We first met Dayana Dreke and her family in December 2015 as they were about to embark on a new chapter of their lives! In the first part of her interview, Dayana opened up about herself, her family, and their exciting dream to travel through Africa in their 25 year old motorhome. Today, we discuss hopes, dreams, challenges and Dayana leaves us with great advice for anyone interested in making their own Africa travel dream a reality!
AC: What do you hope to gain from this experience?
Dayana: Realizing my dream together with my two loved ones, lots of quality time creating precious family memories, personal development through overcoming challenges together with my partner and growing even closer as a family. We are also looking forward to deepening our knowledge, insight and understanding of Africa, its people, wildlife, ecosystem and sharing it all through our authentic, but also entertaining documentary film and book after our journey. Our ultimate goal is to shift minds and inspire others to travel as well.
AC: Name one thing you can’t travel without.
Dayana: Well, apart from my two loved ones, I guess it’s my iPhone as it keeps me connected with family, friends and followers through social media where I can easily share our journey, and which makes everything just much easier from researching travel info, doing online banking, GPS, storing our photos and documents, using voice memos and travel diary – and just helping me organize and track all logistics of our trip.
AC: Name one thing you wish you COULD travel without.
Dayana: My passport! I wish we would have a border-free world where people can travel wherever they want to without being questioned and limited with complicated, expensive visas just because you happen to be born in a certain country (This is unfortunately the case for my partner who is from DR Congo).
AC: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Dayana: We have not yet decided, where we want to settle down as a family, but maybe after our Africa trip, we will have more inspirations after getting a feel and vibes of places we’ve visited. All I know is that I really love water, mountains and cultural diversity (that’s why I love Cape Town!) and want to live near a river or ocean. Actually, a tropical island would be perfect as it’s also away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, as I need connection to nature to keep me grounded, so maybe Hawaii or somewhere in the Caribbean – but that’s just me dreaming, as I also don’t want to be too far away from family anymore, especially now with our little one. I want her to grow up knowing and spending time with her grand-parents.
AC: Name one place you’d like to see or experience before you die?
Dayana: One place only? Ideally, I want, along with my family, to see as much of the world’s beautiful places as possible, so it’s impossible for me to name one, but a few would include visiting the Amazon Rainforest, sailing to the Caribbean Islands, climbing Machu Picchu, encountering gorillas in Uganda/DR Congo etc. – which we plan on experiencing soon during Africa’s trip up north!
AC: What advice would you give to another family who would like to plan a trip such as yours?
Dayana: Africa is one of the most challenging continents to travel due to its ever-changing conditions. While some countries are well invested in tourism infrastructures like South Africa, which serves all types of travelers, from student backpackers to luxury safari tours, others barely have basic roads to serve its own people like DR Congo. So before doing an adventurous 1-year family trip like ours, I recommend other families to first travel Africa ‘light’ like South Africa or Namibia. We also have the huge advantage of having our travel route based on our personal connections as they have the important local knowledge to provide us with important up-to-date info when preparing to travel the various countries. It definitely also helps being married to an awesome multi-skilled survival man who grew up in the heart of Africa (all smiles here). Most importantly for me however is to know the personality and nature of your child – will s/he be fit and resistant enough to make such an adventurous trip? Honestly, we would not be doing this trip if our daughter was very shy, got easily sick or had problems adapting to change. So we are excited that she is such an adventurer herself already!