On the Road with Duane Perera

by Alicia Taggio

One year ago, Edmonton boy Duane gave up everything to travel around the world and do some of the things that he’s always wanted to do. Since Coca Cola is so easy to find anywhere in the world, he thought it would be a fun idea to drink a Coca Cola in each country that he visited and made it into a video montage. I love this piece and am slightly (ok insanely) jealous of all the amazing things he was able to experience around the world. If this doesn’t inspire you to see the world, I don’t know what will:

After returning from his round the world adventure, I sat down with Duane to talk about his experience and what places left the biggest impressions on him:

You mentioned that you dropped everything to travel the world for a year and get a new perspective on things. Now that it’s all said and done, how do you feel?

I feel like a new person – this trip was one of the most valuable educational experiences of my life! While on the road, I learned so much about world culture, history, geography, and politics. I picked up bits and pieces of several different languages, and met so many incredible people from around the world. Plus, having one year away from the stresses of the ‘real world’ gave me a lot of time to reflect on my life – many important lessons learned!

What was the biggest lesson you learned from being on the road?

I learned the importance of being flexible and going with the flow of things. Sometimes unexpected events happen that force you to change your plans… don’t let that weigh you down, look for the positive aspects of the situation.

What place surprised you the most?

I was pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the people I met in Cambodia. They went out of their way to make me feel at home. In fact, I met one taxi driver who invited me over to his house to have a home-cooked meal with his family. We ended up going out for karaoke together afterwards too. 🙂

What place do you wish you could go back to explore more of?

South America – I was only able to visit Peru and Argentina on this trip. I’d love to do more backpacking in some other South American countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and Colombia for example.

What are your Top 3 Must-Have’s on the Road?

Swiss Army Knife – great for opening cans/bottles/etc., a small lock – important for securing valuables if you’re staying in hostels, and a wi-fi device like a smartphone or small laptop – I used this to book all my flights and hostels, and to do research while I was traveling (most hostels have wi-fi connections these days).

If you could offer one tip for someone about to embark on a round the world trip, what would it be?

Take time to talk with local people and fellow travellers in the countries you visit. There’s a good chance that you will learn a lot from them!
To follow more of Duane’s Adventures, join his Facebook fan page Reset Live Grow or follow him on Twitter. I love his whole approach to RESET (your approach to life) LIVE (each day to the fullest) and GROW (into a bigger, more fulfilled person). Thanks for sharing Duane!