31 minutes | Apr 6, 2022
Nate Ritter on being a failed expat and his Room Steals booking search engine
Nate Ritter is a failed expat who was unable to live in France. Since then he has founded a company called Room Steals which is a hotel booking search engine which allows you to find wholesale prices of hotels. He has seen savings of many hundred dollars on a single night but savings are often 20%. Use the following Coupon code for 20% off your first annual fee travelwisdom Top 3 Takeaways: "The night before we left, we were like, what do we do with all this paperwork?We don't need it because we got our visa. And we literally burned all of the paperwork. It was like a book of paperwork that proved who we were and what we were doing and all this kind of stuff. So we burned it in the fireplace that night, thinking this is a fun story to tell people later" "My favorite story that we had is that we spent $250 to send four of us round trip to Europe, and we stayed for a month and paid zero on accommodations. So for 250 bucks to fly to Europe for four of us, and then stay there for a month, like it's definitely, people are spending three, $4,000, easy on that kind of a thing." "So that's Room Steals. I took that inventory source and I said, "this needs to be public." Instead of doing what everybody else does, which includes Expedia booking, they say here's what the wholesale price is, and mark it up to that and then they keep the difference. So I thought we should be a little bit more transparent than that. We make all of our money like a Costco model. We're doing a membership." 1:00 "Failed expat, how does that work?" 7:00 "What happened in between then and now with Room Steals?" 9:00 "What kind of travel hacking were you doing?" 12:00 " You found an unused inventory of rooms?" 18:15 "So what kind of savings do people usually get?" 20:15 "Do you mostly get the savings on the higher end?" 21:45 "So how do you book a room?" 23:15 "I'm also very curious about the RV lifestyle and how you transferred into this" 25:00 "Any tips that you wanna share with the listeners about RV life?" 29:45 "Is there anything that we didn't talk about that you wanted to mention?" Use the following Coupon code for 20% off your first annual fee travelwisdom
41 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
Hiking meditation and travelling all of Africa with Francis Tapon
Francis Tapon rejected his normal Harvard Business school life and instead chose to hike the Appalachian trail and travel in Africa for 5 years. He hosts the Wander Learn podcast where he talks about the benefits of being a wanderer. Top 3 Takeaways: "Sometimes I think the best way to learn is just to forego college and then just go travel the world and spend a few years going traveling around. This probably costs you even less than college." "That is a more important question than how to make a billion dollars is what you do once you have a billion dollars, because once you have a billion dollars, how you spend your time is extremely telling it shows whatever you're spending your time at that point is your passion is what you really want to do." "The protest during the Occupy Wall Street and people are saying like "the top 1%, the top 1%, top 1%." And I felt like walking into that crowd and just saying "You guys are all in the top 1%, every single one of you protesters, because compared to most of this planet, which lives in India, China, Asia, and certainly Africa, you guys are way wealthier than most people out there."" 0:45 "Do you want to do a brief synopsis of all the travel you've done and then why you think why you like this name wander learn?" 7:45 "Have you continued doing robotic vision stuff or have you done only the travel stuff?" 13:45 "So you haven't grown tired of this?" 16:15 "Let's talk about Wander Learn" 21:45 "Sounds like you like hiking" 23:45 "So what's the point of walking so much for weeks and months? What do you get out of it?" 30:30 "How about you for the meditative hiking stuff? Does time go by quickly?" 38:15 " Is there anything that you wanted to talk about that you wanted to cover?"
