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The Altruistic Traveller Podcast
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The Altruistic Traveller Podcast

Author: The Altruistic Traveller

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The Altruistic Traveller is a podcast bringing you stories of influential changemakers from around the globe.

We talk about the topics that will shape our future for the better.
35 Episodes
In this episode, I speak with Ruth Franklin who is the co-founder of Secret Paradise Maldives, a community-based tour company specialising in private and group adventure and cultural tours from Hulhumale and Male, as well as multi-day local island hopping tours throughout the Maldives. I met Ruth back in 2018 when I was planning my first ever trip to the Maldives and was determined to see these beautiful islands in the eyes of a local. I wanted to explore how to visit the Maldives and learn about the Maldivian culture without staying at a resort, and Ruth was one of the first people I connected with to assist me on this journey.  Ruth left a successful 28-year retail management career behind in the UK and took her passion for travel and sustainability to the Maldives in 2012 to co-found Secret Paradise Maldives. Since then, the company has grown into a pioneer in the eco-tourism sector in the Maldives, working with grassroots organisations and government bodies to promote positive environmental impact and community development.  In the podcast, we discuss Ruth's journey, the tourism economy in the Maldives, and how Secret Paradise Maldives embrace responsible tourism practices while promoting local experiences on the islands. We also discuss the Maldives embracing the UNDPs "Reimagining Tourism" project, a joint initiative between the Government and UNDP Maldives to explore, develop and test pathways for making tourism in the country more inclusive, resilient and sustainable. Website: Instagram: Accompanying blog posts:
In this episode, I am joined by Damien Schuster (Advisor), and Rafaella Orelli (Carbon Associate) from Offsetra, a carbon emissions reduction platform helping people to participate in the low-carbon economy. I invited Damien and Rafaella on the show to delve into the topic of carbon offsetting, how it works and what it really means. Through their work at Offestra, they find and raise money for high-impact, certified carbon reduction projects. We discuss the role of travel when it comes to carbon emissions, how individuals can reduce their environmental impact, and creative ways to offset such as using crypto to offset your footprint. For more information on Offsetra visit their website:
In this podcast I speak with Gonçalo Hall, a remote work consultant and evangelist who launched projects like the Remote Work Movement, Future of Work Conference, Remote Portugal, Remote Europe and most recently a digital nomad village in Madeira, Portugal.  Gonçalo is passionate about remote work and believes in the link between digital nomadism and community development. Through his new project, Madeira’s first digital nomad village in Ponta do Sol, Portugal, Gonçalo and his team have brought together a thriving community of nomads focused on positive impact and connections. In the episode, we talk about the nomad village model as a tool for decentralisation, repopulation and community-building. Before conception, Gonçalo’s team spent time in Madeira, speaking with locals and educating them on the positive impacts nomads could bring to their town. This facilitated discussions around adding vegetarian menu options to restaurants, creating stronger internet connections, and even education around making the perfect flat white.  The village attracts visitors to Madeira in the tourist low season and closes in the high season, an economically viable decision to best support the local people. This decision also helps the village to thrive both in the low and high season.  Nomads are encouraged to take part in community activities run by Digital Nomads Madeira, including tree planting projects, beach cleanups and support for local NGOs such as animal shelters.  This model is a pioneer of its times as more countries introduce nomad visas, making it easier for remote workers to legally work and settle abroad for longer periods of time. Gonçalo and his team hope to use this model as a pilot for future villages and set an example for what the future of work could really look like. Follow Gonçalo on LinkedIn: Follow Gonçalo on Instagram: Follow Digital Nomads Madeira on Instagram: Visit Website: Read the corresponding blog post:
