Who We Are: Jason, Alison, Preston, and Grayson
Welcome to our little blog! We are glad you found it out there on the massive internet where so much information gets lost. On here, you will find everything we have learned from many years of traveling. Our site is full of our adventures all over the United States written from just our perspectives with a major focus on stargazing and hiking. We are happy to share what we have learned over time to help you make the most of your own outdoor adventures.
You will find we are actively working to make this grow each and every day we are not traveling, so check back regularly.
So, who exactly are we?
Let’s walk through who the Takacs family is starting with me (dad).
Growing up in South Florida, you can say my outdoor experience was very different from what I am now into. As a child of the 80s and 90s, my fun outside included your normal childhood experiences like riding my bike around the neighborhood and playing water guns with other kids in the nearby apartment complexes.
As a kid with a single mom raising her two boys to the best of her ability, we didn’t travel too often. The exception would be the small trips around our hometown of South Florida and short annual vacations up to Disney World.
Hiking, camping, and stargazing just weren’t things I experienced in the first phase of my life.
When I was thirteen years old, all of this changed. I was invited to California to explore some of this great state’s natural wonders with my mom’s cousin. I had know idea it would be the trip that would completely transform me into who I am today. After flying solo to California, I spent a period of about two weeks with my second cousin visiting Yosemite and a few other smaller parks across California.
This was the first time I slept in a tent, drank from a natural spring, hiked a couple of miles, gazed up at the stars, enjoyed a campfire, saw “real” wildlife, and did so many more amazing outdoor activities. From that trip on, I knew I was hooked on the outdoors.
But, it would have to wait…
As time marched on, and I moved through my teenage years, I didn’t really have too many outdoor experiences besides regular family trips to nearby beaches, small school class field trips to nature parks, and the occasional water park. Those were good experiences, but I knew what I really was craving was more immersive nature experiences.
I wanted more Yosemite!
Enter the Navy…
After high school, I joined the Navy and eventually moved to Southern California after basic (boot camp) training and my “A school” (career) training. With this move, it reunited me with the type of nature I really wanted.
Whenever my ship was in port, I would spend my time hiking trails all over San Diego County and traveling further to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I was finally reunited with not only the mountains, alpine lakes, and meadows of Yosemite but I also had the opportunity to explore new beaches, deserts, and so much more across a totally different part of the country.
For close to a decade, I continued to discover new and exciting places all over the state, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone, and I realized I wanted a different type of experience.
And this is where Alison comes in…
Alison has been very busy at work lately, but when she has time, you will get to read all about her here.
Together as a Couple
Neither Alison nor I really were looking for a serious relationship when we met. It sort of just happened.
We both joined a hiking club in order to socialize a little while we were exploring more of California, and we really hit it off during one of the club’s meetups. It turned out we had a ton in common. Our relationship grew as we hiked more and spent more time together, especially our times in the Sierras, so we eventually decided to really commit to each other.
After a few years together, everything was great, but it was time for a change…
Kids and RVing
Since most of Alison’s family lived in Texas at the time, and she really wanted to be near them, I knew the writing was on the wall. It was time to move.
We packed everything up and headed to Dallas.
I wouldn’t say the move was great at first. Our mountain hiking and amazing summer trips completely disappeared which led to years of us both feeling like we were missing out on our favorite parts of the hobby. Sure, we would do other outdoor activities, but it just wasn’t the same. We kind of fell into a funk. At the same time, our kids entered the picture.
For the first few years, we were very busy with our two boys Preston and Grayson and tried to instill a love for the outdoors in them. We would do small camping trips close to where we lived in Texas and had tons of fun tent camping in the spring and fall with them. But, it just wasn’t the same. It wasn’t nearly as often as what we used to do, and our trips just weren’t as spectacular. Alison and I yearned for the mountains, valleys, canyons, and waterfalls for our years past.
So, we decided to buy an RV…
With an RV, we knew it would open up opportunities to camp year-round and get us out more. It was the kick in the butt we needed to get us back to our old ways of camping all of the time. Our Jayco got us to travel on longer summer trips, which extended up to three weeks, in addition to spring, winter, and fall trips when the kids were out of school for a week or two.
It was the best thing we ever purchased and reinspired us to head back to the outdoors regularly. Not only did it open up parts of Texas we had never seen before, but it also got us to travel all over the US to see some of the most beautiful places our country has to offer.
As time went on, Alison and I started to get into photography and videography while on our camping trips, where we would shoot landscape photos of our journeys with our kids.
As we stayed out later and later at night hanging out by the campfire, stargazing became a big part of our outdoor activities. So, it was only a natural progression to start dabbling in landscape astrophotography since taking pictures of the stars and our RV under dark skies became a regular ritual for us. It was just a relaxing late night activity for us wherever we were camping.
It was finally time for us to share our experiences online.
Besides a small, private Facebook page Alison had of family memories, both Alison and I realize we should start to share our experiences and help others on their journey. We set up and grew two Instagram accounts over the years and had a small YouTube channel to let others find great places to hike, camp, and stargaze while also sharing our passion for photography and videography. Since we love being in the great outdoors, we also felt it would be a great idea to guide other people interested in the same things.
Over time, we have expanded into Newsbreak, TikTok, and now this blog. Its purpose is to be a central hub to share as much knowledge as possible we have accumulated over the years. The blog is the written form of what we have learned so far, and it also links back to many of the related pictures and videos that will hopefully guide you on your own adventures.
Please keep checking back in here, as we intend to update it on a regular basis.
Thanks for reading, “roadtrippers”!
About the Authors
We are avid stargazers Jason and Alison Takacs also known as “Roadtrippin’ with Takacs”. With our two boys Preston and Grayson, we seek out some of the darkest skies in the country while also going on many incredible hiking and other outdoor adventures. As part-time RVers, we try to see as much of this amazing world as possible in our spare time and hope you will join us through this blog and other forms of social media as we explore the night sky and other natural wonders as hardcore astrotourists.