- Tell us about yourself and where we can find more about your travelling.
I run the website sharetraveler.com. I write about things like home exchange, ridesharing, peer-to-peer tours, and crowdsourced delivery. I don’t call it a blog because I don’t generally write about my personal travels except as they offer information or insights on sharing economy travel. I’m mainly reporting on peer to peer travel services and helping people leverage these for cheap and interesting experiences.
- How many countries have you visited and where would like to settle down at some point (I know you fall in love in so many places, but choose one and tell us why)?
I’ve been to 49 countries so far. I’m already pretty settled down in my home country of the U.S., but I could enjoy living just about anywhere for a while. On a recent trip to Stockholm I absolutely loved the relaxed lifestyle of that city, I think I could easily live there (when it’s not the dead of winter).
- What do you miss most, aside from your family, from home?
That depends on where I travel. In poorer countries I miss potable water. In parts of Asia I miss toilets with seats. And most places I miss my very comfy bed. But when I’m home I miss traveling!
- What is the most common misconception that people have about you during your traveling?
People think I’m adventurous. But I don’t do things that are particularly risky, it’s just that many people have a distorted perception of the risks of travel. They think things are dangerous that are actually safer than driving down the street in their home town.
- Where did you meet the friendliest people and how did you feel about being around them?
I haven’t found anywhere with unfriendly people yet, but I was struck by the local Chinese youth traveling in western China. They were overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming.
6. Funniest or most embarrassing travel moment?
The time I used a bathroom in a bar in Cambodia which had a bucket for flushing. You had to first run water into the bucket and somehow I managed to pull the hose off the faucet causing water to spray everywhere, including on me. I couldn’t turn it off and was on the verge of flooding the entire bathroom before I got the water under control. It took me a good 5 minutes to stop laughing and explain to my friend why I was soaked when I returned to the bar.
7. What has been the most under-rated country/place you have been to and why? Most overrated country/place?
Underrated: Warsaw. I was really impressed with the food and art/culture.
Overrated: Las Vegas. I don’t like gambling and I think the shows are seriously overpriced. I find very little to enjoy in the city, although the nature just a short drive outside of town is seriously underrated.
8. Tell us about a favourite dish from the world and one from your country that everybody should try.
I really loved the Chendol (or Chendul) in Malaysia. It looks pretty odd, but it’s a sweet and refreshing bowl of coconut milk, shaved ice, red beans and rice noodles, among other ingredients.
I think the U.S. mostly appropriates food from other cultures and doesn’t really have specific native food dishes that I would recommend. There are a lot of innovative chefs here, and many amazing restaurants, but I can’t think of a specific dish people need to try. Perhaps Texas BBQ if you like meat and are in Texas.
9. Do you have a favourite name from the world and what does it mean?
I love that my name has meaning in every country around the world. As long as I can explain the concept of sunrise to people, they can translate my name into their native language. It’s super popular in China, where I’ve met both men and women with “Dawn” somewhere in their name.
10. One thing you don’t like about other travelers or traveling?
In general travelers are a really fun and interesting bunch. But I do occasionally run into people who go to other countries acting entitled and superior to the locals.