David Thompson

Dave is a pioneer in the online travel writing world having founded Dave’s Travel Corner in 1996 and “blogging” before the term or appropriate software was created. He is a member of the International Food Travel & Wine Writers Association and the North American Travel Journalists Association. California raised, he co-founded a collegiate Solar Racing Team which designed & built a solar car from scratch.

His latest personal project is The Napa Wine Project which has taken 6+ years to date that involves wine tasting at all Napa Valley commercial wine producers. He’s personally visited, tasted with & reviewed 700+ commercial Napa wine producers to date. His first book titled ‘The Freeways of Los Angeles’ was published in 2010.

He enjoys the outdoors, writing, photography, backpacking, mountain climbing, meeting people, the Internet and experiencing other cultures. What could possibly combine all these varied interests… why, travel of course! Dave is most at home in Bangkok, Los Angeles, the Napa Valley or California’s Eastern or far Northern Sierra Nevada mountains.

You can work pretty much where you want to – on the road, do you find it hard to work or do you just have fun and work when you come back home?

Yes for my travel site that is very true. I've never found it hard to work from the road (unless I don't have internet access or bad internet access) - both of which certainly happen more often than you think and sometimes in "developed" countries too. When I don't have internet access I can live with it - but when I have bad internet I get frustrated very quickly.

My work and travel blends together most of the time - I love sharing things in the moment and have never had a problem with writing while on the road. I have fun with the experiential part of traveling and then I have fun "creating the content" - I don't feel stressed about having to produce content for my site but I do feel stressed from a creative point of view if I let experiences build up too long without writing about them.

Do you feel many people are envious of your lifestyle?

My friends and family are happy for me and enjoy hearing about my experiences. On the surface, the lifestyle looks incredibly enviable - jetting around the world, enjoying experiences, meeting new people. Not tied down to a job. The pure freedom of it all. And yes, all that is absolutely amazing. After 16 years of running and spending thousands of hours and dollars building my travel site and living an independent lifestyle - if anyone knew what I made each year and would see what on average is in my two bank accounts, they would shamelessly tell me to "get a real job".

These are the sacrifices you make - it is a lifestyle not driven by things but rather by experiences. Renting a one-bedroom apartment, owning an old car and a bicycle and a few miscellaneous things - there is not much material that I really own in this world. That in and of itself is quite freeing - always at the mercy of needing to make money is not. For most people, not seeing an increase in limited income from spending so much time and energy on something after all this time - that would be unacceptable.

In which countries have people recognised you, even when you thought nobody would?

I'll admit it - I am batting zero in this category. I have been to certain countries where I was given very nice treatment by either the hosts or someone from the local media - where they wanted coverage on my travel site and other tourism outlets of their particular region or property. It is still a dream of mine to accidentally bump into a travel blogger that I'm already familiar with - while on the road.

Which three items would you never travel without?

I always make it a point to never travel without my sense of optimism, sense of adventure and my innate sense of exploration. In regards to actual items - some form of money (cash, credit cards), clothing (including shoes) and an ID (whether driver's license or passport).

Are there any specific souvenirs or other things you collect from the places you go to?

I used to collect unique items relating to places I visited. But then about 8 years ago I realized I wasn't getting much satisfaction out of these things and I gave most of them away. Today I collect photographs, videos and memories of the places I've visited.

Tagged as: United States

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