The World Nomads Podcast: 100th Episode with Andrew McCarthy

In this episode, we party down memory lane as we celebrate our 100th episode with special guest Andrew McCarthy, who went from teen heartthrob to esteemed travel writer.

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Photo © Supplied. Andrew McCarthy exploring Ireland

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The World Nomads Podcast: 100th Episode

A special episode demands a special guest. Award-winning travel writer and Hollywood actor Andrew McCarthy joins us as we celebrate the 100th episode of the podcast and acknowledge the travelers, bloggers, experts and authors who share their stories with us.

What’s in the episode

00:39 It all started with Croatia

01:15 What’s left on the cutting room floor

03:06 Making the transition from actor to travel writer

08:08 Being recognized in Berlin

14:43 Should we visit destinations being overrun by travelers?

18:55 Let’s chat Hollywood

21:35 Your feedback

23:40 Taking a trip down memory lane

29:24 Next episode

Quotes from the episode

I suppose after I'd been in a bunch of movies and all that, I started traveling the world. I did what you folks in Australia do, just sort of get up and go around the world.” – Andrew McCarthy

“…I'm not an extroverted person, so I could travel and not talk to anyone for days and still have a great time.” – Andrew McCarthy

"Tell me a story, don’t sell me a destination’" - Andrew McCarthy

Who is in the episode

Andrew McCarthy is a director, an award-winning travel writer, and actor. He has appeared in dozens of films, including the iconic movies Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire and Weekend at Bernie’s.

Andrew has also directed many television shows including Orange is the New Black, The Blacklist and Grace and Frankie, and written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Travel+Leisure, AFAR, Men’s Journal, Bon Appetit, and many other publications. He is also the author of two books, Just Fly Away and The Longest Way Home.

Andrew in northern Brazil

Kim Napier is a former broadcast journalist and radio announcer and the senior producer and co-host of The World Nomads Podcast. Born and raised in Tasmania, an island state of Australia, she loves to travel and dreams of one day hitting the road in her van.

Like Kim, fellow co-host and executive producer Phil Sylvester has a media background having worked in both television and radio. Phil is a travel safety expert and brand spokesperson, and is passionate about the beach and being on, in or around the water.

Phil also shares Andrew McCarthy’s love of Mark Twain’s quote, 'Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness...'

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Resources & links

Learn how to capture meaningful travel stories and go on global scholarship assignments for World Nomads.

Applications have just closed for our Photography Scholarship and the winner will be announced next year.

Want to make money while you travel? Check out World Nomads Partner Program.

Next Episode: The Top Places to Visit in 2020

About World Nomads & the Podcast

Explore your boundaries and discover your next adventure with The World Nomads Podcast. Each episode will take you around the world with insights into destinations from travelers 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 traveler. Don’t miss out. Subscribe today from wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

You can get in touch with us by emailing [email protected].

We use the Rodecaster Pro to record our episodes and interviews when in the studio, made possible with the kind support of Rode.

Kim: Thank you for tuning in as we celebrate our 100th episode.

Speaker 2: Woo hoo!

Kim: Plan to party down memory lane. Cue it up, Phil.

Phil: Welcome to The World Nomads Podcast, delivered by World Nomads. The tribal lifestyle and insurance brand is not your usual travel podcast. It's everything for the adventurous, independent traveler.

Kim: Hi, Kim and Phil with you acknowledging our 100th episode from our very first on Croatia to this, our 100th.

Phil: So far we've had 252 guests join us and 32 amazing nomads, and we've wracked out well over a quarter of a million listens.

Kim: Woo!

Phil: But the question is, have we improved from our very first episode?

Kim: Yes, this is the first episode. Are you pumped, Phil?

Phil: I am so pumped. Can you see how I am? I'm really looking forward to talking about adventure, independent travel.

Kim: And particularly since you are fresh from holiday, you are fresh for these podcasts.

Phil: I know. Get me while my energy levels are high.

