DiscoverThe Trail Less Traveled
The Trail Less Traveled

The Trail Less Traveled

Author: Mandela Leola van Eeden

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Dedicated to documenting humanity by gathering stories & sounds from the most remote locations around the world. The goal for the show is to take you, the listener, back to mankind's earliest form of entertainment: story telling. Therefore, every week features an interview with an adventurer in their natural habitat in order to provide an audible journey packed with adventure information & inspiration. Everyone has a story & different perspective, we aim to share the stories from the world’s diverse cultures & unknown lands.

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86 Episodes
Tommy Cummins was born in 1944 and grew up in the south. He was shot twice during the Civil Rights and went on to work as a security guard for Ronald Reagan. Tommy has been through a lot in his life, in this interview he talks about his experiences with racism while playing pro baseball for the Pirates in addition to the racism he experienced as an undercover officer with the LAPD. Tommy's son, Chase, also joins the conversation and speaks with his father about the racism he experiences daily. The matter is lightened up occasionally with a few stories including his love for restoring classic cars and the time Tommy saved a young Michael Jackson from drowning in his swimming pool. Tommy lives in Kingman, Arizona and manages to keep laughing and fighting for civil rights on a daily basis.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
This episode was recorded on an extremely remote private nature reserve at the most southern point of Africa where Mandela grew up and spent much of her childhood. In this episode we speak with Mandela's cousin, Amy Mocke, a school teacher and professional poisonous snake expert and handler. Amy sometimes helps people move cobras and other extremely dangerous snakes when they are in gardens, houses, barns and garages. Amy is also an animal rights activist and caretaker for many species of animals who deserve a second chance. In this episode, Amy speaks about the ecology and human history of South Africa with a focus on snakes, sharks, whales and other vital species who live in the land, sea and sky. See for privacy and opt-out information.
This show was recorded in the Backpack Hostel, located in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa. Mandela sits down with, Lee Harris, one of the owners of this multi-award winning backpacker & African travel center. Lee shares the story of starting this hostel with her best friend in 1990 during an Apartheid government.The Backpack has won countless awards including Best Hostel in South Africa for 2020. The Backpack is an award winning, Fair Trade hostel that invests in people and communities, giving meaningful and relaxed travel experiences. The Backpack are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and bring supplies for our community project, the GCU Academy, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Once we are able to travel again, The Trail Less Traveled highly recommends a visit to South Africa's western cape and while you're there book a stay in The Backpack. See for privacy and opt-out information.
During this interview we speak with Lucy, a refugee from Kenya who makes hand made sandals in Green Market Square, a place where slaves were traded in the 1600s.We also meetup with my good friend, Kipandi, a Rastafarian Olympic long distance runner from Kenya, who now dedicates his life to caring for the pigeons of the city.We will stand on the corner of the Bo-Kaap, an area of Cape Town formerly known as the Malay Quarter. It is a former township, situated above the city centre and is a historical centre of Cape Malay culture in Cape Town. Bo-Kaap is known for its brightly coloured homes and cobbled stoned streets. The area is traditionally a multicultural neighborhood which currently faces gentrification from the city. We will stand on the corner with a group of Muslim woman who are protesting their continued struggle with Apartheid. See for privacy and opt-out information.
This episode was recorded in the Mojave Desert at the base of the Grand Wash Cliffs, which mark the geological end of the Grand Canyon. Some of the best interviews take forever to record and this one is no different... for ten years, Mandela has been trying to sit down with the legend himself, Mr. Carl Rice. Carl is a professional Hollywood stunt man & Grand Canyon river guide. Carl was the stunt man for Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones: The Crystal Skull. Carl reflects on spiritual growth through reading and running some of the worlds biggest and most technical whitewater from California to the Zambezi in Southern Africa. See for privacy and opt-out information.
