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TTB 065: a ride on the trans-mongolian railway

Show Notes

In this episode we spoke with Carly Heyward, an avid world traveler, adventurer and detail oriented travel blogger. Carly has now been to 67 countries and counting, editing her website, along the way. Providing her following with detailed itineraries and budgeting options. In today’s conversation we touched up on general travel tips, budgeting, and her China/Mongolia/Russia train ride. 

Inside the Episode:   


  • Carly has been to 67 countries. She has spent time on trains through the Mongolian countryside, has sipped wine on the Italian coast, and has most recently booked her trip into Antarctica. She has a wealth of knowledge on world travel, budgeting,  and made for an incredible guest on the podcast.
  • If budgeting is your primary focus when planning a trip you have to check out Carly’s website, She breaks down the costs associated with each trip with beautiful pie charts (we love pie charts) and makes it extremely easy to read through her planning in order to make your own budgeting determinations. 
  • Listen closely to what Carly just said. As far as we are concerned, she's an airline hacking mastermind. There are seemingly endless options when booking long distance flights, and this was news to us. 
  • We had a great conversation on Carly’s trip from China into Mongolia, and eventually Russia. Long train rides, horseback riding, and much more!
  • The visa process for traveling into Mongolia or Russia as an American can be a pain. Plan ahead! It cost Carly about $300 and about 2-3 weeks for each visa to come in, finalizing her plans for an incredibly journey through some of the worlds most fascinating countries.
  • Carly’s favorite country? Jordan. A country Bob has had high on his bucket list for several years because of the alluring ancient city of Petra. With friendly locals and a unique culture, Carly has only reinforced our interest in traveling here for ourselves. 
  • We ended this podcast with a really cool discussion on how your perspective on travel and the foreign country you’re visiting can have on a new traveler compared to a tenured world explorer, like Carly. She was honest, and admitted that some of the most popular countries in the world (ahem, Italy) don’t quite do it for her anymore. It was an interesting discussion as she explained her reasoning and enlightened us on countries she recognized as being just a tad more interesting (and way off the beaten path).


TTB 064: October Travel Bites w/ Bob and Elliot

Show Notes

On this episode we discuss some of the recent travel related news we found interesting or relevant over the month of October. We break down 10 different news articles, including: 

  • The roll out of airport terminal face recognition technology (AKA getting your picture taken)  is coming to a US airport near you! Speeding up boarding times and eventually eliminating the need for paper copy boarding passes, we are excited to see this finally come to the USA. 
  • Do you have your REAL ID? The deadline has been established! Starting October 20, 2020 you will need your REAL ID to fly anywhere in the USA, yes that includes domestic. If you don’t have it you’ll be required to bring along your passport for any flight. 
  • Ladies, forget the Bahamas. Your next girls trip can focus on the Estonian island of Kihnu. With men fading from society in the 19th Century (about 5 men still reside here) the woman have assumed virtually every societal role. 
  • The USA has banned all commercial flights to Cuba with the exception of Havana. This is something we were sorry to hear. After recently learning more about Cuba we were looking forward to travel restrictions continuing to relax. It appears another hurdle for USA-Cuban tourism has another hurdle. 
  • NURSES! You have until the end of today to sign up for your FREE Caribbean vacation! Click the link, sign up, go. You deserve it. 
  • Woah, need to wait patiently for an update on this. They may have found Emilia Earhart. We still have to wait on the conclusions of the forensic data - so for now its still all speculation. If these bones do end up being hers, not only does that mean she survived the crash, but that she was also a cast away on a south pacific island for some time before she died. Again, woah. 