In this episode, I am talking with writer, speaker, and solutions advocate JoAnna Haugen. JoAnna is the founder of Rooted, a solutions platform at the intersection of sustainable tourism, social impact, and storytelling. In her work, JoAnna provides insight into a more conscious, inclusive type of storytelling and assists both content creators and industry professionals in shaping their storytelling language. Our thought-provoking discussion opens up a number of perspectives on tourism. In her work, JoAnna supports the idea of reshaping the tourism narrative to not only promote equality and diversity but also challenge the idea that tourism should be traveller focused. As JoAnna explains, “the idea that tourism “need(s) us” is the epitome of privilege, and it’s a story the tourism industry is perpetuating...leading travellers to believe they are the answer to this industry’s survival perpetuates a dangerous and destructive history of white supremacy and colonialism.” We reference JoAnna’s recent articles ‘What we risk when we rush back to travel’ and ‘5 words to cut from your travel writing’, and dissect the concept of vaccine-privilege, as well as the ethics of returning to a type of travel that is not centred around the benefit and empowerment of local communities. JoAnna offers a number of free resources on her blog, including: The Content Creator's Guide to Building Back Better Flipping the Negative Narrative on Impact As well as short courses to assist in positive storytelling: Strategic Storytelling for Travel Service Providers Responsible Travel Writing
In this episode, I interview Kenyan-born Shammi (Sham for short), creator of the Travel4Purpose platform. Travel4Purpose is an online community that promotes the concept of sustainable tourism, mainly in Kenya. Sham was born in Mombasa, Kenya and moved to London, UK with her family when she was 6. After 20+ years of following the social norm; school, university, 9-5 corporate job, etc, she realised it was time to break free and align with her life's purpose - creating impact. On the 18th of June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sham launched Travel4Purpose to serve that purpose. The platform promotes travelling authentically; interacting with locals, venturing off the beaten track and having a purpose while on the road.  "I learnt a thing or two while on the road, the main one being that creating smiles for others and yourself – is THE most treasured feeling. Travel can be used as a force for good; positively impacting everyone involved, including Mama Earth." - Sham. In the podcast, we discuss Sham's journey to Kenya to discover her rich cultural heritage and work on local projects that promote a positive impact on both people and the planet. We talk about her life in Kenya, the projects Travel4Purpose supports e.g. tree-planting programs for conservation and health programs for women in need. I also get a short lesson in Swahili (around the 29-min mark) to learn some of the local language. For more information about Travel4Purpose please visit: Website: Instagram: Facebook: Eco Projects:  
PODCAST DOUBLE: This episode is linked to my interview on the How To Be Global podcast that can be found here: ... What does it mean to be a global citizen? This week I speak with Sarah Rapp about eradicating poverty, empowering youth and becoming a global citizen.  Sarah is the founder of ‘How To Be Global’, an initiative that aims to discover what it takes to be global in today's fast-paced and culturally mixed world, through podcasting, education and crowdsourcing. Its mission is to connect the world by lowering boundaries, reducing fears about other cultures, and encouraging others to embrace diversity. Sarah is the former president of JA Alumni Europe and is currently Senior Manager Alumni & Campaigns at JA Worldwide, a large nongovernmental organization that serves youth around the world.  In the podcast, we talk about Sarah's journey, her involvement with JA Worldwide, and the How To Be Global scholarship program she runs to put disadvantaged youth in school. Sarah currently partners with Educom to deliver scholarships in Jamestown, Ghana and has since provided opportunities for more than 60 orphans and kids from single-parents to get an education. "I wanted to make sure that these amazing girls and boys have the chance to go to school, get food and education which empowers them to shape a better future for themselves and the whole community." Follow Sarah's journey: Support How To Be Global: Listed to the How To Be Global podcast:
How do we leverage our own community to create social impact? How can we successfully crowdfund for the causes we care about?  These are the questions I explore in this conversation with Tom Dawkins, the Co-founder/CEO of the social impact crowdfunding platform Start Some Good - the leading home of cause-driven crowdfunding, innovative partnerships and social entrepreneur education. In the episode, we discuss the limiting mindsets that inhibit fundraisers to meet their full potential. We discuss the psychology of fundraising, the nuances of crowdfunding and the way that Start Some Good work with projects to achieve the highest project success rate in cause-crowdfunding (at 53% compared to equivalent platforms who are as low as 13%). Tom discusses how Start Some Good has transformed into an educational, innovative hub for social entrepreneurs to gain insights into the best practices for crowdfunding, enabling changemakers to launch groundbreaking projects that can change the world.   Learn more at Learn about Strat Some Good's recurring fundraising opportunities at Join the Starting Good Network:
Established in 2003 by global adventure travel company G Adventures’ founder, Bruce Poon Tip, Planeterra is a non-profit organisation that has contributed millions of dollars towards projects in areas of social enterprise, healthcare, conservation, and emergency response. In this episode, I speak with Alanna Wallace - Planeterra's Program & Communications Manager. We discuss Planeterra’s strategy to empower community tourism businesses to create sustainable livelihoods and how in the midst of a pandemic, Planeterra has helped their partners cope with the complete halt in global travel, and loss of customer base. Many projects around the world have been left without an income as global travel stopped entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, communities need assistance to rebuild and recover from months without income. Planeterra has been able to provide grants to help with emergency needs, and also to build resilience for community tourism businesses and those that rely on them. In the episode, Alanna shares how the organisation has raised tens of thousands of dollars for their partners and continue to fundraise much-needed dollars that will support their tourism partners through this difficult time. Listen in to hear about the work of Planeterra, stories of resilience and kindness and see how you can show your support.  Website: Instagram: Facebook: Donate:!/donation/checkout
In this episode, I am speaking with Sarah Dale - the Centre Director and Principal Solicitor for RACS Australia.  RACS (Refugee Advice & Casework Service) provide critical free legal advice, assistance and representation, for financially disadvantaged and vulnerable people seeking asylum in Australia, including: women who have experienced or fear domestic, family or gender-based violence members of the LGBTIQA+ community stateless people children who are seeking protection without their parents people seeking family reunion in Australia They advocate for systemic law reform and policy that treats refugees with justice, dignity and respect. In the episode, I speak with Sarah about the history of the asylum seeker policy in Australia, the critical support that RACS provides to the community's vulnerable and the impact that COVID-19 has had on Australia's refugee and asylum seeker population, both on-shore and in off-shore detention.  The refugee sector at large has been under constant threat in recent times, with federal funding decimated. RACS does not receive any federal funding to deliver services and are currently the only organisation providing free legal advice dedicated to supporting people seeking asylum. It's for this reason that I wanted to invite Sarah on the show to share how we can support these people in our community and shed light on the hidden crisis facing refugees and asylum seekers in Australia.  For more information about RACS and how you can support, visit: Website: Facebook: YouTube:
Planting trees has a ton of benefits. Not least, trees are vital for human and animal survival. In this episode, I speak with founder and CEO of Click A Tree about how the company has been able to work with local communities in Ghana and Thailand and promote the business of tree planting, and in turn facilitate reforestation and tackle the issue of climate change. Click A Tree's fundraising model is to partner with online platforms such as Expedia, or more recently partnerships with local Gastronomy businesses, and create a user experience where website visitors offset a percentage of their purchase to Click A Tree's tree-planting programs. The tree is paid for from the marketing budget of the platform, instead of being invested in TV spots or Google Ads. It is through this revenue that Click A Tree has been able to plant over a hundred thousand trees thus far, as well as help to educate young, unemployed Ghanaians, protect endangered animal species around the world, battle against climate change, provide work in developing countries, and even protect the quality of soil and air around the world. You can find more information about the work of Click A Tree on the below platforms: Website: Instagram:
Two-times TEDx speaker and executive director of VOICE 4 girls, Anusha Bharadwaj, believes in the power of girls to transform communities and nations. It is with this conviction that she leads a group of passionate individuals at VOICE 4 Girls, a social enterprise that educates and empowers marginalized adolescent girls with the vision to eliminate gender inequality and violence.  VOICE has impacted the lives of over 73,000 adolescents and 3200 young camp counsellors. Through activity-based camps, the organisation gives life skills, spoken English, and critical information girls need to take charge of their own lives and become changemakers in their own right. In the podcast, Anusha speaks about the work of VOICE 4 girls, the reasons why gender inequality is still rampant in India and what feminism means in today's day and age. She also discusses the important role boys play in the gender equality discussion and shares a little about the programme BOYS 4 CHANGE. For more information, please visit: Website: Instagram: Ted Talk: Raising Hope Ted Talk: Raising a Feminist Generation
Water is the source of life yet somehow, in 2020, over 700 million people in the world lack access to clean water. For the past 10 years, the BLUE Missions Group has been working to provide families with clean water and sanitary environments through sustainable, community-owned projects that empower progress and transform rural communities for the better. Their model for aid is focused on sustainability, ensuring local leaders are equipped with the skills to prepare for community-led construction of projects, and the ability to maintain healthy water systems. To date, BLUE Missions has helped over 22,000 people gain access to clean drinking water through innovative solutions such as gravity-driven aqueducts that gather and distribute water from higher-elevated sources. With the help of volunteers, engineers and members of the local community they have completed over 100 water projects in countries including Colombia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. In the podcast, Danny talks about 10 years with BLUE Missions, the systemic barriers that limit communities' access to clean water and how volunteers and individuals can help to support the work of BLUE Missions.  For more information visit:
Have you ever thought about the environmental impact of flying? Couple Steven and Simone have, and they have challenged themselves to travel from New Zealand to their homeland of The Netherlands without taking any flights. They want to raise awareness about how tourism can be done in a sustainable manner. The aviation industry, as a whole, contributes to 4.9 percent of human-caused climate change, through the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. While the solution may not be to stop flying at all, we discuss alternative options for travel and ways travellers can offset their emissions. In the podcast, Steven and Simone aka The Couple in Row 51, share their remarkable story and give us some insight into the trials and tribulations of planning overland travel around the world. We talk about topics related to sustainable tourism, the inspiration behind their journey and also get some tips on how to travel as a couple. Tune into this fun and informative final episode of season two. Website: YouTube: Instagram: Facebook: The Altruistic Traveller Podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google and Anchor.
Colour Them Safe are an Australian based arts initiative, passionate about youth mental health. Their visual art programs are designed to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of disadvantaged young people in Australia and around the world. In this episode, I speak with founder Albie Colvin about the mission of Colour Them Safe and how art can play a major role in improving the mental health of not only young people but adults as well.  We talk about Colour Them Safe's art initiatives in Australia, as well as their partnerships in India and Nepal. Albie shares some heartwarming stories of children whose lives have been touched by art and offers guidance on ways that we can reintroduce art back into our own lives, as a form of therapy and respite.  "Art is powerful: it doesn’t discriminate, there is no right or wrong. It allows us to be free and can help us escape from hardship." For more information visit
Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary (KSES) is a non-profit organisation in Northern Thailand working closely with local communities to bring elephants home to the forest. Elephant welfare in Thailand and Southeast Asia has been compromised since the demand for tourism, partnered with loss of natural habitat, saw an increase in the number of elephants used in domestic services. There are now over 4000 captive elephants in Thailand and less than 1000 in the wild.  This week, I spoke with Kerri McCrea, co-founder of KSES, about the plight of the endangered Asian elephant and how sanctuaries, like KSES, aim to rescue elephants from the poor conditions of tourists camps and bring them back to their natural habitat.  We spoke about the complexities of the welfare surrounding these intelligent creatures; how there is not enough natural habitat for wild elephants to thrive in Thailand. Kerri explains the importance of bringing elephants home to live as normal lives as possible and offers advice to tourists on how to support elephant welfare in Thailand.  For more information about KSES visit: To join the Biosphere Expedition Thailand elephant research project visit: For previous elephant research reports visit:
On this week's podcast, I speak with social entrepreneur and founder of Nomads Giving Back!, Tarek Kholoussey. Nomads Giving Back is a social enterprise with the vision to inspire nomads, ex-pats and travellers to give back to the communities they call 'home away from home.' They are a global community that serves as a bridge between foreigners and locals to create positive social change through cultural exchanges, skill sharing, education, support, and more. They partner with local organisations to create meaningful programs and opportunities for advocacy, fundraising and volunteering to educate, inspire and empower socially-conscious people to make a positive social impact around the world. In the podcast, Tarek shares his journey from corporate Manhattan employee to nomadic global citizen, realising his truth and finding the courage to live it - leading him to a life of service, and ultimately, the creation of Nomads Giving Back! . We talk a lot about connection and how we find meaning and purpose in our lives through compassion and giving back to others. "I had an unusual journey, and what I would like to do is make it easier for people to find their own way, and happiness, faster. When I felt connected to people that felt like they appreciated my presence, my contribution, those were the most meaningful moments of my life." For more information about Nomads Giving Back! visit: Website: | Instagram: | Facebook: Or follow Tarek's journey on Instagram: | YouTube:
How do we evoke emotion through stories? On this week's episode, I speak with visual storyteller and content creator Jonathan H. Lee about the role storytelling plays to create connection and community.  Jonathan has spent the last decade using visual documentation and storytelling to inspire collective action. He has helped numerous NGOs, social enterprises and individuals, who are purpose and impact-driven, share their heartwarming stories of resilience, innovation and impact.  Jonathan and I were mutually connected through our association with Conscious Impact, an organisation that invites international volunteers of all backgrounds to join their camp in rural Nepal and offer skilled or unskilled labour, financial donations, and compassionate service to local communities. In the podcast, Jonathan shares his personal journey as a storyteller, what inspires him and tips that impactful visionaries can use to tell their own stories.   Emotion is what connects us, and when we gain the ability to feel and see what another feels and sees we only draw closer to the realisation we are all one.  For more information about Jonathan's work visit Watch the latest Conscious Impact documentary -
The Olive Ridley Project is a conservation organisation protecting sea turtles and their habitat in the Indian Ocean.  In this episode, I speak with Usman Iqbal, the Project Coordinator for the Oliver Ridley Project in Pakistan. With a background in environmentalism and community development, Usman brings technical expertise and knowledge of materials and processes to help the Oliver Ridley Project reduce the impact of ghost gear on sea turtles in the Arabian Sea.   Ghost gear or ghost nets are commercial fishing nets that have been lost, abandoned, or discarded at sea. Every year they are responsible for trapping and killing millions of marine animals including sharks, rays, bony fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, crustaceans, and birds. Since the Olive Ridley Project was founded in 2013, volunteers have removed more than 1400 ghost nets and recorded 812 trapped turtles: olive ridleys make up 89% of the trapped turtles recorded.  In this episode, we talk about the plight of turtles in Pakistan and understand how the Olive Ridley Project helps to protect the species. We touch on the effects of climate change, ocean pollution and ways that humans can protect the sea turtle - one of the ocean ecosystem's vital members.  Usman recounts his day-in-the-life experience of protecting the ocean's turtles. He provides insightful information into the removal of ghost gear and tells of ways that locals are helping to find a home for the discarded materials, including recycling ghost gear to be used in fashion and accessories.  For more information on the Olive Ridley Project visit
Have you ever tried meditation? On this week's show, I speak with Kevin Rehberg,  meditation coach, Reiki Master and founder of Highly Meditated - a platform created to inspire us to bring mindfulness techniques into our daily lives.  Kevin has been practising mindfulness for 10 years, and for the last 5 years has been heavily focused on techniques such as meditation and breath-work. He has a private practice where he coaches individuals on manifesting their dreams, listening to their intuition, and reducing stress. I connected with Kevin in Ubud Bali when we realised our shared spiritual journeys through meditation and Reiki. I wanted to talk about this topic on the show as I believe in order to be changemakers we must first know ourselves and be the best version of ourselves that we can be. Only then can we make the most impact.  Throughout the episode, we touch on a range of topics such as the human mind, mental health, types of meditation techniques and how mindfulness can change the world for the better.  Get ready for an inspiring talk about the power we all have to manifest our ideal realities and escape our own suffering.  Website: Instagram: *In this podcast we touch on the topic of mental health. If you or anyone you know needs help please visit this link for more information on support lines. 
Choose a Challenge is a travel platform that facilitates meaningful travel challenges for college students while fundraising for charity. The company has taken over 12,000 students abroad on life-changing challenges, raising over US$25 million for charitable causes. On this week's podcast, I spoke with Mike, the Senior Brand and Marketing Coordinator for Choose a Challenge USA. We talked about the company’s commitment to empowering youth through meaningful travel, as well as their solid commitment to sustainable tourism. Through collaboration with colleges and universities through the US and the UK, Choose a Challenge facilitates challenging adventures abroad while giving students the opportunity to fundraise for a charity of their choice. Challenges include summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, running the Edinburgh Marathon in Scotland or hiking Peru’s Machu Picchu. “Our tours are designed to challenge and motivate students,” Mike explains.”Students take these memories and experiences well into their adult life.” Through sustainable tourism initiatives like carbon offsetting and plastic reduction, as well as values such as authenticity and creating community, Choose a Challenge stands out as a company empowering youth to travel and give back. Website:
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