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Travel Tales by AFAR

Travel Tales by AFAR

Author: AFAR Media

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Travel, at its best, changes the way we see the world. Join us each week as we dig into stories from people who took a trip—and came home transformed. Travel Tales by AFAR is your ticket to the world, no passport required. Find more inspiration at afar.com/traveltales.

63 Episodes
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When Afar editorial director Sarika Bansal was 22, she moved to Mumbai. As you’ll hear in her Travel Tale this week, she grew up in New York and visited India (where her parents were born) frequently. Yet the visits often felt cloistered. But many years later in Mumbai, she didn’t have to worry about meeting family expectations, and she was free to develop her own connection with the place. And therein lay the challenge. Because while she looked like everyone else, she didn’t have “the cultural competence to back it up.” She persevered, however, and this “hidden outsider” status ended up deepening her experience in Mumbai and fundamentally altering the course of her career. (She shares more in our companion YouTube interview.) It’s a funny, sweet story that touches on the power of early travel to shape our lives and the importance of intentionally seeking out, and sticking with, travel that puts us outside our comfort zone.   Resources Read the transcript of the episode. Listen to the episode on YouTube. Buy her book, Tread Brightly: Notes on Ethical Travel. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks one tricky topic in travel each week.
When it comes to relationships, often there’s the planner—and then there’s the go-with-the-flow-er. And today’s episode of Travel Tales by Afar is all about what happens when the planner hesitantly chucks the travel to-do list and lets serendipity lead the way.  Beth Santos is the planner in this particular story. She’s the founder of Wanderful, an online women’s travel community that grew out of her solo travels as a young woman, and is an incredibly prolific and passionate entrepreneur and traveler. She hosts the 85 Percent podcast (named for the fact that women still make 85 percent of the travel decisions), is working on a docu series about influential women over the decades, and recently wrote a book, Wander Woman: How to Reclaim Your Space, Find Your Voice, and Travel the World, Solo, among many other things.  She’s also married, with young children, and early on in her relationship with her husband, Marvin, it became clear that they had very different ideas about travel. Beth wanted a full itinerary that packed in all the sights. Marvin wanted a cocktail on the beach. And then on a trip to Greece, with a 24-hour layover in Istanbul, Marvin asked Beth a question that would change the trajectory of her travel life.  Her story is sweet, funny, and such a good reminder of the power of the agenda-less trip. (Fire is also involved.) Resources Read the transcript of the episode. Listen to the episode on YouTube. Buy her book, Wander Woman.  Listen to Beth’s podcast, 85 Percent. Explore the Wanderful community.  Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks one tricky topic in travel each week.
This week, we’re replaying one of our favorite Travel Tales episodes: Comedian and actress Michelle Buteau—and her best friend—fly to Paris to meet their supposed French boyfriends. Only things don’t exactly go to plan . . . Michelle Buteau is a comedian and actress, known for her roles in Always Be My Maybe, The First Wives Club, Someone Great, Russian Doll, and Tales of the City. She is also the host of The Circle and has stand-up specials—including the award-winning Welcome to Buteaupia—on Netflix and Comedy Central. She is the cohost of the podcast Adulting, and the executive producer, writer, and star of Survival of the Thickest on Netflix. She lives in the Bronx with her husband and twins. She and her husband also run Van der Most Modern, a vintage furniture store in Brooklyn. Resources Read Michelle's book, Survival of the Thickest Watch Survival of the Thickest and Welcome to Buteaupia on Netflix Listen to her podcast, Adulting Follow her on Instagram Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks one tricky topic in travel each week.
