Our Amazing Nomads don’t have to be someone who has climbed every mountain in the world. They can be just like comedian Aubree Sweeney, someone simply searching for and finding those off-the-beaten-path encounters as she travels from gig to gig in her RV.
01:02 Living in an RV
02:52 Getting rid of 'stuff'
04:23 Lost on the road
05:22 Traveling with pets
07:20 The lauch of the Comedy and Camping podcast
10:24 Crystal hunting
12:50 "...things are going to go wrong. I mean, I bought this, and like, 50 things were wrong with it. Like, as soon as I got it home. So, I mean, it's just really staying positive and just learning as you go."
14:40 Being heckled
15:45 Next week
Nebraska-born Aubree Sweeney is an actor, writer and current touring comedian. When Aubree’s not on the road, she splits her time between Nebraska, where her family lives, and Southern California.
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Speaker 1: The World Nomads Podcast Bonus Episode. Hear amazing nomads sharing their knowledge, stories, and experience of world travel.
Kimmie: Welcome back, or, if this is the first time you've tuned into a World Nomads Podcast, we hope you enjoy. Now, alongside our destination episodes, we also feature amazing nomads. These are people that we say demonstrate discovery, connection, transformation, fear, and love.
Phil: Yeah, and that doesn't mean that you have to be the first person to have done a solo trip around the world or something like that, or crossed the Atlantic in a pair of Wellington Boots, or whatever, like that. It can also be someone who's done something simple, like searching for and finding those off the beaten paths.
Kimmie: Yeah, just like Aubree Sweeney. She's a standup comedian, and she's traveling from gig to gig in her RV.
Phil: Oh, that's a great idea.
Kimmie: Isn't that a great idea? She's doing it with Sheera, her cat, and Pako, the dog. Or Pako, the dog. And it allows her, as you will hear, to spend extended time in every city that she travels to.
Aubree Sweeney: Okay, so, I've been in the RV full-time now for almost two years. And, a year before that, I went full-time with standup comedy, so I basically tour all over the U.S., you know, performing at clubs, different venues. But, the first year, I was flying everywhere, and which was fine. I mean, that's definitely a fine way to travel, but being a pet mom, and I don't know, I just really enjoy it when I am somewhere, to get to experience the place that I am, rather than getting there and seeing a hotel and a comedy club, and then the hotel again, and then, a plane.
Aubree Sweeney: So, I started doing the RV thing about a year into being a full-time touring comedian.
Phil: I think it's a fabulous idea, because as we often say on this program, I know it's a travel podcast, but that actual traveling bit inside aluminum tubes, a couple of miles above the Earth, is not the best bit. It's like, the being there which is the fun part.
Aubree Sweeney: Yeah, exactly. There's places ... You know, I mean, it's nice to have the option of both. Because I mean, if I want to come visit you guys in person, I'll definitely be catching a plane. But, I really even like that now, when I, even growing up when we would travel abroad, we would normally, we'd fly there. We'd get to the place, and then, we would rent a car or we'd rent a van. And we would spend an extended amount of time just hanging out, and kind of getting to find the off the beaten path trails and restaurants, and get to experience an area the best to your ability.
Phil: That must have uncluttered your life as well. That must have changed your life in other ways.
Aubree Sweeney: Oh my gosh, absolutely. I think just, it's human nature to be collectors of stuff, you know, because you're getting stuff for Christmas and birthdays. And so, I mean, oh my gosh, when I bought this, I was living in an apartment in Los Angeles. And I felt as a person, that I was a complete minimalist. I didn't think I had a lot of stuff. And, it was crazy, because then moving from that apartment into a 22 foot motor home, I realized that I had so much stuff that was kind of just bogging me down. And yeah, you get really good at space and organization, and I don't really need that.
Aubree Sweeney: I mean, I feel like every time I'm at a store, I'm like, "I really like it, but I don't need that." No matter how much I like that, I do not, I don't need that.
Phil: So, that minimalist attitude, that sort of not needing ... Well, you need stuff, but you don't want stuff.
Aubree Sweeney: Mm-hmm (affirmative), right.
Phil: That goes to other things in the rest of your life, as well?
Aubree Sweeney: It just makes everything easier when you're packed light.
Kimmie: Well, you mentioned the word easy. It still takes a lot of guts, minimalist or not, to give up an apartment and jump into an RV, and travel from gig to gig. What have been some of the challenges?
Aubree Sweeney: Oh, well, you know, I think one of the hardest things, even though I grew up in a time before we were so, before we had Google Maps. I still get very reliant on that Google Maps. And I got to tell you, there's been a lot of times where the lady on the phone was like, "You know what? I'm busy. I'm not going to work right now." And you know, so I mean, I've gotten lost a handful of times.
