On today’s show, I have Jason Moore on the show for a fantastic travel stories episode where we end up trading several stories about making friends with locals… And feet.
Jason Moore is the founder of Zero To Travel, and travel blog and podcast, and co-founder of Location Indie, a community for digital nomads. Jason has been travelling all over the world for several years spending the majority of his time in either Boulder, Colorado (his home town) or in Norway (his wife is Norwegian).
Jason was gracious enough to come on today’s episode to share some travel stories with us.
I’ve been following Jason’s podcast, Zero to Travel, for a little while and he was one of my inspirations for this podcast! Yes, the idea of incorporating travel stories into every episode and have episodes purely on travel stories was conjured up whilst I was listening to his show.
We end up talking about MANY different things on this episode, but they mainly seemed to focus around why it’s important to make friends with locals no matter where you’re travelling too… And also feet.
That was a little weird.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this episode Dudes and Dudettes!
IN THIS EPISODE WE COVER:
- Why it’s important to make friends with locals
- We both have stories about feet… Weird.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED:
Wanna connect with Jason?
LT: So we’re now recording. So, Jason, thank you so much for coming onto the show. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
JM: It’s my pleasure to be here, Luke.
LT: I’ve been listening to your podcast for a long time, my friend.
JM: Thank you so much. That’s awesome.
LT: You’re one of those people that sort of, like, inspired me to get this podcast going, and, you know, now’s the New Year and everything. It’s about time I stop thinking about it, start doing it. So, thank you so much for all of the inspiration and also, like, the awesome travel stories that I hear you talking about. Especially on the episodes, like, you and Travis, like, comparing, the travel stories. Like I love the one where you’re talking about, like, when he came over to Norway not too long ago.
JM: Yeah, I mean, well, I appreciate the kind words. Thanks. And it’s always – I mean it’s always cool when someone launches a new podcast, because I love podcasts. I mean, if you’re podcasting, chances are you love to listen to podcasts, so – it’s really cool to be on the mic with you. And, yeah, Travis and I, we co-host the location indie podcast, but I have Zero to Travel – he comes on there as a guest quite often. He has his podcasts that go on, so we kind of go back and forth. Yet I think we still hear fresh stories because he’s always travelling, I’m always doing different things. We have our back-catalogues, I suppose, of stories, so it’s always fun to get together and, you know, chit-chat and hear different things that I haven’t heard from him yet even though we’ve been working together and friends for a few years now.
LT: Nice, yeah. I listen to both of your podcasts and, yeah, I love both of them. I love listening to travel stories and that’s sort of, like, why I want to do an episode like this where we just talk about travel stories, you know. I think it would be good to – not only to make the audience a little bit jealous of the experiences, like, you’ve had – or if I can bring up some stories that I’ve got in my sort of back pocket. Hopefully make people a little bit jealous, but mainly these sorts of episodes, I want to encourage people to travel. So, I did give you an introduction in the intro to this episode but would you like to just introduce yourself quickly to all of the dudes and dudettes who are listening? Who you are, where you’re from and what you’ve bene up to recently in travel.
JM: Sure. I’m talking to the dudes and dudettes now. I’m Jason, I’m the host of the Zero to Travel podcast as Luke mentioned, and, yeah, if you go there you can find pretty much everything that I’m doing, but the goal and the intention with that show is to help people travel the world on their terms no matter what their situation or experience. So, I’ve found over the years that there are a variety of circumstances that people are in in life, because it’s life and shit happens, you know? And how do we fit travel into that? And everybody that I’ve encountered that loves travel wants to find a way to incorporate more into their lives so that’s my mission, that’s my goal with the podcasts.
LT: Yeah, man, and you do that perfectly on the show.
JM: I try. I try, Luke.
LT: No, no, you definitely do, man, don’t short yourself on that one. You’re podcast is probably one of my favourite travel podcasts.
JM: Well, I appreciate that you’re doing travel stories podcasts as well because I think the stories are so important, you know? You can find the stuff on—Especially in the podcast form, I think, because it really brings it to life. You can hear the personalities, you can hear the voices behind – you can read a lot of stories online as well, but whether you’re reading them, listening to them – like, don’t you agree that hearing anybody else’s stories – I’m always super curious and fascinated, and that’s what got me podcasting. It’s not because, “Oh I want to be a podcast host.” It’s because, “Oh I want to share all these different stories because I’m hearing these amazing stories from all these different people” – other people need to hear this because if I’m finding it inspiring, or I’m finding it education or it’s giving me a different perspective then I feel like why not share it? And I mean that’s one of the best things about podcasting, right?
LT: Yeah, I mean, when you can, like, hear the person’s voice, you hear their inflections and things – and if you just read the story but then you had the same one over a podcast you’d probably, like, view it in a different way because you can hear the tone of the person’s voice, get, like, the hints of sarcasm and all that sort of stuff too and you really get to sort of, like, and get a sense of, like, how they were, like, feeling as well as they were telling that story. So you can hear the emotions they were feeling at the time, as they were experiencing it as well. You probably wouldn’t get that if you wrote it down, but, yeah, I mean, I can talk for – and actually have – talked for hours with people about travel stories. I remember I was in San Diego last month for a business conference and we all, like, went to the bar afterwards and I came close to losing my voice just talking about, like, some scuba diving experiences that I had in, like, Fiji.
