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Travel People: Living Authentic Lives, Finding Kindred Spirits, Fulfilling Dreams
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Travel People: Living Authentic Lives, Finding Kindred Spirits, Fulfilling Dreams

Author: Host Cindy McCain

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Are you seeking a new adventure? A new life? Sometimes we have to get lost for awhile to live found and free. Some journeys lead us home to the people we truly want to be. My guests, masters of reinvention and growth, share their travel go-to places and give insider tips on where and how to take timeouts in their beautiful backyards. They’ll inspire and empower you to plan YOUR new adventure, to live YOUR best life. I’m Cindy McCain, travel writer and blogger at Southern Girl Gone Global where I share my journey as a single, empty nester mom and former expat. After living 3 years in Morocco and the Caribbean, I’m back in Nashville teaching university English, telling travel tales from 27 countries, and coaching others as they write theirs. Here you'll meet some of the colorful cohorts I’ve met from around the world whose heads and hearts push me to press on in growth, live by core values, never settle. Hear how they followed their bliss and how their lives have changed since. Music Credits Season 1: Carole Edwards, "Come and Run Away with Me," Chris Haugen, "Casablanca Caravan," Dan Lebowitz, "Mysteries" Photo Credits: Cindy McCain and Guests Disclaimer: Content of this podcast provides no medical, legal or other professional advice or endorsement of any item, destination, or service. While a reasonable attempt is made to update information, content is not guaranteed to be free of errors or omissions.
20 Episodes
We continue our tour of unique luxury accommodations in the Marrakesh Medina that provide beauty breaks for the soul. I love Morocco's rich colors, but my serene stay last month at Palais Blanc Riad, a cloud-colored haven, felt like living in a dream. The owner, Mr. Luigi Bleve, is a big fan of Marrakesh. By blending Moroccan authenticity with Italian style, he has created a blank canvas for whatever you need — rest, rejuvenation, or new adventures. We take a look at two nearby attractions: Bahia Palace in the Old City and Jardin Majorelle in Gueliz, Marrakesh's New City.More photos on Southern Girl Gone Global at YOUTUBE version of the podcast at Blanc Riad at https://www.palaisblancriad.comBahia Palace at Majorelle at in Paris, Media Right ProductionsNo.9, Esther’s Waltz by Esther Abrami, YouTube Audio LibraryDesert Caravan, Aaron Kenny, YouTube LibraryArabian Nightfall by Doug Maxwell & Media Right Productions, YouTube Audio Library Swinging With The Sultan by Doug Maxwell, YouTube Library
Season 3 begins with a return to Morocco, my go-to country for epic adventure, exquisite beauty, and exotic stays. The Marrakesh Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the perfect home base for exploring the Kingdom. Staying in a riad — a guest house once owned by wealthy families — is a signature Moroccan experience. But with over 1K riads within The Red City's walls, how does one choose? Find out why guests love Riad Luciano and meet global traveler and Moroccan-born Laila Krattiger who is living the expat life in Switzerland. Using the alchemy of Moroccan warmth, Swiss perfection, and Italian style, Laila created a haven. It wasn't easy. Just after opening the doors, the pandemic slammed them shut. With optimism, tenacity, a dream staff, and a premium location she has created a luxurious haven in the Old City.See this podcast on YouTube. here.  See blog with more info here.  Contact Laila and Riad Luciano at *See Season 1 Episode 2, for more travel experiences across Morocco. Also see Southern Girl Gone Global where I've featured my favorite resorts, boutiques, and riads since 2014.Music: Jazz in Paris, Media Right ProductionsPink Flamenco, Doug MaxwellCasablanca Caravan, Chris HaugenDesert City by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Welcome to Part 2 of my conversation with Angela Correll, author of the May Hollow Trilogy. This episode is for readers, writers, creatives of all kinds. She’ll share her writing journey,  process, and a new project. She’ll also talk about opportunities she can provide for solo writing retreats and creative community.  Be sure to hear her story in Part 1 and read the blogpost on how she wanted a simpler life and found it in Stanford, KY with her husband, Jess. There they live on a sustainable farm and have revitalized the downtown area of the village dating back to the 1700s that inspired her books. She takes us on a tour through the first historic guest cottage they saved and renovated, restaurant and event spaces, and her soap factory where it all began as a way to save her goats. You’ll see Whitley Cottage, Esther’s Wellhouse, and farm-to-table Bluebird Restaurant where I spent a one-of-a-kind weekend. Angela continues to design spaces so readers can experience small town living in the two worlds of her novels–one in Kentucky and soon Tuscany, Italy where she and Jess are remodeling rental properties. 
