Vietnam. Abandoned Waterpark. Backpacking. The Travel is Real.

A podcast about captivating stories from travelers all around the globe

A podcast about captivating stories from travelers all around the globe

A podcast about captivating stories from travelers all around the globeA podcast about captivating stories from travelers all around the globe

Season 2 Episodes

EP 31: Johnny- MotorCycle Vietnam: The Wild, The Weird, The Dangerous

Saigon Hub Hostel

In this episode, my guest is Johnny, owner of the beautiful, and wonderful Saigon Hub Hostel. Mr. John has lived and worked in Vietnam for many years, to where he has enjoyed and endured many incredible experiences whilst living abroad. Fast and loose seemed to be John's mantra years back, but now he is raising a family in Vietnam while running an excellent hostel. My guest and I discuss what he experienced while riding his motorcycle up the Ho Chi Minh Road. His stories are not for the prude, or the faint of heart.

Episode Highlights:

  • Hostel Life
  • Comical/Embarrassing Bathroom Story
  • 10 shots, 47 Rules
  • Centimeters/inches from dying
  • Vietnam Foodies

EP 32: Murrie H.- The Aussie Bush Nightmare

Nusa Lembongan. Devil's Tear

Murrie H. is a friend of mine who traveled the entire Ho Chi Minh road with me during my Vietnam adventure. I could not have asked for a better travel partner! In this episode, Murrie and I reminisce over some of the close calls (aka near death experiences) on the road, and some of the strange things we learned to love while riding through the beautiful country of Vietnam. Finally, my guest recounts a nightmarish encounter while camping in Australia.

Episode Highlights:

  • Travel Injuries
  • Motorcycle Fun
  • The Wonderful Thuoc Lao
  • The Australian Bush Nightmare

EP 33: Jay- The Serbian Maximum Security Prison Experience

Serbian Prison Experience

I met Jay in the first hostel I stayed in while in Canggu, Bali. Turns out, he is one interesting character who travels the world. Jay starts off the recording by illustrating his first day in Detroit, and how he nearly died. My guest then follows up with illustrating his experiences with the Serbian police, and how he found himself in a maximum security prison in Serbia. Fun stuff!

Episode Highlights:

  • Gunfire and a Near Miss
  • Serbian Border Crossing
  • Serbian Maximum Security Prison

EP 34 Jessica: - Tour Guide from Hell, and Bathroom Romance

Travel Bathroom Romance and Tour guide Nightmare

In this hilarious episode, we hear a cautionary tale regarding tour guides and drug dealers. My guest Jessica details the circumstances that lead her and her boyfriend into a dark and dangerous tour around Colombia. After that, Jessica graphically details how food poisoning drew her, and her one night stand closer than ever. It's comical, it's gross, it's incredible. When traveling, love can truly be found in hopeless places. Even in Bali.

Episode Highlights

  • The Dangers of Tour Guides and Drug Dealers
  • The Moral of the Story
  • Bathroom Romance

EP 35 Neus: - The Journey to Yogi

Yoga Teacher. Traveled India. Funny and Scary travel stories. Expat. Neus

Neus, a Yoga instructor, world traveler, and all around badass, illustrates how traveling was ultimately her salvation during our recording. During our interview, my guest details how she found the remedy to her eating disorder. After that, she gives light to her difficult, arduous journey to become a Yoga instructor while living in India. She ends by telling a wild bus ride story from Rishikesh to Dharamshala. Check out her Instagram for more-

Episode Highlights:

  • Traveling with an Eating Disorder
  • Recovery
  • The Difficult Journey to Yogi
  • Pee Bus
  • The Dalai Lama

EP 36: German Mark- The Hostel Stabbing and Christchurch Shooting

German Mark. Backpacker and nightmare travel stories.

In this alarming and grim episode of the travel is real, my unlucky guest details two events during his travels that made him fear for his life. The first story, Mark accounts a nightmare scenario in a hostel upon arriving in Melbourne Australia. He then follows by illuminating his experience during the Christchurch Terror attack in New Zealand. 

After all the dark and danger, Mark and I discuss that, even though travel is risky, there are more benefits than drawbacks.

