Month: September 2020

September 29, 2020


Special Guest: Ruslan Sirota

Ruslan Sirota is a Grammy award winning pianist, composer and producer. Ruslan has been touring, performing and recording with major artists, such as Stanley Clarke, Black Eyed Peas, the Alicia Keys, Seal, Josh Groban, Ne-Yo, Chick Corea, George Duke, Kamasi Washington and countless others.


My thoughts:

Ruslan… Ruslan… Ruslan…  I’ve known Ruslan for 6/7 years?  Jeez!  I cannot put into words how much this person inspires me.  He is one of those real people, the salt of the Earth, as they call it. When I first heard Ruslan play piano, my heart sang.  My love for music runs so deep.  Many people don’t even know that I began this life as a singer so that first love has always been music.  For a while, I actually didn’t know the accomplishments that Ruslan Sirota had under his belt.  He was just a quirky, talented, kind human being that I wanted to be friends with.  Soon, I’d learn who he was and that made him even more impressive.  Ruslan is a grammy award winning pianist that has a boat load of crazy stories.  And this episode, barely covers it all.  BUT, with that said, it’s very rare that you get to actually sit down with your friend and ask questions about the beginning of his or her life.  In this episode, I got to ask Ruslan all kinds of questions and learn even more about this remarkable human being, I’m proud to call my friend.

It’s funny – the coolest people I’ve met have been those that rise of adversity.  Maybe my past and my own rocky beginnings, was what made me so drawn to you, Mr. Ruslan. I had no idea until now how truly amazing you are.  Your story – Your Talent – Your travels.  Thank you. I can’t wait to learn more as the years go on.

In this episode, Ruslan shares his beginnings in the Soviet Union during Chernobyl and then shortly after the Gulf War.   He shares his destiny and  journey with music, and some favorite experiences throughout the world.

Stay Wild,


Show Notes:

Intro: The episode opens with an article about Ruslan Sirota and his musical journey written by Adam Renn Olenn called “Finding a Balance”

3:04 Ruslan shares what it’s like to share the stage with the Dalai Lama.

10:46 Ruslan discusses finding his calling and the life of travel

17:25 Ruslan shares his early life during Chernobyl & the Gulf War. He goes in depth about the conditions of the Soviet Union and how his family had to escape. Upon reaching Israel, they were greeted with the Gulf War.

25:00 The melting pot culture of Israel and how it is to live there

27:28 Ruslan shares what it’s like to travel as Musician and the first time he was on a major tour

33:12 Ruslan shares his mishap on his first tour.

35:14 Ruslan shares his favorite spots in the world, some food experiences and more

1:10 Ruslan’s current plans during Covid

1:14 Ruslan’s advice to his younger self

Find Ruslan on: 




September 22, 2020


Special Guest:
Todd Snyder

Todd Snyder is the Founder / CEO of Lost Faces of Humanity Foundation, an NGO focusing on the refugee crisis in East Africa. Todd has traveled to over 90 countries as a businessman, trailblazing photographer, and father, whose socially conscious work sheds light on what many choose to ignore. His passion for capturing struggles and triumphs of the human spirit is the foundation of his unique artistic style. Todd leverages his relationships with over 20 years working in the international capital markets and finance to create pathways for significant change to assist the global refugee crisis while using his photography of over 5,000 refugees and thousands of internally displaced persons to create awareness of humanity.

My thoughts:

Todd is living my dream.  I’ve always wanted to travel the world and take photographs of important issues.  He is covering the refugee crisis in East Africa.  Speaking to Todd, not only confirmed these dreams of mine but made me want to keep fighting for those dreams.  His stories about some of the people he met was fascinating and I’ve heard issues with the lack of water in countries in Africa, but he reiterated what I already knew only now I had the opportunity to hear details.  He taught me about the kindness of the world even in armed tribes, and the beauty in refugee camps.  He also taught me that one action creates a butterfly effect. Furthermore, I realized I have to GO FOR IT.  I have to find that thing that moves you, that gives you purpose in this world and create the opportunity for yourself.

Stay Wild,


Show Notes:

Introduction: Todd opens up with his visit with the Mursi Tribe when he was greeted with tribe members with AK47s

1:10: Drea introduces Todd Snyder

3:44 Drea & Todd discuss his journey to photographic refugees

5:50 The beginning of his foundation focusing on the refugee crisis, “The Lost Faces of Humanity”

7:13 Todd speaks about his daughter entering into the UNHCR camp

8:16 Talking about the forgotten people at the camps and what he witnessed during his visit.

8:49 Todd went home and the first thing he did was start the process to create “Lost faces of Humanity”

11:35 Todd talks about the hierarchy of the camps and the struggle to retrieve water.