Kim: All right, then. Let's get into it. My name is Kim, and in this episode, we are shining the spotlight on Croatia. We'll catch up with British ex-pat Paul Bradbury and find out about the island paradise, Hvar. Have I said that correctly? Hvar, Hvar?

Phil: Hvar.

Kim: Hvar, okay.

Kim: No!

Phil: No.

Kim: We haven't. There is certainly a lot that ends up on the cutting room floor.

Speaker 2: Here Amazing Nomads are in here on ...

Kim: It's all right. [inaudible 00:01:21].

Phil: But as we found out, and it's attached to the attic, we found Catherine's sad story.

Kim: Hang on, isn't her name Caroline?

Phil: Oh, sorry, Caroline.

Kim: Now, a reminder to join our Facebook group. A reminder to join our Face ...

Phil: Ha ha ha.

Kim: A reminder to join our Facebook group.

Phil: Ha, our face group.

Phil: Possibilities are huge and could range from easy ideas like sleeping under the stars and witnessing natural phenomena ... Okay, it was about 75% complete when construction was stopped during the Asian financial crisis back in 77.

Kim: 97.

Phil: Oh, sorry guys.

Kim: [crosstalk 00:02:03]

Phil: Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Kim: We were at that-

Phil: Can we stop? Sorry. Kind of have to go again, sorry.

Kim: Yeah.

Phil: My fault. Complete [inaudible 00:02:09], you know?

Kim: Yeah, is it?

Phil: All right, hang on. Here we go again, sorry. Take 300.

Phil: Do you want to make money and travel at the same time? Then stay right there and we'll show you how to do it.

Kim: Nice one, Phil.

Phil: Thank you very much.

Kim: Some of your best work, I thought ... okay.

Kim: No, you're always doing great work, Phil.

Phil: Oh, thanks very much.

Kim: Am I increasingly taking the Mickey out of you?

Phil: Yeah, I think so.

Kim: I'm sorry.

Phil: I love how people think we're married.

Kim: Yeah, it's a lovely, happy marriage, though, isn't it?

Phil: It's great!

Kim: Now, it wouldn't be a special episode without a special guest, and waiting to chat is Andrew McCarthy. He is an actor, a travel writer, and a television director. Now, he starred in the 1980s films St. Elmo's Fire, Pretty in Pink, your favorite.

Phil: Weekend at Bernie's.

Kim: Plus he directs a whole heap of TV shows. Orange is the New Black as an example, Frankie and Gracie, and more.

Phil: All right, but how do you make the transition from actor to travel writer?

Andrew McCarthy: That was all just kind of an accident, you know? I suppose after I'd been in a bunch of movies and all that, I started traveling the world. I did what you folks in Australia do, just sort of get up and go around the world. But when you do it in your early 20s, I sort of did it around 30, I suppose, after I'd come up for air from making all these movies and kind of went, well, what's going on in my life? Let's go see what the world has to offer. And so I started traveling and then that changed my place in the world, pretty much. And I walked through a lot of my own personal sort of fears and things about the way I existed out in the world, and so then I started writing about it.

Andrew McCarthy: Someone suggested I keep a journal, so I wasn't a very good journal keeper because everything was sort of the same. Sort of like, the food's bad and why am I here? I want to go home. And so I just started writing about encounters that I had with people, just purely for myself to sort of keep myself sort of grounded on the road. And I always traveled alone and so it just was something to sort of keep me company at times. And I did that and I found it a very sort of solidifying experience. And I would come home from my travels and throw those little notepads in a drawer for like 10 years, and then one day, I had no intention of doing anything with them, and then one day I did and I just started.

Andrew McCarthy: I met an editor of a magazine at a party. I said, "You should let me write for your magazine." And he said, "You're an actor, dude." And I said, "Yeah, but I can tell a story. That's what I do." And so he thought that was a good answer, and eventually I convinced him to let me write an article. I said, "If you don't like the article, you don't have to pay me." He said, "Okay, I can live with that."

