Welcome to round 104 of ‘Meet a Random Traveller’. The series dedicated to bringing attention to fantastic people all around the world doing their thing.
Random Traveller #104
Who are you?
Actually, who I am is an excellent question and it seems I have spent the last couple of years, if not all my life, trying to find a good answer. But since I haven’t found the good answer quite yet and since we shouldn’t philosophize the question too much, let’s rather go with: I am Dennis, a German carpenter, turned architect, turned expat, turned world traveler, turned travel blogger…
Whats the deal?
Funny enough, but I never actually intended to become any of the things listed above and it seems they rather just happened. When leaving on the first world trip, it didn’t even cross my mind to have a blog because there were a lot of other things to worry about. But what I did do was post my whereabouts and well-being on facebook and eventually these messages grew into a regular travel diary and finally into a website. The aim behind the website itself was not only to provide useful travel tips and write about preparations or trip assessment, but also to allow people to participate in the actual journey and give an impression of how long-term travelling is like on a daily basis.
Volcano Gunung Bromo in Indonesia
Where are you right now and what are you doing?
I am actually at a pretty unusual place right now. I am currently in a country that I left 10 years ago and a place that I waved good bye to another 10 years earlier; I am visiting my parents in Germany. After a prolonged sickness and an unavoidable surgery, being able to stay at my parents’ house for a while seems all of a sudden the best place to be in the whole world.
What’s your favourite type of transportation?
My favourite type of transport would be the railway. Being two meters tall, using any type of transport, but especially buses in developing countries, is usually quite a painful experience for me. While those buses seem to have been laid out with legroom for five year olds, the trains on the other hand normally provide some unbeatable advantages in terms of space. Well, at least if we choose to ignore the overcrowded coaches in India for a second. But being able to get up, stretch the legs and walk around in the compartment, or even lay down to rest and have a toilet available, make train journeys almost feel like the luxury cruise of cheap travels.
The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal
Is there one particular journey that sticks in your mind?
As I usually travel for a long time, meaning at least for one year, what does stick to my mind are different side trips within the big journeys. Of course those great trips come to mind that took me to places like the stunning volcanos in Indonesia or the breathtaking sceneries of Sri Lanka, but for some reason the most memorable experiences seem to be connected with the Himalayan trekking I did in Nepal. Especially my very first trek, the ill prepared 22 day Annapurna Circuit, that I did without a guide or proper hiking boots ended up being a true adventure. Having no clue what I was getting into, certainly not walking breathlessly with a heavy backpack in 5000 meters altitude on a slippery path in freshly fallen snow and to the shine of a flashlight, I swore to myself to never do something as crazy again. But once the pain was forgotten, what was left were beautiful photos and amazing memories of a once in a lifetime trip. Needless to say that I did it again…
What’s the weirdest food you’ve tried while travelling and would you have it again?
Honestly, from today’s perspective, the weirdest food I have ever eaten was meat. Admittedly at the beginning of my travels I was by no means vegetarian and I tried all the many strange things that the world had to offer. But after spending a few months in India, probably the biggest vegetarian country in the world, and later in Nepal, my perception started to change. The vegetarian dishes in these countries were so overwhelmingly good, that there was not even the need or desire for meat anymore and I simply changed my eating habits. But to answer the second question, I don’t think that I would have it again.
The Scenery of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka
If you had never left Germany what do you think you’d be doing now?
It is obviously never easy to answer hypothetical questions, but looking at myself now, I can think of a few things that I would probably not be doing. Chances are, I would not even be able to communicate well enough in English to write this text, as I really only learned the language when moving to New York for an internship. I also would not have learned to live and work in a different culture, or not to take things for granted from back home. Being fortunate enough to have been raised in a country with guaranteed healthcare, free universities, working contracts and a lot of other securities, not to mention enough to eat, it actually took going away to fully appreciate everything I thought of as normal at home. So what would I be doing? I honestly don’t know, but I would certainly be a very different person.
Unfortunately my recent sickness forced me to cancel all my future travel plans and so, at this very moment, I have no plans at all. But since the year is still young, I like to think that that is a good thing. And whatever happens during the year, you can be sure to find out about it on my travel blog…
Fancy being Random Traveller #105? Contact us.