12:42 Todd discusses the UN providing education for the children, WHO providing basic health necessities, World Food program providing food, and the place of Lost Faces of Humanity. Lost Faces has the goal of providing education/technology for children at the camps as well as providing education of this refugee crisis for kids in the US.

14:14 Todd and Drea discuss the importance of traveling and how much it teaches you. Todd talks about how his daughter met kids from the camp, and the relationship that was created. He wants to merge the kids from both worlds together.

16:35 Todd discusses the beginning of his love for travel and how he likes to travel.

18:06 Todd tells us what he brings when he travels

18:46 Todd discusses his current plans after Covid and the situation of Quarantine in Ethiopia

19:35 Todd’s Favorite person he’s photographed – A boy in South Sudan and the homeless people in Los Angeles – Skid Row

21:36 Great guides in Tanzania and having them look after you

22:13 Todd shares with us his favorite way to choose the people he photographs.

24:25 Lions rubbing on the tents at night in the Serengeti

27:22 Todd goes on a sporadic trip to Morocco – Kasbah, Camel Riding, and Music

31:00 Sleeping outside of the tent in the cold Sahara

34:15 Todd gives us advice to his younger self

35:58 The difference between how the media portrays the world and how the world really is. Todd and Drea discuss how amazing a place like Turkey is and how the media portrays it differently

37:00 Tips for traveling with children and the challenges

38:45 Sienna, Italy and the Palo Horse Race – and trusting a Carabinieri with his daughter

40:15 Drea discusses the Kindness of people in the world as she has traveled

40:45 Todd tells us his favorite location that he has traveled to

43:45 Tips and Tricks to traveling to the Serengeti

44:15 Traveling through the migration and the Masai Mara

47:20 Staying safe and registering with the State Department

47:33 Drea and Todd’s Bucket list items

48:16 Todd shares his information about Lost faces of Humanity and instagram

IG: www.instagram.com/Todd_Snyder1


September 14, 2020


Special Guest:
Vitnija Saldava

Vitnija (pronounced as Whitney) Saldava is a true world citizen, born in the small Eastern European country of Latvia, but now living and working all over the world. She speaks 6 languages and has lived in 6 different countries, now residing in the UK. For the first half of her career she worked as an international news journalist covering news stories all around the world. At the moment, she works as a communications officer at NATO by day, and as a career adviser and a masters student at Harvard University by night.

My thoughts:

Vitnija made me laugh and laugh!  This woman is one adventurous traveler.  I definitely thought that I was an adventurous traveler but I was wrong. I am no where near adventurous.  It was so interesting to hear her experiences in countries such as North Korea.  Who travels to North Korea for fun? Apparently, Vitnija does.   After her crazy espionage experience in North Korea, my travels abroad look like trips to Disneyland.

If you want to hear some interesting stories in Albania or North Korea, this is the episode to do it.  Yes, there are also other tips such as the pineapple curry in Cambodia, which I am definitely going to get when I go visit this country.  Take a listen!

Stay Wild,




1:10 Vitnija shares her family’s history with wanderlust

4:55 Vitnija shares her first solo trip to Finland at a really young age

7:30 How Vitnija chose to go to North Korea

8:35 Vitnija shares her experience sneaking around and getting caught in North Korea.

17:55 Vitnija shares her FAVORITE places that she has traveled with a few helpful tips on how to make your way over to these special places.

19:30 Vitnija shares her tips on traveling to Cambodia

21:00 Solo Traveling and why

29:05 Vitnija shares her experience in Albania shooting Kalashnikovs

36:30 How has Covid affected Vitnija

39:00 Feeling connected

41:30 Vitnija’s favorite item to buy when she travels



September 7, 2020


Special Guest:

Soyla Flor

Soyla Flor was born in San Diego, California and raised in Los Angeles.  She has traveled to 51 countries, lived in Paris, France to study Art History, and in Rishikesh, India to study Hatha Yoga. In 2015, she decided that she was ready to embark on a new journey, when she was hired as a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines and discovered aviation.Her love for travel and adventure has married perfectly with aviation. She took her first ‘discovery flight’ in November of 2018, and in February 2020 became a private pilot.She is currently working on my instrument rating and commercial pilot license, and her goal is to become a Certified Flight Instructor and eventually an airplane pilot. When she travels she enjoy spending her time mingling with the locals and sitting at coffee shops while people-watching. She also love cats, mangos, yoga, and deep meaningful conversations. Want to connect? Follow me on Facebook or Instagram @soylaflor. God bless!

