You must have come across ThePlanetD.com at some point when searching for inspiration for travelling and adventure.
Dave and Deb are extraordinary examples of a great lifestyle. A life of adventure, a life of learning and setting an example by doing.
I, for one, am following them for a long time now and most of the times, when I read their stories, I find myself dreaming of such great experiences. I hope at some point in my life I have the opportunity to try a part of the great adventures I read about on their site.
It is a great honor to have had the opportunity to interview these beautiful people that over time turned into heroes….
The Planet D inspires adventure in everyone. Dave & Deb are one of travel’s most passionate storytellers; exploring the world one experience at a time. Married for over 15 years, they travel the globe showcasing their real-time journey and broadcasting their stories through professional travel writing, photography, video and engaging social media. As spokespeople and international ambassadors, The Planet D have had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top companies and brands – while discovering more than 80 countries on all seven continents. Dave & Deb aim to inspire people to follow their dreams and push their boundaries and have spoken around the world about pursuing passion and what it takes to make it happen.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself and how you found your passion for travel.
Hi everyone, we’re Dave and Deb of ThePlanetD.com We met way back in college, 1991 and have been inseparable ever since. It was while working in the film business that we developed a passion for travel. We were freelancers on the production side of things. Dave was a rigging gaffer (meaning he was in charge of lighting) and Deb was a make-up artist. Between movies and projects we would go travelling. We worked very long hours in the film business and didn’t see a lot of each other when we were home. So whenever we left to travel, we had a chance to reconnect and spend time together. We soon found that we were happier on the road than at home working at our careers and decided to start looking for a way to make it a career that we could do together.
2. What was the trigger that made you start The Planed D?
It was in 2008 that we left for Africa to take part in a cycling race from Cairo to Cape Town. We wanted to pitch a TV show about our travels and knew that we would have to stand out from the crowd for anyone to notice. A 12,000 km cycling race was definitely epic. For that race, the organizers encouraged all participants to start a blog so that people could follow along. So we started one. When we came home, our TV show didn’t pan out and we started to look for other ways to keep traveling. That’s when we started researching travel blogging. We already had a blog and we already had a lot of adventures to write about so we decided to pursue that path. We took some writing courses, photography workshops and researched everything that we could. We worked on building our brand and readership and a year after returning from Africa, we hit the road again to start our new life as Travel Bloggers.
3. Can you give us a little insight on why “Adventure is for Everyone”?
We always had a love for adventure but we never thought that we could qualify to be adventure travellers. We thought that we had to have a lifetime of experience. We needed to be those adventurers who trek to the North Pole or climb Mount Everest and at that time we thought it was too late for us. But we realized that the people who trek to the North Pole or climb Everest had to start somewhere. Adventure is what you make it and by taking baby steps, you can eventually get to where you want to be no matter what your age or experience. We are now those people who do epic treks, but we never forget our first adventures that brought us to this place. Hiking through the jungle in Thailand for the first time was a huge adventure for us. Going sea kayaking or just figuring out our way through a market in India or the Medina in Marrakech was an adventure. You don’t have to run across deserts or traverse across a continent to have an adventure. You can find adventures right in your own backyard. If people push themselves out of their comfort zone just a little, they can turn their lives into one big adventure and those adventures will grow over time.
4. Your story is such an inspiration. What was the most amazing place that you have been to?
There are so many amazing places in the world it’s difficult to choose one. We’ve been fortunate enough to explore all 7 continents and of course the most impressive place to mention is Antarctica it is truly spectacular. Curious penguins walk right up to you to try to figure out what you are, while kayaking whales surface for a closer look and while camping on the continent we slept only about 20 metres from a snoring leopard seal.
5. Can one earn a living through travelling and blogging about it, and how hard is it?
Yes you can. Like anything, if you really want to make it happen and you are willing to work hard and stick with it, you can make a career out of travel blogging. It takes time and you should have a plan on how you want to make a living out of your blog. Do you want to be a video blogger, write for others, do motivational speaking, a spokesperson or ambassador? There are many ways to make travel blogging work but you have to have a clear vision of what you want and what your niche is. But if you decide to go into it and put in the work and effort, you will be rewarded with the best job in the world.
