Dave Seminara is a writer and former diplomat based in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is the author of four books. Mad Travelers: A Tale of Wanderlust, Greed and the Quest to Reach the Ends of the Earth (June 1, 2021) is a deep exploration of wanderlust, focused around the true story of William Baekeland, a young Brit who conned many of the world’s most traveled people as they sought to reach the planet’s most remote and off-limits places.
Footsteps of Federer: A Fan’s Pilgrimage Across 7 Swiss Cantons in 10 Acts (March 2, 2021) is an award-winning account of Dave’s travels across Switzerland in Roger’s footsteps. Dave’s second book, Breakfast with Polygamists: Dispatches from the Margins of The Americas (2019) is a collection of more than three dozen travel-related stories from 10 countries across The Americas.
Bed, Breakfast & Drunken Threats: Dispatches from the Margins of Europe (2016) is a collection of 27 travel stories that unfold across 20 European countries. The book was a number one bestseller in Liechtenstein, Malta and various other micronations he prefers not to brag about.Dave has won various awards that he’s pretty sure you’ve never heard of, so let’s not waste time talking about that either.
He speaks 17 languages, including a few that are practically extinct, like Judeo-Crimean Tatar and Ts’ixa, which he learned while serving as the personal butler to the former President of the Republic of Botswana. After that gig, Seminara lived with a previously uncontacted tribe in Papua New Guinea. (Unfortunately, they now spend their days watching Tik Tok and eating Cheetos.)
He had an honorary doctorate in Icelandic folk dancing from Fresno State University. In 2024, he is scheduled to receive the Medal of Freedom from the Dalai Lama, who is a close personal friend and confidant.
Other less interesting but perhaps more strictly true things about Dave include the fact that he was born in Buffalo, where he grew up listening to shortwave radio and rooting for doomed sports teams. (He retains a 716 area code despite not living there since 1990.)
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Villanova University, Dave joined the U.S. Foreign Service. His diplomatic career included numerous international incidents during stints at American embassies in Macedonia, Trinidad and Hungary, and in the Bureau of Central African Affairs in Washington, D.C.
Dave has written for many publications, including some that are still in business, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The Los Angeles Times, City Journal, The New York Post, Chicago Magazine, Real Clear Politics, AFAR, The Hill, Outside, Espn.com, Boston Globe, Boston Globe Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Oklahoman, Indianapolis Monthly, Tennis, Buffalo Spree, Perceptive Travel and many other websites and publications.
Seminara is passionate about photography and has photo credits in publications such as National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, Outside, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tennis, and others. In 2003, Dave took second place in National Geographic Traveler magazine’s annual photo contest for a portrait he captured in Tblisi, Georgia.
Dave lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with his wife, Jen, and their sons, Leo, 12, and James,10. You can join his e-newsletter by texting the word traveler to 716-287-8855. Be sure to let Dave know what types of articles and books you enjoy. Circa Orbem.