Random Traveller #88 with Dave of Dave’s Travel Corner

by Poi on April 21, 2013

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Welcome to round 88 of ‘Meet a Random Traveller’. The series dedicated to bring attention to fantastic people all around the world doing their thing.

Random Traveller #88 

Who are you?

I was born and raised in California. I’ve always been able to avoid a “real” job and been able to work independently, often on a variety of miscellaneous projects. I’ve enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. I discovered the Internet back in the 1990’s. I then discovered my love of travel through an epic trip to Nepal while I was in college. In 1996 I combined all of my passions into a basic website, Dave’s Travel Corner, which has grown into an International travel community. Along the way I helped build a solar racing vehicle, worked with friends running a small Internet Service Provider and then ultimately got into wine with the crazy notion of trying to visit, taste the wines and write reviews of every winery in the Napa Valley. So far I’ve visited and reviewed more than 700 Napa wineries for my Napa Wine Project website over the past 6 years.

With Friends in Port Moresby

What’s the weirdest food you’ve tried and would you have it again?

This would have to be Suri (not to be confused with the helpful iPhone personal assistant, Siri) – a fat round larvae that lives in trees in the jungle. I first was introduced to this in the rainforests of Peru in the town of Iquitos. Venders were selling it on the dirt streets. I had never seen this before and it was somewhat intriguing (as I consider myself an adventurous eater!). This larvae is fairly decent sized, yellow with striations all over with a black part at one end of its round body. The vender I purchased one from flash fried it – basically warmed it up – so it was still shaking when I ate it. Would I try it again? Probably not – but I certainly would try other equally “weird” foods at least once.

Whats the Deal?

Travel is a drug for me and my website is the creative outlet – it was originally built as a journal based on my trips but has since evolved into an International travel community. We accept submissions from travel writers and bloggers, offer International photography, travel videos, travel interviews, forums, a huge collection of travel links and provide travel book and product reviews. I have been told it is a website to get ‘lost’ in – that sounds good to me!

Today working on the website is nearly a full time job (although the pay has yet to catch up with the crazy hours my friend and I spend on the site). The focus has always been on the content – we try to provide a respectable outlet for writers to share their content with readers – whether you are new to travel blogging or are well established. The site itself covers a wide range of budgets ranging from hostels to luxury. In my opinion I enjoy staying at places that either have character or class and stand out for whatever reason. We’ve never focused entirely on one type of travel – that probably is rooted in the fact that I personally enjoy many different types of traveling.

With Syy in Saipan

Have you surprised yourself while travelling doing something you never thought you could?

Yes, I’ve always loved climbing mountains but I have bad genetics for this type of outdoor adventure. Every time I get above approximately 3300 meters I get bad altitude sickness the higher I climb. That has happened every single time I’ve gone climbing and after a while you get very “sick” of feeling that way when you are supposed to be enjoying something and the beauty around you. Before a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I even tried the common drug Diamox that climbers sometimes take to help mask the symptoms of altitude sickness. Unfortunately I was one of the several percent that have severe allergic reactions to this drug at low elevation. Agg!

So before an attempt on a 6000 meter peak in Peru several years ago, I budgeted several extra weeks for acclimatizing. This is not as budget friendly a way to climb a mountain as those who don’t have altitude problems – but I thought I would give it a shot. I did many day hikes, climbed as high as I could and then slept lower. I was in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca and there were several guesthouses and hostels located at fairly high elevations. I made sure I gradually climbed higher each day.

I was climbing with friends who I had previously climbed with. They all had witnessed the agony I had been in several times on previous climbs. So it was an unexpected surprise when I climbed higher and much healthier than one of my friends (who is usually strong at high elevations). I didn’t summit that expedition but I climbed to the uppermost slopes of that mountain and realized the extra preparation time did significantly help.

Sydney 2013

If you could have one a special talent to impress other backpackers what would it be?

How light I can pack. So far, regardless of the destination and length of my trip I always put everything I need in a small school sized backpack. This has its advantages, both being easier on my back when I carry it and always being able to carry it onto a plane. Disadvantages are doing laundry more often and doing without luxury items, like a pad (sometimes needed when I’m couch surfing). When I stay at hostels I’m always intrigued by the often large size of backpacks and curiously check out the contents of other backpackers when they are going through their possessions. Here is a list of items I always pack for either cool or warm weather: www.davestravelcorner.com/daves-pack-list/

What’s next?

To keep traveling of course! I am currently on a road trip that is lasting several months – but after I get back to “home base” in California and get caught up on some things I will be flying to Europe to visit my brother who just moved to Verona, Italy for a year. We will spend some time touring Italy as well as several other nearby countries. I’ve long wanted to visit any country that ends in ‘stan’ – and have my eye set on visiting Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan – hopefully later this year.


A big thanks to Dave for taking part, great to have you. Be sure to check hiim out here:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures April 23, 2013 at 3:10 am

Ugh I get bad altitude sickness as well, sucks! 🙁


Dave April 25, 2013 at 5:13 am

Hi Andi – yea it sucks when you enjoy something as much as mountain climbing and then you have to deal with the whole ‘altitude sickness’ hindrance. Have found nothing that works other than spending significant time acclimatizing.


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