Cuba was always on Mimi’s Gough’s bucket list, but she wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to check it off. So when the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) made people-to-people travel to Cuba legal, Mimi knew she had to jump at the chance to visit this fascinating destination.
Mimi is a travel enthusiast who has visited over 40 countries in her lifetime. She has traveled on escorted tours and on solo explorations, and was once a travel agent herself! Mimi and her husband went to Cuba on our Discover Havana tour in September 2012, and she wrote about her experience for the Portland Press Herald. I loved her write-up, and asked our blogging team to reach out to Mimi to hear more about her trip.
She joined us for a podcast to discuss her trip, why she chose Friendly Planet for her tour, the great people she met along the way, and the most memorable experience she had in Cuba. Listen in for these details and more.
Thanks so much for sharing your tour experience with us, Mimi! We had a great time talking with you.
Have you ever been in a foreign country and stopped someone to ask for directions? If you have, there’s a good chance you were greeted with kindness and helpful tips to get you where you needed to go. This simple way of engaging with others is one of the easiest ways to interact with people, which Andrew McCarthy uses as one of his tactics when traveling abroad to break the ice with locals, even if he knows exactly where he is.
Andrew generously gave us a few minutes of his time after he spoke at the travel show to explain how going outside of your comfort zone can obliterate fear, the transformative power of travel, and how acting and directing has affected his writing. He also talked about how, contrary to first thought, travel actually makes him feel at home. Hit play below to listen to all the details.
Many thanks to Andrew for sharing a few minutes of his time to chat with us! Be sure to follow Andrew on his website and Twitter for the latest information on his travel adventures.
We hope our Cuba podcast series has helped build your knowledge of Cuba and highlighted all of the wonderfully rewarding experiences the country has to offer. Listen as Pat and Regina excitedly fill us in on their favorite parts of the trip, and why they’d love to go again. Also, if you’re interested in seeing their trip in its entirety on their television show, they give the details about the air date in the podcast.
Thanks again to the Grannies on Safari for speaking with us about their trip!
Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson have no reservations about experiencing all the world has to offer. These Grannies on Safari travel the world and film their adventures for their TV show, so they often expect the unexpected.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: The Grannies on Safari got to see how the people of Cuba live
But even the Grannies on Safari experienced some things they didn’t anticipate while traveling to Cuba on a trip sponsored by Friendly Planet Travel. Regina and Pat had the opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at the lives of the Cuban people not usually covered by mainstream media. Hear their stories below.
COCO CAB: Regina called these open-air taxis coco puffs!
CUBAN FLAVOR: The Grannies got to sample frozen drinks!
If you’re interested in hearing about Cuban culture, look no further. That’s because we’re back with another installment of our podcast with the Grannies on Safari, Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson, who document their world travels for their show.
Most recently, they ventured to Cuba, courtesy of Friendly Planet Travel. Take a listen to our interview below to hear all about their cultural adventures while in Cuba. Can you say cigars, mojitos, and black bean soup?
We recently interviewed Regina and Pat for our blog, and they gave us the inside scoop on what their trip to Cuba was like, how they enjoyed their people-to-people experience, and how the trip to Cuba exceeded their expectations.
We’re sharing that interview here — even before their show airs! Since there was so much to talk about, I decided to split our podcast into four installments, and I’m excited to give you the first one below.
Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson, also known the Grannies on Safari, have just returned from their trip to Cuba, all thanks to Friendly Planet Travel. While we anxiously await a peek at the TV program they filmed during their visit, I wanted to share the second part of our podcast that we conducted with them before they left.
In this part of the interview, Regina and Pat tell Friendly Planet Travel blogger Caitlin what “dying trade” they hope to uncover in Cuba, what old pieces of history they’d like to visit, as well as why Regina was so excited to bring her granddaughter on the trip. Listen in to the rest of their conversation below!
Stay tuned to our blog because Regina and Pat will soon fill us in on the wonderful people and places they saw in Cuba. We can’t wait!