Up This Month:

  1. Carly Hayward from Flight of the Educator on her trip through China, Mongolia, and Russia. 
  2. Gary brings us on his tours through the Big Apple
  3. Luke and Chris aka the Beard Brothers talk to us about their biking tours through the United Kingdom

Angele Biette, Bloom Stories, The Travelers Blueprint, Travel, Podcast, Changemaker, World, Peace

TTB 063: bloom Stories - in search of changemakers

Show Notes

Angèle is from Provence in the south of France and based in Lisbon in between her travels. About 3 years ago, she left everything behind, booked a one-way ticket to Thailand and left with nothing else than a backpack and a camera. With no plan, no itinerary, no contact she started wandering around Asia where she kept meeting amazing people making a difference for our planet or for others. She decided to turn this adventure into a mission to meet these changemakers and tell their stories through photography and video, on social media. What was to be a 3 months trip turned into a 13 months adventure, backpacking around 13 countries! That's how her project was born: Bloom. Since then, she decided to look for as many hidden heroes all around the world as possible, shine a light on what they are doing, and help them through crowdfunding campaigns when they need help to keep making the world a better place.

She believes that the world is filled with good people, and that they deserve their stories to be told to inspire and give hope to the rest of the world. Because as the Dalai Lama says: "The planet does not need more 'successful people.' The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds."

Inside the Episode:   

  • Angele’s project, Bloom, was born from a love of traveling and telling stories of people changing our world. Starting in Bangkok, she has made it her (unpaid) goal of meeting and sharing the stories of people who are going far above their civil duty to change the world. 
  • Many of the people Angele meets have no internet, no Facebook or Instagram to share their stories. No news outlets are covering their good deeds. Their actions are purely motivated by a personal responsibility to help lift up the people around them. Angele has made it her priority to become their outlet and hopefully a source of inspiration for others. 
  • Like an investigative journalist, Angele would follow her leads. Flight attendants would lead her to a taxi driver, the taxi driver would lead her to a fisherman, and the fisherman MIGHT lead her to her person of interest. Then often times, she’d wait. Wait to find the person she's heard so many good things about before following along with them on whatever great deed they’re doing. 
  • 29 orphan children were saved in Nepal by a single man. Angele  explains that this man took these kids into his home after searching for children around Nepal, even finding some of them in garbage heaps. Angele told us that recently one of these children booked a flight to the US and will be attending college in California. These are the types of stories Angele is inspired to share. 
  • “The world is just filled with more good people than we think,'' Angele says. She’s right. The news is constantly blaring the worst of humanity. Thankfully that isn't the only source of media available. If you want to know the stories of some of the most selfless people in the world, give her a follow. 
  • Angele has coined the term “Changemakers” for the people she documents. One man, for example, has dedicated his life to restoring bicycles in the Philippines so kids can make the multiple mile commute to and from school each day. 
  • Angele stays between 2 weeks and one month with each Changemaker she meets. Learning about their daily routine and the change they are responsible for in their community, providing her with more than enough time to intimately understand the motivation for beginning their deeds.
  • People often ask how they can support Angele continue her journeys’ around the world. Her response, “Look in your own garden”. She encourages people to be the Changemaker. Be the person others are inspired from. You can be someone’s hero. 
  • Angele sees the similarities between the people she meets. These Changemakers are living in different countries, in different environments, and are unknown to one another. But Angele explains that they all have the same fire burning in them to make a change for good. “When you see the love and connection they have all just gives you so much hope in humanity…”

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


TTB 062: the safari for everyone

Show Notes

Robin Cormack and his wife, Clare are the co-founders and operators of Safari Deal. Through all of his careers and experiences, ideas for were brewing and eventually coming to fruition when they launched the business in 2017. Safari Deal brings together Robin’s digital talent with his proud African roots and travel industry experience.   

Inside the Episode:   