Welcome to a special edition of Travel People: Living Authentic Lives, Finding Kindred Spirits, Fulfilling Dreams. Today Best-selling author Angela Correll, takes us to 3 little villages with big hearts.  Her story inspires us to see problems as possibilities, to create something that satisfies the soul and benefits others, to embrace who and what matters most, to remember our roots and spread our wings. I talked with  Angela  in Stanford, Kentucky where she lives on a farm with her husband, Jess. The novels of her May Hollow trilogy –  Grounded, Guarded, and Granted– are based largely on life in the small town. She and Jess are the creators of the Wilderness Road Hospitality Group. You’ll hear how they went from milking goats to saving and renovating historic homes. How they built two restaurants, an Inn, and are building another. Angela will tell you about living in a close community in Ky and their latest project in a village in Italy. See more here: If you missed last year’s holiday edition, follow the link to a another small village, this one Greek in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Every Jan 6 this close community hosts the largest  (and probably most unusual) Epiphany celebration in the Northern Hemisphere. Kentucky Soaps and SuchWilderness Road Accommodations and MoreLiborio Conti -- Mandolin music
00:01 Series Intro00:32 Meet Toni Thompson, traveler to 70 countries including volunteering in five. She served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, lived 4 years in Venezuela. As an occupational therapist, she teaches cultural competency.  July 5-17 she attended the 2021 (74th) Cannes Film Festival in France and shares stories from the Red Carpet, film screenings, parties, and a Master Class with Matt Damon. Find out how to get there or enjoy your local film festivals.  1:26 How she got an invitation to the industry eventGasparilla International Film Fest--Tampa Sunscreen Film Festival--St. Petersburg, Florida (where she reviewed entries as a programmer) 3:40 How Covid changed the Festival4:25 Workshops 4:57 PartiesDave DeBorde, Nashville, hosted The Cannes Pajama PartyProducers' PartyChilean Cinema was cast by Alberto Fuguet in the Chilean film based on Nashville, Musica Campesina, which screened at the 2011 Nashville Film Festival, Vanderbilt University, and in 2014 on Cinemax. Red Carpet events, guidelines, surprises7:20 Getting into the film screenings--She went to 19.7:39 Stargazing10:06 Toni's favorite moment (with Matt Damon)Stillwater is "loosely based" on the story of Amanda Knox, an American college student accused of murdering her roommate in Italy14:15 The Power of Film for Cultural ConnectionsRed Sea Film FestivalCindy was so excited to see a Moroccan film there--Cassablanca Beats--the story of a former rapper who takes a job at a cultural center  inspiring students to fulfill passions and find freedom in hip hop culture.   Highlights from France 24 News17:46 Toni's travels 18:24 Classes on Cultural Competency/ Humility21:00 InterNations and the Gifts of Diversity*See S2 Episode 1 for more on Oman 24:36 Cannes and the French RivieraMore on Nice, Monaco, surrounding area Festival Packages30:07 How to Get Started in Film Festivals--Volunteer locally.Nashville Film FestBelcourt TheaterFilm Festival Travel
 Elaine and Scott Harris--Journalists, Sommeliers, and TV Hosts--discuss Switzerland, Ireland, New Orleans, Central Coast of  California, and advice on a happy life.  *YouTube version w/ photos &videos by Scott and Elaine Harris, Canva:
Meet Elaine and Scott Harris, Journalists, Sommeliers, and Hosts of Cuisineist Confidential based in Las Vegas, Nevada. They’ll soon be adding to their vast portfolio of publications and projects ( a new event space--Vino Las Vegas--  and a new series for They share another side of Vegas from celebrity chefs pivoting during pandemic closures to life off the strip including state parks for the family nearby.  They share favorite destinations and events known for great wine, food, and spirits...Switzerland, New Orleans, Central Coast of  California, and beyond. In Part 1 they’ll tell us the wine they keep on to survive a long, hot summer. We met at Captiva Island’s South Seas Island Resort: compass-issue-8/#22 Elaine shared why. she traded in teaching for full-time travel writing and how she found her life partner.  In Part 2 they share advice for those wanting to break into travel media, more favorite destinations, festivals and events, and advice for a happy life. Elaine and Scott 's Contact    IGTV Host Cuisineist Confidential@TheCuisineist Cuisineist Instagram Facebook *YouTube with photos/videos courtesy of Scott, Elaine, South Seas Island Resort, and Canva : Online travel writing class: Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d Chef Justin Picard of Allegretto Vineyard Resort, Paso Robles, California, https://www.allegrettovineyardresort.comThunderbird Hotel Vegas Montreux Jaxx Festival Lake Geneva The Vegas Fix Network  Trailer: series here: with mountain sheep: Valley of Fire State Park Charleston Rock Canyon --wild horses World 15--art installations J. Fox fundraisers to eat in Vegas:Sparrow and Wolf Solito Fish House Salt of Masters’s Dream Rose
