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Wanderlust and the man - the longest way home interview

Always wondered what life would be like somewhere else? Got that un-scratchable itch or just longing for something better?

Dave ... is one of those people but instead of sitting and wondering forever he’s got up and left where he grew up in search of a place to call home. He keeps a record of his journey online at thelongestwayhome.com.

All images courtesy of thelongestwayhome.com

Into the Wild: What made you decide to go travelling?

Dave: Lifelong dream/need since a child. Well, nearly. It ended up being that way as travel really is the only answer to finding a place to live somewhere in the world. 

Into the Wild: Do you never want to return to where you started?

Dave: No. Though I know the world changes, when one grows up knowing what you want there is nothing else other than accomplishing the dream.

Into the Wild: How long have you been travelling for so far?

Dave: Coming up to 8 years of no return travel. That's not including previous journeys. 

Into the Wild: What has been your favourite place to visit?

Dave: Pretty much hands down has to go to Nepal. Though recent changes make it hard it's still an incredible place unlike any other I've visited.

Into the Wild: Do you always go to new places or re-visit countries you’ve enjoyed?

Dave: Nepal is about the only country I've purposely revisited other than Morocco. Nepal's a little different as my revisit is very much to accomplish work projects here and to see what it would be like to live in my favourite country as opposed to just being a tourist.

Into the Wild: What inspired you to keep the online record of your trip – thelongestwayhome.com?

Dave: I wanted a place to transcribe my handwritten diary at first. Then as I was doing that I thought it would be a nice place to hang my favourite photos. From there I began writing up guides that I once wanted to read that no one wrote about. After that ... well the site pretty much kept growing and growing.

Into the Wild: Have you been working on your journey or are you managing to afford to continue a different way?

Dave: Yes. I worked in West Africa. And again in The Philippines before trying things out on my own which I'm endeavouring to do at the moment.

Into the Wild: What kind of places do you tend to stay in?

Dave: Depends on the location. But generally I'll opt for guesthouses as much as possible. After that hostels are fine but I aim for as much quiet as possible. When you've been travelling this long there are always people around so it's nice to get some quiet time whenever possible.

Into the Wild: How long do you spend in each place?

Dave: Again it depends. If I like a place I'll stick around. If not, I'll leave pretty quickly. If it's due to work then I'll stay for as long as it takes. At the moment I'm a bit of a one man lonely planet so it means sticking around some places I might not enjoy. But, I'll always try to find something good about a place.

Into the Wild: If you are always travelling, do you travel light?

Dave: Unfortunately not, though I wish I did. After 8 years I seem to be carrying more than ever. Between electronic equipment etc, and clothes I'm weighed down. One big backpack and one daypack which weigh far more than any airline needs to know.

Into the Wild: Is there anything of importance, whether sentimental or practical, that you always keep with you?

Dave: Aside from boring stuff like camera/laptop and hard drives I keep some photos of day one with some friends at the start of the journey. And there's a scarf that has been with me since the start too.

Into the Wild: Where are you at the moment?

Dave: Nepal.

Into the Wild: Is there anything you’ve found particularly challenging?

Dave: Getting some peace and quiet. You'd think travel could be a peaceful thing, but the reality is you are rarely ever alone! In terms of The Longest Way Home then the biggest challenge has been bureaucracy: visas, permits, residence, being able to live in a place is not as straight forward as many people would like to think. 

Into the Wild: Do you enjoy meeting new people in each new place?

Dave: By and large yes. Though I've grown somewhat immune to the typical questions of "where are you from" "how much" "give me money" and general hostel talk. Locals in the tourist industry are there for a reason. The real sunshine breaks through when you go off the proverbial beaten path. 

Into the Wild: Do you have a plan for where you’ll go next?

Dave: Plan? Yes. Destination? Several.  Just a matter of finishing things up here and choosing which one to go for next!

Into the Wild: Can you imagine ever settling in one place again?

Dave: Absolutely. Everyday. Wish I could find the place yesterday.

Into the Wild: Would you prefer to have had always had a place to call ‘home’ that you could go back to?

Dave: Certainly. As a child growing up it's what I thought about a lot. But never had. It's only naturally to want a place to call home. It's what I'm striving for right now.

Into the Wild: Do you have any advice for people who have similar travel ambitions?

Dave: Plan. Then plan in the 3rd perspective as if you were another person looking over the plan. You'll pick up many loose ends that way and get to your goal that bit quicker!

By Jenny Collins

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