Putting your faith in the universe, and letting your mind and body take over in order to free your soul, can sometimes be essential to traveling. Your adventure may not be complete if you are too aware of yourself. Katharine “Kate” Elliot had an angel in pink tell her she had to learn to let the universe guide her, and that has granted her some of her greatest travel moments.
Let Hayden tell you about how some cool stuff that will be going down next week before Kate brings up her book, A Camino of the Soul: Learning to Listen When the Universe Whispers. Her and Hayden discuss paying attention to all the messages the world is sending you, and how to follow those messages and listen to the universe. She talks about she wrote her book, and what led her to discovering her writing.
The highlight, her story “Angel in Pink,” follows Kate as she hits a dark moment, believing she had lost her path in the universe. She felt like she was drowning, aching, and her doubts and fears started to choke her; the world around her started to lose meaning, after her divorce, during her Camino, and she wanted to be able to cleanse herself of her hurt. An angel in pink - an elderly Spanish woman dressed in a light pink Sunday suit and pearls - spoke to her, more in spirit than in language, and told her to walk her path in faith. Kate’s faith in the universe was restored by her angel.
Hayden and Kate continue into discussing how to let your brain and your body take you over, and how to let your spirit float free and be at the whims of yourself and of the universe. If you put your faith in the universe, you can be guided along your path to adventure to your destined destination.
Traveling yourself is vastly different from hearing stories, or seeing pictures, even though those are fine substitutes. However, nothing can pair up to the real thing, a fact Hayden learned for certain while he was in Vietnam.
Hayden shares a message from Billy and calls for people to send him messages, and lets us know about his intentions towards Snapchat and Facebook Live while he is traveling in Brazil. He also introduces Cody Crabb, the composer for Travel Stories Podcast, and they discuss scores Cody has done for past episodes, how Cody writes the scores for episodes, and how important scores and music are to stories and media. Most importantly, however, Cody answers Hayden’s question of, “John Williams or Danny Elfman?”
Follow Hayden as he tries cacao for the first time, sees the most spiders he has ever found in one place, tells a waitress she is beautiful, and gets a scroll illustrated by a blind monk. He also visits a very “businessman” hotel to treat himself, and shares his experiences with synesthesia - in Hayden’s case, the ability to see sounds. You may not be able to visit Vietnam, but Hayden’s travel journal entry just might be the next best thing.
If you change your thinking, you can change your actions. Hayden wholeheartedly believes in this philosophy, and it was this philosophy that led him to trying to never say no. It was his decision to always say yes to adventures that led him to his love on the Ganges.
Hosted by Jackie Nourse of The Budget-Minded Traveler, Hayden Lee shares how he started the Travel Stories Podcast, how sharing stories can help bring a place or a feeling to someone who has never experienced it, and how to integrate your travel life with your daily life. He also talks about catching dengue fever, the growth travel can bring you, and the way to capitalize on the roles you take on while you travel. He believes in “minis,” or mini-romances, as much as he believes in saying yes to everything, and finding perfect moments while traveling. Most of all, though, Hayden believes in love at first sight.
Hayden’s main attraction is his story, “Love on the Ganges,” a riveting tale of the time Hayden nearly died in the Ganges River while in the Himalayas, and how survival meant making a soul connection with a woman who did not share his language, but did share with him her name. Hayden nearly died on the Ganges, but he came away with a story that brings indescribable feelings of wonder welling up. A soul connection was born in the Ganges, and left Hayden with the belief that if you just say yes, you will experience what you are meant to live.
Realizing that you may be seen as an ignorant or privileged traveler can be a blow, but if you just put yourself out there and try new things, you can overcome that image in a heartbeat. Hayden does exactly that as he drives in Vietnam, meets a snake “as thick as a Pringles tube, and twice as daunting,” and rowed a boat for a woman who had not taken a break all day. Hayden also has some serious adventures with food, including learning that you can live off just coconuts or just chili water, and finding a variety of American pets to snack on at a food market on the Mekong Delta. Show notes writer Nicole Mello also stops by to answer questions about what to do in Boston, and to explain the Boston Tea Party to Hayden.
Fear is a paralyzing emotion, but, in the end, it can truly be your best motivator, and Sean Whitehead has firsthand experience with both ends of that double-edged sword. Sean is not only a friend of Hayden’s and the singer of the band that Hayden and previous guest Guy Earnshaw were once in, but he is also an avid traveler. Sean wants to share his story of traveling in the Alps, and how fear, a good friend, and a bar of Snickers got him to the top of a nearly sheer-faced mountain.
First, Sean shares a tale of traveling to Brazil and ending up in a weird, dodgy neighborhood, where he was served an Americana pizza that came, not with meat and cheese on it, as you would expect; no, instead, it came with egg and peas on it. It was in Brazil that Sean learned that there is more to life than just doing things the easy way. He found that doing things you have never done before can only lead to adventure. He also tells a story about a self-drive tour he took with his friends in Iceland, how they took their own route around the country, and the amazing place in the mountains they found to watch the Northern Lights from.
