Bonus Ep 54 - Off the Beaten Track with Lindsay McMahon: Crafting the Ultimate Adventure

Join Charlie and Lindsay McMahon from 'All Ears English' as they discuss Lindsay's perfect travel itinerary. Discover her thrilling plans and adventures in this episode, giving you a glimpse into the destinations an American travel enthusiast dreams of visiting.
Feb 7 / Charlie Baxter

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What's this episode about?

Join Charlie and Lindsay McMahon from 'All Ears English' as they discuss Lindsay's perfect travel itinerary. Discover her thrilling plans and adventures in this episode, giving you a glimpse into the destinations an American travel enthusiast dreams of visiting.

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Meet today's guest

Lindsay McMahon

from "All Ears English"

Lindsay McMahon is the co-host of All Ears English. Her podcast is downloaded 8 million times per month globally and has been ranked in Best of Apple Podcasts categories in 2018 and 2019 and as well as #1 in US Education Language Courses. Lindsay and her podcast have been featured in Podcast Magazine, Language Magazine, and Forbes. 
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Transcript of Premium Bonus 054- Transcript

Charlie:
Hello and welcome to the British English Podcast, the podcast that exposes you to culture and language all in one. I'm Charlie Baxter, your host, and today we're joined by Lindsay McMahon, who is the co-host of All Ears English. The All Ears English podcast has 1.3 million followers on Apple Podcasts and Spotify globally, and has been ranked in Best of Apple Podcasts categories in 2018 and 2019, as well as number one in US education language courses. Not only that, but Lindsay and her team have been featured in Podcast Magazine, Language Magazine and Forbes. But aside from all of those signs of success, Lindsay's passion for language and travel makes her the perfect companion today, as we will be tucking into another episode of the incredibly well known podcast game show that has taken the world by storm, called Off The Beaten Track. If for some reason you aren't aware of the concept, then I will explain. But first let's check in with the woman of the hour. Lindsay, how are you doing today?

Lindsay:
Hi, Charlie, I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on. I'm excited to talk about travel with a fellow traveller. So ready to get into it.

Charlie:
Nice, nice. And you've just come from somewhere travelling, haven't you?

Lindsay:
Yes. I was in Portugal around, uh, Thanksgiving time, November of 2023. So just fresh off a trip. And there's nothing like that feeling, right? When you've come back, especially an international trip. Your mind's been opened again. Uh, and it just feels good. Feels good. Yeah.

Charlie:
I've heard that they are now accepting digital nomad visas for British people because of Brexit. It's it's changed things for us.

Lindsay:
I heard that too.

Charlie:
Yeah. Any experience with that?

Lindsay:
Yeah. No I mean I have not done it myself but I think that would be a nice place to live as a digital nomad. It seems like a seems like a good life.

Charlie:
Yeah. Was the climate good when you were there?

Lindsay:
It was actually beautiful. We got lucky. Uh, it was amazing. The week before we were there was a disaster. Total rain. But for some reason, we got lucky and just sunshine every day. Uh, we did a wine tour. Just exactly what you want on a wine tour. Sunshine and blue sky. So, yeah, it was a dream.

Charlie:
Beautiful, beautiful. Well, um, today's episode is about your travel fantasy, so we might be pulling from that trip. Who knows? We'll. We'll see. But, um. Yeah, we're going to be planning Lindsay's ideal holiday or adventure. Um, as if there were no limitations. Um, you can think of me as a travel genie rather than a travel agent. Um, and who knows? Um, you know, you and I are from two different English speaking cultures, so we might stumble upon some cultural differences whilst we carve this itinerary out. For example, a travel agent. Is that a thing still for you? Do you go to a travel agent?

Lindsay:
I'm sorry to say, it's not. Uh, the last time I went to a travel agent was 2005, 5 or 6, when I was planning my trip in South America. Uh, STA Travel had a thing called the Blue Ticket, which was an amazing deal. You could have a year of travel for about $800 and have as many flights as you wanted within South America. It was just incredible. I don't even know why that existed, but it did if you were under 26.

Charlie:
That's insane!

Lindsay:
And I went for it.

Charlie:
Yeah, that's really good. I used STA Travel once. Yeah.

Lindsay:
Okay. Yeah.

Charlie:
It's a student travel company, right?

Lindsay:
A student travel association. Yeah. I remember walking in. I lived in New York at the time, walking into their office in the Lower East Side, and that is the last time that I ever sat in a travel agency office.

Charlie:
Nice. Yeah. Uh, my father uses travel agents all the time still. It it amuses me, but actually, I have been putting off planning our honeymoon for a while, and I'd quite like a travel agent to do it.

Lindsay:
Yeah. You know what, I think there are kind of hybrids now. So, for example, when we did our honeymoon in Argentina, we did the Torres del Paine National Park. It's actually in Chile technically. That is very hard to book those huts because they're in the middle of nowhere. We hired a company called Pygmy Elephant. They're based in the US, but they have very close ties to this particular travel route, and we had our bookings selected for created for us. Otherwise we would have shown up. There's like 15 spots in the entire park, and you're out in the wind and you're in trouble. So there are places for travel agents now still, I think.

Charlie:
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Yeah, yeah. Sounds like a really cool trip and again, it might be part of your ideal one. So let's kick off, um, with a bit more about where you've been outside of those two that you've mentioned, Portugal and, well, Argentina. Did you cross over to Chile?

Lindsay:
Yeah, technically the park is in Chile, so parts of, you know, there are other beautiful things to see in the south of Argentina too. So Patagonia is kind of southern Chile and southern Argentina. So yeah.

Charlie:
Yeah. Okay. So you've done those. Um, yes. Where else would you, would you feel like you need to explain to the listener that you've experienced in the world?

Lindsay:
I think the biggest ones are living abroad. Right? Because that's where you really feel like you've been impacted. You've changed your lifestyle. You've changed your daily life. So Japan, I lived in Tokyo for a year and a half.

Charlie:
Okay. Oh, nice.

Lindsay:
And yeah. And then I travelled through Southeast Asia after that for a couple of months. And then the other big life abroad adventure was backpacking slash living in South America for about a year, where I mostly did a month in each country and then kind of parked, parked myself in Buenos Aires, Argentina for three months and Guatemala for three months. And then the rest was overland travel, buses, hostels, backpacking, the whole deal.

Charlie:
Okay, okay. Yeah, yeah, starting to get a feel for what you might like. Yeah. Assuming. Assuming you liked them.

Lindsay:
Of course. Yeah. I mean, there are moments that I hated, right? I mean, it was it was kind of an angsty time in my life. In my 20s, I was trying to figure out a lot of things about myself. So there were hard moments in that trip. But, uh, it certainly helped me to become fluent in Spanish and just have an experience that I feel like is great to have when you're when you're in your mid 20s, you just don't know what you want from life quite yet.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, really cool though that you were able to develop your Spanish at the same time. That's that's lovely. Um, okay. Okay. And where um, for the listeners, where are you, where would you say that your identity is in the world? Where would you say that you have grown up?

Lindsay:
Yeah. So I'm from the US. I grew up on the East Coast. North, I'd say the northeast. So New Hampshire and then I lived in New York and Boston for a number of years. So I'm kind of an East Coast girl. Um, New England northeast. Yeah.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. Did you ever do family holidays when you were, like, a teenager?

Lindsay:
Yeah, we used to go sometimes to bigger cities. So I grew up in a small town, and that's part of why I think that's part of why I do what I do, why I travelled, I was so it felt kind of sheltered at times. And my parents took us to the cities, took us to New York to plays and things like that. But it was just a hint of that. When I would go to New York from my little town, I would think, oh my gosh, this is incredible. There's this whole huge world. And so as soon as I, uh, finished college, I went to college in Virginia. And then I said, I need to see the world. So typical story. Growing up in a small town but feeling you need to see more. You need to do more.

Charlie:
Yes.

Lindsay:
So that's what drove me to travel.

Charlie:
Yes. And those, um, moments going through South America, they were significant for you, like you said, that you were in a moment of angst and figuring things out. Did did you figure things out there and then?

Lindsay:
I would say so, yeah, I would say I did. Yeah. And part of that is just like in the movement, right? Meaning who you meet, the conversations you have, what you see, there's just time to think. Yeah. And it's not a specific answer that I came to. It's not that simple, right? It's kind of working through becoming the person you want to become in a way.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
Not to get too existential here.

Charlie:
We have a cliche, don't we, of I found myself when you go travelling.

Lindsay:
Yeah. I'm not sure if I would say that. Yeah.

Charlie:
But I see the, I, I, I think it, it helped me because I went to Chile and I did like a year there and.

Lindsay:
Oh I didn't know that. Cool.

Charlie:
Yeah. And did Bolivia and Peru and that really helped me. I think it was more the fact that you're out away from your comforts and you're challenged with new people around you, and you're just figuring out what you can do and what you're capable of, and then you come away from that thinking that you can achieve so much more because you've done that.

Lindsay:
100%. Yeah. Totally agree.

Charlie:
Um, and how was Guatemala? Was that, did you say you were living with people?

Lindsay:
Yeah, yeah. I, uh, I turned up in Guatemala. It was the end of my year, and I thought one of my goals for this year was to become fluent in Spanish. However, I had been travelling with a friend who was from Spain and so travelling throughout South America. I had a bit of a crush, a crutch, rather. I was. I had a crush and a crutch.

Charlie:
Did you have a crush? Let's talk about that crush.

Lindsay:
A little slip there. No. Um, so, you know, the person I was travelling with did all the speaking. And so it was really the two events that got me to turn over into becoming more fluent was number one, living in a international house in Buenos Aires. It was a Spanish only house, so I found it on Craigslist. I had 6 or 7 roommates, two Italians, two French people, one other American and one Argentine. But the rule of the house was only Spanish. No matter what language you speak, only Spanish. So we would eat dinner together, the Italians would cook and we would just speak Spanish, go out together. That was it. That helped me for three months to really immerse myself. And then at the end of the trip, it was Guatemala. I turned up in Quetzaltenango, and I was looking for a project where I could fully immerse myself, and Quetzaltenango felt a little too touristy. So I said, I'm just gonna go to another town. So I ended up in Totonicapan, which is a small town half an hour outside of Quetzaltenango, Xela. Uh, and found an organisation to work with, and it was heart I mean, don't get me wrong, part of it was heartbreaking as well. There's a lot of poverty where I was living. I lived with a family, um, and taught in the kids' school and did some volunteer work with the organisation, uh, just supporting the community in that town. But it was a real small town experience. So everything was in Spanish, a different kind of Spanish than Argentine Spanish, but Spanish all the same so.