JM: That’s awesome. There was a San Diego bar experience that I had, oh gosh, when was it? Four or five years ago. So I used to work in event marketing touring, and I would manage all these events travelling around the United States and I had – since I stopped being a touring professional – I sort of retired from the road for a bit as a touring person, but I was doing this one-off gig because I was working for a staffing company and we were doing this health and fitness event on the beach. Actually - that wasn’t San Diego but it was South of LA. And this was a funny thing, because at the end of the event - we had a whole weekend-long event, you know, many hours of work, we were loading out trucks, carrying heavy equipment, like, off the beach and into trucks that – if you would just walk down the beach a mile with just your bare feet and you, it’s tiring, because you’re walking through the sand, so try carrying a bunch of, like, truss and tents and equipment and things like that, loading these trucks.
So, like, after these 16 hour days, we were exhausted, so of course the crew and I went to a bar and it was, like, this cool local dive bar, and I hope it’s still there because I was like, “How does this place afford to charge $2.50 for a Budweiser when it’s right on the beach here?” Anyway, we were getting into this debate late at night, and there were two guys that were driving trucks back to St Louis and there were two routes you could go. This is, like, an old roadie story, I suppose. Once you got to Nevada to Las Vegas you could split and you could take 40 or you could – highway 40 – or you could take – what was the other highway – there were two highways you could go and they were both about the same distance. And these guys started getting into a debate about who was going to win this mythical race back to St Louis from California. It was hilarious and just the conversation kept going, kept going, and finally they made these bets.
So, anyway, the next day, I get up, I’m not feeling so great. I go out; I’m walking down the 7/11 to get some Gatorade because I made the big mistake of drinking a super dark beer at the end of the night. Have you ever done that? Like my last beer was a Yeti Stout, have you ever had a Yeti Stout?
LT: I haven’t had a Yeti Stout but I’ve made the mistake of doing shots of rum but chasing it with beer all night.
JM: Yeah, that’s a recipe for disaster as well. This Yeti Stout is a delicious beer but it’s like, I don’t know, I didn’t realise I think – I just wanted a dark beer but it’s like eight or nine percent alcohol and it just made me feel totally crappy. So anyway, I come out, and these guys are, like, at the start line ready to take off on this race to St Louis from California and I was there so I was like, “Oh my god, you guys are actually doing this, this is so awesome,” and they were gonna stop and weigh their trucks to see how heavy they were and if that factored in and all that stuff, and it was really fun because I got to be there for the start of this race.
And I stood there with my arms out to the side like it was a drag race from the 1950s and then I was like, “On your marks,” and they had these big 24ft box trucks loaded down with equipment. I’m like, “Ready, set, go,” and I pull my arms down, and it’s the most anticlimactic start to a race you’ve ever seen. Because you hear the diesel engine like [roar sound] and the things are just, like, inching forward at like – I could out-run them for the next mile, they’re going so slow. And these guys were off to the races but it was a hilarious start and I was just cracking up, because these are the kinds of stories as travellers – you get into debates like which way’s the quickest to go this way. So the fact these guys actually did it was awesome. And they did do a race and I think the guy that took the route 41, I believe, but I’d have to check with that guy, I haven’t talked to him in a while.
LT: Yeah, I love hearing, sort of, random stories like that where – just being in the right place at the right time. It’s like, when I used to live in Fiji, we used to get people to play drinking games in the evening and I remember one day came up to me. So the resort I used to live in, mainly backpackers would come up, and most of them would stay like two nights. A few people - - -
JM: Were you working at this resort?
LT: Yeah, so I was working as a scuba diving instructor, and was sort of managing all the diving that happened. Not only at that resort, but like ten different resorts in the area as well, because it was a cluster of islands in Fiji, and – yeah, we had this one guy show up and I think he was from England as well, actually, I found him on Facebook as well; I’ll have to find out exactly where he was from. But we used to do a lot of shark feeding dives when we were there and he really wanted to do one of these dives but because of how deep we went – we went like 30 metres underwater – you had to be certified to do it and yet he was super keen. He really wanted to do it, but he wasn’t certified so he couldn’t come. So he decided to extend – it was originally for two days – so he decided to extend his stay for another eight days.
JM: Because he wanted to feed the sharks that bad?
LT: So he had to do his open water dive, his open water course – so he became certified. And then his very first dive after becoming certified was the hark-feeding dive where we hand-fed – well he didn’t but I hand-fed three and a half metre bull sharks 30 metres underwater with no cage. They’re just swimming around freely in front of you - - -
JM: What’s that like?
LT: Crazy as fuck. The very, very first time I did that I – no joke – I almost shit myself.
JM: Literally. I mean, where does the poo go if you’re in a wetsuit, right? It probably gets - - -
LT: We didn’t wear wet-suits.
JM: Yeah, I guess Fiji; you wouldn’t need a wet suit, yeah.
LT: But when I first started doing it we used to go down and we’d have four people doing it. We’d have a big rope in between two rocks and all of the guests that were on the dive would come down ad hold onto the rope; there’d be one of us on either end with a big pole, keeping the sharks away.
