About Derek Freal & The HoliDaze

Welcome to The HoliDaze, I’m Derek Freal and I’ll be your host. Unfortunately, I am also “that guy” so for all of you out there who are reading this and wondering “hey, is he that guy who….” well yes, that was me. Please direct all criticism and congratulations in the form of a tweet to @the_HoliDaze (preferably ≤140) for an appropriate apology or thank you. Whichever the situation dictates.   Tweet Me Follow @the_HoliDaze

Derek Freal on New Famili 100
Derek Freal on the set of New Famili 100 in Jakarta, Indonesia

10 years of traveling in 3 sentences:

After moving to Tokyo in 2008 I quit my job at the start of 2009 and have been wandering the globe ever since. I have also been blogging since ‘day one’ back in mid-2008, when the world’s economy was crumbling and my dumb-ass had just gotten an apartment in the most expensive city on earth and taken a leave of absence from work. As my travel style evolved over the last decade, from luxury traveler to party animal to backpacker to adrenaline junkie to cultural enthusiast, so too has my my writing style.

Since 2015 I have been producing videos for clients in the travel/tourism industry, primarily excursion companies, tourism boards, hotels. That is why I have complete freedom to be blatantly honest here. Unlike other travel bloggers who only write about the positives because they are on sponsored trips and are obligated to, I make my money off videos. I can be as honest or as critical as necessary here. That makes The HoliDaze so much more enjoyable for the reader because every place is not “perfect” and a “must-visit” just to keep advertisers happy. The HoliDaze is honest. And sure, sometimes this raw honesty creates a bit of controversy (or a lot, as you’ll see below) but in the end the reader always wins….so enjoy it, especially my infamous Rants & Rambles 😉

My life would make one helluva television show. Been saying that since I was 16.

Guess I’ll have to settle for a blog. For now.

Why?   Consider me the human version of Curious George, which gets extra interesting in when you factor in that I simultaneously have the best and the worst luck in the world. I’ve been getting myself into (and out of) awkward situations since I was a teenager. When shit hits the fan at its hardest and the fan is spinning full speed, shit is flying everywhere, left and right, blinding you, stinging, sometimes missing, sometimes sticking, sometimes getting flung on nearby friends, but always relentlessly flying…just when it looks like everything is at its worst, well that’s when the ‘Luck of the Derek’ arrives to wipe away all that shit and provide a fresh polish. One day this luck will run out. But until then it’s going to be an epic ride!

This is a story about a boy named Derek

He had a fancy corporate career but overworked himself and suffered a midlife crisis in his early 20s.

Fuck this shit, I'm out on holidaze -- permanently

So Derek quit his job to travel the world!

Derek's holidaze travel timeline

After 3 years of traveling nonstop money was getting low, so Derek converted Shibuya Daze into a more professional global travel blog and re-branded it as The HoliDaze.

Within a year this blog was funding my global adventures.  

Derek Drives That! is part of the new HoliDaze travel video series
The next time I’m in your country, you’d damn well better trust me with your keys. (from an episode of Derek Drives That!)
Country borders and politics be damned, I want to visit *everywhere* #travel #holidaze Click To Tweet

Derek Freal’s

Dubious “Accomplishments,”
Morally Questionable Incidents
& Travel Fucktastrophes:

Adventures Include That Time I…

…drove 3,000 kilometres (2,000 miles) across India in a rickshaw for charity.

Just a few guys and their rickshaws, racing their way across India as part of the Rickshaw Run.
Cooling our rickshaws for a few minutes on the side of the highway in Megalaya, India

…starred in a film in Indonesia.

Derek Freal and Riyanni Djangkaru cook dinner with locals in Sumatra
One of the scenes was of my friend Riyanni and I cooking a delicious meal with a local family in Riau, a remote region of Sumatra, Indonesia

…spent 6-months on a 32-state road trip across the United States in a school bus.

The Future Bus
Our school bus was named the Future Bus and took it one step further then Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters did with their Futhur Bus back in the 1960’s.

…sparked improvements at the Zoo of Death

Hungry bears beg for food at Kebun Binatang Bandung Zoo
Hungry bears beg for food at Kebun Binatang Bandung Zoo in Indonesia

UPDATE: The bears are still hungry. Despite what the mayor of Bandung said, apparently I changed nothing.

…learned to scuba dive in Malaysia.

Lobster, Salang, Tioman Island
Spotted a lobster while diving in Salang, Malaysia

…ate bull penis.

Enjoying sop torpedo -- otherwise known as bull penis soup
For those eager to try this delicious dish, it is known as Sop Torpedo (torpedo soup).

…and bone marrow. A cobra heart. Several types of brain. Bugs. Raw organs.

Sop Tinjang
Suck the warm and mushy bone marrow (think consistency like apple sauce) out through the straw while eating the soup — but do it relatively fast, before the marrow gets cold
"Don't be scared of what I eat. Be scared of what I *won't* eat" @the_HoliDaze #foodie #quote Click To Tweet

…even dog.

Eating dog in Vietnam
Gives a whole new meaning to “dog for sale” — Some people eat dog satay on the streets, others take whole sections of dog meat home.

…survived the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

Mere minutes after the first quake ended, foreigners could be seen crawling atop rubble without any consideration to the fact that people could be buried alive underneath them.
Mere minutes after the first quake ended, foreigners could be seen crawling atop rubble without any consideration to the fact that people could be buried alive underneath them.

…worked on a marijuana farm in California.

Did I ever tell you about the time I worked on a California marijuana farm?
Did I ever tell you about the time I worked on a California marijuana farm?

…partied with Yakuza and rappers in Tokyo.

Japanese Rapper Birthday Party
Attended the VIP birthday party of D.O, head rapper of the Japanese hip-hop group Motha Fuckerz

…appeared on Indonesian national television…again.

New Famili 100
gw joget di New Famili 100 😉

…and so much more!

That’s far from everything…why not browse around The HoliDaze and see what you stumble upon.

Highlights Asia America Africa Europe

Contact Derek Freal

10 Things You Do Not Know About Sri Lanka
The Best Free (And Nearly Free) Things To Do in Dubai
The Amazing, Weird, Exotic and Delicious Fruits of Asia!