Dalene is one of the authors of Hecktic Travels (the other one is Pete, her husband). This blog is highly recommended for travelling couples or those who are still planning to travel as a couple. There’s so much to learn from these guys and their blog is not just informational, it’s also entertaining to read.
Dalene and Pete sold everything they had (including their house) last 2009 to pursue full-time travelling.
Get to know Dalene more and visit her blog at Hecktic Travels.
Here’s my short interview with Dalene.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“I never really had one defining moment that turned me into a traveller, I guess it has always been with me! Although, at first it was only resorts and group tours – it wasn’t until I had planned a two week backpacking trip around Costa Rica for Pete and I that we finally realized how much more fulfilling that type of travel can be. The challenge of finding our way around a new place rather than being herded onto a big bus – that’s when the fun really started!”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?”
“That would be my 33rd birthday, spent in Peru. It was a culmination of a couple of really bad days – on the last day of our hike thru Colca Canyon, we were nearly swept off the mountain when a mudslide engulfed our path after constant rain. A few hours later we were on a sleepless, overnight bus to Nazca. That morning (the day of my birthday) we took a small plane over the Nazca lines and I vomited three times during the short thirty minute flight. Capped it off with another few hours of a hot, smelly bus to Huacachina. That was it for me – I took a “mulligan” and celebrated my birthday properly the following day!”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“Everything about the Galapagos Islands was magical. Pete and I enjoyed an amazing five day cruise where I began to truly believe that the animals themselves were on contract to show up and entertain – we saw everything! Baby sea turtles, penguins, dolphins, sharks and more. And one day, while snorkeling through a bay with a little spot all to myself, I swam stroke for stroke right beside an enormous sea turtle. It was one of those really beautiful and surreal moments that I’ll never forget.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“When Pete and I made the decision to sell everything and travel indefinitely, we had a lot to sell. We had a big house full of nice things accumulated over the years – stuff we thought that we needed in order to be happy. It wasn’t until we started traveling with only our backpacks that we realized how little we actually do need, and how much happier we are for having ditched our previous consumeristic lifestyle. I am quite happy with my 65 litres of space – the thought of having any more than that actually makes me quite nervous.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“The thought of the alternative – settling in one place – keeps me going. I can’t imagine living without this freedom to pick up and go where I please. And if I had a house, then I would have to have “stuff” to fill it. I don’t want that. Perhaps this view will change someday, but right now, traveling is the only alternative.
It also helps that we travel quite slowly, and rely on housesitting a lot when exploring new places. That way we can sit still for a couple of months, really get to know an area, and also not tire ourselves out.”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“Sign me up to be a full time roadie/groupie with the band Arcade Fire and I would be a happy, happy girl. Touring with these musical geniuses and watching them perform every night in a new exotic locale would be a huge dream come true! (Pete can come if he wants).”
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
“I love the interior of British Columbia. If we were forced to settle down right now and had to choose a place to do it, we would hightail it there. So much incredible beauty in one region, and some areas are so sparsely populated that it’s possible to have a dazzling and serene piece of nature all to yourself.”
What’s your best tip for newbie traveller?
“Document everything. Write a blog, write a journal, take lots of pictures. Memories fade, and having all of this to reflect on years down the road will be worth it.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“I gave Pete quite a scare once in Chicago. I was approached by a rather large, intimidating looking man in a store, who said to me so politely: “Does your husband know how lucky he is to have such a beautiful wife?” I told the man that I reminded Pete every day, but that perhaps it would help if he told Pete as well! So he sauntered over to Pete, towering over him, Pete looked like he was about to fill his pants. And then the gentleman asked: “Do you know how lucky you are?” Pete’s quivery response: “Yes sir!” Meanwhile, I was killing myself laughing in the background. That was all good fun. For me.”
What do you think about yourself?
“(Ugh. I really hate this question!) I think I’m generally pretty kind and generous. I have a really bad Mick Jagger haircut right now. I’m a loyal friend. I think I’m good at a lot of things, but not great at any one thing.”
“It is a not a typical travel blog in that you will find very few instances of Go Here! See This! or How To! Our blog is our story, focusing mostly on how we feel as we make our way around the globe. Our posts are also increasingly being accompanied by better photography as we recently upgraded our camera and enrolled in a class to learn how to use it!” – Dalene and Pete Heck
Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Dalene.