JM: Now, what’s – I mean, I’m imagining a shark coming at your hand that’s holding a fish, but what’s to prevent the shark from just over-biting - - -
LT: It was the way that we fed, so we’d wave the fish – so the people had been diving out there for about seven or eight years so the sharks were kind of used to peopling being around and they’d sort of, like, sort of knew that the people waving their arms around are the people that have the food. So one of the things we used to tell the guests is keep your hands on the rope at all time; don’t stick your arm out because that’s sort of what gets the shark’s attention, not the blood or puss that’s seeping out of the fish heads too. But when the shark would come towards you, once he sort of got a few inches from you, you’d sort of, like, raise your hand up with the fish and if the shark followed you he was going to take the fish out of your hand. And, you know, 99% of the time the shark followed you and then as the shark - - -
JM: What if he took your hand out of the fish?
LT: Well, the sharks don’t – surprisingly move around that fast –they’re very, very slow. So, yeah, you trail your hand up and as the shark follows you, you let go. Your hand’s out of the way, the shark takes it and swims off.
LT: I have a video which I’ll put into the show notes for this episode where I, sort of, made a compilation of my best dives whilst I was in Fiji and I think the last two or three minutes – no, not that long, the whole video’s about four minutes long and the last minute is of the shark feeding dive. Both, we did, reef sharks which are like a metre, metre and a half maybe, we did that shark dive in another spot in Fiji, but then the big bull sharks and lemon sharks are right at the end of the video. I probably got about twenty hours’ worth of Go Pro footage just from feeding bull sharks.
JM: How long did you live in Fiji?
LT: I was there for six months. I spent four months up in the Yasawa islands right near the top which is where we did the bull shark feeding, and then I spent two months on the main island Viti Levu on the south coast which had the most clearest water I’d ever seen. We’d be in the boat, you know, looking just over the edge of the boat and you could see the bottom of the ocean and it’s like 30 metres down, it was beautiful.
JM: What was the culture like there? I’ve never been to Fiji so I imagine that’s one of those places – I can imagine it could be pretty touristy but when you live there for six months, you’re able to get under the skin of that.
LT: Well, yeah, all of the pictures that you see of Fiji, the white beaches, the clear waters – that’s all true. A lot of places now, you see the pictures and think, “It can’t be like that,” and you go there and there’s just one small spot on the country looks like this and everything else doesn’t even compare. But Fiji is actually like that, at least the places I went to. Apart from the main city Nadi, which is where everyone would fly into. That was pretty much a shit hole, but where – the people though, the people are like the nicest people, apart from probably like the Thai people, they’re probably on par. But Fijians are wonderful people. So when I used to work on the mainland, I used to have to get a taxi from where I lived to the resort where the diving operation ran out of and I would get the same taxi driver for about a month. And so, to and from, he would - - -
JM: You guys became buddies.
LT: We became really good friends. We’d probably known each other for about three weeks, four weeks, and he invited me to a wedding.
LT: Sadly, I don’t have any pictures, but he was Indian. So you’ve got the native Fijians and then the Indo-Fijians. So they’re like the two biggest cultures there, the Indians and Fijians. So I got invited to a traditional Indian wedding in Fiji by someone I had known for about two – maybe about three weeks by the time he invited me. So that’s the story I go to when I say you need to befriend locals.
JM: Yeah, I mean, any time you can get invited to a local party or a local dinner or anything – especially a wedding, that’s an honour. It’s an honour to be invited to anybody’s wedding let alone someone you just met three weeks ago.
LT: Yeah that was, like, an insane experience and like I said, that’s the story I go to when I try to tell people, “You need to make friends with the locals”, you know, that’s how you’re gonna get to, like, the true experience of the place. You get to see outside of the touristy areas and it doesn’t even take that much to make friends with people. You know, you see how easy it – I mean, you know yourself – how easy it is to make friends not only with other travellers but the locals. You just need to talk. You just need to talk to them for a little bit.
JM: Yeah. I mean, I think in many ways, as a traveller, often times you have an advantage over other locals, because they know you’re out of their cultural context so it’s like, in some ways, you can be perceived as more safe because you might be less judgmental in a way. You’re not picking up on certain things – I mean, think about how you are in your home town or whatever versus when you go to some other town half-way across the world. It can just – it just de-facts you in some way, I don’t know what it is, it’s not like you’re two different people but it’s just easier, I think, to be in your comfort zone when you’re just around town.
But when you’re travelling, there’s, like, a different mentality and I think, you know, for locals if they’re like, “Oh, hey,” and want to show this person a good time and certain cultures that are just about hospitality, you know? And they’re gonna take you in no matter what, especially if you’re a traveller, so I’m not saying, like, all the time it’s easier. But I don’t know if you’ve found that, I’ve found that. I’m living in Oslo, Norway right now and, of course, Norwegians in general are a little more known to be, I guess, harder to get to know in the beginning even though they’re super-friendly people, but – I don’t know. It’s just a different experience living somewhere versus travelling, I think. I’ve found it to be easier when I’m on the road sometimes.
LT: Yeah, I mean, when you’re sort of, like, not in a place for a long time you sort of, like, go out of your way a little bit more to sort of, like, make sure you have a good time whilst you’re there. Like, I spent a month in Thailand, but I probably only spent three, maybe four days in each location and I don’t think there was a single night where I rested. You know, it was always about making the most out of - - -
JM: Yeah, that’s true; you’re kind of like increasing your odds if you’re out and about more. You’re probably gonna have more of a chance, whereas when you’re home you might be working, and then you’re coming home, you’re making dinner. Next thing you know it’s eight o’clock, and it’s not like when you’re travelling you’re out 12 or 14 hours a day.
