There was something that Dave said in one of his blog posts one day that really got my attention: “Some people choose to invest in their houses. I choose to invest in my passport” wrote Dave, the day he sold everything to pursue new adventures in another part of the world. “I became a homeless person again yesterday. It felt good ” he wrote.
Dave Dean is the writer and adventurer behind What’s Dave Doing and he thinks life shouldn’t be about working 80 hours per week, hoping the weekend will come sooner. Here’s a short inteview we did with Dave via email; read all about where he’s from and how he decided to give it a try and “live the travel dream”.
eDreams: Who is Dave Dean? Where are you from, what do you do?
Dave: “I grew up in a small town in New Zealand – pretty much as far as you can get from the rest of the world. That seemed as good a reason as any to head out and see what other countries had to offer, so after studying History and Political Science at university that’s what I did. For some reason it’s now almost 15 years later and I haven’t quite figured out how to stop travelling yet. Up until now I have mixed periods of travel around the world with periods of working in a technology-related field wherever ‘home’ is, but as of a couple of weeks ago I am trying to make a living from the road full time.”
When did you realise you were a traveller and couldn’t settle with a 9 to 5 job?
“Good question! It’s something that I have fought with for years – thinking that it really was about time I settled down but never managing to do it for more than a year or two before hitting the road again. I guess I finally realised how futile that was about 3 or 4 years ago, and started seriously thinking about trying a different approach maybe 18 months ago.”
I sold everything I owned except what fitted in my backpack and moved to the other side of the world
How did you do it? How did you escape the routine? Did you save up or plunged into the unknown?
“I’ve escaped the routine so many times now that it almost seems … well, routine! Basically what I did the first time was work part time and full time jobs while I was at university, sell everything I owned except what fitted in my backpack and moved to the other side of the world. I had to get a job pretty quickly – I was down to my last 100 dollars by the time I got my first paycheck! – but I then spent every holiday and long weekend travelling around Europe, the US and Africa. Ever since then I have done something similar every two or three years – work, sell everything and hit the road. It’s very achievable if your focus is on only buying the things you truly need and not just random ‘stuff’ that clutters up your life and makes it harder to save and harder to leave.”
What the best part about travelling and living abroad? How is Chiang Mai this time of year?
“For me the best parts of travel or living abroad are the freedom and the people you meet. Spending every day with like-minded people who are also out exploring the world is an incredible feeling, and not knowing in advance what any day will look like fills me with excitement. Having the freedom to choose a lifestyle like this is the best feeling in the world.”
“Chiang Mai is pretty much perfect this time of year! The wet season has finished so it’s hot and sunny every day, but it cools down enough at night that you can still get a good night’s sleep. It’s not particularly humid either, so it’s a lovely time of year to be here. Peak tourist season is starting so there are more travellers are turning up in town, but it’s still a pretty relaxed place to be with great food and laid-back people.”
Where else did you travel to before? Where are you planning to go next?
“I have travelled around New Zealand and Australia, much of the UK and Western Europe, the US, Canada, South East Asia and eastern and southern Africa. I’ll be based here in Thailand for another few months before heading back to Europe, Africa and onwards. Central and South America are on the list for sometime next year as well. Plenty of plans! :)”
Do you think that what Dave is doing is pretty awesome?