Dave is the co-owner and co-author of A Couples Traveler, a blog which he shares with his high school sweetheart and travel partner Vicky. This blog is full of useful information for those of you who are interested to learn more about personal experiences of people who are using Couchsurfing on their travels. They also blog about their journey into the world of travel blogging. If you’re also thinking about blogging (or earning moneythrough blogging), go check this site out to give you inspiration in pursuing blogging.
Dave listed his personal bucket list (as well as Vicky) and interestingly, the also have a “shared bucket list”. You can see this Dave’s list when you go to their About page.
Learn more about Dave and join him (and Vicky) on their journey, visit them at Dave of A Couple Travelers. But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with Dave.
Dave and Vicky of A Couple Travelers
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“When I was young I didn’t do an awful lot of traveling. My parents stuck to the basics – trips to cape cod, Disney World, skiing in New Hampshire, etc. I traveled to Europe for the first time as a senior in high school for 12 days (with Vicky) after graduation. We were completely on our own on a trip we planned entirely by ourselves. After that I was hooked! In college I did a few more trips and studied abroad in St. Petersburg as well as worked in Moscow a different summer. The rest, as they say, is history.
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“We’ve been fortunate enough not to have any majorly traumatic experiences. When we were in Italy, on our way to the airport I briefly put our carry on bag on the roof of the car…we ended up driving off without it (lost the camera, which had many of our photos, as well as a few other things). More recently we took an overnight train from Beijing to Xi’an, were in the lowest class, and therefore sat on hard seats all night – one of the worst nights of sleep I’ve had in awhile.”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“The best travel experiences for me always involve close encounters with locals. When I studied abroad in St. Petersburg and worked in Moscow I developed several nice friendships, people I still talk to from time to time despite the large distance, and would certainly go see again if I was ever in the area. Now, we travel a lot faster, but we’ve still managed to have some key interactions when we couchsurfed or volunteered, for example, in Kyoto, Japan we had a 70 year old man take us in, cook for us, and tour us around the city for an entire day.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“Sadly, the biggest realization I’ve had so far is simply how touristy it feels. It’s difficult to escape being a tourist in a new city. You can call yourself a traveler, a backpacker, etc, but for me, it still feels like I’m carrying around a fanny pack and a Lonely Planet Guide. We’ve definitely had some very genuine experiences but they are extremely difficult to find, in my opinion.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“Vicky and I travel pretty fast, usually not spending more than a few days in each place. It’s difficult on the mind and body, but in some way motivates me at the same time. I always like the idea of a new destination and the possibility of meeting someone new, especially if we’re couchsurfing, which we do quite often. I wonder, what knowledge are they going to impart on me? What experiences are they going to share? It’s enough to get me to the next place, and that’s what keeps me going.”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“The other day I read that Natalie Portman speaks four languages (English, French, Hebrew, Japanese). I’m not sure she’s my ideal travel buddy but I think traveling with someone who speaks the local language can make for an entirely new/better experience – so that bumps her up a bit on my list.
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
“Home (Ashland, MA) is the obvious answer, but that doesn’t mean much to anyone but myself. Vicky and I both went to high school there so it harbors a lot of memories. Santorini, Greece is probably the most beautiful European destination I’ve been to thus far. Most recently though, traveling to Yangshuo, China and teaching English there was a very standout place for us after traveling through Asia for the last two months.”
What’s your best tip for newbie traveller?
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“Recently in Yangshuo, China we had a Halloween part at the English school. As the only Americans, Vicky and I were the two hosts and the students dressed me up pretty well, including the traditional arrow through the head, which everyone got a kick out of. When we were done we showcased our costumes on West Street, which is a popular street in the center of town. Definitely my most memorable Halloween.”
What do you think about yourself?
“Maybe my most notable qualities are humanitarian and thoughtful. I like to think about people and from different perspectives of the people I meet.”
“We just recently graduated college, worked for two years, and are now setting off on a two year journey around Asia and Europe. We blog about our travels, including budget saving tips, restaurants and accommodation reviews, and overall travel reflections.” – Dave