Charlie:
Beautiful. Beautiful. I can imagine that being a very enriching experience. Um, okay, so you did that. Okay, I'm trying to guess where you might go now. Alright. So let's let's do the first question of this game, off the beaten track. How would you like to start your trip? Are you going to use a travel agent? Are you going to be blindfolded and surprised? Are you going to research it yourself? How are you starting this?

Lindsay:
Um, I would, I think the I'm not a big I'm not very good at planning trips, so I think having more time and less planning would be better. So if I could choose this trip to be, I would like this to be a three month trip. Um, and so I have time to stumble on not doing a ton of research ahead of time because I'm not good at that. I just want to. I want to turn up, know where I'm staying the first night, and then I want to start talking to people. Because if I already come into the trip knowing what I'm going to do, what is there to discover, right?

Charlie:
Aha.

Lindsay:
So I'd like to be able to go to locals and say, hey, I know where tourists go to do X, y, Z, like to drink tea, where do you go? And you know, can I go with you or. No, um, you know, what do you recommend? Where did you go yesterday? So.

Charlie:
Yeah. Are you finding that harder and harder as it as the world globalises and we've got internet for everything. Are you finding that harder to achieve that kind of surprise, spontaneity. Spontaneous trip, I should say.

Lindsay:
Yeah, I yeah, I would say it can be, um, you know, the travel that I've done in the last five years with my partner, we've been to places like Cambodia, Argentina, Nicaragua, uh, Egypt. Those have been, you know, real I'm in my career now. I'm working. I'm living in Denver, and we've only had two weeks at a time or three weeks. So it hasn't been the kind of travel I did in my 20s, which was get off the plane, you know, figure it out as you go along. So maybe that's just different life stages. But yeah, I think we spend a lot of time with our heads in our phones. We know exactly where we where that place is. Um, but at the same time, it's kind of cool that we can go to Google Maps and say, show me a coffee shop, and then I can check the ratings. And it doesn't have to be a tourist because it's going to turn up on the map anything anything's going to turn up on the map, where locals go too.

Charlie:
So yes, yes. Yeah that's true. Yeah. There's swings and roundabouts. I just feel like a lot of things are needed to be booked now. And if you turn up trying to just wing it, it's harder than it used to be because so many people are. Well, is it that so many people are travelling? I don't think that's. Is that true?

Lindsay:
I think there's a resurgence of travel post-pandemic, for sure. I don't know, Charlie. That's a good question if.

Charlie:
I think I think it's just the internet is allowing people to book everything.

Lindsay:
Yeah, yeah that's true. I mean also the I don't stay, I'm not against them. I like small like local guest houses, but I don't stay in like the dorm style hostels anymore. And I don't know if in my 20s, I don't know if you ever could even book those at all. Other than turning up.

Charlie:
Right, right, right. Yeah. And those those hostels, I had to book one when we did the east coast of Australia for one night. I struggled to find a single place 48 hours before, like we had to book about a week before.

Lindsay:
Interesting. That's the one problem with, uh, travel is accommodations being uncertain about where you're going to stay. When I hiked the Camino de Santiago in 2010, it was the ideal trip. And that's getting close to what I want to do is this trip I want to plan. It was just unbelievable. But the one problem was that you'd hear you'd be walking or getting up at 5 a.m.. You're doing your daily hike the ten miles further towards Santiago de Compostela, and you hear 'there's no beds in XYZ town' and you start to panic because you're on foot. You can't make a reservation. And so you start running and now your day.

Charlie:
Physically you're running? The whole day?

Lindsay:
Maybe just moving faster, maybe skipping your coffee break, which is such a cool thing about the Camino, because you can sit down for a coffee.

Charlie:
Oh, so you're trying to beat the people that you were staying with the night before?

Lindsay:
I mean, not literally trying to beat them, but you're just trying to get that bed, right? And there were people that sometimes had to walk, you know, 30km past that town, onto the next one, because there was no accommodation. So what I'm saying is it's a bummer that, like, sometimes our travel has to be guided around where we're going to stay because that, we lose the spontaneity.

Charlie:
Yes, yes. Have you ever done, like, a camper van holiday?

Lindsay:
That is something I have not done outside of the US. I've done like a road trip, multiple road trips in my own car or SUV, but I haven't done that style outside of the US yet. I would like to.

Charlie:
Yeah, I can imagine you loving van life. Would you like van life?

Lindsay:
Yeah. For sure. Yeah, yeah, I would like to try it. I would like to try it.

Charlie:
Okay. Um. Alright, so let's get a bit of, uh, tangible, uh, imagination around this, if we can even say that. What's your what's your dream destination and what draws you to that place?

Lindsay:
Okay. So I think definitely India. I mean, India is such a huge country. I've never been there. And I feel like it's this place I have to see. Um, I might love it. I might hate it. It might be both that end up happening. But I need to see India before, you know, I turn 60 or 50. I just need to see it.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, I agree, I agree. Are you taking anyone with you on this trip?

Lindsay:
No, I'm going solo, Charlie. I'm going solo because I love travelling with my partner, I love travelling, I don't love travelling in groups anymore than one travel partner. Sometimes I like to do like a couples weekend away. That can be fun with four. But my best experiences travelling have been solo because you're never solo. You're always meeting people, right? You're never you're never alone. That's the idea. I hope so, otherwise, yeah. Sometimes not. Oh, there are lonely moments there. Or you feel like you're trying to start conversations and you feel like people are walking away from you. Um, but I've just made great friends. Just being open to meeting people along the way.

Charlie:
Yeah, that is true. When you go solo, you do make more friends because you have to. And people... I... Do you reckon it's because people see you as a bit more vulnerable and they're like willing to take you in? Whereas with a group it's like, well he wants to be on his own.

Lindsay:
I think it's that, but I also think it's your own orientation to your, your location, right. So when I'm with my partner or if I'm with another couple, the four of us, we're so we're creating our own world.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
And so it's both.

Charlie:
Yeah I can see that. Um, okay. So you're going alone and you're going to India. Interesting, interesting. I feel like I need to flex my travel genie muscles here. Limber up.

Lindsay:
Okay.

Charlie:
Um, to whisk you off there. Um, where would you where would you choose to stay during this adventure? Is it like a resort?

Lindsay:
No.

Charlie:
Or a cabin? What? What kind of thing.

Lindsay:
I'm not a resort person. No, not a fan. Not a fan.

Charlie:
Didn't think you would be.

Lindsay:
No I mean.

Charlie:
Do you do you despise cruise ships?

Lindsay:
Oh, God, I absolutely despise the idea. I've never been on a cruise, but I did go to a place. My trip to Egypt that felt like a cruise on the Red sea, which the Red sea is beautiful. Beautiful. But we had a little joke and we'd say cruisers! Dinnertime! Like we. It wasn't a cruise, but it felt like a cruise. The food was bad. Uh, it was. So I'm not a crui- no. I mean, maybe if I have kids in the future, maybe we'll end up on a cruise, but I would fight against it.

Charlie:
Yeah, I've not done one. I'd like to do one just to see whether I hate it or like it, because there's some some things about it that intrigue me, but most of it makes me cringe. So I'm.

Lindsay:
Of course, especially if you have. I mean, I won't lie, I have a bit of my identity resting in and my pride resting in how I lived in my 20s, the travelling I did. And so when we think about flipping over into cruises, that tends to, you know, comes after my my pride, I guess. Yes, but.

Charlie:
But this is interesting. So when you were in your 20s, I think you were much more willing to do uncomfortable things like sleeping rough. Not rough. Yes. You know, sleeping in a bad situation.

Lindsay:
Dorm style hostels. Yes.

Charlie:
Now we're a bit older. I'm. I'm thinking, do I need to take my pillow?

Lindsay:
I know, I know.

Charlie:
Do you have these creature comforts that you need?

Lindsay:
Oh, yeah. You can't avoid it. You can't avoid it. This just it just comes into your life. As you get older, your requirements change. But the difference for me, when we travel, when I travel with my partner, we like to mix it up like we'll do. We don't do dorm style hostels. I'm just not going to do that again. But we might do like a small guest house and then do a bigger hotel. Not like the Marriott's. I stay away from the chains because I can go to a Marriott in New York, right?

Charlie:
Sure.

Lindsay:
I don't need to go to one in India. Um, and then mix it up. Maybe do. I did a little couchsurfing in my, in my 30s around the US actually, which I hope it's, I'm not sure if it still exists. I hope it does. Really cool experience.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, I've, I haven't personally done it, but I've been to what I thought was a meetup for kite surfers.

Lindsay:
Kite surfers! Kite surfers or couch surfers?

Charlie:
I, we went thinking, these guys are cool. Kite surfers! And then it was a couch surfing meetup.

Lindsay:
I love that story. I love that.

Charlie:
I think it was in Spain. I can't remember where it was. Maybe. But yeah, it was quite the shock for us. Um, so not as, uh, interesting, but it's a cool idea and it's a. Yeah, company worth sourcing if you don't know about it, guys. Um, that's if it does exist still. Uh, so. Okay. You've done couch surfing in your 30s? That's respectable.

Lindsay:
Yeah I took a cross-country road trip around the US and filmed, actually, the course that we were still have available for our students. Now, the connected communicator and I actually couch surfed. Probably a third of that trip was just couch surfing. And then it was camping.

Charlie:
Ah, okay. So are you going to be I don't know if we've talked about what you're actually going to be staying in. Are you camping? Are you.

Lindsay:
Yeah. So let's come back to the. So yeah. So this India trip I think I will be hmm some maybe like staying in huts, that kind of thing. I would like it to be a physical. So what I love if we're going to design a trip, it should have physical activity combined with good conversation and connection and some kind of challenge or project or goal. Like I just, I don't want to just bounce around and just be a tourist, right? So I'm either trying to learn the language or I'm interviewing people in some way for a project. That's where I've found my most rewarding, or I'm trying to get somewhere. It could be as simple as this is a 500 mile journey like the Camino

Charlie:
Right.

Lindsay:
I'm just trying to get to the end.

Charlie:
Yeah. Have you ever sat in a hammock and read a book?

Lindsay:
I have, but I get bored after about 45 minutes.

Charlie:
45 minutes. That's. That's a nice amount of time.

Lindsay:
Yeah, yeah.

Charlie:
Would you include that in in this trip? Would you take a book?

Lindsay:
It's all about counterbalance. Yeah, for sure. So you have your hammock in your backpack. Set it up after a day of hiking. How heavy is this thing going to be?

Charlie:
Yeah. Well, I can make it as light as you want. Don't worry about that. Yeah. Okay. So you're going alone. You're going to India, you're living in huts and you're doing something challenging. Something...

