Hola, I'm Duane

A few interesting things about me:

I've developed software used by over 40 million people, including the previous media engine in Yahoo! Messenger.

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I co-wrote the previous #1 plugin for WordPress (out of 20,000), WPtouch, and eventually sold it.

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I've visited 44 countries in the last seven years and currently live in Valencia on the eastern coast of Spain.

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I do part time research on the gut microbiota, insulin resistance, and metabolic diseases.

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I am a published concert, travel, portrait, and landscape photographer; I currently shoot Fuji XT lenses.

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How To Value A Business

BusinessNewsletter

I recently was looking at a business plan for a new venture that came across my desk. The two individuals involved are trying to raise money for a bar in South America that they will manage. It’s one of those businesses that most people dream about – a foreign country with lots of sunshine, lots of friendly travellers, and evenings spent sipping beer on a patio. Sign me up! As part of their business plan, they needed to come up with a value for what this new business would likely be worth once it was off the ground. The reason […]

Visiting Iceland

Europe

I recently made the decision to take advantage of Iceland Air’s free stopover policy to visit Iceland on my way from Vancouver, Canada to Europe. If you weren’t aware, Iceland Air allows anyone to stop for up to a week in Iceland without any additional charges. This is a brilliant marketing move, and it’s help Iceland become a hugely successful tourist destination in the last few years (one tour guide told me that fishing used to be about 70% of the economy, and now tourism is coming close to eclipsing that). Before I arrived, I had heard stories about how […]

My Next Adventures: Iceland, Morocco, Spain, Scotland and Germany

 Travel

I used to proactively write about every upcoming travel adventure I had, but I tend not to do that much these days. One of the reasons is that sometimes my plans change, and then I end up with a post that’s no longer accurate. Another reason is that people, while well intentioned, tend to sometimes aggressively give advice on how I should change my trips around, which ends up putting me on the defensive regarding my choices (most of which are well thought out in terms of what I want to get out of that trip). That said, this next […]

Next Adventure: Walking the West Highland Way in Scotland

Scotland

People keep asking me what my next travel plans are, so I thought I would give a little update. While I used to only come back to Canada for a month or two at a time, now that I have my own cottage in Canada I tend to spend longer periods here. Plus, while last year I dabbled in renting my cottage out while I was gone, it’s really only the summer months that seem to appeal to most renters; so it makes more sense for me to travel then so I can rent my cottage out and at least […]

Walking The 800km Camino de Santiago Between France and Spain

 Travel

It’s 7am in the morning, and the trail in front of me is barely lit by the LED headlamp I’m wearing on my head. I’m up earlier than I have been over the last few days, mainly due to the orchestra of snoring in my albergue room throughout the night. Yesterday I limped my way into town, hobbling in pain due to sore knees and a pair of star-crossed blisters on my feet. I had been chewing ibuprofin for the last 12 hours, hoping it would take away some of the pain in my knees and allow me to continue […]

Building an Outdoor Farmhouse Patio Table

 Journal

I’ve been in the market for a new outdoor patio table for quite some time. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t really want to spend a huge amount of money on one, which is why I originally was looking at buying a used one. As I live in a cottage, I really wanted a wood table for my outdoor patio as opposed to a metal one. I spent the last few weeks looking at used offerings in the area, but everything looked pretty beat up or just in an older style that wouldn’t really fit in with my decor. I started […]

Two Weeks Until The Camino De Santiago

Spain

In less than two weeks from today, I’ll be leaving St. Jean Pied de Port, France and starting my 800 kilometre journey to Santiago de Compostela. People keep asking me if I’m excited, and a small part of me at this point definitely is. But I typically don’t start feeling real excitement or butterflies until I’m on the airplane heading to my destination. I have most of the logistics for my trip figured out, including a late night shuttle from Biarritz, France to St. Jean, and a nice bed and breakfast in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, for my […]

Packing for the Camino de Santiago

Spain

While I still have roughly two months before I head to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to start the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, I have been focusing a lot of time recently with packing. I’d like to start being able to do some practice walks with a full pack shortly, which means I need to get my pack to roughly the same weight as it will be when I arrive. Of course, I could just fill it with rocks for now, but since I already have many of the items with me at home, I thought I’d just finish […]

Camino de Santiago

Europe

In about 90 days, I’m heading to London, England, to spend my birthday. As you get older, birthdays become less and less important I find, certainly not enough to warrant a huge drunk at the bar. So I thought this year I would spend my birthday in another country, hopefully meeting a few new people and maybe exploring the countryside. A few days after my birthday, I’m heading to Spain to start the Camino de Santiago, a famous Christian pilgrimage that ends in the city of Santiago, Spain. Historically many people attempted the long walk as penance for their sins, […]

My Return To Malta

Malta

Earlier this year, I got a Facebook invite for a surprise birthday party in Malta. I’m sure when it was sent out nobody thought anyone from Canada would show up, since it’s a really long way to go for a birthday. But as soon as I received the invite, I decided it would be really fun to show up, and also a chance to see a little more of Europe. I left at the end of May and stopped briefly in London for a few days. I met up with my friend Barry, someone I recently met in Argentina back […]