TRAVEL WITH MEANING PODCAST
Podcast Host/ Journalist
Shelby Stanger has been passionate about storytelling since she inked her first article in a national publication at age 15. As a longtime adventure journalist in the outdoor sports world, Shelby has standup-paddled a portion of the Peruvian Amazon, reported about a summer-long punk concert series called the Vans Warped Tour, surfed from Tofino to Tavarua, had her own adventure column in five San Diego newspapers, and interviewed countless CEOs, entrepreneurs and pro athletes on assignment for national publications like Outside Magazine, ESPN, and Shop-Eat-Surf.com. Prior to becoming a full-time storyteller and consultant, Shelby worked at the iconic shoe company, Vans, where she helped oversee all the women’s branding and later the international marketing for the Americas and Australasia regions. She later served as a media consultant to brands including Nike, PrAna, Body Glove, and Eagle Creek.
In 2016, Shelby created Wild Ideas Worth Living, a podcast show, currently presented by REI Co-Op. The show features high-impact interviews with world-class adventurers, authors, scientists, athletes, health experts and explorers who have turned their own wild ideas into a reality. She also hosts LifeChangingPlaces, a new podcast presented and created by Lufthansa about how traveling to a new place can change your life forever.
In addition to her work as a storyteller and journalist, Shelby is a longtime board member and volunteer for Outdoor Outreach, a non-profit that helps empower at-risk kids in San Diego through outdoor programming like rock climbing, snowboarding and hiking.
Make sure to check out her new podcast launching in 2020 Vitamin Joy!
The common thread to everything she does: A little adventure is life’s antidote. To second chances. To soul seeking. To success. When not on assignment or behind a microphone, the San Diego native enjoys sampling the best coffee, surf breaks and smoothies around the county.
Dan's unassailable career began early. As an accomplished Sea Scout, his leadership skills earned him honors of Regional Boatswain and National Boatswain Mate when he was 16. At 18, he received his Ship Master's License. He attended Everett Community College, and from there he's lived a storied-tale—owner and operator of Blanchard Marine; Captain of sightseeing vessels at Glacier Bay Lodge in Alaska; 14 years at Alaska Sightseeing/Cruise West working through the ranks from Captain to Director of Marine Operations to Vice President of Operations; and in 1999, he joined American Safari Cruises. Dan acquired the company in 2008 and as Principal/CEO, launched InnerSea Discoveries, a new small boat expedition company specializing in active adventures on the water. In January 2013, the company changed its name to Un-Cruise Adventures.
A natural storyteller (2012 winner of Seattle's annual "Stories of the Sea" contest), enthusiastic skier and cyclist, energetic hiker, world-explorer in off-the-chart places, accomplished sailor, ocean lover, lover of the natural world, and lover of life are just a few of the tags and feverish passions you can pin on Dan. And in May 2013, he was adopted into a native Tlingit tribe. He's living the dream and wouldn't have it any other way. For Dan, it can't get much sweeter with both of his kids in the biz working beside him—it's safe to say it's in their genes too.
Born and raised in North County San Diego, Tristan never had plans of a music career. Her first three recordings, 2003’s The Love EP, 2005’s breezy twenty-three and 2008’s Hello, Tristan Prettyman parlayed her smoky alto voice and laid-back surfer-girl-from-San-Diego charm into an eight-year career studded with highlights that included Hello’s No. 2 position on the iTunes Digital Albums chart and headlining tours across the U.S., Europe, and Japan.
Instead of capitalizing on the attention and immediately making plans to record a third album after wrapping two years of touring in support of Hello, Prettyman took an extended break during which she traveled the globe, had surgery to remove polyps on her vocal cords, got engaged to her long-term boyfriend, dealt with the pain of his ending the engagement, and eventually questioned whether she even wanted to be a musician at all.
When mixing on Cedar + Gold wrapped, Prettyman went back to her hotel room and burst into tears. “I couldn’t believe it was done,” she says. “I got everything out. It no longer lived in me. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt free.” Cedar + Gold (whose title refers to both the cedar walls and ceilings in the home where she recovered from her heartbreak and the gold she spun from her situation in the songs) is an album that manages to be both deeply personal, but highly relatable to anyone who’s had the ground collapse under them and fought their way back to healing.
Her most recent albums "Back To Home" and "Letting Go" are a return to soft sounds and laid back feels perfect for long drives and adventures.
Entrepreneur + Founder, Travel Noire
Zim Flores is a believer, traveler, speaker & entrepreneur. In 2013, she started Travel Noire, an award-winning boutique travel company. By the time the brand was acquired in 2017, it reached 2MM travelers each month and sold out of every product it brought to market, building a legion of loyal followers and customers along the way. At 19 years old, she cloned a gene with similarities to a genetic disorder and became the youngest precinct judge for the state of North Carolina. Her love for solving tough problems and her knack for building communities on and offline has led her to critical acclaim.
This Forbes 30 under 30 awardee has been featured in the New York Times, TIME, CBS This Morning, ELLE, The Nation, Essence, NPR, among others, and was awarded by Glamour Magazine as one of 25 Young Women Changing the World. Before it’s third year in business, Travel Noire was named one of the Most Innovative Companies in the World by Fast Company. The following year, she was hand-selected by Oprah for SuperSoul 100, a collection of inspired leaders using their voices and talents to elevate humanity.
