Month: November 2020

November 17, 2020


Special Guest: Vitor Rodrigues

Vitor Rodrigues began taking photographs only three years ago and his photographs will stop you in your tracks. He has an obsession with photography and it shows in his work. He is avid traveler, backpacker and outdoor enthusiast. In this episode, he shares some of his tricks and tips, his camera & backpacking gear, and favorite locations.

My thoughts:

I have been in love with Vitor’s photographs for a while.  His expertise in photography is something to be admired.  I really enjoyed getting to finally see the face behind these epic photographs.  When I see another photographers work, I love geeking out to the gear they have and how they create their incredible images.  He shared some of this techniques.

He told me the reason why he wanted to get better at photography is because he wanted others to feel the way he did when he stood at those locations.  Well, Vitor, you have definitely accomplished said goals.  I only hope to aspire to be as good as you are in the world of landscape!


Show Notes:

00:00 Vitor reads an excerpt he’s written when he climbed Mt. Rainer

00:48 Drea introduces Vitor 

1:08 Vitor shares why he is passionate about travel. 

1:25 Vitor tells us how traveling runs in his family.

4:06 Vitor discusses his love for the outdoors and the beginning of his love for hiking 

5:30 The most challenging hike Vitor has ever done was up to Iceberg Lake in the Sierras but he shares his love for the exhaustion

6:46 Vitor shares his favorite tips and tricks for backpackers. He is a big advocate about planning and Vitor shares his techniques on how he does that. 

7:40 Vitor shares his favorite gear that he takes with him when he backpacks 

9:02 Vitor shares the kind of camera gear he brings with him on the trails and how he creates the types of photos he has

10:29 We talk about how Vitor got started taking his incredible photographs. He has only been doing it for 3 years and his instagram is amazing. 

12:03 Vitor’s biggest tip is shared right here. If you want to do what he does, he reveals his biggest secret on how he takes his stunning photographs

14:52 Vitor times his photographs according to the place. He doesn’t favor sunsets or sunrises, but favors how the location looks best in certain times of the day

12:52 Vitor’s favorite place that he has photographed

13:17 Vitor shares his love for photographs and how he approaches his photos with the intention of his edits. 

14:51 Vitor shares one of his first hikes as a novice hiker and the decision to climb Mt. Washington, the tallest peak in the east coast. 

17:08 Vitor shares his most fulfilling moment – the top of the mountain. 

17:30 Vitor talks about his favorite mountain he’s climbed – Temple Crag

19:33 Vitor has a love for Yosemite and he shares his first experience at his favorite park – Tunnel View

Viltor also shares the need to watch “Free Solo” the documentary with Alex Honnold, if you ever plan on going to Yosemite 

21:31 Tips and Tricks to travel Vitor’s favorite spot, Yosemite. He also shares the importance of picking up your trash

23:01 Drea and Vitor discuss the advantage of limiting the amount of people that can go into the park because of Covid restrictions and the beauty of winter in Yosemite to avoid the crowds. 

24:31 Vitor shares his next destination – North Carolina and the Smoky mountains. 

25:25 Vitor shares his one interesting item that he buys – a hoodie 

26:25 Vitor’s favorite hike – Mount St. Helens

29:05 Vitor Life Advice  

29:37 We can find Vitor on instagram on


November 10, 2020


Special Guest: Anastasia Gorelova

Anastasia Gorelova is a producer and journalist for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. She is also a creative producer working in an international media company in Prague. She has worked with Reuters and the BBC. She has covered events such as the Pussy Riot Trials, the World Cup, the Olympics, and the NATO summits to name a few. She has a passion for music and many of her travels has been inspired by covering music events throughout the world.

My thoughts:

I have known Anastasia for 6+ years and as always, I am literally in love with this human being.  She is one of those people that when you meet them, you realize that there is good in this world.  Once upon a time, I ran an Airbnb in my 2nd bedroom in my apartment and in one fateful moment, I met Anastasia.  We fell in love!  She was into music.  She was a solo female traveler.  She was filled with my same energy.  She was going to be part of my tribe.  

At the time, my ex was moving out of my apartment and there was catching me as I cried my face off.  Anastasia was my new best friend and at that pivotal moment where I was over this crappy relationship – Anastasia was my cheerleader.  We spent many nights in Los Angeles, partying away and enjoying the incredible independent music scene.  