Episode Highlights

  • A Violent Hostel Stabbing
  • Traveling During a Terrorist Attack
  • Scuba Diving Troubles
  • The Benefits of Traveling

EP 37: Emily Gough- Leaving on a JetPlane: The Nine Year Infidelity Story

Emily Gough. Podcast host  of Room to Grow. Traveler and digital nomad.

My guest Emily is the host of her own Podcast called "Room to Grow" and she owns an online business. During this incredible episode, Emily details her startling reason why she left her home country for the digital nomad life. We discuss infidelity, self reflection, and personal growth. It's deep, it's wild, its thought provoking, and most importantly, its entertaining!

Find out more about Emily and her fantastic journey on her website:

Episode Highlights:

  • Canggu Food
  • 9 Years of Infidelity Story...Holy Cats!
  • Solo Travel and Self Reflections
  • Newly Single Revelations

EP 38: Olumide Gbenro- The Digital Nomad Story

OLU. Digital Nomad expert and Founder of Digital Nomad Summit. Digital nomad.

In this episode, I am joined by Olu, a master digital nomad marketer, and founder of the Digital Nomad Summit. He lives here in Bali for the time being, and I was lucky enough to get him on the podcast for an entrepreneurial blitz discussion concerning work and travel.

We touch upon topics such as skills he acquired which led him to live the travel lifestyle, and marketing strategies. But first, we begin the start of Olu’s journey, and a nauseating hostel experience in Germany that sparked path to success.

Check his Instagram here:

Episode Highlights:

  • Living the Nomad Lifestyle
  • A Nauseating  Hostel Experience
  • The Nomadic Path to Success
  • A Most Important Item

EP 39: Maree Mackenzie- From Rock Bottom to Sober Girl Travels

Sober Girls Travel. Sobriety and Travel. Maree Mackenzie. Tour guide

In this very special episode, my guest Maree Mackenzie, owner of Sober Girls Travels details her journey from her most rock-bottom moment, when she struggled with alcoholism, to her journey which led to a thriving sober women's retreat and tour guide specialist. Her story is one of strength, desperation, and determination. If you want to contact Maree, visit her website

Episode Highlights:

  • The Ubud Pie Lady Business
  • The Dreadful Rock Bottom Moment
  • Journey to Recovery
  • Disastrous Consequences of Binge Drinking Abroad
  • "Recovery is the New Black"

EP 40: Brian Pillsworth- The Backpacking Horror-Show, and The Worst Type of C*ck Block

Brian Pillsworth. Travel videographer and backpacker. Traveler and firefighter.

Brian Pillsworth is my guest on this crazy episode of The Travel is Real! The stories presented will make you laugh, gasp, yell HO-LEE Cats! Mr. Pillsworth is an American who has traveled, backpacked, and worked in Asia for half a year. In the first part of the episode, he explains the wildly dangerous job which lead him to travel. After that, Brian tells a distressing story he was part of, while adventuring Mongolia. Pray you don't experience what Brian endured. My guest also enlightened me on the podcast, by explaining how he made money while assisting other backpackers. And finally, Brian and I discuss how a common travel occurrence, cock blocked us both during our travels. Funny, but also quite sad.

Episode Highlights

  • Why I left Firefighting
  • The Backpacking Horrorshow in Mongolia
  • Makin Money While Traveling
  • The Worst Kind of C*ck Block When Traveling

EP 41: Nadja Nora- The Dark Side of Hollywood Story

Nadja Nora, actress and model in Bali. The Dark Side of Hollywood Story. The Travel is Real

In this incredible episode, my guest from Switzerland details her dark and dismal experiences while living in Hollywood, working as a model and actress. She also recounts a creepy, repugnant story she encountered in a mansion on the Hollywood hills…its pretty nuts. Nadja then gives light as to why she left Los Angeles for a life in Bali. Her story is an inspiration to anyone who is unhappy with his or her current situation in life. 

Check out her Instagram!

