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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If there’s one thing that is almost always on visitors’ To-Do’ lists when traveling to Asia, it’s a visit to the spa: whether it’s a punishing Thai massage amidst the aroma of Tiger Balm or a hot stone therapy overlooking Balinese rice fields, pampering oneself should be high on the holiday agenda. While a massage is almost always less expensive here in Asia, there is such a variety of spa and massage experiences across the region that one could receive a different treatment each day and only begin to scratch the surface. Today we’ll discuss some of our most memorable and interesting spa and massage experiences in Asia.

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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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Books can do that magical thing of transporting us to a far-away, mystical part of the world, whetting our appetite to travel somewhere, or perhaps scaring us off that destination entirely. And then there are those books that people read while traveling in a destination to bring them closer to it. On this episode, we’ll share and chat about some of our favorite and most memorable travel books to get you informed and inspired. This is Interesting Books about Asia.

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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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Most international travel has one common element: airports. Beyond travel by train or ship, most visitors come and go by aircraft, making airport experiences inevitable. Fortunately, Asia is internationally known for having some of the best airports in the world. Today, we’ll talk about some, giving an overview of a few we know well, sharing some travel tales of our experiences in airports in Asia, and offering a few tips for layovers in some of our favorite – and least favorite – airport terminals.

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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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