Andrew McCarthy: And so I started writing, and I wrote one and it went well, and I wrote another, and then I won some awards for it. And of course the minute you win an award for anything, you're a genius. And then I suddenly was able to write for different outlets that I wanted to write for and it just became a sort of a career on its own there, which I had no intention of. But it did tap into the same kind of things that acting had first tapped into for me. It made me feel like myself out in the world the same way that acting when I first acted, I felt like, Oh there I am. So to the outside I suppose it seems very different, kind of. How does one turn into the other? But to me they were sort of exactly the same. I just felt like me when I did them both.

Phil: Yeah, did you study travel writing at all? I mean, formally-

Andrew McCarthy: No, I had read Paul through-

Phil: Or informally, or-

Andrew McCarthy: Someone gave me the book, The Old Patagonian Express, and I thought that that book changed my life in the sense that it had never occurred to me to travel like that. Just go, go far away, get out of contact, don't come back for a long time, and get lonely. Get to, you know, all these things. And the kind of travel that you Australians are very familiar with, I had never done or known anyone that did. And so, yeah, Paul Theroux's books and then I sort of devoured his other travel books and I loved his voice and the way he sort of attacked the world and just interacted with the world. And not in any kind of touristic way, but in just sort of encounters with people and you're free to be some ... You're totally unencumbered emotionally and sort of your character history is sort of left behind when you travel so you can just sort of engage with people freely. And I really liked that, and so I suppose he was a great inspiration for me.

Kim: You did take the words right out of my mouth. That's kind of, when I was thinking when you were referring to us Australians, I was thinking, how do we like to travel? And we are very relaxed, aren't we? It's not the touristic experience. It's about capturing the stories and meeting the characters.

Phil: Yeah, well, you know ...

Andrew McCarthy: Yeah, I mean you guys are great at that. It seems so much more sort of meeting people as opposed to seeing sights kind of thing from the Australians. And you guys are very game when you travel and just interested and extroverted travelers, largely. And I'm not an extroverted person, so I could travel and not talk to anyone for days and still have a great time. But I do find when I sort of engage with the people in the world, it's a much more richer experience.

Kim: Well, part of that sort of getting away and losing contact for months at a time and going very remote, is that based on the fact that you're not recognized? Were you trying to get away from that sort of Hollywood shtick where you might be recognized walking down the street?

Andrew McCarthy: Well, I mean, yes and that's an easy sort of thing to say, I suppose. But it's the same reason other people travel for a long time. It was really more about myself than getting away from anything. I was going toward something, not running away from anything, really, and I would be recognized when I travel. And that opened, like I said, I can be fairly introverted. So people would recognize me in places, and that opened a lot of doors for me when I traveled and so that was nice. And so I don't think I was particularly running away from anything so much as I was going toward. I found myself. The further away from home I got, the closer to myself I got. So I was going toward that as opposed to running away from something.

Phil: Where's the weirdest place you've been recognized?

Andrew McCarthy: I was in, I don't know if it was weird, but I was in Berlin in 1989 when the wall fell, and I was there on one of those nights. Those exciting nights when people were taking sledgehammers to the wall and whatnot, and I-

Phil: Some guy with a sledgehammer's turned to you and gone, "Blaine! What are you doing here?"

Andrew McCarthy: Well, close. A German guard grabbed me. I picked up a piece of wall off the ground, and he grabbed me. And I was like (beep). And he said, "Come with me," in English, and I was like, oh my God. And I was saying, "All right, I'm sorry. I was just taking. Everyone was doing it." And he just grabbed me and took me aside and he goes, "Catholic Boys."

Phil: Ah!

Andrew McCarthy: What? And Catholic Boys was the name of one of the early films that I'd ... Here in America it was called Heaven Help Us, but in Europe it had been called Catholic Boys. And so he had seen Catholic Boys and loved it, and he just wanted to chat with me about it. So that definitely-

Phil: After a short bit of waterboarding.

