woman in parachute hammock

There are only a few things I always take with me when I hit the road. And perhaps the most important one to me is my hammock. That’s probably surprising to hear, but there’s a reason for that and it’s a pretty good story. Before we get to that, let me introduce you to my hammock.

woman in parachute hammock

I have what is called a parachute style hammock. I bought it online from some website. It was not a huge site, but they have a good selection and they have great prices on parachute hammocks. They also sell other types of hammocks, like Mayan hammocks and Brazilian hammocks and tree tents, but parachute hammocks are the best for traveling.

The reason parachute hammocks are so good that they weigh very little and they roll up into a tiny ball. You stuff them in the pouch they come with and they take up very little space. Despite that, they are very strong. More importantly, they are incredibly comfortable.

The only hammocks that are (slightly) more comfortable are Mayan hammocks and Nicaraguan hammocks or perhaps Brazilian hammocks. For me Brazilian hammocks are a bit too warm, but Mayan and Nicaraguan hammocks are cooler. All three are very comfortable though. They are the kind of hammocks you can sleep in. The drawback of these hammocks is that they are bulkier and they weigh a little bit more and they are much more expensive. That is why I have a parachute style hammock.

I started carrying a hammock with me when I first began DJing in other countries. Back then I could not afford to stay in nice hotel rooms and even hostels were a bit expensive for me in the long run. I quickly learned from other travelers that you could often stay in a hostel for much cheaper if you brought a hammock with you and simply hung it up on the property.

They would charge you half of what they would charge for dorm room and often even less. In exchange for that, you get access to the kitchen and their bathroom facilities. For me this was important. I know I could’ve hung my hammock up out in nature and not paid anything, but I really wanted to be clean. You can’t roll up looking like a homeless person when you’re DJing in a club.

Because of what I said earlier, you’re probably wondering what other things I take with me. The others you can probably guess. Naturally I always bring my phone and a lightweight laptop. I need these for my business. I don’t bring much DJ equipment anymore, since I can do everything from my laptop. Sometimes, when I play big festivals, I do bring actual turntables and a mixer. At these types of events, I like to still spin it old-school style with real turntable record players. Apart from that, I just bring the standard stuff you would take when traveling: clothes, toiletries and so on.

Like I said, there’s nothing too surprising in there. Except for the hammock of course. These days, I can afford nicer hotel rooms, but I still like sleeping in my hammock to be honest. Sleeping in a hammock is much more comfortable than just about any bed.

Of course, this presumes that you know how to sleep in a hammock. Most people do it wrong. They lie init like a banana and that is not comfortable for a long period of time. You have to lie a bit diagonally, so that your body ends up being straight. Lie in one like this and hammocks are super comfortable and also great for your back. You get the best sleep of your life, trust me.

Dj playing music

People often ask me what made me want to become a DJ. They are also often curious about my desire to travel and one of the most common questions overall that I get is whether I always wanted to be a DJ. Have I known my whole life that this is what I wanted to do?

Dj playing musicThe truth is no. That said, I do usually tell people that I always wanted this career path. I’m talking about music when I say that, but they assume from that that I always wanted to be a DJ, but that is not quite true. When I was younger and up until high school or so, I actually wanted to be a singer. Whenever you see a band playing live, the lead singer gets all the attention. And that’s what I wanted. I wanted the attention. This was back when DJs were not yet the focal point of a music festival. When DJs just played music and nobody really paid much attention to them.

But back in the 90s that started to change. I watched a movie and I would like to tell you what it’s called, but I can’t remember. It had the actress who played the foreign exchange student in American pie. I want to say her name is Shannon Elizabeth but I am not sure. Anyway she was in it and a whole bunch of people I’d never seen before and have never seen again in a movie. In short it wasn’t a great movie.

But it involved a group of friends who went to a rave. One of them went for the first time and being at the rave changed his life. I know that feeling, because my first rave was a special experience too.
But what really got me from the movie were the DJs.

It featured several DJs, but only one was really famous. That was John Digweed. Now, he is not my favorite DJ by any means, but seeing him and the other DJs in the movie really left a lasting impression on me.

The crowd really loved the DJs and they controlled the atmosphere of the crowd. The music they played ensured that people had a good time. And if they played bad music people did not have a good time. I loved that you can have such an impact on people’s moods as a DJ. And that is when I change my mind. I no longer wanted to become a singer. I wanted to be a DJ instead.

From there, I got myself a set of turntable record players and started practicing. This is before the Internet was huge and before YouTube, so I couldn’t just watch videos like you would do today. Instead, I rented books at the library and tried to follow from them. That didn’t work too well.

traveling the worldSo what I did is just went to club and befriended some DJs and learned from them. Eventually I started to get some smaller gigs that then lead to larger gigs. I also got some better equipment. It was around this time that I really got an interest in traveling.

I started dating a girl who had done a lot of traveling and her stories maybe want to see the world. I also started to watch a lot of movies about traveling and that really gave me the travel bug. Plus, my girlfriend got me into international bands, like Le Zoo, Yvon Krevé and Le Partisan. Yes, they are all French. And yes, my girlfriend was French.

I was starting to make more money from my DJing, but I gave it all up when I started to travel. At some point on the road, I realized I could use my DJ skills to make money while I travel. I would never be as big of a DJ, because it takes time to establish yourself in a location, but that was a sacrifice I was willing to make to see the world. That is how I got you where I am today.