Episode Highlights:

  • The Dark Side of Hollywood Experience
  • The Repulsive Proposal in the Hollywood Hills
  • How to Make Moves and Take Action

EP 42: Kenny Hanson- Monks, Meditation, and Instagram

Digital nomad. Travel. Trip advice. Ha Giang loop. Mentor  Pass

Digital nomad, mentor, and all around cool cat, my friend Kenny Hanson sat down on The Travel is Real podcast to discuss a couple travel stories and insights he has enjoyed along his Southeast Asia adventure. Kenny and I first discuss the instagram culture in Bali, and he gives a pretty unique insight. We then talk about his weird and wild experiences during a Visa run which led him to some gnarly encounters with locals along the way. Finally we both riff about the sheer beauty that is the Ha Giang loop, found in Vietnam.

See what my guest is up to on his website:

Episode Highlights:

  • Instagram Culture in Bali
  • From Corporate Life, to Nomad Life
  • Badass Monks and Meditation
  • Earth's Most Beautiful Landscape

EP 43: Bria- Bria's Bizarre Work Away, and Becoming an Entrepreneur Abroad

The Pint Sized Traveler. Owner of Wraps and Whatever. World Traveler and TEFL expat.

In this amazing episode, my guest Bria gives the podcast stories that range from embarrassing, inspiring, creepy/dangerous, and all the way to motivating. We first begin by Bria detailing her less than idea scooter accident that resulted in an awkward situation for all parties involved. 

After that, we get into a creepy and disturbing predicament my guest found her self in, on a work away in the Netherlands. And finally, Bria gives great advice and stimulating words for anyone looking to create their own business, whether it's at home, or living in another country. 

Check out her wraps, fabrics and apparel at:

Episode Highlights:

  • Accidents and Underwear
  • How to Escape the Work-Life Rut
  • The Creepy, Bizarre Work Away
  • How to Jumpstart the Entrepreneurial Spirit

EP 44: Ben O.- How to Climb Giza, Bad News Borneo, and Airport Glamping

Ben Orndorff. Podcast host, world traveler and climber of the pyramids of Giza. Free diver, fisher

Ben Orndorff is my guest this week, and gives the podcast one banger of an episode! He firsts starts by educating me on how to properly, and illegally sneak into the pyramids of Giza and actually climb to the top of one of the pyramids. We then get into a serious situation Ben found himself in the middle of nowhere while traveling Borneo. And finally, Ben discusses the finer points of spear fishing, free diving, and airport camping. Lots of helpful tips in this episode that almost anyone can benefit from, so listen close!

Also, Check out his website and podcast at

Episode Highlights:

  • How to "Safely" Climb the Pyramids of Giza
  • Bad News in Borneo
  • Tips on Spear Fishing and Free Diving
  • How to Airport Camp

EP 45: Tom Walker- The Ashram Healer in India

Ashram Healer in India. The Travel is Real Podcast. World Travel in India and New Zealand

In this inspiring episode of The Travel is Real, my Kiwi guest, Tom Walker tells a story of how a trip to India, and eastern medicine was the reason he could walk, run, and even climb mountains once more. We start by going through a gut wrenching, awful incident that lead tom being crippled for quite some time. Tom then illustrates his spiritual journey, which includes power of visualization, eastern medicine, and most importantly, the talents of an Ashram healer in India.

Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content.

Episode Highlights

  • Glamping New Zealand
  • The Bone Shattering Incident
  • Finding Souls/Soles in India
  • A Miraculous Recovery

EP 46: Ash Gallagher- The War Journalist's Struggle, Insights, and Danger

Ash Gallagher. Beatnik Journalist. Middle East War correspondent. World Traveler. Budget traveler.

In this phenomenal episode of The Travel is Real, my guest Ash Gallagher, a prolific war journalist, and author who has worked for a multitude of well know news publications such as CCN, Yahoo News, and Vice, has joined me today to talk some wild stories and experiences she has encountered throughout the years. Her experiences range from horrific, educational, and inspiring.

Episode Highlights:

  • The Terrifying Experience in Turkey
  • "Fixers" Who are They? What do They Do?
  • The Journalist's Insights and Affirmations

Check out what Ash has been doing, and what she is working on now!

Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content

EP 47: Justin Trudell- The Weird, Wild, Wondrous Vietnam

Justin Trudell. Vietnam navigator. Programmer. Vietnam backpacker.

