Travel Junkie – An Intro to Julia Dimon
My name is Julia Dimon and I’m a self-diagnosed travel junkie.
My obsession with travel first started with an innocent high-school trip to Italy. I was sixteen, impressionable, and thrilled to be living outside the watchful eye of my over-protective parents. It only took a few days of Renaissance art, chocolate gelato, and handsome Italian boys before I was hooked.
Take it from me, travel is highly addictive. It doesn’t come with the Surgeon General’s warning, but it should. Travel once and you’ll have an insatiable desire to do it over and over and over again.
My addiction has taken me all over the world – more than 80 countries across six continents and I’m only in my twenties. I’ve lived as a Buddhist monk in Korea, battled through a survival course in the snake-infested jungles of Belize, jumped off one of the world’s highest towers, toured genocide memorials in Rwanda, made lip-plates with the Mursi women of Southern Ethiopia, braved radiation in Chernobyl and spent a night of “torture” in a Latvian prison.
From the depths of the Great Barrier Reef to the top of Machu Picchu, I’ve hiked with silverback gorillas in Uganda, snorkeled with whale sharks in Mozambique, climbed The Great Wall of China, dog-sledded in Greenland, camel trekked in Jordan, slept with lions in the Serengeti, snacked on local delicacies such as silk worm, goat brain, six-inch scorpions, snake blood…even severed human toe – nasty.
So what prompted this desire to gallivant across the globe? Strangely enough, it was an inspirational postcard I found at a dingy backpacker bar in Byron Bay, Australia. It read:
“Why tell your grandkids you worked 9-5, five days a week for 40 years and quietly sat in traffic jams while people went to war, suffered disease and shot their own classmates? Tell them you refused to live in fear. Tell them you crossed the Amazon, saw the Lost Cities of Gold and met your soul mate in Casablanca. Travel to the ends of the earth. Go now and live adventures that will make your grandkids proud.”
The quote hit home and ignited my desire to travel longer, go further and play harder. I bought a year-long “around the world ticket” and the rest is history.
Through good timing, hard work and I a little luck, I was able to turn my love of travel into a profession.
For four years, I wrote a regular column called “Confessions of a Backpacker” for the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper. From there, I moved on to become a nationally syndicated weekly travel columnist for METRO NEWS, the “world’s largest global newspaper” with 23.1 million readers.
My success as a young travel writer led to my own TV show. I co-host a show called Word Travels, a 40-episode TV series broadcast internationally on National Geographic Adventure, Travel Channel UK, OLN, City TV, Halogen and Outside Today across the US. This series follows the real lives of two top travel writers (I’m one of them) as they jet set around the world, under pressure and under deadline.
I’m also the host of a popular online travel series called Destination Getaway for MSNBC. I’m the co-host of Outside Today, for the Outside Television network, reaching 61 millions viewers a year.
I’ve been featured as a travel expert by ABC Nightline, NBC New York Non-Stop, NBC New York Nightly News, Forbes Traveler, MSNBC, Outside’s Go Magazine, Budget Travel, Arthur Frommer’s radio show, Peter Greenberg radio, as well as other major media outlets. I’m a keynote speaker for the NY Times Travel Show, the Boston Globe Travel Show, The Chicago Tribune Travel & Adventure Show and the Washington, DC Travel & Adventure Show.
I worked as Kayak.com’s “chief travel junkie” and I currently serve on the Declaration Committee of Seven Natural Wonders to help determine the 7 natural wonders of each continent.
Backpacking around the world for the past seven years, my checklist of destinations and life experiences is long, but there’s still so much more to see and discover!
In the spirit of celebrating travel, I bring you “Travel Junkie”, a regular blog that follows my adventures (and misadventures) across the globe. From the snow-capped mountains of the Chilean Andes, to the fast-paced neon nightlife of Las Vegas, I’ll take it to the extreme…exploring everything from unique customs, to historic sites, adrenaline-soaked activities, to bizarre foods, local budget getaways to high-end holidays.
I’ll also share tips and travel advice, helpful for planning your own travel adventures, international and domestic.
Read on, as I go beyond the tourist traps, venturing off-the-beaten track to bring you quirky, stories from exotic locales.
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