Andrew McCarthy: Yeah, exactly, and I was in the Amazon. I was in Manaus, I think, and someone recognized me from Weekend at Bernie's and I just thought that was kind of funny.

Kim: You are also, we mentioned obviously active travel writer, an award-winning author. We haven't thrown that in. You're an award-winning travel writer, but a director. I'm wondering how much travel has changed the way you direct? Has it made you a better director?

Andrew McCarthy: What made me a good travel writer was, or successful at travel writing, is that I inherently knew, tell me a story, don't sell me a destination. So I was always looking for what the story was. For example, I went to my editor at Nat Geo Travel and I said, "How about we go looking for the perfect cup of tea in China?" And he said, "That's interesting, but I just did China." And I said, "Okay, how about we go looking for the perfect cup of tea in Darjeeling, India?" And he said, "Yeah, go do that."

Andrew McCarthy: So it was the story more than the destination that always drives what I would write about, generally. So I was aware that it was always story, story, story. And in directing I direct a lot of television, and it's always, what's the story I'm trying to tell? What's the story, as opposed to what are the cool shots or would this is a cool moment, but does it have anything to do with the story that I'm telling to you? Always it's like this ridiculous mantra. You're always like, what's the story of that whole episode? What's the story of the scene? What's the story of this particular shot? What am I trying to say in this one shot? Is it just cool or is there something I'm trying to say in the shot? And so the writing really sort of fuels and reminds me always to go back to that.

Kim: I think Phil's got something he wants to do.

Phil: No, no. Before I do that idea, I want-

Kim: I might hide-

Phil: I'm going to [inaudible 00:10:48]-

Kim: I'm going to hide under the desk.

Phil: All right, I'll get into it all right. Look, I've been obviously preparing for this. I've been reading some of the work that you've done, and this is one that actually sort of spoke to me quite well. It's a while ago now. It's back in 2010 when you did it. It's about the last real beach town in Brazil.

Andrew McCarthy: Oh, in Brazil, yeah. In Canoa Quebrada, yeah. Great place.

Phil: Yeah, great. I'm glad you pronounced that instead of me.

Andrew McCarthy: It means broken canoe in English, yeah.

Phil: Yeah, that's right, okay. I've even got some sound effects to go with this one, all right? So-

Kim: Do I need to hide under the desk? Is this going to be-

Phil: No, no, it's fine.

Kim: Is this going to be cringe?

Phil: Canoa existed as an undisturbed fishing settlement for centuries until the hippie crowd discovered it in the 1970s. The locals simply shrugged at the strange interlopers, and over time word leaked out of an ideal by the sea with a friendly mix of people and a distinct abiding microculture. When I arrived there in the mid-90s to film a movie best forgotten, we won't ask, the place's lonely, inviting quality got under my skin. And then you go on to describe a little bit of what it was like, but then this is the bit that really spoke to me. So, but memory is a funny thing. I was single when I was here before with the not unpleasant feeling of being untethered in the world, but that's perhaps that's one of the reasons I took to the place so strongly.

Phil: Like many supposed paradises, Canoa seemed to attract people who have no ties, or at least people who'd like to think that way. But rather than let the place live on as a kind of festering fantasy, I wanted to see if Canoa's particular kind of paradise still existed or whether it or I had changed enough in the meantime to put it out of reach.

Kim: Ah, beautiful, Phil, and soundscaping there-

Phil: Yeah, soundscaping [crosstalk 00:12:29].

Kim: Incredible, yeah. I think the script was the hero of that.

Phil: But that's the thing. Do you go back to places as you have there, and how does that enlighten how you've changed as well?

Andrew McCarthy: I think in travel as in life, many times once is enough. But going back to places, the journey is always an inward one, right? The further away you get, the further in you can go, and I think what makes journeys most memorable is what happens inside you when you're there. It's not, I don't care what I saw in a museum. I don't really remember that generally. But I do think when you go back to a place, you see how you've changed and your relation to the world has changed. And I find that often going back's like that powerful sort of temperature taking of something in barometer to see where you're at and how you've changed in life. Yeah, I love going back to certain places like that.