So enough of our love story – Anastasia was not only such a wonderful friend, but she was a bad ass journalist.  She was perfect for my show.  She traveled the world searching for musically inspired stories.  She since then transitioned into Creative Producing but I still see her frequenting the globe.  She is filled with tons of helpful advice in regards to journalism and her favorite places to travel:  Japan and Iceland.  I hope you enjoy this fun episode.  

Show Notes

00:00 Intro to Anastasia and Short Excerpt that she wrote

1:02 Drea and Anastasia talk about how they met through AirBnb

2:00 Anastasia talks about the excerpt she wrote. It was taken in Alabama Hills days before Coronavirus really hit the world. In the midst of airlines closing flights, Anastasia was traveling through California to get to Lake Tahoe during a snow storm.

7:59 “Travel is Life” Anastasia explains her reasons why she is passionate about traveling

9:30 Anastasia loves traveling in nature. She loved traveling on the 395 in California past Death Valley and the Ancient Bristlecone Forest

13:58 Anastasia shares her preferred way of traveling, via camper van. Anastasia and her fiance went to Iceland and toured the country in a camper van. During their visit, they were able to catch the northern lights twice! She explains what it’s like to see the northern lights in person.

16:52 Anastasia’s next travel plan- going to Japan and traveling the country via Camper Van. She discusses the interesting roadside stops in Japan. Anastasia also shares that New Zealand is an easy place to travel in a Van because of their loose regulations on being able to park your van anywhere and sleep in it.

19:17 Anastasia’s favorite two countries in the world are New Zealand and Japan.

21:10 Tips about traveling to Japan from Anastasia. The advanced toilets in Japan are one of her favorties- The Toto Toilet Gallery.

24:25 Her advice for first time travelers to Japan is not cramming everything in one trip. Focus on a few specific things. She explains some tips and tricks on what to see, transportation tips.

26:15 Anastasia shares one of the best premium dining experiences she’s ever had in Japan and the world. She explains the art of sushi in Japan and the dedication it takes to become a sushi chef. She also explains the type of dining experience it is at this special restaurant, Kidoguchi in Omotesando Area in Japan.

31:45 Anastasia shares her tips for New Zealand – New Zealand makes amazing Flat White Coffee.

31:50 Anastasia shares her favorite places in New Zealand – Lake Taupo and Waiotapu

34:03 Anastasia shares why she began to travel. It all began with her parents sending her out to the South of France for educational purposes. It was here where she realized there was a new way of living. But music, and following the band, “30 second to Mars” began her love to follow music shows.

37:10 Anastasia talks about her life as a journalist and the truth about journalism

42:00 Journalism and Music – The Difficulties of finding paid work for the music industry

44:46 Interviewing Aurora, Bastille and other famous musicians

47:06 Anastasia’s tips on how to interview

479:27 Anastasia’s tips on how to Pitch for an article

50:52 Anastasia shares her most fulfilling moments as a journalist – Seeing her work on the BBC

53:16 Anastasia shares her most interesting person she has ever met during her travels. She also shares an interview she did with an athlete that changed her stereotypes of athletes.

56:25 Anastasia shares some advice to herself.

57:45 Anastasia shares her one item that she brings and purchases when she travels.

58:33 We can find Anastasia on instagram


November 4, 2020


Special Guest:

Alec Sills-Trausch

Alex Sills-Trausch

Alec Sills-Trausch’s love for the outdoors stems from his family. At a very young age, he was introduced into the world of adventure. From being dragged kicking and screaming as a kid, to now waking up before sunrise or staying up through the night to snag the perfect shot. He combines adventure travel and photography to inspire others to enjoy mother nature as much as he does. In November of 2018, he was diagnosed with Gray Zone Lymphoma but it did not stop him from enjoying the adventures of the outdoors. Through treatment, he was able to appreciate and enjoy daily activities. In April of 2019, Alec was declared Cancer Free. On July 4th, 2019, he summited Mt. Whitney in a day, he also the Rim to Rim Canyon trek also in one day, explored the backcountry of Wyoming and the adventures continue. At 28, he’s only been taking photos for two years but enjoys the perspective it has brought to his life and the ability to document the wonders of the world. 



