Month: January 2021

January 30, 2021


Special Guest: Ruben Garay


In this episode, pilot Ruben Garay shares his journey from Hollywood producer to pilot
for a major commercial airline affected by the pandemic. He was one of the many people in the airline industry who was furloughed. He reveals the journey to reaching his childhood dreams of flying and readjusting his life. He shares some valuable advice to aspiring pilots who now see the current state of the industry —- go for it. Things will change.

Update from when we recorded this: Ruben is flying again. For
more updates on his life, check him out on @californiapilot


My thoughts:

I’ve known Ruben for many, many years – over a decade and yet in that time, I’ve never had the chance to really sit down with my friend to hear his journey.  It’s funny… you meet someone, you become friends, you have brief glimpses into their thought process and maybe have a quick chat about their lives, but it’s so rare to be able to have the opportunity to ask questions the way I get to when I do a podcast.  It’s intimate.  It’s real.  It’s raw and you as the interviewer, get the chance to really find out who this person is because you just listen.  And that is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned during this journey of podcasting… the value of listening.  Ruben shared with me the ups and downs of his love for aviation.  There were times in our friendship where I would hear him gush over the type of plane flying over us but it wasn’t until now and during this podcast where I truly learned his love for flying in the skies above me.  He is one of the most hard working people I have ever met.  In any industry he decided to take on, he succeeds.  I don’t know why that is, but some people are made up that way.  We have that in common.  The undeniable desire to succeed in whatever we put our mind into.  We don’t stop.  We keep going and we only look back to share the gratitude we’ve had for the journey. I know his world has been turned upside down during this pandemic.  We all have.  It’s been such a crazy journey and at the end of it all, he has come out from the other side.  He is again flying the skies since recording this episode.

And yet again, he proves how amazing he really is.

Thank you for sharing your journey with me, Ruben!


00:00 Ruben reads an excerpt from his travels


  • Drea introduces Ruben
  • Drea & Ruben discuss how long they’ve known each other and their background of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles
  • Drea & Ruben talk about Femme Fatality web series and how successful it became pretty quickly.
  • Ruben talks about his success as a pilot coming from very little monetary help and hard work. He talks about hard work and results that will come out of it if you keep going.
  • The power of believing in yourself and the American dream


  • The beginning of Ruben’s career with the World of Brittany www.worldofbrittany.com, which was the first fan site for any celebrity on the internet and it was all about Brittany Spears.


  • Ruben talks about the beginning of his life in aviation and his love for planes even as a child.  Ruben talks about his early childhood living as an expat and meeting friends who had parents who were airline captains.
  • Ruben talks about Microsoft Flight Simulator in the 90’s and his progression to getting his pilot license.


  • The story of the day Ruben decided to become an airline pilot and the transition to Compass airlines, then JSX and then over to a major airline.


  • Ruben talks about the difficulty of getting hired by a major airline and how most of the hires come from the military
  • He shares the moment when he got the call that he got hired for a major airline and how surreal it felt.
  • He shares how excited he was to finally get hired and then covid-19 hitting the world a month after his hire
  • The Gala he was invited to after getting hired and then losing it all to Covid-19
  • While he was training, he saw the way the world started evolving in front him from pre-covid to post-covid
  • He discusses his time at the hotel where he was training and how there was suddenly no staff in the hotel except for the one man at the front desk.


  • Ruben talks about him and his wife getting sick with Covid


  • Ruben was one of the 40,000 airline staff who got furloughed.  He discusses what this experience looks like.


  • Ruben talks about the pilot community and how they’ve supported each other.


  • Drea discusses the need for travel and the need for pilots as a result once the covid situation subsides
  • Ruben discusses the importance of travel and adventure.


