The World Nomads Podcast: Canada

When a traveler becomes a snack; the perils of wilderness adventure in Canada - A culinary tour of the provinces for foodies - We speak to World Nomads photography scholarship mentor Ricahrd I'Anson.


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Episode 2: Canada

Canada's ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean.

We explore its remoteness as we are taken on an Inuit led adventure with a travel journalist who shares his terrifying toilet stop.

In Travel News, we chat about the cities named in Lonely Planet’s “Top Ten Cities to Visit in 2018” including the one we couldn’t believe made the cut!

We have details of the Photography Scholarship winner who is off to Myanmar next year with one of the world's best travel photographers, Richard I'Anson,

Canada is good at metropolitan cities and mounted police, but is that what adventure travelers want? Research suggests what they really want is a wilderness experience. With the help of travel experts, Podcast Producer Kim Napier and World Nomads' Phil Sylvester we set out to discover what is beyond the typical postcard of Canada, including a road trip so remote the Government issues a satellite phone to drivers brave enough to tackle it.

What's in the Episode?

00:08 - Welcome

01.50 - Travel Quiz: If I was alongside Sacsayhuaman what would I be looking down on and what animal might I see?

02:10 – Ask A Nomad

04.30 - Why Canada’s beaches are perfect for storm watchers.

“…it's a very rugged set beauty. It's a very different type of beauty. So, think less babes in bikinis, and more just nature in its absolute, pristine, rugged self” – Robin Esrock

09:35 - We check in with our World Nomads enjoying life on the road - “Just take a flight and go…”

10:10 – An Inuit-led adventure in Canada’s far north.

 “I got the sense the Canadian Government are doing as much as they can I terms of reparation for the catastrophes that were visited on indigenous people there” – Mike Carter

15:37 – The toilet stop where you go from needing a pee to being a snack.

19:20 – Is Canada more than maple syrup? A culinary tour of Canada.

23.40 - Tour Radar: A bunch of techy travel experts on a mission to enrich people’s lives through touring.

27:50 – Travel Scholarship announcement

“…it's not just the photography. It's not just the written words that accompany it. It's a combination” – Mentor Richard I’Anson.

33.50 – Travel News – Lonely Planet has released its list of “Top Ten Cities to Visit in 2018”

38.30 Quiz answer

39:27 - What's next in Episode 2?

Who's on the Show?

Robin Esrock a travel writer and television host who has traveled to over 100 countries including Canada.

Chris Johns, one of Canada’s most respected food and travel writers. With Chris we look at Canada through a food lens, and ask is it more than just Maple Syrup?

Mike Carter, is a journalist who wrote a brilliant story on an Inuit led adventure in Canada’s far north. And you may remember in episode one we promised you’d hear about his frightening toilet stop.

Christian Wolters from TourRadar: A bunch of techy travel experts on a mission to enrich people’s lives through touring. Christian is part of the team and shares with us his love of traveling and obsession with sailing.

Richard I’Anson one of the world's best travel photographers. A Canon Master who joins us to announce the winner of The World Nomads Scholarship.

Resources & Links

Read about why wilderness adventure could be the saviour of Canada's surprisingly poor tourism rankings.

Kelly Beckta's winning Photography Scholarship 2017 entry.

China's Golden Week tourism crowds - you have to see these photos!

Download our newly released Insider's Guide to Canada.

Phil's family on the Great Barrier Reef:

Check out our Insider’s Guides to Canada, Cuba, Colombia, and more.

Ask A Nomad: our community question and answer forum. Ask a question, provide an answer.

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Sign up for Podcast News

Explore your boundaries and discover your next adventure with The World Nomads Podcast. Hosted by Podcast Producer Kim Napier and World Nomads Phil Sylvester, each episode will take you around the world with insights into destinations from travellers and experts. They’ll share the latest in travel news, answer your travel questions and fill you in on what World Nomads is up to, including the latest scholarships and guides.

The World Nomads Podcast is not your usual travel Podcast. It’s everything for the adventurous, independent traveller.

Don’t miss out. Subscribe today via iTunes, Stitcher or your favourite podcast player.

About World Nomads & The Podcast

Explore your boundaries and discover your next adventure with The World Nomads Podcast. Hosted by Podcast Producer Kim Napier and World Nomads Phil Sylvester, each episode will take you around the world with insights into destinations from travellers and experts. They’ll share the latest in travel news, answer your travel questions and fill you in on what World Nomads is up to, including the latest scholarships and guides.

World Nomads is a fast-growing online travel company that provides inspiration, advice, safety tips and specialized travel insurance for independent, volunteer and student travelers traveling and studying most anywhere in the world. Our online global travel insurance covers travelers from more than 135 countries and allows you to buy and claim online, 24/7, even while already traveling.

The World Nomads Podcast is not your usual travel Podcast. It’s everything for the adventurous, independent traveller. Don’t miss out. Subscribe today.

Announcer: The World Nomads podcast, it's not your usual travel podcast. It's everything for the adventurous, independent traveler.