In late 2016, Daniel Troia was struggling with grief. Grief over the loss of his parents and grief over the division he saw unfolding on his TV, night after night. It made him angry, and that made him want to do something to change things, or at least to change his perception of things.  So, in 2018, he set out on a cross-country bike ride. His plan was to ride from California to New York—with no food or money. He thought that if he was forced to rely on the kindness of strangers, he would also have an opportunity to connect with the communities he was passing through. In some ways, it went exactly as he’d planned and hoped (people were often kind, generous, and curious about his journey). In other ways, it was a completely different experience than he’d expected (as his appearance changed, so did people’s reaction to him).  He wound up stretching the trip beyond his original three-month plan: By the time he’d arrived in New York, he hadn’t found exactly what he was searching for so he decided to cycle back to California. Seven months later, he returned home—and a year later, he released a documentary about his experience, We Are All in This Together.  Read the transcript of the episode. Listen to the episode on YouTube. Watch We’re All in This Together on Amazon or Apple TV. Sign up for Daniel’s newsletter for details about when he’ll be screening the film in your city. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks one tricky topic in travel each week.
When poet Tess Taylor’s son, Bennett, was three years old, he heard the violin for the first time. For weeks afterward, every day he asked her for a violin, so finally she took him into a local violin shop and asked for help. The shop owner put a tiny violin and bow in his hands and Bennett asked, “But how do I make it sound beautiful?”  Fast-forward nearly a decade and Bennett was still playing the violin—expanding into bluegrass and classical music, finding his footing as a musician. Tess had read about a place in Italy called Cremona, where some of the world’s most famous violins are made. This is where Antonio Stradivari was born and worked, as well as other world-renowned luthiers. So Tess decided to take Bennett—and her husband and her young daughter, who also plays the violin—to Cremona to learn more about the instrument that had taken over their lives.  In this week’s episode of Travel Tales, she shares that journey. They listened to outdoor concerts, explored music museums, and most importantly, met with one of the city’s luthiers, who still makes extraordinary stringed instruments by hand—some out of trees he himself cut down. And, as you’ll soon hear, they came home with much more than memories.  Resources Read the transcript of the episode. Watch the companion interview with Tess on YouTube. Explore Tess’s work on her website.  Read Tess’s most recent book of poetry (an anthology she edited), Leaning toward Light: Poems for Gardens & the Hands That Tend Them. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks one tricky topic in travel each week.
When most of us think about nature in Argentina, our minds go immediately to Patagonia—which is a spectacular place worth visiting (it’s one of the most memorable places I’ve been to). But in this week’s episode, we’re exploring two regions in Argentina that most travelers miss: El Impenetrable National Park in the north and Patagonia Azul in the south.  These places are relatively unfrequented in large part because, up until a few years ago, there really wasn’t an easy way for travelers to access them. Last year, Afar deputy editor Tim Chester traveled with outfitter Journeys With Purpose to explore the nascent tourism industry in both destinations, thanks to the efforts of Rewilding Argentina and Tompkins Conservation.  As you’ll hear in the episode, Kris and the late Doug Tompkins have spent decades preserving land in Chile and Argentina. (If the names seem familiar, Kris was a CEO at Patagonia, and Doug founded the North Face.) Over the years, the couple acquired hundreds of thousands of acres in both countries and turned them into national parks before donating it all to the Chilean and Argentine governments. The teams that run the parks have reintroduced endangered species, including panthers and sea otters, and allowed the land to recover from years of abuse—essentially rewilding wide swaths of the countries. And now, the parks are open to travelers. Tim is kind of our environmental guru here at Afar and has covered the concept of rewilding quite a bit, but this was the first chance he had to see the work up close and personal. His trip was muddy, adventurous, and just a little bit life-changing.  Resources Read the transcript of the episode. Watch the companion interview with Tim on YouTube. Explore Rewilding Argentina and Tompkins Conservation. Learn more about Journeys With Purpose. Visit El Impenetrable National Park or Patagonia Azul. Listen to our interview with Kris Tompkins about the work the conservation has done (and continues to do) in Argentina and Chile.  Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks one tricky topic in travel each week.