26 minutes | Feb 2, 2022
Planning your perfect 9 day trip with David Axelrod
David Axelrod is the author Get Away: Design Your Ideal Trip, Travel with Ease and Reclaim your Freedom about the best way to plan a trip. David has been to over 50 countries and has written other books about the wild situations he found himself in. Top 3 Takeaways: "They, are chasing their whole itinerary and feeling like they're never really in control of it. I've heard that story way too many times. And I think what it comes down to is insufficient planning." "Planning enables spontaneity. I think that when you have a plan that's an airtight plan you've earned the freedom to deviate from that plan without suffering" "Even more important than the number of companions is that you are very clear with the person you're traveling with about your goals and their goals, and trying to align as much as possible." 2:00 Tell us a little bit about your story 5:00 "What are some step-by-step what's the step by step walkthrough for a trip?" 7:00 "Did you see a lot of people not follow these guidelines or did you see a lot of people make a lot of mistakes or what's the motivation behind this?" 10:15 "So how do you balance that, the planning and the not planning the fun versus structures?" 12:30 " So you're not saying as far as go to as far as booking hotels or booking hostels?" 14:30 "What's your kind of sweet spot. What do you recommend for going between cities?" 17:00 "In terms of companions, what do you suggest for people?" 19:30 "You've done a lot of travel writing and travel photography too. Did you want to talk a little bit about this?" 23:30 " You're starting consulting doing this travel planning?" 25:00 "Is there anything that we didn't talk about that you want to mention?" https://www.davidaxelrod.co/
31 minutes | Jan 5, 2022
Kathleen Peddicord on the best places to retire overseas
Kathleen Peddicord wrote a book "How to Retire Overseas" where she talks about some of the research going into the best places to spend your twilight years. Top 3 Takeaways: "The average social security check right now for an American is about $1,500 a month. And that's enough budget to live well in a lot of places." "The best place to retire overseas in 2022 is a town called Comporta on the coast of Portugal, about an hour and a half outside Lisbon" The cost of healthcare can be 5-10x cheaper in other countries with even higher quality 1:00 "Do you want to introduce yourself a little bit?" 2:45 "How are you covering retirement for the last 37 years? Have you been retired for the last 37 years?" 4:30 "What's maybe the top five on the retirement index?" 9:30 "This retirement index how focused is it on retirement? And how transferrable is it to other things?" 11:30 Do people get bored of retirement or can they move to another place? 15:30 "Do you find that people that have traveled before or have lived abroad maybe that are maybe more open to this kind of thing?" 19:30 How does the healthcare cost and quality compare with the US? 25:30 "If people are interested in living abroad retiring overseas, how do they do that?" 28:15 "How has COVID changed everything? How has it changed the index, for example, is it still possible to go out? How does it work?"
49 minutes | Apr 15, 2020
Mike Bown’s Essay “Skins of Ill-Shaped Fishes” Details How Human Society and Its Core Values Have Evolved
Mike Bown is the “most traveled man in the world”. He has written an essay called “Skins of Ill-Shaped Fishes”, where he discusses how his travel across the globe has exposed him to a very wide spectrum of human life and have taught him in detail about the history and current reality of human society. In this episode, Ladan reads this essay and shares his opinion on it. Top three takeaways: It is a fallacy to assume that if everyone were to have had equal enfranchisement from the dawn of history, that humanity would be better off. In fact, the way out of societal stagnation is industrialization, which is dependent on the unequal system of capitalism. Had everyone had equal rights from the birth of civilization, we may have actually been less scientifically advanced than we currently are. Just as with the earlier industrial revolution, now that we are in the midst of a new revolution, the IT revolution, the unique facets of revolutionary capitalism are again under attack. Fascist and colonialist ideologies are resurging and reviving during this time when capitalist principles are under fire. Globalism is essentially colonialism 2.0. A lot of the problems that caused the first wave of colonialism to fail have been fixed, and colonialism is effectively being rebranded as globalism. In this sense, it is being referred to as a de-colonialism effort, with the belief that “diversity is our strength” widely spreading and influencing this new rise. An essay I recently finished: skins of ill-shaped fishes We are rag dolls made out of many ages and skins, changelings who have slept in wood nests, and hissed in the uncouth guise of waddling amphibians. We have played such roles for infinitely longer ages than we have been human. Our identity is a dream. We are process, not reality. Loren Eiseley Satisfying an interest in the process and experience of reality, and over thirty years of continuous backpacking, I’ve explored our planet’s varied and fascinating life-ways. The first 23 years of travel served to take a friendly look around every country. The last 7 years