Hayden returns with his travel journal, pulling an entry from when he arrived in Bali, Indonesia. His first day in Bali, being the perfect mixture of insane and awesome, sees him couchsurfing, receiving a Thai massage, and fulfilling massive amounts of Bali stereotypes. He wakes up to the sounds of cats, children’s laughter, and roosters, and becomes very close with his two roommates. By the end of his four days, Hayden believes he is even able to predict his own inevitable death in Bali.
When you travel, you never know who you will meet, or what kind of experiences you will have. Half the fun of adventuring is not knowing where you will be lead next, and Jason Moore is a firm believer in trying new things while you travel.
Jason Moore, a resident of Oslo, Norway, hosts the Zero to Travel podcast, because he hopes to help people achieve their desire to live a life of travel, and help them travel on their own terms. He also runs Location Indie, a podcast based on the community support system of people who want to work while they travel, work remotely, and live independently.
Jason’s story, which he calls “Thumbs Up,” gives us an inside look at the life of a hitchhiker, through the eyes of Jason, his friend, Gary, and their hitchhiking race around Scotland. Join Jason on a 546-mile quasi-circumnavigation grassroots race around Scotland, where he goes wild camping, visits eight iconic Scottish checkpoints, and meets a number of people who changed his life, who you can hear about in detail in the story. Jason’s adventure traveling through Scotland was an experience which he called, in a word, “transformative”.
When you travel, you can give as much as you take; you can give energy, stories, a listening ear, and, most importantly, companionship. You learn to trust, and you realize that people really are awesome. “Many things happen when you step out on the side of the road and stick your thumb out,” Jason says, “but I think the best thing is the reminder that we are all connected, and this world is filled with wonderful and kind souls.” If you ever see Gary, or anyone else, hitchhiking, consider pulling over and giving them a lift; you might be pleasantly surprised by what happens. And if you are the one traveling, try putting your thumb out sometime, and you might just learn something new about humanity.
Join Jason and Hayden as they learn to trust humanity and travel around Scotland for a time. You never know what you might learn about trust, humanity, and the energy that comes from hitchhiking.
When we last left Hayden and his travel journal, he was leaving Queensland for Brisbane, with the intent to catch a plane to Indonesia. With nowhere to be and nothing to his name but what he has on his back, he spent the entire day in Brisbane on foot. It was here that he learned to pay it forward from a busy mother who wanted to do something kind, along with encountering a couple other kind characters who populate this rich, inspiring tale of humanity in Brisbane.
To make a difference in the world, you do not have to make a major impact. You do not have to bring water to an entire country; you do not have to feed entire villages; you just have to make someone smile once a week. This is exactly what Daniel Venn does with his nonprofit organization, Helping Kids Round First, which he discusses with Hayden.
Daniel Venn works with Helping Kids Round First, doing fantastic work with kids. They collect donated baseball equipment in the United States, and give the donations to children in Nicaragua. They give children the opportunity to have a childhood in a country that does not often afford that chance, and gives them the opportunity to escape poverty through baseball. Dan also discusses the book he wrote and published, Beyond Baseball - Rounding First, representing his trip to Nicaragua with Helping Kids Round First. They work with the nonprofit organization to bring baseball, sustainable agriculture, and hospital supplies to Nicaragua.
Join Daniel Venn as he describes the smell of his childhood (warning: it is not a pleasant one), recounts how baseball brought him around the world, and shares anecdotes that detail why it really is important to learn the specific language of the area you are visiting before you go, just in case. Make sure you know how to say “towel” and “uncle” correctly, and have suitcases with children’s books and old men’s underwear on hand, or else you might not end up on the trip you thought you were going to go on.
Daniel handed out equipment village by village, meeting the young kids and adults whose lives he was changing through Helping Kids Round First. He realized how you could change the world with just a baseball bat and a smile. “Travel has become less about the places that I see,” Daniel shares with us, “and more about the people that I meet and the relationships that I form.”
Hayden's birthday cake!
In a more adventurous and intimate turn, Hayden starts to read straight from his travel journal in the beginning of his Hayden’s Travel Journal series. As Hayden is a notorious journalist, the details and the personality really come through, following him and his journals from gold-mining, to island romances, to biking through Vietnam, and even further beyond. He almost died twice, but lived to tell the tale, here in these podcasts.
Hayden is the type to go off-script (or, off-journal, as it were), but he figured, why not share his stories with the world? And this one starts in Melbourne, when he gets a call from his friend in Queensland, who was going into gold-mining full-time. Join Hayden as he tries to avoid a venomous demise from a redback spider, encounters a pig truck that makes it easy to be a vegetarian, and recounts one of the most horrific anecdotes he believes he has ever recounted.