  • Ruben shares his favorite place he’s traveled which is Cambodia
  • He really enjoyed Siem Reap, the quality of food and hotel – The Lotus Blanc $60 per night pre covid but now it’s even cheaper.
  • $50 for a 6 hour spa day.
  • He went to the Angor Kwat and loved the spiritual experience


  • Traveling is the best medicine for the soul


  • Ruben shares his most meaningful person he’s ever met on his travels


  • Ruben shares his most fulfilling moment as a pilot.  He loves the fact that being a pilot means part of everyone’s life when he’s taking you somewhere on a journey.


  • Ruben shares his advice to any aspiring pilot who is passionate about it because it’s hard but it’s very rewarding
January 25, 2021


Special Guest:
Mike Crowley


In this episode, we hear about the long journey walking across the USA with Mike Crowley. Mike shares the inspiration that brought him to trek across the USA 2x and the lessons he learned during this mentally challenging but rewarding voyage.

If you’ve ever dreamed of selling all your belongings and living a life on the road indefinitely, then this is the podcast episode for you.

My thoughts:

I was first referred to Mike Crowley from one of my podcast guests, Alec Sills Trauch.  During Alec’s time in the Grand Canyon he encountered this incredible human being, Mike Crowley.  I didn’t know what to expect really when I talked to him except that I knew it was going to be something special.  This man had hiked the entire USA from West to East and again decided to it a year later from South to North through multiple seasons.  Thru hiking is very special and not for the faint of heart.  There is nothing about it that is easy, not physically, mentally and emotionally.  First thing I noticed from Mike was his calming presence.  I at times have frantic energy especially when I’m stressed out with the many, many things that I do.  Mike was the complete opposite and right away, his energy calmed mine.  He was serene.  He was complete.  He was present.  I loved talking to him.  It reminds me of the simplest of things.. the things that really matter.  Hearing his journey and how he got there, and all the people he’s met along the way, and all the roads he’s taken that were less trodden, reminded me of the important things in life.  There were times during this interview that made me want to cry.  Plenty of times, just the tone of his voice sounded so soothing and like a poem he would share his life.  Though at this time, I don’t think I’ll do a cross country American walk but I do know that I’ll probably attempt a thru hike of some sort, and I do know that perhaps I’ll take some of his advice to remember the importance of silence and experience the universe and the appreciation to turn off time.

Thank you Mike Crowley!

January 17, 2021


Special Guest: Mary Calliste

In this episode, we hear about the journey to healing and traveling the world as a black woman with travel blogger, Mary Calliste @_countitalljoy. Mary shares some amazing tips about her favorite locations to travel as well as some Interesting stories of the connections she’s made that has made a healing impact in her life. Talking with this bright, positive, and outgoing soul, I laughed and laughed, and learned so much about the important of connection and growth.

Mary’s love for travel started at the age of 16 when she left the Spice Island of Grenada for an extended visit to the U.K. Mary has traveled to several countries since and has been sharing her travel and faith journey by way of story-telling with hopes to inspire, empower and equip others for moments in their own journey.

Mary’s life is filled with more little moments than big, more abundant with quiet moments than loud, and colored by more lessons than losses. Having to navigate and survive challenges at a young age, Mary is choosing daily to live a life of meaning and inspiration. Travel inspired Mary to share stories with the world. She recently founded the Moments Unplugged Collective to provide a safe space for a global community of women who are interested in travel, not just external travel, but a deeper travel within themselves to find real connection and emotional healing.


My thoughts:

Upon meeting Mary, I knew I would love her.  What a special and dynamic human being!  I don’t think I have ever used the words to explain someone but she is all of this and more.  I learned so much from my short time with her during our podcast interview.   For one, I learned a little bit about her story and her journey to who she is now.  In the episode, we hear about her healing journey with her past traumas.   Coming from trauma myself, hearing her words really resonated with me in so many different ways.  When you meet her, you immediately are greeted with a beautiful, powerful person who is so bright and optimistic about life it is contagious.  She is outgoing, understanding, funny (we couldn’t stop our laughter), genuine and the list goes on and on.  Genuine…. that is something that many people lack and being genuine just oozes from her very bones.