     If I could return to only one European area and stay awhile, it would be Italy's Amalfi Coast. I met Rosa Candela on my birthday last March (2021) at her online Airbnb experience:      My friend, Sally, who gave me this gift, joined us from Virginia. Rosa shared her family recipe and technique for making limoncello--truly the hit of the summer with my family. In late May she joined me for this episode from her Salerno terrace overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Here she takes us on the Path of the Gods and beyond, tells us must-eats and must-sees on the coast and Capri, and invites us to join her for real on one of her walking tours. YouTube version with photos and video here: Rosa...On Facebook and Instagram : A TASTE OF AMALFI COASTWEBSITE: rosacandela.gae@gmail.comSeason 2 Theme Song: "Jazz In Paris" - Media Right Productions Rosa Candela and CanvaSeries Intro:20 Episode Intro  Italian lessons online at Meet Rosa Candela on her terrace in Salerno on the Amalfi Coast 4:31 How we met—Limoncello Airbnb Online Experience  Covid conditions in Italy9:51 Rosa’s dream land and dream job: “We call the time spent here Dolce Vita.”10:22 Why she prefers walking tours11:00 Path of the Gods11:48 Other hikes—Mill’s Valley 14:00 Why I’m dying to go back to Positano—2 movies filmed in Positano and the Rosa’s favorite restaurants in Positano and AmalfiPraiano — Kasai On TripAdvisor here: her food tours—Fore Porta Maris Courses of a typical Italian meal23:30 Lemons in Paradise24:44 Family ties in Italy27:10 Rosa’s travels—Brussels, Berlin to Copenhagen, Croatia, Sicily, and Sardinia by bike30:20 Best time to travel to Amalfi Coast and transportation options34:03 Sorrento and CapriFamous Visitors inspired by Capri 38:53 Rosa’s personal journey—“I decided to follow my passion.”41:38 Rosa’s advice to a younger person”Nobody can know what is best for you except you…Follow your passion. Outro
Meet International Educator Amy Fairfield, another southern girl gone global, who I met while teaching with her in Morocco. Since then she has taught in Hamburg, Germany and traveled even more of Europe. Now she is in Dubai and pre-pandemic was exploring the Middle East and Asia. In Part 1 we hear how Dubai and Abu Dhabi—part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-- are handling the pandemic and what to do and see in Dubai and the surrounding area including Oman once borders reopen. In Part 2 we hear about her adventures in Bangkok, Bali , Bahrain, Georgia, Cyprus , and Mumbai.Season 2 Theme Song: Jazz In Paris - Media Right Productions Maps usedPhotos by Amy Fairfield and Cindy McCain
Meet International Educator Amy Fairfield, another southern girl gone global, who I met while teaching with her in Morocco. Since then she has taught in Hamburg, Germany and traveled even more of Europe. Now she is in Dubai and pre-pandemic was exploring the Middle East and Asia. In Part 1 we’ll hear how Dubai and Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are handling the pandemic and what to do and see in Dubai and Oman once borders reopen. In Part 2 , we’ll hear about her adventures in Bangkok, Bali , Bahrain, Georgia, Cyprus , and Mumbai.If you like this series, please download and follow here and/or subscribe to my YouTube channel and see the recording with photos and visuals here:*The United Arab Emirates is a country in Western Asia located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf. Each of the 7 emirates has a royal family ruled by a king, as in Morocco, or a sheik. From the US Government Website:"The United States has had friendly relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 1971, following its formation and independence from the United Kingdom. The two countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1972. The UAE plays an influential role in the Middle East, and is a key partner for the United States. The United States and the UAE enjoy strong bilateral cooperation on a full range of issues including defense, non-proliferation, trade, law enforcement, energy policy, and cultural exchange. The two countries work together to promote peace and security, support economic growth, and improve educational opportunities in the region and around the world."
