Man on the move

When he’s not guiding people home on their commute, Dance FM presenter Dave Cleary is jumping on a plane to tick off a bucket list destination.

Robert Chilton June 21, 2017

How many countries have you ticked off the list?
I’ve visited about 80 or 81. I have a map on my wall with pins stuck in all the countries I’ve been to. My next trip is going to be New Zealand to see a friend in Dunedin of the south island – I’ve heard it’s like a Kiwi version of Scotland.

Where have you been lately?
I’ve just come back from a long weekend in the Philippines. I’ve been there a few times because I normally stop there on my way to Australia. But this time I spent a few days in Manila at Fort Santiago, which is where the Spanish arrived in the colonial period. One thing I love about the Philippines is that the people seem happy and content. 

Do you like places with history?
Yeah, I love any place that has some colonial history, such as Gibraltar, I find it fascinating. I usually read up on a place before I go to see what’s true and what isn’t.

What’s your dream trip?
I really want to go to Iceland. It seems so different to any other part of the world. Every year I say I’m going to Iceland, but this year I will make it happen. 

Will you try camping in Iceland?
I’m not really into camping that much, unless I’m doing something like Base Camp at Everest.

Do you like the beach?
I’m not a beach person, I prefer the bush or the mountains. I don’t usually climb them, but I like a good hike. The best place I’ve hiked is the Lake District in England. It’s so beautiful and has something special, but I’ve also hiked in Peru and Machu Picchu. One of my favourite trails was a place called Cooks Bay in French Polynesia.

Is music important to you when you travel?
I’m surrounded by music at my work all the time so when I travel I like to get away from it. But I must admit I did play the Indiana Jones theme when entering Petra in Jordan.

How do you handle plane journeys?
I like talking to people on planes. I get a coffee and go to the galley at the back of the plane and talk to the cabin crew. I find the aviation industry really interesting and I like hearing the secrets from the crew. If I wasn’t a DJ I’d like to work as cabin crew but I might be a bit too old now.

Any plans for an adventure holiday?
I really want to see the Gumball 3000 Rally. This year it goes from Lithuania down to Mykonos and it looks amazing. It would be a trip of lifetime. I think I’d meet some pretty eccentric and interesting people. 

What place disappointed you?
I’ve been to Las Vegas a few times for work and I don’t get it. I’m not a party boy. But last time I was there I took a trip to the Monument Valley, which was fantastic. 

We hear you’re a fan of Australia?
Yep, my family emigrated to Australia when I was very young so I have relatives there. I’ve probably been to Australia about 18 times but, and I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’ve never been outside New South Wales. I like the Blue Mountains near Sydney, and I love the people and their can-do attitude. Australians are the only people who can make swearing sound friendly.