Aubree Sweeney: For the most part, getting lost is kind of been a blessing in disguise, because I've ended up in places that I didn't know existed, and got to meet new people and experience different cultures and things like that across this country. But yeah, I mean, I would say getting lost has probably been one of the biggest obstacles.
Aubree Sweeney: And, there's different things. I don't know what it's like in Australia, but there are places here that have like, dog restrictions and stuff like that. So, I've been eight hours on the road and am really ready to call it a night, and you end up at a campground and they're like, "Oh, sorry, no dogs." And you're like, "What? Camping and dogs go together."
Phil: Places are getting dog friendly all the time.
Kimmie: The great thing about podcasts is that you can have a niche topic. And I'm pretty sure that I've come across a hot podcast that is just for people that travel for pets.
Aubree Sweeney: Yeah, there is. And, there's also a cool site that I'll usually check in with. It's called, like, Bring Fido, and it'll usually give you mostly restaurants and stuff like that, where he can tag along. Because I mean, that's something too. Especially traveling with a pet, you asked me about obstacles. He sleeps all day while we're driving, and I need to find a place where it's safe and he can run around and get some of those wiggles out so I can sleep a little bit.
Kimmie: Speaking of podcasts, this has all led to your very eye in comedy and camping.
Aubree Sweeney: Yeah, actually, one of those times when I got lost is what spurred the idea of doing the podcast. I was in Arizona and got ... Oh my gosh, I don't even know, it was one of the ... I think we've all been there where you don't even know how you ended up where you ended up. You just kind of kept going and hoping that a road looked familiar, right?
Aubree Sweeney: But, it's Hatch, Arizona. It's where we have a lot of our peppers produce comes from there. And, I went in. I went into a little restaurant and said, "Excuse me. I'm very lost. Do you know where I'm going?" And it turned into this really, really amazing conversation about harvesting peppers and the process. And, it was just kind of out of the blue, but I don't know, I mean, I think that's just something, I'm going to ask questions. If it's something I don't know about, I want to know more. And, if you're willing to talk to me, we're going to talk for a really long time.
Aubree Sweeney: And, once I found my way and got back on the road, when I stopped that evening, oh my gosh, I called everybody. I called my mom, I called my dad, I called the two friends, and I'm telling them about this crazy, cool experience and conversation I had. And then, weeks later, when I ran out of people that I knew to tell, I kind of was like, "You know what, I should podcast this."
Kimmie: Is there an expectation when you're interviewing, that you're going to be funny?
Aubree Sweeney: That's actually another kind of side of the podcast that I really like, because being a comedian, there is always an expectation that I'm going to be funny all the time. And, that would be exhausting. And so, I kind of like the podcast mentality too, because yeah, there's fun in there. And, you know, sometimes there's jokes, and sometimes there's funny. But, it's just being natural.
Aubree Sweeney: And, I think that that's something that I really enjoyed about it is, just the opportunity to sit across from a person, or even if like, go like this, like the video chat way, and not worry about cell phone. Not worry about social media, and just have a legit conversation with another human.
Kimmie: Getting back to the beginning of all this, the reason why you jumped in your RV was because you mentioned at the start you were flying here to a gig, and then flying home. And then, you were getting on a plane again to another gig.
Kimmie: What I really loved about the decision you made was that, you wanted to do your gig, but then, you could go for a walk in the forest, or you could go for a walk or a swim in the beach. So, you weren't just going from airport to apartment, apartment to airport. You're actually living a life.
Aubree Sweeney: Exactly, yeah. And I mean, it's been such, it's just such a huge difference. I actually just, in taking a break right now. I just got done with a month-long tour, and oh my gosh, it was amazing, because I had the luxury of spending a week at each stop. And then, traveling from ... I mean, New Mexico to Corpus Christi is, you could do that, you could drive that in a day easily, but I was able to allot four days in between so I could actually do some sight-seeing. And, I went to Roswell, and you know, the whole alien thing.
Aubree Sweeney: I don't know, it just makes it nice. It makes it so much more relaxing, and I even on this trip, went ... I performed in the town with, that the original Wal Mart is in. I don't know, by being able to drive places and book shows around where I want to travel and see things, you know, it's really created a lot of opportunities just for fun.
Kimmie: Well, you just got an idea for your next podcast. You could try and interview someone about the first Wal Mart.
Aubree Sweeney: Exactly, yes. It's a very interesting town. I haven't had ... I actually have another show down there on my way back to California, but yeah, it's ... I don't normally get, I don't think I've ever been to that area. When I was younger, we would go crystal hunting in Arkansas, but not in Bentonville, so it was interesting. It was cool.
Phil: Crystal hunting in Arkansas.
