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10 TV Shows and Movies to Watch Before you Go to Iceland

Iceland has a surprisingly strong connection to major films and tv shows for an island country with one of the smallest populations. Smash hit TV shows such as Game of Thrones and major movies filmed in Iceland like Thor: The Dark World Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. and Batman Begins Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. all used this beautiful country as it’s backdrop.

There is also a collection of critically acclaimed Icelandic movies you should keep an eye out for as well. We created a list of the films and shows you must watch before you go to Iceland to get a taste of the scenery. Prepare to have that magical moment where you step into your favorite movie moments in real life when you venture to this epic country.

Game of Thrones

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Dimmuborgir, Vik, Thingvellir National ParkVatnajökullSkaftafellGrjótagjá, Laxa I kjos
IMDB Rating: 9.5

Game of Thrones has dozens of filming locations in Iceland. On our Life Nomading trip to Iceland, we are staying on the Laxa I Kjos where Drogon burns the sheepherder and his sheep. If you haven’t seen Game of Thrones, we recommend you do! It’s kind of hard to jump into it as the plot is intricate and intertwined. However, if you are familiar and want to catch some Iceland scenery, almost any episode beyond the wall or at the wall is shot in Iceland.

Game of Thrones: The Complete Seasons 1-8 (Collectors Edition/BD) [Blu-ray] Price: $249.95 Game of Thrones: The Complete Seasons 1-8 (Collectors Edition/BD) [Blu-ray] Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Noi, The Albino

Country of Origin: Iceland
Filming Location(s): Bolungarvik
IMDB Rating: 7.4

Noi The Albino is the most critically acclaimed Icelandic film with over 20 awards. The movie follows Noi who is either a genius or the village idiot. His big dreams of escaping the remote fishing village for which he grew up in rubs some townspeople the wrong way. Including the father of the girl he romances, who is less than enthused by the whole ordeal. He willfully fails in school and attends classes not in person, but through a tape recorder placed at his desk. Tomas Lemarquis, who plays Noi, went on to act major Hollywood films such as X-Men: Apocalypse, Snowpiercer, and Bladerunner: 2049. This quirky film is one of the best Icelandic movies of all time and is a must see whether you are going to Iceland or not.

Noi Price: Noi Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Grundarfjörður; Stykkishólmur; Vatnajökull
IMDB Rating: 7.3

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an adventure inspiring film any way you slice it. It is not only an ideal movie to watch before going to Iceland, but also a good movie to watch before any vacation. It follows Walter Mitty on an epic adventure that changes his life and results in major updates to his online dating profile. Several scenes are shot in Iceland with full utilization of the surreal Icelandic landscape. It didn’t get the best reviews from critics, but audiences gave it a thumbs up. It’s an epic adventure for the soul and the eyes.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Price: $14.99 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Batman Begins

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Skaftafell; Vatnajökull; Öræfasvei.
IMDB Rating: 8.3

Most of the scenes set in Tibet were shot in Iceland. While this is often considered the worst movie in the Batman Dark Knight trilogy, it is still a great movie and the beginning of the best Batman trilogy. Most of the Iceland footage is in the part of the film where Batman trains with the League of Shadows in Tibet.

Batman Begins Price: $3.99 Batman Begins Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

James Bond: Die Another Day

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Jökulsárlón
IMDB Rating: 6.1

Die another day is one of several James Bond movies shot in Iceland. This is probably one of the most famous scenes, where 007  makes an epic escape in a pimped out Aston Martin. Not much of the movie is shot in Iceland, but what it has a ton of action and excellent utilization of the landscape.

Die Another Day Price: $10.99 Die Another Day Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): Vatnajokull
IMDB Rating: 8.8

The force must be active in Iceland. Many star wars movies shot in Iceland – including the two newest films to the franchise: Force awakens and The Last Jedi. In The Empire Strikes Back, all the scenes set on the ice planet, Hoth, are filmed in Iceland.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Price: $17.99 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Land Ho!