I’m kicking off my search for the perfect travel gear today with an ingenious article of clothing — SCOTTEVEST. It lets women and men travel hands free. The SCOTTEVEST really caught my eye and my attention because I always carry a purse or a large tote bag when I travel.
The bag contains all my things for the flight, including my travel documents, netbook, iPhone, books, a change of underwear, cosmetics, and anything else I can’t live without for the duration of the trip abroad.
It all fits inside the tote, but that tote becomes pretty heavy once it’s loaded. And what a mess when I have to go through security! And with all that stuff inside the tote, imagine me trying to quickly put my hands on my iPhone when it rings. No way. It’s buried with all the other stuff. The phone usually stops ringing before I can get to it.
And men are in a similar boat. They use a backpack or other bag to hold their wallet, documents, smart phone, camera, etc. This extra bulk can weigh down your travel experience — literally.
SCOTTEVEST Travel Clothing is stylish clothing that actually saves you from having to carry around purses and bags, since every garment has tons of pockets where you can securely stow gear and gadgets. I know this might seem impossible, but when you see them for yourself, you’ll understand why these garments are so ingenious and helpful.
The SCOTTEVEST trademark vest has 22 pockets alone. It actually has special places for everything I carry in my tote bag, plus a pockets for a water bottle and a small camera. And guess what? The items don’t bulge out making you look (and feel) like a pack horse, and the vest is made from breathable, lightweight material making it quite comfortable to wear.
I have never promoted items on this blog, but honestly, it seems to me that SCOTTEVEST clothing has managed to solve a very common problem for travelers. I think Friendly Planet travelers would find them ideal for our tours.
For example, the vest is suited for travel in safari vehicles, which typically have little storage space even for a purse or hand luggage. Or, consider our island hopping tours, where frequently getting on and off boats makes having hands free to steady yourself virtually a must!
I loved the whole idea behind the clothes and was delighted when Scott Jordan, the founder and CEO of SCOTTEVEST agreed to be interviewed by Melissa, a Friendly Planet blogger, for a podcast.
During their interview, Melissa found out how Scott’s clothing aids travelers in getting through airport security faster, eliminates the need for a carry-on bag, what destinations it’s ideal for, and more. He also gave us a sneak peek at what they’ll be introducing for the holiday season. (Hint: It involves an article of clothing usually only seen by the wearer.)
SCOTTEVEST is also sponsoring the No Baggage Challenge with Rolf Potts. Rolf’s a travel writer who embarked on a six-week worldwide trip without using any luggage, just his SCOTTEVEST clothing. Scott’s been talking to Rolf frequently and Melissa got an update on how his challenge is going so far.
Scott also just talked travel. You’ll find out why he loves Israel and Morocco, and he makes his case as to why everyone should experience Burning Man once in their lifetime. What Scott didn’t know when he spoke to us is that our very own webmaster, Cameron Clark, has been to a number of Burning Man events. He can echo Scott’s endorsement of the adventure.
So turn up your speakers or pop in your ear buds, and listen to Melissa’s interview with Scott. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole conversation, I’ll be posting the transcript in a few days. But in the meantime, leave a comment on this post if you own a piece of clothing from SCOTTEVEST and tell me what you think about it.
Matt Kepnes was a typical college grad in 2005. He was working and completing his MBA. But after a trip he took to Thailand that year, he decided he wasn’t meant for a desk job, and traveling the world was going to be his new career path.
Matt finished school, quit his job, and in 2006 started traveling full time. Four years and 31 countries later, Matt has become better known as Nomadic Matt, professional vagabond and creator of the popular website, Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.
While Matt was in Amsterdam last week, I interviewed him about how he got the courage to leave everything behind to travel, how he stretches his dollar, some of his most unforgettable memories, the cities with the best food, and more.
What I discovered is that Matt’s travel philosophy is a little different than one might expect. He doesn’t mind visiting the same city over and over again to really get to know it. It’s one thing to say that you’ve traveled to numerous countries, but it’s another to get to know the towns, the people, and the culture that turns you into a great traveler.