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Dave and Deb: How travel changed us

Photograph of Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil of ThePlanetD in China

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil of ThePlanetD in China

Finding excitement and a new life

Guest post by Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil of ThePlanetD, as featured in the Travel That Changes You newsletter.

It has been a slow and gradual change over the years. We took our first extended trip to Thailand in 2000 and it completely opened our eyes to a new world. People live quite different from the way we live in Canada and suddenly we saw that there were exciting countries to visit.

When we returned, we went back to our lives excited about what we had seen, but content to continue working at our jobs and taking one vacation each year. We didn’t realize just how much that trip changed us until a few years later.

We had always been career oriented and had many goals to fulfill.  We bought a house, owned two SUV’s and spent a lot of money on furniture and landscaping. We worked long hours and didn’t see a lot of each other.   But we were living the perceived dream. We were a couple of DINKS.  Double income with no kids with well paying careers and we were still young.

After that first trip, we worked hard all year long so that we could take that one long and well-deserved vacation each winter. We always talked about Thailand and how incredible it was.  We kept re-living each event, looked through our photo albums regularly and put up our souvenirs all over our home. We obsessed over it, but thought that as long as we took an exciting trip each year, we would be fulfilled.

It was over time that we started to change our outlook on life.

Photograph of Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil of ThePlanetD at Mount Everest base camp in Nepal

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil of ThePlanetD at Mount Everest base camp in Nepal

We started to feel empty.  We gained weight, we were tired all the time and we didn’t talk a lot. When we had days off, we ended up watching TV, sleeping in late and maybe do some shopping or running errands. When we ate dinner together, we didn’t have animated conversations. We made small talk and tried hard to make life exciting, but we were just too exhausted from the stresses of work.

After a while we realized that something had to change. We took on new hobbies like rock climbing and scuba diving and realized that we were happier while we were out having an adventure than sitting in our nice home in a pretty subdivision.  Over time we didn’t spend any time there. We were always out of the house trying something new.

It was a diving trip to Mexico and Central America that made us open our eyes once and for all.  We spent 3 months together staying in small guesthouses and taking local buses.  We realized that we had everything that we needed in each other.  Travel made us learn that happiness comes from experiences, not material things.  When we first bought our house, we had dreams of making it the most beautiful on the block.

After that trip to Central America we came home and sold our house and everything that we owned.

If we didn’t take that original trip to Thailand, we probably never would have had our eyes opened. We would have been happy going on our week long trips to the Dominican Republic or Cuba.

While Thailand didn’t change us immediately, it ignited a spark for more travel.  It led us to more trips and finally that adventure to Central America where our lives changed forever.

Since then we live a completely different life.

Photograph of Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil of ThePlanetD in Tanzania, Africa

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil of ThePlanetD in Tanzania

We used to be two people who cared very much about what kind of car we drove or what label was on our clothing.  We cared about appearances and how successful we looked.

We now have been wearing the same wardrobe for over a year, we have a 10-year-old car in storage for whenever we return to Canada and we don’t own a home.

However, we are excited every time we wake up.  We are excited about what we are going to see or experience.  We are excited about what we are going to write about or what video we are going to edit. We love sorting through our photographs and we love spending endless amounts of time with each other.

While we made a lot more money in our previous life, travel has transformed us to people that live life rather than fantasize about what it could be.

Follow Dave and Deb’s continuing adventures on their blog, ThePlanetD, and follow them on Twitter @theplanetd.

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13 Responses to Dave and Deb: How travel changed us

  1. Jason Hamilton March 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Hi Guys,
    Nice post. I get Mariellens’ newsletter and who should I see but your two smiling faces. You guys again, ha ha! I’ve known Dave through work for quite a few years now and without him and Deb mentoring my wife and I on our first adventure trip we wouldn’t be the same.
    (Incidentally, one of their recommended places to visit was Hoi An in Vietnam. Of the hundreds of garment makers in that city we stumbled upon the EXACT same tailors they visited several years prior. Go figure.)
    Congratulations to both of you! I don’t think we’ll be able to follow in all of your footsteps, but when Dustin can lug his own gear we plan on hitting the road again ourselves. Hope to see you soon! The door to the yurt is always open, ha ha.
    Cheers,
    J. Hamilton

  2. Mariellen March 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Thanks for the comment Jason. Dave and Deb are truly inspiring, in so many ways. I got to know them well last summer when they were in Toronto, and they are fun, talented, supportive and really dedicated travel bloggers.

  3. Michi March 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    I lllllloooved this article!!! I’m going to show it to my husband right away!! THIS is exactly what we’ve been itching to do! Thank you for the inspiration! :)

  4. wanderingtrader March 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    I was lucky enough to meet these two in Canada when I was living there for 3 months. We spent the weekend in Montreal. Great couple, great story, and it was certainly great to meet them as well!

  5. Carlo Alcos March 15, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Great story guys. Glad to see you are enjoying yourselves. That’s all we can really ask for :)

  6. Candice March 16, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    Such an inspirational couple, thank you!

  7. Nicole March 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    What a great story – thanks for bringing it to us, and thanks to Deb and Dave for their enthusiasm and inspiration!

  8. Dave and Deb April 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Thanks Candice, you are pretty inspirational yourself!

  9. Dave and Deb April 17, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Ha, Jason that is amazing that you subscribe to Mariellen’s blog. A very inspirational lady. We were just telling someone about the Hoi An tailors the other day. It was a conversation on just how small the world really is. All the best to you, Sylvie and Dustin and we hope to make it out east soon to see your new place soon!

  10. Dave and Deb April 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    Marcello, it was great meeting you as well this summer AND following along with your amazing adventures this year. What a year it has been!

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