Kim: Hi, there, wherever you may be listening in the world, great that you've hooked into our podcast, delivered by World Nomads, the travel, lifestyle, and insurance brand, covering more than a half a million travelers.

I'm Kim, and the man sitting across from me is-

Phil: One of the half million, Phil, how are we all?

Kim: Well, we're back, so I think episode one worked.

Phil: I think so, too. We've had some great feedback from everybody [00:00:30] out there listening, so thank you very much for that. It was a great pleasure to know we weren't just talking into thin air, mate.

Kim: Exactly. That ... the feedback's been amazing, so thank you very much. That podcast was about Croatia, which you can find on iTunes.

Phil: Indeed, please subscribe when you get there.

Kim: Now, this one, though, this episode, we explore Canada. We'll catch up with Robin S. Rock, he's a travel writer and television host, who's traveled to over a hundred countries, including Canada.

Chris Jones is one of Canada's most respected food and travel writers, and with Chris, [00:01:00] we're going to look at Canada through a food lens, Phil, and ask, "Is it more than just maple syrup?"

Phil: Not that there's anything wrong with maple syrup.

Kim: Not that there ... and can you have maple syrup with bacon?

Phil: It's actually not bad, have you had it?

Kim: Yeah, I love it.

Phil: I like it a lot.

Kim: I love it, I absolutely love it.

Now, Mike Carter is a journalist who wrote a brilliant story on an Inuit-led adventure in Canada's far north, and you may remember in episode one, we'd promise you'd hear about his frightening toilet stop. Haha. Are you looking forward to that?

Phil: [00:01:30] I am.

Kim: Plus, [inaudible 00:01:32] our World Nomads affiliate, and we announce the winner of the World Nomads photography scholarship. But next, he literally set up all night coming up with this episode's travel quiz question, I think it arrived in my inbox at 11:03 pm, hahaha. That's a long day, Phil.

Phil: Haha.

Kim: Phil, what are you going to throw at us?

Phil: All right, here's my quiz question this week. If I was alongside Sex-hay-woman, what would I be looking down on, and what animal might I see? I'll have my answer at the end of the episode.

Kim: Was [00:02:00] that like, "sexy woman"?

Phil: Yeah, but it's "Sex-ay Wo-man"

Kim: Sex-ay, oh, I like the accent. Okay, well, we're still working on intro music for this section, but now it is time for "Ask Phil".

Phil: Look, I'm a bit embarrassed ... I really did embarrass myself last episode when you said, "Do you know everything?"

Kim: You do.

Phil: And I said, "Yeah," and I came across as a bit of a know-it-all. I know ... honestly, I don't know anything. In fact, my knowledge about Canada has been improved about a thousand percent by just researching [00:02:30] and preparing for this program. In part, because I went to our community, the Q and A forum, called "Ask a Nomad," and I look for the Canada questions there, and this is the one that popped up, because it had the most answers with it. So, here we go, Jared said, "Backpack Canada or not?"

Well, Timma replied, "Canada is massive, it's best to pick an end, skip the middle, and fly east-west or west-east. Even when you land, you'll need a car, transportation between cities is crap"-

Kim: [00:03:00] Haha.

Phil: "Unless you want a Greyhound bus that stops 36 times for a five hour trip."

Kim: No, thanks.

Phil: "West coast in summer is amazing." Elanor agreed with that, she said "Check out the sunshine coast trial, the hundred and eighty kilometers of hut to hut hiking." Say that quickly.

Kim: No.

Phil: Also, "Going from"-

Kim: Don't. Haha.

Phil: Haha. "Also, going from Victoria to Tofino, is a beauty, checking out Cathedral Grove along the way," she said.

Christa piped in with, "One of the most beautiful regions is the stretch [00:03:30] from Jasper National Park west to Wells-Gray Natural Park, on the other side of the country, anywhere in Cape Briton is a great place for backpacking."

And, Louise Armstrong, and I really hope that's her real name, haha-

Kim: Hahaha.

Phil: She came up with this, "I agree doing east-west and skipping as much of the middle, the prairies, as you need to, however, depending on where you are, you may want to carry insect spray for black flies," I've heard they're a shocker there, in summer.

Kim: Aren't all flies black?

Phil: These are a particular type-

Kim: Ah.

Phil: And they will take [00:04:00] chunks out of you. Also, "In Spring/summer, you need to be aware of the bears that roam around certain parts, such as the Rockies, Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff, and even in ordinary sounding places like close to Ottawa and the Quebec Border."

Kim: Scary.

Phil: If you have a question, or think you can provide some answers, check out <> and-

Kim: Okay, while we're on a role with places to visit in Canada, let's check in with Robin S. Rock, a travel writer [00:04:30] and TV host, who's traveled to over a hundred countries, searching for things you can't do anywhere else in the world.

Firstly, I was curious to know about Canada's beaches.