When I saw Alec’s profile on Instagram, I had to take a pause.  Did this man really do all of this post cancer treatment?  Why, yes he did!  I had to talk to him.  I’ve known a few cancer survivors and actually, cancer runs in my family.  I had a friend tell me once after his many months fighting cancer, “No one really talks about what happens after.  How you feel after? I’m not all here.  I’m not the same.  People think… thank god, you are alive but they don’t see how it’s effected me. They are just glad I’m alive.”  My friends feelings were valid.  And for many, life after cancer, can be difficult.

This is why I had to talk to Alec.  I really wanted to understand how shortly after his treatment, he decided he was going to complete the rim to rim on the Grand Canyon and then continue to climb to the highest mountain in the lower 48 states, Mt. Whitney (14,500+).  These are not easy feats for most people and yet, he did it.  Alec is impressive and is someone I’d love to meet face to face one day.  His journey inspires me to keep moving no matter what lies before us.  His goal is to change how people view cancer.  I hope that this episode is one you can take with you when you’re climbing a mountain that seems impossible to climb.

Stay Wild,


Introduction to Alec – He reads an excerpt from his blog entry in February 2020 post cancer treatment.

1:05 Drea introduces Alec

2:47 Alec tells us about his love for traveling in the United States

2:51 Alec shares with us a little backstory about the excerpt he read out loud in the beginning and his cancer journey, and how shortly after remission he went on to climb Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 and the rim to rim of the Grand Canyon and one day

9:27 Alec shares his passion for travel, his love for small towns, and Boise, Idaho. He even thought about moving to Boise because of the proximity to Mt. Rainier and other beautiful locations.

11:50 Idaho and the pristine landscape and milky way filled sky

12:20 Alec loves to go on road trips and he explains his perspective on the importance of being on the road.

13:35 Alec prefers to sleep in a tent and he shares the ease of what it can be once you learn the routine.

16:15 Alec shares a night at Island lake at 12,400 feet where he heard a howl at an elevation where there should be no life

17:40 Alec shares his love for backpacking and why he loves this type of travel. HE shares one of his favorite backpacking trips in Wyoming.

18:48 The Wind River Range and the Titcomb basin is one of Alec’s favorite backcountry trails. He shares the some of the difficulties of this “worth it” backpacking trek (i.e. mosquitos)

21:00 Alec shares his hike to the top of Whitney less than 4 months out of the Chemotherapy treatment. Alec summited Mt. Whitney through the infamous chute that people take when they cannot go up the traditional route on the 99 switchbacks due to snowfall.

23:25 Drea shares her difficulty with elevation and how she almost every time gets elevation sickness

24:45 Mt. Whitney after Trail crest – The longest last push up to the summit ever. Both Drea and Alec discuss that last push being the hardest part. Alec tells us how fast he got the permit and the last minute decision to climb the highest mountain in the lower 48 states.

27:10 Alec shares us why he began this type of lifestyle

29:53 Alec tell us the story of how he started to do photography. He bought his camera from Craigslist and it worked out great!

31:00 Alec also has a travel blog and journal in which he shares his adventures as well as his cancer journey. In the very beginning of his online blog, his purpose was to keep his family informed about his life but then it transformed into trying to help others experience the adventures he was having. Alec wanted to create a place where he can share advice to others. The blog started with wanting to share his adventures with his parents and now he gets 2-3000 new visitors to his site per month.


32:33 Alec shares his favorite places have been BANFF, CANADA and WYOMING.

33:10 He shares a few tips and tricks for those – Places to stay in Banff, Canada and The Grand Tetons

In Banff, he highly recommends the Banff International Hostel because of the bar in the basement. He also loved “The hostel” in the Grand Teton Village.

35:45 Alec shares with us some advice for anyone going through a similar journey.

37:22 Alec runs into a very interesting man in the Grand Canyon that ended up being a pretty remarkable person.

39:00 Alec shares his favorite fulfilling moment doing the rim and rim 2 months after all his cancer therapy

39:53 Drinking fermented shark in Iceland at a Big Lebowski themed bar.

40:41 Alec shares his life advice to himself.

41:19 Find Alec on




IG: www.instagram.com/AlecOutside

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