The Radio Vagabond

Nov 18 2020 29 mins 26

Palle Bo is a long time radioproducer who has sold his house, car and all of his furniture so he could travel around the world. He has an ambition to visit every country in the world and you can join his trip in this podcast. Come along as he meet the locals and experience Palle's excitements and concerns regarding the life as digital nomad.

























































































123 - Saving Children in Guinea-Bissau
May 06 2019 18 mins  
Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in Africa – and hereby the world. I travel with minibus from Cap Skirring to the capital Bissau, and by random coincidence my host is a countryman. In fact there are many Danish doctors and scientists living and working in Bissau. They work with Bandim Health Project. It’s a health and demographic surveillance system site situated here in Guinea-Bissau. Bandim Health Project follows a population of more than 200,000 individuals in urban and rural Guinea-Bissau. This provides a Unique platform for conducting health research. It was founded by the Danish anthropologist Peter Aaby. He came to Bissau in 78 and set out to understand the reasons for the high mortality among children in Guinea-Bissau. At that time every second child died before it was five years. Peter Aaby began to register and monitor the population in the suburb Bandim - and so he created a unique research station, the Bandim Health Project. The project is the oldest of its kind in Africa, and one of the largest. One night he and his wife Svetlana - a wonderful African woman - invited me to eat with his colleagues. Officially it’s called the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. It covers 36,125 km² (nearly 14,000 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1,9 million. When it was declared independent in 1973 and recognised in 1974, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country’s name to prevent confusion with Guinea (formerly French Guinea). Most of the population speaks Crioulo, it’s a Portuguese-based creole language, and the rest speak a variety of native African languages. It’s a very poor country. The country’s per-capita gross domestic product is one of the lowest in the world. LINKS: Bandim Health Project Sponsor Hotels25.com See pictures on TheRadioVagabond.com You can follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram og YouTube.




119 - Luxury in the Forest in The Gambia
Mar 14 2019 42 mins  
We got the opportunity to spend a few days at Mandina River Lodges, the most amazing place in the middle of the forest around half an hours drive from the small capital of The Gambia, Banjul. Mandina River Lodges is founded by two Englishmen, Lawrence Williams, and James English. Lawrence is a friend of a friend of mine - and also an avid traveler with an exciting story. Unfortunately, Lawrence wasn’t in The Gambia at the time we were there, but I promise to catch up with him at some point to get his story. James English is his uncle. Or was. Because he passed away very unexpected in 2012, five weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. James and Lawrence had been traveling a lot together and now, whenever Lawrence visits a new country, he spreads a little bit of his uncle's ashes in the country as a gesture. A thing that almost got him arrested in North Korea. Like I said: He has a lot of stories that I promise I’ll have hin share at some point when I finally meet him. For years James had been searching for a piece of land suitable to create a tourism project, and on Christmas Eve 1992 they found Makasutu. Today Mandina River Lodges is run by his former wife, Linda English. And it was only after James passed away that Linda came down here. In fact, the thought it was a crazy idea to put money in a piece of forest in The Gambia. She’s been here six years already and loves the place. Makasutu is a tropical 1000-acre reserve encompassing five different eco-systems. Fifteen thousand trees were planted over the next few years, and the wildlife came back. Now the wildlife is plentiful with many bird species, monitor lizards, baboons, vervet and red colobus monkeys, and the occasional crocodile, and even the odd mongoose can be spotted on the riverbanks. In the afternoon on the first day we were invited to go for a walk through the a with a local guide, dressed in green and khaki and with a monocular around his neck ready for bird watching. Makasutu, meaning ‘sacred forest’ in the local language Mandinka, and they started it as both an ecology project and a place for people to come and learn about the local culture and people. James and Lawrence spent the first seven years living in tents on the land, with no running water or electricity. They did this getting to understand the land and environment, which is why you notice the attention to detail that has gone into the design and construction. The initial idea was to a small backpackers lodge, but after many nights sitting around the campfire they decided to try to help in the re-foresting of the area, and eventually to open the site as a cultural reserve, highlighting how the local people live, and also to encourage the return of wildlife to the area. One thing lead to another and instead of the small backpackers lodge they decided to develop a five-star eco-lodge like no other in West Africa. Construction began in 2000, with as many as 150 people working on the swimming pool alone. Due to the standard of the carpentry, the lodges were very time consuming to produce, however, the finished result is impressive with a total of nine lodges being completed over several years, with differing designs both on and off the water. And apart from the birds singing it’s very quiet and peaceful here. The staff at Makasutu all come from the surrounding villages, a deliberate measure to try to help stop the urban drift to the city, and allowing the surrounding area to directly benefit from this place. One of them The head of security at Mandina River Lodges, his name is Dawda. We met him at the Base Camp when we were doing the jungle walk. He used to be a policeman, and then he’s a popular radio DJ in his free time. We agreed to meet later and chat some more. So the next day Dawda came and picked me up at the main gate. I got on the back of his motorcycle, and we took off down the dirt road. He wanted to show me a spot that was very important for his work as the head of security. So I was a bit surprised when we stopped in the middle of the forest. That’s where they have the main borehole, the main well. LINKS: Mandina River Lodges The Gambia Experience Sponsor Hotels25.com See pictures on TheRadioVagabond.com You can follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram og YouTube.


