HEY THERE, I'M ALLIE!
A country girl turned city girl turned wanderer, with a bit of an off the beaten path kind of life journey. My favorite place in the world is New Zealand, no Italy, okay it's a tie between New Zealand and Italy! I’m obsessed with beautiful skies (sunrises, sunsets, starry nights, storm clouds, cloudless skies, you name it!). I can’t live without an absurdly large supply of peanuts. Taking photos is my favorite hobby. And if I won the lottery I’d spend every bit of my money eating, drinking, and traveling the world with the people that I love. But let’s back up a bit!
I grew up down south in Georgia, where I acquired a proper southern drawl and learned the beauty of southern hospitality. I followed my first love to the Midwest for college, soaking up some good old fashioned Missouri kindness while slinging drinks behind a bar to put myself through school. From there I headed back east for graduate school in Washington, D.C., studying journalism and public affairs followed by a stint in PR. After that I made my way to the Big Apple, where I turned a lifelong dream into reality and made New York City my home. I spent nearly 15 years working on Wall Street and living the big city life before packing it all in for small town living in New Zealand, where I worked as a cellar rat in a winery and helped make back to back vintages of Marlborough Pinot Noir. Now I’m back at home in Georgia, where I started a small communications business of my own, my passion for food, wine, cocktails, and travel serving as the primary foundation for much of the work that I do.
A very Italian father and a very German mother all but guaranteed my love of food and booze, and although I’m practically made of buttermilk biscuits and fried okra, we were far from a traditional southern family. My father was a native New Yorker and my mother a Navy brat, and together they brought deep cultural traditions and a sense of open-mindedness to our family. Unlike the conservative world around us, wine was a part of my life from a very young age, and hours spent around the dinner table eating and drinking was basically our norm.
We didn’t have much money growing up, so travel wasn’t at all a part of my childhood. Aside from a few trips as a teenager with my church youth group – which let’s face it, were more about hanging out with friends and flirting with boys than about culture and exploration! – road trips to visit my grandfather in south Georgia or my cousins in St. Louis were about the extent of my travels. It wasn’t until a friend took me on a trip to Africa after I finished grad school that my heart and soul opened to the joy, fulfillment, and broadened perspective that comes from exploring the world. And my life has never been the same since.
While my love of all things culinary began at a young age, life in NYC is when my inherent interest in food and wine became a full blown obsession, and where I met people and dined at restaurants that changed my whole understanding of what it means to eat and drink. Throughout that time, my affinity for wine turned into a deep desire to understand it, leading me to earn my Introductory and Certified Sommelier certifications through the Court of Master Sommeliers and my Intensive Sommelier diploma from the International Culinary Center. Writing a wine column for Parade Magazine soon followed, bringing with it incredible opportunities to travel the world that allowed me to deeper immerse myself in the passions so dear to my heart. Those travels and the people I met along the way effectively changed the course of my life, helping me to expand my understanding of self and gain the courage to jump into the unknown.
Life is full of unknowns, which I now embrace rather than fear. And I’m excited for you to join me here at Parched Around the World, which is where I look forward to these unknowns becoming wonderful new relationships, exciting travels to places near and far, delicious eats and drinks, and a community of people with kindness and authenticity at its heart. I look forward to being parched for life with you, and hope that this is a place where you come for a bit of fun and inspiration!