About Derek Freal & The HoliDaze

Derek Freal on New Famili 100 in Indonesia

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 reading this wondering “hey is he that guy who….” well yes, long story short, for better or for worse, that was me. Please direct any and all criticism or congratulations in the form of a tweet (preferably ≤140) to   @the_HoliDaze for an appropriate apology or thank you (whichever the situation dictates).

10 years of traveling summarized in 6 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 decided to get an apartment in Tokyo and take 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 did my writing style.

For the last few years I have been producing videos for clients in the travel/tourism industry (excursion companies, tourism boards, hotels) which is why I have complete freedom to be blatantly honest here. That makes The HoliDaze so much more enjoyable for the reader because every place is not described as “perfect” and “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.

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!

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

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.

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 a video series where Derek convinces random locals in foreign countries to trust him with the keys to the crazy contraptions that pass for vehicles in that country
Country borders and politics be damned, I want to visit *everywhere* #travel #ttot #rtw Click To Tweet

Honestly, I’m a little surprised that I have made it this far — and you probably will be too after reading about:

Derek Freal’s Dubious “Accomplishments,” Morally Questionable Incidents, and Travel Fucktastrophes:

  The HoliDaze Adventures Include That Time When 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.
Awesome photo taken by Ryan Brown (Lost Boy Memoirs) while we cooled our rickshaws for a few minutes on the side of the highway in Meghalaya, India.

See More!   The Rickshaw Run  

…Starred in a film in Indonesia.  

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

Watch The Video!     Behind The Scenes: My Film In Siak, Indonesia

…Did a 6-month 32-state road trip across the United States in a hippie 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

…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).

Watch The Video!     Derek Eats That! Episode #1

…And bone marrow. Cobra heart. Several types of brain. Bugs. Raw organs.  

Sop Tinjang
You suck the warm and mushy (think consistency like apple sauce) fresh bone marrow out through the straw while eating the soup.

[Tweet “Don’t be scared of what I eat. Be scared of what I won’t eat. #foodie #quote”]

…Even dog.  

Eating dog in Vietnam
Some people eat dog satay on the streets but other people purchase whole sections of the dog to take home. Don’t worry, these dogs are not pets. They were raised from birth to be food, just like cattle and chicken.

See More     Strange & Unique Food Archives

…Was in an earthquake in Nepal.  

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.

Watch The Video!     Life in Nepal after the quake

…Worked on a marijuana farm in California.  

California's Cash Crop
Seeing endless fields in front of me is a sight (and smell) that I’ll never forget.

…Partied with Yakuza and rappers in Tokyo.  

Derek Freal partying in Shibuya, Tokyo
VIP birthday party for a Japanese rapper with my Yakuza friends. Just another day in the life of Derek Freal, what can I say.

…Appeared on Indonesian national television…again.  

New Famili 100
Gw joget d 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   Europe   America   Africa

  Tweet Me   Stalk Me @the_HoliDaze


  Contact Derek Freal

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