Welcome to my journey.
My name is Dustin Main and I'm an serial entrepreneur, digital nomad, photographer and perpetual world traveler. This site was started in late 2009 to serve as a way to document my 1 year, round-the-world trip. As of October 2012, it has been nearly 3 years...
Backing up... How it all started
During my childhood, I was fortunate to hike throughout western Canada and the western part of the USA. From day hikes to multi-day backcountry treks, it was how I spent my summers. Who knew that 20 years later, I would be doing it all the time around the world...
After working tirelessly to build two companies in my hometown of Saskatoon, I was able to take a short break to Waterton National Park in southern Alberta, Canada in late summer of 2007. It had been too long since I was able to enjoy the outdoors, and immediately after returning to the trailhead of the 17km Crypt Lake trail, I called my father, Dale, and told him we should climb the "Roof of Africa" Mt. Kilimanjaro as soon as possible.
So in June 2008, we did that, and its sister mountain, Mt Meru. I remember shortly after arriving in Tanzania, as were walking down a quite dirt road to a small village near Moshi, I was thinking to myself, "I could do this on my own"
Going back to Canada just wasn't the same after experiencing Africa, and by early 2009, I had begun planning my first round-the world trip. By December 2010, I had visited all seven continents.
Going around the world (again and again)
I started around the world in November 2009. Along the way, I've spent nearly 3 months in New Zealand before visiting Australia (& Tasmania). Next was Singapore, and then a month in each of Malaysia, jungle trekking in Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo), Sabah (Malaysian Borneo), Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand. I spent another month in Egypt (6 days of which I was in the hospital for a spleen & liver infection), before heading to Europe to recoup and visit friends. Here I visited the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Finland (reaching the Arctic Circle) before ending up in Sweden. To finish off 2010, I met Dale in Argentina and we sailed to Antarctica together as I reached my seventh continent.
2011 had me living in Buenos Aires and a small city in Sweden called Trollhattan before heading to the tiny Faroe Islands and Iceland. I visited Canada in the summer for conferences and road trips before heading back to Chiang Mai, Thailand to base myself and start another company called Too Many Adapters.
Short visits to Laos and Burma / Myanmar in early 2012 lead me to my current photographic project. Returning to Burma / Myanmar in March & April made me feel like the first time I began traveling the world, and the 45 days I spent there was just a taste. I rounded out my SE Asia leg in Kuala Lumpur before heading to the USA for a pair of conferences and a National Park road trip. During the next two months in Canada, I became the first Canadian to "Do It in a Dress" when I (along with my brother, Jeff, and father, Dale) hiked the 70km Berg Lake Trail in a schoolgirl dress to raise funds to enable girls in Sierra Leone to receive scholarships and stay in school.
In September 2012 I came to Catalonia (Spain) & Costa Brava for a conference and to work with the Costa Brava Tourism Board. Admittedly, I had no prior interest in the area, but after seeing photos of the rugged cliffs on the sea and the Pyrenees, I had to see it for myself.
The last part of 2012 has me finishing my photo project in Burma / Myanmar before photographing festivals in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 2013 has a return to New Zealand, partnerships in Europe in the spring, and a two-month, cross Canada tour before conferences and speaking engagements in the summer.
What is the site all about?
It is now a showcase for my photography and my unique stories I find as I continue on the journey around the globe. I absolutely love adventure, and it is what drives me everyday. I also want to make my readers think about how we travel, how to travel responsibly and the benefits of exploring our world.
Why Do I Do It?
I think of travel like being a kid again. When you are a child, there is something new and exciting everyday. Once you become an adult, most of us lose all the best parts of being young, that freedom to enjoy life. I want to live my life where my choices always include doing something amazing. If you don't seize the day today, when are you going to leave it until?
How Do I Afford to Travel?
Most people ask how I can afford to travel for so long.
- Traveling independently costs me much less than taking the average two week vacation. As time has gone by, I have tended to travel more slowly, spending a week or more in a single place before moving on. I have even begun basing myself in a single location for months at a time to balance my work and travel. I often stay with friends, Couchsurf, or stay in hostels, and I rarely stay in hotels.
- I manage a few companies as I travel including an IT company in Canada, and my most recent baby called Too Many Adapters. These pay most of my bills.
- I have sold or licensed some of my work & photography taken on my travels. I also consult about adventure travel, technology, and social media.
- I work with Tourism Boards and companies that I respect where my expenses are covered. I will always mention in a post when a trip or activity is sponsored.
- Skinny Backpacker is ad-free.
With a background in technology and consulting, it was a no-brainer to start the "Technology for Travelers" site called "Too Many Adapters" with my good friend and fellow digital nomad Dave Dean. Since launching in January 2012, we have worked with companies such as Dell, Nokia & Monster Cable.
After considering starting up my own NGO supporting young entrepreneurs in Cambodia, I found a great organization called One Girl based in Australia. Their mission is to support keeping girls in school in Sierra Leone, and women entrepreneurs in the country. In July 2012 I began working with them on their "Do It in a Dress" campaign as a "Do It in a Dress Champion." In August 2012, I hiked 70km through the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains in a schoolgirl dress (with my brother and father) to support the cause. See more on my Media page and my posts. We have even BIGGER plans for 2013.
How to Connect
You can connect with me on Twitter, Google + and my Facebook Fan page. Of course, you can leave a comment on the site (I love feedback). If you have something you would like to share privately, you can find my e-mail and a contact form on my Contact page.
Random Stats: (as of May 2013)
- Continents Visited: 7
- Countries Visited: 30
- Countries Lived in: 4 (Canada, Sweden, Thailand, Germany)
- Foreign Hospital Visits: 3
- Boats Vomited on: 1 (Drake Passage... come on!)
- Peaks climbed over 4000m: (Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Meru, Mt Kinabalu)
- Days on the road: ~1300