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Interview with Dave Thompson, Founder of Dave's Travel Corner

TIME : 2-26 9:37:14

Dave is a travel writer who foundedDave’s Travel Corner, an internationaltravel community, in 1996. California born and raised,he co-founded a collegiate solar racing team whichdesigned and built a solar car from scratch. He runs awebsite promoting currently undefeated WBA WorldSuper Middleweight boxing champion, Andre Ward, is amember of the Traveler’s Century Club and is apartner in, an online travel videocommunity.

His latest endeavour isThe Napa Wine Projectwhich has taken 6years to date and is expected to be an initial 10year project that involves wine tasting at all NapaValley commercial wine producers. He has personallyvisited, tasted with and reviewed 700+ commercial Napawine producers to date. His first book titled ‘TheFreeways of Los Angeles’ was published in 2010.

What is it that you do exactly?

My daysrevolve around travel or wine writing. I’m abroad asignificant portion of the year visiting “new”destinations and collecting new content for my travelsite. When I am “home” I spend a lot of time in frontof this computer compiling all this information(photos, videos, notes) into articles and posts onthe website. In addition, I’m also working on my NapaWine Project which takes significant time to producea “new” review of a Napa winery. My goal is to tastewith nearly every winery/producer in the Napa Valley- more than 900 of them!

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love traveling Internationally – especially toplaces where everything is so new or “different” thanwhat you are used to…not to mention the adrenalinehigh of moving between place I’ve never been before!I love trips that combine experiences and culture.

What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?

Zitahli Resort & Spa Kuda-Funafaru on its own privateisland in the Maldives. Seaplane ride to get there,touching down among some of the most incredibleisland beauty I’ve seen. Impeccable service, food andstunning location.

Ngoma Safari Lodge in the Chobe National Park inBotswana. This luxury lodge is accessible only viadirt tracks through the bush, but puts you right inthe heart of prime wildlife viewing.

The Oriental Hotel along the exotic Chao Praya Riverin Bangkok. This hotel combines wonderful food, aspa, top service and history. Sit out on the verandaand watch “life” happen along the river. Or hang outin the “authors room” some lazy afternoon for tea.This room is named in tribute to prominent authorssuch as James Michener who used to frequent the hotel.

What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?

This is a tough one as there have been many! Onememorable dining experience was at the BelvedereRestaurant at the Peninsula in Beverly Hills. Whilethe restaurant is known for its culinary excellence,it was almost more fun watching the “Hollywooddynamics” at play. Nearly everyone was checkingeveryone else out at the restaurant – those subtleglances, those not subtle glances. A party wellconnected with one of the Presidentialadministrations was eating next to us and made forinteresting conversation.

Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?

I spend quite a bit of time in Los Angeles and itis a town where invariably you will run into acelebrity. I saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt pull up in afancy car at LAX one time. I had some fun doing a redcarpet photo shoot in Hollywood where a number ofactors and actresses were present including pornstar, Mary Carey (ran for governor of California atone point and incidentally has the largest breastsI’ve ever seen on a woman). I met Buffy the VampireSlayer at a party once. Her agent was working thecrowd like no tomorrow!

What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?

Visiting any country ending in “stan” and trekkingthrough the remote jungles of Papua New Guinea. Ohand I think it would be fun to hang out with supertraveler, Lee Abbamonte on one of his exotic trips.

Thank you for taking part in our interview, Dave. I looked up Lee, not knowing he was, and – being the youngest US citizen to have visited every country in the world (at the age of 32) – he certainly sounds like he’d be an experienced and interesting travel companion.