Travel Tales by AFAR

Travel Tales by AFAR

Travel, at its best, changes the way we see the world. Join us each week as we dig into stories from people who took a trip—and came home transformed. Though COVID-19 has stalled many travel plans, Travel Tales by AFAR is your ticket to the world—no passport required. You can find more information at afar.com/traveltales.

Episodes

June 21, 2022 13 min

Hey Travel Tales listeners, we're working hard on Season 3. In the meantime, we've got a special treat for you: A preview of our first episode of Unpacked by AFAR. In it, writer and podcast host Paige McClanahan digs into the concept of revenge travel and how we can be kinder to the places we visit. You can listen to the full episode on our Unpacked feed.

And don't miss out on future episodes! Subscribe to Unpacked toda...

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Have you ever been traveling and encountered a situation where you felt a little . . . uncomfortable? Yeah, us too. Each week on Unpacked by AFAR, we'll unpack a single, ethically complex question. Say, “How can I travel with a lighter footprint?” or “How can I engage with animals in an ethical way while on the road?” Through a mix of first-person stories and interviews with experts in the field, Unpacked will explore not just ...

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Here’s a special preview of Not Lost, a new podcast about finding yourself in places you’ve never been from our friends at PushkinIndustries. Host Brendan Francis Newnam takes us around the world, learning about new places by getting invited to a stranger’s house for dinner. From Montréal to Mexico City, Brendan and his guests drink, dance, and eat, learning as much about themselves as the places they visit. In this preview, Brenda...

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Erik Weihenmayer lost his vision at age 13, but he never lost his thirst for adventure. In the decades since, he has rock-climbed in California and ice-climbed in Antarctica. In 2008, he decided he wanted to kayak through the Grand Canyon. It was, as you can, imagine quite a ride.


Read more about Erik on his website, listen to his podcast, or follow him on Twitter. You can watch his documentary, The Weight of Water, on Amazon.

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October 28, 2021 21 min

It’s time to head for America’s heartland. Our guide will be Kelli Jo Ford, a Virginia-based writer, teacher, and author of Crooked Hallelujah, a much-praised novel that follows four generations of Cherokee women. In this episode Kelli Jo takes us on the road: For years, she’s made regular pilgrimages to Oklahoma to visit her family. As a kid living in Texas, those trips were especially poignant: Her grandma Longshore would meet Ke...

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As a kid growing up in London, chef Zoe Adjonyoh learned to cook by watching her father make the foods he ate as a kid growing up in Ghana. As an adult, she opened a restaurant devoted to dishes like spicy, peanut butter–laced groundnut stew. A decade into her career, Zoe realized she wanted to know more about Ghanian cuisine—and her own family. Here’s what happened when she landed in Accra with an open heart and an empty belly. 

Re...

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In the early 2000s, AFAR contributing writer Emma John—a classically trained British violinist—fell for the Americana-inspired music of bands like the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons. She desperately wanted to recreate that bluegrassy sound, but her attempts at home didn’t go so well. So she bought a ticket to North Carolina with the vague idea of figuring things out. Fate brought her Fred, a banjo player who opened the door ...

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Hey, listeners! We wanted to introduce you to a podcast called About the Journey, which celebrates a different road trip in each episode. It might be driving from Miami down to Key West, cruising Oahu’s North Shore, or zig-zagging through Wyoming’s National Parks.In this episode, host and travel journalist Oneika Raymond takes us from Atlanta, Georgia to Asheville, North Carolina to experience some of the soul of the south. Subscri...

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Rēnata West was born and raised in a Māori village on New Zealand’s North Island, and his family has been telling stories for more than 200 years as the pioneers of tourism in New Zealand. In this episode, Rēnata shares how his community learned to embrace tourism that both protects his people and preserves their rich culture—a model he now seeks to spread to other Indigenous communities.

Learn more about Rēnata's organization, ...

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September 23, 2021 22 min

When Carolina Quiroga-Stultz turned 30, she wanted to meditate in Nepal and “figure out her life,” she said. Instead, she wound up moving from Colombia to Johnson City, Tennessee, to learn how to be a professional storyteller specializing in the myths of Latin America. Here’s how the move challenged her, confused her—and, ultimately, changed the course of her life.

