THE GLOBAL NOMAD

WHO

 I’m Dave Dean,originally from New Zealand.

WHAT

 For the last two-and-a-half years I’ve been living and working from the road, but the travel addiction started long before that. 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 13 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. It ended up being the career.

WHEN

 In late 2011 I decided to travel full time and work from the road as a writer and tech guy. Since then I’ve spent most of my time in South-East Asia,Australia and New Zealand, Central and Eastern Europe and North America. I’m in Portland, Oregon right now for a month. I’m not entirely sure where the rest of the year will find me – most likely either Central and South America, or back to South East Asia for a while. I have no plans to stop any time soon.

HOW

 I sold everything that wouldn’t fit in a backpack before I left, and had saved hard for several years to build up a buffer. I used to work in IT, but now fund my travels mainly as a writer and website owner. It’s an uncertain income that’s not particularly lucrative, but on average I roughly break even each year.

WHY

 I could go on for hours about the benefits of this lifestyle for me, but it really all boils down to one word:freedom. I’ve realised that the freedom to choose where I base myself, who I spend my time with and how I earn a living is the most important thing in the world to me, and this is the best way for me to achieve it. Of course, beautiful beaches, exciting cultures, great food and never having to deal with winter aren’t exactly downsides either…

THE BEST BIT 

 It’s way too hard to pick out a single ‘best bit’, but a few of my favourite experiences from the last few years include week-long road trips on a scooter in northern Thailand and the Mekong Delta, chartering a yacht with friends in Turkey and the Greek Islands,and eating my way through Mexico’s incredible street food for several months.

THE WORST BIT 

 There are always low points when you travel – terrible bus rides,dirty dorm rooms, getting sick on the road – but the hardest part for me is being away from friends and family. I don’t see them for more than a few weeks each year, and that’s hard – particularly when my little nephew keeps asking when I’m coming home. It’s not easy.

whatsdavedoing.comtoomanyadapters.com

 

THE ZERO-BUDGET JET SETTERS

WHO

Max De Lucia,Sophie English and Elliot Lyte. We are three friends who met while studying at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich. 

WHAT

We went around the world in 14 days (Lisbon-Rio de Janeiro-New York-Sydney) without a budget or any plans on where to stay or what to do on our travels.

WHEN 

We left on February 9 and arrived back in the UK on February 23.

HOW 

We set up the website aroundtheworldin14days.co.uk to see i f the power of the web and human kindness could get us around the world! Our trip was also powered by STATravel and Squarespace.com, and we had support from Knomo, Nokia, Black Eyewear and NOAD Suncream.

WHY 

The three of us are all coming towards the end of four years of studying.We saw two free weeks in the calendar as an opportunity to think big and attempt‘the impossible’ – to get around the world in 14 days. It seemed there was nothing to lose and everything to gain.The response we had was phenomenal.Tens of thousands of people from across the world checked out the project. People from all corners of the globe invited us to stay with them and had a desire to show us the way they live their lives. In return for the hospitality, we brought music straight to the doorsteps of communities and cultures worldwide, putting the people of those places at the heart of the music that we make. You can see the results onYouTube (type in “Sing With Me” filmed on the Nokia Lumia 1020).

THE BEST BIT 

Going up to the statue of Christ the Redeemer and looking over Rio as the sun set was unbelievable for me.

THE WORST BIT

We had to speak on Australian TV – it was live so the pressure was certainly on! I’d never had my make up done before so that was probably the worst moment! But in all seriousness,this was a complete once-in-a-lifetime experience and we are humbled by the incredible support we received from tens of thousands of people across the planet.

aroundtheworldin14days.co.uk

 

THE RUNNER

WHO

Susie Stephen. I am a yoga teacher and coach.