This show was recorded on the nature reserve where Mandela grew up at the most southern point of Africa. This interview features Mandela's cousin, Fleur van Eeden, an award winning world renowned stunt woman who has done the main stunts for Mad Max, Tomb Raider and many more. Fleur specializes in full body burns, cable work, martial arts, weaponry, horse stunts, high falls and much more. During this episode, Fleur talks about the training that goes into her work and how to prepare mentally before jumping off a moving train or getting exploded out of a 6-story building window. Fleur has doubled Charlize Theron, Meryl Streep, Drew Barrymore, Lena Headley and Helen Mirren among many other Hollywood A listers. Fleur also helped the South African Stunt Performers Association with winning the Guinness World Record for the most amount of people on fire for the longest period of time. During this interview, she talks about what happens behind the scenes and the immense training that goes into being a stunt woman. She also reflects on growing up in a small town in South African and returning home as much as possible to stay grounded by riding her horses and mountain biking in the wine country. I have attached a link to Fleur's stunt reel which can give you a better idea of how stunt performers work. Watch her stunt reel here: See for privacy and opt-out information.
This episode was recorded on my family farm in South Africa's western cape. The interview features my good friend, Elna Fourie, who grew up on a farm located on the other side of the mountains. Elna studied cheese making in France and has been in high demand as a cheese maker in South Africa for the past 18 years. Elna won first prize for best aged Gouda in the country of South Africa in 2019. I do believe you will all enjoy this episode about growing up on a farm in South Africa, what a day in the life of a jersey cow is like, and exactly how different types of cheese are made. See for privacy and opt-out information.
Doreen stokes lives in Plains, Montana with her husband on 84 acres. She has been a reforestation contractor for over 30 years, planting trees all over the Pacific Northwest. Her greatest passions are surfing, mostly in Costa Rica these days, although she grew up in New Jersey where she started her surfing adventures. Doreen leads safaris in Tanzania, East Africa... where she has initiated tree planting and water projects at the Maasai school in Losirwa. She invites you to join her on safari where you can give back by planting trees on the school grounds. Contact her at: herbs@blackfoot.netIn this episode we talk about how you might go about planting a tree in your area and how it immediately starts to combat CO2 and climate change. Doreen speaks at length about hunter gatherer tribes in east Africa as well as wildlife conservation regarding the plight of the African elephant and rhino. This is a beautiful episode and you'll walk away wanting to start planting trees... be it one tree every year on your birthday or for someone else on their birthday. Before humans starting building cities, 60% of the earth was covered in trees... now less than 30% is and if we continue to turn a blind eye and do nothing - there will be less than 10% of forest on planet earth by 2030. The time for planting trees and being a mindful consumer is NOW. See for privacy and opt-out information.
This interviews features an in depth look at nomadic life in the largest desert on earth. Featuring men from Arabic, Bedouin, Berber & Tuareg tribes who were born and raised in a nomadic family utilizing camels and constant movement as a way of life. From the games they would play as children while herding goats to the staple items one must have in order to survive, including camel milk, dates, salted meat, wells, celestial navigation, turbans and family. Learn why being a nomad teaches you patience and hospitality. Learn why stress doesn't exist in a nomad's life. This interview will take you into a carpeted tent under some of the tallest sand-dunes in the world during a full moon while the sand-storms blow to the West.This will forever remain one of my most cherished recordings.We have so much to learn from how the nomadic tribes survive and exist in the Sahara Desert. See for privacy and opt-out information.
Mohammed Ait Bahadou was born and raised in the Sahara Desert and now calls Marrakech his home. Mohammed grew up in a mud hut in the desert and sold fossils to tourists before starting his own business running cultural tours around Morocco. Mohammad is fluent in 8 languages including: English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Arabic, Berber & Italian. He has raving fans who are now friends, all over the world. In this interview, Mohammed tells the history of Morocco, Islam, culture, food, table manners and some tips and highlights on Morocco for those who wish to travel there. For more info check out See for privacy and opt-out information.
Streets of Marrakech