Podcast #117 - Welcome to Senegal
Feb 18 2019 31 mins  
In last weeks episode, we were making our way down through The Sahara Dessert. And our plans kept changing. Partly because of me recovering from my pneumonia and partly because promises weren’t kept. We weren’t picked up and driven down to the capital of Mauritania in a nice big Mercedes - just the two of us. Hours later we were seven people in a smaller very old beat up Peugeot station wagon. When I left you in the last episode, I was trying to cross the border between Western Sahara and Mauritania - with my travel buddy Edvard - and a group of locals and our local driver. From the windows, we couldn’t see much more than sand and camels. Sometimes we would drive through a small village with some tiny houses. The roads we were driving on were full of potholes as big as bathtubs. But that would only get much much worse as we entered Mauritania. This is a developing country. Their GDP ranks it at around number 140 out of the 193 UN nations in the world. Mauritania is a country with 400,000 sq miles and a population of around 4 million people. It took us around 4 hours to get the passport stamps and be allowed to enter the country. When you cross a border like this, there are typically people offering to change your money. Something I would never do, but in this case, it was recommended to do so. Much to my surprise, the exchange rate you get here is much better than you would get in a bank in the city. So with a bit of Mauritania cash, “Ouguiya” we continued the drive. We only drove a short distance from the border to an intersection. And we were super confused because we had another 300 miles before we would arrive in Nouakchott. I remember thinking "OMG what now. Another checkpoint…?” Then they unloaded our bags and stopped a random car. They asked the driver if he could take us down to Nouakchott, and when he did, we got into the car and continued. This was a huge upgrade. This was a relatively new BMW without a scratch. The driver could speak English and apart from him doing his best to avoid the many potholes on the road this was very nice. Especially for Edvard. He finally got the "shotgun position" beside the driver, and I was crammed into the backseat that was full of luggage. It could barely fit a 10-year-old in there. And I’m a lot bigger. The driver is a guy from Dakar going back in his new car after having worked in Italy for six months. When we got to our hotel Nouakchott it was after midnight. He drove us to our hotel and he said that he would sleep a few hours before continuing at 4 o’clock. He asked us if we wanted to join him all the way to Dakar. He mentioned a very fair price for it, and after having seen a bit of the city looking for the hotel, we honestly didn’t think that this seemed like a place with too much to see. Also, we only thought about getting down to Dakar where we had a lovely Airbnb for a week. With this drive, we would be in a nice car with a nice guy, and wouldn’t have to worry about finding another crappy car packed with people and potentially getting ripped off again. We knew what we had so we decided to accept his offer. The next morning at 4 a.m. we continued the drive and thought we would get to Dakar in the early afternoon the next day. Even if the border crossing to Senegal took as long as the one entering Mauritania. It turned out to take much longer, and it was after midnight again when we rolled into Dakar. It was 1:30 in the morning, and we were tired. Dead tired. We felt dirty and sweaty. I remember I had sand between my teeth from being in the Sahara's sandy wind So when we were dropped off at our apartment, we couldn’t wait to get in there and catch some sleep. But when we got there, it was nothing like the one we booked. So we left. Close to two in the morning we took our bags and walked down to the street of a big west African city that we’d never been to before. We had no place to stay and had no idea where to go. Join this crazy journey in this episode. Also, you can come with us when we meet a local woman, that invites us to traditionally Senegalese lunch at her apartment. Her name is Astou Ndiaye, and I talk to her about life in Senegal. LINKS: Sponsor Hotels25.com See pictures on TheRadioVagabond.com You can follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram og YouTube.










Podcast #108 - Johannes, the Founder of Nomad Cruise
Jan 04 2019 23 mins  
DANISH: RadioVagabond.dk Johannes Voelkner started his digital nomad lifestyle in 2010. As much as he enjoyed working while traveling, he was missing like-minded people around him, sharing the same values and lifestyle. He took action – he was organizing events for entrepreneurs and digital nomads for years and created a Facebook group for digital nomads called Global Digital Nomad Network (currently one of the largest of its kind with over 36,000 members). One day in 2015 he came upon a cheap travel deal across the Atlantic and posted it in his Facebook group. 100 applications in 3 weeks convinced him it was worth turning into a business – and Nomad Cruise was born. Since then it has grown a lot. Nomad Cruise 6, my first, from Malaga to Athens had 249 attendees from 42 countries, and this one that just brought us across the Atlantic from Barcelona to Brazil Nomad Cruise 7 broke all previous records with almost double that: 492 participants on board from more than 50 countries. Today Johannes and his team are running two cruises each year building friendships, collaborations, projects and most importantly – a community of like-minded people. In this episode of The Radio Vagabond, we dive into the history of Nomad Cruise and take a look at what’s on the horizon, as we talk about the future of the company and their new project Homebase Global. LINKS: Nomad Cruise Home Base Global The Facebook Group: Global Digital Nomad Network Sponsor Hotels25.com See pictures on TheRadioVagabond.com You can follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram og YouTube.





Podcast #104 - Interview: Maverick Matt Bowles
Dec 21 2018 34 mins  
DANISH: Radiovagabond.dk Monday morning the new season of the regular travel shows in The Radio Vagabond Podcast will begin. You can join my adventures in Africa and we begin in Morocco. At the same time you will get interesting conversations every Friday and this is the first. All of these interviews have been recorded recently when I joined The Nomad Cruise across the Atlantic. In fact this one is recorded in the middle of the ocean. Meet Matt Bowles. He has been a full-time nomad for five years. We talk about ways of traveling, loneliness, networks, podcasting, the art of traveling with carry-on luggage only and about a giant table-top espresso maker. And much more. In the conversation we also talk about different communities for nomads, and if you would like to join here are a few links that will get you a discount on your membership: "Remote Year" ($200 discount): Click here. "Hackers Paradise" ($100 discount): Click here. Disclosure: These are affiliate links where Matt makes a little bit. But it doesn’t make it more expensive for you. Other networks/communities for nomads: Nomad Cruise and WiFi Tribe. You can access Matt's video on packing and see links to all his stuff by signing up to his newsletter on MaverickNomadLife.com. Here you can also see the bicycle pump espresso maker, he is talking about. Listen and subscribe to Matt's podcast The Maverick Show by searching for it in your favourite podcast app. I will be a guest there in the near future. And finally: Link to Matt's company, Maverick Investor Group. OTHER LINKS: Sponsor Hotels25.com Follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
