6. What was the most challenging environment that you have faced and what gear did you have at hand to cope with it?
Definitely our latest adventure to The Missinaibi Headwaters in northern Ontario, Canada. The temperatures reached below -30 and we were outside trekking 100km in an isolated location on the Arctic watershed. We had to set up camp each night, by cutting down cedars for firewood, stripping spruce trees for their boughs that we could sleep on them and chip through ice in the lake for our drinking water. It was difficult trekking in freezing temperatures while pulling fully loaded sleds. The beauty of using sleds to carry your gear though is that you can carry all the gear you need. We had the proper clothing by layering our base, mid and outer waterproof layers and we had parkas for whenever we were sitting still. We had a large canvas tent for our expedition team of 7 to sleep in that was heated by a wood stove that we carried and we had axes, saws, and ice chipper and showshoes. There is no trekking in northern Ontario without snowshoes, you’ll go into the snow up to your hips otherwise.
7. I love your “Adrenaline Junkie” section on the site. What was the highest point that you achieved and would you recommend it to regular folks?
Well, Mount Everest Base Camp took longer to climb, but it is a few meters short of the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. So, Kili takes the win! The great thing about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is anyone can do it if they are reasonably fit. It takes six days to climb and you don’t need any technical skills. Just drink plenty of liquids, take your time and you have a good chance of making it to the summit.
8. Give us 5 tips on how to make the most of a polar adventure and what gear should we carry along.
Ah, that is a whole article unto itself. But here are a few tips.
- Hire a guide or an expedition company. We went to Antarctica and Greenland with Quark Expeditions and they took great care of us. For Ontario, we used Lure of the North as they were experienced in winter camping and traditional trekking. If you don’t know what you are doing, don’t go alone. When you are up North you are completely isolated, there’s nothing nearby to duck into if you get in a jam.
- Sign up for the extra activities. In Antarctica and The Arctic we kayaked and it was the most amazing way to explore both areas. Weather permitting you can kayak every day of a 14 day expedition and we nearly did.
- Take care of your camera gear. Batteries go dead quickly in the cold so keep them close to your body at all times. When we’re outside for a really long time, we take the batteries out and put them in our inside pockets until we use them. Also, take care of moisture. When going indoors after extremely cold temperatures, you need to let your camera warm up slowly. Put it in a large ziplock bag so that condensation doesn’t build up inside the camera. Once the camera warms up, you can take it out. In Antarctica we saw more than one persons camera die.
- Don’t pack too much. A couple of base layers, a mid layer and your outerlayers are all you need besides a parka. You aren’t expected to dress up on the ship. You’ll find that you will end up wearing the same clothes over and over so a change of pants or two and a couple of tops are all you need besides your warm weather gear.
- Get waterproof boots – When your feet are warm, you are happy. When they are cold, even if everything else is fine you are miserable. Invest in a good set of boots because if you are hiking or getting in and out of a zodiac, your feet will get wet.
As far as gear, it depends on what type of trek you are doing. If you are going on an expedition with a company like Quark, you will only need to bring your warm clothes. They even supply a parka and waterproof boots! If you are going on a supported trip, you are going to need to bring everything you need to survive and back ups in case anything should happen.
9. What are your plans for 2014?
2014 is really exciting. We just returned from some R&R in Queenland Australia after our epic winter adventures in Canada and we head to Oregon next week. We then pop over to Ireland to explore their new Wild Atlantic Way. It’s the longest coastal route in the world and it just opened this year. But the big adventures happen in the summer where we come back to our home province in Canada and take on more epic adventures in Ontario. We’re getting our motorcycle license and documenting our training and practice rides all the way up to our epic ride where we will be circumnavigating Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world and one of the top rides in Canada. This summer we are also giving people the chance to travel with us! We’re taking four people on a tour of Manitoulin Island, the largest fresh water island in the world where we are going to explore the Great Spirit Trail. It’s exciting because we are going to be doing some amazing adventures while being immersed in Aboriginal culture. You can find out how to enter at our blog here. We’re guest appearing on a TV show where we are going to learn how to fly fish, we’re going on a huge paddling expedition to the Slate Islands where we’ll be spying on Caribou and we’re ending the summer with a 60km hike on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It’s going to be a blast to show off our home to the world.
10. A message to your readers and fans.
The message that we’d like to leave everyone is that if you want to have a fulfilled life you can. We’re living proof. If we can do it anyone can. We spent years thinking that only other people could have good luck or live extraordinary lives and then we decided to take charge of our destiny. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment, but when you find what you love it really doesn’t feel like work. We never understood that phrase until it finally happened to us. We were already established in our careers and weren’t exactly young when we decided to pursue a life of travel, but I am so glad we never settled. We could have easily said it’s too late and we should just start planning for retirement. But instead, we kept dreaming and kept searching until we finally found what we were looking for.
Thanks again Dave and Deb, and maybe at some point in your travels we will actually meet and share a great adventure…Until then I am following you with interest for getting my dose of inspiration and adrenaline.
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