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Way·far·er – ˈwāˌferər : 1. A person who goes on a journey. 2. A person who travels on foot. Also known as the nomad. The wanderer. The drifter. Call it as you may, we’ve have hand-picked a group of fellas that have taken the world of travel to new altitudes as they journey through the world one passport stamp at a time. Each Wednesday, we will feature a new traveler to encourage and inspire you to take the leap! Travel with us through the minds of these brothers to get the scoop on how they hop through the hemispheres with ease.

 

MEET DAVID THOMAS

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/4aQFJ_gFNT/?taken-by=d1_dave

Cali Native. Howard Alum. Que-dog. Just a few of the many things to describe David Thomas Jr., better known by his peers as D1 Dave. Despite holding down a full-time job with a beverage company, this Georgetown grad student somehow manages to add world explorer to the list. He took his first leap abroad as a high school student to London, England, and from there the rest was history. He’s since jetted to over 25 different countries, including places like Brazil, Singapore, Cuba, and Greece. We recently caught up with him for a quick convo on his experiences. Check out our interview below:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKn1bLThN8e/?taken-by=d1_dave

Welcome to TMD Wayfarer Wednesdays! Tell us about yourself and your career.

Dave: Hailing from the Golden State of California, I was born and raised in the City of Oakland. In 2015, I graduated from Howard University in our Nation’s Capitol with a Bachelor’s in Political Science & Economics. Currently, I am employed by the Breakthru Beverage Group as a Sales Representative in their Management Development Program. Additionally, I am currently enrolled in the final semester of my graduate program at Georgetown University where I am pursing a Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations & Corporate Communications.

What are your main reasons for travel?

Dave: I love traveling because it allows me to fuel my inner soul. As a lifelong learner, I have been made aware of the fact there is more to life than the international borders of the USA. I believe that we Americans are brainwashed into the belief that the USA is the only country that matters on this earth, and in turn our global neighbors dislike us for that insensitivity. I truly value being able to immerse myself in another person’s culture as if it were my own. Most importantly, I love being forced to interact with the live humans around me rather than being glued to social media and my cell phone like most Americans.

When and where was your first trip abroad? What countries have you visited since?

Dave: My first trip abroad was during my sophomore year of high school in 2009. I participated in an enrichment week program that provided the opportunity for me to travel to London. Since then, I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to 25 countries by age 23 ( I turned 24 in Jan.).  In 2016 alone, I traveled to 10 countries which included Brazil for the Olympics, Greece during the summer, and Cuba via my grad program and USA Today.

https://www.instagram.com/p/0WirsZAFNO/?taken-by=d1_dave

With todays social & political climate, how has venturing abroad helped to alter your worldview?

Dave: As I previously alluded, Americans are often characterized as those “insensitive & greedy” humans who only care about themselves. Believe it or not, those are actual adjectives that were shared with me during a conversation with a group of Europeans while abroad in Panama last year. On a more positive note, those words were generally used to describe the image of our government and military presence around the world. Most citizens of the world don’t think too negatively about American citizens as a whole. Almost every foreigner loved Obama, but questioned the results of the Trump vs Clinton race.

As a man of color, have you ever been subjected to certain stereotypes when traveling abroad? If so then which instance(s) can you remember the most & how did you handle it?

Dave: The most common question that I get as I am “#travelingwhileblack” is if I am a current/former athlete. I always smile when they ask the questions because they are often preceded by “Sir, I don’t mean to offend you in advance but I was wondering if…” Most people are generally interested in hearing about why I often travel alone vs. why I am a traveling man of color. I tell them that I grew up as an only child and that I am never afraid to travel alone because each new place always feels like a new home that I have yet to discover. I love entering latin countries and practicing my Spanish skills. People always assume that I am Dominican since I speak relatively well.

Finally Found The Peace That I Needed. #SB2014 Roma, Italia #D1WorldTΩur #grammasters3

A photo posted by Who is D1 Dave? (@d1_dave) on

What’s the greatest piece of advice that you can give a guy looking to travel for the first time?

Dave: The greatest piece of advice that I can offer any guy before his first abroad trip is to allow himself to escape his comfort zone. I repeat, there is more to life than the constraints of the United States borders. Put the cell phone down, try the local cuisine, experience the public transportation, engage with locals, and genuinely immerse yourself in the culture. Don’t do it for the gram, Do It For YOU!

Where can we find you online?

Dave: I can be found on most social media outlets such as Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat under @D1_Dave and #D1WorldTΩur and this year I’m working on my current website.

https://www.instagram.com/p/4kxA7PAFMj/?taken-by=d1_dave

 

About The Author

Explore • Embrace • Empower : We are a cultural collective dedicated to encouraging and celebrating black travel. Follow the movement at #blackandabroad!

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