How can I connect with the world around me when I travel? How can I immerse myself in a culture? How can I share my experiences with the world? Yann Ilunga has the answer to each of these questions, and can help guide travelers to their own unique solutions. Yann Ilunga is an entrepreneur, podcaster, consultant, and all-around legendarily cool guy, in Hayden’s own words. He is the person Hayden trusts most with helping start blogs and podcasts, and he visits the Travel Stories Podcast to share his tips, to tell his stories, and to encourages an adventurous lifestyle and a community sharing experience.
Yann Ilunga has always been interested in adventure. He grew up outdoorsy, playing football (or soccer, if you’re in the States), and mimicking Indiana Jones and Jack Kerouac, his adventurous, traveling heroes. One of the most amazing things that ever happened to Yann was that he was able to live how his heroes lived when he traveled. Traveling by car along the Atlantic coast of the western part of Ireland with nothing but the ocean, but nature, around him was so powerful, not because he pictured himself as a character like the ones he wanted to become, but because these were the moments that he really felt that everything was aligned. He experienced this again traveling in California, creating an incredible experience where he could think absolutely nothing and just be. In moments like these, Yann became his passion. He encourages all travelers to reach for this feeling, to belong to that world. The next time you go on a trip, whether it’s by car, by bicycle, by foot, whatever, try to be on the lookout, because in that kind of a moment that Yann experienced, there is nothing but you, the natural elements around you, and feelings of happiness and belonging.
Yann Ilunga encourages you to be genuine and to be authentically yourself when you travel, because that is the foundation on which you can build great relationships when you travel. You can form strong, intense friendships when you travel by putting yourself out there. You have to be vulnerable, to be open, to step outside your comfort zone, in order to connect with amazing people all over the world. Yann shares stories of being in Ireland, where, for no particular reason, he changed his plans, got in a car, and went in the opposite direction from what he planned. What he saw and who he met were incredible and unexpected, because it feels amazing to do something unpredictable, and to take a chance on that experience. Yann is in Finland now, and encourages travelers to immerse themselves in a culture in order to get all the tools that you’ll need to learn everything about that place and to become a part of that culture. Six years ago, Yann camped around Europe for two months; he believes camping is a form of travel that allows you to experience a location at a deeper level. Yann invites everybody listening who has never been camping before to try camping at least once, because camping not only allows you to really be in your own element, but it also allows you to see a different side of wherever you’re camping and traveling to. Yann strongly encourages engaging in the world around you as deeply as you can manage, and maybe even a little deeper than that.
Yann Ilunga is one of the best in the biz when it comes to building travel blogs, vlogs, or anything of the sort. Starting something like that can seem daunting, but it is, in fact, manageable. This is a way to share your experiences with the world. Is there something you’re keeping to yourself that, if shared in a more public form, could be interesting, entertaining, informative, or helpful? If so, Yann encourages you to get started right away, to just get started and do it for your own sake. Publish a blog post whenever you want, record a video whenever you want, but, at some point, try to develop a plan and organize a routine. The more structure you give yourself, the more you help yourself form the bigger picture and the message you’re trying to share with the world, and it helps you overall with building your audience, with marketing, with clarifying your plan. It’s about getting it started and keeping it going. He shares a whole bunch more helpful tips, and encourages everyone to get in touch with him if they want help and, if they don’t, to just get started on their own. Yann also encourages listeners to go back and listen to Hayden’s first episode from his first season and realize that he hasn’t always been this good, and that he’s on a journey just like everyone else.