LT: Yeah, it’s like at the moment I’m in Toronto. I’ve been here for a little over two months now, and I think I probably did more in one week in Thailand than I’ve done in the two months that I’ve been here in Toronto. Not only because the weather here sucks right now because it’s cold as fuck, but also like you said; you make more of your time when you’re not there for a long time.
JM: What’re you doing in Toronto?
LT: So at the moment I’m here – I’ve got like a lot of business contacts here, and my mentors were here as well. So I came here to really focus on growing that marketing dude, and I’ve also got, like, a drinking games book as well that I want to publish, so I’ve got one year left on my Visa here in Canada and I want to spend as much of it as I can here in Toronto, really focusing on the business. A lot of people go to Thailand or, you know, Columbia or Portugal to work on their business; I decided to come to the biggest city in all of North America to try and work on mine.
JM: You went to exotic Toronto.
LT: Oh yeah. Yeah. You’ve got to enjoy the snow, man.
JM: That’s important, though, I mean as you and I know – when you’re doing the location-independent thing as a traveller – you need to take big chunks of time to actually be somewhere to work on things. It’s really hard to get a lot done on the fly if you’re moving around every three or four days.
LT: Yeah, definitely, so where was the last place that you travelled to?
JM: Where was the last place I travelled to? America, actually. I was back over in the States – I’m living in Norway full-time so going back to the States was actually – it was like going to another country even though it was my home-country, because I was going to another country. So yeah, I went back to the States for about a month, spent time in Colorado where I was living before I moved to Norway, and spent time with my family out on the East Coast for a couple of weeks, and before that I was in Sweden, so I just wanted to check out a little more of Scandinavia. Went to Stockholm.
LT: Oh man, I’d love to go to Sweden. I actually, like, collect air miles on my British credit card and I think I’ve been collecting them now for about ten years, I think. I got the credit card when I was 18. And I’ve finally got enough points that I can get a round-trip ticket from London to Stockholm.
JM: Nice. Gosh, ten years.
LT: Ten years to get that. I never really used the credit card that much but, yeah, took me ten years and I can finally get a free round-trip flight to there.
JM: That’s a brutal time-line.
LT: I think one-way I could probably go further afield, but I don’t know how far because I was looking at return-flights the other day. But yeah, ten years it’s taken me to go London to Sweden and back.
JM: You know I never have gone scuba diving. Just back to your scuba diving again for a second. Because I was thinking about how I’m here in dark Norway, it’s the winter. You’re in dark Toronto, and it’s cold. I’m thinking about the crystal clear water and everything. I don’t know, something about – I love snorkelling. I love trying to surf. I love the water and the ocean. But something about scuba diving, I never really had – I don’t know why. I never had the urge to do it and it’s not because I’m scared, although it’s a little bit of a claustrophobic vibe, I think, if you’re getting too far down. That’s a little weird. I’m an adventurous traveller, I like to do adventurous things, but scuba diving never really grabbed me.
And I don’t know if you ever had this experience but there was a time – speaking of San Diego you mentioned before – I was walking to the ocean – this was probably a rookie mistake maybe, you probably haven’t made it because you know a lot more about what’s going on underneath the top of the ocean. This isn’t like Fiji where you can see 50ft to the bottom. This was in Torrey Pines beach and it was so cold – the water was so cold. You know when it’s so cold where you get that sort of walk where you’re, like, not walking naturally. You’re lifting your feet really far up and you’re kind of shivering.
LT: It’s the walk where you’re trying to move as little as possible.
JM: Yeah, you don’t really want to go in but you want to go in. It’s this kind of half-way in. Anyway, so I’m lifting my feet up really far. I’m walking into the water but really shivering and, all of a sudden, I step on what feels like = imagine a Corona bottle that was buried in the sand but the top of the bottle was out of the sand, and then imagine somebody took a hammer and knocked the top of the bottle off and then you stepped on it.
JM: That’s what I thought happened when I stepped. I literally thought a beer bottle – a broken beer bottle – just went through my entire foot and was gonna be sticking out the other side. What actually happened was I got stung by a stingray in the bottom of my foot. Have you ever experienced that?
LT: I’ve come so close to stepping on sting ray when I was in Australia. So I went to a place called the White Haven beach. It’s one of the most popular beaches in the world. And when the tide goes out it creates pools of water on the beach. So I remember walking with this girl and we saw three stingrays in one of these pools. We were probably in only about up to our ankles, but we were walking, and I was looking at her as we were talking. And she just threw her arm across me as we were walking like a mother does in the front seat of a car when you have to break quickly. She just threw her arm right in front of me and I came, like, inches away from stepping on the tail of a stingray.
JM: It’s – It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, if not the most. It was searing heat like you never felt before. Like, literally, I thought I was stabbed through the foot. That’s how painful it was. And I didn’t even know what happened so I got back out. And I was there while I was on tour but I was visiting some family and staying with them because I have some family out there. And we drove out and I’m trying to be cool because I don’t see them very often so I’m trying to, like, mask the fact that I’m in intense pain for some reason, but really inside I’m crying, and we head out there and the lifeguard is basically, “Oh yeah, you got stung by a stingray,” so we got back to my uncle’s and the remedy – if anybody ever gets stung by a stingray so you know – is to put whatever body part you got stung in into the hottest water you can tolerate. Because - because when you put it into a hot water environment it just kind of nullifies the pain and also they have a protein-based venom and I guess the hot water breaks up the protein, so we got back, I stuck my foot in the hot tub.