Today we’re launching Travel Tales, season five. And we’re kicking off this season with a roar, although the subjects of today’s episode (polar bears) are much quieter than you’d imagine.  Nearly two years ago, host Aislyn Greene attended a TED Talk event in New York, held in partnership with the Canadian tourism board. There she met environmentalist and entrepreneur Kevin Smith, who shared his tale in an episode from last season, about how a grizzly bear changed his life, and she met biologist Alysa McCall, whose life was also altered by a bear, though this one was of the more polar sort. Yes, she’s a polar bear biologist, and in the first episode of this season, she explains how she fell in love with the world’s largest land predator up in Churchill, Manitoba.  As you’ll learn, Alysa didn’t intend to become a polar bear biologist, but once she met these magnificent creatures, she was hooked. They also happen to be one of the most well-known symbols of climate change—as the sea ice shifts and disappears, polar bears can’t hunt and live the way they used to, which also increases human-wildlife conflict. But Alysa—who now works for Polar Bears International—is positive about the future and about the bears’ welfare.  Resources Read the transcript of the episode. Watch the companion interview with Alysa on YouTube. Explore Polar Bears International.  Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks one tricky topic in travel each week.
How often do you do something that scares you? This week on Travel Tales by AFAR, Jeff Jenkins—host of the National Geographic show Never Say Never—reminds us that life begins where our comfort zone ends. On his show, Jeff tests the limits of his physical and mental abilities. He climbs mountains, cave dives, learns to sumo wrestle, races in a Maori canoe (called a waka), and does basically anything else that is likely to terrify-slash-excite.  His adventures also serve another purpose: as representation for plus-size travelers. Jeff is the founder of Chubby Diaries, a community he built after he realized that no one in travel media looked like him. He has since used his platform to build that representation and to push for the travel industry to be more inclusive. Don't miss these moments! 3:34: What Never Say Never is all about 4:29: The scariest moment of his first season 6:34: What it was like to learn to sumo wrestle 12:56: His first trip to Japan as a young adult 16:52: How he became a travel writer and influencer 19:29: The importance of representation for plus-size travelers 28:37: How the travel industry could better support plus-size travelers Meet this week’s guest Jeff Jenkins, host of the National Geographic show Never Say Never Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Watch Never Say Never on Disney+. Explore the Chubby Diaries.  Follow him on Instagram and YouTube. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel. Amazon Music link: www.tryamazonmusic.com/KjWPGN
The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the most spectacular, pristine protected places in Canada. But it wasn't always this way. Kevin Smith, a boat captain who grew up in British Columbia and now owns and operates Maple Leaf Adventures, was instrumental in helping turn the local economy from extraction (logging) to tourism. Since then, he's guided thousands of travelers through the wilds of the rainforest and helped build relationships with the Coastal First Nations who have lived there for thousands of years and now steward the land. During the pandemic, he also helmed the largest coastal cleanup ever embarked upon, which is part of his mission to only participate in regenerative tourism. Don't miss these moments! 4:02: The beginning of the Q&A with Kevin. 4:31: What it was like growing up on a Canadian island. 6:46: Why the Great Bear Rainforest is so important. 11:00: Why regenerative tourism matters. 14:22: Kevin's Travel Tale. Meet this week’s guest Kevin Smith, owner of Maple Leaf Adventures Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Explore the Great Bear Rainforest. Listen to Kevin’s TED Talk. Learn about Maple Leaf Adventures’ tours. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel. Amazon Music link: www.tryamazonmusic.com/KjWPGN