My thoughts:

Before speaking to Soyla, I didn’t really have any idea of how truly difficult it is to be a female pilot.  I mean, I saw that stats and did some research but hearing how isolating it can be as a woman was certainly eye-opening.  And who knew, there would be a group of avaition women called “The 99’s” that would come together to support each other.  The pursuit of aviation and becoming a pilot is so hard as it is, but being a woman pilot is even harder especially when you don’t have aviation running in the family.  BUT Soyla shares with us her journey to keep going and fighting for that dream.  It’s amazing to see her career grow and blossom into this “unicorn” woman that she is.  Soyla shares some handy tips for chasing those blue skies!

My take away as a fellow unicorn in a different male dominated industry – WE GOT THIS.  And if you’re a woman out there trying to fight for that dream that is usually a dream for men, know that you can do it.  Thanks for the inspiration, Soyla Flor!

Stay Wild,

Show Notes:

Intro:Soyla shares her experience in Cuba when she decided to give back to the local community7:10 Soyla tell us about her aviation journey and getting hired for Delta12:28 The challenges of being a pilot and finding “The 99’s”16:37 Soyla shares her love for india during her spiritual awakening, Hatha yoga training course she attended.  19:09 Tips and Tricks for traveling to India23:05 An adventurous trip to Honduras and a near death experience on a boat29:00 Soyla talks about her next adventure, Dubai31:22 Soyla’s favorite items to travel with32:30 Soyla shares the advice she would give her younger self33:32 Soyla can be found on TIKTOK
September 1, 2020


Special Guest:
Dominique Ritchie

Dominique is a full time vanlifer with her blue heeler, Kaia. She travels the world in her van sharing her stories through her blog and her own podcast, Roaming Roads.  

She wanders earth hoping to make a difference by empowering people to live a meaningful life, spreading awareness, kindness and love to each community she connects with.  She is focused on sustainability practices and purchases products with an eco-conscious mission. Her goal…. is to spread awareness, kindness, and love. 


What did I learn from Dominique?  First off, I find Dominique to be one of the coolest people I have ever spoken to.  She is fearless, funny, knowledgeable, and just all around a good human.  You know when you meet someone, you can tell from the energy that they are one of those cool souls roaming the earth.  I felt that in our all too brief conversation.  She is an inspiration to me and I am so glad we got to meet.  Anyhow,  I’ve always dreamed of living on the road as a ,omad and doing the whole “van life” thing but there are so many factors that get in the way of chasing my wild, wild hearts desires.  One of the reasons why I started this podcast is because I get to live vicariously through other people’s adventures.  Perhaps, one day I’ll have the courage to go and chase that wanderlust dream that Dominique is living.  For now, this podcast episode has taught me a lot.  I hope it teaches you listeners out there, a few handy tips.  The moose story was terrifying!  At the time she told me, I hadn’t heard the sounds of what happened, so I had to place that recording in the episode.  Nature is beautiful and terrifying at the same time.  Dear friends and listeners, I hope this episode inspires you as much as it did for me.  And if you really want to hear more of this wonderful female powerhouse, please check her out on her own podcast, Roaming Roads.


2:13 Drea discusses how she found Dominique when she was searching for a Solo Female Van Lifer.

2:57 Dominique shares her passion for travel and van life living

4:00 Dominique discusses exploring her own country, Canada

4:39 Dominique tells us the life transition that pushed her to move into her van. She speaks about the documentary “Minimalism”

9:27 Dominique discusses some of the terrifying moments of living in a van/car and a few tips on how to stay safe

11:37 Dominique talks about feeling safer with Kaia, her dog by her side

12:30 Some challenges of living in a van. Dominique provides solutions on how to mitigate these challenges

14:12 Free Camping and the importance of keeping the budget low

15:21 Tips and Tricks for how to live in a van and avoiding dangerous situations like bears and people.

18:53 Dominique tells us her recent terrifying moose attack while she was hiking and a tips on how to try to keep safe

27:28 Dominque talks about what she does in order to support herself on the road

30:39 Dominque tells us advice she would give to her younger self

32:03 Dominique shares her favorite trails with us: The three sisters & Pearly Rock in Glacier NP in Canada

34:08 Dominique shares her favorite places that she has traveled to in her Van

  • The Oregon Coast and The Kootnays

37:14 Dominique tells us her most meaningful person that she has ever met on the road and how this person reignited her love for van life.

41:59 Dominique shares her plans for the Canadian winter after her plans for coming to warmer areas in the US has been derailed due to Covid and the border restrictions

44:45 Tips and Tricks to Dominiques favorite destinations, Kootnays and Oregon Coast

  • The importance of booking ahead in British Columbia
  • The Okanagan Wineries

47:20 Dominique shares the thing that she purchases when she travels

49:14 Dominque shares with us what her podcast “Roaming Roads” is all about

Find her on: www.instagram.com/shewandersearth

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