Travel Stories Podcast

You're here because you love travel. You know what, man? I get it. Maybe you're mid-travel right now- on a bus in Vietnam, or maybe you've just come back from Argentina and you miss the freedom? Either way, seasons 1-5 will give you stories from world travelers, complete with musical scores and interview sections. Season 6 is where I took you guys with me around every country in mainland Europe on my motorcycle (Gloria). Now we're getting onto The Hayden Lee Show - less travel, more Hayden. Is that good thing? Probably not, but let's give it a go.
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Travel Stories Podcast





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Now displaying: June, 2016
Jun 29, 2016

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.


Jun 26, 2016

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.


  • 10:10 - Jason shares his thoughts on the traveler’s mindset, and how anyone in any position can have the traits and mindset of a traveler.
  • 13:38 - Jason discusses his podcast, Zero to Travel, which helps people achieve their desire to live a life of travel, and travel on their terms. He believes a love of travel is a value in life that everyone shares, and that a passion for travel isn’t really something that really ever goes away.
  • 15:55 - Jason tells us more about his community and his other podcast, both named Location Indie. He tells us about the community support system of people who want to work while they travel, work remotely, and live independently.
  • 18:37 - Jason Moore begins to tell his story, which he has titled: “Thumbs Up”.
    • He reminds us that, if you don’t make time for travel, it just doesn’t happen.
    • The main part of Jason’s story features a Scottish hitchhiking race, beginning on May 1, 2014, and continuing for several days on an epic 546-mile quasi-circumnavigation around Scotland. He had to visit eight iconic Scottish checkpoints on the way and get photo evidence of each checkpoint.
    • Jason shares the stories of his rides, including Barry, in a service van; Nick, a big burly farm boy with an odd metal machine; Anka, who gave them a world-class meal; Duncan, who just bought a boat named Nomad; Julia, who drove out of her way to get them to the next town; and Wendy, who wanted to open a bed-and-breakfast.
    • For Jason, the race was all about the experience; he says that three days thumbing around Scotland was nothing short of transformative for him, as he had to depend on the kindness of strangers and hope for the best.
    • Jason wonders if hitchhiking provided more opportunities for authentic connections, or if he was simply more open to connecting with people?
  • 32:56 - Did hitchhiking change how Jason sees people in general, and how did it remind him of trust and humanity?


Jun 22, 2016

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.


Jun 19, 2016

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.”


  • 5:35 - How did baseball bring Daniel Venn all around the world, and how did his “what the heck” moment that originally brought him to Costa Rica - and then eventually to Nicaragua with Helping Kids Round First?
  • 8:20 - Daniel discusses the nonprofit organization, Helping Kids Round First, and his book, Beyond Baseball - Rounding First.
  • 13:00 - Daniel is a rambler, but he does start to tell his story, which he calls: “May I Have A Towel, Please?”
    • Daniel had to stay at a hotel in Costa Rica and believed he had enough Spanish to confidently ask for a towel from the attendant, but he mixed up a couple of his words. This language experience made him hesitant to speak to the Nicaraguan border agents, when they were getting all of their bags searched by security, and had to protect all their equipment from getting taken.
    • A suitcase filled with children’s books and a bag filled with an old man’s underwear ended up saving the trip.
    • Daniel and his team handed out equipment village by village, meeting young kids along the way who had been training hard for just this chance to come, and meeting with farmers to teach them sustainable farming processes and how to water their plants despite the drought.
  • 22:54 - Hayden shares an anecdote about his Brazilian ex-girlfriend and a Portuguese language mishap he made. Daniel and Hayden relate over the fact that pronunciation is everything in these languages, and Daniel shares another anecdote related to that.
  • 25:50 - How did Daniel’s perception of America and baseball in America and childhood in America change after working with Helping Kids Round First? What other experiences have shifted Daniel’s worldview?
    • “Travel has become less about the places that I see, and more about the people that I meet and the relationships that I form.”


Hayden's birthday cake!

Hayden's birthday cake!


  • Check out our website at: Travel Stories Podcast Online
  • Email Hayden (he’ll answer everything) at:
  • Follow Hayden on Twitter and send him a Tweet (he’ll really answer everything) at: @travelstoriesuk on Twitter
  • All musical composition and arrangement for story scores by Cody Crabb, who can be found at his website:
  • Find all the info about Helping Kids Round First at:
  • Visit Dan’s website to purchase his book - a portion of every purchase through the website goes to Helping Kids Round First - at his website:
Jun 15, 2016

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.


Jun 12, 2016

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.