Robin Esrock: We've got beaches that stretch out forever, and they're quite different from your kind of tropical, white-sandy, squeaky beach, in the sense that they're a lot more rugged, so if you can imagine Long Beach, on Tofino, in Vancouver Island, which faces the Pacific, and you're framed by these [00:05:00] massive coastal rainforest trees, eagles flying overhead, the storms that come in batter the coast line, so much so that storm watching is actually a popular pastime, that people come over the watch the storms roll in from the Pacific, so think less babes in bikinis, and more nature in its absolute, pristine, rugged self. It's the same we have with scuba diving, we have some of the world's best [00:05:30] cold-water diving here in British Columbia, and people come from around the world, and they can't get over how big everything is, how pristine everything is.

It's a different experience, especially for people who are used to a certain type of environment.

Kim: What about then ... and you've written about the top ten road trips, can you give us an example of one or two of those?

Robin Esrock: I think the Ice-fields Parkway, which a stretch of road that rolls between Jasper National Park and Banff [00:06:00] National Park is mile for mile the most beautiful, scenic drive, anywhere in the world. I only say that because I've been looking for these kinds of things. In 110 countries, I've never seen such eye candy on display. It's absolutely spectacular. That's only a three hour drive, it's not a very long drive.

Then we've got something quite different ... I mean, there's incredible drives, and people come from around the world, to get [00:06:30] this kind of remoteness in Canada, and probably the most remote one is called the Trans-Labrador Highway. Labrador is a part of a province that's attached to the main land, it's bigger than Japan, and Japan has 138 million people, and Labrador has about 30,000 people. There's one road that goes through the whole main land, just one road, and it's eleven-hundred and eighty-five kilometers long, and the government actually issues you a free [00:07:00] loaner satellite phone, because you're going to be that remote, and you'll be driving in absolute wilderness under the midnight sun. Usually, in summer, people are crazy to do it in winter. You do it like you're the last great driver on earth.

Kim: Well, actually, it's interesting that you mention Labrador, because one of the chats we've had for this particular episode is with a financial time travel journo, Mike Carter, and he went on an Inuit-led adventure in that area, and he just couldn't [00:07:30] believe how remote it was.

Robin Esrock: Yeah, it's a remoteness that you feel in your bones. Haha.

Kim: Haha. Whenever I think about Canada, I think snow, and I know it's so much more than that, so can you touch on, though, a couple of the winter festivals that would be attractive to travelers?

Robin Esrock: Sure. Ottawa is just gorgeous in winter, it's a really fantastic city, I think you get there and feel like you're kind of in England with the old parliament buildings, [00:08:00] very, very impressive ... they have a festival called Winterlude, which is gorgeous, which is centered around the Rideau Canal, so if you can imagine that you've got this water way, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that freezes over every winter, and people skate to work, 'cause it goes through the whole city, and it's quicker to put on your skates, with your briefcase, and your jacket, and skate to work.

The biggest winter carnival in the world is in Quebec City, it's called Carnival, Winter Carnival, [00:08:30] and it is absolutely out of control, I mean, you go there, temperatures can dip to minus twenty, minus thirty, and they have street parades, they have parties, and ice castles, they have the famous ice hotel, everybody's walking around drinking this kind of ... kind of like a luvine concoction made with rum and wine and vodka and God knows what else, called Caribou, so everybody's quite plunked. Fantastic atmosphere, [00:09:00] very, very festive, and I've always said you can't do Canada if you can't do cold, you just bundle up and you dress for the elements.

You discover that if you can't go hiking in winter, you can go snowshoeing. Winter comes with all the fun that comes with snow and you just go with it. We love it, we absolutely love it.

Kim: We will have a link to Robin's website in our show notes, which includes his blog, books, and photos.

Phil: Busy a man.

Kim: Yeah, he is.

Mike Carter's story on his Inuit-led adventure to Canada's [00:09:30] far north, as mentioned in that chat with Robin is coming up, but next, let's check in and see what our World Nomads have been up to.

Speaker 5: So, traveling the world, it's amazing. It's the life, come on, the world is so nice, so big, travel and enjoy the life.

I've been to USA, [inaudible 00:09:47], Australia, Asia, Fiji.

Speaker 6: You have to learn so many things from different cultures, it's beautiful. You can meet sometimes your family [00:10:00] and your friends, while actually you just feel so satisfied here, and you do whatever you want to do, so it's fine, you balance. Just take a flight and go, you never know, you know.

Kim: Mike Carter is a freelance journalist and it was last year he headed off to Canada's far north, to experience an Inuit-led adventure.

Phil: Canada's doing pretty well on the ranking of the most visited countries in the world, it's at number seventeen at the moment, but it used to be at number two. As you can imagine, there's been [00:10:30] a lot of discussion in Canada about why such a beautiful, and diverse, and exciting destination doesn't do better.

One theory is that they don't know what they've got. Canada's good at metropolitan cities, and mounted police, but what the visitors want is a wilderness experience, and there's enormous interest in the rest of the world about wilderness experience led by indigenous people, and Inuit adventure is what people want, apparently, and Mike has done one, and written about it beautifully.

