Dom Rand is a professional videographer and photographer, who has been on the road for the last three years exploring new countries and cultures with his fiancé Jessica. We chat to Dom about his adventures and life on the road..
What are the three things you never travel without?
1. My fiancé Jess! We met in Thailand 2 years ago and we have been inseparable ever since!
2. A camera/drone
3. My drivers licence/passport
What has been your most eye-opening travel experience?
This is a hard one! I have traveled a lot of countries and experienced a lot of different cultures, but the one thing that I will always remember is that sometimes the people with nothing are some of the kindest, most loving and happiest people in the world.
What is it that you love about travelling? Have you noticed a change within yourself or do you see the world differently since you've been exploring it?
I love the fact that every day can be different. You can go swimming with amazing marine life or be watching the sunset in the blue mountains of Australia. I love that I can truly be who I want to be and I don’t have to conform to the social parameters of the 9-5. And as for seeing the world differently, of course I do - it's so hard not to. People in the Western world lose their shit about missing out on Black Friday deals or a child throws a tantrum because they can’t play with an iPad, and then you meet kids that play with an old bike tire or find a game out of who can throw a rock closest to a wall, then you realise what really matters in life. It seems the richer we become the poorer we are.
Was there a particular catalyst that pushed you towards a life of wandering, or have you always had itchy feet?
I love my home town and the people in it, but I always wanted to get out and see the world, so me and my friends booked a holiday to Thailand. After getting to the island of Koh Phangan I realised this was the place I wanted to be and had to figure out how I could stay longer and not have to go back to the 9-5. So after I came back I worked as much as I could, saved hard and took the long way back to Thailand traveling through Europe. That's when my love of story telling and video editing started too. I got a cheap GoPro and started to put together short videos on my phone.
What's your favourite place you've ever travelled, and why?
Thats also very hard! Koh Phangan is number one. It is where I fell in love with traveling, where I met Jessica, and also where we got engaged 2 years later on the same beach we had our first adventure date on!
Also Australia, it's where me and Jess had our first home - we had an apartment in Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays, and it's also where we both fell in love with van life. We traveled from the Daintree Rainforest down the east coast to Adelaide in our Mitsubishi L400 (Marshmallow). We loved van life so much we are planning on doing it when we get to England and will be traveling around Europe in Marshmallow MK2.
But also Poland! It's Europe’s hidden gem! Seriously, its a beautiful country and I highly recommend you check it out!
Best piece of advice you would give to another traveller?
Don’t take the first price you get.. taxis, boat trips, air fares! Shop around and make your money go far. Also, be kind and respectful always!!
Where to next?
We are just wrapping up in the Philippines. We have been here for a month and a half and I want to stay longer, but we will be back one day! We have a few days in Singapore before we fly to New York for my very first white Christmas, and also my first cold Christmas in 3 years! It's going to be a shock not to wear flip flops on Christmas day! (I might still do it… it would be a shame to break a 3 year tradition).