Podcast #094 - I Met a Lobbyist in Washington DC
Oct 17 2018 32 mins  
DANISH: Radiovagabond.dk I continue my trip with Rob from TriphacksDC - and then I meet one of the many lobbyists who work here in the US capital. Rob recommended me to visit The Capital. Here I heard a lot about the history of the building. It takes an hour and is entirely free. Then I continued my walk with Rob this Sunday afternoon when there was an event going on at The National Mall. We are talking about the fact that Washington D.C. is not in any American state. Rob believes, like many others living in this district, that this should become the 51st state. That way the stateless district would consist of The National Mall and the area up to The Lincoln Memorial and the White House. So the only inhabitants of the district would be the president and his family, while the remaining 680,000 people would live in this new state. Rob also gives me more tips on how to "attack" Washington D.C. as a tourist. I meet the lobbyist, Ian Goldstein, in a park not far from The Mall. Just before I meet him, I'm back at the Washington Monument, located between the Capital Building and the Lincoln Memorial. In a large circle around this monument, there are flagpoles. I did not speak, but I guess that there are 50 flagpoles – one for each state in the United States. What was unusual about this particular day was that they were all on half-rod. This is because this is the day after the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, where a man opened fire into a crowd at a concert - with 23 full or semi-automatic weapons from 32nd floor in a high-rise building not that far away from there. He just fired in the crowd and killed 58 people and injured more than 800. He managed to fire more than 1,000 shots, and it is to date the most deadly mass shooting done by a single person ever in the United States. Ian, the lobbyist, does not work with gun legislation, but he's close to where the decisions are taken. You can hear his take on what's going to happen now after the massacre in Las Vegas. LINKS: Sponsor Hotels25.com See pictures on TheRadiovagabond.com Follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Podcast #092 - Interview: Rolf Potts, Vagabonding
Oct 12 2018 18 mins  
Before I started traveling, I listened to a lot of travel podcasts, watched a lot of travel YouTube channels and bought a lot of travel books - both audiobooks, e-books, and paper books. One book I got in both the audio and the paper version. That book was Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, and it inspired me to call myself The Radio Vagabond. I met Rolf Potts at the travel media conference TravelCon in Austin Texas just before he was to give the closing keynote in front of a room full of travel bloggers, YouTubers, and podcasters. It was fantastic to meet one of my heroes. One who inspired me a lot in my planning to go traveling. If you want to be inspired too, get the book Vagabonding. In my opinion, it’s the best book about living this lifestyle. Period. Find the paper version on Amazon and the audiobook on Audible. LINKS: Sponsor Hotels25.com See pictures on TheRadiovagabond.com Follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Next Friday you can listen in as I talk to another guy that has inspired me a lot. I started listening to his podcast Extra Pack of Peanuts, and he’s got a company and another podcast with our mutual friend Jason Moore from Zero-to-Travel called Travel Indi and through their project “The Paradise Pack” they help people live a location independent lifestyle. He’s even got an app that helps you find cheap flights called Jetto. He’s an overall nice guy, and his name is Travis Sherry. On Monday morning you’ll get another regular travel podcast where I’m heading to Washington DC, and pass through Charlottesville. You know the city where there were "fine people on both sides", according to Trump. I had to pass through to see the notorious statues.



Podcast #089 - Interview: Cory Lee on Disabled Travel
Oct 05 2018 24 mins  
As a traveler, I often get asked the question: Isn’t it difficult? Isn’t it dangerous? How do I do this or that? Then imagine that you’re in a wheelchair. - How do you fly as a wheelchair user? - Which hotels are the most accessible? - What beaches have powered beach wheelchairs? - How do you charge your electric wheelchair in a foreign country? - What cities are the most wheelchair friendly around the world? There are so many questions and so many obstacles. But that doesn’t stop Cory Lee. He is a wheelchair user and is traveling the world and does a blog called Curb Free With Cory Lee. Here he shares stories to show other disabled people how to travel, where to travel, and most importantly, why a person with a disability should travel. I met Cory at TBEX in Corning New York where he did a truly inspiring keynote and received a standing ovation. And when I met him again at TravelCon in Austin. At the age of two, he was diagnosed with SMA - a rare condition that confined him to a wheelchair. Visit Curb Free With Cory Lee. TravelCon is a brand new conference organized by Nomadic Matt and his team - and was really great. There were a lot of great speakers there, and I already had a few of them on this podcast. Like The Vagabrothers in episode 15, Chris Christensen in episode 16 and the king of travel blogging, Nomadic Matt Kepnes himself in episode 18. And then I talked to a handful of other great people that you can hear in the upcoming Fridays. And of course, every Monday to can follow my journey from North Carolina to Washington DC, Atlantic City, Philadelphia and New York.