Kim: He certainly has, Phil, but how did he end up in [00:11:00] one of the most remote parts of the world?

Mike Carter: As far as why, my newspaper emailed me and said, "There's this extraordinary opportunity to do this trip in northern Labrador, and the [inaudible 00:11:15] National Park, a very rarely visited, not only rarely visited part of Canada, but a very rarely visited part of the world."

When I looked at the logistics involved with getting there, a flight to Halifax, I [00:11:30] think it was, and another flight to Goose Bay, and then another flight from Maine to Sagleck, which is a landing strip left over from US Air Force. Then a zodiac from that landing strip to a camp, the only man made structure in this entire, nearly four thousand square miles of pristine Arctic wilderness, it was too good an opportunity to turn down, just from ... a kind of logistical point of view, that's the kind of thing that really appeals to me.

When they said [00:12:00] it was kind of an Inuit-led initiative, run by Inuit owned companies ... Lately it seems, I don't know about making plans about things, I love that ancient Hebrew saying, "Give the Gods a good laugh, tell them about your plans." It does seem that in the last few years, these stories have found me.

My experience, very limited experience of Canada, and the way it treats its indigenous people, it has been a very, very positive one.

It seems to me, [00:12:30] I don't know, because you're in and out of these places and you don't really know, but the ... a lot of the infrastructure in Labrador seems to be owned by Inuit companies, like the airline and the barges that bring food up and down the coast to these remote communities, and the base camo where I stayed. Nine out of ten of the full-time staff in the camp were Inuits, and that ... they want to make that a hundred percent. It probably is now. And the guides [00:13:00] were nearly all Inuits.

I got the sense that the Canadian government are doing as much as they can in terms of reparations for the catastrophes that were visited on indigenous people there in the 1950s, when the forced relocation's off their land in northern Labrador and down to alien settlements for them. The pain of that is still very, very evident when you speak to [00:13:30] Inuit there now.

I think it's difficult, this kind of cultural tourism, because you know, there's a neutrality, there's a symbiosis, a two-way learning process there. As long as there's absolute deep respect for that host culture, and I think the Anglo-Saxon world, the English, Anglo-speaking world, we've been so guilty for so long with that kind [00:14:00] of cultural imperialism, where we go into developing world countries, that this is rather a quaint, antiquated way of living, that needs to be preserved in aspic, but we're much more inherently superior and evolved than these people, but I do see a move ...

People such as Jared Diamond, who writes in travelers books, like the world until yesterday, that look [00:14:30] at the way traditional people organize themselves, and see that we've forgotten so much about how humans a species organize and learn and thrive. Far from cultural imperialism, I've just seen people as a much better version of us, in their respect for the land, and ... so, it's simultaneously depressing but very, very uplifting.

Kim: Do you see Inuit developing an income stream from tourism in Canada?

Mike Carter: [00:15:00] According to people I spoke to on the ground there, Inuits, yes. The sense I got in Labrador was the Inuit there were increasingly getting more and more agency and more and more autonomy as to what they wanted to do and what they thought was acceptable and that the Canadian government and the current Labrador government were consultative and deeply respectful of ... for a start, they own the land now.

My sense, [00:15:30] in Canada anyway, is that they're doing tourism right, increasingly so, and long may that continue.

Kim: So, Phil, he hasn't yet told his whiny story, he found it terrifying, and this relates to his toilet stop.

Mike Carter: I think the very fact that you're little plane lands and you're immediately surrounded by heavily armed men, and you're in the middle of nowhere, is a sure sign that something's rather worrying.

We'd been [00:16:00] in this little plane, and I needed to go to the toilet, and I asked one of the guides if there was anywhere I could go, and there are all these old Cold War hangers there, and they said, "Oh, you can go behind the building, but I need to come with you," with this huge gun, you know?

Kim: Oh.

Mike Carter: And he was saying, "You can't take your eye off the horizon or the landscape for a second there because the bears," not [00:16:30] just the polar bears, but these barren ground black bears that have adapted to survive there, are ambush animals, because there are no trees. It's above fifty-five degrees and there are no trees. There's no hiding place for them, or very ... their traditional method of stalking animals, so they have to hide behind a rock, and they're very opportunistic-

Kim: Ah.

Mike Carter: And they're very patient, so I wasn't terrified because I was with these extremely [00:17:00] competent, highly trained people who know what to do, but you quickly begin to realize you're not in a benign ... you're not in your Sydney apartment, you're not in your London apartment, here.

This is ... it really contextualizes man's place in the grand scheme of things, when you realize you're an insignificant spec.

As I said in the piece, "I'd gone from being a man to being a snack."

Kim: Really great opportunity to relieve yourself [00:17:30] quickly, or just decide that you can hang on, hahaha.