Currently, she works with her husband to acquire, grow and sell small online businesses and is the host of The Bloom Podcast, a column-style podcast defining what it means to live passionately for God in a lukewarm world. With a vision almost as grand as the world we live in, Zim is committed to inspiring today’s generation to live out their Kingdom purpose.
Author + Journalist
Steve Bramucci is a novelist, travel/food writer, adventurer, teacher, and storyteller. He’s rowed down the Mekong River in a traditional Vietnamese x’ampan, ventured into the Outback with Aboriginal elders, and spent four months driving a rickety Nissan Patrol through East Africa. His first novel, The Danger Gang & the Pirates of Borneo!, will be published by Bloomsbury on August 1st.Steve’s story of exploring a long-forgotten pirate graveyard in Madagascar won the $10K Trazzler Oasis prize and his trip across Australia in a car fueled with French fry oil was turned into a TV show.
He’s written for National Geographic Books, Afar, Outside, the Orange County Register Magazine, and dozens of other outlets. He’s the founding editor of the LIFE section at Uproxx.com – a website that gets more than 20 million unique visitors each month – and has published stories in The Expeditioner’s Guide to the World, I Learned Ku Fu From a Bear Cub, Never Trust a Smiling Bear, and Eminem: Rap, Poetry, and Race.Sometimes Steve visits schools, sometimes he gets invited to cook and tell stories in people’s homes, sometimes he consults for restaurants or hotels, and sometimes he plans pirate scavenger hunts. It’s a lot to keep track of, but that’s part of the adventure. Most of all, Steve loves cool opportunities and thrives off connecting with people.
Newsman + Frogman
Kaj Larsen was born in Santa Cruz, California, and graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a degree in Political Science. At Harvard University he received his Masters degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. At Harvard, Kaj was awarded a fellowship from the Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics, and Public Policy. He was also a joint fellow at Tufts Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism studies. His focus includes international security policy, media politics, and political affairs.
Kaj is an award winning filmmaker and correspondent. He was recently the Senior Correspondent and Producer for Now This News. He previously hosted the Emmy award winning series VICE on HBO. At VICE Kaj has produced documentaries on conflict and national security issues. He is the only journalist to be embedded in the Nigerian fight against Boko Haram, and conducted the first exclusive interview with the architect of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program. Prior to Now This and Vice Kaj was a correspondent at CNN as a member of CNN’s Special Investigations and Documentary unit. His on-camera career began in 2005 when he covered the war in Afghanistan for Current TV. At Current TV Kaj helped develop the Emmy Award winning Vanguard Journalism series. He was the first journalist to bring the issue of waterboarding to the public by having himself waterboarded on TV. He broke the media silence on Somalia by being the first western TV journalist in Mogadishu in over a decade. He has since gone on to report from war zones and conflict spots around the world, in places such as Pakistan, Yemen, Cambodia, Colombia, West Africa, and Latin America. His feature documentaries have covered topics ranging from the drug war in Mexico to the devastating floods in Pakistan to Wikileaks. His reporting is distinguished by his in-field and in-depth examination of difficult and dangerous topics around conflict zones, national security, and criminal justice.
Kaj’s intrepid reporting and powerful filmmaking has put him at the vanguard of a new broadcast journalism. He frequently appears on other media outlets such as ABC, NBC, MSNBC, and the Huffington Post. He was the senior correspondent and host of The Current Election, a daily show about politics and public policy. As a producer Kaj has created hit television series such as US Navy Pirate Hunters, a one-hour special for Spike TV, and LOCKUP the highly rated show about life in American prison for air on MSNBC. He was Aaron Sorkin’s private consultant on the hit HBO series Newsroom. His work has earned him critical acclaim including an Emmy nomination, a Peabody nomination, two Telly awards, and several Golden Cine awards.Prior to his work in television, Kaj spent five years on active duty serving as a US Navy SEAL. As a Lieutenant he led a team of special warfare personnel in covert operations overseas deploying as a detachment Commander in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
He continues his service as a SEAL reserve officer assigned to US Special Operations Command.Kaj is a two time national champion open-water swimmer, and placed third in the Escape from Alcatraz duathalon. Kaj has lived extensively overseas, including Thailand, where he studied Muay Thai boxing. He is a practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and frequently competes in mixed martial arts competitions. Kaj used his pay from the service to help launch The Mission Continues, and served on the Board of Directors for five years. Kaj also serves on the Boards of Advisors to the Veteran service organization Team Rubicon Global. He has deployed three times in support of Team Rubicon to render Humanitarian assistance in Pakistan, the Philippines, and the US.
Ask A Concierge
Sarah Dandashy is recognized as one of the leading concierges in the world. People seek her out for her travel tips, advice, and knowledge of trends from the “frontlines of travel.”
Award-winning, she was named “Best Young Concierge” by Les Clefs d’Or International, making her the Miss Universe equivalent of the concierge profession.
She has worked at some of the most prestigious hotels, including The London West Hollywood, Four Seasons Washington DC, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, and The Peninsula Beverly Hills.
A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Sarah has lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; London, England; Atlanta, GA; Washington, DC; New York City; and now Los Angeles. She has traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the US.
Conversational in French and basic knowledge of Arabic, she can comfortably navigate the streets of Paris, negotiate a plate of free falafel, and bust out some solid dance moves she learned on the streets of Hotlanta. Clearly, she is no ordinary travel influencer.
