Conscious Traveler Podcast

Conscious Traveler Podcast

A travel podcast exploring the world through stories of culture, conservation, sustainability and community. This is our sonic love letter to this great planet and all the mind-opening experiences it has to discover.

Episodes

May 10, 2021 35 min

The life of a travel writer typically means months at a time spent away from home. But both Kathryn and Eric have  found significant others who, far from discouraging us from taking trips, appreciate how our passion for travel drives us and encourage us to see as much of the world as possible.

During normal times, that is. This past year has been completely different. With everyone locked down and working from home, including us, we...

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Being grounded for much of the pandemic has had hosts Kathryn Romeyn and Eric Rosen taking a harder look at how our passion for travel is contributing to climate change, and asking if there are ways we can address our environmental impact without simply giving up flying altogether. In today’s episode, Eric interviews three experts on the ways that airlines, airports, and yes, even travelers, can chart a greener course for the futur...

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They say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and over years of travel writing, Eric and Kathryn have discovered that adage is true for falling in love with a city, too. As we’ve eaten our way through countless global destinations, in many cases we’ve simultaneously consumed local knowledge, history and context. It turns out food is a delicious gateway to new cultures, especially when you have a local host guiding ...

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Eric traveled to Kenya with Micato Safaris in partnership and the Elewana Collection of lodges in December, reassured by both organizations’ stringent COVID health protocols.

While staying at Elewana Kifaru House in the biodiverse Lewa Wildilfe Conservancy, Eric spoke to the CEO of Lewa, Mike Watson, about how the conservancy is persevering through tough financial times with projects like rhino anti-poaching activities to protect th...

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What is our responsibility as travelers to follow politics, current events, and human rights issues in a destination we are interested in visiting? And should we be avoiding places where we believe the government carries out unethical policies? Travel invites us to explore faraway cultures and environments, yes. But it also invites us to look inside ourselves and examine our personal values. This episode is about just that. 

First w...

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Cut off from mainland Australia by the Bass Strait for more than 12,000 years, Tasmania retains a sense of isolation and mystique. However, as Eric discovered on a two-week road trip, the island is home to some of the country’s most fascinating and sustainability-focused travel experiences.

We begin by interviewing Clyde Mansell, an elder of Tasmania’s Palawa community and founder of an Indigenous-owned and operated multi-day trek t...

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Many causes of environmental destruction are rooted in human action. But as we find out in this episode, mankind can also be the driving force to revive some of the earth’s most damaged places. There are success stories from around the globe of ways landscapes have been almost completely rehabilitated, from Mozambique to Cambodia. Here, we focus on how two unique ecosystems, one in Rwanda and the other in Australia, have been reinv...

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The scarcity of potable water across huge swaths of the globe is a daily reality for around two billion people. In this episode, we talk to two people who are working hard to address this issue. 

Jon Rose is a former pro surfer–turned-humanitarian, and founder of Waves For Water. This NGO’s courier program gives travelers a way to be part of the solution in a very tangible way: By bringing portable water filtration systems to commun...

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Every great travel writer should start with a mastery of her or his own backyard. During the coronavirus travel lockdowns of the past year, that’s why we were both inspired to explore hidden corners of our hometown, Los Angeles.

We took a (sanctioned and pre-arranged) hike up to the iconic Hollywood Sign to learn more about this landmark’s checkered past, talked to writer and architecture expert Jessica Ritz about some of the city’s...

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Women’s fair-trade craft cooperatives around the world have changed the game for so many families. As part of our series on changing female roles in tourism, we look at one inspiring version of this concept where Kathryn has spent meaningful time: Ride 4 A Woman, a compelling place on the edge of Uganda’s mountain gorilla territory of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. 

In this episode, we talk to Ride 4 A Woman founder Evely...

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There are stunning examples of innovative architecture and design in hotels all over this great planet, some of which we have been privileged enough to visit over the course of our travels. But the most impressive are those hospitality ventures that haven’t taken over a landscape, but have instead become part of it, quietly. 

In this episode, we first speak with Reda Amalou, architect and founder of AW², who allowed the dynamic topo...

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Welcome back for another season of Conscious Traveler! Like the first, season two is full of our travel tales from destinations as diverse as Tasmania and Rwanda, Cambodia, Costa Rica, and Barcelona. This time around, we’ll be featuring an array of dynamic, global voices, with experts on everything from environmentally sensitive architecture to the challenges of wildlife conservation, and from the delicious dishes that can reveal a...

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Eric and Kathryn discuss how they adapted to the early days of lockdown and travel restrictions, and how this time to sit still encouraged us to unpack souvenirs we’ve been meaning to use for years but just haven’t found the time to do so…until now.

Among the treats they’ve been enjoying are Manjimup truffle honey from Western Australia, Iittala glasses used aboard Finnair flights, sentimental brass cutlery from Bali, and hand-dyed ...

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Gorillas and humans share about 98% of their DNA in common. There are truly no words to describe the experience of trekking into the African highland rainforests to spend an hour with these incredible animals. It’s like visiting an ancestor from an ancient time. Happily, their status was downgraded from critically endangered to…endangered just a few years ago. But there is still so much more that needs to be done to preserve these ...

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When you’re on the road as often as us, you start trying to pack as light as possible. Who cares if someone sees you in the same thing twice (or seven times)? Among travel writers, it sometimes even seems like the smaller your suitcase, the better a traveler you are.

But what if you could use some of your luggage allotment to do real good for others in the places you visit? If you get a free checked bag with your international airfa...

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It’s time for a flashback. In April 2020, sensing something unprecedented was on the horizon, we recorded our first episode (chronologically speaking) when Kathryn was in stuck in Nairobi, Kenya, and Eric was quarantining at home in Los Angeles. Then, COVID-19, social distancing and quarantine were still novel concepts. This episode represents our first conversation about we can be travel writers who are unable to travel in the typ...

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In all of our extensive travels, some of the most meaningful encounters have been underwater in places including Mozambique, Tahiti, Indonesia and the Galápagos. These vibrant aquascapes are the settings for life-changing encounters with wondrous marine species that can shift our perspectives and priorities.

Snorkeling and scuba diving around the world, we’ve been fortunate to swim with everything from whale sharks and dolphins to s...

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November 5, 2020 32 min

Coffee is not only consumed and beloved around the world, but it is also produced in many countries ranging from Costa Rica and Indonesia to Uganda, Brazil and Laos. Though coffee agriculture has not always been equitable for the farmers, there are innovators changing that. In this episode, we talk with two entrepreneurs who have found a way to make coffee into a sustainable and sustaining industry by creating fair-trade projects t...

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Many of us travel not only to explore new environments but also cultures. And there are so many around the world that feel exotic, that seem intriguing to peek inside. But doing it the right way requires incredible sensitivity, since there are positives and negatives for those on both sides. 

In an effort to find better, more respectful ways of engaging with indigenous cultures and immersing ourselves in truly unique experiences as ...

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COVID-19 is changing the way we travel, especially the flight experience. Eric covered this topic for Travel + Leisure, but he and Kathryn delve further into how airports are taking on sustainability and environmental issues, and how they will have to adapt to new and changing demands around traveler wellbeing, both related to the pandemic and beyond.

To gain insights on the future of airport development and design, we talk with...

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