  • 3:45 - What is the definition of “sonder”, the inspiration for Jeromy’s travel magazine, Sonderers?
  • 6:30 - What does your childhood smell like, as smell is one of those things that is so linked to memory?
    • 7:30 - Jeromy shares an anecdote about getting lost, his childhood smells. and Nutella gelato.
  • 8:50 - Why is it that millennials travel the most out of any generation? The world is becoming more international - is it a major cultural shift, or is it something else?
  • 14:16 - Jeromy Slaby starts to recount his story of Panama, self-titled as “A Failed Search”, and detailing Jeromy’s time volunteering in the jungles of Panama in the summer of 2014, hiking, and learning to trust yourself.
    • The primary goal of his expedition was to find the Mother Tree, but he ended up learning what it means to make a choice when you come to a fork in the road.
    • What allows you to go out on a limb and trust another person - a stranger, even?
  • 25:45 - Jeromy answers the question: ‘Does being a writer change how you experience travel?’
  • 26:51 - What is the impact of the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere? Most importantly, what is there to this experience that makes it so special and freeing?
  • 29:00 - Jeromy offers advice on how to execute your travel plans, and how to get the whole process of traveling started.
    • How do you make the realistic decision to travel?
    • What do you have to prioritize?
  • 32:00 - Jeromy discusses an article on solidarity that is featured on, which you can find here.


Jun 8, 2016

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.

  • 2:58 - Tip #1 - Use a money belt.
  • If you have a wallet in your back pocket, it’s gonna get swiped fast, so you better start hiding that money belt under your t-shirt. Hayden even offers some bonus suggestions on the best ones to own and how to make sure you don’t lose them.
  • 4:44 - Tip #2 - Carry a fake wallet.
  • When you get mugged, you can just give them the fake one with five bucks and a library card in it, then a third fake wallet, then a fourth - you could go on forever.
  • 5:52 - Tip #3 - Don’t carry too much cash.
  • You up the risks when you carry a wad of cash, so Hayden offers some advice on how much cash to carry, and where to keep it when you have to carry it.
  • 6:55 - Tip #4 - Scan your passports, documents, important stuff.
  • Sometimes, people want stuff other than your money, and if you lose your important documents, you might end up up the creek without a paddle. Hayden offers tips on what to do to keep your documents safe and backed up.
  • 8:11 - Tip #5 - Learn the popular scams, especially of the place that you’re going to.
  • If you’re aware of these things that could happen, then you’ll be prepared when it happens. Things like a broken taximeter, some free bracelets, or a flirty woman could mean the end of your trip if you’re not careful.

Jun 5, 2016

“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.


  • 3:07 - Jen starts out with a personal discussion of what she believes it means to be truly lost.
  • 10:40 - Jen starts her story about traveling to China, aptly named “Big Moments in Little China”.
  • While in China, Jen learned that - while it can be drastically different in terms of culture, and it can be very crowded, very hot, with a lack of personal space - the people there are closer to her own culture than she ever could have expected.
  • Jen is amazed by old temples and structures made by hand, and so she traveled to and climbed the unkempt Wild Wall section of the Great Wall of China.
  • 21:00 - Jen and Hayden start discussing her thoughts and experiences concerning Chinese culture, and just how completely unexpected she found it to be.
  • Jen recommends familiarizing yourself with an unfamiliar culture and being aware of their way of life, but also keeping an open mind.
  • Can blending in give you a better experience abroad?
  • 27:04 - Hayden recounts a time when he learned that the language barrier might not be as much of a problem anymore with the younger generations, thanks to natural human curiosity.
  • Jen leaves us with a bit of optimistic advice for all of your future travels and experiences with new cultures.


Jun 2, 2016

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.


  • 0:20 - Guy Earnshaw, from the last episode, joins Hayden to help give travel tips
    • Hayden, on one hand, likes to be able to do things on a whim and have minimal planning
    • Guy, on the other hand, likes to sit down with a map and make out a plan and a schedule and a list of things to do, but he thinks it is truly important to be open to spontaneous experiences
  • 1:17 - Hayden’s Travel Tips on Planning During Traveling
    • Tip #1 - Never be married to your plan
      • Guy once had one of his best nights out ever when he had a spontaneous night with people he had never met before
      • When Hayden went to North and South Vietnam, he would travel on his motorbike first, then mark where he traveled on the map, rather than the other way around
    •  Tip #2 - Have a physical map
      • Your physical map can bring you into an adventure mindset that makes you a “traveler” - second only to your traveler’s hat!
    •  Tip #3 - Get a handle on your money
      • Guy has a relatable anecdote about the first time he went to a casino while he was in Perth
    •  Tip #4 - Check for last-minute deals
      • Hayden’s continued anecdote about when he had to get a last-minute flight out of New York using SkyScanner to get a good, cheap flight
    • Tip #5 - Use SkyScanner!
    • Tip #6 - Couchsurf
      • If you want to maximize couchsurfing as a reliable form of accommodation, you’ll want to give your potential hosts enough notice
      • Guy has a charming anecdote about last-minute couchsurfing in Oregon
      • Couchsurfing


Check out our website at: Travel Stories Podcast Online

Email Hayden (he’ll answer everything) at:

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!