Lindsay:
Yeah. Um, probably in the north. Probably hiking the north. You know, um, I also I've spent a lot of time studying meditation in the last 15 years studying Buddhism. Uh, I don't know if I would call myself a Buddhist. I don't love the ists and the isms, but, uh, I study it, and I sit with a group every other week, and, like, it's a big part of my life. And there's a lot of Buddhism originated in India, and there's a lot of history there that I'd like to visit those sites. So that's a thing.

Charlie:
Yeah, I can see that. That's a nice way of putting it. I don't like an ist or an ism. How did you say it again?

Lindsay:
I don't like the ist or the isms I don't like. I think with when it comes to mindfulness practice, it's really not about being Buddhist or being of any kind of religion. It's about finding peace within the mind. And so especially that kind of practice does not lend itself to ideas of religion quite so much. It's more about a daily practice so.

Charlie:
I couldn't agree more. Yeah. Nice. Okay. Um, let's move on to how you're travelling. What kind of transport are you going to be taking? Are you...

Lindsay:
Hiking boots.

Charlie:
You're going to be going on foot like you're. Oh, wow. Yeah?

Lindsay:
Yeah. I mean, I'm designing my dream trip here, right? So

Charlie:
How are you? As in to India?

Lindsay:
No, I'm not going. I'm not hiking to India. I'm flying to India. Come on.

Charlie:
Just checking. Just checking.

Lindsay:
That would be kind of wild.

Charlie:
Okay.

Lindsay:
No.

Charlie:
You're flying?

Lindsay:
Flying there. Flying there probably into Delhi or Mumbai. Checking out the cities. Then I'm taking a train to the north. And hopefully, I think there might be some hiking paths or some pilgrimages that you can do up there. I haven't done a lot of research yet, but if we have to make it that, that specific. Yeah. Yeah that's yeah.

Charlie:
Okay. Okay. Yeah. Nice.

Charlie:
We have come to the end of part one, so feel free to take a break from your listening practice, but if you're happy to keep going, then we're now moving on to part two of this episode. Thanks so much for being a premium or Academy member and enjoy the rest of the show.

Charlie:
Um, and I think this is going away from what you care about, but do you have a preference of what airport you'd like to start at? A sort of business lounge. Do you want to go first class? Do you want a shower? You know, one mile up in the sky. Do you want that kind of privilege?

Lindsay:
Um. So I would say I'm usually an economy girl, but I was lucky to get upgraded to economy in United. What is it recently economy Pro or the the higher economy where you get the wider seats recently for the first time. Yeah that that and I was like oh. This is crazy. If I did that, it would be a gift to myself at the end and it would probably just be on points. I don't know if I would pay for the extra, pay the extra money. It would be at the end after this journey, hopefully like 3 or 4 months, I'm coming back. I'm exhausted. I'm fulfilled. But honestly, actually, maybe not. Because at that point you're so happy on the inside. It doesn't matter what kind of seat you're in, right?

Charlie:
Nice, nice. I like I like the logic to that. Yeah. That's good. But remember, you don't have to pay for this. The genie's got it.

Lindsay:
Oh okay, okay. I'm budgeting here. Yeah. Pinching my pennies. Um. Well, then. Yeah, on the way home, I would upgrade myself to business class or something nice where I could have a choice of wines and, you know, real silverware.

Charlie:
Okay. Okay, good. Um, so activities wise, you've mentioned meditation, kind of focusing on the mindfulness side of things. Uh, and maybe language as well. Would you? What about the cuisine? Would you be delving into all of the Indian cuisine. Because in the UK we've got our own sort of take on Indian cuisine, but it's it's famous and it's one of our most traditional dishes now, ironically.

Lindsay:
100%.

Charlie:
But America I know doesn't really do Indian food as much. I'd say the replacement, if I could, would be perhaps Mexican food.

Lindsay:
Yes, yes. That's fair.

Charlie:
And I think there's an unfair stereotype about Indian food in America. But what do you think? And would you be excited to experience the cuisine?

Lindsay:
So yeah, maybe I would go to London and do a warm up on Indian cuisine. Right. Because 100% I know that England and London is so famous for Indian food. I'd love to try it there. Um, and then.

Charlie:
I think it's a bit more, sorry to interrupt, yeah I think it's more westernised, obviously. So it would be a good stepping stone. Yeah nice choice.

Lindsay:
A transition into it. So why not do a stop over there and and then head to India. Food is a huge part. Huge. So language, food and I guess connection like talking to locals. Ah. And physical movement. That is my ideal trip. So when I travel, I like to do food tours. In almost all of the recent trips I've done food tours everywhere. Egypt, Cambodia. I mean love it, come away from it stuffed. I want to try everything. I give myself permission to eat anything I want when I'm on vacation. Absolutely anything. And I go for it. I tend to lean vegetarian, but not on. Not when I travel.

Charlie:
Okay.

Lindsay:
So yeah, food would be a huge part. And because I'm hiking so much, it would all work out great. It'd be fantastic.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, you're burning a lot of calories, aren't you? And I think being being away from your comfort zone of, like, physical things around you, your brain is on high alert, isn't it? Even even when you're sitting down on a plane and you get to the end of the trip, you feel exhausted. And I think it's something to do with the fact that we're not in our sort of safe space. So our brains, like, ahh!

Lindsay:
In over overload. But that's good for us. It's good for us.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
And there's nothing like the feeling more... Yeah. Maybe your taste buds. It's like when you go camping. I don't know if you're a camper, Charlie. Are you into camping at all? Just at home. Just.

Charlie:
Uh, what? In my back garden?

Lindsay:
In like, a national park near home or something? I don't mean, like, in your backyard, but.

Charlie:
Um. Yes, I do like camping. I haven't done it enough, but I have done a few stints. One example that I like to identify myself around is the trip that I did down the the, uh, west coast of France on a bike with my friend, and we camped all the way to Spain and did the bull run, which was a bit controversial but yeah.

Lindsay:
That sounds like a great trip. It sounds like we have a similar, somewhat similar travel vibe, like a physical activity, a goal. Did you notice that when you camped, your taste buds were more heightened?

Charlie:
Um, heightened is an interesting word. We scoffed like ten pain au chocolat every morning before we got on the bike, so we were hungrier. I don't know if it was... Interesting. So you you had an intensified palate?

Lindsay:
I guess so, yeah. I think for you, you just needed the calories, right? So because you're biking and so I bet you were really needing that energy. So maybe it's a little different. But I do a lot of camping here in Colorado, um, again with other couples, with family. And then I always find that when I'm sitting around a campfire, I'm out in nature. I think everything else is faded away. I don't have my phone. I don't have my email. I'm just, I feel the flavours more so I feel like this trip would be in that kind of heightened sense of taste.

Charlie:
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Are you good with spice?

Lindsay:
Yeah, I can handle it. I mean, I think I would definitely be taken aback by the spiciness of some of the Indian food I would try there, but I would be, I would try it 100%. Yes.

Charlie:
Okay. Yeah, that worries me. I think my head would explode, but I'm sure there's some options. Um, okay, so we're now getting to the constraints and challenges part. So I'm going to give you some some constraints and I'm going to hear how you respond. Um. So, uh, what how would you feel if I said you can only bring what fits in a small backpack or a carry on bag. Would this ruin your trip?

Lindsay:
Oh I love that.

Charlie:
Oh, okay.

Lindsay:
Oh, I love that. Are you kidding me? I love it. Uh, number one, for practical reasons, it's a hike, right? So I don't want to have a heavy pack. I made that mistake on the Camino, right? Too much throwing things out along the way.

Charlie:
Ah ha. Did you actually ditch stuff on the way?

Lindsay:
I had to ditch stuff. Yeah.

Charlie:
What like?

Lindsay:
Like an extra pair of shoes. A book. Just had to ditch it because you need, you need to be light.

Charlie:
Yeah. Had you finished that book?

Lindsay:
Yeah. Uh, it was. No, actually, I don't think I even read it. I was really silly the way. Or, like, a pair of jeans. Why would you need jeans in the north of Spain in July? I mean, come on, I must have been.

Charlie:
Doesn't it go through the Basque region, though?

Lindsay:
Yeah, but it was not.

Charlie:
Was it not raining?

Lindsay:
It does go through the Basque. That part was foggy and a little like maybe in the 60s, but I had kind of the hiking pants look, which is not always flattering, but I had that. It was more useful.

Charlie:
Okay.

Lindsay:
So yeah.

Charlie:
So you'd love a small bag. That's not a problem for you. So you don't pack, overpack we can say.

Lindsay:
I always overpack. I always overpack. That's the problem! Especially these days. And I feel better when I don't. So philosophically speaking, when I have less and it's not just in my backpack, in my life. When I have fewer possessions, I feel better.

Charlie:
Hmm interesting. Yes. Anti-materialist. Yeah. No, I like that, I want that, I want that more. But I love stuff as well. It's a confusing balance. Yeah.

Lindsay:
You know what, people are not simple, right? Is that.

Charlie:
No we're complex beings!

Lindsay:
I can't just say like, I don't want things and I won't have things. Of course I'm, I'm getting things for Christmas. I'm giving things for Christmas. All those things. Right?

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
But like, what do we aspire to? When do we know we were most happy in life?

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
It's just themes. Yeah.

Charlie:
Yes. Nice. Okay. Uh, so you're fine with light travel or travelling light? Um, what about, um, only being able to use local public transport? Would that stress you out, or would that inspire you?

Lindsay:
I think it's also good. I am pro local public transport. I think it's good. I think it would be a little stressful. Um, well, first of all, you'd have more conversations with locals and, you know, people from the country, which would be great. It would be a little chaotic. And practically speaking, if I have a like a flight to return, you know, it would be good if I, let's say I like I, I tear like a calf muscle. I need to take a couple of days off. I need to take the bus. Good. Um, so yes, I am pro local transport. It might be harder, but it's okay.

Charlie:
Yeah, I think I think that is a really good challenge to do to yourself, isn't it? Because it would really let you see a bit more about the place that you're trying to understand. But we don't do it. Most people would opt for the like an Uber or something like that, just to get there quickly, and then you'd forget that it's the journey, not the place.

Lindsay:
Yeah, it's true, it's true, it's true. This is an all in trip, though. This is becoming a very, all in intense trip.

Charlie:
Yeah it is. Yeah. You might not have the best time of your life. Um, okay. So what about. Well, this one certainly won't help. What about if you're only able to stay in a chain hotel?

Lindsay:
Uh, no. I'm anti-chain. No. Especially on this, uh, hike that I'm envisioning this trail. How am I gonna. Where where's there going to be a Marriott along the along.

Charlie:
I've got to be a very active genie. And I've got to make these hotels en route.

