Episodes

E14- “Beyond Language” 

San Jose, Costa Rica

I met Gaby while I was volunteering in a hostel in Costa Rica.  Born and raised in San Jose, Gaby thought she was going to go down the traditional path of education right into a career. However, her choice to work in a hostel, just to get some dinero on the side, has unintentionally challenged the way she thinks about her future.

She has formed a new perspective on homeland by seeing it through the eyes of people who are experiencing it for the first time. She has become endlessly inspired by the travelers who wander in and out of her hostel who are far from home and perceive her normal to be vastly different. She strikes up a conversation with everyone, whether it is asking them questions about their explorations or native soil, guiding them to the bus station to their next destination, or cluing them in on where to get the best cup of coffee in San Jose. We would spend hours during the quiet afternoons of the hostel having little music jams while doing the daily chores. She would create a warm and welcoming space for every weary traveler who walked through the doors of Hostel Beku.

This seemingly innocuous job choice has forced her to question everything about what she was doing with her life. She has been given a hidden perspective of the ways travelers live and move on a day to day basis and has inspired her to get out of her comfort zone.   And with the help of her American beau, whom she met through pure random and romantic chance, she now has the motivation and ability to go and reach some of the places that once seemed untouchable.

 

E13-“What’s Meant for You Won’t Pass You By”

San Jose, Costa Rica

Sara and I also met at the hostel in San Jose, Costa Rica where she was working at a program that teaches English to locals. Sara says exactly what’s on her mind and has a specific pep about her that is emulated by the bounce in her curly red hair.

Although far from Scotland, Costa Rica was not her first rodeo. As a well-traveled woman, she is attuned to the complexities and subtleties of new places and is thrilled by how vastly different locations in the world can share so many similarities, exposing the elegant simplicity of our earth.

This love of learning combined with a travel competition she has with her brothers keeps her on the move. She strives for a genuine travel experience and is not interested in seeing a new terrain through a window, she wants to get her feet on the ground, breath the air, and chat up anyone that comes her way.

Here is her story.

E12- “The Dive Master”

San Jose, Costa Rica

Sarah and I met in Costa Rica while I was working at hostel Beku. From the moment we met, we immediately broke into a long conversation, as if it was unfinished from years ago. Like a hummingbird, flying from one flower to the next Sarah gave a scattered synopsis of what brought her to Costa Rica and how she was leaving in a few weeks. Keeping my feelings to myself, I selfishly got upset at that news because we had just met and there was already too much to talk about.

Since we parted in Costa Rica she has continued to bounce around the world, going from teaching in New Zealand to being a Divemaster on a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, where she was residing when we had this conversation. It reminds me of the planet the Little Prince lives on, taking only 15 minutes to walk around the entire floating piece of land, gently bobbing in the middle of the sea. She has become enamored with the discoveries of the underwater world, one that mirrors the great depth she finding within herself. Here’s her story.

 

Episode 11 “A Life Without Laughter Is Not Worth Living”

San Jose, Costa Rica

Caryn and I bumped paths while still working in a hostel in Costa Rica. She is hard to miss between her immeasurable height, voice, and personality to match. As boisterous as her presence is, she is attracted to the relaxed, Caribbean sway that is hard to come by in frigid Minnesota. I bring her on initially to tell a regional American joke that I had never heard before. This is a little snapshot of the energy and playfulness that is bouncing out of her and I will let it speak for itself.

Download and subscribe to Strangers Abroad on iTunes!

Episode 10 “A World Filled with Sun” 

San Jose, Costa Rica

Tina, from Finland, needed to find a place that was a 180 from her 9 months of snow, before becoming complacent with her beautifully simplistic life above the arctic circle.

She decided to go and explore a climate and people on the other end of the world away from her reindeer eating folks men. Flying in with a come what may attitude, Tina has not been disappointed with the challenges she has faced and exposure to new perspectives that have blossomed within her in a warmer world without snow.

This trip has generated great reflection and better understanding about who she is fundamentally, and how she wants to construct the scaffolding of her future. Here’s her story.

Download and subscribe to Strangers Abroad on iTunes!

Episode 9 ” Searching for Self”

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala 

This interview chose to stay nameless so we will call him David. I met David while visiting Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. He was working as a yoga instructor at a beautiful hostel overlooking the edge of the lake.

