Writer Danny Venzin talks travelling off the beaten track
For SF Spotlight this week we talked travel with freelance writer, band member and all round awesome dude Danny Venzin. Amongst his many writing gigs, Danny works as editor of Brisbane cool-guide Fourthousand and plays in four-piece experimental band Nite Fields. While he may be an encyclopaedia of knowledge when it comes to the best local coffee haunts and live music venues, Danny is also a fine resource for some of the world’s most exotic locations. Here we found out about Danny’s life changing travels and his inspiring tree-planting initiative ‘Just One Tree.’
How many countries have you travelled to?
It's got to be at least twenty. I've been to most places in Western Europe and South-East Asia plus a fair chunk of North and South America and The Middle East.
If you could narrow it down - what would be your top three?
India, Brazil and Israel
Craziest travel experience?
I'd say being mugged then having my wallet handed back in Brazil or being on the front page of the newspaper in India.
What were your impressions of India?
I've been twice and the first time I went it was like going to Mars. It's such a cliche but it really is both a sensory overload and a life changing experience. Third world countries generally make me think a lot about life but India is something different.
Tell me about 'Just One Tree'
The idea was a pretty simple one, to plant a tree every day while I was travelling. There were a few motivators. I think people consume a lot when they travel and I wanted to do something to give back, which wasn't just giving money to beggars on the street. I always like to have a purpose when I travel and this was also a way to engage with locals and raise a bit of awareness for issues that most people don't think about in third world countries. Besides that, it was a lot of fun being allowed to plant in places like the Taj Mahal gardens and ending up on the front page of the national paper!
If you could take 'Just One Tree' to another country, where would you go?
Biggest travelling mistake?
I'd say going to the same place twice. I know a lot of people like returning to the same place often but I think of it as a missed opportunity to go elsewhere. You have expectations for it to live up to rather than it being a virgin journey. I made this mistake with India and I guess you can't really have that life changing experience twice.
How would you describe your travel style?
'Impromptu'. Making too many plans doesn't really suit my style and I spend too much money changing flight dates and routes.
Where are you planning to travel next?
Japan next year with my band but otherwise Burma is on the cards.
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