has necessarily been return visits to regions, landscapes and tribes already familiar from earlier trips. Heraclitus claimed that no man steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. In this sense, nations and tribes are akin to Heraclitus’s rivers - especially in our era of revolutionary transformation. Village and regional Feudalism gives way, painfully, to a somewhat bewildering mix of economic and political systems: cronyism, socialism, communism, fascism, market capitalism, democracy, and related doctrines not so honestly named but functionally equivalent. My wandering has exposed me to a broad spectrum of human reality, from living in leaf huts with spear-and-net hunting pigmies in the Congo rain forest and Yakuti reindeer herders in the Russian arctic; to drinking sake and enjoying gooey octopus balls with Tokyo tech specialists. Many of these niches of human development fall into categories recognized by socio-economic experts, such as nascent artisanal mining communities. Others support cultures beneath their notice, such as squatters in the liminal spaces of decaying mega cities, surviving by drug dealing and scavenging. This has induced in me a taste for the quirkiness of raw reality as opposed to euphemism, politically expedient obfuscations and outright lies. The saying goes, liars should have good memories. But, on a global scale, those who make the decisions and disproportionately benefit from the resulting doctrines can’t manage to keep their stories straight, over oceans and deserts, tundra and forests, fraught by dissension, suspicion and war. Comparative history and immersive experience unveil and embarrass these locally well-crafted fables and just-so-stories. Hunter gatherers were stable for hundreds of millennia and largely egalitarian, so had scant need to come up with new doctrines every generation. And Feudalism was likewise fairly stable for millennia despite spiraling inequality, so baffling doctrines had time to settle in to work their magic. Nowadays, however, revolutions and the doctrines that justify them are ubiquitous; a process and a dream of a swifter sort, sprinting, mind-driven, ahead of our biology toward Progress with a capital P, seemingly as sure-footed as the apocryphal fish crawling out of the Devonian ocean to stride and lord it over the land. Locally-crafted fables inveigle themselves just as insideously in Western minds, such that educated readers might wonder what there is left to observe in person on earth, and why bother. Isn’t it the case that the populace is better informed than ever and the arc of history bends toward justice? We’ve established, surely, that underdeveloped countries want to develop. So advisors and NGOs show up to assist. Sadly, progress is slow because of Western military adventures, and plundering of nature’s resources by devious multi-nationals who were complicit in colonialism that caused the poverty in the first place. Meanwhile aren’t desperate poor people thus apt to flee to the West for their own safety, although often blocked by the unenlightened politics of heartless deplorables? Marvin Harris, an eminent anthropologist and author, argued that political and social doctrines are most often crafted in subtle support of elite’s prerogatives over those of the bulk of humanity. “Doctrines that prevent people from understanding the causes of their social existence have great social value.” And in opposition to these elitist doctrines he asserts, “We must regard the expansion of scientific objectivity into the domain of lifestyle riddles as a moral imperative. It’s the only thing that’s never been tried.”(1) Makes me wonder; certainly easier said than done – revolutions in lifestyle and their explanations are neither straight nor tidy as jaunty diagrams of fish sprouting legs and sprinting up the smooth sand. In illustration and as a matter of fact, consider that ultimate chapter of the history of fish. Much of our initial assumptions need to be flipped over and re-examined after study by experts in the field. For instance, “It looks like hunting like a crocodile was the gateway drug to terrestriality,” neuroscientist Malcolm MacIver said. “Just as data comes before action, coming up on land was likely about how the huge gain in visual performance from poking eyes above the water to see an unexploited source of prey gradually selected for limbs.”(2) Furthermore, a reactionary clad of lung-sporting fish already half-way terrestrial turned tail and slithered back to the open seas. They repurposed a lung as a swim bladder, and their descendants became the spectacularly successful 28 000 species of bony fishes. Even the primordial land lubber fish had its quirks. As it was the ancestor of all terrestrial vertebrates those quirks were bequeathed to us. For instance, a strange twisted optic nerve, where right-eye and left-eye serving nerves crisscross in front of the brain to connect to the opposite hemisphere – a relic from when this ancestor dabbled in a torque-eyed flounder-ish existence only to abandon the lifestyle. Their eyes ended up ratcheting all the way around instead of simply rewinding to their previous level stare. Revolutions are no simple marches into the daylight, and are usually positively aswirl with staggering countercurrents, eddies and riptides. Without the shadow of a doubt, this latest industrial revolution is astoundingly powerful: mankind and his domesticated animals have