Andrew McCarthy: And you exist so much. We have this idea of this life that we live, and then there's the real life that we live, and they're constantly coexisting. I still have this fantasy life that I'm living that has very little to do with my actual, real life with a home and three kids and jobs and you know ... But I have this other fantasy life where I'm off alone doing stuff, and it's like they're coexisting constantly. So I do find going back to be a valuable thing, and sometimes getting your bubble burst about places is a good thing, too.

Phil: Because in that article about this fantastic sounding place, by the way-

Andrew McCarthy: It is great. Yeah, it was great, and it had changed a lot. When I went back, there was a paved road. I hear there are more paved roads now, and there was electricity when there wasn't when I first went. And it was a very sort of steamy, sexual sort of, it just sort of reeked of that kind of dark corners and people just sort of doing whatever they wanted in very little clothing. And it just seemed kind of-

Kim: And just on Phil's performance there, Andrew, how would you-

Phil: Oh, no.

Kim: How would you do-

Andrew McCarthy: Oh, it was a lovely performance, too. It's a lovely dramatic reading, yeah.

Kim: Oh, lovely.

Phil: One of the things that you bring up in the article about going back and places changing and what have you and t-shirt shops and what have you. I mean, we're heading towards 2 billion international travelers. That's a lot of people out there, and a lot of places are getting overrun and sometimes that means that they change or the experience that you can get when you get there changes, too.

Andrew McCarthy: Yeah, but I think we have to be careful, too, of the nostalgia. We can have this nostalgia for our youth or our ... I don't know. People are always disappointed when I don't look back on these brat-pack movies with this great yearning. It meant much more to other people than they did to me, often. So, and we'll go back to places and it's the same kind of thing. Like oh, it used to be like this. It's like, you know what? Get over it, dude. Life just keeps moving forward, and that's how you want it to be. Do it. You don't want it to be exactly the same. So, but yes, people traveling the world and beating the hell out of it, I think there's nothing better that we can do than travel the world and create world citizens out of our children, out of ourselves.

Andrew McCarthy: America would be a very different place if we got up and left. What is it? 41% of Americans have passports. Half of us have ever used them. I mean, it's appalling. So when you go out into the world, that Mark Twain line is the greatest line ever, that travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. So I mean, yes, we're trampling Venice and Amsterdam and these places, but I'm not sure what ... But I'd still tell people, go to Amsterdam. Go to Venice, see it. Go there. Be respectful and all these kinds of things, and don't leave your plastic and all that stuff. But I do think the world, it gives such rewards to us and we can take back and they change us and change our relationship to home so much. America would be a much less fearful place and make much fewer fearful decisions if we got out there and saw the world more.

Phil: It's a funny thing and, like you know, over 50% of the people listening to this podcast right now are American. So I mean no disrespect, which is always the [inaudible 00:16:29] before you're disrespectful, right? But when Australians think of travel, we immediately think of going abroad. But I'm fascinated by the fact that when Americans say travel, they include travel across America. And it is a huge place, and it is magnificent. But there's a kind of different mindset about what travel is in the States, and I find it hard to get my head around sometimes.

Andrew McCarthy: You know, it's just fear. It's just fear. Americans are very fearful and they don't want to. And people say, "Oh yeah, we'll see American before we see the world," and all here in that is fear, fear, fear, fear. I'm afraid, and I just think that's unfortunate. And travel isn't always just about having a great time. Travel is about experiencing things and experiencing yourself in places and in uncomfortable places and uncomfortable situations and asking for help. So I think Americans don't travel simply because we're afraid. And yes, there are great, fantastic places in America, and I like to go to them, too. And I go and I do, and it's great, but I just think it's pure fear.

Kim: Well, I absolutely love your travel philosophy and we would love to round out the chat with some of that Hollywood gossip.