They started bringing me Coronas and Advil and I just hung out for a few hours until it subsided a bit, but I had a nasty welt on my foot that was – I’m making the “OK” sign with my hand but probably double-that. Eventually it went out in time, but I had to walk on that foot like 14 hours a day as we were on a music tour and there was no rest for the weary when you’re on tour. Yeah, that was a rough few weeks, man, so I don’t know – I mean, yeah, underwater – I love to look from the top snorkelling style, but I don’t know if I need to go all the way under.
LT: See I normally tell people that scuba diving is like snorkelling but like on steroids. You don’t have to worry about water getting in your tube and you can get right up close at what you’re looking at from the surface. And some places you go to there are, like, ledges that you can’t see underneath if you’re snorkelling unless you duck dive down but then you can only stay down there for as long as you can hold your breath for. You can get close to things, you can stay longer underwater and you don’t have to worry about water getting inside the tube.
JM: I get the appeal. I like the idea, too, of, like, I don’t know, swimming through these little crevices and, kind of, being in this world that you – like you said, you can’t access from the top. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll get around to it. You’re selling me on it, Luke.
LT: I’ll have to show you the video – the video I was talking about earlier on. My compilation of Fiji because in that I’ve got, like, videos of swimming through caves, like, big valleys that we’d found and maybe you probably won’t enjoy the shark bits so much, but, you know, there’s lots of cool corals, lots of cool fish. Lots of fish-feeding dives we did as well just chucked into the video as well.
LT: Yeah, I’d show you that video, but jumping back to your foot story. I actually have two different stories that sort of fucked my feet up. One of them was in Thailand, the other one was in Australia. The Thailand one was – we were in Railay Beach, yeah, Railay Beach, it’s near Krabi in Thailand.
JM: Yeah, yeah I’ve been there.
LT: It’s beautiful isn’t it?
JM: Yeah, nice spot, yeah.
LT: Did you ever do the island-hopping tour?
JM: It was a while ago, man. I was there in, like, I don’t know, 2001 or something.
LT: Long time ago.
JM: I did some hiking, some rock-climbing. I don’t – yeah, maybe I took one of the long boats somewhere.
LT: Yeah, they do, like, an island hopping tour where they take you to three or four different islands, but then on the way back – you know, it’s like a full-day thing, or half-day thing – but anyway, towards the end, you know, it got dark so we went snorkelling by this big, giant cliff on one of these islands. And when you’re in the water - you’ve got these – I can’t remember what they’re called, I think they’re bioluminescent plankton – so when you touch them they, like, sparkle, so it looks like the stars are in the water and when you’re swimming they, like, glow on your arm. There’s probably like 25-30 of us in the water, doing that, and then three girls got stung by a jellyfish, so one of them got stung in their leg – you know, you could see how the tentacle wrapped around her leg because you could see the red sting marks. One girl got stung sort of up her shoulder and arm, and the other girl got stung on the side of her face. Yeah, that was brutal, that one.
But the girl who got stung on her leg – we came back to the beach and you know how Railay beach has got that one path next to all of the buildings, but the tide had come out so the boat could only get about, like, 200 metres from that path so we had to jump out and walk. And I don’t know if you can remember, but if you ever walked on that bit, but there’s some sharp rocks there, but the girl was too afraid to get back in the water so I carried her on my back over these sharp rocks to get back to this path. And just in the 200 metre walk, I cut the bottoms of my feet up, and it was bad, like blood dripping.
JM: But how gallant – how gallant of you.
LT: And she didn’t even say thank you afterwards.
LT: No. So like, the next day I was sort of, like, hobbling around – both feet wrapped up – yeah, that sucked.
JM: That’s rough. That’s like – that was your Die Hard moment.
LT: That was my knight in shining armour moment that went totally unappreciated.
JM: One of the saddest things – you know, I hadn’t thought about that area or that trip in a long time. I don’t want to end on a sour note but I remember seeing something very sad there. I don’t know, it just jumped back into my head, but – on that path, that skinny path you’re talking about where you’re walking – it’s almost like you’re walking in a cave but you’re not in a cave.
JM: And along the side there was a – a dead monkey. And the baby monkey was – it was like the mother, so the baby one that was just on top of the mother, not knowing what to do, totally panicking, totally looking sad. It was so sad, man. I didn’t know what to do. I mean, you couldn’t really do anything, you know. Just nature having its way, I guess.
LT: Thankfully I didn’t see any dead monkeys, but did you go to the beach that had the fertility cave?
JM: Oh yeah. Yeah.
LT: The big fertility cave that had like 20,000 fucking dildos in there?
LT: Some of them like 7ft tall. And I remember there was one I saw, sort of, like, in the back, again, I don’t know – I don’t have pictures of it – but there was one right at the back that was sort of, like, on a pedestal. And it was, like, a golden dildo on a pedestal, like, surrounded by all of these, like, weird, painted dildos. Yeah, yeah, it was weird. And the monkeys were all on the beach, coming and trying to steal your stuff. Yeah. It was a crazy place.