Dr. Evan Antin
Exotic Veterinarian/TV Host
Show highlights :
7:50 impactful trip to Tanzania as a student
23:50 Crazy moment in Australia (don't try this at home)
Dr. Evan Antin hails from Kansas City, Kansas where he grew up spending the majority of his childhood in search of native wildlife including snakes, turtles, and insects. He went on to study evolutionary and ecological biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder and spent multiple semesters abroad in Australia and Tanzania to learn more about their respective ecosystems and fauna.
In addition to his love for cats and dogs, Dr. Antin’s passions lie in exotic animal medicine and interacting with exotic animals in their native habitats around the world. For more than a decade Dr. Antin has made an effort to seek opportunities to work with wildlife on a domestic and international level to include locations such as Central America, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Eastern, and Southern Africa, South East Asia and a variety of North American ecosystems. The accumulation of Dr. Antin’s hands-on experience with exotic animals has prepared him exceptionally with their handling, husbandry, and enrichment. He is capable of caring for small, delicate animals; large, dangerous animals; and of course our beloved household dogs & cats with ease and confidence.
Dr. Antin was the host of "Evan Goes Wild" on Animal Planet combining his passions for veterinary medicine and wildlife conservation while raising awareness about animals around the world.
President & CEO, ECOS
As President and CEO of ECOS, Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks leads the strategy and production of environmentally friendly cleaning products, including the ECOS, Baby ECOS, ECOS Pets and ECOS PRO product lines. She has been internationally recognized for her highly effective leadership and influential voice in the green movement and in corporate social responsibility. Vlahakis-Hanks oversees four sustainable manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and a global sales team. She has implemented sustainable practices that have made ECOS a model for green American business. Under her leadership, ECOS became the first company to achieve the“trifecta” of sustainable manufacturing: carbon neutrality, water neutrality and TRUE Zero Waste Platinum certification. As a primary manufacturer, ECOS has received many awards for its innovations in safer green chemistry, including the U.S. EPA’s Safer Choice Partner of the Year. ECOS makes its plant-powered products using 100% renewable energy and has reduced its waste by over 98% by working closely with its suppliers to avoid waste and extensively recycling and reusing materials.
Under Vlahakis-Hanks’ leadership, ECOS instituted one of the strongest employee benefits programs in the industry, offering its employees a wide variety of benefits such as medical insurance, paid sick and family leave, disability coverage and onsite wellness programs. A graduate of UCLA and the Chapman University Argyros School of Business and Economics, Vlahakis-Hanks has been featured on CNN, ABC News, FOX News, NBC News, Bloomberg and Marketwatch and in the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register. Vlahakis-Hanks resides in southern California with her husband, teenage daughter and rescue dog Mina.
Michael is the youngest Canadian / American male (dual citizen) and #265 person on record to visit all 193 UN nations. Taking him just over 6 years, 72 months to visit all 193 countries, documenting his journey on his channel Global Degree. Michael truly earned his Global Degree as he connected with people and experienced local traditions in every country he visited. Upon completion on his Global Degree Michael gave a TED Talk in Oxford England about passport accessibility.
CHEF ERIC ADJEPONG
Our conversation with Chef Eric Adjepong was held in front of a live audience at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) as part of Bermuda Restaurant Weeks 2020. Chef Eric was in Bermuda to cook several meals as part of Restaurant Weeks with the highlight being the Bermuda Culture and Heritage Dinner. Chef Eric talks about the special menu he planned with local chefs from Bermy Eats featuring locally harvested foods and unique Bermuda flavors (12:22). During our talk you’ll also hear Chef Eric mention his thesis that he wrote while attending the University of Westminster for his Masters. Part of the research of his thesis took him to Ghana and ultimately helped him down the path to cooking the West African cuisines that he loves. (20:42). Chef Eric has made his thesis available for the public through the Bermuda National Library.
Chef Eric was a finalist on Season 16 of Bravo's Top Chef and will be returning for Top Chef Season 17 AllStars, premering March 19th on Bravo. As a first-generation Ghanaian-American born and raised in New York City, Eric sources the flavors and influences in his cooking from many of the West African dishes he grew up eating. He is passionate about introducing diners to West African cuisine and the impact its diaspora has had on South American, Latin American, Caribbean, and American food, all in his elegant, artfully plated style. Chef Eric will be opening his first restaurant On The Double at the famed D.C Food Hall Union Market in Spring 2020. Co-founder of Pinch & Plate alongside wife and decorator Janell Adjepong. Prior to launching Pinch & Plate, Eric cooked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in New York after graduating with degrees in culinary arts and nutrition from Johnson & Wales, one of the country's premiere culinary universities. He also holds a Master of Public Health in International Public Health Nutrition from the University of Westminster in London.
PRESIDENT & CEO OF GOSLING INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
Founded in 1806, the Gosling’s brand achieved renown almost exclusively because of its distinctive dark Bermuda rum. That soon changed when Malcolm Gosling took the reins in 2003. As the seventh Gosling to steer the Bermudian family business, Malcolm brought an abiding respect for the brand heritage to the table, but he also brought a contemporary sense of marketing, business acumen and appetite for growth.Born and raised in Paget, Bermuda, Malcolm attended Boston College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, then returned to join the family business. Almost immediately he realized the considerable export potential of the locally popular Gosling’s
Born and raised in Paget, Bermuda, Malcolm attended Boston College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, then returned to join the family business. Almost immediately he realized the considerable export potential of the locally popular Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. In 1985 he became Director of Gosling’s Limited where he oversaw domestic product and sales operations while also mapping a strategy for eventual entry into overseas markets.
