I’m Dave Dean. For the last two years I’ve been living and working from the road — but the travel addiction started long before that.
Being born and raised in small town New Zealand provided me with the perfect beginnings for a life of travel. If there’s one thing guaranteed to make you want to get out and see the world, growing up in a little town in a little country at the bottom of the world is it.
After finishing university and somehow falling into a technology career, I started my wanderings in the same way that many Antipodeans do — packing a few things into a backpack and heading for London.
Starting was easy, but stopping has been much harder — although lord knows I’ve given it a go. Several times I’ve tried to settle down, buying houses, cars, pets and all of the trappings of a more traditional life. Try as I might, though, that never quite worked for me, and after a year or two I’d find myself back travelling once again.
After thirteen years of juggling a corporate career and a backpack, I eventually figured out what I probably should have known all along — this wasn’t something I could keep doing forever. One or other of those things was going to have to give.
I am inspired by life on the road like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. After over a decade of trying to deny it, I finally realised that it was just where I had to be.
Finally deciding to make travel a permanent part of my life, I left my job in late 2011, offloaded my stuff and travelled several thousand miles to follow my heart. Since then I have lived and travelled for months at a time in South East Asia, Europe, North and Central America, Australia and New Zealand (here’s the more detailed, clickable version).
Right now I’m in Vietnam for a month, eating soup, drinking coffee and avoiding being run over by scooters (most of the time).
I’ll be spending the rest of the year in Asia, with stints in Nepal and Thailand confirmed so far. After that, it’s hard to say — although I’m hoping to get to a couple of new countries alongside revisiting a few old favourites.
Longer term — well, I turn forty in less than two years. By the time that momentous day rolls around I’ll have been travelling for nearly four years, and by the end of that year I’ll have set foot on every continent on this amazing planet of ours and, oh, the little matter of having run a marathon somewhere in the world. Wish me luck!
Although my IT career gave me some useful skills for running websites, it wasn’t something I could easily take on the road with me. To make this lifestyle work, I need to reinvent myself as a blogger, writer and small business owner.
I now work online from anywhere with a good view and an internet connection, spending far more time than I should in front of a laptop and doing several different things to make sure the bills get paid. Initially, I made a small income from advertising on this site. Shortly after starting this journey I co-founded a second site, which brings in some money from commissions and advertising. To round things off, in the last year I’ve also been writing about travel and technology on a freelance basis for several other publications.
There’s always a new idea in the back of my mind and a new project to work on. Earning a living like this is often a hassle and always a hustle, but although it’s not easy, being my own boss is infinitely more rewarding than any corporate job ever was.
Two years ago I decided that the rest of my life was not going to consist of sitting in an office for 80 hours a week and desperately counting down to the weekend. I didn’t care about the latest home theatre system, reality television or football results. I wasn’t interested in following the same path as everybody else, and knew that — for me at least — there had to be a better option.
Living a life filled with passion and purpose needed to be more than a quote on somebody’s Facebook wall. It had be a requirement, something that was built into my day to day existence. A mortgage I couldn’t afford, a job I didn’t care about and three weeks of vacation each year wasn’t going to provide me with that.
Putting everything off for a day that might never come was a risk that was just too big to take. Right now I have the health, ability and burning desire to live a life I love, to follow my dreams wherever they may lead. This will not always be the case.
I get one shot at this life, and I’m doing everything I can to make that the most fulfilling shot I possibly can. It’s not always easy and it’s not always perfect, but it is always something that I’m fiercely proud of.
Long may that last.
If you’d like to talk about anything to do with life on the road, please drop me a line – I’d love to hear from you!
You can also receive an email whenever I post something new just by filling out the form below, and follow me on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Instagram for a better glimpse of what I’m up to right now.
Finally, if you’re interested in the tech side of travel, be sure to head on over to my other site, Too Many Adapters, to see what’s happening there.
Thanks for reading!
PS: Not sure where to go next? Well, you could always start here…