Country of Origin: United States
Filming Location(s): All Over Iceland
IMDB Rating: 6.0

Land Ho! is almost exclusively filmed in Iceland. A film professor recommended this movie for the list, and it is an excellent movie. It has tons of Iceland footage and explores all around the country. It tells the tale of an Englishman who gets coxed into an Icelandic road trip vacation with his ex-brother in law who is a wealthy southern businessman from the USA.

Land Ho! Price: $12.99 Land Ho! Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Country of Origin: Iceland/United States
Filming Location(s): Jökulsárlón, Breiðamerkursandur
IMDB Rating: 5.8

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is one of many major Hollywood movies shot in Iceland. There are several Iceland filming locations including the excellent destination of Jokulsarlon lagoon. While watching the movie note the pars set in Siberia, all those scenes filmed in Iceland.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Price: $9.99 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Everest

Country of Origin: Iceland/United States
Filming Location(s): Iceland – Unkown
IMDB Rating: 7.1

The movie Everest which is based on a true-life story was filmed in Iceland. While this may not be a full-blown Icelandic film, it is directed and produced by the Icelandic director, Baltasar Komakur. It follows two mountaineers that make a successful ascent of Mount Everest only to encounter a deadly storm. It stars Jake Gylennhaal and Josh Brolin. It is difficult to determine which scenes were shot in Iceland, but it was reported they shot there for over a month.

Everest Price: $6.99 Everest Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Thor: Dark World

Country of Origin: Iceland/United States
Filming Location(s): Thingvellir national park,  Landmannalaugar, and Vatnajokull
IMDB Rating: 7.0

Norse gods and Thor, the god of lightning, descend from Nordic traditions. It only makes sense for a Thor movie to film in Iceland. Several scenes are shot in Iceland and it is said that the background for the city of Odin, Thor’s home, is taken from Icelandic landscape.

Thor: The Dark World Price: $14.99 Thor: The Dark World Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

If you want to check out Iceland for vacation, don’t miss out on these awesome opportunities to step into the screen and see where your favorite film moments took place.

Ultimate Guide to The Best Time to Visit Iceland

Best Time to Visit Iceland Guide

Traveling to Iceland is a must if you’re like me and have a love for natural landscape adventures. It’s hard not to want to explore a place that is known for all of their natural beauty, still silence and purity. Iceland has similar seasons throughout its year (read: drizzly rain and just a bit of cold always), but some months are better than others depending on what you want to do and see there. Let’s dig into figuring out when the best time to visit Iceland is for any of your crazy activities or desires!

First thing’s first, if you’re looking to take to the beaches in your swimsuit, you’ve found the wrong post. Leave now and search “Cabo” on your next try.

The only swimsuit wearing you’ll be doing in Iceland is in the Blue Lagoon or other natural hot springs around this country that you stumble upon.

But enough about the warm weather chat, let’s get to it.

Best Time To Visit Iceland to Avoid Crowds

It’s no secret that Iceland has become a popular tourist destination.

In fact, some are saying that Iceland is beginning to be a bit over-touristed. However, there are times when the spring breakers and out-of-school crowds are fewer and less photo obsessed than typical. That’s when we recommend you visit if you intend to see all the classic Iceland sights like the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon.

Iceland Tourism Numbers by MonthCredit data to https://www.ferdamalastofa.is

If you’re like us, however, and love to stay away from the crowds. Going on your own trek is possible during most times out of the year. You will be just fine traveling to Iceland because sadly, few tourists venture out on their own to explore less popular or undiscovered areas.

Visiting for all the Iceland Tourist Spots?Visiting for Your Own Adventure?Are you a photographer?
Offseason (low season): November through February or MayAnytime during the year and stay away from the Golden Circle.Winter months: read our winter section below for exactly why.

Which Season is Best to Visit Iceland In?

