Dave Dean is an inspiration on multiple levels because he overcame some obstacles to travel over the years, he juggled his travels with co-founding a successful travel technology site, and he’s a generally a good guy keen to give back in interesting ways. Dave is a friend and one of my earliest memories from one of my first meetings with Dave was the huge grin on his face as he stepped into the room decked out in a checkered girl’s school dress.
I’ll leave you hanging there about why exactly Dave walked around in a school dress and you’ll have to read on to find out the cause he supports and what he’s working on right now.
1) What do you do?
After trying to juggle a travel addiction and a corporate IT career for over a decade, a couple of years ago I decided that one of those things had to permanently give. Since then, I’ve been living out of a backpack and travelling full-time, building online businesses and slowly making my way around the world.
2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?
The first time I left to travel, back in 1998, the hardest part was money – I was straight out of university and didn’t have much of it, and the exchange rate to almost any other currency was terrible! I took various part-time jobs, sold everything I had and left for the UK with a backpack and a suitcase, hoping to stay with relatives, get a job and start earning in pounds rather than New Zealand dollars as soon as possible. I achieved that goal with under a hundred pounds left in my bank account …
3) What are you most excited about right now?
Business-wise, it’s my travel technology site, Too Many Adapters. After 18 months of slow growth it has finally started to gain some real attention recently, resulting in more readers, involvement with some large global travel and tech brands, and even a little more money. Long may that last!
4) What’s next for you?
After finishing up three months in the US with a southern road trip, I’ll be heading to Mexico and Central America for the first time in September with the intention of staying for six months or more. Great weather, food and people … and hopefully even learning some passable Spanish. What’s not to like?
5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
Do it in a Dress is a wonderful cause that I became involved with a couple of years ago. The basic idea is to raise money by doing something – the more outlandish the better – in a girl’s school uniform, with the aim of putting girls through school in Sierra Leone. So far I’ve run a half marathon, jumped off a bridge and sailed a yacht for two weeks in that sexy blue number. A quarter of a million dollars was raised last year, and the campaign has just started again for 2013. Here’s hoping for another highly successful year, and more girls back in school in west Africa.
Dave, thank you so much for sharing a bit about your current projects and you have me curious about what shenanigans you’ll come up with for fundraising this year! If you’d like to connect or find out more about Dave’s recent travels, you can find him on his OHW profile.
We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot me an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).