Mike Carter: Exactly. It wasn't terrifying, it's just that thing that, "Oh, okay, I don't live here, I'm not familiar with this place, I'm quite helpless," you know? I look at these magnificent mountains and you see polar bears and black bears running everywhere, and when [00:18:00] you finally get to the camp, there's a ten-thousand volt electric fence around the camp, and you realize that this is not really a joke, if you stray ... and one of the first things they do when you get to the base camp, in Saglec Field, Saglec Water, is they sit you down and show you a film of polar bears and how to tell if a polar bear is agitated, merely curious, [00:18:30] or hungry. You start studying all these different film of polar bears trying to judge their behavior, and what you should do if a polar bear approached you, and what you should do to avoid encountering a polar bear.

That's literally the first thing they do when you get off the boat, "You need to watch this film." It's a bit like getting on an airplane, and going through the safety talk by the cabin crew, but the consequences being slightly more dire, really.

Phil: [inaudible 00:18:57] That bring a new meaning to the idea of a "Bear behind". [00:19:00] Oh dear.

Kim: Oh dear. Links to Mike's story and more on him in our show notes. Look, don't feel too bad about your bear behind joke, because-

Phil: I never do.

Kim: I could certainly, I'm sure of it, hear Chris Johns, who's one of Canada's most respected food and travel writers groan when I asked him if Canada is more than maple syrup.

Chris Johns: Yeah, it absolutely is more than maple syrup. We're the second largest country in the world, and [00:19:30] the bounty from our shores, and our fields, and our forests is almost unprecedented. We have an awful lot going on. Every region has its own specialties. Here in Ontario, where I live, you get a lot of great wine, we grow beautiful tree fruits, and we have wonderful fresh water fish. We don't have an ocean, but it's not far away.

Kim: Speaking of areas, you wrote [00:20:00] an article, "Come for the Meat, Stay for the Veg,"-

Chris Johns: Yeah.

Kim: And you said a "Wave of green is taking over Montreal's eateries." Is that suggesting meat, in that city, is taking a back seat?

Chris Johns: I think there's a couple things going on there. Maybe, five or ten years ago, Montreal was known as a very meat-centric kind of city, and it was gaining an international reputation as such. You had restaurants like Joe Beef, and Au-Pe-et-Gra-shaun, who were doing things like duck in a can, and the infamous [00:20:30] frois-gras double down, which was two breaded chicken breasts, fried chicken breasts, with ham and cheese in the middle-

Kim: Yep.

Chris Johns: Well, the guys at, Joe, ha, well, kind of, I guess, the guys at Joe Beef did the equivalent but used whole loaves of frois-gras and then deep fried them and put ham and cheese in the middle.

That's about as meaty a thing as you can get. And that was the whole reputation of Montreal, is this excessive place to go and eat until you nearly [00:21:00] pass out and drink just as much.

But, in the last couple of years, a new wave of restaurants, like Vin Papillion, and the emphasis is on a much lighter style of eating.

I think that Canadians are really starting to wake up to the quality of the product and the talent of the chefs who are working and living here. People travel a lot, Canadians travel quite widely, so they're coming back [00:21:30] with new ideas and with raised expectations, and I think that that's all feeding into this revolution that's happening and this raising of the bar of dining across the country.

Kim: What ingredients inspire Canadian dishes, then?

Chris Johns: I guess something that would be considered especially Canadian, might be our use of game. You don't see a lot of it on restaurant menus, because outside of Newfoundland, you're not really allowed to serve [00:22:00] a moose that somebody brought in for you from the field. We would like to see that change, actually, but for now, you have to get farm raised game.

We of course have the compliment of four seasons, so seasonality is very important.

Kim: I was recently on a ferry and overheard some Canadians say that they have the best sushi outside of Japan, is that true, or were they waxing lyrical?

Chris Johns: Well, I think you could make that case, yeah, [00:22:30] especially on the west coast, the restaurants in Vancouver and the little bedroom community of Richmond, British Columbia, have phenomenal asian restaurants, not just Japanese, but Chinese restaurants in Richmond in particular, are as good as, if not better than, what you would find in Beijing or Shanghai.

The sushi is phenomenal.

Kim: Finally, what can travelers expect from Canadian food, particularly with World Nomads, the independent [00:23:00] traveler that's not particularly attracted to the high end restaurants?

Chris Johns: I would like to think that in Toronto, at least, you could absolutely have a great trip and never have to spend more than a twenty, and feed yourself very well at a whole bunch of good restaurants. Certainly in China Town, there's a million amazing places, all kinds of burger joints that are out of control good, and pizza's a big thing here, right now.

On the west coast, like we said, sushi, it's not all high end [00:23:30] sushi out there, even the sort of entry level sushi places tend to be operating at a very high level.

Out on the east coast, find yourself a Sunday church lobster bake and get in there. They're not expensive, and delicious food and amazing experience.

Kim: We will have a link to Chris's book, "True North, Canadian Cooking from Coast to Coast," in our show notes.

Now meet Christian Walters, from Tour Radar. They're a bunch of techie travel experts. [00:24:00] They're on a mission to enrich people's lives through touring. Christian is part of the team and he shares with us his love of traveling and his obsession, believe it or not he is obsessed with sailing.