So many variables go into when the perfect time to travel to Iceland is. Do you want to see the Northern Lights, go ice-caving, or maybe see a few whales in the North Atlantic ocean?  Are you going to be preparing for more snow in the cold or more rain in the warmer time? Seasons play an important role in what you can and can’t do in any given Icelandic season so keep reading.

Iceland Temperature Chart by MonthVisiting Iceland in the Winter is for Photographers (November – February)

Photographers get excited because winter in Iceland was made for you!

Winter months in Iceland is cold. Well, cold, if you’re from Florida or Texas that is. Are you from the Midwest? You’ll survive then!

The temperature ranges from a high of ~38ºF (~3.4ºC) to a low of ~26ºF (~-3ºC). Being the coldest season for Iceland, you can imagine that snow and winter weather conditions play a large factor in your time spent here here during this season. It is an island surrounded by cold Atlantic water and wind after all.

Daylight is scarce in the winter so be ready for partial or complete darkness. In it’s shortest month of December, there are times where the “day” is only four hours long. The sun will rise around 11 AM and set around 3-4PM.

But just because daylight is scarce doesn’t mean you should shy away from Iceland in the winter, especially if you’re a photographer.

With fewer tourists around, the black sand beaches and rocky shores are covered in ice and snow. Of course you also have the highest probability of seeing the Northern Lights too. You’ll want to come here in the winter with your camera and tripod ready. Bundle up, invest in a few extra layers, and get some gloves.

Your Instagram feed will thank you later. 😉

Top Activities to Do in the Winter

  • See the Northern Lights: We get it, you want to see the northern lights. They’re pretty cool. The winter time, with so much darkness, affords you the most opportunities to luck out and see these natural beauties. Try to get away from Reykjavik because the city lights can make it hard to see this phenomenon.
  • Visit a hot spring or the Blue Lagoon: While hot springs and the Blue Lagoon can be accessed year-round, it makes sense that the winter months offer a sweat warm relief from the relentless cold. If you’re trying to trek to a less frequented hot spring like the Reykjadalur hot spring for example, I would caution you to save that for a warmer months. The hike can get a bit daunting (ie. very slippery) and with little sunlight, I would caution against hiking this in any chance of darkness. I may or may not have learned this from experience.
  • Iceland Airwaves Festival: If you’re obsessed with Icelandic artists like I am, this music festival could be perfect for you. Iceland Airwaves festival is held in November in Reykjavik and brings together emerging and well-recognized artists from around the country.

Visiting Iceland in the Spring (March-May)

Iceland’s spring season varies by who you ask. Typically spring falls anywhere from mid-March through late April or early May.

Icelanders actually consider it springtime when the European Golden Plover, a species of bird, makes its first appearance. The Icelandic media covers the first sighting of the plover bird I’d assume like how in the states we watch the shadow of the Punxsutawney Groundhog on Groundhogs Day. We’re all weird, aren’t we!? (shrug)

In spring, the temperature ranges from a high of ~49ºF (~9.4ºC) to a low in the evenings of ~28ºF (~-2ºC) in Iceland. If you’re asking me, this weather is pretty standard in Iceland in almost any season. It’s pretty safe to assume you’ll need to pack for all weather conditions regardless of the season. Just be prepared to bring coats and rain gear no matter what.

There will be plenty of daylight to keep you adventuring. Unlike winter, springtime in Iceland affords you anywhere from 10 hours in March to upwards of 17 plus hours of daylight in late April early May. You can adventure until you can’t adventure anymore. You have plenty of daylight to get lost for a while.

Springtime in Iceland is “shoulder season” which means that it’s not as overrun with tourists as in the summer which makes it great for doing just about anything.

