A rock star is loosely defined as a person who is renowned or revered in his/her professional field or, in my opinion, just a kick-ass individual. Every Wednesday during the month of October, Global Lipstick (GL) will recognize travel rock stars we admire. In addition to these stars having to staple extra paper into their passports (not literally), they have made it their business to showcase different places from all corners of the world. Thousands of people have been exposed to different cultures and customs right in front of their computer screens. Others even began their own travel journeys thanks to these individuals.
Our first rock star salute goes to a man who has been living a travel-filled life for over a decade, Mr. Dave Levart founder of Dave’s Travel Corner.
For those that don’t know Dave, he is an international travel writer who started his online travel community in 1996. His site has grown from a blog to showcasing videos, photography, book and product reviews. His resume is impressive but interviewing with him was even more so.
GL: What is your philosophy on travel?
DL: I have several. Seek out experiences rather than things. Experiences create memories – things create clutter. About 10 years ago I inventoried everything I owned and gave away many things that I had no use for. It was a freeing experience at the time and I’ve tried to maintain a minimalistic approach to “things” since then.
DIWYC – or Do it while you can. Don’t wait – there are always excuses that can get in the way. Or perhaps later in life you won’t be able to because of health issues. Don’t wait until it is too late. I travel for a variety of reasons including to meet people, experience cultural and outdoor activities, experience both urban and rural environments (I am quite comfortable in both) and to try various cuisines from around the world. In part, my travel philosophy is to remain curious and be open to trying new experiences.
GL: What is one of your “must-haves” when you travel?
DL: My camera is a critical “must-have” on my trips – it plays an integral part of documenting who I have met, where I have gone and its photos are a reminder of my travel experiences. Not only is it valuable in these regards, but photography is a critical component of my website.
GL: Who would play Dave in the movie about your life? Why them?
DL: I would choose an actor most people have not heard of – Neil Mandt. He starred in and produced a movie several years ago called “Last Stop for Paul” – somewhat of an indie movie that focused on in the moment travel experiences documenting he and a friend’s travels around parts of the world including Thailand and India.
GL: Tell us about your Napa Valley Wine Project (we loooooove wine). Why do you believe that it’s valuable?
DL: My mission with the Napa Wine Project is to visit with, taste with and write about every winery and producer in the Napa Valley. I have a list of more than 1000 of them and to date I have visited and written about nearly 760 over the past eight years. I usually meet with the owner or winemaker and write about their history, any unique stories, take tasting notes and focus on anything as it relates to their particular winery or brand. This is a personal project based on my passion for wine. My intent is to promote the Napa Valley from both a personal as well as a winery perspective; as a result, the site has become a valuable resource for both consumers and trade.
GL: How have your friends in the Napa Valley been affected by the earthquake that hit in August?
DL: It seems most of the damage was in and near downtown Napa – including a number of wineries that would stack the barrels five and six tall. A number of smaller producers lost quite a bit of wine when these barrels came crashing to the floor inside the wineries. The city of Napa has a large number of historic buildings and fair amount of these sustained both structural and cosmetic damage. The saving grace of this earthquake was that it happened at 320am.
Napa is a very tight and resilient community where neighbors help neighbors. Those wineries that were affected with loss of product will pull through and come back stronger than ever.
GL: If you discovered new, unsettled land on earth, what would you call it? Give a brief description.
DL: I would name it ‘ultimam partem‘ which is Latin for the “final piece” and it would be government free. Rather, it would be managed like a National Park allowing visitors to come and go but not live here – the demand and the number of visitors would certainly depend on its visual resources, ease of access and its size – among other factors.
GL: What would you like your legacy to be?
DL: I would like it to reflect as one who remained curious his entire life, continued to explore in his later years and created a travel website during the early stages of the Internet which continued to grow over the years – and was a lifetime resource of useful information for those who enjoy traveling or read about traveling. And for the site to remain online and grow well after I am gone. And to have had some impact on promoting the Napa Valley and its wineries.