Lindsay:
Pop a little Marriott down. Don't get me wrong. I mean, when we were in Egypt, I have to say, I've always been very like anti international chain hotel because you should. I think it's good to be in a local place as much even like a local chain is better. But when we were in Egypt it was, it was so hot and it was so intense. We stayed in an Airbnb in Cairo and on almost a daily basis we would go to like a Marriott or a Hilton or something, just to have a drink, just to sit and have an hour where I can have a beer and some peanuts and like, breathe because it was it was so amazing, but so chaotic that I needed a break, I needed air conditioning. And so that kind of thing, maybe little breaks are healthy.

Charlie:
We have come to the end of part two now. So again, feel free to pause the episode, to take a break from your listening practice and come back to the last part when you're ready. Alright. So moving on to part three now. Enjoy.

Lindsay:
But it was. It was, I loved Cairo. Have you. Have you been to Egypt?

Charlie:
I have not been to Egypt. I think I may have done a stopover, but that never counts, does it? Um, no, but I understand your point clearly.

Lindsay:
Yeah.

Charlie:
Um, yeah, it's good to reset a little bit. Um, so, uh, let's look at the last one, and I've just realised I should be asking you your least and most favourite options of these four. So I've given you the first three. Luggage limitation, local transportation only, accommodation access only being a chain hotel, the last one is off grid living. So no electricity and no. And certainly no Wi-Fi. So not really using your phone at all because that would last for a day or two. How do you feel about that constraint for this trip?

Lindsay:
I think for this trip, it makes it actually would be more natural than if you were if I were saying, I'm going on a cruise and you're going to take my phone away, right?

Charlie:
Yes.

Lindsay:
So yeah, I think it would fit right into the vibe of the trip that we're creating here. So my favourite is Travelling light. Just a backpack. Love it. Makes perfect sense. And again I really feel like there's something about the amount of stuff you have or are carrying with you. You just less is better. Um, I like the I actually like the off the grid is my second favourite.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
Because it fits with this trip. I like the local transport. It's my third. I think it would similar to finding refuge in a hotel for an hour. It would get, it would get. It would be intense. Um, always having to do local buses to not be able to hop in an Uber or not be able to hop in like a sign of a kind of a prearranged, like, transfer kind of deal. Um, and then the fourth was the remind me, my least favourite.

Charlie:
The fourth was the I know you said off grid living. So it was, um, luggage, transportation, accommodation. That one stay in a chain hotel, right.

Lindsay:
Oh the hotels are my least favourite. Yeah. Yes.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. Okay. Nice. Yeah. Um, so, uh, which one would you say would be most challenging? The chain staying in a chain hotel?

Lindsay:
I yeah, I just think it doesn't make sense for for this trip. Right. You're coming out of a chain hotel. You. And then you're going into. You're clean, you've had a glass of wine, like you've had a nice dinner. It doesn't make any sense for what I'm doing. Then I'm going back on the trail. I'm meeting fellow travellers. I'm meeting locals. I'm going to maybe places to meditate like historical sites. It just doesn't quite vibe.

Charlie:
I agree, I agree. Yeah, yeah. Nice. Okay, um, I'm actually going to skip a couple of things to squeeze the last bit in. I wanted a pack or pass segment. We're calling this. Okay. So I want you to tell me whether you'd like to pack it or not. Um, and I've got eight things. So a high end DSLR camera. Pack or pass?

Lindsay:
Pass. Pass.

Charlie:
Ooh. Okay. You don't care for photography?

Lindsay:
Are we assuming we're taking away the phone, though? Are we taking away going with that same.

Charlie:
Yeah good question. Okay so but yeah but I, I don't have time to talk about this in detail! But yes okay. So if you've got your phone, you don't feel the need for a camera.

Lindsay:
Just for practical reasons. Yeah.

Charlie:
Okay, okay. Travel guidebook.

Lindsay:
Pass. I would rather in this trip, I'd rather talk to people.

Charlie:
Okay, okay. The next one is hiking boots. I guess you need that.

Lindsay:
Need that. Yeah. Pack.

Charlie:
Uh, solar powered charger.

Lindsay:
So are we saying I have? If I have my phone, I guess I need a way to charge it. If I'm staying in huts, if maybe there's no electricity in the hut. So yeah, I guess I have to pack that.

Charlie:
Okay. Okay. Yeah. Um, do you like running out of battery? Like, do you find that sometimes interesting?

Lindsay:
Yeah. The only thing was, you know, would be not being able to take the photos, but maybe. With this kind of trip, maybe it's not so much about the photos.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
Maybe it's just more about, like, the movement, the physical movement and hopefully the conversations that I would have.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
So.

Charlie:
Are you good at taking photos when it's just you? Do you do selfies?

Lindsay:
No. I, oh like am I good at selfies like do I tend to do that?

Charlie:
I don't know yeah. My friend he came from Australia to the UK and he was doing loads and he was getting people to take photos of him in front of a building just on his own. And he's very comfortable with that. And I'm not able to do that very well.

Lindsay:
I see. Yeah, that feels kind of awkward when you're on your own for sure. I yeah, I tend to it's good to travel with people who are all about taking photos because I will forget sometimes.

Charlie:
Right.

Lindsay:
So I actually don't know if the photos would be such. This is more of like an internal journey, I think. This hike.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Um, would you do it comfortably? Would you take a travel pillow?

Lindsay:
Maybe I would give myself that little luxury. You know, let's not be 100% in one way or the other. Let's add in some little luxuries in the bag, especially if it doesn't weigh a lot. Right?

Charlie:
Yes, yes. And what about, um, this might be another luxury. A portable espresso maker. You said that you like coffee.

Lindsay:
Oh my gosh. That might be going a little too far. No, no, no, I don't even have an espresso maker in my house. Oh my gosh. Fancy.

Charlie:
Okay, okay.

Lindsay:
No, I wish I did, but I don't.

Charlie:
So do you, do you go and buy a coffee every day or can you make some at home?

Lindsay:
Uh, these days, our coffee shop with inflation has just gone a little too far with the prices. So I don't I don't really go, like, I make coffee at home, drip coffee. And on the weekends I'll get a cappuccino or something, but never in the morning.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. Nice. Um, right. Okay. So, uh, reflecting on what we've uncovered, do you feel like this is a trip that is within your grasp? Do you think that you could actually do it in real?

Lindsay:
I do! I'm actually kind of excited about what we've come up with, because when I first thought about our interview today, I thought, oh, what would it be? I have no idea. But we've worked it out and we've figured it out, and I feel like I've done the work of planning the trip I need to take in the next five years, you know?

Charlie:
Brilliant.

Lindsay:
So.

Charlie:
Yeah. Okay. Um, well, I feel like I should end on asking you if you have any advice for people who are wanting to do something similar but aren't quite ready or haven't done it yet? Um, any advice considering you've you've done a bit of travelling yourself?

Lindsay:
Yeah. I mean, I think it's now or never, right? We don't know what's going to happen in the future. We have no idea. And so if you can, obviously financial limitations are real. I respect that completely. But if you can find a way miles, credit card, miles, whatever it is, points, book that flight and kind of let the universe work for you. Like let it like you'll figure it out. I think the step is reserving the time. When are you going and how are you getting there? Just take that first step.

Charlie:
Yes. yes.

Lindsay:
And I should take my own advice because.

Charlie:
Yeah. But couchsurfing would be a way around the financial issue.

Lindsay:
Yes. Yeah. I mean, I had the best experiences couchsurfing around the United States and I, I know it's big internationally too. I've done it in Guatemala and Uruguay as well. So I think that would be a great way to save money on accommodations and, and it's so much more than just a place to stay.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. I can imagine. Any awkward sort of dangerous moments you found?

Lindsay:
Yeah. There were a couple. Yeah. There. Yeah. For sure. There were some weird 2 or 3 weird situations that I ran into. Nothing ever happened. Thank goodness. Um, but, yeah, there were a couple of things. This is the least of the dangers. This was not a dangerous situation. It was just strange. In Detroit, you know, I don't know if you know anything about the history of Detroit, but with the Rust Belt, the economy crashed. You know, the car culture, car economy. And, um, there were houses in Detroit in districts that didn't have electricity, that were being sold for like a dollar on the open market.

Charlie:
A dollar. Wow.

Lindsay:
Yeah. Like a dollar or $2.

Charlie:
Isn't the city coming back up now? So that would be quite.

Lindsay:
It's coming back up. Yeah. I have to check up now on what's the trend in the last few years now with Detroit. But this was 2000, uh, 16. And this hipster dude had bought a house for like $2 and it had been a crack den, basically like it had been the place was there was paint like paint peeling off the walls everywhere. And he had one room where he hosted couchsurfers, adventurous types. That one room had been redone, and the rest of the house was like, am I going to step through a floorboard here? That kind of deal. Um, and that it wasn't actually dangerous, but it felt I was like, what's going on here? But I was fine. I had a little community, interesting people to chat with.

Charlie:
Yeah. If if nothing dangerous happened, that's kind of the best example of couchsurfing, isn't it? It makes you feel alive.

Lindsay:
Right?

Charlie:
It's a bit. Yeah, a bit risky, but you don't die.

Lindsay:
100%. And. Exactly. So you feel like you're living a little on the edge. You're like, I'm gonna go and stay for free. You're relying on the reviews, on the website, of the people you're staying with, and your own reviews that people have reviewed you. So that's a very strong again, I want your listeners to check up on it now, I don't know the status of couchsurfing now. I want you to use your sense sense of what's safe. What feels safe. Um, I stayed with families, which was really nice many times, um, and just got an amazing insight into the local cities that I never would have otherwise.

Charlie:
Beautiful. Nice. Yeah, I think it's. I've just checked. I think it's still going, so. Yeah. But yes. Be safe, guys, be safe. But I've kept you far too long. Lindsay, thank you very much. I appreciate you sharing your ideal trip. I'm glad we've created an itinerary for you. It's lovely.

Lindsay:
100%. Thank you, Charlie. I loved our conversation. Thank you for, uh. I should make sure I book this trip now that we've organised it, so.

Charlie:
Absolutely. Yeah, I think I said it at the beginning, but, um, where would listeners go to learn more about you?

Lindsay:
Okay. So they can just open up the search bar right inside the podcast and just type in All Ears English Podcast, and you'll see the yellow and that is us. Uh, our philosophy is connection, not perfection. So everything we do, we talk about how we can use English to connect. Human connection. So come on over. We publish four episodes a week and we have a lot of fun over there.

Charlie:
Beautiful, beautiful. Yeah. Impressive, guys, go check it out. But thank you very much, Lindsay. Hopefully we'll do it another time. And, uh, maybe you could even tell us about your real trip to India.