Can geometric shapes heal the world? That's what the artists of the De Stijl movement—which came of age in the Netherlands after World War I—believed. Piet Mondrian is one of the most famous members of this group, which forbade circles and embraced light, color, and geometry as a way to move past the chaos of the war. As AFAR contributing writer Chris Colin discovers on a trip to Utrecht, that's not quite as bizarre as it sounds. And as he bicycles through quaint streets, meditates along charming canals, and visits the De Stijl artifacts that still exist, Chris learns that, just maybe, De Stijl's philosophy is still applicable today. Don't miss these moments! 3:31: The beginning of Chris's Q&A. 7:55: What he appreciated most about the city. 9:47: Why De Stijl's art has endured. 14:25: Chris's Travel Tale. Meet this week’s guest Chris Colin, AFAR contributing writer  Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Enjoy Chris’s book Off, a picture book about an analog world. Visit Utrecht and explore De Stijl for yourself.  Listen to Chris’s other Travel Tales about renting a friend in Tokyo and grappling with the mystery of train travel on the Coast Starlight. Follow him on Instagram.  Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel. Amazon Music link: www.tryamazonmusic.com/KjWPGN
For writer Ryan Knighton, surfing is one of the rare occurrences where he feels completely free. Because, in addition to being an excellent writer, a dad, and a curious individual, Ryan is blind. But that's never stopped him from exploring the world. So more than a decade ago, he learned to surf and has been riding the waves near his home in British Columbia ever since. But he’s always had a hankering to surf in a location he doesn’t know intimately. So this year, he traveled to Kaua‘i, where he found a guide—a surfer named Johnny—who pushed both of their boundaries so that Ryan could ride a new wave. Don't miss these moments! 4:21: An interview with Ryan about how he learned to surf and what it's like to spend most of your life on other people's elbows. 24:03: Ryan's travel tale, read by actor Andrew Galteland Meet this week’s guest Ryan Knighton, AFAR contributing writer  Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Read Ryan's story about going on safari in Zimbabwe, his trip to Jordan, and his original Spin the Globe in Cairo. Listen to Ryan's original Travel Tale. Read Ryan’s book, Cockeyed: A Memoir. Watch Billions.  Follow him on X.  A special thanks to Andrew Galteland, who read Ryan's story for him. You can follow Andrew on his podcast, Looters, a sci-fi western role-playing show. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel. Amazon Music link: www.tryamazonmusic.com/KjWPGN
What's it like to eat your way along France's Vallée de la Gastronomie, a 400-mile food trail that begins in Dijon and ends in Marseille? That's the question we're exploring in this week's episode of Travel Tales by AFAR. Host Aislyn Greene, who spent some formative time in France as a 20-something, returns to hunt truffles, meet famous French cows, and taste wine in a cave. Don't miss these moments! 2:25: Her introduction to French food 8:13: Truffle hunting in Burgundy with the world's cutest truffle dog 18:32: Lyon's most famous food tradition 21:32: An introduction to spelunking—and wine-tasting 25:59: The magic of Aix-en-Provence In the episode, you'll understand how to better explore this trail, which invites travelers to get to know France's most famous gastronomic regions in new ways. Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Explore the Vallée de la Gastronomie. Follow me on Instagram. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel. Amazon Music link: www.tryamazonmusic.com/KjWPGN
The Great Smoky Mountains have had an outsized impact on Dolly Parton—they shaped the way she grew up, influenced her music, and are the only place where she feels truly restored. Which is why she has spent her adult life giving back to the region, primarily through tourism. On this week's episode, we travel to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for the unveiling of Dolly's new hotel, HeartSong Lodge & Resort. She shares what makes the hotel special, what's coming next, and sits down with our journalist to talk about how travel has influenced her. Don't miss these moments! 4:35: Dolly welcoming everyone to her hotel press conference 7:34: What's next for her tourism efforts 11:52: What Dolly looks for in a hotel (it might surprise you!) 14:11: How travel can be an education 17:33: Dolly sings Heartsong Meet this week’s guest Dolly Parton. Need we say more?  Elaine Glusac, a travel journalist who writes for the New York Times and AFAR. Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Learn more about Dolly’s new hotel, HeartSong Lodge & Resort. Read Dolly’s new book, Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones.  Listen to the song that inspired the name for the hotel, Heartsong.  Follow Elaine on Instagram. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel. This year, you can follow us on Amazon Music!
