For McCool Travel’s 186th travel interview, I am pleased to present David Kliman. He is a rare non-content creator in this travel interview series but his travels are extensive and I knew I could learn a thing or two from his experiences. I am so glad he agreed to do this interview.
I met David at a travel event, followed him on social media, and am simply awed, impressed, and inspired at how much, where, and how he travels. Much of it is for business but a fair bit of his travel is for personal passions.
David Kliman’s bio:
David Kliman is a meeting facilitator, trend hunter, connector of people and ideas, pilot, and world traveler. He has traveled to and experienced more than 125 countries, all 50 United States, and all 13 Canadian provinces and territories. David is a highly experienced single and multi-engine pilot and has flown high-performance turbine airplanes all over North and South America and the Caribbean.
He has served as International Chairman of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) and on the White House Board of Travel and Tourism. In April 2022, MPI named David as one of the 50 most influential members in the event industry.
My hometown now is Tucson, AZ, USA but I recently relocated from Sonoma County.
ON EVERY TRIP I MUST BRING …
- I wouldn’t think of leaving on trip without my Bose noise-cancelling headsets (shown above) …
- … along with my journal. For the past 43 years, I’ve kept a detailed written record of my every trip in a form of “Notes to Lars” (my husband). I have documented each and every form of transportation along with where I’m going and why along with my thoughts about what I’m seeing and experiencing.
- I also always have my iPad loaded up with downloaded movies, books, and podcasts.
- Lastly, even though I rarely check a bag, I always have an Apple Airtag tucked into my bag(s) so I can track its location should I become separated from it.
3 FAVORITE HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME PLACES …
- Karangasem, Bali is my home away from home. I’ve been there 20+ times over the last decades. I have a lifelong friend; someone who’s like a brother to me who lives there and I have the great privilege of being his welcome guest at one of his amazing homes where I live a Balinese life to the maximum.
- Australia. I first traveled to Oz in the early 1980s and was instantly smitten. The geography and the people are unique and spectacular. Australia is known as “The Lucky Land” and having been many times, I believe that’s a very fair and accurate moniker.
A FAVORITE TRAVEL MEMORY …
Three favorite memories:
- My last trip was to Lima, Peru in August 2022 and I was captivated by this city’s beautiful vistas overlooking the Pacific, its amazing Inca history, and the delicious (and very inexpensive) cuisine.
- My first solo adventure at age 17 when I left home for the summer with a small backpack expecting to return 2 months later and ended up traveling nonstop all over the world for close to 3 years.
- Piloting a single engine turbine airplane from Northern California to Buenos Aires, Argentina flying down the length of Latin America and the Pacific Coast of South America and over the Andes Mountains over 7 days with my Dad.
3 FAVORITE TRAVEL BRANDS …
- Singapore Airlines – arguable the world’s best airline and Singapore Changi Airport is a model of efficacy and style. Using miles to upgrade to Business, First or Suites is a travel dream come true.
- Seabourn Cruise Line – floating 5 star luxury with highly personalized service and experiences
- Park Hyatt Hotels are some of the world’s great hotels and second to none. I especially love Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires and Park Hyatt New York.
3 MONEY-SAVING TRAVEL TACTICS I USE …
- Search airfares using Google Flights
- Using airline miles for long-haul premium cabin flights
- Staying at Super Host AirBnB properties
3 WAYS THAT I HAVE FUN WHILE TRAVELING …
- I love meeting locals spontaneously or organized through introductions from my global network to talk about the realities of living in their land
- Swimming anywhere in fresh or salt water
- Riding a bicycle anywhere, especially around a new city or place
8 WORD (OR LESS) TRAVEL MANTRA …
“Think of the Possibilities.”
FAVORITE NON-TRAVEL WEBSITE …
MOST MEMORABLE SOUVENIR …
- A bronze Laotian temple bell purchased in Luang Prabang
- A Burmese sacred text hand written on gold leafed paper mache and now framed in my home (shown below)
FAVORITE CHEAP EAT …
Noodles of any kind
RECENT DISCOVERY …
The Larco Museum in Lima Peru. Truly one of the world’s great archeological collections and a treasure throve of Inca artifacts.
I WOULD LIKE TO MEET …
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Thank you so much, David, for sharing your travel advice and inspiration.
McCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes travel interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons.
Previous 5 Minutes travel interview: Divergent Travelers.