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

Dave is a travel writer who founded Dave’s Travel Corner, an international travel community, in 1996. California born and raised, he co-founded a collegiate solar racing team which designed and built a solar car from scratch. He runs a website promoting currently undefeated WBA World Super Middleweight boxing champion, Andre Ward, is a member of the Traveler’s Century Club and is a partner in MyVideoVisa.com, an online travel video community. His latest endeavour is The Napa Wine Project which has taken 6 years to date and is expected to be an initial 10 year project that involves wine tasting at all Napa Valley commercial wine producers. He has personally visited, tasted with and reviewed 700+ commercial Napa wine producers to date. His first book titled ‘The Freeways of Los Angeles’ was published in 2010. What is it that you do exactly?
My days revolve around travel or wine writing. I’m abroad a significant portion of the year visiting “new” destinations and collecting new content for my travel site. When I am “home” I spend a lot of time in front of this computer compiling all this information (photos, videos, notes) into articles and posts on the website. In addition, I’m also working on my Napa Wine Project which takes significant time to produce a “new” review of a Napa winery. My goal is to taste with 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 to places where everything is so new or “different” than what you are used to…not to mention the adrenaline high 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 private island in the Maldives. Seaplane ride to get there, touching down among some of the most incredible island beauty I’ve seen. Impeccable service, food and stunning location. Ngoma Safari Lodge in the Chobe National Park in Botswana. This luxury lodge is accessible only via dirt tracks through the bush, but puts you right in the heart of prime wildlife viewing. The Oriental Hotel along the exotic Chao Praya River in Bangkok. This hotel combines wonderful food, a spa, top service and history. Sit out on the veranda and watch “life” happen along the river. Or hang out in the “authors room” some lazy afternoon for tea. This room is named in tribute to prominent authors such 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! One memorable dining experience was at the Belvedere Restaurant at the Peninsula in Beverly Hills. While the restaurant is known for its culinary excellence,  it was almost more fun watching the “Hollywood dynamics” at play. Nearly everyone was checking everyone else out at the restaurant – those subtle glances, those not subtle glances. A party well connected with one of the Presidential administrations was eating next to us and made for interesting 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 it is a town where invariably you will run into a celebrity. I saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt pull up in a fancy car at LAX one time. I had some fun doing a red carpet photo shoot in Hollywood where a number of actors and actresses were present including porn star, Mary Carey (ran for governor of California at one point and incidentally has the largest breasts I’ve ever seen on a woman). I met Buffy the Vampire Slayer at a party once. Her agent was working the crowd like no tomorrow!
What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?
Visiting any country ending in “stan” and trekking through the remote jungles of Papua New Guinea. Oh and I think it would be fun to hang out with super traveler, 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. If you would like to be interviewed on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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