Podcast #085 - Meet Rick Calvert, The Man Behind TBEX
Sep 21 2018 11 mins  
DANSK UDGAVE: Søg efter “Radiovagabond” (ét ord). We take a small break from the regular travel podcasts to bring you another interview with an interesting person in the travel media industry. So if you’re interested in the nomadic lifestyle and thinking of becoming a travel blogger, YouTuber or travel podcaster, you might find this interesting. Palle Bo: "Rick, you're the head honcho of this game." Rick Calvert: "Grand poobah, is what we like to call it. Palle Bo: "How long time have you been with the TBEX. Because it wasn't from the very beginning, as far as I understand." Rick Calvert: "Since 2012, when we bought TBEX. I actually started another event before that, called "Blog World" in 2007. So I've been actively involved in blogs since 2000, with travel blogs since 2007 and with TBEX since 2012." Palle Bo: "What's your background? How did you get into the whole game of travel blogging?" Rick Calvert: "I was a conference organizer. It was my job, I've done really really big events like a hundred thousand people. I used to work for a place; you may have heard of, called Comic Con. And I was a political blogger. I started a blog about politics, and this was again very early days, there weren't a lot of people doing that, and I wanted to go to a blogging show, and it didn't exist. So I started doing the research, and I'm like 'oh people would go to that?' And I created what we called Blog World. But we knew from the very beginning we identified these different segments that would be really important and political blogs was one of them and travel blogs were one of them. And we had a track for travel at Blog World. But Kim it started TBEX. And she's a travel blogger. So all the travel bloggers were going to TBEX. And in 2012 it was Gary Arndt the told me you should talk to Kim. You know I think Kim wants to sell TBEX and that's when we got involved." Palle Bo: And in recent years a few other similar or somewhat similar conferences have propped up...". Rick Calvert: "Imitators we call them." Palle Bo: "Do you see them as competitors or just extra angles on what you're doing?" Rick Calvert: "There are there's no other event that's the size of TBEX, that has the history of TBEX, that has the breadth of education is TBEX. So no, in that way no. Of course, there's always competition. You can only take so many trips a year, you've only got so much time. So yes that's competition. But we're friends with all those people and a lot of them got their start at TBEX." Palle Bo: "I didn't get the memo, that you can only do so many a year. I think I'm doing four this years. Plus two Nomadic Cruises. Yeah, I'm going all in this year. I don't know exactly how that happened. But for people who've never been to a TBEX, can you describe what goes on? It takes place in two days." Rick Calvert: "Yes, the conferences two days. You know, it's education. We have breakout sessions, some keynotes like today with Cory Lee was an incredible inspiration. And then there's speed networking where there are business meetings between the bloggers and the DMOs and the brands and very short eight minutes sit-downs. Who are you? What do you do? Do we have a good fit? Yes. Great, let's talk later. No. Nice to meet you. See you later. So you're not wasting time. And then there are trips that happened before the conference that the tourist board organizes, there are trips that happen after the conference of the tourist board organizes and then people apply to go on those different trips so people are on average for a TBEX attendee at a destination is ten days for the two-day conference. And obviously, a lot of people do stuff on their own. So like maybe you're planning a trip to New York already, said I'm coming there for TBEX, and I'll go to Niagara Falls while I'm there or whatever else." Palle Bo: "And there are around, as far as I know, 700 attendees?" Rick Calvert: "650." Palle Bo: "Is that is that the biggest?". Rick Calvert: "No, it's the biggest in North America in a couple of years now, were sold out. We couldn't have any more people here, and you can see how busy it is. Toronto was the biggest ever. That was 1200. But that was a bunch of Canadians because we were in a really big city and that was when everybody like just went "TBEX Crazy" that year too. But everybody said it was too big. So we've never wanted it to be that big again. We like this size. 650 is a good size." Palle Bo: I remember my very first travel bloggers conference was in Stockholm a week into my travel. And I thought "oh my god, I'm with my people." And since then I've been traveling fulltime, and now I'm one of the old guys here." Rick Calvert: "That's right. You're one of the grandfathers of travel podcasting". Palle Bo: How do you see the whole industry evolving from where we were five years ago, and where are we going?" Rick Calvert: "Well the first thing is that more creators are making a real living. There are a lot more people being successful that way. So that is fantastic. A lot more tourist boards and brands understanding the value and really wanting to work with them. By the same token, there are more new people all the time who are inexperienced and really don't know what to do. We help teach them and obviously that's a big challenge for tourist boards to figure out, who are the right people to work with. Even if a blogger is new doesn't mean they're not good. And so how do you determine if this person has good content and then that content is a good fit for my brand. And again that's kind of what we teach people here. It's not always the biggest numbers that are the most important thing". Palle Bo: "Right. Mike Huxley said that as well in the in the panel debate, and he was actually on one of the episodes, I did in TBEX Ostrava, talking about the whole thing that you should put a price and you should sell yourself. You shouldn't just take a free trip even though you only have maybe 5000 visits a month on your site." Rick Calvert: "Yes, Mike is one of those people, that are pushing in that direction is just for professionalism in the space, and I would say as a whole, that travel bloggers are far more professional than they were five years ago, and that will continue to happen. And the travel brands have a more of a system of measuring "who do I work with, how do I measure it, was it was a good deal for us in the end." So I think, that professionalism on both sides is continuing to improve." Palle Bo: "You get to travel a lot for these events as well. But you're not a travel blogger. But I'm curious to know, where are you going next year." Rick Calvert: "Haha, everybody wants to know...". Palle Bo: "I remember actually in Ostrava in the Czech Republic, we shared a taxi, and I was pushing us, and you said it was very close to being published and I still don't know where we're going." Rick Calvert: "It's still very close for Europe. We are going to announce North America tomorrow. So yeah. And Europe any day. Any day. And I'll tell you this is a country where they like to do things slowly. So that's why it hasn't been announced yet.". Palle Bo: "Is it a place where they say Manana." Rick Calvert: "Haha. It's not Spain. I can tell you that it's not Spain. Although we love Spain and in particular we love Costa Brava Catalonia." Palle Bo: "But we also like Greece?". Rick Calvert: "Love Greece. I'll tell you, this it's a country we haven't been to yet. It's a country and western Europe. So there's a couple of tips. Palle Bo: "OK. Interesting. It's, but it's already been announced that we're going to Zimbabwe sometime next year." Rick Calvert: "Yes. There is a conference going on in Zimbabwe right now while we're here. So you know. They had a government change - a coup basically, then an election which went well - as well as you could expect to think. But we're actually dealing with a private group in Zimbabwe called Rise Zimbabwe, not the government. This is a collection of hotel owners and tour operators who do business in Africa that are working out the logistics of hosting TBEX.". Palle Bo: "Rick, it's always a pleasure, thank you." I can reveal that the next TBEX North America is going to be in Billings Montana in September 2019. Next Monday there’ll be another episode from North Carolina where attend the Greensboro Pride and speak to a transgender woman and meet a guy with a cross trying to preach that being gay is a sin. All this and much more next Monday. And next Friday you’ll get another interview with a guy in the Travel Media Industry. His name is Shane Dallas and calls himself The Travel Camel. He is the conference of TBEX Europe and the guy that booked me to speak about travel podcasting at the conference in Ostrava, the Czech Republic not that long ago. Visit TBEX by clicking here.