Lindsay:
Oh, my gosh, I would love to do that. Come back on once I've done the trip and we'll we'll see how it went. Thanks, Charlie. It was really fun.

Charlie:
Take care Lindsay. Bye.

Lindsay:
Take care. Bye.

Charlie:
There we go. The end of part three. Meaning the end of the episode. Well done for getting through the entirety of it. Make sure you use all of the resources available to you in your membership. Thanks once again for supporting the show and I look forward to seeing you next time on the British English Podcast.

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Transcript of Premium Bonus 054- Transcript

Charlie:
Hello and welcome to the British English Podcast, the podcast that exposes you to culture and language all in one. I'm Charlie Baxter, your host, and today we're joined by Lindsay McMahon, who is the co-host of All Ears English. The All Ears English podcast has 1.3 million followers on Apple Podcasts and Spotify globally, and has been ranked in Best of Apple Podcasts categories in 2018 and 2019, as well as number one in US education language courses. Not only that, but Lindsay and her team have been featured in Podcast Magazine, Language Magazine and Forbes. But aside from all of those signs of success, Lindsay's passion for language and travel makes her the perfect companion today, as we will be tucking into another episode of the incredibly well known podcast game show that has taken the world by storm, called Off The Beaten Track. If for some reason you aren't aware of the concept, then I will explain. But first let's check in with the woman of the hour. Lindsay, how are you doing today?

Lindsay:
Hi, Charlie, I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on. I'm excited to talk about travel with a fellow traveller. So ready to get into it.

Charlie:
Nice, nice. And you've just come from somewhere travelling, haven't you?

Lindsay:
Yes. I was in Portugal around, uh, Thanksgiving time, November of 2023. So just fresh off a trip. And there's nothing like that feeling, right? When you've come back, especially an international trip. Your mind's been opened again. Uh, and it just feels good. Feels good. Yeah.

Charlie:
I've heard that they are now accepting digital nomad visas for British people because of Brexit. It's it's changed things for us.

Lindsay:
I heard that too.

Charlie:
Yeah. Any experience with that?

Lindsay:
Yeah. No I mean I have not done it myself but I think that would be a nice place to live as a digital nomad. It seems like a seems like a good life.

Charlie:
Yeah. Was the climate good when you were there?

Lindsay:
It was actually beautiful. We got lucky. Uh, it was amazing. The week before we were there was a disaster. Total rain. But for some reason, we got lucky and just sunshine every day. Uh, we did a wine tour. Just exactly what you want on a wine tour. Sunshine and blue sky. So, yeah, it was a dream.

Charlie:
Beautiful, beautiful. Well, um, today's episode is about your travel fantasy, so we might be pulling from that trip. Who knows? We'll. We'll see. But, um. Yeah, we're going to be planning Lindsay's ideal holiday or adventure. Um, as if there were no limitations. Um, you can think of me as a travel genie rather than a travel agent. Um, and who knows? Um, you know, you and I are from two different English speaking cultures, so we might stumble upon some cultural differences whilst we carve this itinerary out. For example, a travel agent. Is that a thing still for you? Do you go to a travel agent?

Lindsay:
I'm sorry to say, it's not. Uh, the last time I went to a travel agent was 2005, 5 or 6, when I was planning my trip in South America. Uh, STA Travel had a thing called the Blue Ticket, which was an amazing deal. You could have a year of travel for about $800 and have as many flights as you wanted within South America. It was just incredible. I don't even know why that existed, but it did if you were under 26.

Charlie:
That's insane!

Lindsay:
And I went for it.

Charlie:
Yeah, that's really good. I used STA Travel once. Yeah.

Lindsay:
Okay. Yeah.

Charlie:
It's a student travel company, right?

Lindsay:
A student travel association. Yeah. I remember walking in. I lived in New York at the time, walking into their office in the Lower East Side, and that is the last time that I ever sat in a travel agency office.

Charlie:
Nice. Yeah. Uh, my father uses travel agents all the time still. It it amuses me, but actually, I have been putting off planning our honeymoon for a while, and I'd quite like a travel agent to do it.

Lindsay:
Yeah. You know what, I think there are kind of hybrids now. So, for example, when we did our honeymoon in Argentina, we did the Torres del Paine National Park. It's actually in Chile technically. That is very hard to book those huts because they're in the middle of nowhere. We hired a company called Pygmy Elephant. They're based in the US, but they have very close ties to this particular travel route, and we had our bookings selected for created for us. Otherwise we would have shown up. There's like 15 spots in the entire park, and you're out in the wind and you're in trouble. So there are places for travel agents now still, I think.

Charlie:
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Yeah, yeah. Sounds like a really cool trip and again, it might be part of your ideal one. So let's kick off, um, with a bit more about where you've been outside of those two that you've mentioned, Portugal and, well, Argentina. Did you cross over to Chile?

Lindsay:
Yeah, technically the park is in Chile, so parts of, you know, there are other beautiful things to see in the south of Argentina too. So Patagonia is kind of southern Chile and southern Argentina. So yeah.

Charlie:
Yeah. Okay. So you've done those. Um, yes. Where else would you, would you feel like you need to explain to the listener that you've experienced in the world?

Lindsay:
I think the biggest ones are living abroad. Right? Because that's where you really feel like you've been impacted. You've changed your lifestyle. You've changed your daily life. So Japan, I lived in Tokyo for a year and a half.

Charlie:
Okay. Oh, nice.

Lindsay:
And yeah. And then I travelled through Southeast Asia after that for a couple of months. And then the other big life abroad adventure was backpacking slash living in South America for about a year, where I mostly did a month in each country and then kind of parked, parked myself in Buenos Aires, Argentina for three months and Guatemala for three months. And then the rest was overland travel, buses, hostels, backpacking, the whole deal.

Charlie:
Okay, okay. Yeah, yeah, starting to get a feel for what you might like. Yeah. Assuming. Assuming you liked them.

Lindsay:
Of course. Yeah. I mean, there are moments that I hated, right? I mean, it was it was kind of an angsty time in my life. In my 20s, I was trying to figure out a lot of things about myself. So there were hard moments in that trip. But, uh, it certainly helped me to become fluent in Spanish and just have an experience that I feel like is great to have when you're when you're in your mid 20s, you just don't know what you want from life quite yet.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, really cool though that you were able to develop your Spanish at the same time. That's that's lovely. Um, okay. Okay. And where um, for the listeners, where are you, where would you say that your identity is in the world? Where would you say that you have grown up?

Lindsay:
Yeah. So I'm from the US. I grew up on the East Coast. North, I'd say the northeast. So New Hampshire and then I lived in New York and Boston for a number of years. So I'm kind of an East Coast girl. Um, New England northeast. Yeah.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. Did you ever do family holidays when you were, like, a teenager?

Lindsay:
Yeah, we used to go sometimes to bigger cities. So I grew up in a small town, and that's part of why I think that's part of why I do what I do, why I travelled, I was so it felt kind of sheltered at times. And my parents took us to the cities, took us to New York to plays and things like that. But it was just a hint of that. When I would go to New York from my little town, I would think, oh my gosh, this is incredible. There's this whole huge world. And so as soon as I, uh, finished college, I went to college in Virginia. And then I said, I need to see the world. So typical story. Growing up in a small town but feeling you need to see more. You need to do more.

Charlie:
Yes.

Lindsay:
So that's what drove me to travel.

Charlie:
Yes. And those, um, moments going through South America, they were significant for you, like you said, that you were in a moment of angst and figuring things out. Did did you figure things out there and then?

Lindsay:
I would say so, yeah, I would say I did. Yeah. And part of that is just like in the movement, right? Meaning who you meet, the conversations you have, what you see, there's just time to think. Yeah. And it's not a specific answer that I came to. It's not that simple, right? It's kind of working through becoming the person you want to become in a way.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
Not to get too existential here.

Charlie:
We have a cliche, don't we, of I found myself when you go travelling.

Lindsay:
Yeah. I'm not sure if I would say that. Yeah.

Charlie:
But I see the, I, I, I think it, it helped me because I went to Chile and I did like a year there and.

Lindsay:
Oh I didn't know that. Cool.

Charlie:
Yeah. And did Bolivia and Peru and that really helped me. I think it was more the fact that you're out away from your comforts and you're challenged with new people around you, and you're just figuring out what you can do and what you're capable of, and then you come away from that thinking that you can achieve so much more because you've done that.

Lindsay:
100%. Yeah. Totally agree.

Charlie:
Um, and how was Guatemala? Was that, did you say you were living with people?

Lindsay:
Yeah, yeah. I, uh, I turned up in Guatemala. It was the end of my year, and I thought one of my goals for this year was to become fluent in Spanish. However, I had been travelling with a friend who was from Spain and so travelling throughout South America. I had a bit of a crush, a crutch, rather. I was. I had a crush and a crutch.

Charlie:
Did you have a crush? Let's talk about that crush.

Lindsay:
A little slip there. No. Um, so, you know, the person I was travelling with did all the speaking. And so it was really the two events that got me to turn over into becoming more fluent was number one, living in a international house in Buenos Aires. It was a Spanish only house, so I found it on Craigslist. I had 6 or 7 roommates, two Italians, two French people, one other American and one Argentine. But the rule of the house was only Spanish. No matter what language you speak, only Spanish. So we would eat dinner together, the Italians would cook and we would just speak Spanish, go out together. That was it. That helped me for three months to really immerse myself. And then at the end of the trip, it was Guatemala. I turned up in Quetzaltenango, and I was looking for a project where I could fully immerse myself, and Quetzaltenango felt a little too touristy. So I said, I'm just gonna go to another town. So I ended up in Totonicapan, which is a small town half an hour outside of Quetzaltenango, Xela. Uh, and found an organisation to work with, and it was heart I mean, don't get me wrong, part of it was heartbreaking as well. There's a lot of poverty where I was living. I lived with a family, um, and taught in the kids' school and did some volunteer work with the organisation, uh, just supporting the community in that town. But it was a real small town experience. So everything was in Spanish, a different kind of Spanish than Argentine Spanish, but Spanish all the same so.

Charlie:
Beautiful. Beautiful. I can imagine that being a very enriching experience. Um, okay, so you did that. Okay, I'm trying to guess where you might go now. Alright. So let's let's do the first question of this game, off the beaten track. How would you like to start your trip? Are you going to use a travel agent? Are you going to be blindfolded and surprised? Are you going to research it yourself? How are you starting this?

Lindsay:
Um, I would, I think the I'm not a big I'm not very good at planning trips, so I think having more time and less planning would be better. So if I could choose this trip to be, I would like this to be a three month trip. Um, and so I have time to stumble on not doing a ton of research ahead of time because I'm not good at that. I just want to. I want to turn up, know where I'm staying the first night, and then I want to start talking to people. Because if I already come into the trip knowing what I'm going to do, what is there to discover, right?