Now when it comes to her blog – I knew a little about it and was attracted to her positive energy.  Her blog talks a lot about healing and connection, and finding that connection through meeting others while she travels.  I myself, have found so much healing from my own traumas by serving others, by being a voice to those who do not have one, and I love finding those stories when I travel.  Mary is another one that understands the weight and value of this important service.  Thank you for the inspiration Mary.  Thank you for sharing your important story.  I hope if someone is out there listening, that her journey inspires you and empowers you as much as it did for me.

Show Notes:

00:00 Mary reads her excerpt from one of her instagram posts about #TravelingWhileBlack

1:49 Drea introduces Mary and shares her biography

3:07 Mary explains the instagram post she read about Traveling while being black.  She has had many experiences that she found as an opportunity to educate different cultures. 

6:27 Mary talks about an experience where she changed a man’s mind about using the “N” word so casually. She used it as an opportunity to educate this man who had no idea the history and origin of this word. Drea and Mary discuss how it’s just a lack of education why moments like this happen and how as Americans we also enter into countries where what we do might be considered insulting – Education is the gap to all of these differences. Mary talks about in Sri Lanka she loved the food so much that she licked her fingers.  But in Sri Lanka that means you do not like the food and is very disrespectful. 

9:15 Mary shares how she balances her work life/career and travel.  She gives the advice of how to approach a full time job and make them aware of your priority for your passion for travel. 

14:32 Mary shares what travel means to her – She is really passionate about meeting people and really understanding who they are.  She enjoys spending the time to really talk to them and get to know them on a personal level.  This passion for connection is what she loves about travel. 

17:18 Drea talks about her trip to Nepal, talking to her Sherpa, Raj and hearing about his life.  

19:38 Mary talks about how she discovered traveling and how it serves her. 

23:40 Mary talks about living in England 

24:08 Mary discusses her travel blog, Moments in Square and what she shares on her travel blog. She talks about her experiences on her travel blog vs. what to see or do. 

26:08 In her blog, she also talks about her healing journey and how she used travel to help her.  She speaks about traveling solo and reflecting on her life when she does travel. 

30:02 Mary gives a piece of advice to someone who wants to go on a healing journey. 

36:50 Mary loves to travel to a hotel but not a hostel (only nicer ones).  She made a commitment to herself that if she can afford nice things, to treat herself.  She doesn’t do luxury hotels usually but she does do the mid range hotels.  She stayed in a tree house once called Rumah Pohon in Bali.  

40:47 Mary talks about traveling solo and what that means to her.  

43:43 Finding the ideal travel partner and the importance of finding your tribe

44:44 Mary talks about the challenges she’s had when she travels.  One challenge she faces is her friendly personality.  She talks about a negative experience she had in Morocco.  Drea also shares her story in Fez, Morocco. Mary talks about the difference between Casablanca and Fez. 

57:47 Mary discusses the most meaningful person she’s ever met on her travels.  Her most meaningful connection is during a trip to India with her tour guide. 

1:00 Mary’s most fulfilling moment is inspiring other people and also seeing a sunrise in a different country.  And another moment was a sunset in Lake Pichola in India

1:04 Mary’s favorite location is Bali – She talks about some of her favorite places – 

Peguyangan Waterfall (Nusa Penida) 

1:06 Mary’s shares her favorite tip and tricks on staying in Nusa Penida, Bali.  First off, she says that you should stay a few days and see the island by a scooter.  

Stay at the Rumah Pohon Treehouse for the best view of the island for less than $50. 

Buy your boat ticket in advance from Ubod because the lines get really long and it’s becoming a very popular destination.  

1:08 Mary shares the things she always brings when she travels.  Flip Flops.

1:09 Mary’s most valuable lesson she’s ever learned while traveling which is to leave your stereotypes at home and come open minded.  

1:10 Mary shares her life advice to a younger version of her. 

1:12 Find mary on instagram.com/_countitalljoy




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