  • Robin, a “Zim”, is passionate about connecting interested travels to safari operators all around the globe. As the co-founder of Safari Deal Robin has made it a bit too easy to click the “book” button for your next trip. So easy….even Elliot can do it. 
  • In Swahili, safari translates to ‘journey’. But safaris are no longer just an African experience. Robin tells us that there are safari operators around the planet. From Mexico, Asia, South America, and the Middle East; there is a vast variety of safari types. The daunting task of researching these types of trips has turned into a one stop shop for all the information you’ll need. 
  • When booking a safari to a remote region of the world, it is important to do your research prior to booking. Do they have any dodgy animal experiences? Are they asking for money up front? Is their communication precise? These are a few of the recommendations Robin gave us. But the real takeaway is that he made it a point to do most of this work for you out of the kindness of his heart. It would be kind of negligent to not use a resource like this. 
  • After his plans to develop a safari lodge in the “Zim” countryside were thwarted, Robin was forced to find alternate means of helping people experience his home country of Zimbabwe and other portions of the Afrian continent. He began to lay tracks that would allow anyone to observe animals most people are only able to enjoy through a BBC documentary narrated by David Attenborough. 
  • In 2014 there was an estimated 12 million safari trips in Africa. In 2018, the global luxury safari business was worth over a billion dollars and its expected to double by 2023. Is this related to #FOMO? Are we worried there will no longer be wildlife in the future as we watch parts of the world burn, animals become extinct, and a mass neglect for global environmental action? Maybe.... 
  • Overtourism. One of the best examples of this can be seen during those awesome lion hunt videos where you see the king of the jungle as it takes down it’s herbivore of choice surrounded by 20-some Jeeps as anxious tourists snap pictures . Robin is seeing a trend in a more conscious safari operations, where they are considering their impacts on the natural behaviors of wildlife and are shifting focus to less invasive (or less crowded) safari options. 
  • First hand experiences to countries offering safaris are invaluable to the overall conservation of these environments. Robin’s goal to connect individuals to safari operators around the world is one of the most effective ways to influence and promote conservation. The more people that experience these places, the more people we have who are aware of their significance to the world. 
  • Safari Deal has over 300 different travel partners with about 5 new travel companies signing up every week with nearly 500 individual safari itineraries. It is unbelievably easy to browse this database of safari trips, including deals like 7 days in Sri Lanka for $1,500. Super easy booking for a great deal that will be the experience of a lifetime. 


San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, Analisa Morel, The Travelers Blueprint, Travel Podcast, Central America

TTB 061: 6 Months in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Show Notes

Analisa Morel recently spent six months living in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. A paradise unknown to most Americans, she enjoyed an easy-going lifestyle of teaching young children, doing yoga on the beach, and indulging in the occasional dragon fruit or guava. Mostly tourist and crowd free, you’ll find yourself contemplating skipping the normal Caribbean destinations and considering this beautiful Central American country after you hear about her experiences there.    

Inside the Episode:   

  • Born in California but growing up throughout Mexico, Analisa was no stranger to travel. “We’re going on a new adventure” she would hear from her father, before embarking to a new location and unknowingly shaping a passion that would carry into adulthood. 
  • “It is one of those places that feels undiscovered in a sense”, Analisa described Nicaragua as a hidden treasure. It being the second poorest country in Central America, it doesn’t see the booming tourist industry its neighbor, Costa Rica, enjoys. But don’t let that discourage you, travel enthusiasts and expats from around the world are setting up shop in this small country, enjoying western amenities while living low-key and easy-paced lifestyles. 
  • She used what was meaningful to her (teaching) to inspire her travels around the world. Her six month stay in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua was the perfect location for her to teach children by day and enjoy beachfront yoga at dawn. 
  • Blood of Brothers: Life of War in Nicaragua by Stephen Kinzer was recommended to us for information on the history of Nicaragua. It’s a country that the US was involved during the Sandinista-Contras civil war period of the 1980s. If you’re looking for a good read on a lesser-known country, this might be the next book for you!
  • In the future, do you think we will ever get to the point where we consider ourselves a global population, not influenced by borders and politics? When will we realize we are all the same species, with similar goals and ambitions?
  • The type of experience you have in Nicaragua can vary wildly. She tells us that you can enjoy your time there for about $15 a night and rely upon grocery stores for food (don't forget to grab a dragon fruit). You could also switch it up a bit and spend $200 a night for a high-end resort, spending upwards of $30 an entree. It seems like there is a niche for all types of travelers and after our podcast we found ourselves having some serious wanderlust to this low-key country. 
  • For us Americans, Nicaragua is off the beaten path, close to home, and has the amenities most of us look for when in need of a relaxing getaway. You should consider it the next time you plan on booking a trip south of the border, and maybe skip the typical Mexican resorts for something a little more unique.

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