Dayne Traveler has the natural ability to turn ordinary events into memorable occasions. This collection of short stories provides a snapshot of the complex and endearing personality of an exceptional man. Although Dayne Traveler is a pen name for Daniel Pope, the accounts recorded here are very real.
Daniel is a martial arts instructor with several schools in the Philadelphia area. As a Black Belt Tournament champion, he has won hundreds of awards regionally, nationally, and in World Association competition. But karate is just one of many components of Daniel’s life. When Daniel isn’t practicing or teaching martial arts, he’s trying out new endeavors. Over the years, Daniel has given countless motivational talks on fitness, the importance of cross training, and proper nutrition.
I’ve always known him to be in top physical condition. In fact, at the height of his career, Daniel’s body fat measured a mere four percent!
Daniel is a big proponent of the philosophy “you are what you eat.” He not only eats well, but he also refuses to compromise his health by indulging in illicit substances. Water is Daniel’s drink of choice! So when a lump mysteriously appeared on his leg and tested positive for cancer, I was dumbfounded! Everyone close to Daniel was shocked by the news, but we were impressed by the positive attitude he sustained during treatment. Daniel shares this cancer episode at the forefront of his stories and reveals the source of his optimistic outlook on life.
The way in which we react to life’s curve balls is a testament to our individual attitudes. Through his cancer experience, Daniel came to appreciate the fact that he was blessed to have lived a full life, as this collection demonstrates. Daniel’s (or Dayne’s) antics turn some of the most routine outings into adventures.
Over the years, I had loosely suggested to Daniel that he pen some of his escapades, but it wasn’t until he expressed a desire to write about nature that I strongly encouraged this project. After purchasing his second home, a log cabin in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, Daniel became interested in black bears and concerned about protecting their habitats. After interviewing and spending time in the field with bear biologists, Daniel wanted an outlet by which to share the information he had gathered. So, I offered to help him write a newspaper column.
Overconfidence often lands my friend in precarious and humbling situations, and on one of his weekend excursions, Daniel nearly drowned in a kayaking accident. His fervor for life had been taken to yet another level following the near-death experience, and he told the story so passionately that I insisted it make our next newspaper deadline. The kayaking story was well received and the editor was eager for more variety, so we began writing some of his other escapades. Dr. Carter Cloyd, a good friend to Daniel Pope, was initially introduced in the kayaking story. He would become a recurring character; one of many curious Dayne Traveler sidekicks mentioned in this book.
One of my life-long goals had always been to write a book, so putting these stories together has been a real joy. Having seen Daniel successfully complete many tasks, I knew he’d be the perfect partner for such a project. Coincidentally, he had similar thoughts. Thus, our writing adventure began.
One of my aspirations has finally come to fruition and I credit much of the accomplishment to Daniel’s persistence. A disciplined athlete and karate champion, he has an innate gift to motivate people to strive for their personal best. But since he carefully separates his personal and professional lives, some do not get to see his light-hearted side. Being such a close friend, however, I do, and through The Adventures of Dayne Traveler, you will too.