Welcome to my journey.
My name is Dustin Main and I'm an entrepreneur, digital nomad, documentary / cultural photographer and perpetual world traveler.
Since 2009, I have circled the globe again and again, photographing cultures, climbing mountains, and pushing boundaries.
In that time I have:
Raised more than $20000 for the charity One Girl by doing amazing things in a school girls dress
Began leading the unique cultural "Un-Tour to Myanmar"
Photographed for more than a dozen clients around the globe, and led photography workshops and meetups in Canada, USA, Thailand, Myanmar, Germany, Sweden, Vietnam.
Backing up... How it all started
During my childhood, I was fortunate to hike throughout western Canada and the western part of the USA. From day hikes to multi-day backcountry treks, it was how I spent my summers. Who knew that 20 years later, I would be doing it all the time, and around the world...
After working tirelessly to build two companies in my hometown of Saskatoon, I was able to take a short break to Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta, Canada in late summer of 2007. It had been too long since I was able to enjoy the outdoors, and immediately after returning to the trailhead of the 17km Crypt Lake trail, I called my father, Dale, and told him we should climb the "Roof of Africa" Mt. Kilimanjaro as soon as possible.
So in June 2008, we did that, and its sister mountain, Mt Meru. I remember shortly after arriving in Tanzania, as were walking down a quite dirt road to a small village near Moshi, I was thinking to myself, "I could do this on my own"
Life back in Canada just wasn't the same after experiencing Africa, and by early 2009, I had begun planning my first round-the world trip. I left in November 2009 and by December 2010 and at 30 years old, I had visited all seven continents.
Going around the world (again and again)
What is the site all about?
It is now a showcase for my photography and the unique stories I find as I continue on my explorations around the globe. I absolutely love adventure, and it's what drives me everyday. I also want to make my readers think about how we travel, how to travel responsibly and the benefits of expanding our perspectives by exploring our world.
I’ve always been fascinated by the power of stories, and a deep yearning to know how stuff works. Here, as well as my gallery shows and other online spaces, I play with how stories help us better understand each other across physical and cultural borders.
Why Do I Do It?
I think of travel like being a kid again. When you are a child, there is something new and exciting everyday. Once you become an adult, most of us lose all the best parts of being young... that freedom to enjoy life. I want to live my life where my choices always include doing something amazing. If you don't seize the day today, when are you going to leave it until?
How Do I Afford to Travel?
Most people ask how I can afford to travel for so long.
Traveling independently costs me much less than taking the average two week vacation. As time has gone by, I have tended to travel more slowly, spending a week, or a month in a single place before moving on. I have even begun basing myself in a single location for months at a time to balance my work and travel. I often stay with friends, Couchsurf, use Airbnb, or stay in guesthouses. I rarely stay in hotels. Renting a furnished apartment for a month costs a fraction of what a hotel would for the same length of time, and it’s how I often stay in different locations around the world.
I manage a pair of companies as I travel, including a technology services company in Canada.
I sell or license my work & photography taken around the globe. I also consult about adventure travel, technology, and social media.
I occasionally work with tourism boards, magazines, and companies that I respect where my expenses are covered. I will always mention in a post when a trip or activity is sponsored.
A handful of affiliate sales from A Skinny Escape.
My documentary photography project "This Myanmar Life" has been in the works since my first trip to Myanmar / Burma in 2011. The project is about the cultural, economical, and political changes the country has gone through, and how those changes are affecting the stories of the people of Myanmar. The first gallery exhibition for the project opened in May 2016 in Canada with other showings to follow. The companion book will be released in 2020.
With a background in technology and consulting, I co-founded the "Technology for Travelers" site called "Too Many Adapters" with my good friend and fellow digital nomad Dave Dean. Since launching in January 2012, we have worked with companies such as Dell, Nokia & Monster Cable, Logitech, & Blackrapid.
In October 2013, my partners and I launched "Lightmoves Creative," a bespoke photography collective. As well as providing unique photography to companies and organizations, we also host workshops around the world to help others "level up" their photography.
After considering starting up my own NGO supporting young entrepreneurs in Cambodia, I found a great organization called One Girl based in Australia. Their mission is to support keeping girls in school in Sierra Leone, and women entrepreneurs in the country. In July 2012 I began working with them on their "Do It in a Dress" campaign as a "Do It in a Dress Champion." In August 2012, I hiked 70km through the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains in a schoolgirl dress (with my brother and father) to support the cause. In August of 2013 we amassed a group of all-stars to climb in dresses in Saskatoon, and in 2014 I was back on the mountain trails in beautiful British Columbia. See more on my Media page and my posts.
I founded and organize a group of small-living aficionados in Saskatoon, Canada called "Tiny House Saskatoon." Together, we aim to educate and help each other as we push the tiny house movement forward locally in the city I grew up in.
Living life on the move adds new challenges when it comes to relationships, so I launched "Date An Adventurer" to help find my adventuress & partner-in-crime.
How to Connect
You can connect with me on Instagram, Twitter or my Facebook page. Of course, you can leave a comment on the site (I love feedback). If you have something you would like to share privately, you can find my e-mail and a contact form on my Contact page.
Random Stats: (as of June 2020)
Continents Visited: 7
Countries Visited: ~45
Countries Lived in: 7 (Canada, Sweden, Thailand, Germany, Argentina, Myanmar / Burma, Vietnam)
Foreign Hospital Visits: 4
Boats Vomited on: 1 (across the Drake Passage)
Peaks climbed over 4000m: 3 (Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Meru, Mt Kinabalu)
Days on the road: ~3000