Random Traveller #15

by Kirsty on July 16, 2010

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Welcome to round 15 of ‘Meet a Random Traveller’. Once we hit the road this section will be dedicated to the people we meet along the way but, until then, we shall meet some of the guys and gals who have beat us to it and are already out their doing their thing.

Random Traveller #15

Kawarau Bridge Bungy

Kawarau Bridge Bungy

Who are you?
Hey!  I’m Dustin Main, a 29 year old entrepreneur from Saskatoon, Canada with a passion for travel, photography, and pushing boundaries.  I started my first company 5 years ago, and it was time for a bit of a break.  My work doesn’t define who I am, I do.  That being said, I love technology, photography, and the internet and those keep me connected to the world back in Canada and the people who helped me get to be where I am.

I’m the original (read: only) skinny backpacker from SkinnyBackpacker.com and @skinnybackpackr on Twitter.  With these fantastic resources, you can see what I’m up to, read my stories and articles, and check out my photography along the way!  Bookmark now and we’ll send you a second skinny backpacker for free, just pay separate shipping and handling charges.  It’s a Win-Win!

Don’t you have a home to go to?
Sure, but it’s time to branch out a bit.  After a trip to Tanzania a couple of years ago, I knew I needed to travel more and challenge myself to be happy.  My home in Saskatoon will still be there when I’m ready to return.  I keep in touch as best as I can with my family and friends.

When I was in high school I had talked with friends about backpacking Europe for a summer, but there was always something that came up.  School, a new job, buying a car, starting the business.  Next thing I knew, 10 years had passed.  If I would have bought a house, the mortgage would have made any travel, especially like this very difficult.  The question is, how much longer are you going to wait at home?

Taking in the view on Mt Kinabalu

Taking in the view on Mt Kinabalu

Where have you been?
On this trip in the past 7 months I’ve been to New Zealand, Australia (mostly Tasmania), Singapore, West Malaysia, Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah, Vietnam and now Cambodia.  I’m a slow traveler and so that’s meant that I tend to stick around a country for longer (usually a month or more) before crossing another border.  The number of countries isn’t important to me, it’s my experiences in them.

Before this journey I had traveled in the much of the western USA, Tanzania, Amsterdam, not to mention my beautiful and amazing country of Canada.

Where are you heading to?
Short term?  Good question.  Perhaps north to Laos then over to Thailand.  Maybe the Middle East, or maybe to Europe for a couple of months.  My very loose itinerary I came up with in the beginning is totally out the window.  I don’t even know what I’ll do myself so if anyone has any suggestions please fire them away.

Longer term, I’d like to do some trekking and climbing for a month in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco this September.  Past that, I’m planning on checking off my 7th continent when I reach Antarctica in December 2010.  This will actually be my 2nd attempt at Antarctica, as my last trip I had planned there in November 2009 was cancelled last minute.  Fingers crossed this time.

Hiding from the rain and taking marriage proposals in rural Vietnam with some lovely yam farmers

Hiding from the rain and taking marriage proposals in rural Vietnam with some lovely yam farmers

What’s your favorite place so far?
Easy, New Zealand.  It’s like Disneyland for people that are into the outdoors.  Great trekking?  Yes. Amazing parks?  For sure.  Crazy extreme activities?  All of them!  The people are great, the independently owned “backpackers” hostels are top notch, and the trekking… oh yeah the trekking.  It’s actually too bad that I started this trip in New Zealand, because so many other amazing places in the world seem to pale in comparison to it’s natural beauty.  Where else can you hang out on deserted beaches, climb volcanoes, bungy jump over teal rivers, skydive over amazing scenery, climb limestone cliffs, then abseil down holes and go caving… all in a couple of days?  Phew!

Back in Canada I have a soft spot for a park in British Columbia called “Top of the World.”  You need to take a terrible logging road that eats tires (ate one of mine) to get to the trail head, then trek 8km just to get into the park.  These hoops you need to jump through mean it doesn’t see a whole lot of people, and it’s not unusual to see a grizzly bear among the beautiful scenery during your time there.  Hide your trail mix!

What’s in your bag that you are yet to touch?
Not much!  I originally brought 5 books along with me when I left Canada, and after hauling them around for so long, and only making my way 1/2 way through one of them, I left a couple at a guest house in Miri a couple of months back.  Audiobooks are much lighter!  Beyond that, I have some medications in my First Aid Kit that haven’t been needed yet, but they need to stay with me.

I have no problems sending care packages back home with souvenirs, gifts, and the like.  There is no way I could lug that stuff around with my frail little bony body.
Thanks to Poi & Kirsty for the opportunity to blab about myself!

And a big thanks to Dustin for agreeing to take part in this. Check them out on Twitter at @skinnybackpackr

Fancy being Random Traveller #16? Contact us.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick Laborde July 17, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I’m not gonna fall for that second free gimmick again, they always jack up the shipping and handling charges. I subscribed to your RSS anyways.

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giuliadventures July 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I love the pics… wow.
giuliadventures´s last blog post ..Giuliadventures’ ultimate guide to NYC life! PART 2 – Breakfast- Brunch- Drinks

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Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker July 20, 2010 at 5:22 am

Thanks for putting lil old me on your website!

@giuliadventures thanks!

@nick did the same, enjoyed your articles. BTW our s & h charges are in line with the rest of the industry. Money back guarantee (minus s & h)!
Dustin Main – Skinny Backpacker´s last blog post ..Photo of the Day – Reminders of Life &amp Death

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Michael July 20, 2010 at 11:36 am

I’ve been to the “Top of the World.” in the Kootney’s!

Eats tires?…agreed.

Have a lovely place in my heart for Tassie as well. But I spent nearly 5 months in and around the Whitsundays and have to say that that place is one of the most incrediblly diverse natural areas in the world!

Nat Geo is apparently doing a TV series about it in August…i guess if you can’t be a random traveller in August you at least can be a ‘Random Dreamer’!

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AdventureRob July 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Sweet interiew 🙂
AdventureRob´s last blog post ..A Rant Rules About Using Public Toilets

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Dina July 21, 2010 at 2:46 am

Ah, I agree with you about the New Zealand! The nature beauty there is just enchanting. And there are many variety to it too. I need to go back there. There are many amazing spots we haven’t visited…

Where’s your favourite spot in Canada? Mine got to be the Canadian Rockies, that stretch between Jasper and Banff.

Love your pictures up there 🙂
Dina´s last blog post ..New Zealand’s South Island- Our two week road trip itinerary

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Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker July 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm

@Michael: Too funny, I just ran into a girl from Cranbrook this evening in Chiang Mai, Thailand and she has been to (and loves) Top of the World as well!

@Dina I love the rockies too, and the other mountain ranges west of there too. There is also a park in Saskatchewan (where I am from) called Waskesiu, and I love going there in mid September when the leaves are falling, the sun is warm in the day, and the nights are cool. The park and the little town are essentially deserted after the Sept long weekend so it’s nice and quiet. 🙂
Dustin Main – Skinny Backpacker´s last blog post ..Photo of the Day – Death Bed

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