After 15 years of living in the United States, food writer—and author of the new cookbook My Everyday Lagos—Yewande Komolafe finally revisited her home city: Lagos, Nigeria. In this episode of Travel Tales by AFAR, we hear the story of that journey and how it helped her heal, and how it helped her reconnect with the Nigerian foods she grew up with. On that first trip back home, she discovered: The things that make home feel like home, even when it doesn't look the same A new connection with Nigeria's Yoruba traditions How food could help her unite her many selves Don't miss these moments! 2:59: An excerpt from Yewande's new cookbook, My Everyday Lagos 5:19: Her arrival in the United States as a teenager 6:53: How she fell in love with food 12:22: Her first trip back to Nigeria 18:30: How all of that came together in her new cookbook In the episode, you'll learn more about Nigerian cuisine, Yoruba traditions, and how, for one traveler, returning home was the catalyst for deep change. Meet this week’s guest Yewande Komolafe, food writer and cookbook author Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Learn more about Yoruba traditions in Nigeria.  Read Yewande's column and recipes in the New York Times. Buy Yewande’s cookbook, My Everyday Lagos. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel.
Writer and avid hiker Peggy Orenstein is exactly the kind of person you should send off into the wilderness with an iPhone and a pair of hiking boots. And for this episode, we did just that. In October 2022, Slovenia rolled out the 167-mile Juliana Trail, a route that circles Slovenia's Triglav National park and the Julian Alps and takes walkers back in time. Peggy tackled a portion of the trail and along the way, she found: Well-preserved remnants of World War I. A rich farm-to-table cuisine. Cultural legacies, including a lengthy history of beekeeping. Fantastic hiking, that leads along the Sava River and through icon spots like Lake Bled. Don't miss these moments! 2:37: An interview with Peggy. 8:15: Her first day on the trail. 11:27: How the Juliana Trail came together. 14:33: Exploring Slovenian culture along the trail. 19:31: Visiting Lake Bohinj. 21:08: Losing her phone on the trail. 26:47: Toasting with a septuagenarian on a mountaintop. 30:58: The last day on the trail. 34:16: Peggy's ode to American pop music In the episode, you'll understand what it's like to hike the Juliana Trail, the trail's highlights, and how Peggy faced down her inner overachiever. Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Learn more about the Juliana Trail and plan your own hike.  Read Peggy’s other AFAR stories: hiking the Kumano Kodo trail in Japan, horseback riding in Wyoming, and exploring Yunnan, China.  Buy Peggy’s latest book, Unraveling: What I Learned About Life While Shearing Sheep, Dyeing Wool, and Making the World’s Ugliest Sweater. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel.
How does a place change when the person who defined it for you is now gone? That's the question we're exploring in this week's episode of Travel Tales by AFAR. Author Shruti Swamy grew up in the United States, but her parents grew up in Mumbai, India, so she has a unique relationship with the city, in some ways intimate and in some ways totally distant. Her aunt, Ila Mami, was the person who helped her find Mumbai’s pulse, who helped her fall in love with the city’s colors and tastes and smells. When Ila Mami passed away, Shruti wasn’t sure what Mumbai would hold for her. So she traveled to Mumbai to find out—with her four-year-old daughter in tow. Along the way, she discovered: What it's like to visit a place after the loss of a loved one. Her favorite memories of exploring Mumbai with her aunt How creating new memories with her daughter redefined the city for her in new ways.  Don't miss these moments! 3:31: How writing nonfiction is different than writing fiction 6:01: Her expectations for the trip 7:16: Her daughter's memories of the trip 8:35: The hardest part of the trip 10:01: The beginning of Shruti's travel tale In the episode, you'll understand how one traveler coped with grief and created new memories in Mumbai. You'll also get an insider's look at the vibrant, busy, full-of-life city on the west coast of India. Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Read the story Shruti wrote for the magazine Buy Shruti’s novel, The Archer, and short story collection, A House Is a Body. Follow Shruti on Twitter. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel.