With time and perseverance, Malcolm advanced to Vice President and Managing Director of Gosling’s Limited. In 2003 he finalized the formation of Gosling’s Export (Bermuda) Limited where, as President, he launched his long-planned strategy to expand the family brand worldwide into new markets with new products.
First step was forming Gosling-Castle Partners, Inc. in the U.S with Malcolm as President and CEO. Second step was relocating to Boston with his wife and two children where he could better focus on his aggressive plans.
Since then, Malcolm has taken a series of determined steps to ensure that the Gosling’s brand name and products continue to expand in popularity. Today, the brand once known in limited regions for its unique Black Seal Rum is becoming known internationally not only for its signature dark rum but for a range of products, programs, awards, and honors.
ARAS & CHRISTY BASAUSKAS
CO-FOUNDERS OF CHRISTY DAWN
Christy and Aras Baskauskas - As individuals they’ve both traveled the world extensively seeing it through different lens and experiences….Christy grew up in small town in Northern California and traveled the world as a very successful model and Aras grew up in Santa Monica spent time overseas as an athlete, musician, yogi and winner of TV reality show Survivor.…..in 2013 Christy and Aras co-founded the eco-friendly clothing brand Christy Dawn (www.christydawn.com) focusing on dead stock fabric that brands no longer wanted …. They wanted to do something different, more ethical, environmentally friendly with longevity for the brand and everyone on the team….Christy Dawn has embarked on an exciting new Farm to Closet initiative in India continuing to up their game and make a difference giving back to the earth …for more information on Christy Dawn and their exciting Farm to Closet project visit
Tricia Huffman, aka Your Joyologist, urges you to claim your joy and own who you are every single day via her empowering social media presence, Claim it! Podcast, youtube series, affirmation based product line, daily inspiration APP and everything she does. She is a rock and roll roadie at heart and by first career who specializes on working with those in the public eye to keep them in integrity with who they want to be in the world and for themselves.
Episode 32 & 33:
& HUNTER JONES
Actress, producer and science communicator with a particular focus on Wildlife. She is on the advisory board of OCEANA and is a board member of EARTHS OCEANS amongst others. Born and raised in Barcelona, she is the great-niece of NOBEL prize laureate Severo Ochoa an active member of MENSA. Christina graduated from Santa Isabel La Asunción in Madrid, and went on to study Oceanographic engineering at ULPGC, off the coast of Africa in the Canary Islands.She continued with advanced marine biology studies at James Cook University in Australia, where she focused on Elasmobranchii, as well as taking part in programs through the Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia in Spain.
A member of the Los Angeles Committee for Science for Society, official host of the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and has collaborated with MESA since 2011. Currently she can be seen reprising her role as Renn on the TNT show ANIMAL KINGDOM, as well as on ABC's "A Million Little Things". When she is not acting or producing with her partner Karen Gorostieta in their company QE PRODUCTIONS (Quantum Entanglement), you can usually find her working in Wildlife conservation or underwater."
Professional surfer, news personality, video editor & model from Los Angeles, California.
From a young age, Hunter loved being creative and found video editing and producing as a passion. His love for surfing and editing really fell hand in hand. As the former Social Media Coordinator for the WSL, he was producing content daily as well as editing global commercials & campaigns. Now as a freelance editor, able to work on all different types of videos from anywhere in the world. In addition to surfing and working as a creative, Hunter spends a lot of time in front of the camera. Staring in multiple commercials, stuntman work, appeared on reality TV show The Bachelor and co-host a daily surf based news show for WSL
I grew up in Denver, Colorado and I love anything to do with adventure, outdoors, and story telling.
I’ve been extremely fortunate to spend the past 11 years (since 2008) traveling the world with non-profit organizations, helping share and tell their stories through film and awareness. I’ve also spent that time taking hundreds of college and high school age students on trips to teach them about heart-led leadership and global community awareness.
After working with hundreds of organizations in over 60 countries and countless amounts of students and young adults I’ve found a few different types of projects and programs. A few being The Traveling Good, Pursuing Purpose Podcast, Mentorship Mastermind and a handful of others along the way.
My goal has always been to make an impact both locally and globally, internally and externally, small and big and couldn’t have dreamt in a million years it would become a such a fun adventure where I get to bring hundreds of people around the world and locally with me to help others.
I don’t want to make this a big list of things and highlights but just a quick preview and idea of who I am and whats my “why”. I do and create everything because I either couldn’t find it or didn’t have it growing up. Whether that being a mentor to look up or creative content to be inspired by or trips around the world to help others, or local events in communities that celebrate the Good. Each and every project has a fingerprint of my hope, my faith, my why, and my love for others.
Welcome to Episode 30 of the podcast. This is going to be a solo-cast episode. I’m honestly still amazed and beyond grateful to make it to episode 30! Huge thank you to all who have supported this endeavor and shared feedback along the way. Many more awesome podcast conversations coming up with truly extraordinary guests. This episode is actually recorded in the back on the Travellers Autobarn camper-van I was traveling in. I wanted to get out of LA on Black Friday and #Optoutside camping up the coast. My oldest nephew Howard came with me. It was a nice break for both of us. We don’t get to spend much time together as he lives north of Phoenix. He’s twenty-Two and very different from where I was in my life at twenty-two. He’s very smart, loyal and a hard worker, not saying that wasn’t me, but I had been to dozens of countries, was focused on meeting women and having crazy life experiences.
