Adrien Behn loves planting herself into thorny conversations. She finds herself most comfortable there.
Who is Adrien Behn?
She was a lost soul after college and decided to pack her bags. She has since traveled to 30 countries as a solo female backpacker by the age of 25. She finds that the world often has more to teach us about ourselves and how the world actually works than staying in the familiarity of home. She has found that the conversations she has had with strangers have been just as impactful as the ones with her childhood friends. She wants to encourage a new generation to reach their full potential by being bold enough to break from the conventional path and experiment with who they are. She wants to encourage messy spaces for others to explore the complicated nuances and obvious issues in our society, culture, and identity through storytelling. This is how the podcast was inspired. She desires to hit every country before she dies ( with modern medicine, she still has plenty of time).
Since the onset of the podcast, Adrien has become a triple threat storyteller. She has a love for podcasting, live storytelling, and the written word. You can see her perform her stories live throughout all the borrows of New York City or find her in her kitchen baking pies.
What is Strangers Abroad all about?
Welcome to the website for Strangers Abroad- a narrative travel podcast. This podcast is a series of recordings that I, Adrien Behn, had with people I met throughout my journey to Latin America. It was a 5 month, 5.000-kilometer adventure, encompassing 10 countries, hundreds of people, and countless stories. Each episode is a conversation with a stranger that Adrien met along her travels, sandwiched between my personal stories of where I was and what I was learning. The conversations focus on the importance of taking the time to discover who you are, stories of self-growth, and how travel eradicates prejudice and makes the world a safer place.
What inspired Strangers Abroad?
As a twenty-something year old, with an endless love of learning, and no clear direction, Adrien booked a one-way ticket to Mexico City to go figure out what I want my life to look like. By throwing myself into the deep end, I was able to start chiseling away at some answers.
So my personal travel philosophy that keeps me going is this-
There are 7 billion people in the world, 7 BILLION, and some people say more, some say less but, somewhere between 500-5000 of those people could be your best friends, soul mates, playmates, partners in crime or companions. However, they may live in Copenhagen, New Delhi, or Perth, but you may never meet them unless you go out and find them. They will expose you to wondrous things about yourself and the way the world works.
Everyone I met I learned something new, be it a history lesson, different perspective, or mannerism. Travel creates the opportunity to take a peek into the diversity yet, the simplicity of humanity, it is looking glass of our fundamentals and complexities. As you travel, it becomes clear how interconnected we are. Those you expose yourself to become part of you and vice versa from the taxi drivers, helpful strangers, or bus companions. Although I may have known these people for a few minutes, hours, or fortunate enough to spend months with them, they are my family and this is their story. Everyone we ever meet is a part of who we become.
Now I have an ever expanded nexus and support group made up of people from all walks of life. Now I have places to stay in so many different countries, and these people are always welcome in my home.
So this is a documentation, a recording of my search for these people and what the world can teach me.
But, why travel?
Travel makes the world smaller, safer, and helps create a people who want to build a space where we can all thrive in.
Now I don’t want to over-romanticize or belittle the fact that the world can be scary or painful. But, these obstacles will help you grow in insurmountable ways. You don’t know who you are until you are faced with random situations like being trapped in a tannery in Morocco, or being stranded on the highway for 8 hours in Mexico or break into houses to shoot BB guns into the snow in Stockholm or get caught in a hurricane in Hawaii while hitchhiking. Will you be surprised by how you respond in those situations?
Why share these experience?
Storytelling is a form of immortality, those whose stories we still talk about today still live on with us, and the stories untold are unfortunately forgotten. The people that I was fortunate enough to meet and talk to are doing incredibly inspiring things with their lives and how they are choosing to live should be shared, because they are challenging the conventional way of life, and it could reach to someone who wants to be doing that but doesn’t know how. This is a way of making them a little bit more immortal.
If you want to hear a first-hand story of booking a one-way ticket and winging it then this is the podcast for you. It’s an honest example of long-term backpacking, the successes and struggles, the fuck-ups and spontaneous adventures, and the mundane moments in between. This is meant to show that travel isn’t always glamorous but is immensely rewarding.
So get the hell out of your comfort zone and see who’s out there.