Dreaming of and planning travel in the 21st century continues to evolve but there has been no greater change, perhaps, than the growth of traveler-curated content. From blogs and user reviews on popular travel websites and forums to Instagram and Youtube, travelers no longer rely entirely on travel publications or word of mouth to discover or design their next holiday. Perhaps the pinnacle of this evolution is the traveler literally making their way around the world by creating inspiring travel content to share with others and earning money in the process. Today we’ll chat with one such traveler to learn what life as a travel content creator / “travel influencer” on YouTube and Instagram is all about.

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So you want to ‘see’ Indonesia. That’s a big, broad desire. Where to start? Stretching 5,100 km, comprising 17,000 islands, this is the world’s largest archipelagic state. With 280 million people, it’s the planet’s 4th largest country and the largest Muslim-majority nation on Earth. Sweet surf, dense jungles with primates, dragons here and there, steaming volcanos, mega-cities, and 700 languages being spoken by 1,300 different ethnic groups, how do you approach this trip? Today, we’re going to do just that, with an Indonesian expert; journalist, travel writer, and explorer, Mark Eveleigh.

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Nowhere is truly ‘hidden’ or ‘undiscovered’, but there are many places that typical travelers don’t know about. After all, on your first couple of trips to a country, you want to see the ‘must-see’ sites, and that keeps the vast majority of travelers on a similar path. On Ep. 116: Hidden Travel Gems in Asia, we not only shared some of our favorite spots but also restaurants and activities. On this episode we’ll dig deeper, focusing particularly on spots we enjoy but many travelers may not know about. Get ready to add a host of spots to your ‘must-see’ list.

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Our guest today seems to be a superman of sorts: partner at a world-famous business consultancy, author, sommelier, adventure racer, and owner of both a rum company and a vineyard, he has his fingers and toes in many ventures. With an interest in the outdoors, wine, and Bhutan, he’ll share his passion for travel and business experience in one of Asia’s most exotic destinations. Get ready for some great tales about Bhutan from Michael Juergens!

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Exploring a country by motorbike is one of the best ways to experience a new destination. Typically, however, one doesn’t think of a group of women or a solo female adventurer on a bike in a far-flung foreign land. Fortunately, we know better than to make such assumptions and we even know two women, Maeve Nolan and Andrea Vinsonneau who enjoy traveling by motorcycle as one of their personal passions. Today they will share some of their stories and their travel advice for exploring Asia by motorcycle. 

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The Mekong is one of the world’s great rivers. Covering a distance of nearly 5,000km from its source on the Tibetan Plateau in China to the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam, the river flows through six countries: China, Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam. Its basin is home to one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world, with more than 20,000 plant species and 850 fish species discovered to date. An estimated 80% of the nearly 65 million people living in the Lower Mekong River Basin depend on the river and its rich natural resources for their livelihoods, making sustainable development crucial for the environment and communities living in the basin.

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The Silk Road was once a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe and Asia that included the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Frequent listeners of our show will have already learned a bit about Central Asia from prior episodes #136 – Central Asia with Bradley Mayhew, and #133 – Travel to Kyrgyzstan with Stephen Lioy. Today, writer Tom Masters, who was originally on Ep. 140 about The Maldives, returns to our show to share his knowledge about Turkmenistan, perhaps one of the most mysterious countries of an already semi-unknown region.

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There are few better ways to see a country than by motorbike. Wind in your face, sharing ‘hellos’ with people as you pass, stopping when you feel like it, and having the ability to take small trails, an iron horse is perhaps the ultimate way to travel. Today we’ll learn about motorcycling in Vietnam, from longtime rider and tour leader, Hawk Moon. Strap on your helmet and get ready for an adventurous episode.

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We’ve collectively lived and worked in Asia for more than 40-years. After that long, one begins to wonder where ‘home’ is? Is it where you were born? Where you grew up? Where you’re living now? Or a combination of all of those? And the longer one is away from their country of birth, and continent for that matter, the stranger it can feel when you return for a visit. On this episode we’ll chat about things we’ve found odd, uncomfortable, and just plain strange about returning to the west after recent visits. Today we’re chatting about Reverse Culture Shock!

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In the introduction, Trevor talks about how the idea for the show came about: We’ve done tons about Thailand but when we started thinking more deeply about our trips in the region, realized we’ve been lucky enough to go to a lot of places that tourists and travelers don’t know. So we decided there was a whole new level to what we’re doing and sharing and are now embarking on this Lesser-Known series, which started recently with Ep. 144: Lesser-known Japan with Mark Holguin. So, we’re going deep, contacting truly long-time residents, travelers, and experts to dive deeper into countries some of us already know well to find more spots to travel.

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Hotels can make or break a trip. Sometimes they bring you closer to a destination, sometimes they elevate your experience, and other times they are the destination themselves. Trevor and I have been lucky enough to stay at a lot of interesting and memorable properties across Asia over the years, and today we’re going to share some of those experiences with you. From high-end to charming and local, there’s a wide range of winners here you’re sure to want to make a part of your next trip to the region.

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While we typically book our holidays based on the destination, it’s often the component experiences that really make or break a trip. Whether a half or full-day outing, day-trips within a longer trip, are the elements that make a vacation truly memorable. Still, making the most of your time can be challenging, so how do you ensure that you make your hours in-country count? Today, we’ll share some of our favorite, most rewarding, and memorable half and full-day experiences across the region that we’ve personally enjoyed to help you make the most of your time in Asia.

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