I think the part that made me feel so comfortable so quickly with David was the fact that he also didn’t really know what he was doing, and I felt comfortable enough to speak very openly about my lack of direction with him.

In our interview, he talks about how he has always had an aversion to office jobs, like entering the conventional work force would be his modern day Sisyphus, it being a means to an end. To push up the proverbial rock would have crushed the creativity inside of him.

He searched for different forms of creativity and expression but began to take a toll on his body

So he said fuck it.

I participated in a few of his outside classes, his lesson seemed to absorb the sceneries elements, through motion, we channeled the energy of the volcanos around us, while he simultaneously pushed us to find inner stillness as calm and deep as the lake. As a socially silly person, he takes his yoga classes very seriously.

Download and subscribe to Strangers Abroad on iTunes!

Episode 8 “Hoogly” 

Lake Atitlan: Guatemala
Are you about to finish university and have a future that is unsettlingly open? Are you afraid you don’t have a clear direction and are nervous about leaving the structure of school? Are you uncertain on whether you should take a little time to go find yourself and journey to someplace new? These were all questions that were plaguing Lisa from Germany, who I met on a tiny boat late at night in Lake Atitlan Guatemala. We talk about her research, her decision to travel and be out of her comfort zone. Hear her story and reflection about choosing to travel a distance corner of the world instead of jumping right into a career- and the rewards she would have never received had she stayed in her homeland. Hear her story on Strangers Abroad!

Download and subscribe to Strangers Abroad on iTunes!

This episode was edited by Jay Dixit, sound engineered by Sean Sullivan, and music was provided by Josh Brechner.

Episode 7 ” No Kids till 50 Countries” 

Tulum: Mexico
Have you ever felt that all the gadgets and things you have bought for yourself still leaves you emotionally unsatisfied? Have you ever thought of selling everything you have to hit the open road?Ed and V Noriega were having those same feelings too. They realized that they were running out of time to see the world before committing to the biggest responsibility of all:children. So they sold all they had ( profitable companies and all their tech toys) to go and explore other corners of the world. They have made a vow to not have children until they have been to 50 countries together. Listen to “ 50 Countries before Kids” and see whether the choice to abandon their stable lives to explore for a few years has paid off. Hear their story on Strangers Abroad!

Download and subscribe to Strangers Abroad on iTunes!

This episode was edited by Jay Dixit, sound engineered by Sean Sullivan, and music was provided by Josh Brechner.

Episode 6 ” We Only Know Tomorrow” 

Palenque: Mexico 

We now journey north through Mexico, through Chiapas to Palenque, which is where we meet Georgia and Martin. There are often times when I meet people who I have to tear away from in order to stop talking to them and I am often curious about other people’s travels. Travel is the truest test of any relationship and can make it or break it ( I ended a year long relationship after a week in Mexico with my now ex-boyfriend). Travel provides new and vastly different experiences or challenges, forcing you both out of your comfort zone and exposing different sides of each other. These two are a great example of how travel can strengthen the bond between two people. They move to an invisible rhythm that they both can only hear and dance to together, created by spending so many hours beside each other. They have spent six months of exploring the expansive continent of South America, absorbing all of its beauty and pain, and are finally ready to settle in at home with a nice cup of English tea. Here is their story.

Download and subscribe to Strangers Abroad on iTunes!

This episode was edited by Jay Dixit, sound engineered by Sean Sullivan, and music was provided by Josh Brechner.

Episode 5 “Wedding Ring Tattoos” 

Puerto Escondido: Mexico

The Texans are the last group of people I interviewed at our surfer hostel community in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. They were the mom and dad of our volunteer community and in charge of the organic garden, always tending to both people and plants. They had decided to abandon the American dream long ago- filled with too many catches and contradictions-and aspired for a new life where they can propagate their own food and philosophies. We talk about the ways they are living their aspired alternative lifestyle: engineering their car to run on biofuel, cultivating their own superfoods, and living as DIY as possible in their sunny spot by the sea in southern Mexico.

Download and subscribe to Strangers Abroad on iTunes!

This episode was edited by Jay Dixit, sound engineered by Sean Sullivan, and music was provided by Josh Brechner.