I tried out my french on him Phil, with a little Bon Jour to kick off the Skype chat.

Christian Walte: Hahaha. I'm actually a Quebecer, but I've lived in Toronto probably I would say over twenty years, so I'm more English than French, now.

Kim: So, is Quebec [00:24:30] that different from the rest of Canada?

Christian Walte: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. It's completely french, they have french language laws, franco-phone history, culture, and it's unique in all of Canada.

Kim: Wow, and you get Celine Dion.

Christian Walte: We get Celine Dion, as well.

Kim: Haha. Tell me, why do you love travel, and how did you get the travel bug?

Christian Walte: Not too sure exactly. I know ... my parents are both from Europe, and they immigrated [00:25:00] here, and they've always enjoyed traveling, I remember from a young age seeing pictures of them in Nigeria. My dad used to work there for over a year. My mom was very open to different cultures, and taught me the same. We went on a couple of family trips to Europe when I was little. From there, I guess it just ... kept wanting to travel.

Kim: And you've got a love of sailing, particularly?

Christian Walte: Yeah, I've loved sailing [00:25:30] ever since I was a little kid. I'm not sure why, both my parents don't sail, and it was just something I enjoyed reading the stories when I was a little kid, but growing in Quebec, you're pretty land locked, sure, there's a bug river, but there's not a lot of sailing going on.

When I moved to Toronto I was pretty excited because I was on the banks of Lake Ontario, which has ocean like conditions, so I learned to sail smaller [00:26:00] boats, then bigger boats, then eventually I acquired my own boat three years ago, which is about thirty-four feet in length.

I've got this big plan, gonna sail around the world, so I'm working towards that objective right now. I've been on a few international trips, I've sailed in Croatia, the British Virgin Islands, and in Berma, as well.

I love exploring new cultures, new places that I haven't been to. I'm not a big fan of going to the same places, even though, [00:26:30] I've pretty well figured those places out so well, that I should probably go back, but I definitely like to go somewhere new. If it's an activity, outside of sailing, I love mountain biking, and doing something physical, because I feel it's a more rewarding experience at the end of it all.

Kim: So, you're an avid traveler and adventurer. How does that fit with what you do for work and they way Tour Radar sees the world?

Christian Walte: Oh, it works perfectly. With Tour Radar, we aggregate multi day tours, [00:27:00] we are the market place for literally hundreds of different tour operators around the world. We have a fifteen thousand different tours, currently, right now. People can jump on board and search and find the best tour that they want, and book it right on the platform.

We've got twenty-four seven customer support.

How it fits in, really, is that there's such a variety ... and I like traveling in many different ways, there's sometimes that I like to travel luxuriously, [00:27:30] others I like to go budget, high active, sometimes I just want to relax. It gives me a great opportunity to explore different types of operators, different ways of traveling, and different countries to travel in.

Kim: Thanks, Christian. We'll have links to Tour Radar in our show notes.

Now to our live, he's living, breathing studio guest, Phil, you do the honors.

Phil: Last week, we announced the winner of the World Nomads 2017 Photography Scholarship. I'm very pleased to announce that we'll be sending Kelly Beckter to [00:28:00] Myanmar next year. Kelly's a Canadian nurse, presently living in London, but she's been to over a hundred countries. Good on her.

For those who haven't heard of our scholarship programs, we offer money can't buy experiences for emerging photographers, writers, and filmmakers, travelers who want to make their passion their profession. You've heard us say that. And they could use a little help, advice, and tutoring from a professional to make that happen, so we organize that for them, sending them on a real assignment with a mentor, someone who is a professional and expert in [00:28:30] the field.

For the photography scholarship, we're incredibly lucky to have the services of one of the world's best travel photographers. He's a Canon-Master, and we're thrilled to say he's in the studio with us right now, Richard I'Anson. Welcome.

Richard I'Anson: Thank you very much, Phil.

Kim: I couldn't believe it when you stepped into our office, and you were signing autographs, and I said to Phil, "Is he signing autographs?"

Phil said, "Yeah."

I said, "Is he a big deal?"

Phil says, "Yep."

We're really honored that you've taken the time to come into the studio.

Richard I'Anson: My pleasure, I'm not that [00:29:00] big of deal, I signed one autograph.

Kim: Hahaha.

Phil: Hahaha.

Kim: Yeah, there are three hundred other people in the office, who are less impressive, haha.

Richard I'Anson: I've already done them.

Phil: First of all, can we talk about the winner, Kelly Beckter?

Richard I'Anson: Yes.

Phil: What was it you liked about her entry?

Richard I'Anson: There was a lot of different thought and thinking that goes into selecting an entry from obviously the four thousand submissions that we had, so there's never one thing. I think that's the point of this scholarship opportunity, that we are looking at various [00:29:30] angles, it's not just the photography, it's not just the written words that accompany it, it's a combination. Finally, when we get a really tight, short list, they get interviewed.

Phil: Yeah.

