Who is Darren McLean!
Hi! My name is Darren McLean. I’m an Australian digital nomad and the owner of taste2travel.
Welcome to my website!
Born in Newcastle, Australia, and raised in both Newcastle and Sydney, travel has been an obsession for me since childhood.
In 1986, fresh out of high school, I started planning my first overseas trip.
At that time, I was working two jobs in Sydney, which allowed me to raise enough funds to book a flight to Europe.
I departed Australia one week after my 20th birthday and haven’t looked back.
I’m now 55, and still as enthusiastic about travel today, as I was at the age of 20!
I’ve now been travelling the world for 35 years and, 216 countries and territories, and 7 continents later, I’m still on the road.
My personal travel goal is to visit all 246 countries and territories which are listed on my Countries and Territories list.
Otherwise known as the UN+ list, my checklist is an excel file which can be downloaded and used as your personal country/ territory counter.
I’m a very slow traveller, and I’m now visiting my final countries and territories! Not sure how long that will take!
“The secret to an enjoyable existence is to have your money working for you and not you working for your money.” Darren McLean
My first job, at the age of 18, was as a trainee in an IT data centre in Sydney, Australia.
Instead of spending years at university studying Computer Sciences, an international financial services company offered to train me and pay me! How could I refuse such an offer?
With the benefit of hindsight, I can say – I was in the right place at the right time!
A very demanding job, with a steep learning curve, my traineeship led to a fruitful career as an IT consultant, with well-paying contracts in various countries, including Australia, Switzerland, Germany, UK, New Zealand and others.
While I always earned enough money to support my travels, I realised I needed to achieve financial independence so that I could get off the 9-to-5 work treadmill.
To achieve this, I immersed myself into the world of finance, learning everything that I needed to know to become a capable share market investor and a competent share portfolio manager.
I then invested my hard-earned income into a diversified share portfolio, with a focus on companies paying high-yield dividend income.
This constant dividend income stream has supported the last 10 years of non-stop travel.
Birth of taste2travel!
In 2016, after having spent 3 years meandering around every country of South America, I was often asked for travel advice from fellow travellers.
I responded to such requests by forwarding emails, which were loaded with travel tips for each of the countries.
While residing in Cali, Colombia, I decided to launch a website which would allow me to disseminate information more easily, to a wider audience, and hence, taste2travel was born.
My first post, which was written in the kitchen of my apartment in Cali, featured Colombian Fruits. Truly wacky stuff!
Aim of taste2travel!
The purpose of taste2travel is to pique one’s curiosity and inspire wanderlust.
The aim of taste2travel is to provide travel information for destinations around the world, with a focus on those destinations which are remote and seldom visited.
The internet definitely doesn’t need another travel guide to Paris or Singapore, but information is sorely lacking for some of the more remote and obscure destinations.
In addition to travel guides, taste2travel also includes 50+ travel quizzes, numerous photo galleries and a number of feature articles.
My travel guides are best suited to those planning a journey to a particular destination.
My aim is to create useful, usable travel guides for destinations I have visited. My guides are very comprehensive and detailed as I believe more information is better than less.
Many of the destinations featured on my website are far off the regular beaten-tourist-trail.
You’ll find travel guides to destinations such as – Nauru, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Mayotte, Socotra, Transnistria, Saba, Sint Eustatius and much more.
Often, these destinations are hidden gems which remain undiscovered, mostly because they are remote and difficult to reach.
I enjoy exploring and showcasing these ‘off-the-radar’ destinations, which will, hopefully, inspire others to plan their own adventure to a far-flung corner of the planet.
Quote from Tony Wheeler (founder of Lonely Planet) from his Kiribati blog post:
“Unfortunately Lonely Planet’s South Pacific guide no longer covers Kiribati, although earlier editions devoted 24 pages to the country, and Moon Publication’s South Pacific Handbook is out of print.
Check Darren McLean’s taste2travel posting on Kiribati for more information.”
Who doesn’t like a good travel quiz?
I love travel trivia and I enjoy creating travel quizzes.
You’ll find 50+ travel quizzes on taste2travel, covering subjects such as currencies, flags, maps, capital cities, continent-specific quizzes and more.
You can access all the quizzes here.
I’m a keen photographer, and, unless otherwise stated, all photos on the site are mine. If I use a photo from another source, I will quote the source.
In an attempt to whet your appetite and inspire wanderlust, taste2travel includes numerous photo galleries which contain a curated selection of images from destinations around the world.
You can access all my photo galleries here.
Yves Klein Blue
If you’re curious to know which shade of blue I use on my website, it’s International Yves Klein Blue (hex colour code #002fa7), my favourite shade of blue, which was developed by French artist Yves Klein.
If you have any questions or queries, please contact me via the contact page.
I hope you enjoy my website.
Click on the links to access the following:
- taste2travel Home Page
- taste2travel Travel Guides
- taste2travel Travel Quizzes
- taste2travel Photo Galleries
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