Traveller Interview: Dustin & Jessica

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 4 Comments

I’ve known Dustin for a very long time. We first met while working as line-cooks at a chain restaurant in Edmonton about 17 years ago! When Kylee and I first met, one of the first nights out we had, I dragged her along to a party at Dustin’s place, that was the first time she met my friends.

We only met Jessica recently. Between our travels and their jobs, their travels and our jobs, it was surprisingly hard to find time to get together. Though they don’t travel full-time, I’ve lost count as to how many countries they’ve visited – including Antarctica this past year!



Dustin and Jessica

Where do you live:

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

What do you do for a living?

Dustin: Power Engineer
Jess: Registered Dietitian

What is your favourite country/countries? Why?

Jess: Nepal, Bhutan because of the culture and how happy and pleasant all the people are.

Dustin: Antarctica because it feels like you’re on another planet and the sheer beauty of it all is mesmerizing. Nepal/Bhutan because of the people and the culture of leading a life full of happiness with fewer possessions and wealth is something we can all learn from.

What type of travel do you normally do? Why?

We do a mix. We have toured, backpacked, and over-landed Africa in an SUV. We like the combo of backpacking followed by classing it up a little for the last few nights of a trip. For example at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore after backpacking Nepal.

What is the most unforgettable or profound travel moment you’ve experienced?

Dustin: Hiking Thorong La Pass at 03:00 and seeing nothing but stars and moon light up the Himalayan mountain tops.

Jess: I have 2. 1) Being charged at by a rhino in Zambia and then following it to a mama and baby rhino and getting about 6 feet away from them. 2) Having humpback whales swim within arm’s reach in our tender boat in Antarctica

The scariest moment you had while traveling?

Dustin: Hearing the rocks falling on the Annapurna circuit while walking on a narrow ledge trekking to high camp.

Jess: Ditto. But being in the lead and not being able to see Dustin or our guide for probably 10 mins but felt like forever as rocks were whizzing past

Dustin + Jess: Almost getting robbed in Victoria Falls while having ALL of our possessions on us (passports, money, etc.)

What is the greatest food you’ve eaten while traveling?

Jess: Cut in Singapore. O.M.G. Also, on Koh San Road mango and sticky rice from this little old lady on the corner of where the Wild Orchid is. Had it every morning. Yum. (YAY for dessert for breakfast)

Dustin: Same. But also street Pad Thai on Koh San Road, Bangkok

Speaking of Thai street food, we have our own Street-Style Pad Thai Recipe

Is there something you cannot travel without? What is it?

Dustin: My camera. And Jessica

Jess: Aww. My pharmacy (haha), you never know what you might need. And Dustin.

If someone was traveling to your current city, what is one activity you would suggest them to do?

Dustin and Jess: In the summer go to the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald patio and a festival – Taste of Edmonton, The Fringe, Folk Fest, Street Performers…

In the winter, just don’t come here. If you do, check out an Oilers game, Ice Castle, or take a 3 hour drive to the Rockies.

Also, regarding visitors to your current city, what is one food/restaurant they must try?

Dustin: Corso 32 or Red Ox Inn

Jess: New York Bagel Café for brunch

Both: Bistro Praha (Our first date, and excellent Schhnitzel)

What is one piece of advice you’d give to other travellers?

Talk to everybody. Everyone has a story and advice.

Get a steri pen or steri bottle. No one seems to have them and they’re the best and cut down on plastic for clean water. Let’s clean up plastic island!

Don’t be afraid of the unknown or what the news/social media says about a country, make your own informed decision.

You are stranded on a deserted island. You’re allowed one book, one album, and one food. What would you choose for each?

Book: Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela

Album: Just Be by Tiesto. Because…trance

Food: Steak and lobster (The Keg ruined me)

Book: Tough one. I think Harry Potter because there’s always something new to pick out of it so it would stay interesting.

Album: Sigh. Also tough. Can I have a sweet Spotify playlist?

Food: Mexican. Beans…cheese…guac…need I say more?!


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Desirée travels

I love these questions! 😀 And now I’m craving mexican food.

Dustin Stembridge
Dustin Stembridge

So much fun. Thanks guys. It was a great opportunity to look through all of our travel photos. Next up, India in 3 weeks!