“Home Sweet Home” Questionnaire #6: Dario Endara.
1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself and how your passion for travelling started.
My parents are both from Ecuador but I was born in Chicago and raised in Southern California until I was about 9 and later moved to Miami. Growing up so close to National Parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite, gave us the opportunity to do many road trips every year. My parents found it important to travel and see nature and explore our surroundings. So I guess that is where my passion for travelling started. I really owe it to my parents.
2.) When did you decide to hit the road? Was it hard to take that step? What preparations and arrangements did you have to make during the planning period?
Right after college I began to find an interest in photography, ironically enough I studied Engineering. I decided to do a 4-month trip throughout Europe, Northern Africa, India and Nepal. I didn’t have much of a set plan, I just went with the flow. I know now that it’s better to plan ahead, but at the time I wanted to be spontaneous and just decide where to go as I kept moving. Ever since that trip, I now make it a habit to travel the world each year.
3.) Where & how do you celebrate Christmas?
I don’t celebrate Christmas, though I enjoy the holiday for the atmosphere, if that makes sense. Growing up, my mom always had the Christmas tree in the house fully decorated. It was a nice time. But I see things a lot differently now.
4.) How do you stay in touch with family and friends? Do you write postcards?
Of course. Family and friends are important. It’s what brings you back “home”. So postcards are essential to let them you’re alive and well. But also emails and blogs seem to do the trick. I find this the most efficient way. However, my mom would tell you she still prefers postcards.
5.) Are you planning on traveling for the rest of your life or would you like to settle down sometime (by settling down we mean finding a place to come home to)?
The answer is yes to both questions. At the moment I just moved to the Netherlands to live with my partner but I still manage to travel every year and go on long trips. So I guess it’s the best of both worlds.
6.) If you could choose one city/country for living, which one would it be? Please give us a little explanation (weather, people, etc.).
That’s a tough question. I would probably say Costa Rica. The people are some of the friendliest I’ve met, it’s never cold (though it rains a lot), and the topography allows for some fun hiking through the mountains. Spain would come in at a close second.
7.) Where are you right now and how did you get there?
I am living in the Netherlands to be with my partner. We’re planning for a 4-week trip through East Africa this summer.
8.) Travelling is expensive … so how do you get from A to B?
I always travel on a budget. I don’t stay in expensive resorts, eat at fancy restaurants, nor do I travel first class. All these extra expenses are unnecessary to me. I prefer to spend that extra money on more travelling.
9.) Do you use a travel guide (Lonely Planet, etc.)? If so, please tell us which one … if not, why?
I always use Lonely Planet. In my opinion, it has everything you need as a budget traveler.
10.) What does a perfect day on your trip look like? What season is it? Are you inside or outdoors? Are you in a city or in the middle of nowhere?
A perfect day on my trip can be either time of the year. Since I like to be outdoors and surrounded by nature, I would say hiking through mountains and waterfalls. I really feel at peace with the world when I see beauty in nature.
11.) Name three spots from your last adventure, which you’d probably not find in a guidebook but you could recommend to travellers. Tell us what’s special about them.
1.) Plitvice National Park in Croatia.
There are so many trails and hidden gems throughout the park. The scenery is reminiscent of a scene from the movie Avatar.
2.) The fields and deserts of Mongolia.
Talk about being in the middle of nowhere. Here you will find the definition of vastness. You will also find friendly nomads who roam the plains in search for a place to live.
3.) Kinderdijk in the Netherlands.
This is a beautiful getaway from Amsterdam. It’s in the farmland and contains windmills all lined up along the river. In the winter, people skate on the ice with the windmills in the backdrop. Catch this place after sunset.
12.) Where & how do you write your blog articles? Do you start with a rough draft or get right to it?
I write my blogs after I compete a trip. I’m not much of a writer but I try to describe as much in detail as possible. I usually just get right to it, though I sometimes find myself rewriting it altogether because I wrote it at 3am.
13.) What’s your favorite local dish? Where does it come from? Can you cook it & what are the main ingredients?
My favorite local dish has to be ‘Churrasco’ in Ecuador. It’s like a festival on a plate. It contains rice, meat, egg, plantain, French fries, avocado, and other salad. I’m getting hungry just writing this. And yes I can cook it.
14.) How much does 1 liter (or one gallon) of milk and petrol cost today?
Here in the Netherlands 1 liter of milk costs 0,80 € and 1 liter of petrol costs 1,60 €.
15.) On which device to you answer this questionnaire and what shoes are you wearing (if possible please add a picture )?
Love this question. I am answering this questionnaire on my iMac and I am wearing Coolman shoes.
16.) Last but not least: What does “home” mean to you?
Home is where you feel at most comfortable. Everything is familiar. Home is where I can kick off my shoes and put my feet on the coffee table.
Want to be a part of this series?
If you want to be a part of our series, just go to the “Home Sweet Home” article and download the appropriate questionnaire. We’d really like to read your stories :)
Participants so far:
#1: Ulli Maier
#2: Nisa Maier
#3: Shvyia Nath
#4: Rika Huang
#5: Yvonne Zagermann
#6: Dario Endara
#7: Frankie Thompson
#8: Roy van den Bos
#9: Monica Stott
#10: Doris Neubauer
#11: Amanda Slavinsky
#13: Casper Oppenhuis de Jong
#14: Ashley Abroad
#15: Inma Gregorio