Travel For Fun And Make Money Too? These 2 Do It!

Yes it is possible…  Dave and Deb have been doing it for 7+ years! We expect it’s just a little harder than they make it look though.

Regardless, we were completely delighted earlier this summer to get a chance to catch up with the intrepid traveling duo known collectively as “The Planet D and individually as Dave and Deb. If you pay attention to online travel ambassadors, then likely you’ve heard of this couple from Canada who’ve been on the road since 2008 as travel evangelists, bloggers, and adventure enthusiasts. And if you’ve read any of their stuff, you know they’ve had a little controversy, a little adversity, and a whole lot of global fun…. and they make a little money too.

In the last 7 years they’ve spent time in more than 100 countries, visiting all 7 continents while representing and testing out brands big and small, in destinations both near and far. When we tracked them down they were cooling their travel jets in Girona, Spain – drinking in the local culture and adventure offerings of Costa Brava. Tough work if you can get it, right?

Check out our interview below.

Pam:  At GuideAdvisor - we connect guides and travelers around the world because we believe very strongly in how much of an influence a great guide has on the whole travel experience. My most memorable tour guide for example, was an extremely passionate woman who led a city tour highlighting the devastating impacts Pablo Escobar had on the city of Medellin in particular, and the country of Colombia in general. Her stories almost had me in tears…multiple times! Can you share an impactful experience that you’ve had on a guided tour that really stuck with you?

Deb:  We have had so many unforgettable tour guides that I could fill up the entire interview with those memories. But with the recent events in Nepal, we’d like to mention our friend Dipendra (aka Deep). He was our guide to Mount Everest Base Camp and he took amazing care of us. We have kept in touch with him since 2010 and he has since started his own company and is thriving. Sadly, he was affected by the earthquake and lost everything. We have talked to him since it happened and he and his family are safe, but they are struggling greatly and our hearts go out to him. He is so gentle and kind and caring of his clients. But he is also very strong and capable on the mountains.

Pam:  Yes, Nepal has some of the most amazing guides in the world – and we were happy to learn in June that the country had officially re-opened to tourism again, and that things have been improving (albeit slowly) for those so terribly affected by the events in April and May of this year. We were fortunate that all of the guides we work with were unharmed, but that certainly was not the case for so many others.

Pam:  Ok…. So what is your best “little-known” secret packing hack? You must have such a wealth of experience to draw upon here!

Deb:  We like to be organized and packing cubes help us out a lot. Eagle Creek’s packing cubes put everything into separate bags that are easy to find, but they also have compression sacs that help to create more space. We also really love gear ties for our electronics chords. You can get them at Home Depot or online and they keep all our cables and chords organized and easy to sort.

Pam:  Every frequent traveler loves packing cubes! I heard that over and over again when working on this recent packing tips article - and we all use them too.

Pam:  So what’s going on out in your nomad network? Are you seeing any emerging travel trends of interest to report in 2015?

Deb:  We’ve noticed that people are interested in traveling to far away places. We’re hearing more and more about people booking tickets to South America or Asia. I think people are starting to get that wanderlust bug and want to see and experience more. The trends tell us that people are saving more to travel to more exotic destinations and we believe it because when we talk to people, they are no longer saying their traveling to the usual spots, but instead are booking vacations to Myanmar, Iceland or Croatia. It’s pretty cool.

Pam:  We feature famous (and lesser known) quotes of travel inspiration every couple of days on our Facebook Page. In decades to come – what “most famous” travel related inspirational quote should you be known for…?

Deb:   I’m going to go with “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone“. I chose this because we always tell people to step out of their comfort zones. If you push yourself just a little and try something new you’ll find that you have more courage than you thought and you’ll be opened up to new and amazing possibilities. We never want to be normal or comfortable. An exciting life is always just a little bit uncomfortable.

Pam:  Yes, stepping outsize that zone can “hurt” just a little (or sometimes a lot!) – but how you do ultimately benefit so much from it has been proven to be 100% true in my experience too.

Pam:  So what comes next for you two?

Deb:  Our next trip is heading to the Arctic in Canada north of Churchill Manitoba to stalk polar bears. We can’t wait to capture these beauties with our camera and to share our photographs. We have a pretty jam packed second half of the year ahead. With many travels within Canada and the US, but also a trip to Dubai with Expedia as part of our Expedia Viewfinder duties, a trip to Greece to explore some more islands and a bit more of the mainland, and we’ll be ending the year in one of our favourite destinations, Alberta, Canada where we’ll be showcasing all the amazing things to do in Banff and Lake Louise, during the winter months.

Pam:  Sounds like a fabulous way to spend the rest of the year. I’ve heard the Churchill experience is pretty amazing.  All the best to you and Dave and thanks for taking the time to check-in with us Deb.

When I was preparing for this interview I came across a Planet D blog post where Dave and Deb participated in the 7 links blog challenge - the brilliant challenge from ProBlogger – and the diversity of their blog choices was interesting. The two posts that I want to share here are the one that they felt did not get enough exposure (and we agree it is well worth a read!) –  2010′s Ian Redmond Talks About The Year Of The Gorilla, and the one that incited the most controversy - India is Filthy (because we love a good controversy!).  I’ve not been to India yet but I know that it often turns out to be a love it or leave it destination for many travelers. I have a few friends who find it awfully hard to leave there after their regular visits  and are always chomping at the bit for their next opportunity to return, but I know it’s not for everyone.

To learn more about Dave and Deb – check them out at The Planet D. With a little marketing magic, a little luck, a lot of courage and a big dose of perseverance – maybe you could be a travel ambassador too!

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