One year after Covid changed our world, I talked with Claudia Baeza, owner of PIneapple Yoga + Cycling Studio in Sarasota, Florida, about the healing, holistic practice of yoga for those with anxiety and depression caused by Covid-fatigue. Since visiting her studio and learning about her non-profit, The Dharma Footprint Project, providing yoga to groups below, I've been a fan. She tells us why and how she made a move from Boston to the beach and has never looked back. We discuss why Sarasota and she gives her Must-Dos while visiting there. See more of these in my 3-part series on Sarasota County (link below).Yoga Pineapple Yoga + Cycling Studio Visit There Dharma Footprint Project, a non-profit, that started with classes offered at a local juvenile detention center,  provides the following to those affected by health conditions AND their care-partners : Yoga and Cycling for Parkinson’s, Love Your Brain™ Yoga (LYBY) for those who have experienced a TBI (traumatic brain injury) or concussion, Y12SR yoga with 12-step programs for addiction recovery, Trauma Sensitive Yoga for Anxiety and Depression, Yoga for Veterans, Yoga for Differently Disabled. I love Sarasota:
Ready for a road trip to better weather? How about an escape to Europe without leaving the US? Looking for an affordable place to retire on a beach? My friend Dr. Vincent Huth, former university professor, Director of Counseling, columnist, coach, and traveler to all 7 continents, planned to retire on either the coast of Spain or Ireland. Then he discovered Tarpon Springs, Florida,  a Greek village on the Gulf Mexico. Tarpon Springs, sponge capital of the world, has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any US city and the largest Epiphany  (Three Kings Day) celebration)  in the northern hemisphere. Join Vince as he walks us through this event, his town, and how to find your dream home. You may want to add Tarpon Springs to your Post-Pandemic Bucket List to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas (December 25-January 5) and Epiphany January 6 in 2021, stop off on your way to other parts of the Sunshine State, or take a road trip there now . See photos and videos in this blogpost and please forgive sound quality/technical difficulties.If you've enjoyed this episode or others on the  podcast, please leave a review.  If you like the theme song, "Come and Run Away with Me,"  by Carole Edwards, check out more of her soulful music and let her know here."We Three Kings" by R. Tists
Do you dream of travel again one day? Of starting over somewhere else or just getting lost for awhile? Meet my friends Kendra and David Lucas who left Nashville, TN in February to travel to 100 countries in 2 years. I caught up with them in Thailand where they've been stranded for months. Find out why they went there when borders began closing, where they'd been before, and where they are headed next. See their video explaining how they are doing this extended world tour and why. If you're interested, they'll tell you how you can make travel happen, too. Music Credits: Carole Edwards, "Come and Run Away with Me," Chris Haugen, "Casablanca Caravan," Dan Lebowitz, "Mysteries" To watch the Skype interview with photos go here. Photo Credits: Lucas World Travel
Have you ever been on a vacation and wanted to stay? Is there a place where your body relaxes and your heart whispers that you are home?  How do we make major moves happen? How in the era of Covid-19 do we accept and navigate unwanted change?  Join a talk with Dr. Kim Roberts, a psychotherapist who moved to Jacksonville, Oregon with her husband, Andy, to live a new dream. Kim's many lives will inspire you. In the year of the Great American Road Trip, she'll convince you there's nowhere like Oregon, so grab a kindred spirit and just drive. And BONUS: If you are a woman who is over 50, single again, and braving the dating world in hopes of sharing life with a partner, hear what her research reveals about how we are making meaningful connections and living rich, full lives in creative ways.Music Credits: Carole Edwards, "Come and Run Away with Me," Chris Haugen, "Casablanca Caravan," Dan Lebowitz, "Mysteries" To watch the Skype interview with photos go here. Photo Credits: Cindy McCain and Kim Roberts