JM: Those monkeys can be wily. They can run away with a lot of – little knick-knacks or your wallet.
LT: Oh, yea, that time I saw things – well, this wasn’t actually in Thailand but in Fiji. I actually didn’t have any footwear for four weeks, because I went to - - -
JM: You’re on an island, you don’t need it, right?
LT: They were all stolen. So – I get really close with a lot of the locals because the resort that I lived on in Fiji in the Yasawa islands was a local Fijian family that owned it and run it. So I became really good friends with them and then also some of the family-run resorts in the area as well. And one of them invited a load of people from the area there for a, sort of, fund-raising kava ceremony to, sort of, raise money to buy, like, school stuff for the children in the area. And we go there and kava is this drink that all the Fijians drink and if you drink enough of it, it gives you, sort of, the same – it gives you the same high as smoke and weed does. Like, really, like, mellows you out, makes you relaxed and you trip on it a little bit.
JM: Is there alcohol in it?
LT: No. It’s like a dried root of this tree that they – dry it out completely and, sort of, like, just mash it up. It looks like tea leaves.
JM: What does it taste like?
LT: It tastes like absolute shit. It looks like dirty water that’s been drained out of a radiator and it probably tastes about the same as well.
JM: Sounds delicious.
LT: But after a while it sort of numbs your tongue so you can’t, like, taste it anymore. Anyway, we were there at this kava ceremony – for like three hours – and it was like polite to leave your shoes outside. So there’s probably about 50 of us in this tiny little park with this big mixing bowl and this one guy – and basically they put the tea leaves in like a sock and they get a load of water and this one guy is massaging the sock in this water. And that’s how it’s made and you’ve people come in with their bowls and, like, passing them out. So, yeah, after about three hours I felt fine until I stood up. And then it was like I went from zero to drunk in the time it took me to stand up. My head – everything was, like, spinning and turning. I just drank ay too much. And I got outside and all the shoes were gone. Someone had stolen all the shoes.
JM: All of them?
LT: All of them.
JM: Like 50 pairs of shoes.
LT: Yep, they were all gone. I think, maybe, there might have been like four or five sets left, but the majority of the shoes had gone. And those were the last pair of shoes I had because the others were stolen as well, so I didn’t have any whatsoever for about four weeks. Luckily I was living on a beach anyway but, yeah, going back to the mainland for the first time with no shoes was weird. Walking around barefoot.
JM: I’m sure, yeah. It probably felt a little liberating in some ways though, right?
LT: It was quite nice until I ended up going to an island that had black sand, so it didn’t matter what you did, you were just dirty all the time. That sucked when you don’t have shoes but, yeah, in general it didn’t really matter. And I was working in the water so it cleaned my feet anyway and I was living on the beach so it wasn’t like I was worried about my feet getting messed up whilst I was there, but – yeah, that was weird, not owning footwear, but it’s one of those stories that, like, people sort of, like, find funny and weird at the same time.
JM: Podiatrists - - -
LT: Why would someone steal your shoes?
JM: A podiatrist might be interested in this episode. We’re talking about feet a lot. Foot – feet – foot fetish – food fetishists, is that the word? But if you have a foot fetish, maybe this is the podcast for you.
LT: I think we’ve found the title there. The title of this episode; Foot Fetishes with Jason Moore.
LT: Cool, so I think we should wrap this up now. We’re about 35 minutes into this conversation, but before you go, my friend, we do have the rapid-fire question session to go through, so are you ready for that?
JM: As ready as I’m gonna be, I guess. I’ve no idea what you’re gonna ask.
LT: Cool. So I just want the first answer that comes to your head and we’ll just spout through them quickly. What is your favourite country that you’ve been to so far?
JM: Man, that’s just not a fair question.
LT: Especially for someone like yourself who’s done a lot of travelling too.
JM: Yeah, I mean, they all – All of them would be a cop out. And it’s hard not to say Norway because I live here and my wife’s Norwegian so I could get into trouble if she hears this later, but, you know, a couple of years ago we went to Nepal. And it was a place I’d always wanted to visit; actually created a whole series around it called Trekking Nepal. If you listen to podcasts just search Trekking (with two Ks) Nepal. It’s a 16 episode series where we – you just kind of follow along with our trip. Planning and independent trek to going on the trail and going out into the Himalayas – something I always wanted to do. And Nepal really grabbed us. We just loved the country, loved the people. It has been a place I always wanted to visit, and it was just a really special place in the world. It’s aligned with a lot of philosophies that I believe in when it comes to Buddhism and there’s just a lot of things about the culture and the people that I really appreciated, so – I would go with that.
LT: Nice. And it’s a good podcast series to listen to – I listened to that not too long ago actually.
LT: And next question: what is the last YouTube video or movie that you watched?
JM: Oh, last night, we watched This Is 40. It’s a movie, it’s like a – it’s sort of, like, a sequel to Knocked Up. It’s just what was on the Norwegian station NRK, and it was Sunday night so a lot of times on Sunday night, if we’re home, we’ll just watch a movie and that’s what we watched. It was pretty funny.
LT: It’s a good movie, I like that one. Number three: what is the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?
JM: I ate crickets in Thailand. I was surprised that - I did one of the jungle track tours and, you know, it’s like a three-day hike into the jungle. And we went to a market and I bought a bag of crickets and, you know, thinking, “I’m with all these adventurous travellers – let’s all eat a cricket together at the same time, that’ll be fun,” and nobody wanted to eat one, so, I just ate them and – yeah, I’d never really eaten a bug before like that. It was grassy. To be expected.