Charlie:
Aha.

Lindsay:
So I'd like to be able to go to locals and say, hey, I know where tourists go to do X, y, Z, like to drink tea, where do you go? And you know, can I go with you or. No, um, you know, what do you recommend? Where did you go yesterday? So.

Charlie:
Yeah. Are you finding that harder and harder as it as the world globalises and we've got internet for everything. Are you finding that harder to achieve that kind of surprise, spontaneity. Spontaneous trip, I should say.

Lindsay:
Yeah, I yeah, I would say it can be, um, you know, the travel that I've done in the last five years with my partner, we've been to places like Cambodia, Argentina, Nicaragua, uh, Egypt. Those have been, you know, real I'm in my career now. I'm working. I'm living in Denver, and we've only had two weeks at a time or three weeks. So it hasn't been the kind of travel I did in my 20s, which was get off the plane, you know, figure it out as you go along. So maybe that's just different life stages. But yeah, I think we spend a lot of time with our heads in our phones. We know exactly where we where that place is. Um, but at the same time, it's kind of cool that we can go to Google Maps and say, show me a coffee shop, and then I can check the ratings. And it doesn't have to be a tourist because it's going to turn up on the map anything anything's going to turn up on the map, where locals go too.

Charlie:
So yes, yes. Yeah that's true. Yeah. There's swings and roundabouts. I just feel like a lot of things are needed to be booked now. And if you turn up trying to just wing it, it's harder than it used to be because so many people are. Well, is it that so many people are travelling? I don't think that's. Is that true?

Lindsay:
I think there's a resurgence of travel post-pandemic, for sure. I don't know, Charlie. That's a good question if.

Charlie:
I think I think it's just the internet is allowing people to book everything.

Lindsay:
Yeah, yeah that's true. I mean also the I don't stay, I'm not against them. I like small like local guest houses, but I don't stay in like the dorm style hostels anymore. And I don't know if in my 20s, I don't know if you ever could even book those at all. Other than turning up.

Charlie:
Right, right, right. Yeah. And those those hostels, I had to book one when we did the east coast of Australia for one night. I struggled to find a single place 48 hours before, like we had to book about a week before.

Lindsay:
Interesting. That's the one problem with, uh, travel is accommodations being uncertain about where you're going to stay. When I hiked the Camino de Santiago in 2010, it was the ideal trip. And that's getting close to what I want to do is this trip I want to plan. It was just unbelievable. But the one problem was that you'd hear you'd be walking or getting up at 5 a.m.. You're doing your daily hike the ten miles further towards Santiago de Compostela, and you hear 'there's no beds in XYZ town' and you start to panic because you're on foot. You can't make a reservation. And so you start running and now your day.

Charlie:
Physically you're running? The whole day?

Lindsay:
Maybe just moving faster, maybe skipping your coffee break, which is such a cool thing about the Camino, because you can sit down for a coffee.

Charlie:
Oh, so you're trying to beat the people that you were staying with the night before?

Lindsay:
I mean, not literally trying to beat them, but you're just trying to get that bed, right? And there were people that sometimes had to walk, you know, 30km past that town, onto the next one, because there was no accommodation. So what I'm saying is it's a bummer that, like, sometimes our travel has to be guided around where we're going to stay because that, we lose the spontaneity.

Charlie:
Yes, yes. Have you ever done, like, a camper van holiday?

Lindsay:
That is something I have not done outside of the US. I've done like a road trip, multiple road trips in my own car or SUV, but I haven't done that style outside of the US yet. I would like to.

Charlie:
Yeah, I can imagine you loving van life. Would you like van life?

Lindsay:
Yeah. For sure. Yeah, yeah, I would like to try it. I would like to try it.

Charlie:
Okay. Um. Alright, so let's get a bit of, uh, tangible, uh, imagination around this, if we can even say that. What's your what's your dream destination and what draws you to that place?

Lindsay:
Okay. So I think definitely India. I mean, India is such a huge country. I've never been there. And I feel like it's this place I have to see. Um, I might love it. I might hate it. It might be both that end up happening. But I need to see India before, you know, I turn 60 or 50. I just need to see it.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, I agree, I agree. Are you taking anyone with you on this trip?

Lindsay:
No, I'm going solo, Charlie. I'm going solo because I love travelling with my partner, I love travelling, I don't love travelling in groups anymore than one travel partner. Sometimes I like to do like a couples weekend away. That can be fun with four. But my best experiences travelling have been solo because you're never solo. You're always meeting people, right? You're never you're never alone. That's the idea. I hope so, otherwise, yeah. Sometimes not. Oh, there are lonely moments there. Or you feel like you're trying to start conversations and you feel like people are walking away from you. Um, but I've just made great friends. Just being open to meeting people along the way.

Charlie:
Yeah, that is true. When you go solo, you do make more friends because you have to. And people... I... Do you reckon it's because people see you as a bit more vulnerable and they're like willing to take you in? Whereas with a group it's like, well he wants to be on his own.

Lindsay:
I think it's that, but I also think it's your own orientation to your, your location, right. So when I'm with my partner or if I'm with another couple, the four of us, we're so we're creating our own world.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
And so it's both.

Charlie:
Yeah I can see that. Um, okay. So you're going alone and you're going to India. Interesting, interesting. I feel like I need to flex my travel genie muscles here. Limber up.

Lindsay:
Okay.

Charlie:
Um, to whisk you off there. Um, where would you where would you choose to stay during this adventure? Is it like a resort?

Lindsay:
No.

Charlie:
Or a cabin? What? What kind of thing.

Lindsay:
I'm not a resort person. No, not a fan. Not a fan.

Charlie:
Didn't think you would be.

Lindsay:
No I mean.

Charlie:
Do you do you despise cruise ships?

Lindsay:
Oh, God, I absolutely despise the idea. I've never been on a cruise, but I did go to a place. My trip to Egypt that felt like a cruise on the Red sea, which the Red sea is beautiful. Beautiful. But we had a little joke and we'd say cruisers! Dinnertime! Like we. It wasn't a cruise, but it felt like a cruise. The food was bad. Uh, it was. So I'm not a crui- no. I mean, maybe if I have kids in the future, maybe we'll end up on a cruise, but I would fight against it.

Charlie:
Yeah, I've not done one. I'd like to do one just to see whether I hate it or like it, because there's some some things about it that intrigue me, but most of it makes me cringe. So I'm.

Lindsay:
Of course, especially if you have. I mean, I won't lie, I have a bit of my identity resting in and my pride resting in how I lived in my 20s, the travelling I did. And so when we think about flipping over into cruises, that tends to, you know, comes after my my pride, I guess. Yes, but.

Charlie:
But this is interesting. So when you were in your 20s, I think you were much more willing to do uncomfortable things like sleeping rough. Not rough. Yes. You know, sleeping in a bad situation.

Lindsay:
Dorm style hostels. Yes.

Charlie:
Now we're a bit older. I'm. I'm thinking, do I need to take my pillow?

Lindsay:
I know, I know.

Charlie:
Do you have these creature comforts that you need?

Lindsay:
Oh, yeah. You can't avoid it. You can't avoid it. This just it just comes into your life. As you get older, your requirements change. But the difference for me, when we travel, when I travel with my partner, we like to mix it up like we'll do. We don't do dorm style hostels. I'm just not going to do that again. But we might do like a small guest house and then do a bigger hotel. Not like the Marriott's. I stay away from the chains because I can go to a Marriott in New York, right?

Charlie:
Sure.

Lindsay:
I don't need to go to one in India. Um, and then mix it up. Maybe do. I did a little couchsurfing in my, in my 30s around the US actually, which I hope it's, I'm not sure if it still exists. I hope it does. Really cool experience.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, I've, I haven't personally done it, but I've been to what I thought was a meetup for kite surfers.

Lindsay:
Kite surfers! Kite surfers or couch surfers?

Charlie:
I, we went thinking, these guys are cool. Kite surfers! And then it was a couch surfing meetup.

Lindsay:
I love that story. I love that.

Charlie:
I think it was in Spain. I can't remember where it was. Maybe. But yeah, it was quite the shock for us. Um, so not as, uh, interesting, but it's a cool idea and it's a. Yeah, company worth sourcing if you don't know about it, guys. Um, that's if it does exist still. Uh, so. Okay. You've done couch surfing in your 30s? That's respectable.

Lindsay:
Yeah I took a cross-country road trip around the US and filmed, actually, the course that we were still have available for our students. Now, the connected communicator and I actually couch surfed. Probably a third of that trip was just couch surfing. And then it was camping.

Charlie:
Ah, okay. So are you going to be I don't know if we've talked about what you're actually going to be staying in. Are you camping? Are you.

Lindsay:
Yeah. So let's come back to the. So yeah. So this India trip I think I will be hmm some maybe like staying in huts, that kind of thing. I would like it to be a physical. So what I love if we're going to design a trip, it should have physical activity combined with good conversation and connection and some kind of challenge or project or goal. Like I just, I don't want to just bounce around and just be a tourist, right? So I'm either trying to learn the language or I'm interviewing people in some way for a project. That's where I've found my most rewarding, or I'm trying to get somewhere. It could be as simple as this is a 500 mile journey like the Camino

Charlie:
Right.

Lindsay:
I'm just trying to get to the end.

Charlie:
Yeah. Have you ever sat in a hammock and read a book?

Lindsay:
I have, but I get bored after about 45 minutes.

Charlie:
45 minutes. That's. That's a nice amount of time.

Lindsay:
Yeah, yeah.

Charlie:
Would you include that in in this trip? Would you take a book?

Lindsay:
It's all about counterbalance. Yeah, for sure. So you have your hammock in your backpack. Set it up after a day of hiking. How heavy is this thing going to be?

Charlie:
Yeah. Well, I can make it as light as you want. Don't worry about that. Yeah. Okay. So you're going alone. You're going to India, you're living in huts and you're doing something challenging. Something...

Lindsay:
Yeah. Um, probably in the north. Probably hiking the north. You know, um, I also I've spent a lot of time studying meditation in the last 15 years studying Buddhism. Uh, I don't know if I would call myself a Buddhist. I don't love the ists and the isms, but, uh, I study it, and I sit with a group every other week, and, like, it's a big part of my life. And there's a lot of Buddhism originated in India, and there's a lot of history there that I'd like to visit those sites. So that's a thing.

Charlie:
Yeah, I can see that. That's a nice way of putting it. I don't like an ist or an ism. How did you say it again?

