Q&A: Dean Cycon

We've been catching up with our most popular presenters to find out what they've been up to recently. Take a moment to read Dean Cycon's insights on life and travel.

Q&A: Dean Cycon

Where do you call home, and what’s your inside secret for someone who is a visitor there?

I live in the blessed Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA. We have been a bastion of progressive thought and revolutionary action since, well, the Revolution! Although any time of year is wonderful here, Fall Foliage at the end of October is the most dramatic, when the leaves of the maple trees burst into flames of orange, red and yellow. It is breathtaking.

What’s on your travel bucket list?

Sailing to the Antarctic around the Horn, although I hate the cold…

presenter-dean-cycon-driving-a-vw-camperMust-have personal item you take travelling?

An old fashioned Dictaphone. I can quickly capture sounds and my own thoughts even in the dark without worrying about which file I have opened and if I drained the battery on a digital recorder. Foolproof.

One life lesson learned while travelling that’s stayed with you?

Be wide open to what is presented before you. I have tried to pass that down to my daughters, who are both way more adventurous than I have been – and that’s saying a lot!

What do you think the future of this medium/format is, given the shift in content creation thanks to the digital revolution? How do you see people consuming and gathering their travel info and inspiration in the future?

Hopefully, the wide access to places and experiences afforded by new medias will invite people to explore the world and open their minds as well as their borders. At the same time, TMI has taken a little of the innate fear of the unknown that has propelled so many of us old-timers.

The best place you’ve travelled to that’s ideal for people traveling on a budget?

Any of the thousands of outer islands of Indonesia. It costs a lot to get there unless you have the time to spare, but once inside it is very affordable for food and lodging. And the people and experiences are priceless.

What are you working on at the moment?

Creating a new development program in northern Sumatra combining educating farmers as to their land rights as well as saving critical habitat for endangered Sumatran elephants, rhinos, tigers and bears (oh my!). This will also help stem the rapacious and destructive land grabs by palm oil companies in the area.

lost-in-bostonWhat’s the best travel experience you’ve ever had?

After 50 countries and 30 plus years it is so hard to identify just one, as each visit and each culture offers me so much more than I give. But creating a successful Men Overcoming Gender Violence program in Rwanda and seeing the community healing around it has to be at the top of the list.

Most bizarre foodie experience you’ve had while travelling?

Gee, monkey brains in Thailand? Mind ripping magic mushroom pizza on Samosir Island in Sumatra? Pirana in Peru (you gotta bite them before they bite you)? Wild boar in Warsaw? Who can choose?

Describe yourself in a Tweet (140 characters):

Lawyer/activist/social entrepreneur/adventurer dedicated to bringing light to the world and having a great time doing it.

Follow Dean’s Instagram @deancycon


–By Natarsha Brown │ More on our presenters here

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