Read more about Carolina here—and be sure to subscribe to her biling...

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Seven years ago, author Maggie Shipstead traveled to the Arctic to begin her next book. She was there as part of an Arctic Residency that connects artists with the icy landscape. But when she arrived in the Svalbard archipelago, she had only the seed of an idea. As she sailed around the archipelago—along with 27 other artists—Maggie discovered that inspiration can come in mysterious ways.

Enjoyed Maggie's episode? Be sure to rea...

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September 9, 2021 17 min

As a college student on her first trip to the Tuscan town of Lucca, writer Lisa Abend discovered a shop that specializes in customized ex libris, also known as bookplates. She desperately wanted one, but knew she needed more life experience before she could commit to such a personal thing. Three decades later, she returned to Lucca in search of that print shop—and her very own ex libris.

Read the full story.

Subscribe to Lisa's n...

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The women who flew for Pan Am in the 1960s and 1970s were spirited, adventurous, trailblazers who lived life mostly on their own terms. In this week’s episode, we’ll meet a few of those women. Julia Cooke, author of Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am, spent four years researching their lives. Along the way, she learned a few lessons about travel—and friendship.

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Comedian Michelle Buteau traveled with her best friend, Cynthia, to Paris to drink wine and meet French boys, because that’s what you do when you’re in your 20s and searching for love (or lust). Only things didn’t exactly go to plan . . .


Michelle Buteau is an actress and comedian (you may have seen her Netflix comedy special Welcome to Buteaupia). She’s also the host of the new Discovery Plus show, Weekend Getaway with Michelle But...

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Comedian Atsuko Okatsuka never really knew her dad. As a kid, she and her grandmother had moved from Japan to L.A. and, over the years, her relationship with her dad dissolved. Years later, she flew to Bali—where her father had retired—in an attempt to reunite. She thought they’d drink on the beach and stroll through tropical forests. Her dad, however, had a very different reunion in mind.

Hear more from Atsuko on her website: http:...

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July 8, 2021 17 min

Author Louis Chude-Sokei was born in what is now Nigeria, spent part of his childhood in Jamaica, and came of age in Los Angeles. This mix of places and cultures shaped his life—but also left him feeling unmoored. One day, as an adult traveling home to the United States from Nigeria, he passed through London just in time for the city’s famous Notting Hill Carnival. And there, in that swirl of music and people, he finally found a se...

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Chef Sheldon Simeon grew up eating his grandmother’s revered pork adobo—well, a version of it. See, the dish had evolved since his grandparents emigrated from the Philippines to Hawai‘i in the 1930s. He wanted to recreate the dish as it once was, but Alzheimer’s had robbed his grandmother of her memory. And so he headed to the Philippines in search of his roots—and the original recipe.


Be sure to check out Simeon's restaurant, T...

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A decade ago, a group of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes was relocated to a remote lakeside peninsula in Kenya. But in recent years, due to rising water levels, the peninsula became an island, trapping the giraffes. In 2020, a team of conservationists set up a daring rescue—one that wildlife photographer Ami Vitale traveled to document. This is her tale.

Explore Ami's work (and her new nonprofit) at amivitale.com.

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June 10, 2021 15 min

Soon after author and reporter Abdi Iftin arrived in the United States—the country he had dreamed of living in for so long—he was diagnosed with PTSD. Growing up in Somalia during the civil war had left its mark. His American doctors recommended medication, but Iftin was determined to find another way. What did he discover? The healing power of Maine’s forests.

Learn more about Abdi—and buy his memoir, Call Me American!—at callmeame...

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Here at AFAR, we're beginning to dip our toes back into the travel waters. Maybe you, too, have booked your first flight? Or maybe you’re planning a summer road trip. Or perhaps you’re just now beginning to explore your home city or town. Wherever you’re at, we have heaps of travel inspiration for you in season two of Travel Tales by AFAR, launching June 10th.

Get ready for stories, every Thursday, from some of our favorite cont...

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