We’ve got a corker of an interview for you today. Canada’s Adventure Couple: Dave & Deb of ThePlanetD.com Could these guys be the best Adventure Travel couple out there? Kayaking in Antarctica?! They get our vote.
1. Could you briefly introduce yourselves and your site?
We’re Dave and Deb of ThePlanetD.com and adventure travel website that inspires other’s to live their dreams and travel the world. If we can do it anyone can. After all, our motto is “Adventure is For Everyone”
2. Tell us the story! How did you guys meet and what made you choose to write a travel blog?
We met way back in 1991 at a Tex Mex bar in Canada. A Blue Rodeo cover band was playing and we both had on similar cowboy boots. My roommate yelled “You have the same cowboy boots!” It’s was love at first sight and we’ve been inseparable since.
It took us years to start our travel blog. Having worked as freelancers in the film business for over a decade, we had winters off to explore the world. We travelled regularly from 2000-2007 for months at a time only to return back to our jobs each Spring. It was in 2007 that we decided we wanted to change our lives and live a life of travel so we signed up for the Tour d’Afrique, the world’s longest cycling race. We trained for a year and took off from Cairo in January 2008 with the idea of videoing our journey to sell a travel show about a couple doing epic adventures around the world. The show wasn’t picked up, but there was a lot of interest and since we had to start a travel blog for the cycling race anyway, we decided to put our story up online. People instantly took a liking to our adventures and after a while we realized that if we were ever going to get that travel show, we’d have to build our own brand to get recognized by TV Producers. Now the blog has taken off so much, we aren’t actively seeking a TV show anymore, we’re having too much fun blogging!
3. Individually, what are the things you are best at when it comes to your blog?
Dave is the photographer, designer, coder. Deb is the writer, networker and business manager. We both are the ideas people and we both work on social media. We have an excellent split in skills and work off of each other’s strengths.
4. What has been your favourite place so far?
Antarctica was like being on a different planet. We travelled there with Quark Expeditions and kayaked through brash ice, circling icebergs and floating by leopard seals. We camped on the continent, jumped into the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula with nothing but a bathing suit and a smile and got up close and personal with a lot of penguins. It was incredible.
5. Tell us about the best cultural experience you’ve had? And what’s been your worst moment?
It has to be in Chengdu, China. We went for a walk in the people’s park and were embraced by the locals as part of the family. They invited us to play badminton with them, walk the catwalk with them (yes, there was a fashion show going on in the middle of the park) dance with them and draw with them. It was the coolest experience to see everyone out on a Sunday afternoon enjoying each other’s company and doing everything from having a picnic to practicing Tai Chi.
We have been very lucky in our travels and haven’t had a lot of worse moments when it comes to interacting with cultures. We have found that people are genuinely good and don’t have any of those horror stories that we all hear about.
The worst thing that has ever happened to us is being ripped off when changing money on the Black Market in Myanmar. The guy doing it seemed so nice and genuine and when we got back to our hotel we realized that we were shorted by 50%. I don’t know how he did it, but he was good. When we counted the money out for us and put it in our hand, we were sure that he gave us the agreed upon amount. Alas, he didn’t and we travelled the country on a very tight budget since we lost most of it at the very beginning of our trip!
6. How do you handle spending so much time together? Any secrets to share?
You have to be willing to compromise and communicate. We discuss everything. We ask each other how we feel and how things are on a regular basis and we talk about what one another wants to do. It’s important to give and take. If someone wants to try something or see a sight, it is important to support that decision. We let things ride off our shoulders as well. When we argue, we get it over with and move on. We don’t dwell on anything. But most importantly, you have to be able to laugh. We put ourselves in a lot of ridiculous situations where the only thing left to do is laugh, otherwise you’d go crazy.
7. What are your biggest challenges with travel blogging?
Keeping up the blog when traveling. It is easy to get work done when we are at home, but we travel most of the year. We always feel that we are one step behind on the workload and are constantly playing catch up. But we feel that a travel blogger should be traveling so we stay on the road as much as possible.
8. This is the dangerous one… Is there anything you would change about your partner when it comes to your experiences travelling? (Now no fighting please, criticism is productive remember!)
Dave needs to take a more proactive role and take charge more and Deb needs to stop losing her temper and go with the flow more. We know what each other’s faults are and don’t have a problem telling each other. That’s why we love each other, we talk about everything and can handle advice from one another.
9. It’s a common sweeping statement in the travel world that ‘you’re not really travelling if you’re with a partner’. Seeing as so many people travel as a twosome, this seems a little odd to us. What do you have to say about this?
I haven’t heard that before. I agree with you, I think it is odd. I guess the people who are saying that haven’t found the right companion yet. We love being with each other and we love traveling with each other. I couldn’t imagine not sharing a beautiful sunset with Dave or not experiencing a life changing event with my partner. It is a gift to be able to have a loved one to share not only your life with, but your travels with. I think that we’ve definitely travelled and lived a full life by traveling together.
10.What’s next on your agenda? Do you have any travel goals for the year?
We have a huge year in store. Right now we are in Italy and then we head to Croatia to Kayak for 8 days! We are then off to Catalonia in Spain and then we go to Hawaii for a couple of weeks. It is then straight on to Running of the Bulls in Spain, Zimbabwe in Africa, back to Europe for the Vienna Recordia in Austria, The Adventure Travel World Summit in Switzerland and finally leading a tour with Intrepid Travel in Morocco. It is going to the most exciting year yet! We’ve always wanted to be jet setters, and 2012 almost feels like we are!
Aren’t these two lovely?! What a team…
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