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Darren White - World Traveler

By Phil Guidry

When I first met Darren White, he was sitting on the steps of a brooding stone temple in Kunsan, South Korea, dispensing valuable travel advice to a gang of awestruck tourists.

"I'd stay away from Bangkok, especially right now," he told them. "The heat and the Europeans will get to you, after a while. Take my word for it - Phuket's the place to go."

I poked my head in to listen. Darren, who was 26 years old at the time, was playing travel guide to these American college students, and I found myself likewise enthralled. It wasn't so much that I was listening to tales of ‘3 $ a night' huts on a southeast Asian beach and ‘18-cent' pints of imported beer - I was in Korea, after all - but that these tales were coming from such an unlikely source.

Darren was a skinny, pale-complexioned Canadian of British descent. Aside from his easygoing, immensely-likable demeanor, he looked like someone who'd get lost in his own backyard, much less be giving out travel tips on Thailand. But my fellow students flocked to listen, setting out often based solely on his word. Before long, I did, too.

Over the course of seven eventful days on the Korean peninsula, Darren and I would become good friends. I would grow to marvel and appreciate such an erstwhile and seasoned traveling companion, and needless to say his tales continue to inspire me.

Darren was a chiropractic student at Life College of Atlanta when we met. He was quite the pauper in those days, as I was, but the difference was that he had somehow managed to see over 40 countries in 6 continents in a matter of years. In the process, he also found enough dough to pay his own tuition for medical school. This intrigued me immensely, and I couldn't help but ask him how he did it.

Story Continued

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