overrun the planet, overpowered all beasts, and even harried the fish of the sea. If we consider anything chicken-sized or bigger, then our planet is now home to 300 million tons of humans, a further 700 million tons of our domesticated animals, and less than a hundred million tons of wild animals. We have taken over the earth. (3) Non-western people struggle to understand what is happening to their world, and Westerners tender self-serving or even less helpful answers. Modern doctrines are unnatural and hard to grok, in a way that simple feudal farming with digging sticks and plows was not. Anyway, what is the magic potion of development? What strange elixir takes a nation into the blessed future, or casts it back poisoned with weird visions, seeking solace in ancestral lifestyles? There have been two world-shaking revolutions among the smaller changes and revolts so far in human history. First was when hunter gathering gave ground to farmers’ superior numbers, belligerence, and penchant for harbouring contact diseases. Even here the transition was convoluted and uneven. But hunter gathers lost out and only waves of livestock herders held their own or conquered these farmers, cyclically being absorbed as a ruling class into a mixed farming sedentary economy. Their big men became chiefs and then lords, kings, occasionally emperors. Human relations adopted the characteristics known as feudalism. No scholar planned feudalism. Like other economic doctrines it arose organically, before being codified by any scholars, mostly driven by cultural evolution. It’s simply the characteristic type of stable hierarchy that arises when civilization passes the population density that allows chieftains. Of this we can be confident because feudal forms were generated planet wide. Even when agricultural civilizations developed in relative isolation, such as the Papuan highlands and Mesoamerica, they were feudal. Feudalism is characterized by a kinship-based hierarchical command and control economy. A common feature is largesse: an expectation of open-handed redistribution by the chief, enacting a primitive version of “from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs.” In practice much of the rhetoric about open-handed giving and redistribution was mere boasting, and these gifts served first to ensure the loyalty of military specialists who formed the bulk of the chief’s trusted subordinates. Important additional features in Europe and elsewhere were a caste system whereby families know their place, sumptuary laws so that people look and dress according to their caste, and a safe
41 minutes | Apr 8, 2020
Jake Steiner Discusses Myopia and How Habit Changes Rather than Lenses Are the Best Way to Overcome It
Jake Steiner used to have severe myopia (shortsightedness) and wore glasses with a very extreme refractive power. However, he has overcome his myopia on his own, and he now teaches others how to do so as well. In this episode, he talks about how lenses can actually worsen myopia over time, and how to restore your eyes’ functionality by changing habits and lifestyle choices. Top three takeaways: The eye will adjust its axial length based on what it sees in the environment. Placing a lens in front of the eye will cause the eye to adjust and change its axial length, which will alter its focal length. In this sense, minus lenses can potentially induce myopia by causing the eye to elongate more and more. Myopia is not a medical condition, but a refractive state. The eyeball elongates because there is a lens in front of it. People who have myopia have healthy eyes whose axial length has the ability to shorten back to its normal length. The word shortsighted is used both literally and metaphorically, and when used metaphorically, it can refer to the things that can make us literally shortsighted. Due to the culture of instant gratification and quick fixes, it is easier to go out and buy a corrective lens than it is to reduce screen time and change bad habits that strain your eyes.
55 minutes | Apr 1, 2020
Derek Loudermilk and Ladan Catch Up and Discuss What They’ve Learned in Recent Times From Their Life Adventures
Derek Loudermilk is the host of the Art of Adventure Podcast, a podcast that teaches about leading an adventurous life. In this episode, Derek and Ladan catch up and interview each other about what they’ve been up to recently and what they’ve learned from their adventures. Top three takeaways: When traveling abroad, you not only gain a new set of skills related to independence, but you also understand how the world truly works beyond your hometown. As an example, one may start off as having social or liberal points of view, but may have a different informed opinion upon seeing how those ideologies work in practice. There are a lot of interesting theories about dreams and how you can control them. One of these involves lucid dreaming and how you can control your dreams to help you solve real problems. By tasking your subconscious mind with focusing on a certain issue before falling asleep, you can potentially train your mind to help you interpret the issue better and make a clear decision. As people, we are our own worst critics. However, one thing that Ladan and Derek have learned is that if you are confident, competent, and follow up on your word, you’ll go very far in life and things will work out in the end. And above all, the universe never gives you anything you can’t handle.
