Meet Dan

Smash Monotony - Meet Dan

What’s happening, people?

A huge thank you for checking out my all-new travel blog; Smash Monotony.

I’m currently working hard to get the ball rolling here and setting up what I can across my social channels so please do bare with me as I look to add new content over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, feel free to have a good look around the site – you know, get familiar – and check out my Start Here page for a couple of quick links to the very first posts that I make as and when I publish them.

As Smash Monotony picks up the pace, expect to see news, reviews and advice as I explore some of the most awesome places that our wonderful world has to offer. All of this along with tips, tricks and how-to’s on everything from setting up your own travel blog to writing about your first trip, plus a whole load of useful resources, and much, much more.

I want to show how YOU too could live a similar lifestyle, based on the knowledge that I have gained over the years, with an honest, unadulterated and entertaining account of my experiences along the way.

Cool story, bro. Tell me more…

Sweet, so… I’m Dan, 29, born in London and raised in the southeast of the UK; a stone’s throw from the mighty London Gatwick Airport – although, I’ve never actually tried throwing anything at the airport, obviously. That kind of tomfoolery would have got me grounded for at least two weeks.

Family holidays were a mixture of history, culture and tropical climates but each and every one was full of love and laughter. What more do you need, right?

My twenties were spent working hard to make a name for myself in the music industry as a DJ/Producer, and I am immensely proud to have toured internationally for the final five years of my career.

The touring lifestyle really took a hold and, like many travel bloggers, sparked an incurable wanderlust within me to see, do and experience as much as I possibly could. After all, the usual run of play would be something along the lines of airport > hotel > club > hotel > airport. Not much room left in the itinerary as you can see.

Where have I been so far?

As it stands, “Dan has lived in 3 countries and traveled to 14 countries” according to my Internations profile, which I do try to keep up-to-date. Now, I know that’s probably nothing compared to a few of my fellow nomads but that does include living and working in Spain & Australia. I’ve visited Turkey and the USA – even touched down in Kazakhstan for a couple of days! I’ve also covered most of western Europe; France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland, on several trips to catch up with friends and sample the delights of the incredible cities that they call home.

But, it’s just not enough. I want more and I’m going to make it happen.

Where do I plan to go?

Now, there’s a question! I mean, how could you choose just a handful of places when there’s just so much to see and do around the world?

I am naturally drawn to far-flung, tropical locations. Places brimming with culture, adventure and excitement. That could potentially mean anywhere in the world but, from everything that I’ve read and seen online – believe me, I must have spent tens, if not, hundreds, of hours researching a potential route – east and southeast Asia, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia seem like the best places for me to smash my monotony.

My intention is to try and cover as much as possible but follow some sort of logical path that leads nicely down into Indonesia. From there, who knows? At least I’ll be in reach of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand to catch up with friends as and when the mood takes me.

I use the word “logical” fairly loosely right now. I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to finding the cheapest or most efficient way to get to some of these places, especially when I hit the likes of Palau, Lakshadweep or Christmas Island, for example. The route that I choose now is bound to evolve as I go along.

Check out my route map so far and let me know what you think. I’ll be updating this as I go along so dates are pretty inaccurate for the time being.
[nwm_map id=”2″]

How do I plan to make it happen?

As with many of you, my daydreams of travelling with world begun the exact same way, with the exact same question; how the actual F would I afford it?

Well, a culmination of things over the last few years – most of which I go into more detail with here (LINK) – have slowly started to take shape. These skills, both old and new, (LINK) will at least give me the option to adapt the work that I do to the location or situation that I’m in at the time.

The way I see it, my main income stream will initially be from scuba diving as a PADI Divemaster with a view to progress further to instructor level. I have been training and studying for most of 2015 and currently hold an Open Water Diver certification with a Dry Suit specialty. This will progress to Advanced Open Water Diver with four more specialties in December 2015. For me, it’s a win-win as I’ll not only be earning and supporting my travels but I’ll also be seeing some of the most amazing dive sites on the planet.

By trade, I’m a creative digital specialist covering everything from creative design (branding/logo design, social media banners and adverts, WordPress websites, social media management, blogging, you name it), to business development and account management. All of these transferable skills can be utilised while travelling in a freelance capacity and I’m pretty chuffed about that. I’ve got experience of building and working with an evolving client base online, so that’s nothing new.

While living in Melbourne, I took a course on the Responsible Service of Alcohol as part of my bar work there. Not only was this great fun but it just puts you in a slightly different mindset when serving and being around those who are drinking. Not to say that an Australian certification would necessarily be valid in other countries, but it definitely adds to my experience, as does my London-based bar work.

I’ve also completed my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course online with LoveTEFL. This, for me, will always be a bit of a contingency plan but it’s so good to know that it’s there for if and when I need it.

These are simply a few examples of things that I plan to do in order to fund my travels along the way. I’m sure you would agree, none of them are particularly out of reach for many of you. What’s to say that you can’t do them too?

But, that’s not all. I would like to already have some cash in the bank when I leave so that I can actually spend time enjoying the places that I’ve longed to see before getting straight into work. I’m yet to start saving but I’ve got some plans in mind to minimise my monthly expenses by as much as possible. Check out my post on what I did to plan my budget and cut costs here (LINK).

What’s made me want to blog about it all?

I’ve been motivated by the likes of Travel Dave, Nomadic Matt, Backpacker Banter & Legal Nomads, amongst others, to get this blog off the ground and go after what I really want in life. That is, to travel.

Don’t get me wrong… by nature, I’m a hardworking, stubborn determined type anyway and don’t doubt that I would give this a good go but I really respect what these guys do. I see them as a huge inspiration. If I can do anywhere near as good a job as them then I will be a happy nomad indeed. Be sure to check them out.

My passion for travel and my digital expertise fit together perfectly. Not only can Smash Monotony be a way for me to tell you lovely lot about my travels but also, to become a go-to resource for like-minded budget adventure travellers, scuba diving enthusiasts and digital nomads who seek location independence to see how they could supplement a similar lifestyle.

If the very least that I do is get that fire burning in your belly, inspiring you to try and do the same, then I’d like to think that I’d be on to a right winner!

And so, I invite you to join me. Watch Smash Monotony grow and follow me on my travels, every step of the way.

Smash the monotony of your lives and #GetTheFreeOut!

Follow me and get social on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more, below. Also, Smash Monotony is a responsive website – it works perfectly on mobiles and tablets – so be sure to bookmark it and add it to your home screens to come back to it later.

As I’m sure you can imagine, it takes a lot of time and effort to get this site up and running. I’m doing my very best to keep you lot intrigued with new posts each week all while travelling about on a pretty tight budget so, if you can spare a few quid to contribute to my coffee fund, then I’d be so grateful.

Cheers, dudes!