Streets of Marrakech


This episode features an interview with three individuals from various backgrounds who reflect on culture in Morocco & the Sahara Desert. Mabrouk was born and raised in the Sahara and gives us incredible insight into how nomads use celestial navigation, camels & turbans. Abdul was born in Marrakech and lived 16 years in New York City... he reflects on the differences between culture in the USA & Morocco. Ahmed was born in Oman & has a lot to say about the lack of freedom of speech in Morocco as well as his craving for equality in his country. See for privacy and opt-out information.
Boo Curry is a native of Missoula who graduated from the University of Montana and works as a bird field biologist. Boo has been studying African culture and music for over 14 years. She is one of the founding mothers of Missoula's very own, "Djebe Bara" African dance and music community. For this interview, Boo interviewed her friend and fellow musician, Oumar Keita. Oumar is a native of Guinea, West Africa. He is known for his extensive knowledge of music and history. Oumar showed an interest in traditional music and began singing at an early age. He continues to sing and write traditional music but can also rap in Malinke, Susu and French. Oumar Keita plays traditional instruments like the bolon, gnoni and N’gongoma, which accompany his singing.Since 2009 he has been a musician in the nationally recognized Ballet Saamato of Conakry, Guinea. Primarily a dundun player, Oumar is also a dancer and djembe player. For the past 2 years, he played with Wofa percussion in Conakry.To study with Boo and Oumar Keita visit: See for privacy and opt-out information.
Dara Guedem grew up in Ivory Coast but was born in a small village in Chad. She came to Montana via Senegal in 2007 chasing family & education. It was always been a dream for her family to receive an education in English and Guedem has since graduated from the University of Montana. She continues to live and pursue adventures in Missoula. In this interview, Guedem talks about the history of Chad including personal experiences with civil war and rebels coming into her village. Guedem also shares the emotion of experiencing snow for the first time and a shares a few tips for Africans who are immigrating to the USA See for privacy and opt-out information.
96% of the mammals on planet earth are livestock and humans leaving only 4% for wild animals. We have lost 83% of all mammals on the planet, these species are not here solely because of humans. 80% of marine animals and 50% of all plants are also lost due to human impact. Elephants, rhinos and lions are just a few species which are also extremely threatened and close to extinction. We have lost 80% of all snow leopards on the planet. There are more tigers alive in captivity in the state of Texas than there are in the world. Scientist have found that for tigers, a 96% decrease in population coincides with a 96% loss of habitat. There are about 200,000 protected areas in the world which are in various stages of "actual protection". 50% of these protected areas have not yet been mapped... making it harder for these animals to be protected from poaching. The number one problem that these animals are facing right now is poaching. We will discuss the extremely organized black market of wildlife trade. Most tigers are being poached as their body parts are highly valued for non-effective medicinal purposes and "tiger bone wine" in China. 1 in 5 tigers are dying per year from poaching. The most effective tactic is to place armed guards in protected areas to stand guard over these animals. It is truly challenging for rangers to protect endangered species when the protected areas are not mapped as they have to navigate extremely dense jungle and are up against professional and highly armored poaching groups akin to military officers. Kevin McManigal has intimate knowledge of the modern GIS and cartographic workflow. Employed as a professional cartographer, he is a recognized innovator among his peers at the North America Cartographic Information Society. He teaches cartography as an art form, utilizing GIS and graphics software to produce maps that inform and inspire. He also has extensive travel experience, including mountaineering expeditions to Alaska, Europe, and South America. His field research includes trips to the Sierra Nevada of California, the Himalaya of Nepal and Bhutan, and the Altai of Mongolia, where he studies the dynamics of glacial change.To learn more about protecting tigers, please See for privacy and opt-out information.
This interview was recorded in the heart of Marrakesh, Morocco while Mandela was living in Jemaa el-Fnaa, a busy square and market place in Marrakesh's medina quarter (old city). Jemaa el-Fnaa, literally means "the place of judgement" as it used to be where criminals underwent judgement and potential penalty in the pubic eye. This interview features two young Moroccan men, Moustapha and Saber. Each speaking multiple languages fluently while sharing traditional "Moroccan Whiskey" (Green tea with mint), they explain a thousand year history of Morocco, their culture, Islam, traditional spices, food, tips about traveling in the Kingdom of Morocco and why sugar is the most important ingredient in their tea. This interview will also surprise you in terms of the diverse array of musical selections from these two Moroccans. See for privacy and opt-out information.
Eddy Goldaracena was born in Argentina and moved to the U.S. at a young age. He had his first taste of surfing in New Zealand, which changed the course of his life thereafter. He set his intention of learning how to surf and followed it around the world before getting a "real job" as a financial consultant in Switzerland, NYC and eventually Southern California. Eddy knew that he would travel the world again at a later age and for a decade he set money aside, improved his surfing skills and manifested a trip around the world following culture, human connection and surf breaks. Learn about manifesting whatever it is that you want in this life & chasing your dreams wherever they take you. Eddy is currently on a multi year trip around the world searching for what he calls, "The Perfect Wave." See for privacy and opt-out information.
We speak with Joe, a bush crafter and subsistence hunter from a rural setting in Ontario, Canada. Joe elaborates on why it's important to spend time alone in the wilderness and what you can learn from watching animals in the wild. Joe explains how to survive in extreme cold conditions, how to pack for potential survival situations, how to build a shelter fast and how to track animals. Joe takes us on a few epic bow hunting misadventures and explains what he sees out the window in Morocco while recording this episode. See for privacy and opt-out information.
This episode was recorded on the top of Mount Beerwah, the highest of the ten volcanic plugs in the Glass House Mountains range, 22 km north of Caboolture in South East Queensland, Australia. In this interview, Chris talks about lessons learned and close encounters on his journey of learning how to surf big waves in Australia, New Zealand and the island of Tonga. Chris also sheds light on why surfers around the world respect sharks and don't want to see them killed. Chris is a keen cyclist who shares some of the reasons why he loves calling Australia home. The sounds of the cicadas will certainly take you on location for this episode. Enjoy. See for privacy and opt-out information.
This episode takes a look at the adventures, trails and tribulations of a NYPD officer and surviving and thriving in the concrete jungle of New York City. Be prepared for a heart felt story of being a first responder during September 11, 2001. This episode was recorded in a raft while floating down the Colorado River in the heart of Grand Canyon National Park. See for privacy and opt-out information.
Dr. Sean Graham teaches Biology at Sul Ross University in Alpine, Texas. He is also the author of American Snakes. This episode was recorded in the desert ecosystem at water level one mile below the rim in Grand Canyon National Park.Learn about how the sun, air pressure systems & horse latitudes create deserts around the world from Australia, Africa and the Southwest U.S. How have animals adapted to live in harsh arid environments. How might you adapt to live in the desert? See for privacy and opt-out information.
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