Michelle & Andrew Preston
Andrew and I met in April 2017 and began dating in April 2018 after a year-long friendship. In July 2019, Andrew was diagnosed autistic at the age of 33. Around that same time, I lost all the joy and fulfillment I had previously enjoyed from my career with the Calgary Board of Education. After a tough year of personal growth and self-discovery, we decided we needed to make a big change. We no longer wanted to live the fast-paced city lives we had grown accustomed to. We were ready to give up our secure careers in search of something more.
We committed to healing our past trauma and simplifying our lives before starting a family. We began selling our possessions and saving every penny possible. We rented out our condo on a 2-year lease. On March 25th, 2020 we were booked to leave for India and take a 2-year backpacking trip around the world, but life had other plans for us. The borders closed 2 days before we were set to leave. We ended up buying a camper van and lived the Van Life for 7 months in British Columbia. Living in a camper van only solidified our dreams of living a simpler lifestyle with fewer possessions. Within a few months, we began building a large Tik Tok following and I became pregnant.
The plan was to blog about wellness and travel, but our Tik Tok followers advised us of how much Andrew's autism story was needed around the world. Many of our videos went viral, and people had more questions than I could keep up with. Learning about autism, and going through the diagnosis process together saved our relationship. How well everyone responded to us sharing our journey inspired us to write our first book, Friendship Love Autism. It is all about how I discovered Andrew was autistic, approached him about it, and our entire diagnosis process. We include many comical short stories about our relationship and minor miscommunications as we were figuring this all out. These stories are written by me, and Andrew comments on them by giving his point of view afterward. The response to our book has been overwhelming and followers have been reaching out daily to explain how reading it has improved thier lives.
Currently, we are working on our second of five books, Before Love & Autism. This is a prequel to our first book. It is all about our childhoods, our lives before each other, and how we healed from our traumas. This book is extra fun because the chapters alternate between Andrew and me, and we have two completely different writing styles. You get to follow us both along as we grow and eventually find each other. We are also launching our relationship course that goes into more detail on how we keep our relationship strong and as balanced as possible.
We have big dreams of building a wellness community that promotes a simpler lifestyle and healing past traumas.
We've bought land in a beautiful community in Costa Rica,
https://vistamundo.info/buy-a-lot/, and have relocated there from Canada. We plan on building our retreat center as soon as possible and hosting retreats that assist people to turn inward, heal, and accept themselves as they are. We feel everyone should feel free to express their true traits and embrace who they are. We aim to build affordable apartments for people to rent and come stay as they turn inward and enjoy delicious food while looking at the breathtaking views of Costa Rica. We look forward to having many of you come to visit us one day soon at Vista Mundo.
We love sharing our story with you all while helping to inspire in any way we can.
We are so happy that you are coming along on this journey with us.
Please contact us if you have any questions.