LT: I’ve eaten crickets in Thailand too, and you definitely need something to wash them down with.
JM: I’d say so.
LT: Yeah, so what is your favourite drinking game?
JM: Oh man, this is gonna go into your book? It’s been a while since I played drinking games because I can’t handle a whole entire game around drinking anymore. Beer pong, I guess, because you get to do an activity.
LT: That’s the game I hate the most. If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be?
JM: That’s the sound of silence – because I’m thinking.
LT: It’s a tough one. First person that comes to your head.
JM: Man, that’s, like, a huge question.
LT: For me it’d be Nelson Mandela.
LT: I’d love to meet that guy.
JM: It would’ve been cool to rap with Einstein about the theory of relativity and the universe.
LT: That’s a good one.
JM: I’ll go with that.
LT: Number six: what is the one book you’d recommend people should read?
JM: I would say there’s a book by Michael Singer called The Untethered Soul, and the writing is great in a way that it’s – he makes a simple – a complex subject simple to understand. And it’s really a book that’s about thinking, so it’s thinking about thinking. It’s learning how to think about thinking, in a way. I guess I can leave it at that, but, it’s something that can change your whole reality.
LT: Nice. I’ll have to add that one to my reading list. Number seven - - -
JM: What’s yours?
LT: Mine is actually a book called The Double Eagle. I can’t remember who the author’s called. I actually looked this up the other day. But yeah, it’s called The Double Eagle. It’s a sort of crime story – it’s, like, fictional, but I like the stories that have crime, thriller, action sort of books that have, sort of, like a religious twist to them. So books like Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, and those sorts of religious twists – I like those stories for some reason.
JM: Oh man, have you read I Am Pilgrim?
JM: Oh yeah, you got to pick that one up. Fantastic book.
LT: Sweet. Okay, so what is your go-to song to get in the mood when you need to get shit done? Your pump me up song?
JM: That changes all the time. Depends on what I’m doing. If I’m cleaning, for example – I don’t necessarily love to do – I put on stand-up comedy and I’ll listen to stand-up comedy routines that I can laugh my way through whatever I’m doing that I don’t feel like doing. And it’s great fun so it actually gives me a reason to look forward to doing that kind of thing when I’m not travelling. If I’m working, lately, it’s been more ambient type of stuff. I play guitar so, I’ve been listening to a lot of Grateful Dead and Fish, which, I guess, comes with the long hair, right? It’s a prerequisite for long hair, I suppose.
LT: I agree there.
JM: Yeah, Almond Brothers too. A lot of the, sort of, forever-extending guitar solos and things like that. But I love ambient music like that. If I get out on the road, like on a road trip or something, I love listening to Bob Seger, some classic American rock or Where The Streets Have No Name by U2 which is a song that just fires me up.
LT: Yeah, I just downloaded Black Stone Cherry’s new album. Not new, but it’s new to me. Black Stone Cherry is like my favourite rock group, I love rock music, s I just stick on a rock album and that gets me going. But yeah, Black Stone Cherry released an album in April last year, about eight months ago at the time of recording and I didn’t realise it until yesterday.
JM: Oh you must have been stoked.
LT: Yeah, so straight away downloaded it on iTunes. They’re a kind of Southern rock vibe. I’ve seen them live maybe four or five times now. They lead singer, I believe his name’s Chris I think – the lead singer sounds exactly the same on the album as it does live, so I just love that band. So good.
LT: Question number eight: what is your favourite swearword that you’ve learnt in another language? And I know you’ve just been to a language class so have you learnt any good Norwegian swearwords yet?
JM: I am studying Norwegian right now. I haven’t really used many swearwords in Norwegian yet, because I always default to the good-old American swearwords, but there are a couple of words I’ve learnt that I really like. It’s not a swearword but one is called Poleg, which is just one word that represents anything you could put on a piece of bread. So it could be like salami, cheese, ham – basically anything you can slap on a piece of bread and eat is called paleg, and I like when one word in another language represents a lot of different things and I think that’s cool.
LT: That is pretty cool. Question number nine: what is your favourite podcast to listen to, apart from this one?
JM: Lately – this one hasn’t been launched yet, I’d just be listening to myself. It’ll be out at the time you listen to this and I’ll be listening. I would say, I’m looking at my podcast app right now. Right now it’s WTF with Marc Maron. He does some awesome interviews.
LT: I love that one too. And finally, last question, which is probably gonna be the toughest one of them all. Can you give me your best travel story you have in under five minutes.
JM: I can but I will qualify this with saying that I don’t think there’s one best, because I’ve taken a lot of different lessons and things and memories and experiences from various travel stories good and “bad”, which I never find the things that are the worst things that happen are some of the best – or some of the best stories, of course. So I’m not gonna say this is the best, but I’m gonna say this story is just – well, I’ll explain it afterwards, so my wife and I were in Vietnam a few years ago and we went on one of those epically long 20-plus hour bus rides where it’s just miserable, you know? Have you ever been to Vietnam?
LT: I haven’t been to Vietnam but I’ve done some horribly long bus rides before.