Have you ever realized that someone walking past you in the street has a life of their own? A passerby glances at you, and you realize - they have loved, they have lost, and they have a wild life of their own, just like you.
Jeromy Slaby, a Chicago resident and the co-founder of Sonderers Magazine, named his online travel magazine after exactly that phenomenon. He has a goal - to bring humanity back together, one step at a time. Jeromy shows up to discuss the definition of “sonder”, the smell of his childhood (and how that led him to some truly great gelato), and why millennials travel the most out of any generation, nowadays.
Jeromy’s feature is his travel anecdote about his adventure to the jungles of Panama in the summer of 2014, when he volunteered to build a sustainable community with the Outdoor Recreation Program. The story is titled by him as “A Failed Search,” and he recounts trying to find the Mother Tree, making a choice when you come to a fork in the road, learning to trust another person, fighting a giant tarantula mound, and learning to trust yourself.
Jeromy offers advice on experiencing travel, the emotional impact of being in the middle of nowhere, and properly executing your travel plans. He helps you to make the realistic decision to travel, and teaches you what to prioritize. Join Jeromy and Hayden as they discover the further reaches of Panama and learn what it means to truly trust a stranger.
Everyone has a healthy dose of paranoia when traveling - it can be a very good thing to have, because it means you tend to keep yourself safe. But it can be hard to know how, exactly, to keep your belongings safe from theft and scams.
Hayden wants to make sure you stay safe, and that your money and your important stuff stays safe, too. He offers you five travel tips here for avoiding theft and scams while you travel, sharing personal stories and anecdotes and speaking from experience as he does.
Your travel stories should never have to be cut short due to an unexpected mugging, scam, theft, stolen identity, wallet grab, or, God forbid, all of the above. Take advantage of these five travel tips to ensure your absolute freedom and peace of mind while adventuring. Tips like how to use a money belt, what fake items to carry with you, and popular scams that you might have otherwise fallen victim to can help you more than you know while you travel.
If you take Hayden’s tips into account while traveling, and if you are prepared against travel scams, then you will absolutely enjoy your travels more, because you will not be nervous the whole time. His advice can give you peace of mind and a much better time traveling.
“No matter what our differences are, or what our backgrounds are, there is always going to be a way for us to cooperate and communicate with each other, which I think is really beautiful, and an amazing part of travel.”
Though cultural variations can make it seem like every human has a great deal of differences from another, when it comes right down to it, there is so much everyone has in common. In our world, people actually have a great deal of similarities, and traveling to faraway places and getting to know the area you have traveled to can help bring that out during your own personal adventures.
Our guest for this week, Jen Montague, is a travel photographer and a writer - though she considers herself, first and foremost, to be an adventurer. She takes photos when she travels because she enjoys capturing the day-to-day moments of far-away places, and then sharing what she sees with those around her. She also writes articles, and would love to write more, if anyone would be interested in working with her. She loves traveling and learning from other cultures around the world. She believes that, “wherever you go in the world, there’s so many things that we actually have in common.”
It is hard to travel to a culture and a country that you are unfamiliar with and that is not your own, but Jen talks about how you have more in common with distant strangers than you might think. In a truly inspiring tale about a visit to China, Jen discusses how drastically different Beijing could be, while also revealing just how close humanity is at their core. Thanks to globalization and a natural human curiosity, the world is a lot smaller than ever before. That makes travel that much more fun and exciting - you have so much in common with the people you share your world with.
Join Hayden and Jen as they discuss the worth of a photograph, a secret section of the Great Wall of China, an unexpected Chinese culture, and how playing games with children can break any language barrier in minutes.
Have you ever decided to take a trip and just taken off?
Or are you more the type to sit down and plan out every second of your journey before you set foot in an airport?
Hayden Lee brings back guest Guy Earnshaw, our pigeon-fearing friend from our last episode, to help him count down six travel tips concerning planning during traveling. The two of them offer unique perspectives - Hayden likes to be able to do things on a whim and have minimal planning, while Guy likes to sit down with a map and make out a plan and a schedule and a list of things to do, but be open to spontaneous experiences.
If you have decided you want to travel, regardless of whether you plan your adventures by the second or if you enjoy the freedom of backpacking and couchsurfing without a plan, Hayden and Guy will give you six helpful travel tips before you head out on your journey.
Check out our website at: Travel Stories Podcast Online
Email Hayden (he’ll answer everything) at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Hayden on Twitter and send him a Tweet (he’ll really answer everything) at: @travelstoriesuk on Twitter
If you want to contact Guy Earnshaw, go through Hayden on Twitter or through email and he will relay the message for you!