Howard is a little more reserved, but he has mentioned to me several times how much he wants to travel. We talked a lot about traveling on this camping trip. I’ve told him since he graduated high school four years ago I would send him on a trip and pay his airfare and ground transportation, he just has to say when he’s ready. In sitting around the campfire drinking a beer I asked Howard so when is the right time, he said maybe February? I said what’s holding you back, he said his job. I shared with him what if I could help create an opportunity for a better job than he currently has when he returns. He loved that idea and we started working on resume together. Not sure if he will take me up on this trip in February, but I really hope so. This trip would not have been possible without my Travellers Autobarn campervan. If you follow me on social (@Schibel @Travelwithmeaning) you’ve seen me post about the van and Travellers Autobarn several times. What you might now know if I’ve had a relationship with TAB for almost ten years since my first trip to Australia. I share about how that relationship started and talk about a video I made for them during my thirty days in a station wagon driving south on the east coast of Australia. Check out the video here and don’t hesitate to connect with Travellers Autobarn for a road trip adventure - make sure you use the code Travel With Meaning for a discount.
Thanks for listening.
See you on the open road!
CHEF GIO OSSO
Owner and Executive Chef Gio Osso captures the daily dynamism of authentic Mediterranean cooking at Virtú Honest Craft, located in Scottsdale, AZ’s Bespoke Inn. Among the laidback, coastal villa-vibe of his restaurant, Osso creates a menu that changes multiple times a week, highlighting the best ingredients sourced seasonally from across the country and around the world. “I like big, bold flavors,” Osso says, “but it has to be clean and crisp, involving all of the senses.” To allow himself the freedom to prepare such flavorful, yet simplistic, straightforward dishes, Osso spends as much time as necessary to find the ideal product, be it seafood from Spain, cheese from Italy, or spices from Northern Africa.
Much like his dishes, the chef considers each of his employees individually to ensure a happy and productive team. “Someone might need you to be a coach, someone else might need you to be a friend,” he explains. “If you give me 120%, I’ll give it right back to you—I want to foster greatness.” Overall, he strives to be the best teacher he can be.
“I started cooking when I was still in a highchair,” Osso explains, referring to the pot his mother gave him to “stir” while she prepared meals. “It was the only way I would eat—so it was no shock to my parents when I wanted to become a chef.” Although he grew up in Cliffside Park, NJ, his culinary inspiration comes from summers spent in Southern Italy on a farm in Calabria with animals, gardens, and a large family that convened every year around family recipes.
After gaining kitchen experience in New Jersey, Osso graduated from the fast-paced New York Restaurant School in 1993 at the top of his class, and cut his teeth with an externship at March under Chef Wayne Nish, in local pizzerias, and in hotel kitchens such as at the Algonquin Hotel. In 1994, John Foy’s Sonoma Grill in East Rutherford, NJ plucked Osso for its sous chef, placing him alongside Chef de Cuisine Richard Lowack. Lowack served as a culinary and operational mentor to Osso, and the two went on to work together at numerous other restaurants until Osso struck out on his own as executive chef for Stamford, CT’s Fio’ Ristorante in 1996, and then opened his own restaurant, café, retail, and catering operation, American Gourmet, two years later in Allendale, NJ.
Osso linked up with his mentor again in 2002, when Lowack requested Osso’s help in the pastry department of his new Phoenix restaurant. Soon after arriving in the desert, Osso launched Sugo Pastaria and Wine Bar, an upscale pasta-centric Italian spot. He spread his culinary influence further throughout the city by consulting on restaurants including Luc’s, Oscar Taylor, Blue Note Cellars, and Spiga. After then spending two years at Scottsdale’s Estate House, revamping the culinary program as executive chef, Osso’s career took an unexpected turn in 2010 as he jumped at an opportunity to oversee concession operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, via HMS Host. Managing on-site operations and an off-site commissary, Osso successfully introduced 13 local concepts to the airport, substantially elevating its culinary offerings.
Virtú Honest Craft, which debuted in 2013, sprouted in Osso’s mind back in 2006, while he spent a month traveling with friends throughout Southern Italy, sampling local Mediterranean cuisine. In the wake of Virtú’s success, Osso opened Nico Heirloom Kitchen as a posh, sophisticated spot for seasonal West Coast-inspired Italian cuisine, in Gilbert, AZ, in 2016.
Chef Osso resides in Gilbert with his wife, Bethany, their three children, and two dogs, a German shepherd and a boxer. Away from the kitchen, the musician-at-heart loves playing his guitar as often as he can, and gets his kicks on the soccer field as well—he almost became pro, once upon a time.
ARTIST & MUSICIAN
Born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia, Jason is a singer-songwriter who first came to prominence in the San Diego coffee shop scene in 2000. In 2002 he released his debut studio album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which contained the hit single "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)". With the release of his second album, Mr. A-Z, in 2005, Mraz achieved major commercial success. The album peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 100,000 copies in the US.
In 2008 Mraz released his third studio album, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and was an international commercial success primarily due to the hit "I'm Yours". The song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving him his first top ten single, and spent a record 76 weeks on the Hot 100. His fourth album, Love Is a Four Letter Word, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200, his highest-charting album to date.