Lindsay:
I don't like the ist or the isms I don't like. I think with when it comes to mindfulness practice, it's really not about being Buddhist or being of any kind of religion. It's about finding peace within the mind. And so especially that kind of practice does not lend itself to ideas of religion quite so much. It's more about a daily practice so.

Charlie:
I couldn't agree more. Yeah. Nice. Okay. Um, let's move on to how you're travelling. What kind of transport are you going to be taking? Are you...

Lindsay:
Hiking boots.

Charlie:
You're going to be going on foot like you're. Oh, wow. Yeah?

Lindsay:
Yeah. I mean, I'm designing my dream trip here, right? So

Charlie:
How are you? As in to India?

Lindsay:
No, I'm not going. I'm not hiking to India. I'm flying to India. Come on.

Charlie:
Just checking. Just checking.

Lindsay:
That would be kind of wild.

Charlie:
Okay.

Lindsay:
No.

Charlie:
You're flying?

Lindsay:
Flying there. Flying there probably into Delhi or Mumbai. Checking out the cities. Then I'm taking a train to the north. And hopefully, I think there might be some hiking paths or some pilgrimages that you can do up there. I haven't done a lot of research yet, but if we have to make it that, that specific. Yeah. Yeah that's yeah.

Charlie:
Okay. Okay. Yeah. Nice.

Charlie:
We have come to the end of part one, so feel free to take a break from your listening practice, but if you're happy to keep going, then we're now moving on to part two of this episode. Thanks so much for being a premium or Academy member and enjoy the rest of the show.

Charlie:
Um, and I think this is going away from what you care about, but do you have a preference of what airport you'd like to start at? A sort of business lounge. Do you want to go first class? Do you want a shower? You know, one mile up in the sky. Do you want that kind of privilege?

Lindsay:
Um. So I would say I'm usually an economy girl, but I was lucky to get upgraded to economy in United. What is it recently economy Pro or the the higher economy where you get the wider seats recently for the first time. Yeah that that and I was like oh. This is crazy. If I did that, it would be a gift to myself at the end and it would probably just be on points. I don't know if I would pay for the extra, pay the extra money. It would be at the end after this journey, hopefully like 3 or 4 months, I'm coming back. I'm exhausted. I'm fulfilled. But honestly, actually, maybe not. Because at that point you're so happy on the inside. It doesn't matter what kind of seat you're in, right?

Charlie:
Nice, nice. I like I like the logic to that. Yeah. That's good. But remember, you don't have to pay for this. The genie's got it.

Lindsay:
Oh okay, okay. I'm budgeting here. Yeah. Pinching my pennies. Um. Well, then. Yeah, on the way home, I would upgrade myself to business class or something nice where I could have a choice of wines and, you know, real silverware.

Charlie:
Okay. Okay, good. Um, so activities wise, you've mentioned meditation, kind of focusing on the mindfulness side of things. Uh, and maybe language as well. Would you? What about the cuisine? Would you be delving into all of the Indian cuisine. Because in the UK we've got our own sort of take on Indian cuisine, but it's it's famous and it's one of our most traditional dishes now, ironically.

Lindsay:
100%.

Charlie:
But America I know doesn't really do Indian food as much. I'd say the replacement, if I could, would be perhaps Mexican food.

Lindsay:
Yes, yes. That's fair.

Charlie:
And I think there's an unfair stereotype about Indian food in America. But what do you think? And would you be excited to experience the cuisine?

Lindsay:
So yeah, maybe I would go to London and do a warm up on Indian cuisine. Right. Because 100% I know that England and London is so famous for Indian food. I'd love to try it there. Um, and then.

Charlie:
I think it's a bit more, sorry to interrupt, yeah I think it's more westernised, obviously. So it would be a good stepping stone. Yeah nice choice.

Lindsay:
A transition into it. So why not do a stop over there and and then head to India. Food is a huge part. Huge. So language, food and I guess connection like talking to locals. Ah. And physical movement. That is my ideal trip. So when I travel, I like to do food tours. In almost all of the recent trips I've done food tours everywhere. Egypt, Cambodia. I mean love it, come away from it stuffed. I want to try everything. I give myself permission to eat anything I want when I'm on vacation. Absolutely anything. And I go for it. I tend to lean vegetarian, but not on. Not when I travel.

Charlie:
Okay.

Lindsay:
So yeah, food would be a huge part. And because I'm hiking so much, it would all work out great. It'd be fantastic.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah, you're burning a lot of calories, aren't you? And I think being being away from your comfort zone of, like, physical things around you, your brain is on high alert, isn't it? Even even when you're sitting down on a plane and you get to the end of the trip, you feel exhausted. And I think it's something to do with the fact that we're not in our sort of safe space. So our brains, like, ahh!

Lindsay:
In over overload. But that's good for us. It's good for us.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
And there's nothing like the feeling more... Yeah. Maybe your taste buds. It's like when you go camping. I don't know if you're a camper, Charlie. Are you into camping at all? Just at home. Just.

Charlie:
Uh, what? In my back garden?

Lindsay:
In like, a national park near home or something? I don't mean, like, in your backyard, but.

Charlie:
Um. Yes, I do like camping. I haven't done it enough, but I have done a few stints. One example that I like to identify myself around is the trip that I did down the the, uh, west coast of France on a bike with my friend, and we camped all the way to Spain and did the bull run, which was a bit controversial but yeah.

Lindsay:
That sounds like a great trip. It sounds like we have a similar, somewhat similar travel vibe, like a physical activity, a goal. Did you notice that when you camped, your taste buds were more heightened?

Charlie:
Um, heightened is an interesting word. We scoffed like ten pain au chocolat every morning before we got on the bike, so we were hungrier. I don't know if it was... Interesting. So you you had an intensified palate?

Lindsay:
I guess so, yeah. I think for you, you just needed the calories, right? So because you're biking and so I bet you were really needing that energy. So maybe it's a little different. But I do a lot of camping here in Colorado, um, again with other couples, with family. And then I always find that when I'm sitting around a campfire, I'm out in nature. I think everything else is faded away. I don't have my phone. I don't have my email. I'm just, I feel the flavours more so I feel like this trip would be in that kind of heightened sense of taste.

Charlie:
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Are you good with spice?

Lindsay:
Yeah, I can handle it. I mean, I think I would definitely be taken aback by the spiciness of some of the Indian food I would try there, but I would be, I would try it 100%. Yes.

Charlie:
Okay. Yeah, that worries me. I think my head would explode, but I'm sure there's some options. Um, okay, so we're now getting to the constraints and challenges part. So I'm going to give you some some constraints and I'm going to hear how you respond. Um. So, uh, what how would you feel if I said you can only bring what fits in a small backpack or a carry on bag. Would this ruin your trip?

Lindsay:
Oh I love that.

Charlie:
Oh, okay.

Lindsay:
Oh, I love that. Are you kidding me? I love it. Uh, number one, for practical reasons, it's a hike, right? So I don't want to have a heavy pack. I made that mistake on the Camino, right? Too much throwing things out along the way.

Charlie:
Ah ha. Did you actually ditch stuff on the way?

Lindsay:
I had to ditch stuff. Yeah.

Charlie:
What like?

Lindsay:
Like an extra pair of shoes. A book. Just had to ditch it because you need, you need to be light.

Charlie:
Yeah. Had you finished that book?

Lindsay:
Yeah. Uh, it was. No, actually, I don't think I even read it. I was really silly the way. Or, like, a pair of jeans. Why would you need jeans in the north of Spain in July? I mean, come on, I must have been.

Charlie:
Doesn't it go through the Basque region, though?

Lindsay:
Yeah, but it was not.

Charlie:
Was it not raining?

Lindsay:
It does go through the Basque. That part was foggy and a little like maybe in the 60s, but I had kind of the hiking pants look, which is not always flattering, but I had that. It was more useful.

Charlie:
Okay.

Lindsay:
So yeah.

Charlie:
So you'd love a small bag. That's not a problem for you. So you don't pack, overpack we can say.

Lindsay:
I always overpack. I always overpack. That's the problem! Especially these days. And I feel better when I don't. So philosophically speaking, when I have less and it's not just in my backpack, in my life. When I have fewer possessions, I feel better.

Charlie:
Hmm interesting. Yes. Anti-materialist. Yeah. No, I like that, I want that, I want that more. But I love stuff as well. It's a confusing balance. Yeah.

Lindsay:
You know what, people are not simple, right? Is that.

Charlie:
No we're complex beings!

Lindsay:
I can't just say like, I don't want things and I won't have things. Of course I'm, I'm getting things for Christmas. I'm giving things for Christmas. All those things. Right?

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
But like, what do we aspire to? When do we know we were most happy in life?

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
It's just themes. Yeah.

Charlie:
Yes. Nice. Okay. Uh, so you're fine with light travel or travelling light? Um, what about, um, only being able to use local public transport? Would that stress you out, or would that inspire you?

Lindsay:
I think it's also good. I am pro local public transport. I think it's good. I think it would be a little stressful. Um, well, first of all, you'd have more conversations with locals and, you know, people from the country, which would be great. It would be a little chaotic. And practically speaking, if I have a like a flight to return, you know, it would be good if I, let's say I like I, I tear like a calf muscle. I need to take a couple of days off. I need to take the bus. Good. Um, so yes, I am pro local transport. It might be harder, but it's okay.

Charlie:
Yeah, I think I think that is a really good challenge to do to yourself, isn't it? Because it would really let you see a bit more about the place that you're trying to understand. But we don't do it. Most people would opt for the like an Uber or something like that, just to get there quickly, and then you'd forget that it's the journey, not the place.

Lindsay:
Yeah, it's true, it's true, it's true. This is an all in trip, though. This is becoming a very, all in intense trip.

Charlie:
Yeah it is. Yeah. You might not have the best time of your life. Um, okay. So what about. Well, this one certainly won't help. What about if you're only able to stay in a chain hotel?

Lindsay:
Uh, no. I'm anti-chain. No. Especially on this, uh, hike that I'm envisioning this trail. How am I gonna. Where where's there going to be a Marriott along the along.

Charlie:
I've got to be a very active genie. And I've got to make these hotels en route.

Lindsay:
Pop a little Marriott down. Don't get me wrong. I mean, when we were in Egypt, I have to say, I've always been very like anti international chain hotel because you should. I think it's good to be in a local place as much even like a local chain is better. But when we were in Egypt it was, it was so hot and it was so intense. We stayed in an Airbnb in Cairo and on almost a daily basis we would go to like a Marriott or a Hilton or something, just to have a drink, just to sit and have an hour where I can have a beer and some peanuts and like, breathe because it was it was so amazing, but so chaotic that I needed a break, I needed air conditioning. And so that kind of thing, maybe little breaks are healthy.

