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Dave Bouskill & Deb Corbeil have made a startling transformation from regular mild-mannered Canadians to the country’s most hopeless addicts.
The sheer quantity of adrenaline that these two have administered to themselves makes me wonder how they are even still standing. Just reading their website The Planet D will give you a contact-high. The two of them consistently inspire me to chase that adventure dragon to all corners of the world.
Now Dave & Deb, I know this subject may be difficult to talk about. But you’re amongst friends here. Nothing that you say today will ever leave this room.
Share your darkest secrets with us, and let the healing begin…
When did you shoot-up with your first dose of wanderlust?
“It was in 2000 when we first took a 5-week trip to Thailand. We were originally going to take a two week trip to Mexico, but then a friend of mine suggested Thailand. She showed us pictures of her $5 beach bungalow on the most beautiful beaches we had ever seen. She told us that it would change our lives and that we really have to go and see it for ourselves. She mapped out where we should go, where we should stay and what we should eat. This was over a decade ago, so we didn’t know the first thing about Thailand. We had barely been out of Canada before except for all inclusive resorts and a trip to Europe to visit my sister. This was a huge step for us, but it changed our lives.
We tried things we had never done before like rock climbing, kayaking through mangrove forests, walking through jungles, swimming in waterfalls and seeing wild monkeys for the first time. This made us want to travel more. ”
What made you run away from home?
“We were working too hard & stuck in a rut when we went on that first trip to Thailand. We wanted a break from life and needed more than the average two week vacation. Five weeks really can change your perspective on life. After that, we planned a big getaway every year. Lucky for us, we worked in the film business on a freelance basis, so we could travel during the winter and work during the summer. We ended up taking months off at a time each winter for several years.
Soon we felt more comfortable on the road than when we were home so we started to look for ways to make travel our careers. We loved being together full time and we loved exploring the world. We looked into being dive masters, leading cycling tours, teaching English and even opening a beach bar. We really were open to do anything as long as it involved travel. It was in 2008, that we finally came up with the plan of being ‘Canada’s Adventure Couple’ and going around the world to show people that ordinary people can live extraordinary lives.”
How did your family & friends respond to your unconventional lifestyle?
“Because we had travelled for so long before taking the plunge into full time travel, everyone expected it. Over the years we became more well known for our travels rather than our careers. Whenever we came back from an epic journey, people at work asked us where we were off to next. We became known to our friends and colleagues as that traveling couple. People would never ask, ‘What movie are you doing next?’ When a project ended, instead they would ask ‘Where are you going next?’
Our families were completely ready for us to give up our jobs and apartment to travel because they saw how passionate we were about it for years. Now everyone is used to us being away from home and they love what we do.”
Has your travel addiction changed you?
“We are far more active than we ever used to be. Before travel, we worked hard, went to the movies, had a gym membership that we never used and shopped or went to the bar for fun. Travel brought adventure into our lives. Before when we went on an all inclusive vacation, all we did was sit around the pool and sip fancy drinks with umbrellas on them.
After Thailand, we started looking for anything that was active and exciting. We didn’t know that you could do these amazing things around the world like cycling a continent, climb mountains, drive cars 1/3 of the way around the planet or take yoga & muay thai boxing programs. It never crossed our minds. All we thought travel was about was going to museums, eating a dinner out and basking in the sun.
Now we’ll try anything. We are just far more open to everything. We love diving into the culture, pushing ourselves to the limits and trying something new. I think we used to be boring, our choices in travel made us more interesting people.”
What’s your seediest travel vice?
“Would Starbucks and McDonalds count? Yes, we go to them both for the free wifi and the air conditioning and yes, we even like the food. When I’ve had enough of eating rice or beans, there is nothing more satisfying than a Big Mac followed by a hot fudge sundae.”
Can you tell me about your biggest travel regret?
“I wish we went to Komodo when we were in Bali. We had been traveling for a long time at that point and we only made it as far as Lombok when traveling Indonesia. We should have done a Visa Run and stayed longer to see the Komodo dragons, but we were just too lazy and burnt out. Instead we flew back to Thailand after a month and hung out somewhere familiar for a few weeks instead of exploring more. Now we definitely have to go back to Indonesia.”
How do you fund your addiction? Armed robberies? Prostitution? Stealing copper wire?
“We have been fortunate to secure sponsorship & form partnerships through our travel blog. We also offer advertising and we write for other publications as well.”
Have you ever overdosed?
“Oh yes. It happens a lot when you travel full time (at least for us). We know when we are getting edgy and need to take a break from travel. We are lucky to have a good support system at home so we can go back to Canada and recharge. We love our lifestyle choice, but like everything in life, you have to have moderation. This year alone we’ve been to 5 continents and over a dozen countries fulfilling various commitments and it is only half way through the year. I don’t think anyone can do that without getting burnt out. But, we have each other for support and we are now visiting my parents for a few weeks and enjoying the down time.
When we get overdosed, we are aware of it and know when it is time to slow down. Be it settling in at a beach for a few weeks or heading home to Canada, it is important to keep it fun and exciting. When travel becomes a chore, that’s when it’s time to stop for a bit. We want to experience everything when we are travelling. You’d be amazed just how awe-struck we are all the time. We still love doing the touristy things and get excited when we see a famous monument. We have yet to reach that point where we are too cool for school and I hope that we never do.”
Do you find it hard relating to normal people who are clean & sober?
“Haha, luckily we got the need to share our travel photos and stories out of our system years ago. When we first travelled in 2000-2004 we made it all about us. We’d make our friends and families sit through our videos and slide shows and bored them to tears. Now we don’t put them through that. If they want to know what we’re up to they can read about it on our blog.
So to answer the question, we don’t have a hard time at all. We love talking about movies and sports and what’s going on in the world outside of travel. We talk travel for hours a day online, the last thing we want to do is talk about it with our family and friends.”
Has your addiction got you into any trouble?
“We’ve been really lucky in our travels (knock on wood) and have been free and clear of any troubles so far. Other than a few illnesses we’ve been a pair of lucky travelers.”
If someone wanted to get a little taste of your addiction, which of your blog posts do you recommend they check out?
I decided to share posts that explain why we travel. We could show you our favourite photo stories from Antarctica or Jordan, but we thought we’d give you a taste of why we are addicted instead of pretty images.”
Do you ever think you’ll be able to kick the habit?
“No, I don’t think we’ll ever kick the habit. We love to travel and it will always be a part of our lives. I think that we will take things slower in the future and travel in a different way. I’m sure as we get older, train travel will be more appealing and we will choose more relaxing destinations, but it is a part of who we are.
We couldn’t imagine a life without exploring the world, meeting new people and discovering new destinations. It’s an amazing gift to be able to travel and we are grateful everyday.”
How do we find you to stage an intervention?
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Dave & Deb. I sincerely hope your powerful story can help others
surrender to recover from this awesome devastating addiction. :|