WHAT 

This year I’m celebrating the 100th anniversary of an expedition that was led by a lady from my home town of Darlington, England – Katherine Routledge. Katherine sailed to Easter Island in 1914 with her husband and a small crew on board a custom-built wooden schooner. I’m retracing sections of their route from Southampton to Easter Island on foot and by bike – and by plane, custom-built boats are harder to find! I have broken the journey into three stages and each part consists of an endurance challenge:1. Darlington to Southampton is a 13-day ultra run, 320+ miles across England. 2. For Buenos Aires to Santiago I am cycling 1,000 miles, including crossing over the Andes.3. After my arrival on Easter Island I will finish with the Rapa Nui marathon on June1. Hopefully my legs will hold up!

WHEN

I started stage one on February 14 from Hummersknott Academy in Darlington, UK, and arrived in Southampton on February 26. Stage two begins on April 12 in Buenos Aires, and stage three begin sat the end of May when I arrive on Rapa Nui to do the marathon on June 1. In total it will take four months to complete.

HOW 

This project is part-funded by sponsorship from Emerald Biogas, and also by a grant from Creative Darlington,whom will both be assisting with an exhibition about this project to beheld in September. We also ran a small crowd-sourcing campaign on Indiegogo and contributed funds towards the project personally.It was difficult to fit this project into my life, but I am lucky at the moment not to have a traditional ‘9-to-5’ job and a fairly flexible schedule. But finding time to fit in training, fundraising and things like blogging while doing everything else is no small task! My husband has been a great tower of strength and I couldn’t have done this without him.

WHY 

The main reason is to recognise the work of Katherine. It was uncommon at that time for women to travel as far as Katherine did, and I think she set an example to others of what can be achieved through curiosity, persistence and hard work. I’m also fundraising for an environmental project for Easter Island, to assist with fresh water issues on the island.

THE BEST BIT 

So far it’s been running up to an Iron Age hill fort in the middle of the Leicestershire countryside. It was day seven of the ultra run, and I had just completed a very muddy and exhausting off-road section.But the landscape surrounding the hill fort,gorse bushes and ancient woodland with deer and rabbits, followed by the views from the top, were spectacular and really lifted my spirits. I felt re-energised and completed the rest of the day’s miles on a high!

THE WORST BIT 

When my knees started to hurt I was worried that I might not finish the run. Days four and five were hard work both physically and mentally,but I kept reminding myself that I couldn’t let people down, and I was doing this to raise money for Rapa Nui. Thankfully my body adjusted to the mileage I was doing and I was able to finish.

longrunergy.com

 

THE TREKKERS

WHO

Rose and Mick Weber, an Aussie husband and wife team.

WHAT 

We’re walking the whole of the Canning Stock Route, Australia’s longest and toughest 4WD track, unassisted, to raise money for Suicide Awareness Australia.We are carrying backpacks as well as towing hiking trolleys along the 2,100km track. We’ll be eating dehydrated foods and topping up our water at the various wells and water sources along the way.We are starting the trek at Wiluna and Completing at Halls Creek.

WHEN 

We set off on July 1 and we expect to take between six to eight weeks.HOW We are self-funding our expenses and we have had numerous items donated. Our film crew has had most of the equipment they need donated by sponsors. However they are paying for all their own fuel, and none of us will have financial income for the two months expected for the trek to be completed.

WHY

I lost my brother to suicide two years ago. He was a typical bloke who would not admit to anyone that he was depressed. We only found out after going through his belongings that he had numerous scripts for antidepressants and letters to get counselling. In my experience as a clinical nurse I have found that there is still so much stigma attached to mental illness, so people will not ask for help or admit they have a problem for fear of being judged by their peers. They go untreated, when there is a lot of help available out there.No matter how hard this 2,000km trek is going to be, it is still not as hard as what someone who is suicidal is facing every day. We want to show people that no matter how hard the road is in front of you, never give up putting one foot in front of the other. We want anyone who is in a dark place to yell out until someone will listen. We want them to get help, without feeling they are labelled or judged. We want to stop the stigma.

THE BEST BIT

I am looking forward to the silence and peace of such an isolated place; the sheer beauty oft he Australian outback; to achieve the challenge will be amazing, and also to have my amazing partner by my side every step of the way.

THE WORST BIT 

I am worried about snakes, bull camels and the dingoes.

suicideawareness.simplesite.commakingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/

 

Images via STA/supplied