In this week’s Monday Meetings we hear from Dave Gill, a talented videographer and ambitious adventurer. He’s working on an exciting new travel project and flexing his documentary making muscles along the route. As a fan of two-wheeled travel myself, a lot of his words hit home, making me want to dust off my cycling gear and hit the road too! Read on to see why Dave’s trip is more than just a spin around a continent.
Who are you and where are you from?
My name’s Dave, and I’m from the Lake District, England. My working background is in filmmaking / video production, studying at Falmouth in Cornwall, and recently producing commercials for Visual Collective in Manchester. Right now I’m living a nomadic lifestyle, cycling 11,000 miles around North America, producing content for a new travel publishing project, Vague Direction.
What prompted the journey you’re on now?
This recent trip came about as I found myself in a rut in my job. I’ve been making films and video content for years, since early teens, and got into it through making adventure content (mountain biking and rock climbing). Professionally I’ve been producing advertising content for clients for around 6 years. I had a bit of an aha moment in mid-2012. When you’re not excited to do your job for too many days in a row, something is wrong and needs to change. For me that something was a removal from producing work for clients and the inevitable stresses that brings. Instead I felt a strong pull to get back to producing personal work, focusing on adventure, culture and travel. That’s how Vague Direction came about. It’s been a shock to the system, for sure. A complete removal from the hustle-and-bustle of the 9 to 5 city life. Of course this brings its own set of challenges and stresses, but a completely different kind.
Check out the intro video to Dave’s project to get a feel for his change of heart;
What is your personal travel philosophy? Do you have any rules you stick to?
The act of travelling for travelling’s sake is something I’m not into personally. It can be great to just get away and clear your mind, but ultimately what makes a great trip is the people you spend time with. Also, I try hard to remember that it’s not always going to be fun. If there are uncomfortable, unpleasant, scary or dangerous situations – in the moment, they can put you off. Ultimately though, it’s these moments that often provide the fondest memories and the best stories.
What do your friends and family think about your journey?
They knew something like this was on the cards. Since a US road trip in 2009, I’ve been solely based in the UK, and haven’t travelled other than some very brief trips. There’s been itchy feet for a long trip for a while, and it was the right time to make it happen. They’re super supportive.
What is your top tip for the potential nomad?
If a unique opportunity comes along, say yes. I think there’s a huge amount of value in retrospective memories. We all like to reminisce, right?
What will your next moves be? More travel or do you have other goals in mind?
At the moment, I’m approaching 2,000 miles on a 11,000 mile cycle ride. So the future looks like a lot more time on the saddle trying to complete the circumference of North America and meeting a whole host of unique people along the route. The great thing about this trip, that I’ve never experienced before, is the moments of clarity that come with getting ‘in the zone’. So there’s plenty of ideas piling up for new projects after this one is done, and plenty of time to develop them!
If there’s one experience you could go back and have again, what would it be?
In 2009, some friends and I bought a 15 person van and went on a rock climbing trip on the West Coast of the US. Some of the best memories I have come from that trip. Solo travelling is unique and has it’s own merits, definitely, but travelling with friends is more fun.
Thank you for taking the time to share with us! Last but not least, where can we keep up with your exploits?
Dave’s trip around North America has been well thought out, and carrying lots of digital gadgetry has already produced some video gold, like the clip below from his YouTube account. I’m loving the lifestyle angle he picked and can’t wait to see the outcome of the project, so will be staying tuned as Dave carries on. Best of luck with the rest of your ride Dave, and keep the great content coming!