What does it mean to explore your senses? What does a sense do for a person when they travel? Can you bottle your experiences and bring them home with you? Kinga Philipps, an adventurer currently living in Malibu with a passion for all things aquatic, discusses these points and more with Hayden. The host of The Wild Side with Kinga Philipps on the Travel Channel, Kinga talks mystery, senses, history, and sharks, the last of which she touches on with love and anger.
Kinga believes that people love mystery, and that they are fascinated by what they cannot explain. Humans, she says, pursue what they cannot fully understand. Things that have terrified people over the ages have also intrigued and fascinated them, luring them in and making them try things they never would otherwise. This drive to go into the unknown is what pushes Kinga to challenge herself and to trigger personal growth through herself through travel. Her parents ingrained in her a spirit of adventure and of seeking something new, which became her driving force in adulthood. Through changing up her routines, following her own compass, and living by a Jack London credo, Kinga brings new experiences to herself every day, which are the greatest moments of her life.
Exploring your senses when you travel grounds you in the moment. It gives you a solid experience as a traveler, because your senses make something inherently magical go off inside of you. Hayden and Kinga search for a name for the feeling of being in a strange place, coming into your five senses, and realizing how present you are. Kinga offers tips to trigger your own memories, like bringing a scent along with you from home so that you can train yourself to attach memories to scents. Senses were designed to keep humans alive, but they can also bring you back to your greatest moments when you experience them again in the future. Places have an energy that fills you when you’re there; you can jump into other lives, have new experiences, build your memories, and bring them back later, when it’s all said and done. Unique senses can bring memories crashing back.
Kinga is a member of and advocate for Shark Allies, an organization designed to protect our oceans and the sharks that live in them. Shark Allies founder and Kinga’s mentor, Stefanie Brendl, is a shark expert that Kinga met by bidding on her on eBay and taking her to lunch, which evolved into creating “action buttons” on shark conservation. Kinga discusses how shark fins are used unnecessarily as a status symbol, how brutally the fins are taken, and how she and Shark Allies fight to stop this from happening. In a fit of anger, she and Hayden want people to do their research and be aware; Kinga believes that people, at their core, are good, and want to do good. Kinga tells the audience that the experience of going out, stepping out of routine, and having magical moments is vital to travel. She also leaves the call to go out and educate yourself on the welfare of the world’s wildlife, and how their choices affect animals.