How is the world coping with changes caused by the pandemic? Are you needing an escape? Have you ever dreamed of vacationing in Paris, Provence, the French Riviera? Or have you already fallen in love with France and want to return for some unique, new experiences? Join my conversation with an old friend, Janice Chung, Canadian award-winning writer and blogger at FranceTravelTips. She shares with us her favorite experiences after 34 pilgrimages to the country she calls her "heart's home." Hear secrets on where and how to run races, bike, kayak, eat, play, relax, study at a French Immersion school or  Le Cordon Bleu. Whatever your heart desires, this lady born on Bastille Day can get you there! You'll be inspired by her travels in Bhutan, Kenya and Canada, too. Music Credits: Carole Edwards, "Come and Run Away with Me," Chris Haugen, "Casablanca Caravan," Dan Lebowitz, "Mysteries" To watch the Skype interview with photos go here.Photo Credits: Cindy McCain and  Janice Chung 
How are you coping with changes caused by the pandemic? Are you needing a new job, career, adventure, life? Meet Kate Woods of In 2014 each of us flew from empty nests--hers in Melbourne, Australia, mine in Nashville, Tennessee-- and landed in Marrakech, Morocco. She’s still there. Learn how she and other expats are coping with lockdown, a curfew, and closed borders since March 16. If you’ve fallen under Morocco’s spell, relive the magic. If you haven’t been yet, learn why it has such allure and meet us there Summer 2021. Whatever your dream is, Kate will inspire you to chase it! Music Credits: Carole Edwards, "Come and Run Away with Me," Chris Haugen, "Casablanca Caravan," Dan Lebowitz, "Mysteries" To watch the Skype interview with photos go here. Photo Credits: Cindy McCain and Kate Woods
Meet Monica Fernandez Chantada, a master of reinvention and growth. She'll inspire you with her journey to the life she wanted from Madrid HR Specialist  to Nashville, Tennessee teacher to Camino de Santiago Guide/Life Coach/Airbnb Super Host in gorgeous Galicia.  Learn how Spain is coping with the pandemic, how to choose the Camino right for you with her company, Spanish Steps, and how to explore the world, her country, and her backyard. Join the conversation as we relive terrific treks together across three continents and pump you up for the next quest of your own! Music Credits: Carole Edwards, "Come and Run Away with Me," Chris Haugen, "Casablanca Caravan," Dan Lebowitz, "Mysteries" To watch the Skype interview with photos go here. Photo Credits: Cindy McCain and Monica Chantada
Take a walk in the Historic Center of Naples with Raffaele Romano and Riccardo Bilotto, Archeologists and Official Tour Guides at  They share discoveries at Pompeii, wine secrets, their must-sees in Campania, Italy and beyond. You'll understand why Goethe said, "See Naples and Die."YouTube recording with images and videos here: Sources: Images courtesy of, Google Maps, Creative Commons, CanvaMusic: Jazz In Paris - Media Right Productions to topics below in Chapter Markers:00:01 Series Season 2 Intro.00:21 Episode Intro.02:24 Naples Grand Tour Promotional Video          03:03. Meet Raffaele and Riccardo, Archeologists and Official Tour Guides based in Naples at www.grandtourexperience.comContact: info@grandtourexperience.comSocial Media:YouTube channel: Group: @naplesgrandtour and @grand.tour.experience04:30  How we met—Airbnb Online Experience           Making Spiced Wines  Walking Tour at Historic Center of Naples— San  Domenico Maggiore         06:17 History and Services of GrandTourExperience.com09:58 Origin of European Grand Tours11:02 “See Naples and Die.”          “In Naples we have the whole world—Greek Origins, Roman, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance.”11:28  Riccardo on proverb: “When you come to Naples, you cry twice: once when you arrive, and once when you leave.”11:56  Romantics in Italy—Byron, Percy and Mary Shelley; Dr. Frankenstein was from Naples. Bram Stocker’s Dracula’s tomb found there, too.12:47  Must-Sees in Naples—Sansevero Chapel and Veiled Christ, Historic Center, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Achealogical Museum of Naples13:42  Official guides are a must. They show you places you would never see otherwise. *As a solo traveler and educational tour group leader, I recommend you use guides for Naples. 14:00 Pizza born in Naples. Raffaele recommends Da Michele—where Eat, Pray, Love was filmed. Sicily15:08 Pompeii —Recent Discoveries17:10 Wines of Pompeii22:20 Awards—Significance of archeological discoveries23:50 Herculaneum24:56  Grand Tour Experience’s Commitment to Reforestation and Sustainability--Book a tour and they plant a tree.25:48  Live advice30:29  Episode links31:01  Series Outro
“Winter is coming,” a truth more ominous than it was on Game of Thrones. Those of us in areas too cold to be outdoors wonder how, where, and when to gather safely with extended family. Schools are going remote (again). Whether you’re a seasoned snowbird or someone who thought road trips to beaches are for summers only… whether you’’re a parent playing teacher who needs a stimulating remote classroom for your kids and/or working from home and need to escape now or forever…Meet Morgan Henderson, recipient of "Most Popular Florida Rental" on FLARBO (Florida Rental By Owners). Last summer she shared her "little piece of paradise" with me which I featured on Here she explains Covid-19 safety precautions in her Florida area, how to do school and/or work from the beach, and how/when to get the best deals on Florida rentals and not get scammed. Morgan also gives tips on Florida property management and relocation.  She shares how her boys, their classmates, and she gained from her decision to do remote school at the beach this fall. Fresh air and exercise…a field trip to NASA and a rocket launch… kayaking with dolphins  and shelling provided energy and rest for their return home to Colorado where fires and temperatures broke records. I was in the same area of Colorado days before fires exploded visiting my son. We talk about that too. If you prefer the podcast version, check out Travel People: Living Authentic Lives, Finding Kindred Sprits, Fulfilling Dreams.
Kendra and David Lucas, friends from my salsa dancing community in Nashville, Tennessee, are living Phase One of their dream. In February they left 3 jobs to travel 100 countries in 2 years in search of a new place to settle. From Thailand they tell us  what they'll do when they find that place, why they chose to live abroad, and how they're connecting with a community of travelers, international teachers, and  kindred spirits around the world. They share from their hearts reasons they left the US and encourage travel for all whether in a couple or not.  Music Credits: Carole Edwards, "Come and Run Away with Me," Chris Haugen, "Casablanca Caravan," Dan Lebowitz, "Mysteries"To watch the Skype interview with photos go here. Photo Credits: Lucas World Travel0:01 Series Intro   Music Credits: Carole Edwards, "Come and Run Away with Me," Chris Haugen, "Casablanca Caravan," Dan Lebowitz, "Mysteries" Photo Credits David and Kendra Lucas, Lucas World Travel.  What will they do for careers when they find a new home?5:55 One reason they've chosen to live abroad6:30. Seeing where their new career plan takes them; Travel Community;  Morocco on the List7:30. Travel Bloggers Benefit from TBEX; What to see/do when they visit Morocco Other reasons they left the US31:51 Advice for single people who want to travel37:40 International teachers who travel solo39:28. What Kendra would tell her 20-something self41:00 What David would tell his 20-something self
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