Justin Trudell joins me on The Travel is Real. My guest hails from the great city of Toronto, Canada. We met during the beginning of my journey in Vietnam, from the south to the north. Mr. Trudell is not only a highly skilled software engineer, but a mastered navigator as well. During the Vietnam adventure,  Mr Trudell knew all the routes and roads off the beaten path which lead the group and I to incredible scenery along the Ho Chi Mihn Road. Justin and I discuss the trials and tribulations we encountered during our Motorbike trip. Some were good, some were bad, some were down right life threatening. We also discuss some of the more bizarre aspects of the trip that we witnessed.

Check out Vietnam Coracle for more information on Motorcycling Vietnam.

Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtubechannel for more video content.

Episode Highlights:

  • Near Death Experiences. All in a Day's Ride
  • Bizarre Sights on the Road
  • How to Travel Vietnam Like a Boss
  • Food! Vietnam FOOD!!!

EP 48: Hermes- Travel Scams, Cons, and Grifts

Hermes. Expert digital nomad and drop shipper. World traveler and digital marketer.

SCAMS, Cons, Cheats, Grifts, you name it, this episode has it. My guest Hermes and I detail a few common, and oddly intricate scams travelers encounter when adventuring abroad. We start out by detailing some tips for people looking to backpack abroad, and how to keep your money safe from fraudulent ATMs. After that ,Hermes illustrates a crazy story of his time in China, and how he got swindled know as The Teahouse Scam. Its wild.  We then talk about the Black Budda Temple scam found in Thailand,  various other scams and cons we have both encountered along our travels. Listen close so these cons don’t happen to you. It might not save your life, but it will save your wallet.

Episode Highlights 

  • Bogus ATMs
  • The Tea House Scam
  • Pickpockets. Pickpockets Everywhere!
  • The Budda Temple Con

Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content

EP 49: Sabby- Optimize your Life and Travel for Happiness

Sabby. Digital nomad and online marketer for google and facebook. Backpacker.

My guest Sabby on today's episode is a very great friend and great dude, who I met here in Bali. Sabby details how he went from living in his parents house for one year, to achieving a successful and rewarding lifestyle working remotely anywhere around the world…AKA living that digital nomad life. But first Sabby dives into an absurd hostel hookup story that doesn’t really end well for anyone. Its a great lesson in why you don’t stay in a 30 bed Dorn in a hostel. After that, Sabby details his startup experience while he was living in the states, and then gives light as to why he wanted to leave Canada, and explore the world while working from his computer. Lots great advice and insight in the one, so listen close.

Episode Highlights:

  • A Risque Hostel Hookup
  • Starting a Start-up: Y Combinator
  • Optimize life, travel, and work for happiness
  • How to work while Traveling

EP 50: Kieran- Managing Anxiety, Travel, and Travel Anxiety

Kieran Hedley. Coach Kezza is a world traveler and mental health coach. Backpacker

In this special episode, one that I’m very excited about, my guest Kieran Hedley, also known as Coach Kezza, graces the podcast. Kieran has been traveling and living abroad for quite some time, as mental health coach who specifies in anxiety. His coaching service, is extremely valuable and rich in content for anyone who is struggling with anxiety and depression….and much of his content is very funny. In this interview, Kieran gives some of his tools and advice which helps him power through and overcome anxiety and depression that comes with living a nomadic life, or any kind of life for that matter. This interview is jam packed with knowledge so listen up!

Episode Highlights:

  • Living the Nomad Life with Anxiety
  • Understanding Perspective
  • Tools to Overcome Destructive Anxiety

Find out more about Kieran and his coaching at

Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content.

EP 51: Jeroen- Lombock's Earthquake Disaster and The Water Magician

Jeroen Van Overbeak and the Nazava Water filter. Backpacker and Expat.

My guest Jeroen Van Overbeak, AKA "The Water Magician"  presents his story of how he was able to bring clean water to thousands of Indonesians, by using his invention..the Nazava Water Filter. This water filter cleans water at low cost, effectively, and highly sustainable when compared to other water filtering or disinfecting processes. We then discuss his experience of bringing water to Lombock island after the devastating earthquake which occurred last year, which leveled communities and killed thousands of  Indonesians.

