David Thompson has been travel blogging since 1996 on Dave's Travel Corner. The main focus of the blog is to promote experiential travel. During a life-changing trip to Nepal, Dave began journaling and used those first entries to establish the base of his blog. Over the years, Dave has traveled around the globe, being exposed to authentic experiences, cultures and food that have changed his life. I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his journeys and I'm pleased to share them with you!
Leon Logothetis: Tell me about why you started Dave's Travel Corner. You had quite an intense experience in Nepal and I'm curious as to what sparked the idea to continue traveling the world.
David Thompson: Sometimes timing is everything - especially at an impressionable age and not yet having been touched by international experiences. This was the case in my early 20's when I had the unique opportunity to visit Nepal. My introduction to everything non Western in Nepal (despite some significant hardships suffered while trekking in the high Himalayas) created a strong desire to have seek out new experiences and try things foreign to my Western upbringing.
I began to look at countries I could travel to on a tight budget - starting with Central and South America and over time as I built a career out of travel - began to explore more of the world.
LL: What's your favorite place to travel to? Why?
DT: I've traipsed all over the world but I keep coming back to the state I was born in (California) for a wide range of outdoor, urban, foods, and cultural experiences. I love the diversity our state has in people living here - those who have come here from around the world taking some of their own traditions with them.
I've always been drawn to Los Angeles for a number of reasons that mirror my own interests: it's can do attitude, the inspiring creativity of passionate artists and the cutting edge work of brilliant scientists and engineers, a unique cultural diversity where you often have the largest populations living outside of their home countries, it is classy yet it has character and the weather is generally mild year round.
Our state has the most people of any state in the country but there are places you can go where you don't see another person. When I want alone time I find some remote canyon or river in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the far north part of the state and I bring a fishing pole and a few good books with me for company.
LL: Being on the road all the time isn't always easy. What's the toughest part about being a travel blogger?
DT: It is a lifestyle profession. It is a career that can be challenging to make a living from - there are times when you pop the cork on a special bottle of wine to celebrate some big contract or trip but then there can be months of down time.
There are occasions when there is too much movement while being on the road - especially trying to balance producing content with the fast-paced style of always being in transit.
LL: In my travels, I try to seek out kindness and goodwill in people because I truly believe that is at the base of who we all are. Do you have any stories of people being kind to you during your travels?
DT: I have loads of these. I've noticed in my travels those in less fortunate situations are often the ones lending a hand or willing to take one in - whether it is for a meal, or to see their home or meet their family or friends.
A specific story occurred when I was hitchhiking through parts of Jordan. A family stopped to pick me up and I ended up driving around for several hours with them while they proudly showed me numerous sites near the Dead Sea. Then they invited me back to their home for an excellent meal while we both peppered each other with questions about life in our respective countries.
LL: You've been to so many different places and have the pleasure of writing about it and sharing your travels with others. Experiencing other cultures and connecting with people is something so important to me and something I love sharing. What has travel meant to you since that fateful trip to Nepal?
DT: I love the freedom of being on the road - visiting new parts of the world and letting my travels develop as they happen in the moment (rather than planning all the details). Travel has allowed me to meet people from all walks of life. I think back now and realize how much travel has broadened my perspective over the years - allowing me to meet people from various cultures, lifestyles and religions.
To learn more about David Thompson, visit DavesTravelCorner.com.