Four years ago I began Davidsbeenhere.com- my baby, my life! Like most young entrepreneurs, I had high hopes and aspirations about where my love of travel would take me and how far it would go. Four years later, in April of 2012, I truly began to appreciate all that I had done and everywhere I had been. I began a company one year before a crippling economic crisis hit the United States. In a nutshell: there have been some less-than favorable times for Davidsbeenhere.com. Thankfully, with perseverance and a travel bug that doesn’t seem to die, I’m still packing my bags and heading to the airport every couple of months.
Here is a video I made for all my fans:
The four truths of these last four years:
You meet a lot of people in my line of work, A LOT! Restaurant and hotel owners, tourism board staff, fellow travel vloggers, and the list goes on. Forty-four countries and 550+ cities have shown me that people have more in common than some of us may like to believe.
A vegetable grower in an African market is no different from the Maltese millionaire five-star hotel owner. It is important to treat everyone you encounter with respect. I believe that what kindness is shown to you is in direct proportion to the kindness that you put out there first. I’m not saying that you have to be a tree hugging push-over, but if you’re thinking about traveling you must be respectful of other peoples’ cultures, customs, and personalities.
2. Double Check and Check Again
You know that sickening feeling you get when you are standing in line at the airport and you’re missing something? Or worse, you’ve arrived at your destination and your camera doesn’t work. It’s the universe’s (painful) way of letting you know that you should always have a backup plan. It’s happened to all of us. My camera lens wouldn’t open while I was in El Salvador, my laptop was stolen in Morocco and I have actually booked flights back home for the wrong dates.
Another frightening scenario would be if someone purposely put something illegal in your bag. That is why (and I’m just repeating your mother’s advice right now) you should always keep a close eye on your personal items, especially in airports
3. Pace Yourself
Some people go to Rome for 3 days, then head off to Paris for 4. This is completely the opposite of what I do and something I would never recommend to a beginner or seasoned traveler.
Yes, the big cities of Europe are incredible, but there is so much more out there than that! If your time (and budget) allows, take as many day trips as possible. Buy a map and rent a car, or hop on a train. It’s important to experience other parts of a country, not just major cities.
Are agricultural tourism and wine tourism.
It’s becoming the norm for travelers to visit smaller, rural towns that exist beyond the bustling cities. Plus, the smaller, lesser-known towns are unquestionably cheaper to sleep and eat in. But, however you decide to travel remember to pace yourself. I get really excited for every trip, but I have realized that a 20-day trip is more fulfilling than a 60-day one.
4. Think Big
This may be the most valuable realization I have had since beginning my company.
Thinking big is not about how many guides I sell or places I visit, it’s a mentality.
Thinking in the long-term has helped me prioritize my work and family life, budget my finances better and keep my long-time goals in sight. I never set out to do this temporarily. I began to travel because I love sharing travel advice with other travel lovers. If you’re long-term goals are crystal clear and you have a passion as strong as mine, your business is already halfway there to being successful.
I hope these learned lessons give at least a shred of hope or advice to anybody who has ever tried to start their own business or master the art of traveling. Now, let’s see what lessons the next four years bring..
I would like to give a very special thanks to my sponsor, ScotteVest Travel Clothing.