Podcast #083 - Coca-Cola, CNN, Soccer, and a dead phone in Atlanta
Sep 16 2018 17 mins  
I'm in Atlanta where I'm staying with my old friends from Denmark, Lars, and Marianne. Lars and I used to do a morning show on the radio back in Denmark, and they offered to host me a week here. Join me when I visit CNN started by Ted Turner back in 1976. At the time it was the world's first 24-hour news channel, and while they currently have studios around the world, CNN has its headquarters right here. The same goes for Coca-Cola, and here I also did a tour. I saw their museum, which shows the history of the iconic company. They also show a movie, and there is an area where you can taste hundreds of different flavors that they make around the world. In a large area, you can walk around from continent to continent with a cup and sample the many different kinds of sugary water. It sounds quite silly and very American, but I thought it was quite exciting to see. Atlanta is the capital and largest city in the US state of Georgia, and the main city in the ninth largest metropolitan area in the United States. The city itself has just under half a million inhabitants, but looking at the population of the metropolitan area, the figure is over 6 million. Over the past 10 years, this population has been increased by more than one million people, which, according to Wikipedia, is the fourth most substantial absolute growth among all metropolitan areas in the United States. Lars says it's a mecca for trading in this part of the United States, and so they have the world's largest airport. "There is so much happening all the time, so it's an exciting place to live," says Lars. One evening Lars asked me if I wanted to go playing soccer with him and his friends. I thought it would be an excellent way to get some exercise. And maybe a beer with his friends after the game. It turned out that we were going to play against a Mexican team. And they were really taking the game seriously. It was almost turning into a physical fight, and the referee had a busy night. One afternoon, I found out that Ed Sheeran was scheduled to play that same evening in Atlanta, and I managed to get a ticket. Lars and Marianne couldn't go so I decided to go alone. I got into an Uber and went to a concert. James Blunt was the opening act and although he probably is most famous for making ballads like "You are Beautiful," he managed to hype up the crowd before the little red-headed Englishman went on stage. Sheeran was almost three hours alone on stage with his guitar and his loop pedals, and he was fantastic. What an outstanding talent. So I filmed a lot with my phone, and when the concert ended, there was only 20% battery left. Usually, I always have a power bank so that I can give my phone little extra power, but I forgot it that night. Along with maybe 15,000 others I went outside. I ordered an Uber and just saw that I was being picked up by a gray Honda with a license plate that ended in 4144. And then my phone died. Not only did I not know where to wait for it and I could not communicate with it, but I also did not know where I was going. I just copied Lars and Marianne's address into the app. In other words, I would be screwed if I did not find the Uber. After 45 minutes it appeared miraculously, and I ran after it. I managed to make it stop, and I was saved. On my way to my next stop in North Carolina, we stayed in Charlotte, which is a beautiful city I would like to return to and experience more.