Sean shares what he thinks on talking to new people when you’re in a new place in order to figure out where to go and what to do while you’re there, and when you should follow their advice. He also discusses how to decide what you are going to do when you are traveling. The highlight of Sean’s episode, however, is his story from Austria, aptly titled “Somebody ‘Alp’ Me,” a predictably punny name from Sean. Along the way, he and his friend John end up hiking in the Alps with no gear, a bottle of water, and a Snickers. Between them, they hike a kilometer and a half upwards, eat their one Snickers, drink their one bottle of water, have two panic attacks, but they manage to make it to the top alive. Though the fear was like nothing Sean had ever experienced, the adventure influenced his decisions in future travel, and he thinks he would not be the same now had it not been for that day.
Welcome to Travel Stories Podcast, bringing you Immersive, Inspiring & International travel stories of freedom and adventure from world travelers as well as actionable travel tips. Let's dive in!
Hayden recounts his last day in Bali, and what makes Indonesia such a peaceful place to be, away from the advertisements, money and stress of daily western life.
He goes on to Vietnam, meets and has connections with a lot of people that just moments before were complete strangers, and comes to revelations about life in Vietnam compared to other countries. He then gets given the opportunity to do something 'magical'. He doesn't know quite what it is yet, and has to make the decision to trust someone he just met.
What is the secret to becoming your own Ultimate Man? What is the key to living a life with no regrets? How do you learn to follow your heart over your head? Richard Phu, of The Ultimate Man and the Forge Your Life podcast, comes with answers to these questions, along with questions of his own. How would you describe an ultimate man, and what is your purpose in life? These two are more tangled up than you might think. Richard leads us forth.
Richard Phu visits Hayden from Australia, where he is currently working on his online coaching business. The founder of The Ultimate Man and the Forge Your Life podcast, Richard discusses what the Ultimate Man really is; the true ultimate man is not any one set person, he tells us. Instead, this man is exactly what you want it to be. As long as you follow Richard’s five pillars - purpose, wealth, health, mindset, and love - you can achieve your own ultimate man.
Richard discusses with Hayden how his realization that he had to commit himself to living the most fulfilling life possible was connected to travel and freedom, and vice versa. He also brings forward a discussion featuring charity: water, a charity that works to bring sustainable, community-owned clean water projects around the world. Hayden and Richard go on to talk about how important it is to relinquish control and put trust and faith into the situation. Along with feelings of regret and disappointment regarding an experience you feel you missed while traveling, they talk about learning to listen to your heart and follow what it tells you.
The star of this episode, however, is Richard’s travel story, aptly named “Am I in the Movie ‘Hostel’?”, recounting a time when Richard visited Vienna, Austria by himself and got hopelessly and terrifyingly turned around in a hostel. It does not help that he keeps seeing men turn corners right ahead of him. The moral of Richard’s story? Sometimes, you get pushed into really scary situations, but it’s how you deal with it, how you fight through it, and how you deal with it that truly matters.
Hayden’s continued journeys, as recounted by his past self through his travel journal, begin with him being told: “This is where I kill you and tell everyone you were eaten by cow.” Hayden travels to a secret shipwrecked beach, to a place seemingly untouched by civilization.
He journeys through a forest filled with monkeys and snakes, and comes to a tropical island, where time ceases to exist. He also finds another island with as many brothels as they are cows and five hundred of those monkey-and-snake-filled forests. After encountering a real-world version of the Hog Wild level of Crash Bandicoot, and getting wrestled by waves, Hayden even has an island romance - but let him tell you about those adventures, in his own words.
What is the key to success? For John Lee Dumas, the one aspect of success that all entrepreneurs share is setting a good, specific goal for themselves. He shares tips and tricks, as well as advice in just getting out there and getting to work.
John Lee Dumas, host of Entrepreneur on Fire and author of The Freedom Journal, calls in from Puerto Rico to talk with Hayden. He shares his unique step-by-step process that he details in the Freedom Journal, a guide that helps you to accomplish goals in a set time frame of one hundred days. He also discusses his podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire, sharing his mantra with us: “Do what you can’t not do.” It was this mantra that led him to creating a daily podcast in 2012, and it is this ideal that led him to doing his job well, providing his audience with free, valuable, consistent content, and seeing how the road has unfolded before him ever since.
John also recounts a story, fondly titled “The Golden Palace,” detailing his journey from law school to India, where he spent four months traversing the country. His story takes place in Amritsar, in northern India, where he visited the Golden Palace, an awe-inspiring holy and sacred place, filled with religious shrines and shining with gold. Join John as he accompanies a couple of locals to a flag-lowering ceremony at the border of Pakistan and India, and views the unbelievably intricate ceremony, with about forty soldiers on both sides of the border gates where they lower the flags of their respective countries.
“When I look back on India,” John shares, “there was a lot of highs, were definitely some lows, as anybody will experience traveling/backpacking for four months in a third world country. But when I do look back, that is definitely the memory that stands out most in my mind, and something that I will always treasure.”
John also shares tales of being in a Bollywood movie (search for John Lee Dumas Bollywood on YouTube - you can see the trailer for the movie), of breaking free of his scripted life, and of making the transition into the life he knew he wanted to live. He advises to start planning your trips now, and to start knocking them out as soon as possible.
“So many of us think that we have an endless amount of time to travel the world,” John says, “but we don’t.”