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The Travel Is Real

Author: Alex Terpstra

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The Travel is Real is a podcast about hearing captivating stories from adventures abroad. Each guest on the episode reveals an experience which occurred while traveling, backpacking, or living abroad. These stories range from fun, comedic, risqué, to bizarre, gross, harrowing or horrific. As long as the if the narrative is intriguing, I want to hear it! Typically if an interview revolves around an arduous, dangerous, or harrowing narrative, the guest and I will give advice and tips, so listeners can learn from the mistakes of the guests and myself (I’ve certainly made a few). Anything can happen when traveling around the world, which is why so many travelers posses fascinating stories to tell.

The episodes vary in theme, but laughter is always a constant. This is a podcast which does not take itself to seriously. Some interview may encompass situations that at the time were very serious and in no way funny, but as most know, when reflecting back on a situation, laugher is common. The goal is to entertain and educate, and perhaps invoke some laugher.
57 Episodes
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”
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. 
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
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 through 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 The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content.
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. Episode Highlights Child Fire-breathers?!  American English? English English? Auzzie English? Racism Woes as an Expat
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.  Episode Highlights: The Washing Machine Tropical Island Life and the Difficulties Freediving All Day!
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.
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.
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
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 by a con, known 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.
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 Minh 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!!!  
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 CNN, 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, HOW TO SUPPORT HER WORK! Check out for more content! Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content
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. Check out for more content! Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content. Episode Highlights: How to Camp New Zealand The Bone Shattering Incident How to Find your Soul/Soles in India A Miraculous Recover with Eastern Medicine
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
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
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.   Check out for more content! Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content   Episode Highlights: Instagram Culture in Bali From Corporate Life, to Nomad Life Badass Monks and Meditation Earth's Most Beautiful Landscape
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 for more content! Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content Episode Highlights: The Dark Side of Hollywood Experience The Repulsive Proposal in the Hollywood Hills How to Make Moves and Take Action
Brian Pillsworth is my guest on this crazy episode of The Travel is Real! The stories presented will make you laugh, gasp, yell HOLEE 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, cockblocked us both during our travels. Funny, but also quite sad. Check out for more content! Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content Episode Highlights: Why I left Firefighting The Backpacking Horrorshow in Mongolia Making Money While Traveling The Worst Kind of C*ck Block When Traveling
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 retreat and tour guide specialist. Her story is one of strength, desperation, and determination. If you  want to contact Maree, visit her website Check out for more content! Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content 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"
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 out for more content! Also, check out The Travel is Real Youtube channel for more video content   Episode Highlights: Living the Nomad Lifestyle A Nauseating Hostel Experience The Nomadic Path to Success A Most Important Item
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