Charlie:
We have come to the end of part two now. So again, feel free to pause the episode, to take a break from your listening practice and come back to the last part when you're ready. Alright. So moving on to part three now. Enjoy.

Lindsay:
But it was. It was, I loved Cairo. Have you. Have you been to Egypt?

Charlie:
I have not been to Egypt. I think I may have done a stopover, but that never counts, does it? Um, no, but I understand your point clearly.

Lindsay:
Yeah.

Charlie:
Um, yeah, it's good to reset a little bit. Um, so, uh, let's look at the last one, and I've just realised I should be asking you your least and most favourite options of these four. So I've given you the first three. Luggage limitation, local transportation only, accommodation access only being a chain hotel, the last one is off grid living. So no electricity and no. And certainly no Wi-Fi. So not really using your phone at all because that would last for a day or two. How do you feel about that constraint for this trip?

Lindsay:
I think for this trip, it makes it actually would be more natural than if you were if I were saying, I'm going on a cruise and you're going to take my phone away, right?

Charlie:
Yes.

Lindsay:
So yeah, I think it would fit right into the vibe of the trip that we're creating here. So my favourite is Travelling light. Just a backpack. Love it. Makes perfect sense. And again I really feel like there's something about the amount of stuff you have or are carrying with you. You just less is better. Um, I like the I actually like the off the grid is my second favourite.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
Because it fits with this trip. I like the local transport. It's my third. I think it would similar to finding refuge in a hotel for an hour. It would get, it would get. It would be intense. Um, always having to do local buses to not be able to hop in an Uber or not be able to hop in like a sign of a kind of a prearranged, like, transfer kind of deal. Um, and then the fourth was the remind me, my least favourite.

Charlie:
The fourth was the I know you said off grid living. So it was, um, luggage, transportation, accommodation. That one stay in a chain hotel, right.

Lindsay:
Oh the hotels are my least favourite. Yeah. Yes.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. Okay. Nice. Yeah. Um, so, uh, which one would you say would be most challenging? The chain staying in a chain hotel?

Lindsay:
I yeah, I just think it doesn't make sense for for this trip. Right. You're coming out of a chain hotel. You. And then you're going into. You're clean, you've had a glass of wine, like you've had a nice dinner. It doesn't make any sense for what I'm doing. Then I'm going back on the trail. I'm meeting fellow travellers. I'm meeting locals. I'm going to maybe places to meditate like historical sites. It just doesn't quite vibe.

Charlie:
I agree, I agree. Yeah, yeah. Nice. Okay, um, I'm actually going to skip a couple of things to squeeze the last bit in. I wanted a pack or pass segment. We're calling this. Okay. So I want you to tell me whether you'd like to pack it or not. Um, and I've got eight things. So a high end DSLR camera. Pack or pass?

Lindsay:
Pass. Pass.

Charlie:
Ooh. Okay. You don't care for photography?

Lindsay:
Are we assuming we're taking away the phone, though? Are we taking away going with that same.

Charlie:
Yeah good question. Okay so but yeah but I, I don't have time to talk about this in detail! But yes okay. So if you've got your phone, you don't feel the need for a camera.

Lindsay:
Just for practical reasons. Yeah.

Charlie:
Okay, okay. Travel guidebook.

Lindsay:
Pass. I would rather in this trip, I'd rather talk to people.

Charlie:
Okay, okay. The next one is hiking boots. I guess you need that.

Lindsay:
Need that. Yeah. Pack.

Charlie:
Uh, solar powered charger.

Lindsay:
So are we saying I have? If I have my phone, I guess I need a way to charge it. If I'm staying in huts, if maybe there's no electricity in the hut. So yeah, I guess I have to pack that.

Charlie:
Okay. Okay. Yeah. Um, do you like running out of battery? Like, do you find that sometimes interesting?

Lindsay:
Yeah. The only thing was, you know, would be not being able to take the photos, but maybe. With this kind of trip, maybe it's not so much about the photos.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
Maybe it's just more about, like, the movement, the physical movement and hopefully the conversations that I would have.

Charlie:
Yeah.

Lindsay:
So.

Charlie:
Are you good at taking photos when it's just you? Do you do selfies?

Lindsay:
No. I, oh like am I good at selfies like do I tend to do that?

Charlie:
I don't know yeah. My friend he came from Australia to the UK and he was doing loads and he was getting people to take photos of him in front of a building just on his own. And he's very comfortable with that. And I'm not able to do that very well.

Lindsay:
I see. Yeah, that feels kind of awkward when you're on your own for sure. I yeah, I tend to it's good to travel with people who are all about taking photos because I will forget sometimes.

Charlie:
Right.

Lindsay:
So I actually don't know if the photos would be such. This is more of like an internal journey, I think. This hike.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Um, would you do it comfortably? Would you take a travel pillow?

Lindsay:
Maybe I would give myself that little luxury. You know, let's not be 100% in one way or the other. Let's add in some little luxuries in the bag, especially if it doesn't weigh a lot. Right?

Charlie:
Yes, yes. And what about, um, this might be another luxury. A portable espresso maker. You said that you like coffee.

Lindsay:
Oh my gosh. That might be going a little too far. No, no, no, I don't even have an espresso maker in my house. Oh my gosh. Fancy.

Charlie:
Okay, okay.

Lindsay:
No, I wish I did, but I don't.

Charlie:
So do you, do you go and buy a coffee every day or can you make some at home?

Lindsay:
Uh, these days, our coffee shop with inflation has just gone a little too far with the prices. So I don't I don't really go, like, I make coffee at home, drip coffee. And on the weekends I'll get a cappuccino or something, but never in the morning.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. Nice. Um, right. Okay. So, uh, reflecting on what we've uncovered, do you feel like this is a trip that is within your grasp? Do you think that you could actually do it in real?

Lindsay:
I do! I'm actually kind of excited about what we've come up with, because when I first thought about our interview today, I thought, oh, what would it be? I have no idea. But we've worked it out and we've figured it out, and I feel like I've done the work of planning the trip I need to take in the next five years, you know?

Charlie:
Brilliant.

Lindsay:
So.

Charlie:
Yeah. Okay. Um, well, I feel like I should end on asking you if you have any advice for people who are wanting to do something similar but aren't quite ready or haven't done it yet? Um, any advice considering you've you've done a bit of travelling yourself?

Lindsay:
Yeah. I mean, I think it's now or never, right? We don't know what's going to happen in the future. We have no idea. And so if you can, obviously financial limitations are real. I respect that completely. But if you can find a way miles, credit card, miles, whatever it is, points, book that flight and kind of let the universe work for you. Like let it like you'll figure it out. I think the step is reserving the time. When are you going and how are you getting there? Just take that first step.

Charlie:
Yes. yes.

Lindsay:
And I should take my own advice because.

Charlie:
Yeah. But couchsurfing would be a way around the financial issue.

Lindsay:
Yes. Yeah. I mean, I had the best experiences couchsurfing around the United States and I, I know it's big internationally too. I've done it in Guatemala and Uruguay as well. So I think that would be a great way to save money on accommodations and, and it's so much more than just a place to stay.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah. I can imagine. Any awkward sort of dangerous moments you found?

Lindsay:
Yeah. There were a couple. Yeah. There. Yeah. For sure. There were some weird 2 or 3 weird situations that I ran into. Nothing ever happened. Thank goodness. Um, but, yeah, there were a couple of things. This is the least of the dangers. This was not a dangerous situation. It was just strange. In Detroit, you know, I don't know if you know anything about the history of Detroit, but with the Rust Belt, the economy crashed. You know, the car culture, car economy. And, um, there were houses in Detroit in districts that didn't have electricity, that were being sold for like a dollar on the open market.

Charlie:
A dollar. Wow.

Lindsay:
Yeah. Like a dollar or $2.

Charlie:
Isn't the city coming back up now? So that would be quite.

Lindsay:
It's coming back up. Yeah. I have to check up now on what's the trend in the last few years now with Detroit. But this was 2000, uh, 16. And this hipster dude had bought a house for like $2 and it had been a crack den, basically like it had been the place was there was paint like paint peeling off the walls everywhere. And he had one room where he hosted couchsurfers, adventurous types. That one room had been redone, and the rest of the house was like, am I going to step through a floorboard here? That kind of deal. Um, and that it wasn't actually dangerous, but it felt I was like, what's going on here? But I was fine. I had a little community, interesting people to chat with.

Charlie:
Yeah. If if nothing dangerous happened, that's kind of the best example of couchsurfing, isn't it? It makes you feel alive.

Lindsay:
Right?

Charlie:
It's a bit. Yeah, a bit risky, but you don't die.

Lindsay:
100%. And. Exactly. So you feel like you're living a little on the edge. You're like, I'm gonna go and stay for free. You're relying on the reviews, on the website, of the people you're staying with, and your own reviews that people have reviewed you. So that's a very strong again, I want your listeners to check up on it now, I don't know the status of couchsurfing now. I want you to use your sense sense of what's safe. What feels safe. Um, I stayed with families, which was really nice many times, um, and just got an amazing insight into the local cities that I never would have otherwise.

Charlie:
Beautiful. Nice. Yeah, I think it's. I've just checked. I think it's still going, so. Yeah. But yes. Be safe, guys, be safe. But I've kept you far too long. Lindsay, thank you very much. I appreciate you sharing your ideal trip. I'm glad we've created an itinerary for you. It's lovely.

Lindsay:
100%. Thank you, Charlie. I loved our conversation. Thank you for, uh. I should make sure I book this trip now that we've organised it, so.

Charlie:
Absolutely. Yeah, I think I said it at the beginning, but, um, where would listeners go to learn more about you?

Lindsay:
Okay. So they can just open up the search bar right inside the podcast and just type in All Ears English Podcast, and you'll see the yellow and that is us. Uh, our philosophy is connection, not perfection. So everything we do, we talk about how we can use English to connect. Human connection. So come on over. We publish four episodes a week and we have a lot of fun over there.

Charlie:
Beautiful, beautiful. Yeah. Impressive, guys, go check it out. But thank you very much, Lindsay. Hopefully we'll do it another time. And, uh, maybe you could even tell us about your real trip to India.

Lindsay:
Oh, my gosh, I would love to do that. Come back on once I've done the trip and we'll we'll see how it went. Thanks, Charlie. It was really fun.

Charlie:
Take care Lindsay. Bye.

Lindsay:
Take care. Bye.

Charlie:
There we go. The end of part three. Meaning the end of the episode. Well done for getting through the entirety of it. Make sure you use all of the resources available to you in your membership. Thanks once again for supporting the show and I look forward to seeing you next time on the British English Podcast.

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