She is a Wanderer! There is no Cure!
This has been my motto for years. My first big travel experience was after high school when I spent 6 weeks in Israel and I haven’t stopped since then!
Hey there! My name is Dara! Let me tell you a bit about myself!
I was a typical American with a career, 3 weeks vacation a year, house and wonderful friends. And then I wasn’t (a typical American). In 2005 I decided the time had come to make my dreams come true. After extensive reading and researching, before the web was what it is today, I decided to pack it all in and travel around the world. I explored 6 different continents, met some fantastic people that I still call friends, ate some weird and wonderful foods, saw some amazing places and had some fantastic experiences that will stay with me forever. After 13+ months of traveling full time I came back to the US, with my mind thinking I was ready to get back to my everyday life, but my heart thought different. While traveling I had run into a tour group in the southern part of Laos that changed my life without them every knowing it! I thought I might make a great tour leader. So when I arrived back in the US in 2006, I did some research and found a travel company that seemed to be hiring, I looked at their website and decided that is what I wanted to do. I sent a resume off, hoping for the best, but being realistic I found another job and tried to settle back into life in Florida. After 6 months, I received a request for a phone interview with this travel company and a month after accepting the position of Tour Leader in South East Asia, I was in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam training to do what would become my dream job! That was April 28, 2007 and I haven’t looked back since. I have worked for several companies but always around South East Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) working as a Tour Leader showing visitors my adoptive countries!
Why Dara Goes to Market?
In all my travels I have always been drawn to markets. These markets have been everything from small stands selling local produce and fruit to all out markets. Some are purely for locals doing their everyday shopping, others are solely for tourists, selling handicrafts and other locally made products. Many markets are a bit of both. Some markets are daily and some are weekly or as is the case in Burma… every 5 days which can make it more of a challenge to be in a city on the correct date!
I always seek out these markets, whether I am in Istanbul, Turkey or Hanoi, Vietnam or in Djenné, Mali. I usually don’t buy anything other than some fruit or a small snack. I just enjoy the trading and the people selling their wares. I find them very fascinating and depending on the size of the market I can spend hours and I can go back multiple times. I love taking pictures of the sellers and finding products for sale that I have not seen before. And have always loved taking my passengers from my trips through these markets so they get a real sense of the country they are traveling in and how the everyday person lives.
Where have I traveled?
I have been around the world to 70+ countries and 49 US States. I am still missing Antartica but I have visited the other 6 continents. And yes, there are a lot more countries to visit. Having worked in Asia for 11 years I feel I have traveled there the most, but there are still many Asian countries for me to visit.