In the digital age, content creation has become the driving force for innovation. No one knows that better than entrepreneur David Hoffmann, a 34-year-old independent travel expert who has carved out his own niche that combines his passion for exploration with his love of creating premium travel content aimed at helping others experience the world the same way he has.
Hoffmann’s life’s work, David’s Been Here, is an one-stop travel resource shaped by its creator’s experiences across the globe. Born in Miami, Florida, to a multicultural family, Hoffmann was introduced to travel at a young age. In 2003, he took a life-changing trip to Spain and Italy to visit family and found himself lost in translation when trying to communicate with his mother’s Italian family. He found it easiest to connect with them through their food and culture.
His experiences in Italy planted a seed in his mind that he wanted travel to be a large part of his life. The seed bloomed into a full-blown business plan in 2007 when he founded David’s Been Here and hired a small film crew to help him create over 500 bite-sized travel webisodes on a then-brand-new platform called YouTube.
Hoffmann quickly became a trusted rising star in the world of travel content creation, as tourism boards and respected brands partnered with the award-winning host. His content has been featured in publications like the Daily Mail, National Geographic, Matador Network, and BuzzFeed. He also amassed a loyal following that trusted him to share unique and informative videos and blog posts..
Over the past 12 years, Hoffmann has visited 77 countries and traveled to over 1,100 cities. He hopes those figures will inspire others to explore beyond their backyards and leave their mark on the world.
“If I can do it, so can you,” he says. “Travel is the only thing we buy that makes us richer. It teaches us about different people, different cultures, and different ways of life. And I truly believe it makes us better people.”
Hoffmann is a self-confessed workaholic, spending 2-4 weeks exploring each destination he visits. He wakes up at 6 a.m. and sets out with his camera to film up to three episodes every day, with locals serving as his co-hosts and guides. Filming with locals is important to Hoffmann, as they add a level of authenticity he can’t get from foreign guides or tour groups.
“Locals know everything,” Hoffmann says. “They know the best places to eat and all the hidden gems that no one else knows about. Plus, they know what to avoid, so it’s good for safety, too.”
Most of the content Hoffmann creates is sponsored by clients who want their destinations to reach a wider audience. It’s bolstered by Hoffmann’s affable personality, which often makes his viewers feel as though they’re traveling with him as opposed to simply watching a video.
With over 600,000 YouTube subscribers and roughly 200,000 monthly website visitors, Hoffmann realizes that he is a trusted voice in travel. His audience frequently asks for his honest advice, and he is more than happy to share it.
“It really means a lot that people trust me,” Hoffmann says. “I work hard to deliver accurate information in my guides and videos. But if people have specific travel questions, they can also message me on Instagram.”
As much as David’s Been Here is a travel resource, it’s also part memoir and part virtual classroom. Hoffmann hopes the content he creates will teach and inspire his audience, show them how beautiful the world is, and showcase how similar people are at their core.
“It makes me so happy when I hear from people who visited an attraction I recommended or tried a dish because I featured it in one of my videos,” he says. “I’ve experienced so many incredible, life-changing things because of travel. And I want other people to experience them, too.”