Why We Wander

EP 1-2Welcome to Why We Wander, a podcast from The Wandering Scholar. We talk about why and how people travel, the experiences that have transformed their lives, and how the travel landscape is evolving to meet the demands of a changing world.

We started this podcast because, as we approach the ten year anniversary of founding The Wandering Scholar, we’ve begun reflecting on where we have been as an organization and where we would like to go. One of the things we have been grateful for is a community of supporters who really connect to our mission. That’s because so many of them remember just how transformative their own first trips abroad were, and have madel travel central to their lives in the years since.

So even though we work with and share the stories of high-school students, there are so many other peoples’ stories we want to tell. Stories that will inspire our young scholars, our supporters, and perhaps even you. And that is what we will do here at Why We Wander, interviewing founders, documentarians, boundary pushers and advocates. People who are transforming the how, who and why of travel.

Check back every week for new episodes, or follow on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Spotify!

Episode 1: Overtourism and Voluntourism with Gabriel Duncan

elizeu-dias-768964-unsplashIn our first-ever episode of Why We Wander, we bring you a discussion of overtourism and voluntourism in a segment called What We’re Thinking About. And we follow that up with an interview with Gabriel Duncan from Walking Tree Travel.

To read more on the topics we cover in this episode, check out:

Episode 2: Study Abroad with Natalie Jesionka

henry-gillis-422979-unsplashThis episode, we bring you a discussion of the risks and rewards of studying – or not studying – abroad in our What We’re Thinking About segment. Then we interview Natalie Jesionka about Global Elective, her initiative to encourage ethical travelers of all ages and incomes to go out into the world.

To read more on the topics we cover in this episode, check out:

Episode 3 (Postcard): Gender, Age and Travel

From time to time we will bring you shorter, “postcard” episodes of the podcast. For this one, we talk about how gender and age shape our travel experiences, and answer a listener question about encountering sexism while traveling.

To read more on the topics we cover in this episode, check out:

Episode 4: Controversial Travel with Trevor Wallace

Trevor Wallace Interview
In this episode, we talk about travel to those places we are discouraged – or even forbidden – from visiting, what makes people go there anyway, and what happens when they arrive. We also talk with filmmaker and Explorers’ Club member Trevor Wallace, about his experiences in the arctic and beyond.

To read more on the topics we cover in this episode, check out:

Episode 5 (Postcard): Frugal Travel

willian-justen-de-vasconcellos-598072-unsplashFor this postcard episode, we talk about frugal travel: what it means, how it changes us, and why everyone should plan a trip like a frugal traveler. We also take a question from a listener about planning a group trip while on different budgets.

Episode 6: Wellness Travel with Naaya Wellness Founder, Sinikiwe Dhliwayo

wellness travel

In this episode, we talk about Wellness Travel, which is shaping up to be the fastest-growing travel sector. We’ll cover what it actually is, what the trends are in this arena, and talk to Sinikiwe Dhliwayo of Naaya Wellness about democratizing the wellness industry.

To read more on the topics we cover in this episode, check out:

Episode 7 (Postcard): Travel with Kids


In this episode, we talk about travel with kids. We cover everything from choosing the right destinations at the right age, to instilling kids with a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to see the world. We also answer a listener question about making sure traveling with kids is as enjoyable and relaxing for parents as possible.


Episode 8: Heritage Travel with Soul Society 101 Founder Rondel Holder

In this episode, we talk about Heritage Travel. We tackle what it means to retrace your roots through travel, whether that be returning to a country your parent emigrated from, walking on the land your ancestors lived centuries before, or discovering your own birthplace for the first time. We also interview Rondel Holder, a travel blogger, documentarian, and founder of Soul Society 101, who gives us his take on these issues.

To read more on the topics we cover in this episode, check out:

Why a Generation of Adoptees is Returning to South Korea
African Americans Moving to Africa
Take a DNA Test, Then Buy an Airplane Ticket
Rondel Holder’s Trip to Trace His Roots

Episode 9 (Postcard): Travel as a Resume Booster, College and Beyond

element5-digital-352046-unsplashIn light of the recent college admissions scandal, we discuss how travel can be a resume booster for college applications and beyond. For years, wealthy families have used travel to boost their children’s profiles when it’s time to apply to college, but how does that play out for families who can’t afford such opportunities?  We talk about that, give some insight into the work we do at The Wandering Scholar to close that particular opportunity gap and encourage our listeners to think about ways to do the same.

Episode 10 (Postcard): Girls’ Trips

This week we have girls’ trips on our minds. Tamara just got back from a trip to Montreal and Shannon will be leaving in a couple of days for a girls trip to New Mexico. So we thought we’d do a special installation of postcards to talk about girls trips in general, why they’re important to your mental and physical health, how they come about, and what you can do to make them memorable.

Episode 11: LGBTQ Travel with “Travels of Adam” blogger, Adam Groffman

DSC_1001This week we interview travel blogger Adam Groffman (Travels of Adam) to discuss LGBTQ travel. We talk about how concerns for safety and a desire for community may guide where to travel, the role influencers and apps play in this arena and advice for young people studying abroad. We also talk about how travel can play a complex role as a safe space or safety concern depending on where you call home.

To read more on the topics we cover in this episode, check out:

Episode 13: Retirement Travel with Bloggers Alison and Don

blog-p1330425In this episode we interview Alison and Don (www.alisonanddon.com), a couple who set out on a trip around the world in their sixties. We talk about why they decided to do it, the lessons they learned on the road, and what advice they have for couples who want to travel together without drifting apart.