Find out more about Social Impakt at

Episode Highlights:

  • The Water Magician
  • The Nazava Water Filter Creation
  • The Island Disaster

Check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content.

EP 52: Hella- Island Life and the Surf "Washing Machine"

Hella. Camp 308

My friend, Hella, who is Co-owner of Canggu’s Camp 308 and quite the avid surfer graces the podcast. She first tells a story of how a near death experience fortuitously lead her to make a decision which brought her to BALI. She then illuminates what it's like to live and work on a very small tropical island. Turns out, it's harder than you think.

Check out Camp 308 for living and Co-working space.

 The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content. 

Episode Highlights:

  • The Washing Machine
  • Tropical Island Life and the Difficulties
  • Freediving All Day!

EP 53: Sophia - Racism Woes as an Expat, and Child Fire Breathers

Sophia. Black female expat living in Asia.

In this episode, my guest Sophia and I discuss some of the more bizarre things one can expect to see in the city of Saigon. We then get into a bit more serious topic concerning what its like teaching English in South East Asia as black woman. This is a great episode to listen to, if you are keen on teaching English in another country, or interested in traveling to Asia.

 The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content. 

Episode Highlights

  • Child Fire-breathers?! 
  • American English? English English? Auzzie English?
  • Racism Woes as an Expat

EP 54: Michael D - "The Incident", Not Flying Home, And Rice Paddies and Car Batteries

Michael Day. World Traveler and Thailand  expat.

Michael D. joins the podcast! This fine Brit recently moved to Bali to learn coding/programing, but before that, he had lived in Bangkok, Thailand for years! Too many years to count! Michael regales a travel story which he and his friends suffered an incident, to which, could have put significant hurdles and roadblocks on their backpacking trip. But with luck, fortitude, and a specific purchase of a certain item, Mike and his friends had turned a terrible situation into an amazing few weeks backpacking in New Zealand. Mike also illustrates the most effective way to hunt for frogs at night, in northern Thailand.

Episode Highlights:

  • "Sorry Mom, I'm Not Coming Home"
  • The Terrible Incident
  • Rice Paddies and Car Batteries

EP 55: Sunny Ju - Eight Days Lost in the Jungle

Sunny Ju. Tantra health instructor and world traveler from Germany. De Armoring

Sunny Ju graces the podcast this week and holy cats does she give a wild story. Turns out, getting lost in a massive, remote rainforest is easy. Unnervingly easy. Sunny illuminates  her experience on how she and three others struggled for survival for eight days in the jungle….with only two days of food. Its an amazing story of determination, confidence, and the will to live. She follows this cautionary tale, by discussing why she jumped out of corporate life in Germany, to work for herself in SouthEast Asia.

Check out Sunny's website to see what she is up to and her upcoming events:

Episode Highlights

  • Somethings not Right!?
  • Things are Getting Bad
  • Poacher's Hideout
  • Jumping out of Corporate

EP 56: Alex S. - Maximize Your Life for Happiness

Alex S. Consultant and world class traveler and expat.

My guest Alex S. graces the podcast, and reflects on his state of mind when he decided to pack his bags and leave the corporate life in the USA, for a life in Bali. He explains how he took action to maximize his happiness, and he follows it up with a story about thieving monkeys. 

Episode Highlights:

  • The Journey Foward
  • Insights and Reflections
  • Maximize your Life for Happiness
  • Thieving Monkeys

Visit The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content. 

EP 57: "James". - From Kenya to California

James, the digital marketer from Africa. From Kenya to California

Holy Cats! What an episode! My friend "James" (who wishes to remain anonymous due to an embarrassing story) recounts a regrettable experience regarding alcohol and a tattoo parlor. My guest and I then discuss the culture shock of traveling from Kenya to southern California to attend university. My friend details how he managed to navigate a completely new lifestyle in a wildly foreign setting from which he was not accustomed to.

Episode Highlights:

  • The Ill-Advised Tattoo 
  • American Food Portions
  • Learning the Collage Drinking Culture
  • Benefits of a “Digital Nomad”

Visit The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content. 

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