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TTB 075: The Wild Indian Girl

Show Notes

Priya Mareedu, aka The Wild Indian Girl  was not content with the trappings of life’s status quo, she left the security of her law office to pursue modeling full-time. Despite signing with Seattle’s top agency and shooting campaigns for Fortune-500 companies and boutiques alike, her heart begged for something more. Priya’s longing led to wild places within which she could shoot—yielding a unique juxtaposition of beauty and grace contrasted by rugged open spaces. There she discovered the means to create scenes that were dynamic and captivating, though the experiences still felt like they were lacking depth. She hungered for more authenticity and a richness of experience that could only be found while fully engaged in the outdoors. So began her transition into the adventure lifestyle space. vacations. 

Inside the Episode:   

  • Who is the Wild Indian Girl? From Paralegal to fashion model to international adventurer and outdoor enthusiast, Priya took a leap of faith and climbed her out of the confines of her 9-5 as an absolute SAVAGE for travel!
  • Priya brings us through her hilarious transition from pageant girl to gritty outdoor enthusiast. From her first bout with brush cuts and bruises to the evolution of shoe shopping, it was quite the cultural transition.
  • Letting go of a set income, letting go of school, and into the abyss…. Priya has relied on her leap of faith and recommends that others follow suit. 
  • Priya reflects on the pressures of the beauty and modeling industry and the personal freedom she felt as she broke through that chapter of her life and into her new persona, The Wild Indian Girl. It was inspiring to hear, especially as you consider how many people focus more on the “what if I fail” rather than the “what if I make it”. We hope you learn something from this conversation and utilize it for your own life. 
  • It's not all sunshine and glamor for the Digital Nomad. As Priya tells us, leaving stability for a chance to see the world requires the ambition of a hustler with just as much time behind a computer screen in a hotel as spent on the summits of mountains. Cold emails, negotiating with travel agencies, and living on the fly. Just another day in the life of a traveler. 
  • “Get really comfortable with being uncomfortable” Priya says, in reference to what it’s like being a full time traveler. As you throw yourself into the awkward, unknown, and stressful - you will emerge with a newfound appreciation for your surroundings but more importantly for yourself. 

Award Travel 101 The Travelers Blueprint Jeff Brownson Credit Card Rewards Points Grand Canyon Great

TTB 074: Award Travel 101

Show Notes

Jeffrey Brownson is the manager for AwardWallet’s social communities, including the ever-growing Facebook groups, Award Travel 101™, Travel Grumps 101, and Award Travel Singles Mingle. He also hosts the weekly Award Travel 101 Podcast. Jeff found his way to miles and points while researching a trip more than a decade ago, and has been hooked ever since. Over the years, he has taken his family all over the world, with his kids having already traveled to 6 continents and over 25 countries. From speaking at major conferences such as the Chicago Seminars and Frequent Traveler University to writing for several prominent travel sites, Jeff has proven himself to be one of the world’s foremost experts in the travel and loyalty program space. Jeff has visited over 50 countries and is always sure to try the local beers wherever he goes. When at home, he spends most of his spare time searching for open award seats and planning his next few vacations. 

Inside the Episode:   

  • Jeff dropped some serious information on how YOU can become a travel points/travel credit card master and travel the world free of the cost for airfare and accommodations. Listen for yourself and learn the ins and outs of manipulating the credit card system to your advantage. 
  • What are travel points? As Jeff explains, there are a few different types of travel points; including airline miles, fixed credit card points, and transferable points. 
  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) is recognized among the travel points hackers as the go-to card for travelers just entering the travel points realm. Chase Ultimate Rewards can be used for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and tours making them very valuable to those who are constantly on the move!
  • Jeff, the manager for several travel points social media platform, including Award Travel 101 and AwardWallet, which are great resources for those looking to learn more with the opportunity to bounce ideas off of fellow travel point enthusiasts and plenty of material to educate yourself. 
  • Something we want everyone to consider before signing up for travel credit cards is that it is crucial that you are not in credit card debt and that you have the financial responsibility to make sure your credit cards are paid off every month. If you aren’t paying these cards off each month you will negate the rewards in the interest or late fees you pay. This travel hacking game is for those only capable of staying on top of their payments. 
  • What airline uses your home airport as a hub? That’s something to consider when signing up for an airline rewards card. For example, American Airlines flies a TON out of our home airport in Philadelphia. It was wise for us to sign up for the AA card to get the most flight availability and will see the most open rewards seats. 
  • This is a big deal: Make sure you hit your points reward! If you miss out on the, let’s say 50,000 point bonus you will not get the opportunity to earn it again. So, when applying for a travel rewards card make sure your have the capability to spend!

