We recently caught up with Dave and Deb, the couple behind the outrageously popular travel blog, The Planet D. Known as ‘Canada’s Adventure Couple’, these two certainly are a match made in travel blogger’s heaven. With an insatiable sense of adventure, a knack for telling a good story and seemingly permanent smiles, we couldn’t wait to find out what it’s like to live on the Planet D.
Your motto is ‘Adventure is for Everyone’. What does ‘adventure’ mean to you and how do you go about achieving it on a regular basis?
Adventure is a state of mind. You don’t have to climb Mount Everest or ski Siberia to have an adventure. It is different for everyone. We may think driving a car from England to Mongolia or cycling the continent of Africa are adventures, but someone else may think going to their first local market in Asia is an adventure. We always put ourselves in the place of a person doing it for the first time.
We always look for something exciting and challenging to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, but we never forget to find adventure in the little things and remember that life is an adventure.
You’ve been together over 20 years now and have been pretty much inseparable ever since. Do you ever get sick of each other?
You are right! Wow, we met when Deb was 20 and Dave 21 and yes, we’ve been inseparable since the day we met.
We got into travel blogging because we had been searching for ways to spend more time together. We worked hard at our other jobs and didn’t see a lot of each other, especially when Dave was working in the film industry, but when we’d take a few months off to travel, we loved every minute of being together 24/7.
We are one of those strange couples who really enjoy each other’s company. Yes, we do argue and bicker, but we often joke that we’d rather be fighting with each other than not having the opportunity to be together. Most of the time we have a great time together and love being together every second of the day. I can’t believe that we never run out of things to talk about.
You have taken part in some epic adventure activities, even cycling from Cairo to Cape Town! Do you prepare for these events beforehand or just jump straight in and hope for the best?
For something like cycling from Cairo to Cape Town, we prepared. We trained for a year as we had to cycle an average 120 km per day for 4 solid months. But for many other activities, we jump in head first. We didn’t know much about cars when we decided to drive to Mongolia from England but went for it anyway. When we took Muay Thai in Thailand, we just let the process happen and climbing both Mount Kilimanjaro and to Everest Base Camp were snap decisions that we didn’t train for at all.
Now, we are not saying to be reckless, if you have never kayaked before, I wouldn’t recommend kayaking in Antarctica. We made sure that we practiced our wet exit before getting in the boat down there and we didn’t go into the Gobi or Nubian deserts unprepared. We made sure to have ample water, had a plan as to where we were going and had a proper first aid and survival kit should anything happen.
We have a lot of skills that we can draw upon, like orienteering and mountaineering, and we know how to handle ourselves in a kayak or canoe. Plus we are avid campers and have spent a lot of time in the outdoors so we know what adventures we are capable of doing that won’t put us in danger.
If you are in reasonable shape and have a hearty zest for adventure, you can do a lot more than you think.
You’ve witnessed some of the most interesting Asian festivals, including the shocking Thaipusam festival in Malaysia. Are there any major events elsewhere that are still on your wish list?
We love festivals and we have been lucky to take part in a few like Holi in India, Songkran in Thailand and San Fermin in Spain. There are so many that we’d still like to see. We are planning on going to the Day of the Dead later this year in Mexico, Carnival in Venice, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Camel Fair in Pushkar, India and La Tomatina in Spain.
You visited Myanmar way back in 2004. As the country begins to open up more to tourism, what advice would you give anyone planning to travel there?
Myanmar is a wonderful country to visit. The people are so welcoming and giving, it will move you in a way that many other destinations won’t. Go in with an open mind and talk to the people, they are so open and kind. Make sure you visit the Golden Rock in Kyaiktiyo. It is the most mesmerizing place we’ve ever been and make sure to stay over night so that you can visit with the pilgrims. Don’t do an organized tour to Myanmar, instead take local buses and stay in local guesthouses. You don’t want to be secluded and tucked away in a resort.
Image by rapidtravelchai
A while ago we interviewed Nomadic Chick, as she prepared to run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. You also took part and survived! How did it feel to take part in such a hyped-up tradition?
Running of the bulls was interesting. We really didn’t do a lot of preparation for it and didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t realize how overwhelmingly crowded it would be. For four days we were walking shoulder to shoulder with people and it was difficult.
We ended up watching it three times before running; twice from a balcony and once from the ground. It helped us figure out how we were going to run with the bulls. When the day actually came, we were pretty nervous. It’s the people that you have to watch out for. If someone falls or trips, it can cause a huge pile up and be very dangerous. The adrenaline was really high and it felt amazing when it was over. But then we just felt bad for the bulls afterwards.
You tell the truth about travel, the good and the bad. What would you never do again in terms of travel and why?
Run with the bulls. We haven’t written about the experience yet on the blog because we are trying to figure out how to write about it. As you said, we tell the truth, and we are having a difficult time crafting the words to share what the experience was actually like. It is a popular festival, but it is very controversial and that is something we definitely want to write about and share with our readers.
You are known as ‘Canada’s Adventure Couple’ and it’s clear you really love your homeland. Could you describe it in 3 words?
Ooh, That’s a tough question.
Vast, Beautiful, Diverse
Go on, make us jealous. What are your travel plans for the rest of 2012?
The second half of 2012 is interesting because we are attending a lot of conferences and speaking engagements. We are first heading to San Francisco with Intrepid Travel to take a road trip through the States and then we head to Portugal to speak at Travel Bloggers Unite. We’re then back to the US and then it is straight back to Europe for TBEX in Costa Brava Spain. After that we head to Switzerland for the Adventure Travel World Summit and then Mexico for the Day of the Dead.
So while we are all over the world, it’s going to be a lot of work in the coming months.
A huge thank you to Deb and Dave for taking the time to offer us some of their travel wisdom! Don’t forget to check out The Planet D on Facebook to keep up with their adventures.