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!
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!
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.
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…
See More! The Rickshaw Run
Watch The Video! Behind The Scenes: My Film In Siak, Indonesia
Watch The Video! Derek Eats That! Episode #1
[Tweet “Don’t be scared of what I eat. Be scared of what I won’t eat. #foodie #quote”]
See More Strange & Unique Food Archives
Watch The Video! Life in Nepal after the quake