Podcast #082 - I Left a Bit of My Heart in Nicaragua
Sep 04 2018 27 mins  
DANSK UDGAVE: Søg efter “Radiovagabond” (ét ord). In the latest episode of The Radio Vagabond Podcast, we visited an orphanage in the northern part of Nicaragua. I was there with my new friend John Pappas. He’s a successful businessman from Canada that retired and is now a philanthropist. He’s now giving back to the children from needy families of Nicaragua by putting a lot of time and money into an orphanage here. Also, he’s supporting a young 19-year-old girl. "I always thought that my purpose in life was to make as much money as I could, but eventually I'm just going to take it in a box or leave it here because when I go, I have no one to leave it to. You definitely need to work hard but you also need a reason to be", he says. "A lot of people say 'why do you do it?' and 'you help them so much', and I say 'no no, it's what they give us, is tenfold what we give them." John, says that it's like when you adopt a child, you're not saving a child - it's more the child that is saving you." NICARAGUAN CIGARS Then John wanted to show me a small place where they produce high-class cigars. According to John, the Nicaraguan cigar is outstanding. And on the way there he tells me that it’s not possible to buy Nicaraguan cigars here in Nicaragua. It's crazy, but because of the tax laws, you have to export the cigars and then re-import them. All the cigars produced here in Esteli are for export only, so they don't promote their own cigars here in their own country. So the tourists can walk away with fake cigars or Cuban cigars but can't walk away with local cigars. And then we entered the small place. Around 25 people are sitting around a few long tables rolling and shaping the brown tobacco leaves into big cigars. I can tell that these people know their craft. They’ve done this before. ALEX, THE STREET ARTIST John introduced me to Alex, the most successful street artist here in Esteli. He was a street artist pioneer, and around 20 years ago he was doing graffiti. Back in 1997 he was approached and was quite surprised. He didn’t even know how talented he was. This meeting changed his life. At the time he didn’t really know much about what he was doing but had this raw talent. And when he met two other talented street artists, he knew what he wanted to do in his life. Now, 20 years later, Alex is “the king of street art" here in Esteli. He’s got his own crew, they do a lot of work for the cigar industry. He’s even ventured into music. MANKU LAKE PARADISE In this episode, I also take to back to the lake close to Granada, where I met Fernando in the first episode here from Nicaragua. Here we were talking about the cattle company he runs where investors make a little money and help local farmers here at the same time. Go back and listen to episode #080 to hear this. We’re in a beautiful area close to the lake, Lago Cocibolca outside Granada - and right here is where there are a lot of small islands - in Nicaragua, they call them Las Isletas. Getting to Manku Lake Paradise is a bit of a drive, but worth it. Even though it’s only 7 miles (10 km) from Granada it takes 20-30 minutes to get here, since the last half of it is on a bumpy dirt road. But once you get here, the rate of your pulse will slow down. It’s so beautiful and quiet, and it’s impossible to be stressed here. There’s a big round restaurant area without walls overlooking the beautiful lake, Lago Cocibolca, and the pool. We can also see a few of the small islands. It is truly a paradise. Fernando tells me about the place and takes me for a walk down to the lake - and after that horseback riding. 365 SMALL ISLANDS “Las Isletas” as the locals call them were formed when a big volcano erupted here thousands of years ago and threw huge rocks into the lake. They differ in size. The smallest is around 1000 sq.ft (100 sq.m.) and the biggest is around one hundred hectares. There is a community of about 1200 people living on the islands. Most of them here are fishermen. A few days earlier I was on a boat ride and saw that some of the islands have hotels or luxurious houses. There are also uninhabited islets with only some palm trees growing on it. I also saw a small island where the only inhabitants were a group of little monkeys. I GOT THE MAN FLU As you might remember from the first episode here from Nicaragua, I live in a beautiful big hotel apartment in a place called Paraiso Granada. Here I spent a week in bed. In the beginning, I thought it was food poisoning, but I found out that it was a simple flu. The "Man Flu". So I felt sorry for myself. For me, it was 4-5 days of basically just sleeping. And there I was, all alone in a strange country feeling sorry for myself. And after a few days, I realized that I wasn’t alone. I had sent a message to the Dutch hotel manager, Ellen, and all of a sudden she came knocking on my door. With soup, juice, fruit, and a few tablets that might make my stomach ache go away. I speak to Ellen, a few hours before leaving about this. Also, we talk about me having too much in the fridge. She tells me that I should just leave it. The cleaning lady will be so happy to get it. A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE SITUATION IN NICARAGUA 2018 This episode was recorded in 2017 when everything was peaceful in the country. So, before the 2018-conflict. In the process of producing this podcast, I have been talking to a lot of my friends there. And to describe life there right now in a few words: Things are bad. Very bad. Hardly any tourists come here, which affects everything. A few words of the places I’ve talked about here: Manku Lake Paradise is closed for the time being, and hardly any guests are staying at Paraiso Granada. The restaurant here is still open, but mainly for local guests. Every night there is an armed guard in front of the hotel. I spoke to a lot of the people I met about doing an interview. But we agreed that it’s just too dangerous - even if we did it anonymously and I didn’t say their name and altered their voices. It just would not be worth the risk. Instead, I will tell you some of the things I’ve been told. I won't tell you who told me this, again because this will be too dangerous for them. There’s a new law now in Nicaragua: When you speak out against the government, you can be arrested and sent to prison for 30 years after a mock trial where you are not able to get qualified legal representation, and you cannot appeal the sentence. You go away for 30 years. The government police are analyzing pictures from demonstrations, and anyone in the pictures might get a nightly visit from them and be arrested, tortured, and sent to prison for 30 years. I was told horrific stories about people having their tongue cut off, and their fingernails pulled out as a means of torture. I’ve also heard about squads of heavy armored militant policemen storming houses with automatic weapons in the middle of the night. I spoke to a man that walks around his house every night to see if there's a chalk mark on his house, that would indicate that he is next. He also said that he feels he is too old, to live through the torture, so he has told his wife that he would kill himself with his own 9 mm gun if the house was stormed one night. He asked his wife if she wanted him to shoot her before he shot himself. Imagine having that conversation with your wife. But that is life in Nicaragua right now in 2018. And many of the local people I talked to say that there is not much hope of anything getting better anytime soon and that their biggest hope is that The UN will send troops to help them. I left a bit of my heart in Nicaragua and I want to come back. I just can’t do it now - and that breaks my heart. Next week I’ll be back in The USA for the second half of my road trip. This time I’ll go from Atlanta to New York, and I’m so looking forward to this. LINKS: Manku Lake Paradise. Sponsor Hotels25.com Follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Podcast #081 - Canadian Cigar Man With His Heart in Nicaragua
Aug 27 2018 28 mins  
DANSK UDGAVE: Søg efter “Radiovagabond” (ét ord). I'm driving in the mountains with my new friend John. We're 105 miles north of Managua that we passed on the way from Granada. And we're getting closer to the Honduras border another 60 miles north of there. We start this episode driving through some farmland that is mainly used for the tobacco industry. Mostly they produce cigars in this area - and that is what keeps this city alive. According to John 99% is supported by the cigar industry. I met the guy in the car in the restaurant where I'm staying in. His name is John Pappas and we became instant friends. Sometimes you meet someone where you just click, and this was one of those times. Three things I notice immediately with John: He's got a beautiful tattoo with greek gods that covers his entire right arm, he's almost always smiling and he always always has a cigar. Most of the time it's not lit - he just sits with it, like most other people would sit with a smartphone. Because John is a cigar-man. And a philanthropist with a big love for Nicaragua. And then he's Greek/Irish Canadian. He speaks English even though he's is born and raised in Montreal, Quebec in the French-speaking part of Canada. His father is of Greek descent and his mother is of Irish descent. After having been very successful building a restaurant chain in Canada he decided that he needed a purpose and a change, and he retired and got in contact with some friends in the tobacco industry here and said: "I want to give back to a country that I love and help the children" One of his friends here found an orphanage here and together they've been supporting it. He tells me that it's hard when you're working with an NGO like SOS that runs hundreds of orphanages around the world, to tell them that you want to be a part of deciding what the money goes for, but after a while, they managed to do so. In this episode, you can hear when we're driving in a poor neighborhood. We're on a dirt road with tiny houses on each side and a huge building at the end of it. That's probably the largest tobacco factory in the area. John wants to show me the orphanage he's working with. And as we're approaching we can see a little bit of a difference. We see less garbage, freshly painted, and everything looks a bit nicer. This is a Sunday morning and a quiet day here. It's not normal for guests to be able to visit this orphanage so I feel lucky that John would take me there. John tells me that most of the children are not orphans. Most of the children are abused in multible ways. And the thing with sexually abused children is a big problem in this country. I've heard someone say that maybe one out of three children has been abused here. So they have a rule that all males should leave the orphanage before the sun goes down. Even John, that they know. But the rule makes sense. Also, this is a country with so many young single mothers. I was told that many men have no responsibility and just move on to the next woman after he made her pregnant, and John confirms this. 13 million children are born every year to mothers between the ages of 15 and 19. In fact, almost 25% of all births in the country are from teenage women. And around half of the women in the country give birth before they're 20 years old. Abortion in Nicaragua is completely illegal. At the orphanage, we walked up to the room where the activity is taking place. The door and the windows are open so we can peek inside. And we see that this is an activity for 25 teenagers. They are being tough on "life" as John calls it. John told me that one day some of the staff here at the orphanage came across a 13-year-old girl in the city. 13 years old - and very pregnant. So they walked home with her and met her mother. She was 27 … and very pregnant. Both mother and daughter were about to give birth any day. And as they were talking … on walks the grandmother. She was around 45 and ALSO very pregnant. So three generations of Nicaraguan women, all very pregnant. And apparently, it was the same guy that had made all three pregnant. The mother's boyfriend that had made both her, her mother and her 13-year-old daughter pregnant. We walk around the area for more than an hour. John tells me more about what they do and all the different projects he's involved with. Mostly it's the little extra things that can help improve life there. Like draining a swamp in the area and turn it into a ball pitch, taking the kids to football when the local team won the championship, throwing a party or things like that. He tells me that there's really only one father figure who works there with the young boys. And we just happen to run into him. John always wanted to be a father himself… But things didn't turn out that way. Until one year ago where he adopted an 18-year old girl. Well, not legally, but he supports her and she calls him dad. And he scares off the boyfriends. John has found his purpose in life. Right here in Nicaragua. In the next episode, John will take me to visit a small cigar factory, we meet a local street artist, I visit the Eco Lodge Manku Lake Paradise - and then I get sick. LINKS: Sponsor Hotels25.com Follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Podcast #080 - Learning Spanish and meeting the locals in Nicaragua
Aug 21 2018 25 mins  
DANISH VERSION: Radiovagabond.dk This episode is dedicated to the people of Nicaragua. Right now the country is going through the worst trouble since the civil war ended in 1990. Hundreds have been killed since the protests broke out in April this year. I did talk to people who were unhappy with the president and the system but when I was there in August 2017, everything was peaceful. I really hope that everything will come back to normal, so the country can prosper. MY NEXT HOME IN CENTRAL AMERICA My flight from Chicago touches down in Managua in the afternoon and after a 45-minute drive to Granada, I arrive at my next home. It's a called Paraiso Granada. The next two and a half weeks I’m staying in a wonderful apartment here in the center of Granada. It’s way bigger than what I need. I have two big bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a huge living room. At the end of that, there is a wonderful kitchen. Total luxury. I’m on the first floor and from my balcony, I have a great view of the courtyard and the pool right next to the restaurant. Paraiso Granada is about 5 minutes walk from Calle La Calzada, a lively street with a lot of restaurants and bars, and at about 6 blocks from the biggest lake in the country, Lago Cocibolca. Granada is a city in western Nicaragua 27 miles south-east of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. With an estimated population of 125,000 Granada is Nicaragua’s sixth most populous city. A DUTCH MANAGER OF THE HOTEL The hotel manager, Ellen Winter is originally from The Nederlands. She came to Nicaragua in 2001 and is now living in Granada with her family. And her extended family - as she calls the staff at the hotel. I ask Ellen what it’s like managing people from another continent than what we’re used to in Western Europe. She tells me that the can feel that the education level is not as high, so sometimes she has to say things many times. But she also sees the staff coming up with ideas on their own. Ellen says that the city hasn’t changed so much since she came to the country 16 years ago. Maybe more cars, more traffic, and more tourists, but other than that not too much. The people are still happy and friendly. And that’s the number one reason why she fell in love with this country. - In Holland we have to make appointments two weeks in advance, Ellen says. Here if I call friends and invite them to come over, people will show up. People here work to live and not live to work. She’s got a Nicaraguan husband and two children, a 4-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl. And none of them speak any Dutch. It’s all only Spanish. I WENT TO SPANISH CLASS One of the things, I promised myself to do when I got to Central America, was to find a Spanish teacher to improve my Spanish. So I find a teacher and get five days of private tutoring. The day before my first class I do a warm-up alone with one of the language apps out there. I feel it’s a good way to get my level just a little bit up before I meet my teacher, Vanessa. And once in school, I meet in her in a small classroom. We’re at a table in one corner and we start talking. In Spanish. I'm lucky to get a good teacher. She doesn’t allow me to speak in English but is good at understanding my broken Spanish, and corrects me when I’m saying it wrong. I'm not mentioning her name. With the current situation in the country, it's not safe for her, with what she says at the end. In the episode, you can hear us talking about my travels. I tell her that I’m trying to visit all the countries in the world. “Todo los paises en el mundo". As you can hear in the episode, my Spanish is anything but perfect. But also you can hear me doing my first Spanish interview after five days. It’s still not good but definitely better. CATTLE COMPANY HELPS LOCAL FARMERS I also met Fernando Montiel, the General Manager of a cattle company with 3,000 cattle. He tells me of the idea behind the company. Basically, it’s to help the local farmers and make money while doing so. The company lets the farmers take care of the cows, and together they get a better price for the cows at the slaughterhouse. This can potentially double the income of the farmers. And the investors make money at the same time. Truly a win-win situation. NICA TIME Maybe you remember my episodes from the Bahamas where we talked a lot of talk about “island time”. You know, where the locals have a relaxed view on meeting times and appointments. The same thing exists here. They just call it “Nica-Time” and when I ask Ellen if there is anything bad to say about life in Nicaragua, she tells me that this is the thing that annoys her the most. Even after 16 years in the country she still can’t get used to this. DISCLAIMER Through my part-ownership of a group of radio stations that I co-founded back in Denmark, I also own a small part of Paraiso Granada, the cattle company and an eco-lodge called Manku Lake Paradise (that we will hear more about in the next episode. I mean every word I’ve said in this episode, and even though I was able to stay here for free, I wasn’t obligated … or paid to say anything I didn’t mean. LINKS: Paraiso Granada Sponsor Hotels25.com Follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.