When you want to read a lot, but books are too heavy

How to Become a Housesitter Kelly Hayes-Raitt World The Travelers Blueprint Podcast International

TTB 072: House Sitting w/ the House Sit Diva

Show Notes

Kelly Hayes-Raitt, aka the House Sit Diva, ran for public office and got her butt kicked 10 years ago. After a 30-year career as a political activist promoting social and environmental justice, she decided to take a sabbatical from politics and visited the Middle East several times where she worked with refugees. To finance her writing, she rents out her own home while she lives in other peoples’ homes, aka house sitting. She’s been housesitting full time since 2009 in the U.S., Mexico, United Kingdom., Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Gibraltar, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Senegal, Malawi and Mozambique. She’s visited more than 60 countries, including pre- and post-U.S. invasion Iraq and has co-led delegations in Syria and India. Kelly provides a wealth of knowledge on house sitting and is a leading expert on the subject. 

Inside the Episode:   

  • Our episode with Kelly was JAM PACKED with logistical information on how YOU can become a house sitter and travel the world with free accommodations. Kelly has decades of experience seeing the world, and as aspiring world travelers, we were fortunate to have her on our show. 
  • In 2009 Kelly was house sitting for friends, watching pets, and enjoying her time sightseeing the country. What she didn’t realize is how this would snowball into an incredible journey house sitting around the world. 
  • The House Sit Diva is an advocate for @trustedhousesitter which allows you to form relationships with people around the world who need someone to help watch their house and/or pets. 
  • What we learned about house sitting is that a majority of these house sits are actually more like “pet sits”. One thing that Kelly really made clear was that if you volunteer to house sit, you need to be prepared to tend to their pet, ensuring their house is clean and managed, and anything else the owner may ask of you. You cannot look at these house sitting opportunities like you would an all inclusive resort. You are there to perform a service, not get in some R&R. 
  • Kelly literally wrote the book on housesitting, “How to Become a Housesitter”. A very useful tool in preparing anyone capable and/or willing to be a good housesitter!
  • Kelly provided us with impeccable insight on how anyone can become a global house sitter. From online booking platforms, to tips for managing someone’s home in a foriegn country, she spoke to us from years of valuable travel experience. 
  • Do you like to immerse yourself in the culture and daily life of your destination? Do you adopt the “slow travel” trend and become a temporary resident of the city you’re in? If so, housesitting is for you, where you can enjoy the luxury of living in a home while exploring a new city on your free time. 
  • Community is one of the things Kelly longs for as a world traveler. She tells us that over the years she learned to create her own sense of community on the road, building relationships and keeping in touch with the people she meets online.
  • Kelly presented profound stories from her travel experiences, including her heartfelt relationship with a young Iraqi girl at the beginning of the US led invasion of the country, and her experiences with Japanese school children and their perspective on the detonation of the atomic bomb during WWII. 


Great White Shark, South Africa, The Travelers Blueprint, Cape RADD, Save Our Seas Foundation, Dylan

TTB 071: Great White Shark & Marine Research in South Africa

Show Notes

Dylan Irion is a marine scientist and Save Our Seas Foundation project leader working towards a PhD that aims to unravel the drivers of Great White Shark population dynamics in South Africa. He is a passionate free-diver and SCUBA diver, and he volunteers as a Sea Rescue crew member. When not researching sharks, Dylan is Course Director and co-founder of Cape RADD, an organization that seeks to train aspiring scientists, promote citizen science and campaign for a sustainable relationship with our oceans. 

Inside the Episode:   

  • The conversation with Dylan revolved a lot around Great White Sharks, his work studying these animals in South Africa, and the conservation of this species. We covered a lot in the hour or so conversation and hope you learn something new about White Sharks from our conversation!
  • According to Dylan, there is a pair of Orca’s off the coast of South Africa that appear to be preying upon the Great White Sharks in the area. More specifically, they’ve developed a taste for Great White Shark livers as several shark carcasses have been washing up on shore with a section of their stomach cavity missing. The sharks have smartened up and appear to have left the area, migrating away from waters that were notorious for shark sightings. Now Dylan is working to learn more.
  • Have you ever been to South Africa? It’s popular among travelers as one of the best locations in the world for Great White Shark sightings, including the infamous “seal island” in False Bay. This is where you see the aerial shark, as Great White Sharks breach the water at incredible speeds to put on one of nature's most spectacular displays. 
  • Dylan shares some intense moments of being in the water with Great White Sharks. He was one of the lucky ones, and as someone who studies these animals, Dylan is fully aware of the potential dangers of being so close to these massive predators. 
  • One of the defense mechanisms developed by seals off the coast of South Africa has been to travel in large groups. Should humans take on this method of self preservation while swimming in areas infested with sharks? Power in numbers, right? Just don't be the slowest swimmer...
  • Dylan didn’t always know that he wanted to become a marine biologist. What started off as a small trip to South Africa for a study abroad program, spiraled into his newfound career and set the course for his current schooling in the field. Now, his research brings him into some of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world in an attempt to understand and ultimately build upon a more sustainable future. 
  • Dylan encourages any “Citizen Scientists” to join him on his research of marine wildlife and White Sharks off the coast of Africa. With the CapeRADD program you can take an opportunity to put your interest in these ecosystems to good use. Who knows, you may end up making a career out of it just as Dylan had 10 years ago.