22 minutes | Mar 25, 2020
Luca Fantuzzi Discusses His Experience Witnessing the Effects of the COVID-19 Outbreak
Luca Fantuzzi is an Italian citizen who has recently returned to Italy from the US in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Italy is one of the countries most strongly affected by the outbreak, and Fantuzzi has gone back to be with family. In this episode, he discusses his recent experiences traveling and observing how this outbreak has affected Italy. Top three takeaways: Fantuzzi had some family friends who recently contracted the virus, and it was at this point that he realized the gravity of this situation. You understand best the effects of the outbreak once it affects you or someone in your family. This is an interesting situation in that some people are effectively displaced from work, whereas others are working twice as hard, in particular people in the healthcare industry. This ultimately depends on your profession and whether it is considered “essential business”. The best thing to do in this situation is stay home and not interact with too many people. Staying home is the best way to be “generous” and help in this situation. Even though this means not going and hanging out with friends, it is much more beneficial to just stay home and spend time with family.
23 minutes | Mar 11, 2020
Inés Ruiz Navarro Discusses Using Meditation to Aid in Learning a Language
Inés Ruiz Navarro is a teacher of Spanish language and translation. In this episode, she explains how she uses meditation to help students learn and retain language more effectively and in a more positive way. Top three takeaways: When learning language through meditation, visualize someone you know, keep the image in your head, keep breathing, and describe the physical characteristics of the person in the new language. The whole thing has a positive effect since you learn while remaining calm and not worrying about mispronouncing or saying the wrong words. Meditation comes in many distinct forms, but in this context, it refers to a space where students can relax and enter a more positive mode of thinking, while simultaneously being active and responsive. This method of learning language can potentially be applied to other subjects, such as math and chemistry, as the method of meditation combats the anxiety that comes with learning a new subject.
28 minutes | Mar 4, 2020
Tamara Marie Discusses Learning Languages Through Music
Tamara Marie is a certified language coach who uses songs to teach language. She has developed a course called Spanish Con Salsa, which teaches Spanish through interactive lessons and uses Spanish songs to aid in retention of the learned material. In this episode, she discusses how she came to find music as an effective tool for learning languages, as well as how to best use music to learn more in-depth about a language. Top three takeaways: Using music to aid in learning a language can also expose the learner to the culture, dialect, and various accents a language is spoken in, and can teach a language beyond merely the grammar that is taught in a school setting. One should take a targeted approach when learning language from songs. This involves sitting down with song for a while, taking it section by section, identifying unknown words, and slowing down the song to better understand them. The sleep process consolidates memory, so take breaks and don’t try to cram all in one session. When listening to the song later, you will notice and recognize a lot more of vocabulary and speech patterns of native speakers. When learning a language, it is important to be aware of the region you live in and how native speakers within that region tend to speak and enunciate words based on where they come from. For example, when learning Spanish, people who live in the southwest US would be better off learning the Mexican accent.
29 minutes | Jan 29, 2020
Lawrence Leyton and Mark Wein Discuss the Fear of Flying
Lawrence Leyton is a therapist who has helped people overcome fears. In this episode, Ladan interviews Lawrence Leyton and one of his clients, Mark Wein, whom Leyton has helped to overcome his fear of flying. Lawrence Leyton and Mark Wein have since created a course to help people overcome the fear of flying. In this episode, they discuss the fear of flying in detail, what it is, and how it affects people’s lives. Top three takeaways: People don’t realize how small the risk of being involved in an aircraft accident is. There is a higher chance of dying from falling down stairs or being kicked by a donkey than there is of dying in a plane crash. However, the fear of flying often stems from the perception of a plane crash, rather than the actual statistics. A phobic creates fear by concentrating on the worst-case scenario of a situation. Whereas most people would view a vacation as a positive experience, a phobic person focuses on what can go wrong, like for instance the plane crashing on the way to their destinations. Sometimes after gaining new major responsibilities, such as having children, people become more conscious about the risks they take. In the case of flying, people worry more about being involved in a plane crash and not being able to be there for their children.