JM: So the seats on the bus there are like – you have two decks, one’s an upper deck and one’s on the lower, which I much prefer to be on the lower, which is actually on the ground. So you have the seat on the ground basically, and there’s, like, a little cubby in front of you that you have to squeeze your feet into - which is super constricting and weird. I’d rather just be sitting up with my feet down – because you can’t lay down and you’re kind of scrunched up on the floor if that makes sense. So one of those crazy long bus rides – just nasty bathroom, like waking up in the middle of the night, more people getting on the bus. Next thing you know there’s like three Vietnamese guys sleeping next to me in the aisle, like, on both sides.
Anyway I popped like three Dramamine and I was out. Because I was like, “Forget it, I’m not dealing with this bus ride, I’m gonna take these.” Dramamine’s like a motion sickness pill but it does make you sleepy. And I’m not – I’m someone who won’t even take Advil or aspirin if I have a headache, like, I try not to just take pills as a rule just for no reason, but that situation – I’m not against popping a couple Dramamine, or a long flight or something like that. So we went on this crazy-long bus ride, finally got to this town, and it was unbelievably hot and humid. I can’t remember if it was the first day or the next day, but we stayed in this place that had incredible value for, I think 25 bucks a night, but you would walk into the lobby and it was super air-conditioned and they would offer you fresh juice and cold, wet rags to put on your head – every time you walked in.
And I was like, “This is awesome”, this is like for 25 bucks a night or whatever we were paying, and there’s two of us so like 12 bucks each, 15.50 each, it was a hell of a deal. And we rented some bikes and we were riding around town. It was super hot. And at one point we were thinking of getting something to eat, so we were arriving on this random street and we stopped and looked over and there was this small group of locals that were just sitting around a table outside, like, eating. And there was all these dishes they were eating, and we were, like, kind of stopped for a minute, and were like, “Is this a restaurant or is this just, like, somebody’s house?” So we kind of, like, locked eyes like – they stopped eating, looked at us – we stopped our bikes and were looking at them. Then, all of a sudden they just waved us in, so we were like “okay”, so and at this point we still didn’t know. We parked our bikes, we go over, we sit down. They don’t speak English, we don’t speak Vietnamese. There’s a couple of people there who speak a little bit of English; they were younger so they were just learning, but not much.
And they just start giving us all this food to try, and they have 10 or 12 different dishes that they’re eating. It soon became clear that we were just at their Sunday family barbeque. They just invited us to their family Sunday barbeque. It was not a restaurant, we were not gonna have to pay. We just hung out with these people, they fed us, we drank soda with them or whatever – we just tried everything that they had, and it was just a really cool moment and totally unexpected. And the reason why I’m telling this story is because when we were talking about locals a little bit before – and I think it’s just a good story that’s representative of the kind of magical things that can happen when you’re travelling with locals and you just never know what’s around the next corner, you know. From this long bus ride to this hot and humid day, we never would have expected that we would be – and I’m sure they didn’t expect that they would have us at their family barbeque and we would be hanging out, eating all of this amazing local food at somebody’s house. And just experiencing that kindness and the kindness of strangers and those local interactions.
And that has happened – I mean I could tell like 50 of those stories from around the world. It’s just a beautiful thing so, if you’re listening to this and you haven’t travelled a lot and you think the world’s super dangerous or maybe makes you a little nervous, just know that all these amazing things are waiting to happen to you too, and if you have travelled you have, I’m sure, experienced these types of things. Like, you have, Luke and I have. And it’s an awesome thing.
LT: Yeah, man. People think that the world is a big, scary place and it can be if you’re not sensible, but yeah.
JM: Anything can happen.
LT: Nine times out of ten, you know, the people that you’re gonna meet are gonna be friendly and show you an experience or show you a side of the country that you wouldn’t have seen if you didn’t just stop and talk to them. So yeah, I think we’ve said this a few times, you know – make friends with the locals and it will really change, sort of, like, your experience in the place that you’re in.
LT: Cool. Well, Jason, that was awesome chat. I can talk to you for hours about travel stories, you know. We’ve barely scratched the surface on both of our experiences travelling around the world, but thank you so much for your time.
JM: Should we do a part two on hands since we covered the feet today?
LT: Definitely. I’ve got a few hands stories I could share.
JM: Thanks for having me.
LT: No problem, man. Before you go, where can people find you online if they wanted to reach out to you?
JM: Zerototravel.com. Zero t-o travel dot com, not the number two. Or you could just search “Zero to Travel” and check out the podcast there if you want more travel stuff.
LT: Sweet, and I’ll put both the website and the podcast in the show notes for today’s episode too, so if you can’t remember how to spell ‘to’ instead of the number two, you can just go to the show notes page and it’ll all be there. So again, Jason, thank you so much.
JM: Yeah, I mean, one more thing I should mention too because this show is about marketing and I know you’re out there doing it and working while you’re travelling. We have a community called Location Indie that you’re a part of and it’s LocationIndie.com so you can sign up for the free newsletter there if you want or listen to the podcast which is free also. It’s a paid community, so if you want to join then there’s membership fee but the newsletter and the podcasts are totally free so you can check it out if location and independence and travel is something that interests you.
LT: Yeah it’s a great community to interact with other like-minded travellers too. So I absolutely love it. So cheers dude, and thank you so much for coming on again and I will talk to you again soon.
JM: Thank you, man.
LT: Take care.
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