 

Episode 4 “Curiosity is a Traveler” 

Puerto Escondido: Mexico

Nidhi was also working at the surfer hostel in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Though she be but little- she is fierce! and is challenging how people perceive solo female travelers in her homeland of India and around the world. We discuss the benevolent sexism we as women experience when traveling on owr own, and how frustrating it is when people question your ability to explore the world solo. We talk about what she has learned about people from leaving her home in India to receiving an education in the United States and traveling around on her own in Latin America. This girl has big plans and isn’t letting her gender or size get in the way of her aspirations.

Download and subscribe to Strangers Abroad on iTunes!

This episode was edited by Jay Dixit, sound engineered by Sean Sullivan, and music was provided by Josh Brechner.

 

 

 

Episode 3 ” Living My Retirement Now” 

Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

Jay and I met while working at a hostel in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. I would often watch him shimmy up the surrounding coconut trees, shading our little volunteer village, and together we would make coconut milk and attempt to make oil. Jay decided to pause his college career, which many people protested with the exception of an unlikely figure: his father. Jay’s father ( who also backpacked in his youth)encouraged Jay to go and explore as much of the world while he is young and able to take more risks and wreck his body. We hear about how exploration runs in the family and how Jay has decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. He is guided by the adventure in his blood, busting out of the conventional path, ready to see what the world can teach him.

Download and subscribe to Strangers Abroad on iTunes!
This episode was edited by Jay Dixit, sound engineered by Sean Sullivan, and music was provided by Josh Brechner.

Episode 2

Puerto Escondido: Mexico 

This episode is an interview with a German couple I met while volunteering at a surfer hostel in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Being together for five years and fed up with the city life, they booked one-way tickets to Canada to see what life was like on the opposite end of the world. They let their journey take hold of them as they slowly made their way down the west coast of the United States down to Mexico. We would stay up late around a bonfire they meticulously created and nurtured, passing around coffee mescal, travel stories, advice, hand rolled cigarettes and encouragement for future travels. They have asked to remain anonymous. Here is their story.

Download and Subscribe to Strangers Abroad on Itunes! 

This episode was edited by Jay Dixit, sound engineered by Sean Sullivan, and music was provided by Josh Brechner.

Episode 1 “Que Mas Cabrona, Que Bonita”

Mexico City: Mexico 

This is the first episode with the moi bonita Adrianna from Mexico City. She was my couchsurfing host during he first week of the journey and helped me fall in love with North America’s largest metropolis. It was a bit of a chance because she had never hosted anyone before and had no references, but we both decided to risk it. From the moment we met each other we couldn’t stop talking. We spent hours wandering around the city, late into the night, discussing conflicting facets of our experiences as women in our respective countries. We bonded over the stark similarities: the corruption, the oppression against women, but the comfortness of home and embracing the ugly and beauty of it all (especially after a few shots of mescal). A fellow history nerd and feminist, she gives us a glimpse of what it is like living in Mexico City as a woman. She explains the female experience from a personal and historical lens from the inception of feminism into Mexican culture to modern times. Adrianna is a beautiful soul and a friend I would have never met if we both didn’t risk meeting a stranger.

The audio was done via Skype and on weak wifi, so some of this episode is me reinterpreting over her. It is nonetheless interesting and informative. Disfrutar!

Download and Subscribe to Strangers Abroad on Itunes! 

This episode was edited by Jay Dixit, sound engineered by Sean Sullivan, and music was provided by Josh Brechner.

Introductory Episode ” Down this Road” 

This track is a brief description of the inspiration and philosophy behind this podcast. If you are looking to take a break from the conventional life and want to find insights and how-to travel cheaply, while meeting incredible people along the way, then this is the podcast for you! This is a podcast that attempts to illustrate the importance of what we can learn from those around us or on other corners of the earth-especially in a time when the world feels stranger than ever. Throughout this podcast, we come to realize that, although some of us grow up thousands of miles away from each other, we aren’t so different from one other, especially once we give ourselves the chance to learn about ourselves and the ways that the world works by interacting with strangers.

Download and Subscribe Strangers Abroad on Itunes! 

This episode was edited by Jay Dixit, sound engineered by Sean Sullivan, and music was provided by Josh Brechner.

Advertisements