Aubree Sweeney: Yes, there's actually, you can go ... And I'd have to do a [inaudible 00:10:35] Google Search on exactly where it's located, but yeah, I used to go with my ... Every summer, I would go on a great American adventure with my grandparents, which kind of, I think, that's when I got bit by the travel bug was, like, very, very early. Because between trips with my grandparents and trips with my parents, I mean, we [inaudible 00:10:54] this country. And, yeah, so we would go to Arkansas on our way to ... We'd spend a lot of time in Pensacola, Florida, but we'd stop in Arkansas. There's a place, you can dig for crystals. And they have beautiful red dirt. I was a big dirt collector as a kid. I actually found my dirt collection in my mom's garage. It's very impressive.
Aubree Sweeney: Yeah, so you can dig for crystals. Their dirt is supposed to have a lot of healing, like, because it's kind of really, really, like, clay. You can feel the clay in it. And then, there's another ... Oh, gosh, what is it? I always say it wrong. It's geodes? Is it geodes? Geodes, like, the round rocks, and they have the kind of smaller, sometimes they're purple. Or, but, that'll get people close enough in a Google Search.
Phil: Have you found a place where you think, when I'm done with this comedy gig, this is where I want to come put some roots down. Have you found your dream town?
Aubree Sweeney: You know, it's hard, because I've been to a lot of places where I've gone, "You know, I could see myself here." Like, I went to college, I got my undergrad in Tucson at the University of Arizona. And Arizona, Sedona, Flagstaff, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous areas. But, I really, I love the ocean. I actually just this year learned to surf, so I'm super into that right now. And, I can't see that ever fading, because I love it so much.
Aubree Sweeney: But, you know, and Pako likes the beach. So, I'm thinking maybe one of the keys would be ideal for settling down. But honestly, I just, right now I just can't imagine wanting to not be doing what I'm doing.
Phil: What's your best RV tip then? Somebody else is thinking of doing it, what would you suggest?
Aubree Sweeney: Honestly just, it's all the attitude. Like, things are going to go wrong. I mean, I bought this, and like, 50 things were wrong with it. Like, as soon as I got it home. So, I mean, it's just really staying positive and just learning as you go. Because for me, yeah, I mean, we've gone RVing. We've gone camping. But, it wasn't something that was full-time. So, I mean, it's the learning curve, has been legit just insane. So yeah, it's just that, it's just the positive attitude. Asking questions. I mean, there is nothing, like, campers ... Learn from other people. I mean, because I have saved myself from so many, just, mishaps by saying, "Hey, I noticed it's getting kind of cold. Do I need to, like, have you ever winterized a motor home before? Like, should we do ... "
Aubree Sweeney: You know, because one of my first tours in this thing, I was in Chicago, and it's not, like, our weather in April should not be winter. And, it decided to be winter. And there was a blizzard, and it was crazy. And so, I ended up, between YouTube and a really, really nice couple, they were like, a retired couple traveling, winterized on the fly without having any idea how to do it.
Aubree Sweeney: So yeah, like, talking to people and just being positive.
Phil: You know the movie Finding Nemo, right? You're a clown fish. Tell me a joke.
Aubree Sweeney: Tell me a joke. I will tell you this, this isn't really a joke. I was doing a show. This was in Iowa, which is like, right next to Nebraska. So, very meat country. Like, very meat country. And I am a vegetarian. I'm mostly vegan, but sometimes I'll eat cheese because you know, whatever. Sometimes you needed string cheese. And, I was doing this bit about being a vegetarian. And this guy in the back, loudly ... Like, I had never, this is my first experience with like, a kind of heckler. He loudly says, "Hey Larry, I think she said she's a vegetarian."
Aubree Sweeney: And, who I presume was Larry, shouts at the top of his lungs, "Burn that witch!" So, yeah, that's the life of a touring comedian.
Kimmie: Awesome great work, life balance, Aubree. And what a great way to finish up, as we are speaking with the [inaudible 00:15:18] in our next episode, who's written what it's like to be a vegetarian on the barbecue trail.
Phil: Oh, no.
Kimmie: We will have links to Aubree in our podcasting show notes. So, if you know someone who knows travel as much as you do and we do, please, tell them about us, the World Nomads Podcast.
Phil: And, you can find the latest episode through all the popular podcast apps and players. But, the easier way to listen to us is, go to worldnomads.com\podcasts. Kimmie, what's next week?
Kimmie: I did hint at it, mentioning our chat with Earl Hardy. It's a bumper episode in which we celebrate ...
Phil: The release of our new U.S. Guide, We're Nomads Guide.
Kimmie: That's exactly right.
Kimmie: All right, you saved me there, Phil.
Phil: I'll do it again next episode, okay.
Kimmie: See you then.
Speaker 1: Amazing [inaudible 00:16:07].
James Barkman dropped out of regular life to hit the road - inspired only by spontaneity and a thirst for adventure.