50 years after Picasso’s death, AFAR associate editor Mae Hamilton traveled to Spain and France to retrace his life in Europe. She started in Málaga, Spain, where Picasso was born, and ended in Mougins, where Picasso spent his final days. As an art lover, she believes that art is one of the best ways to get to know a place. In this week's episode of Travel Tales by AFAR, Mae shares her story as well as:  The ways that art can help us understand a place more deeply.  Mae’s favorite places on her Picasso art tour.  How the places that Picasso lived are reflected in his art.  The places that impacted Picasso the most throughout his life.  Don't miss these moments! 1:56 An interview with Mae about her trip  11:27 The beginning of Mae’s travel tale, in Málaga, Spain, where she explored bull-fighting culture and its impact on Picasso 20:04 Mae’s visit to Barcelona, where Picasso began to rebel 24:18 Her visit to Paris, where Picasso rose to international fame 28:02 The last spot she visited in Nice, France, where Picasso spent his final days in Antibes and Mougins From Mae, you'll learn how art can shape our perception of place, the ways that the cities Picasso lived in affected his art, the more complicated parts of Picasso’s legacy, and much more. Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Read Mae’s story about following in Picasso’s footsteps and book your own tour.  Read Mae’s essay about growing up in Texas.  Follow Mae on afar.com.  Follow Mae on Instagram.  Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel.
Comedian and writer Baratunde Thurston wants to tell a better story of us. The narrative around the United States is often one of fracture and discord. So in his PBS show, America Outdoors, he travels around the United States to better understand Americans' deep connections with nature—and how that tells a more positive story of the country. In this week's episode of Travel Tales by AFAR, we sit down with Baratunde to talk about season two, including: Where he traveled, including the swamps of Georgia, the rivers of New Mexico, and the snowy hills of Maine. What he learned about the United States and our current (and past) relationship with nature. The ways that Indigenous views of the land are more frequently being adopted in a positive way. How you can better understand the United States, through nature. Don't miss these moments! 7:04: The way this season changed Baratunde 8:46: Where Baratunde's relationship with nature began 13:18: The most surprising moments of the season 24:43: The scariest moments in the season (including a petrifying tree climb) 35:31: His very own travel tale From Baratunde, you'll learn about how to embrace the cold like a Mainiac, why the Suwannee River is so important to people in Georgia and Florida, the ways that individuals are finding creative ways to combat climate change, and so much more. Resources Read this episode’s show notes, including a full transcript of the episode. Watch America Outdoors on PBS.  Listen to Baratunde’s podcast, How to Citizen. Read his comedic memoir, How to Be Black.  Inspired to get outdoors? Find some inspiration on our website. Be sure to subscribe to the show and to sign up for our podcast newsletter, Behind the Mic, where we share upcoming news and behind-the-scenes details of each episode. And explore our second podcast, Unpacked, which unpacks a tricky topic in travel each week. And a special thanks to our season four Travel Tales by AFAR sponsor, Avalon Waterways, who shares our belief in the transformative power of travel.
Want to meet mentholated ants, see the forest that inspired Avatar, and search for living dinosaurs? Head for Cairns, Australia, home to the world's largest tropical rainforest. Australian playwright Michelle Law is our guide this week: Last summer, she and her sister took a road trip through the region to explore Indigenous culture, zoom through the rainforest, and bond over the mysteries of parenthood. Read more about Michelle Law: http://www.michelle-law.com/ Explore Australia: https://www.afar.com/travel-guides/australia/guide
In this episode, we’re traveling to Vienna with AFAR contributing writer Emma John.  Emma has music in her blood. She grew up in London playing classical violin, and about a decade ago, she traveled to the American South to learn to play bluegrass, a journey she chronicled in a story for AFAR, and in her book Wayfaring Stranger. But in all those years, she avoided singing, for reasons you’ll soon hear about. And then one day, she decided to do something about it. So she booked a trip to Vienna, a city renowned for its singing talent—and the place where her musical odyssey begins.  Listen to Emma's books Wayfaring Stranger: https://geni.us/GWtmOcb Self Contained: https://geni.us/JUcD Follow Emma online Instagram: @emmajohnauthor Twitter: @em_john Her website: https://emmajohn.com/ The story that inspired it all: https://www.afar.com/magazine/viennas-moment-learning-to-love-opera-in-the-city-of-music
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