Phil: Oh, can I just ask one other question? Before we get into that, can I just ask one more? It's all right?

Kim: Yeah, that's okay, Phil.

Phil: Sorry if I-

Kim: No, go for it.

Phil: Thank you, okay.

Kim: Phil is fanboying.

Phil: I'm got a bunch of questions from my wife as well, but I'm not going to ask them. It's all right.

Andrew McCarthy: Yeah, let's hear them. Yes, Molly was lovely, yeah ...

Phil: Yeah, no, she just said, "Hi." That's all. There was another association you've had with World Nomads when you were judging the Solo Travel Awards, which we sponsored with Solo Travel as well. And you'd said earlier on as well that you always do, you travel solo, but you've got a family as well. Do you do-

Andrew McCarthy: Oh, I don't get to travel solo near as much as I want to anymore, sure. Now I'm family vacation guy, yeah.

Kim: There's nothing wrong with that. You can still-

Phil: No, there's not. You can travel the states, and you could-

Andrew McCarthy: Traveling's fantastic. I do think, like I said earlier, creating little citizens of the world and best gift I can give my kids is taking them. And traveling with kids is a great adventure. I mean, we go through the airport and I go through the security and my kid's like, "Dad, you beeped!" And everything's an adventure for them. So I don't want to be out there on my own for months at a time, and I miss my kids. I want, when you find yourself going, "Oh, I wish so-and-so could see this," then it's time to bring so-and-so along.

Kim: Any Hollywood questions, then Phil?

Phil: No, no, it's just my wife says, "Hi," that's all.

Kim: But Molly was nice. And what was Rob Lowe like?

Andrew McCarthy: Rob's Rob, you know?

Phil: Yeah.

Andrew McCarthy: He's charming and self-effacing and he can laugh at himself. He's a good guy.

Kim: Do you ever catch up as a group, as that brat pack?

Andrew McCarthy: It always disappoints people. The problem is it just never existed even to begin with. It was a media creation that happened because of one magazine article, and then it is such a catchy name that it caught the sort of zeitgeist of it all. And it was just nothing that ever even existed, and it's ... And it's a funny thing, the whole brat pack notion was originally cast in sort of this disparaging term for these punk kids who were getting famous and supposedly rich. And then over time, over the decades, now, it's evolved into this kind of affectionate look back through rose-colored glasses of our youth to people of a certain generation. And I'm talking to you, Phil.

Phil: I'm with you.

Andrew McCarthy: You look back on that, when the world was a blank slate in front of us and anything was possible, and so those movies take on a meaning that they probably didn't really have. But when we're in our early 20s and stuff, we just ... When we're discovering the world for the first time, it's like when you travel for the first time in your early 20s. It is this, you were the first one to ever discover New York city and that's as it should be. And it's the same thing. Those movies bring back a certain patina of youth that people never want to let go of, and I represent that to a lot of people, which is great. I'm all for that.

Kim: I'll have to watch St. Elmo's Fire across the weekend. What do you play in-

Andrew McCarthy: See, I think you might be disappointed. You go, Jesus, really? [inaudible 00:20:32] It's probably better to live in memory. People talk to me about, I went to Angkor Wat like 25 years ago and there was no one there. And the idea of going back now, I hear all the things that have changed about it and I'm like, I don't know if I want to back. I'll let it just live in my memory.

Kim: So do you have plans for 2020? What's next for you? Have you got another book on the horizon? Are you still directing? Are you doing any acting? Where do you plan to travel?

Andrew McCarthy: Well, my next travel's I'm going to Easter Island for a story, and then, which I've always wanted to go to Easter Island. So I'm doing that and I'm directing some television shows, and I'm actually doing a little acting again. I haven't acted in a number of years. I'm doing a little acting. I did a bit on this show 13 Reasons, and I'm going going to do a little bit on this show called Good Girls, and I'm just doing some more directing, yeah.

Kim: You're living the life, Andrew.

Andrew McCarthy: If you say so.

