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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