Mraz has won two Grammy Awards and received two additional nominations, and has also won two Teen Choice Awards, a People's Choice Award and the Hal David Songwriters Hall of Fame Award. He has earned Platinum and multi-Platinum certifications in over 20 countries, and has toured in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and parts of Africa.
Jason is a passionate environmentalist and humanitarian lending his name, voice and support for causes that are near to his heart. His Mraz Family Farms grows avocados, coffee and passion fruit. The Jason Mraz Foundation works to shine for arts education and the advancement of equality. For information of Jason’s current and up coming tour visit Jason Mraz.
Explorer & Photographer
Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, Burkard works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.
Layered by outdoor, travel, adventure, surf, and lifestyle subjects, Burkard is known for images that are punctuated by untamed, powerful landscapes. Through social media, chris strives to share his vision of wild places with millions of people, and to inspire them to explore for themselves.
His visionary perspective has earned him opportunities to work on global, prominent campaigns with Fortune 500 clients, speak on the TED stage, design product lines, educate, and publish a growing collection of books. Along with his team, Burkard is based out of his production studio and art gallery in the Central Coast of California.
At the age of 32, Burkard has established himself as a global presence and influencer. He is happiest with his wife Breanne raising their two sons Jeremiah and Forrest in his hometown of Pismo Beach, California
Surfer, Vibrational Therapist,
California born and bred, Kassia Meador began surfing at age 14. by 17-years-old, Kassia was a sponsored pro-longboarder, traveling the world and competing in surf events globally. Known for her graceful surf style, Kassia was crowned the "queen of noseriding" by the New York Times and in 2011 ranked 2nd on the WSL women's longboard tour.
Throughout her 17-year career as a competitive sponsored athlete, Kassia was actively involved in designing products under the umbrella of her sponsors. In 2013, Kassia left sponsored surfing to build a brand--that focused on quality instead of quantity--for women by women.
Since launching in 2015, KASSIA+SURF has pushed the limits of women's surf culture, lifestyle, and design. With a mission to create aquatically functional wetsuits, accessories, and lifestyle gear, KASSIA+SURF is about freedom, empowerment, and enlightenment. Delivering superior quality goods by using eco-conscious production. Future flavor with a classic twist.
BIG WAVE SURFER
In this episode we sit down with Big Wave Surfer and Pipeline legend Reef McIntosh. Growing up in Kauai, Hawaii, Reef was destined for a life in the ocean. I mean just his name alone…but the journey wasn’t always easy. Reef shares intimately of his early surf trips to the North Shore, Fiji and Tahiti. These are all places Reef dreamed about as a young grom.
Through his passion, perseverance and patience it led him to live his dreams as a professional surfer. You will hear in our conversation Reef shares a crazy story that got him a lot of attention in the media from Sports Illustrated and other major news outlets when the jet ski he was driving went over one falls of a wave as well as over the head of Big Wave Surfer, Raimana at Teahupoo, Tahiti (click here to watch).
Reef’s story is a great reminder that dreams don’t happen over night. Stay focused on what you want, go after it, strengthen that muscle everyday and trust your path with no expectations of when it has to happen. If you find yourself in Malibu check out the authentic and upscale Mexican restaurant Reef’s family operates Casa Escobar.
OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST/ CLIMBER
April was born in the 80’s. I moved around a lot in my earlier years. No, I wasn’t a military brat. We moved a lot partially because of my father’s work and partially because he was an explorer like me. I just say I’m from Louisiana and Alabama because that is where my roots come from and most of my family still lives there.
After graduation I worked on some film and commercials doing wardrobe and I fell in love with costume work. I enjoy the creativity involved in Costuming and the entertainment world is a lot of fun.
A couple years ago I decided to take a step back from the Fashion world and focus my attention on something else. It’s so easy to get sucked into the hustle and bustle of the city life and forget your purpose. So I’ve been taking every opportunity to go outside and live the life I love.
Masekela was born in Los Angeles, the son of a Haitian mother and South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela. Masekela is also the older half-brother of Survivor: Cook Islands contestant Nathan Gonzalez. He was raised in Staten Island, New York in the same class with rapper Method Man and Carlsbad, California, where he attended Carlsbad High School. Masekela is the co-founder of Berkela Motion Pictures with Jason Bergh. When he was a teenager, Masekela's upbringing brought him to Southern California, where he was first exposed to surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. From April 2016, Masekela appeared as the host and executive producer of VICELAND’s docu-series, VICE World of Sports. The series took viewers all over the world to explore each location's people, politics and culture through sports. The series premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22. Masekela is also involved in the production company UX Entertainment. Based in Los Angeles, UXE specializes in film, commercials, music videos and animation work.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER/ GUIDE
I’m originally from a suburban town in Connecticut. Growing up, I was not outdoorsy. I didn’t know anyone who traveled regularly. I didn’t have a role model who was exploring the world. But throughout school, I had a curiosity about the world that would not go away. I wanted to travel and explore, meet people from other countries who had a different life experience than mine.
