Home. It’s a term so widely used, yet there lies no exact definition of what it is. Home is subjective and might mean something different to every individual. Dave, author of “The Longest Way Home” addresses this in his blog which in itself, over the years, has become a personal portal he can call home. After 8 years of a continual no-return adventure, this travel expert finds himself on a global quest to travel the world in search of home. Tours4Fun had the incredible opportunity to interview Dave and today we’d like to share his stories and unique perspectives with you.
Tours4Fun: Since home to you is a place where you can be expressive and secure, would you say that your blog would be one version of ‘home’ for yourself?
Dave: Absolutely! While it’s not a home in the traditional sense after 8 years of no-return travel it has been a home in another sense. It is a very real place where I can hang my photographs, write my journals and plan my journey. After 8 years of no-return travel it’s proven the course when it comes to being my home away from that place I’m trying to find.
Tours4Fun: What are the top 3 things that have inspired your almost 8 year span of travel?
Dave: 1) Knowing – sounds strange but knowing that “something” is out there is very inspirational to me
2) The Unknown – to me there’s really nothing more exciting and inspirational than the unknown and then discovering it.
3) Others – be it living or dead, places or people there’s a huge amount of inspiration that can be garnered in this world. It’s one of the reasons I created the Great Modern Travelers Award. It’s not just about where you’ve been, but also how you’ve done it!
Tours4Fun: What have to found to be the most challenging part of continual traveling?
Dave: Bureaucracy. This is a hands down winner. From a no-return travel perspective the challenge of visas, finances and living in another country independently is huge. It’s getting harder as well. Don’t believe me? Just do a search for opening a bank account in the UK to see how difficult it really is. Now envision this but on a global scale. True it’s not hard everywhere, but it is getting that way.
Tours4Fun: What aspect of visiting a new destination do you find the most enjoyable?
Dave: Much like earlier, the unknown. There is a certain “buzz” you get before entering a new country that’s pretty powerful. That and overland borders. They are great in so many ways!
Tours4Fun: Tell us about the most influential person you have met on your travels and what sort of an impact they made on you.
Dave: There really have been a lot. I think top honors goes to a man in Nigeria who taught me a lot about survival in places that eat up most people. It’s not pretty. But it is raw reality of the world we live in.
Tours4Fun: What are some tips you can give us on budgeting for a holiday?
Dave: Plan ahead using a map. Work out what you want to see. Then work out the route you’ll take to see it. You’ll save money and time by not randomly heading off this way. Don’t buy tours online, if you do want a tour the chances are they will be cheaper in the country.
Tours4Fun: Why do you choose overland travel over other types of travel? What are the benefits?
Dave: Overland travel gives you the unique perspective of seeing a country like a local. You get to see how it and the people change as you go through it by land rather than flying across it. You meet some amazing people traveling this way. Then at the borders you’ll come across so many other people and see the reality of how a country changes bases on that invisible line.
Tours4Fun: How do you overcome the language barrier when you visit new territories?
Dave: Truth be told I’m quite terrible at linguistics. However I do always make a point to learn greetings, thank you’s and basic phrases when entering a new territory. It’s an excellent way to show local people that you respect them and are at least trying to fit in!
Tours4Fun: What has been a favorite activity that you partook in while traveling? Why was it your favorite?
Dave: Trekking in the cold! I’ve trekked in Jungles all over the world. But nothing compares to trekking in cold climates. From the Atlas mountains in Morocco to my favorite trekking destination of Nepal I enjoying trekking the winter months. There are fewer tourists, the air is crisp and very cold. There’s something wonderful about going up against cold extremes and seeing parts of the world at a time of year when few people get to experience them.
Tours4Fun: Lastly, where will your next adventure be?
Dave: I have a few months left of my Nepalese visa and I intend to use them all up. I would have liked to have traveled back into China to visit some people. But the ludicrous new Chinese visa regulations make it more trouble than it’s worth. My bet is that you’ll see me back in Borneo before long!