Kim: Obviously, these entrants have the ability to take photos. Where do you step in?

Richard I'Anson: They have the ability to take photos, but if you look at the submissions, the standard varies enormously, and of course, professional photographers are not allowed to enter, so [00:30:00] the opportunity should be entered by aspiring photographers, probably the best way to put it-

Kim: Yeah.

Richard I'Anson: I think ... well, I come in on various levels ... one thing I'm able to do, because I've been in this business so long, is work with the person wherever they're at, so even if they are quite competent, I can help them go to the next step.

If they're a beginner, and that can happen in this competition, you can still get through, even if you only just started taking pictures, I can work with them at whatever level [00:30:30] to help them go to the next step. Once they join me on the ground, they get to see what it's really like to be a professional travel photographer, so it's a pretty intense ten, twelve days-

Kim: Now, I know we're talking about a different level of photography here, but if we just touched on the iPhone, people travel with it, they can take reasonable photos with it, there are lots of applications ... not applications, but pieces, literally pieces of equipment you can attach to enhance your photos.

For somebody that's just an amateur that just wants to take a few snaps to [00:31:00] look back on in life, is that okay?

Richard I'Anson: I think it's absolutely fine. With the accessories you can add to an iPhone, or a smart phone to improve the quality, I think you have to understand, you're actually usually then dealing with someone who is then a bit more serious, you know, they're spending money and they're trying to get the best out of the equipment.

Most people of course just shoot straight from ... with the lens in the camera ... in the card that's [00:31:30] provided. It's absolutely fine for recording your memories, and the pictures look great on the phone itself, and they can look great on a screen, but you can't possibly compare the files to what you get out of a professional day [inaudible 00:31:48].

Phil: How do you feel about the selfie stick?

Richard I'Anson: Can't stand them.

Phil: Not good?

Kim: Haha.

Richard I'Anson: I have reasons.

Phil: Yeah.

[00:32:00] It's because they take up too much space. I find that they quite often get in my way.

Is there such a thing as an "eye?"

Richard I'Anson: Absolutely I think there is such a thing as having an "eye." It doesn't mean you can't develop it, and learn, but it is one of those tricky ones, I always say, "You can always learn the technical stuff," that is totally learnable, and people should make an effort to learn it, so that it becomes second nature. Then you can concentrate on the good stuff, which is taking pictures.

You can learn about composition, but I think [00:32:30] the best photographers probably do have some sort of innate eye.

Kim: Well, you're a pretty good photographer, what's your favorite photo that you've ever taken?

Phil: I'm pleased to say I've got more than one.

Richard I'Anson: Good.

Kim: Told you you were pretty good.

Richard I'Anson: The favorite photo comes and goes, I mean I would like to think I've got a few more favorite photos in the future, and they become favorite photos for different reasons.

The current favorite is a shot I took at the Holi Festival in India, where I was in amongst [00:33:00] the crowd and the water and the powder was being thrown everywhere and I took, essentially, a portrait of a woman just peering out from behind her sari, which she had over her head to cover herself for protection.

That's my current favorite.

Kim: Phil's favorite at the moment is his family snorkeling.

Richard I'Anson: Yes, I know, he showed me.

Kim: It's a nice photo, isn't it?

Richard I'Anson: Yeah, it's a nice photo, very nice.

Kim: Okay, if anyone wanted to, and clearly they will want to view your work, can you direct us to a particular website or even an exhibition, perhaps?

Richard I'Anson: Well, my website exists, and it's got some galleries [00:33:30] on it, and I'm reasonably active on Instagram-

Kim: Under the name of ... ?

Richard I'Anson: Rich I'Anson.

Kim: Well, we look forward to seeing the work that you will produce with Kelly, and thanks for being our second live studio guest.

Phil: That's right, and best of luck. I hope the scholarship goes well.

Richard I'Anson: My pleasure, thank you for having me.

Kim: Okay, Phil, what travel news do you have for us this episode?

Phil: Here's a good one. A British traveler who was jailed in Dubai for touching another man's hip in a bar, has been freed by a Royal [00:34:00] Pardon and will return home, escaping a three month jail term.

Jamie Herin claimed he touched the other man to prevent him spilling his drink. The man claimed Herin was drunk, a no-no in the United Arab Emirates, and repeatedly touched him. Also a no-no.

Herin was sentenced to ... he was sentenced for public indecency, and was facing other charges for being drunk and swearing. Normal rules do not apply when you're in Dubai, it's not a normal night out at the bar, please be careful [00:34:30] there.

Kim: I'd be jailed. I'm aware of it.

Phil: Lonely Planet's released its list of top ten cities to visit in 2018. Yes, we're at that time of year already, the next year we're looking at. Top of the list, in english, is Seville, Spain, in Spanish, Sa-vee-yah. In Spain. The reasons? It's got great street life, and I can attest to that. An amazing love of art, and there's this uniques mix of medieval and Moorish architecture. Plus, you guessed it, some scenes from Game of Thrones [00:35:00] were shot there. Rrrrrr.

