Storytellers Dave and Deb | ThePlanetD.com

We’re proud to share our interview with  Dave and Deb, an adventure couple who live by the motto “Adventure is for Everyone.” Over the past 8 years, they have made it their mission to inspire people to step out of their comfort zones and prove that people don’t have to be uber-athletes, adrenaline junkie or part of the ultra rich to be adventurers. Follow their adventures on ThePlanetD.com!

Dave & Deb
Dave & Deb

Tell us a bit about yourself! Why do you love travel? How do you think travel unites us or teaches us more about the world?

Hey everyone, we’re Dave and Deb of ThePlanetD. We met in 1991 at college and set off to work in the Canadian film industry behind the scenes. Deb worked as a make-up artist on different Canadian networks and Dave was a Rigging Gaffer and worked on blockbusters like X-Men, Incredible Hulk, and Scott Pilgrim vs the World. After working in the Vancouver and Toronto film scene for more than a decade, we felt that our lives were stale. We never saw each other, we worked long hours and never had any hobbies. It was a trip to Thailand that changed our lives.

We spent 5-weeks traveling the country in 2000. We realized that there was more to life than just working every day and going from one project to another. During that 5-weeks, we reconnected in our relationship, we stepped out of our comfort zone and tried new things like rock climbing, sea kayaking and hiking through the jungle. This was a whole new world for us and when we came back to Canada, we decided to change our lives.

Dave and Deb at the Everest base camp
Dave and Deb at the Everest base camp

Instead of only focusing on work, we focused on making our lives at home richer. We joined a rock climbing gym, took up mountain biking, learned to scuba dive and made a life list of everything we ever wanted to do. It’s what today is called a bucket list. Haha.

For the next seven years, we split our time between travel and work and found that we became more successful and well rounded in both our lives and careers. We seemed to be more interesting to people and opportunities always came up. I have always felt that if you open your life to new possibilities, new opportunities will come up. And that’s what happened. The more we travelled, the more our lives became richer.

Finally in 2007 we decided to take the plunge and work towards traveling full time and made that happen in 2009. We’ve been travel blogging full time ever since. We love sharing our stories to inspire others to live a fuller life.

Travel is the best education. It helps you understand and accept other cultures and traditions, it breaks down barriers and helps you learn about yourself. We truly believe travel makes you a better person.

Can you tell us something about the culture in your country and why did you decided to stay there? 

We are proud Canadians. I think in our lives, we’ve watched Canada grow. Growing up, Canada was always in the shadow of the United States. Movie stars would move to America and never even admit they were Canadian. Now Canadians embrace their identity and are proud to let people know they are from the North.

Being location independent, we could live anywhere in the world, but we will probably always live here. We love the values our country has. We love the multiculturalism of Canada. We love that we’re a bit quirky and feel comfortable here. We love traveling the world, but no country makes us feel as happy as we are when in Canada. It’s home and always will be.

What surprising aspect of culture do you love about your country (or your specific town/city) that travelers may not be aware of?

Our hometown of Toronto is one of the most culturally diverse cities on earth with more than 200 different ethnic groups living in the city and 140 different languages spoken.

Toronto
Toronto

Which dish do you feel best represents where you’re specifically from? Share a picture and tell us why you love it!

The Bloody Caesar cocktail. Most people would say poutine as being distinctly Canadian, but I choose the Caesar because no other place in the world makes this cocktail. It’s a lot like America’s bloody Mary, but we use Clamato juice which is a mixture of clam and tomato juice.

Dave and a bloody caesar
Dave and a bloody caesar

Growing up in your country, what’s something that you believe makes it unlike anywhere else in the world? 

There is so much that makes Canada unique, but number one has to be our obsession with hockey. We don’t care too much how we do in other sports, but when it comes to hockey, we are devastated if we lose Olympic Gold, World Hockey, World Junior Hockey Championships and of course the Stanley Cup which always goes to American teams, but they are all filled with Canadian players.

We’ve all adopted the same sayings from coast to coast. Like our silly sayings. We call our dollar coins loonies, our two dollar coins toonies. We all know how to order a large coffee at Time Hortons as a large double double or a medium regular.

We really are that nice when it comes to manners. All Canadians do apologize over the silliest things. We constantly say Sorry. If someone bumps into me, I end up saying, sorry. And everyone says eh. I love that word.

How important is spirituality and religion in your daily life? What do you do to celebrate the two? 

I don’t believe in organized religion but I am spiritual. I think that if there was one Divine Being, he/she would tell the world to stop separating their beliefs and instead just try to be good to each other. I don’t believe in worshipping something that we know nothing about, but I do believe in living a life that helps the world.

However, I am always fascinated with learning about other religions and understanding the beliefs of the destination I am visiting. I don’t judge that other people follow a particular religion and I don’t claim to know what is wrong or right. It is important for everyone to follow what is right for them. I personally just don’t participate in a particular religion.  

Share about a custom/tradition you observe. What makes it special?

I don’t have a custom or tradition. I think my traditions are anti-traditional

Art and dance can tell a deeper story about local culture. Tell us the story of a specific artwork or dance that has a meaning for you. Share a photo, if you can. (It can be anything from street art to a festival to a painting to architecture to woven art work, to woodworking, a family heirloom, etc.)  

We love participating in festivals, checking out performances and buying local art. It does bring you closer to understanding the culture.

Since I have talked so much about Canada in this interview, I am going to focus on the Voice of the drum by the First Nations People of Manitoulin Island.

First Nations, Canada
First Nations, Canada

We loved learning of the music and dance of the Anishinabek People. Music and dance was their way of passing down stories and legends. The drum is the heartbeat of First Nations and is also used for celebrations and prayer.

Languages not only give us the power to communicate, but also can unite us across cultures. What’s something you love about the multitude of languages spoken in your country? Share a favorite saying you have, or teach us something in your native language. 

Well, in Canada we speak English and French. The most distinct saying in Canada is eh. It is used for anything. You put it at the end of a sentence to make it a question or to seek agreement For example. It’s a nice day out today eh? Or Game of Thrones is a great show eh?

What local spot in your city/town do you love most? Why is it personally important to you? 

Sadly, we’ve been on the road so long, we’re out of touch with a lot of Toronto. It’s changed a lot in the last few years. But we have always loved C’est What in the St. Lawrence Market area of Toronto. It’s changed over the years, but we’ve been back recently and it still has a cool vibe.

Who is the most inspiring person in your life? In which ways does this person inspire you? 

My husband Dave is the most inspiring person in my life. He always inspires me to try new things and stay positive. He lives life the way I want to. My dad also inspires me on how he is 76 years old, but he is up every day going for a run, he’s a vegan and he’s the most healthy person I know.

Have you ever met a stranger during your travels who made an impact on your life in a certain way, or maybe it was you who helped someone else? Share the story! 

There are so many people that have impacted our travels. One that stands out is Ajith in Sri Lanka. He was the first tuk tuk driver we hired in Hikkaduwa and we ended up hiring him wherever we went for the next few weeks. We got to know him so well, we met his family had dinner at his house and we went to two different charities with him. The most impactful was a jungle school where he had spent the past several months raising funds to buy every child in the school new shoes. We went with Ajith to the school on the day he presented the children their new shoes. That was quite moving.

Unfortunately, stereotypes exist in the world. What are some common misconceptions you’ve heard about your country? What is considered disrespectful in your culture that visitors should be aware of? 

There are so many. We live in igloos, we only eat bacon and maple syrup, it’s cold all year long (we actually have really hot summers) We say aboot . We don’t say aboot! We say it more like aboat.

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