This is part where I describe how many countries I’ve visited and how my adventures have inspired me to help others have the most incredible adventures of their own. But that’s not why I started writing, far from it.

The truth is that I was inspired to write my own memoirs of my journeys. I wanted to record what I was doing, my reactions, and the finer details of what I saw. As if I were a young Marco Polo or Samuel de Champlain, this was my great adventure, I had to preserve it.

Over the course of my first trip, a 17 week journey to South East Asia, I realized everything I thought I knew of the world was kind of bullshit. A small fact here, an over-dramatized movie there and my ideas of the world were way off the mark. And at this point, I was formally ‘educated’.  It was a huge wake up call. I realized that a small GDP per capital didn’t mean people lived in straw huts. That not everyone needs a car, especially if they live in the city. I discovered strange fruit I had never seen before. Now I understood because people had less didn’t mean they were ‘have nots’. This wasn’t Big Brother after-all, this was how past explorers learned of the world, getting out there first hand, no polishing or editing.

Why I started Tallypack?

It’s easy to find travel advice in travel books and online. I spent months preparing to travel reading blogs, books, government websites and checking flight prices. I spent so much time focusing on how I was going to travel that I completely overlooked why. Sounds silly right? I never made a “Why I want to travel to ____” list. Oh I had a few things in mind like wanting to see the Great Wall of China and Angkor Wat, but there should have been more! Much More! What kind of jokes do the locals laugh at? What foods do they consider the best? What is the daily life of a local? What are the famous folk tales? How much of the local language can I pick up?

Tallypack is guide to enrich your adventure without breaking the bank.  To give you ideas of what to do, books to read and encourage you to connect why you want to travel, what you want to learn and experience, with how you’ll actually do it!

My Hometown

Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada. A small city, not well-known or remarkable, except for the Halifax Explosion of 1917, and being the final resting place of the titanic voyagers. Nova Scotians or “Bluenosers” don’t take themselves too seriously. Life is simply and quiet. People fish, farm and spend the winters trying to stay warm next to old wood fireplaces.

I grew up speaking English but was schooled in French for most of my youth. Nova Scotia is split with some small towns being  mostly English, others Acadian French or Mi’kmaq (native american). Later after spending time away I started to learn Japanese, an ongoing endeavor. I also started learning Mandarin as a complement to my Japanese Kanji. The day job I return to when not on the road is in corporate finance or public practice accounting. But between my love of travel, funky headbands and yoga, It can be difficult to slap on a suit and tie without feeling a tad over-dressed. I don’t spend much time in my hometown anymore, but I’d like to return someday to retire quietly by the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

Becoming a Storyteller

I’ve always loved a good story. I find storytellers in all forms to be extremely talented; having to convey with words, music or pictures a feeling or situation in a way that deeply connects with the audience is difficult and amazing when successful. I read Brandon Sanderson novels and love listening to Freakonomics and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Podcasts. Writers, numbers and historians all share in element of storytelling. More than knowledge or information, stories connect with emotions and force listeners or readers to live in the shoes of characters, face their challenges and share their thoughts.

Well travelling is like jumping from campfire to campfire listening to countless tales with wild characters in wonderful places. So naturally, you image yourself everywhere, in countless situation: Personal stories, historical folktales, religious scripture, all shared in multiple languages. Sometimes things are lost in translation, or concepts are unfamiliar to new audiences. The best stories change as they are told and retold, becoming ever more dramatic to capture audiences. I believe deep down, we are always looking for another story, our own as well as others.


Cheers, Cam Darling