Kim: Rrrrrr.

Phil: The next two places on the list are a bit of a surprise, even for the people who live there. Detroit, USA, yeah, its making a big comeback.

Kim: Is it? Because I felt like it was a ghost town.

Phil: It went very nearly bankrupt, what, three, four, five years ago? It's actually making great comeback, and its somewhere now, where a sort of hipster community has set up and it's really starting to thrive.

Kim: Great news.

Phil: It's amazing.

Not quite sure ... apparently the same is true of number three on the [00:35:30] list, Canberra, Australia. For people not from Australia, Canberra is our capital city, not Sydney, and its inland, about halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, and it used to be, and probably still should be, a sheep paddock.

Kim: Yes, that's very true. I did visit Canberra very recently, though, and learned that it ... the name Canberra comes from the bit between a woman's breasts.

Phil: Okay-

Kim: Which I've never-

Phil: Because naming it decolletage-

Kim: Yeah.

Phil: [00:36:00] That's not going to work.

Kim: That's the top bit, I always thought this bit was cleavage. Canberra, cleavage, I don't know. Hahaha.

Phil: Haha. I think essentially, it's where all our politicians live-

Kim: Exactly.

Phil: I think it's the cleavage that's behind you but a bit lower, isn't it? Anyway.

Kim: Hahaha. That's Canberra.

Phil: The ass crack of Australia. Anyway, okay.

Kim: Hahahaha.

Phil: All right. We'll share the full list on the show notes for you, but it's good to see that San Juan in Puerto Rico came in at number eight. They deserve [00:36:30] it after all the hammering-

Kim: Sure.

Phil: They got from the hurricanes this year.

Another boon for the hurricane affected Caribbean, Love Festival Aruba kicks off on November first. Expect five days and nights of throbbing, techno music amid crystal clear waters of the Dutch Caribbean.

If you can pull yourself away from the parties and the DJs, [inaudible 00:36:48] an interesting place, a rich cultural mix of Dutch, Portuguese, and Caribbean influences.

It's just that I'm expecting several thousand party goers all dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow-

Kim: I can see that.

Phil: I don't know about [00:37:00] you.


Golden Week in China at the beginning of October, just gone past, set new records for domestic holiday travel, with, wait for it, seven hundred ten million Chinese hitting the road during the week long holiday. That's half a billion people.

Kim: Seven hundred ten million all hitting the road?

Phil: Yeah, all in the same week. They don't really get public holidays, so they get this one week, that and Chinese New Year, so everybody's on the road. Imagine Americans wincing about Thanksgiving.

Kim: Yeah.

Phil: Have a look at what happens in China.

Kim: [00:37:30] Seven hundred ten mill, that's a figure.

Phil: Unbelievable. Anyway, it coincided with Autumn festivals this year, so that's an extra incentive to get away from it all with seven hundred and nine million, nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine, of your best friends.

Kim: Haha.

Phil: The picture of the crowds on the Great Wall has to be seen to be believed, check it out, we'll put it on the show notes, <>, look for episode two.

Final bit of good news, two months after Hurricane Harvey caused all that damage, Huston is [00:38:00] open for business. The Space Center, the Fine Arts Museum, and the Natural History Museum are all open, so are most of the city's hotels and restaurants. You all get down to Huston, now.

Kim: So, Huston really did have a problem?

Phil: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Haha.

Kim: Haha.

Phil: Where's the groan music again?

Kim: I was wondering if we can find it.

Time to wrap up episode two of the World Nomads podcast, and we got to do that with answer to Phil's quiz question. Just remind us.

Phil: If I was alongside a sex-ay-wo-man, [00:38:30] what would I be looking down on, and what animal might I see? Sacsayhuaman is the ancient Inca fortress that stands above Cusco is Peru. From the lookout, in the streets of the old [inaudible 00:38:41] city, because it's got about four times bigger in the last decade, you can see the shape of a puma.

In fact, Sacsayhuaman forms the head of the animal. In Incan mythology, there's a trinity of gods-

Kim: Yep.

Phil: Being the puma, the condor, and the snake, representing the underworld, the world, and the higher plane where the gods exist. If you don't [00:39:00] believe me, have a look at the map we've uploaded on the show notes page, you can actually see the shape of a puma.

Kim: And if anyone's got a tat of that-

Phil: I would love to see a photo.

Kim: Absolutely. That's a tat waiting to happen.

Podcast at World Nomads dot com. Search for the World Nomads podcast in iTunes, Stitcher, and your favorite podcast players. Subscribe to us, rate us, share us, get in touch via email, at podcast dot World Nomads dot com. Next episode, it's another dead show, I'm sorry.

Phil: Hahah.

Kim: Hold onto your hat, we're [00:39:30] off to Panama.

Announcer: The World Nomads podcast, explore your boundaries.

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1 Comment

  • Maria said

    Thank you for input the breathtaking places to visit in 2020. Canada, is the best places to holiday.

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