Kim: Thank you so much, Andrew. Who, by the way, messaged to say he enjoyed the chat.

Phil: Oh, good. Look, we enjoy getting your feedback, and you can do that by emailing us at [email protected] That's the best way to connect, or search for the World Nomads Podcast on Facebook. We've got a group there. Mike says, "I've been listening to the show from the beginning, and it's one of my favorite podcasts. Have you considered doing a show on Tristan da Cunha, billed as the most remote uninhabited ... Oh, no, inhabited island in the world?"

Kim: See, we haven't improved.

Phil: No. You want me to do that again?

Kim: No.

Phil: Okay.

Kim: No, why would we want to do that again? Morgan loved the podcast on women in travel. Thought it had a lot of great content, but she wished it was a little more inclusive in language. She said it was glossed over briefly, but sexuality and identity present a lot of challenges in all aspects of interaction in our societies and while traveling, and she thinks it's important to acknowledge that and therefore eliminate speech that says men do this and women do that.

Phil: Okay.

Kim: Taken on board.

Phil: All right, about Tristan da Cunha. Ian said, "I sailed there around 1979, spent a couple of spectacular days. I was on a sailboat boat heading back to Cape Town from Saint Vincent. Did quite a bit of sailing in my youth, retiring and going to hit the road." Once again, Ian is currently in Peru backpacking. That's not bad, there. Well done.

Kim: I know. And from Jamie, "Hi, love the podcast and content. Have you ever considered a podcast episode on youth travelers?" She's 19. She has a bunch of crazy travel stories and have met so many other youth solo travelers. She thinks a podcast on how so many young people are beginning to explore the world would be super cool and inspired.

Phil: Yeah, that's actually a good point, then.

Kim: Yeah.

Phil: Starting out on the road.

Kim: First steps [crosstalk 00:23:04].

Phil: First steps, yeah.

Kim: Like crawling.

Phil: Yeah, we'll put some of those in next year. That's all right. That's a snapshot of the type of feedback you give us, and we can reveal we'll be bringing you more audio in 2020. So tell us what you want to hear or learn more about, perhaps what you weren't getting from other travel podcasts that we can deliver on.

Kim: Yep, plus we're taking the podcast on the road. Haven't told the boss, but the more times you say it-

Phil: I think this is a good way, yeah.

Kim: It becomes a reality. Okay, we promised to look down memory lane, so here's a snapshot of just some of the 252 guests who've shared their knowledge and experience with us from their travels.

Speaker 5: I spent two weeks in Sicily at one point, which was incredible, and had multiple life-changing experiences when it comes to food. I actually had a sandwich that made me cry.

Speaker 6: Whenever I'm traveling, I really start planning any trip really far in advance. And that just gives me more time to kind of figure out, is the destination accessible or what attractions can I do? What restaurants can I eat at, and how can I get around the city ultimately?

Speaker 7: We went to these very remote islands that some of which are completely uninhabited. There's absolutely nothing on them, and then others have small little villages. Most of the people in these villages are all related. It's a few small, well, a few large, extended families that make up these communities.

Speaker 8: So when I came up with the idea, it was like, okay. No one's done this, and I love traveling to Africa and it's kayaking. It was just that ultimate light bulb moment. I'm like, this is what I want to do. So that was sort of the easy bit. The next bit was, how?

Speaker 9: There is so much more to Indonesia than Bali, and if you don't go and venture outside to the other 17,000 islands, you're doing yourself a disservice.

Speaker 10: The most notorious truth that we have is our embryos, the Balut. Not everyone can eat it, not even Filipinos. So you can see the chick. There are no feathers or anything like that. But yeah, I mean, once you put it in your mouth, it's soft and it's actually quite good.

Speaker 11: Yeah, it's a [inaudible 00:25:03] belief that [inaudible 00:25:04] is not the safe place, but you know what? Take my word. It is one of the safest places to travel in the world. I mean, people should move on now.

