Things are happening, folks. The episode with yours truly on The Daily Travel Podcast is live! It actually happened. 6 months into the travel writing game and I'm going to Germany and having my voice preserved forever on the Internet. But enough about me: let's talk about this episode, let's talk about Nathaniel, and let's talk about starting new, scary careers.
A 30-Minute Talk on...Self-Hate?
Initially, this talk – or so I thought – was going to be about travel making you strong. Women, in particular. That's what the Matador article was about, and that would've been nice and positive and uplifting, but it also wouldn't have been the whole truth. I sure as hell became a strong woman in Viet Nam, but I also became aggressive, judgmental, and untrusting.
So, in this talk, I inadvertently let the cat slip out of the bag. I honestly didn't mean to. I'm still not sure I'm glad I did, but the past is in the past. Even if listening to it makes my heart pound, I like the idea that it presents: whenever you travel somewhere, you choose who you become. So be careful. You have this new power humans aren't generally accustomed to, and you've got to make sure you do the right thing with it.
We also talk about how in travel, there is hope. There is always a new world to be explored that can be better, bigger, and brighter than the one you're currently in. There are ways which you can still feel awe, break out of the box, and surprise even yourself. Travel is a show where even the actors don't know what's going to happen, and you don't necessarily have to leave the theatre if you don't want to. Home is a refuge, not a given.
Nathaniel and The Daily Travel Podcast
The thing I like most about Nathaniel and his work is that it's about others. How often do you read something travel related and it's "I, I, I?" "My boyfriend and I had the most amazing mushroom risotto at this quaint Italian cafe on Rue de la blah blah blah" or "I'm off to Turkey again! Look at all the cute things I'm packing, hee hee!" That's the easy way out. That's what most people do. But Nathaniel has taken the same subject matter and made it about the rest of us. Made it about the world and turned the spotlight on someone else. He's not trying to sell you on why you should follow his Instagram account or get you to purchase his Canadian moose calendar, he's just trying to show you some inspiring stories from people that have done or are doing it. And that's awesome. Oh, and he's also super friendly and has the whole radio-voice thing down pat.
New, Scary Careers
The fact of the matter is that I've been doing this only for 6 or 7 months now. Well, in seriousness, at least. I've been a writer for years and done many a crazy thing in 'Nam back in the day, but I wasn't a "travel writer" that long ago. I dunno about you, but I struggle with instant gratification. If I do something, I want to know immediately it's going to pay off. Careers aren't like that. And while I'm still nervous every day that what I'm doing is ridiculous, involves too much hustling, and just isn't right for me, it's the things like this that do happen and that keep you going and keep that belief in yourself, that fire, lit. Right? That's how I work, I at least. I hear most writers feel like frauds a fair amount of the time, and I certainly hope that's true, otherwise it'd just be me. ...It's not just me, right?
So for all you aspiring travel writers out there, it'll happen. If you keep your head up and roll with the punches, things will happen. Never say "no," put yourself out there, give it time, and the world can be your goddamn oyster. At least, probably. Nathaniel's a testament to that, and maybe I'm a testament to that, too.
You can also find links to the podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud. Hopefully this will be one of many exciting endeavors that keep my fire lit and one of many open conversations that exist in this world on the "dangers" of travel, the depths to which it can change you, and the fact that you have a choice in you who become.