What’s Dave Doing in Turkey?

what's dave doingOne of the most popular travel bloggers on the internet is Dave Dean. He has a passion for wearing dresses and thinks nothing about acting as bait for a hungry leopard.

Dave has spent over a decade backpacking around the world, visiting countries such as South Africa, Vietnam, and Croatia. He writes at http://www.whatsdavedoing.com and after ten years has finally decided to put Turkey on his agenda.

He agreed to an interview so I could get an insider’s look at his travel plans and style.

Interview with What’s Dave Doing?

1 – So Dave, you have given Turkey the cold shoulder for the last ten years. Is there any reasonable explanation for avoiding us? After all, as a backpacking destination; Turkey is often first on the list of places to go.

I have no reasonable excuse at all!  Now that I’m here, I really can’t believe it took me this long to make the trip.  Trust me, it won’t be another 10 years before I’m back…

2 – Readers will ask how someone can financially travel for ten years. Did you

A – Win the lottery and not tell anyone?

B – Are you the secret son of a billionaire entrepreneur?

C – Are you the worlds greatest rip off artist and wanted by Interpol?

D – Are you location independent when it comes to work?

For most of the last 15 years, I’ve mixed travel with work – with varying degrees of success. 

I’d work for a while, then travel until the money started to run out, then do it all again. 

Eventually I got sick of trying to juggle a “normal” career with a travel addiction, so decided to try to fund ongoing travels via travel writing and other freelance work.  So far, so good – most of the time, at least!

horse of troy at cannakkale

Photo From Dave – The horse of Troy at Cannakkale

3 – Most of the Turkey bloggers like an alcoholic drink after a long day in the sun! The two most popular alcoholic drinks in Turkey are Raki and Efes. Which one are you drinking and why?

I drink a lot more Efes than I do Raki, but to be honest I’m most partial to an extremely cold vodka after a long hot travel day…

4 – Have you seen the film midnight express? It is about a man who is jailed in Turkey for smuggling drugs. Many people, who have not been here, assume it is a true portrayal of the country even though the director admitted it was massively over exaggerated. What pre-conceptions did you have of Turkey before you came here?

I must admit that I haven’t seen the film, although I’ve heard it referred to a couple of times since I’ve been here.  Before I came to Turkey, I expected a lot more hassle from touts and salesmen on the streets than I have experienced – people generally seem genuinely friendly and helpful towards travelers, without an ulterior motive. 

Muslim men don’t always have a great reputation from female travelers either, but my girlfriend has experienced very little harassment when she has been out exploring in Turkey, either with me or by herself.

5 – I like to think that your life of travel is teaching you cool things.  So tell me the first three Turkish words you have learnt?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first three Turkish words I learned revolved around transport (‘otogar’), food (‘pide’) and drink (‘ayran’).  Some days I think I could almost survive entirely with that vocabulary…

6 – Have you heard that annoying but catchy song called Istanbul, not Constantinople? One line of the lyrics is…

Why did Constantinople get the works?

You went to Istanbul, so did you delve into the history of Constantinople by visiting the famous historic sites like Topkapi palace and Hagia Sophia?

I was extremely impressed by virtually all of the historic sites that I’ve visited in Istanbul.  I spent several days in the Sultanahmet area, just wandering around exploring the neighbourhood and all of its amazing architecture. 

The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Gülhane Park and the various museums were all fantastic, but I also enjoyed just walking around beside the Bosphorus and imagining life as it was under the Romans and Ottomans centuries ago.


Photo From Dave – Istanbul

7 – Fill in the blank. Turkish people are ___________

Quite remarkable.  Warm, friendly and wonderfully welcoming, the people make this country what it is.

8 – Imagine you are president of Turkey for one day. What message would you send to the rest of the world?

Leave your preconceptions at home and come explore Turkey – you’ll never regret it.

9 – How long will you be in Turkey for?

Around six or seven weeks, all up.  It seems like a reasonable length of time, but I really feel as if I’m just scratching the surface.

10 – Which places do you plan to visit while you are here?

Istanbul, obviously, then working my way down the coast (Gallipoli, Selcuk/Ephesus) to meet some friends and go sailing along the coastline from Fethiye for two weeks. 

After that, I’ll probably spend another couple of weeks somewhere around the southwestern coast before returning to Istanbul to fly out.  No Cappadocia this time – I need to give myself another reason to return!

whats dave doing

Sailing the south west coast of Turkey

Dave has already posted some articles about Turkey on his blog

Controlled chaos in Istanbul

Lone Pine cemetery at Gallipoli

Kalkan sunset

To get future updates of when Dave publishes an article about Turkey, follow him on Facebook

Readers Question : Do you have any hints and tips for Dave while he is here?

Additional note-  There is a very good reason why Dave wears dresses. He is raising money for girls in Sierra Leone to gain an education. If you would like to help the cause, you can find out more here.

Contact me..


Hi. My name is Natalie Sayin and I am the author of The Turkish Travel Blog. I am an Internet addict with a passion for history. Read my story here or leave a comment below to join the discussions.
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  1. says

    I hope Dave has a chance to come to Ka?, it seems he is in the British colony of Kalkan at this time.

    After reading Dave’s Stupidest things blog, I am not sure I would want to travel with this guy. Does he not really know that “flip-flops” is a dumb name for SHOWER OR BEACH SHOES!!! They were never intended, nor should never, ever be worn in any other situation especially on scooters or long hikes. This guy is lucky to be alive…


    • says

      I did make it to Kas for a night – seemed like a nice place, although perhaps catering a little too much to the package holiday crowd for my tastes.

      Not sure that “beach shoes” is any less of a dumb name than flip-flops, to be honest. And yes, it is stupid to hike up waterfalls or ride scooters while wearing them … that was kinda the point of that post, you know?
      Dave wrote about..First impressions of Istanbul

  2. says

    interesting guy; thanks for the tip-off Natalie

  3. says

    Very interesting post and most interesting ‘travel’ guy. He sure leads a very adventurous and colorful life…going from one country to another.
    Thanks for sharing this post… have a good one.
    erica wrote about..TINY TOM DONUTS

  4. says

    I’m glad you asked the hard-hitting questions about what to drink at the end of the day. Personally, I enjoyed a raki as the sun went down in Turkey. So refreshing! (And so strong!)
    Turtle wrote about..Orangutans in Borneo

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