Speaker 12: So I'd like to go back and I'd like to explore different parts of it. I'd like to go in the summer hoping to find more greenery.

Speaker 13: We had this idea that, going on this honeymoon, we would transform into those sort of people that you see on Instagram. Like those travel couples that are just really blonde and they have like 25 abs and they're super fit and do yoga every morning. We just thought that's what it looks like when you travel.

Speaker 14: These are unfenced campsites so a lot of the tented camps and lodges across various parks in Africa are also totally unfenced. Regardless of your accommodation, the animals, right, can be passing through your camp and they don't necessarily care what you're in.

Speaker 15: Every time I see someone dragging this enormous bag around behind them, they go, "I need this. I need that. I need," and I say, "No you don't." And you soon find out you don't.

Speaker 16: It was kind of the skillset I had to offer. So that was the open door for me, and then from there I learned everything I could. And now six years later, I'm an expedition leader.

Speaker 17: You know, music fans, they've probably heard of Nashville and Memphis. But Clarksdale, Mississippi is somewhere that's really important for blues music, and it's somewhere that you really have to go out of your way to visit.

Speaker 18: And the only bathroom on this plane is inside the cushion of one of the seats. There's apparently, it's a lovely, mahogany wood toilet seat. There's a privacy screen that pulls up from the bottom and apparently just hits shoulder level.

Speaker 19: Well, White Cliffs in general is one of those uniquely Australian places. Most of the local residents live underground because of the incredible temperatures that happen all year round, but particularly in summer.

Speaker 20: Our boats are huge now. We carry up to 40 people. Obviously the bigger the boat, the bigger the cage, and we put eight people in a cage at a time. So we attract the shark to the boat.

Speaker 21: You want to know which is the very best part? The Spanish [inaudible 00:27:11]. No, I'm just kidding. Melilla, the little Spanish enclave in the middle of France. Who would have thought?

Speaker 22: I had a friend who's been living in a van for the last nine years or so, and I just thought it was cool. For me, I need the practicality and the consistent income to feel comfortable. So once I saw that that was an opportunity, I really started thinking about making it happen.

Speaker 23: I mean, broadly speaking, what surprised me about traveling in this fashion is how straightforward really is. It can look like this absolutely daunting prospect, but really linking A to B the whole way through is a pretty straightforward process and there's just endless accounts of people wanting to give you a helping hand along each way.

Speaker 24: Having that place become a big disaster tourist amusement park where young people, who are going to hopefully go on and procreate, visit in the hundreds of thousands? That's a terrible idea.

Speaker 25: We're very candid people. We like hugging and kissing. Whenever you arrive to a room, even if it's full of people, you will just kiss everyone, and so saying hi and bye takes ages.

Speaker 26: And I picked up, guess how many hitchhikers?

Phil: 54.

Kim: I thought too, I was going to go 108.

Phil: Okay.

Speaker 26: 3000.

Phil: Oh!

Kim: Oh!

Phil: And who were the people that were hitchhiking?

Speaker 26: Everyday Africans.

Speaker 27: We have this trust that people are kind of the same no matter where they are and that it maybe wasn't as bad as people made it out to be, and that's overwhelmingly what we found. We really had no incidents that were even remotely dangerous or scary or anything like that.

Speaker 28: There were days when we were sort of hugging each other in tears wondering why we'd done this, and then other days when you're looking at a sunset with a herd of elephants by a river drinking a cold can of Hansa beer and thinking, wow.

Kim: Thank you to everyone, the bloggers, the experts, the travelers, authors, and our own World Nom ... And our own World Nomad staff for their contribution. Here's to 2020. Phil, in our next episode we'll hear from our World Nomads to find out where they plan to travel to in 2020.

Phil: Yeah, we'll reveal the top places to visit based on our most popular episodes.

Kim: And a sneak peek at some of the guests and destinations we have planned for next year.

Phil: Bye!

Kim: Bye!

Andrew McCarthy: The World Nomads Podcast. Explore your boundaries.

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