Podcast #074 - Danish Kringle is a Big Hit North of Chicago
Aug 06 2018 29 mins  
DANISH VERSION: Search for Radiovagabond (one word). With a population of only 77,000, Racine, Wisconsin is not a big city, but has the largest North American settlement of Danes. When Danish immigration begins in the 1840s, Racine quickly becomes "the most Danish city in America" with 10% of all Danes in the USA. This is still visible now; as I drive into the city I see a lot of Danish flags and shops with Danish names. In this episode of The Radio Vagabond Travel Podcast, I’m in Racine, Wisconsin, 75 miles north of Chicago, to visit a Danish bakery. And to find out if I can get a taste of Denmark, or just an Americanized version of it. HOW DANISH BECAME DANISH At the time of the immigration to Racine, The Danish Bakers Association goes on strike back in Denmark in the 1850’s, and bakers from Vienna, Austria are brought to Denmark to fill the need of skilled baking. They use their knowledge of dough folding to create new types of pastries. The Danish bakers see this and add additional ideas, fruits, and fillings. Danish Dough and Pastries as we know it are born. This particular kind of pastry is called “Danish” throughout the world, but in Denmark, we call it “Wienerbrød” – which translates to “Bread from Vienna.” Kringle is introduced to Racine at the turn of the century; at that time, the Kringle was still in its traditional "pretzel" shape with a limited number of fillings. A number of family-run Danish bakeries were opened in the 1930's. THE OLESEN FAMILY COMES TO RACINE Finding it difficult to sustain himself and his six children in Denmark, Anton Olesen sets off for America in the hope of a better life in the beginning of the 1920’s, and two years after arriving he scrapes enough money to bring his teenage son Christian to Racine. Christian finds a job in a local bakery, and after learning the baking trade for 25 years, Christian Olesen opens his own bakery with a partner in May 1949, naming it O&H Bakery. Racine customers begin to request more filling in pastries, particularly in Kringle, leading to Racine bakers creating a new oval shape for Kringle to satisfy their customer's desires. In 1956, Dwight and Lady Mamie Eisenhower receive a Kringle as a gift, proclaiming it publically as one of their favorite pastries. Christian's son Ray and his wife Myrna purchase the business in 1963, and in 1982 Eric Olesen, the third generation of Olesens take control of the bakery. In June 2010, President Barack Obama stopped at an O&H Bakery before hosting a town hall meeting on the economy and jobs later that afternoon, and in July 2013, after over a century of it being made in Racine, Kringle is signed into law as "The Official State Pastry of Wisconsin." MEET ERIC OLESEN In this episode, I go for a tour of O&H Bakery with Eric and also meet a part of the 4th generation of the Bakery. Not only do we talk about bread and pastry, but also about the culture and the part about being an American with Danish descent. How much of the traditions get watered down over time. LINKS: Thanks to O&H Bakery Sponsor Hotels25.com Music with license fra FindTheTune.com See pictures on TheRadioVagabonc.com Also, follow The Radio Vagabond on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on YouTube.


















