29 minutes | Jan 7, 2020
A visit to China shows its sights and history as well as its advancements and modernizations
In this episode, Ladan discusses his trip to China. He discusses the sights he saw, the experiences he’s had, as well as how China is modernizing. Top three takeaways: A lot of China’s advancements, such as the proliferation of electric vehicles, bullet trains, and more modern ways of paying for goods and services (such as facial recognition) are mostly a matter of the last 3 or so years. China is not a democratic country, as is clearly illustrated by the “Great Firewall”, which censors the internet for its citizens. VPNs are required to access common sites such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. However, the lack of democracy may be how China is able to advance so quickly without much hindrance. The best way to know what a country is truly like is to go and see it for yourself. Propaganda and hearsay do not paint the true picture of what a country is like. By visiting China, one can see how modern and advanced they truly are. GoogleFi: 7CKFM4 (Save $20)
28 minutes | Dec 4, 2019
Tough Conversations coach David Wood on consequences for actions and getting kicked out of Bali
David Wood is a coach who teaches people to have tough conversations. These conversations are the most important things you can do otherwise you will repeat the thing you didn't want to happen over and over.
12 minutes | Nov 20, 2019
My summer trip part 1, Thailand and where I went for the summer
After a long hiatus here is my first episode talking about my trip to Thailand this summer
32 minutes | Apr 17, 2019
4 years of constant Couchsurfing with Shawn Paris
Shawn Paris has spent the last 4 years of his life essentially homeless. He has stayed with around 200 couchsurfing hosts in the US, France and Japan while going around and performing. I hosted him for a few days and we ended up talking about the benefits of living like this. I had done something similar in 2017 and although I got sick of it after a year, it definitely had its benefits. It is definitely possible to save rent money or money on a mortgage and spend that on travel instead.
28 minutes | Apr 10, 2019
Lingoda gives live language lessons which can be for free, with Joe Uong
I talk to my friend here in Gainesville, Joe Uong. We met because of his great language ability in German which he had only been learning a few months. His secret was using a service called Lingoda. Here they offer group language lessons in German, French, Spanish, or Business English. You have a teacher and go through specific language lessons with up to 4 other students via a video Zoom meeting. Joe ended up doing their quarterly language half Marathon where you if you complete 15 hour-long classes per month for 3 months then you get half of the 109 euro (~$122) monthly course fee refunded!! For the language full Marathon you would get all of the 219 euro (~$245) monthly charge refunded if you completed 30 hour-long courses!!! You can get free language lessons! Joe and I talk about the service and some of the benefits over using a free service like Duolingo. Each has its purpose. I ended up using Lingoda for the half Marathon also and I really ended up enjoying how much my language learning improved. Get a $75 discount off the first month using the code G-7CEA3R This also gives me a few free lessons, everyone wins!
30 minutes | Apr 3, 2019
Traveling the world in the 70s like a hippy with Tom Hughes
I met Tom at a conference last year and we really hit it off because of both of our travels. Turns out he travelled all around the world many decades ago when the world was a different place. He was able to go to Iraq, Afghanistan, and saw India as a different place than it is now. This conversation was very interesting to see how things have changed over the last few decades. It was also interesting to see the change in him, going from travelling hippy to successful in his profession.
34 minutes | Mar 27, 2019
The advantages of setting up life and business abroad with Mikkel Thorup
Mikkel Thorup is the host of the Expat Money Show where he talks about the advantages of setting up many of life's things abroad. "PROTECT THE MONEY YOU WORKED SO HARD TO EARN FROM AMBULANCE CHASING LAWYERS, NEFARIOUS CREDITORS AND GREEDY UNJUST GOVERNMENTS"
49 minutes | Feb 6, 2019
The Founder of Couchsurfing on what all went into building such a great community
It was a pleasure to talk to Casey Fenton, the founder of Couchsurfing again. We had met a year ago in Bali but with a tight schedule and us celebrating his 40th birthday we never ended up recording an episode at that time. Luckily, he is now writing a book about his experiences building my favorite community for travel. Couchsurfing allows you to stay with strangers for free while travelling and its all backed on a review system that makes sure you stay safe. I've used it over 100 times and I have to say that some of my best friendships have come from the site!
31 minutes | Dec 19, 2018
Disruptors podcast host talks about the future of humanity with Matt Ward
Matt Ward is the host of the Disruptors podcast which was formerly Fringe FM. He had built a company to a million dollars within about a year all while maintaining his love for podcasting. Now he is working on a podcast around the future of humanity, scientists, education, healthcare and manned space travel. In this episode we talk about how he started on his path by going to go travel and knowing he couldn't work for anyone else.