I picked up my first camera at 15 and learned how to process film. Photography was a creative outlet for me, and gave me a way to document things as I saw them. In college, my love for photography faded into the background while I discovered my passion for the outdoors and environmental science. When I was 19, I went on my first wilderness expedition. It was one of the more challenging things I’d ever done. It changed my life and I’ve been hungry for more ever since
In 2013, Ruben Rojas traded in his suit for a paint brush and began transforming blank walls into unique, empowering messages that today are uplifting communities and challenging the public to create new dialogues. As an artist, muralist and activist, Ruben’s mission is to ignite creativity and inspire others to see the world through the lens of love. By using the urban landscape as his canvas, Ruben encourages communities to change for the better through optimism and collaboration. These once vacant walls are now vibrant reminders that inspire those who see them to dream big, feel beautiful, live in possibility, and to love. Ruben’s murals can be seen in cities across the country and around the world from Paris to New York and Florida to Mississippi.
FITNESS MODEL & TV HOST
Celebrity fitness model, Lauren Abraham, is a nationally recognized TV host & live event MC specializing in travel, health, fitness, red carpet events, and action sports. She has over 10 years of ongoing hosting experience with networks such as ESPN, FSN, NBC, and the like. As one of the most influential fitness personalities in the industry, she has been signed as the video creator and host for all Amway fitness video content for the next 5 years globally, as well being the leading spokesperson for MuscleTech, STRONG by Zumba. Recently voted into the top 10 physiques in the fitness industry, she graced page 45 of last year’s ESPN magazine, “The Body Issue.” Lauren is continuously published worldwide, and is seen monthly gracing the pages of fitness, sport, and fashion magazines. She has over 60 magazine publications worldwide.
Founder Generous International
/Bachelor Season 20
Ben Higgins is best known from season 20 of ABC’s hit series, “The Bachelor,” where he opened himself up to millions of viewers, giving them the chance to truly get to know him. The opportunity ultimately led to an enhanced platform that he now uses to share what he is most passionate about with others – his faith, his hope for humanity and his love of sports.
Born and raised in Winona Lake, IN, Ben currently resides in Denver, CO, where he moved after graduating from Indiana University in 2012. Since “The Bachelor,” Ben has been keeping up with a number of projects with the help of some of his closest friends.
SEASON 1 FANALE: SOLOCAST
MIKE SCHIBEL SOLOCAST
This is a solo cast episode where Founder of Travel With Meaning, Mike Schibel shares about his yearly family summer reunion at their cabin in Northern Minnesota. Mike gets real and personal with his experience and why this year’s trip was so different than any other before. We’ll also hear some of Mike’s thoughts and wisdom around making choices while being on the open road and the mindset of a traveler. As Season One of the TWM Podcast comes to a close Mike reflects back and reveals about the road ahead for Season Two with a new partner creating inspiration for future episodes. All this and so much more on this episode of the Travel With Meaning Podcast.
Founder Life Rolls On
Jesse Billauer (born February 24, 1979) is a well-known surfer from Pacific Palisades, California.
Billauer suffered an accident at the age of 17 on March 25, 1996, hitting his head on a shallow sandbar after being knocked off his surfboard by a wave. The force broke his neck, severing his spinal cord at the C6 level and instantly rendered him a quadriplegic.
Billauer was told by doctors that he would never surf again. However, Billauer eventually did return to surfing, adapting his surfing technique and equipment to the situation of his current condition. He has become a role model guide to many other surfers, both professional and amateur, on how to live life to the fullest, despite a life-changing injury. Through these efforts, Jesse has gained sponsorships from companies including Hurley, Channel Islands Surfboards (who developed a "Jesse Billauer" model), LoFric, Wavejet and Shoe City.
“I’m a US based travel expert and spend my time teaching people how to travel well, smart and often. I’m passionate about good travel and helping people save time & money. I often say that travel is my Ph.D in life because it has taught me so much about myself, other people and the world. In turn, travel is good for the world. I believe that travel has never been easier and that everyone can achieve their travel dreams. Happy Travels!” - Angel Castellanos His AngelstravelLounge.com website and all Travel Ambassador social media are like cool travel lounges that bring you expert travel advice on how to travel better, smarter, longer and cheaper.
Richard Bangs is co-founder and Chief Adventure Officer of http://www.Steller.co Richard Bangs has been a pioneer in travel, digital media, e-commerce, and other frontiers. In the early 90s Richard produced the first internet travel site http://www.mtsobek.com, the first travel CD ROM (The Adventure Disc), and the first virtual expeditions http://www.terra-quest.com. He was founder and editor-in-chief of Mungo Park, a pioneering Microsoft travel publishing effort. He also founded www.terra-quest.com. He was part of the founding executive team of Expedia.com (www.expedia.com), and served as its Editor-at-Large.
Destined to shine, her bright personality, experience, and sunny disposition led Angela to break boundaries in the world of sports and media as the first Asian-American female sportscaster to appear on ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, Tennis Channel, Fox Sports and NBC to name a few. During the time Angela hosted the “YAHOO! SPORTS MINUTE”, it became the longest running and #1 daily sports show online, won a Webby Award, and garnered over 600 million streams. Angela also co-hosted Season 4 of NBC’s “AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR”. She is currently host of “FOREIGN IN THE U.S.A.” travel show that can be seen nationally and in-flight on Delta Airlines.
David has been working at the edge of sustainability and the forefront of regenerative architecture for over 35 years. As a systems thinker, he engages a variety of fields through design and believes in expanding the conceptual limits of architecture. Throughout his career, David has connected the art of building with responsible stewardship of the Earth. A LEED accredited professional, he serves on the board of Heal The Bay and is a member of the City of Santa Monica’s Task Force on the Environment. David taught sustainable design and mentored students at his alma mater, SCI-Arc, as well as Art Center College of Design and USC, and currently serves on the Academic Advisory Committee for UCLA’s Extension Program.