Podcast #030 - Digital Nomads of Chiang Mai
May 01 2017 20 mins  
In this episode, I speak to five digital nomads in Chiang Mai, Thailand - the digital nomad hotspot of the world. Andrea Wilde from Tennessee. She does website design and content writing. On her blog, Andrea does a breakdown on how much money it costs her to live this lifestyle. It’s fascinating - especially if you’re considering coming out here. WildeAtHeart.net Ron Tuch from Miami sells stuff on Amazon. It’s a very cool business model and he’s very good at what he does. He's also got a blog where he shares his adventure. RedPillRebellion.com Lebriah Jones from Tallahassee, Florida started the project My Wander Year out of a desire to see the world with her daughter. Frustrated with missing out on opportunities to live outside of the country in the past, she decided to create this opportunity for herself, her daughter, and anyone who, for whatever reason, thought it was not available to them. She takes a group of like-minded around the world for a year. MyWanderYear.com Amanda Day from Missouri does a fair trade women’s fashion called Tropical Bliss. TropicalBliss.com Karl Chmielowiec from Montreal, Canada came to Thailand to meet with the digital nomad community. Making friendship with entrepreneurs and inspiring people, he has found his purpose clarified. He is now associating with a Thai Fashion Brand and will help them expand in the online market. This aligns with his vision of entering the music market, as music and fashion makes love Episode sponsor: Hotels25.com Subscribe in your podcast app or iTunes by searching The Radio Vagabond. And please leave a comment in iTunes if you like this podcast.

































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