the media. I also still work in TV occasionally which gives me the best of both worlds. The great thing about what I do as CEO of Andrews Creative is that I can do it from anywhere so I expect I’ll be working on the road next year when these trips start in 2020. I can’t just give up all my clients and run off to explore the world. I’ll be balancing work and my daughter along with the trips. So I may be writing a blog from an Amtrak train up the West Coast from LA to Seattle or putting together a content plan from a balcony in Spain. I am ready to see where Milemarker 50 leads. As I’ve talked to others about these trips, I have been truly moved at how people are willing to share their own milemarkers. We all have that defining moment in our life that profoundly changes the way we see things. I’m interested in hearing from others along my journey. That is part of what I hope to bring out in all of these trips I’ll be posting about on my blog and Instagram (@milemarker_50). This is bigger than a travel story. It’s about the people and places that make this world truly beautiful even in its imperfections.
What were you like growing up?
I grew up in a small town in Southern Indiana. My grandparents were farmers. My career gave me the opportunity to understand a bigger world. But I love my farm roots. It taught me the value of hard work and family. It also made me appreciate the simple things. I am the oldest of 6 kids. That probably explains a lot about me! It was obvious I was made for a career in storytelling. I used to produce ‘shows’ with my siblings for my parents and interview myself while I mowed the yard. My siblings and I would read the newspaper out loud to see who sounded most like a news anchor. I guess you could say the writing was on the wall. Not surprising, I’m a planner and type-A personality. For a person who interviews people for a living, I am actually not good at small talk with strangers… unless I’m on assignment. I think part of the reason I became a journalist is that it gave me permission to talk to people. I love country music, experimenting with new recipes, and sitting by a campfire.
- Website: www.milemarker50.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit @brodsimages