MIKE SCHIBEL SOLOCAST
Welcome to the first official solocast of the Travel With Meaning podcast. I’ve been enjoying bringing you conversations with interesting guests sharing travel stories and don’t worry we have three more interviews coming up with David Hertz, Angela Sun and Richard Bangs to close out season one. As I promised in the intro episode I was going to share some of my travels throughout the year and how travel has always shown up for me when I needed it. Something else I shared in the intro episode was I lost my job the end of January and I was thinking travel was going to play a big part of my life for the next few months. This episode is some of my thoughts, experiences and meaningful moments from travels my travels over the first six months of 2019. I found doing the interviews so much easier. Which means I’m going to have to lean into being even more vulnerable on my next solocast. Hope you enjoy…see you on the open road!
MODEL & PRO POKER PLAYER
Angelique Velez, growing up in New York City dreaming of seeing the world. The former model and professional poker player life of travel began to unfold in front of her. It was traveling the world playing poker where she crafted the concept of Remarkable Places. Creating a visual vision board through her Instagram account. founder of Remarkable Places. With 55 countries visited to date, Angelique is constantly seeking out the most unique and unknown locations in the world. Remarkable Places is now a full fledge independent travel agency and experience company that brings her audience with her on her remarkable travels. For more information visit remarkableplaces.net
Never one to sit still, Kinga has tested herself for the past 19 years by traveling the globe...scuba diving, free diving, spear fishing, surfing, jumping out of airplanes, spelunking and swimming with sharks as a writer, producer and on camera journalist for networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, USA, AMC, Travel Channel, Fox Sports, Universal Sports, Food Network, Current TV, Syfy, EPIX and National Geographic.
Kinga was born in Warsaw, Poland into a family of explorers and adventurers. Her dad, a geologist, trekked repeatedly across Europe and her mom, trained in botany, can give the Latin name of every plant. Expeditions are in her genes. Her folks believed in regular road trips, camping, cultural exploration, photography and natural sciences. She didn't stand a chance of becoming anything other than the world wandering, adventurous, story telling soul she grew up to be.
CO-FOUNDER; WANDERWELL TRAVEL
Erin Fish is Co-Founder of Wanderwell, a social enterprise travel insurance agency committed to guiding travelers towards comprehensive, yet cost-effective plans, giving you peace of mind on your adventures. Wanderwell is a certified B Corp dedicated to offsetting the environmental impacts of travel by giving 10% of annual revenue to established non-profit members of 1% for the Planet, an organization focused on social impact and environmental stewardship; as well as other non-profits that promote sustainable travel. You go, we give...
David Osokow, affectionately known as Dave O to celebrities, athletes, and executives around the world is a global serial entrepreneur and former fixture in the Hollywood nightlife scene. He’s the co-founder of the stylish and affordable sunglass brand Priverevaux, VP of Client Services for Vanderhall and Super 73.
The Southern California native is a motorcycle enthusiast and die-hard Philadelphia sports fan. One of Dave’s greatest moments was sitting next to a Philadelphia sports icon as his beloved Eagles won the Superbowl. Dave share’s that special moment and his other unique travel adventures on this episode of the Travel With Meaning podcast.
Laura Grier has been called the Indiana Jones of Adventure Travel Photography and is a recent addition to the Discovery Channel UK’s “20 Richest People in the World List”, people who are rich in life experiences that is. Living abroad from a young age, it is no surprise that Laura turned her life of travel, adventure, and exploration into a profession. As a photojournalist for the past 18 years, Laura has photographed on all 7 continents and has made a life out of exploring the world, capturing, and writing about her experiences.
Sure, Billy Galewood could impress you all day with many of his fun talents: juggling, magic, balloon animals, fire breathing… even balancing large objects on his face. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this seasoned performer. Billy has evolved from his early days as a clown into a multi-talented comedian, musician, and storyteller whose artistic toolbox has led him on a magical ride around the world.
As a performer, Billy has graced the stage of such storied venues as The Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks Amphitheater, as well as countless comedy clubs across the country. Billy has performed internationally, touring Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia.
CEO and Co-Founder - Kind Traveler
Jessica Blotter is CEO & Co-Founder of Kind Traveler. The moment she discovered that the love of travel can’t be separated from the state of the world after witnessing poverty on a trip to Belize in 2012, she wondered how the $7-trillion travel industry could be harnessed to benefit local communities, the environment, and animals. This experience led her and her co-founder to launch KindTraveler.com, a social enterprise that’s the first socially-conscious Give + Get hotel booking and education platform empowering travelers to become a force for good. Since launching Kind Traveler, Blotter has been featured in more than 300 news and blog outlets including the New York Times, Afar, Conde Nast Traveler, and Travel + Leisure.
Professional SUP Athlete
Growing up Slater Trout's life was based around the water. At the age of 11, Slater chose to forge his own path through the young and fresh sport of Stand Up Paddling. By doing so he found himself competing and succeeding against athletes mostly double his age. While traveling for SUP Races / Surf competitions around the world, he developed his passion for photography. As his photography portfolio is growing, he hopes that each of his photos will inspire and invite you to experience the world through his eyes. Whether Slater is competing for a Stand Up Paddling World Title or documenting his life through photography, he is always excited for the next journey.