Top Activities to Do in the Spring

  • Join a Life Nomading Group Trip: We’re big fans of visiting Iceland in the spring. So much so, that we actually launched our very own group trip that we host every year at the end of March in Iceland. It’s the perfect weather, perfect low-key vibes, and always a fun time. Visit our Iceland page for more details.
  • Aldrei Fór Ég Suður: If you’re feeling the music vibes and want to go to a music festival. the Aldrei Fór Ég Suður festival may be right for you. Located in the Westfjords which is about a 4-5 drive northwest of Reykjavik, this festival will take you far away from any of the normal touristy vibes. I can only imagine what fun you’ll get into up there with three thousand others. They make this event free to all who want to make the trek up there in April.
  • Sónar Reykjavík: If you’re a fan of electronic music, than Sonar is worth looking into. This event is hosted in late April in Reykjavik. Tickets are on sale on their website for what looks to be about 17.990 ISK.

TIP: March is pretty much the last month where the weather is cold enough to visit ice caves in certain areas of Iceland. I highly recommend you do this, so if you are debating on a spring month to visit Iceland in, try to shoot for March or earlier if possible.

Visiting Iceland in the Summer (June-August)

While you won’t be sunbathing or meeting others during a day at the beach, Iceland does warm up a bit during its summer season between June-ish and August.

Since warmer weather is a popular time to travel in, that means Iceland’s popular spots can get much more crowded. Through the summer months, the tourism numbers get larger and larger making this the peak season for Iceland.

If you’re a serious photographer, a seasoned traveler looking for a less touristy vibe, or wanting a cheaper all around trip to Iceland, than we’d recommend avoiding this beautiful country in the summer. Instead, try out one of their shoulder seasons like Spring or Fall.

In the summer months, the climate ranges from a high of ~56ºF (~13.3ºC) to a low in the evenings of ~44ºF (~6.1ºC). If you haven’t learned by now, you must bring a coat. This weather isn’t bikini or swim trunks weather by any stretch. Get your winter weather raincoat shopping on.

You’ll have all the daylight all the time with barely any darkness. The summer season in Iceland is unique in that you can have days of almost complete daylight in June. It’s crazy! In the summer you will find you have anywhere from 17 hours to 21 hours or more of pure daylight.

I’ve personally experienced this time of the year and it’s very odd going to bed or staying out late and having the sun out like you are partying in the middle of the day.

Summer Tip: Bring a sleeping mask if you have a hard time sleeping with light leaking into your room. This will be critical because I kid you not, you’ll think it’s the afternoon all day long.

Sleep Mask - Create Total Darkness Price: Sleep Mask - Create Total Darkness Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Top Activities to Do in the Summer

  • Whale Watching: Summer in Iceland is prime whale watching season. With the temperatures warming up, the various whale species (Harbour Porpoise, Fin Whale, Humpback Whale, Orca’s, Blue Whale, Minke Whale, and Sperm Whales) come out to play. You can depart for whale watching in various parts of Iceland. Departing the coast of Reykjavik for your whale watching adventure is fine, but for some of the best experiences travel to Northern Iceland to Akureyri where the more diverse species of whales are spotted.
  • Icelandic Horseback riding: Iceland is known for a special species of horse simply called an “Icelandic horse”. They’re most notable for their small pony-like size, however they are not to be confused, they are a full-fledged horse. Size shouldn’t matter! If you’re an equestrian lover you won’t want to miss your chance in riding one of these while here in the summer since they are the only breed of horse in thecountry.Icelandic horses
  • Secret Solstice Festival: Be warned, if you watch the video below you will book your ticket to Iceland and partake in this music festival. There’s something about the potential of cracking open a few cold ones while partying in the middle of a glacier that gets me excited. Am I the only one?

  • Iceland Ring Road Trip: With the weather being the warmest in this season it makes renting a camper van and exploring the entire country much more attainable. The Ring Road is an 800-mile long road covering the outskirts of Iceland. Convince your partner or best friend to come along, and rent a camper van to explore the country for a week or two. Every mile of Iceland is a whole new landscape and a road trip like this would leave you inspired, to say the least.

Ring Road Iceland MapVisiting Iceland in Autumn (September-October)

While September and October in Iceland is definitely shoulder season for the country it has great offerings from fair temperatures, decent daylight time, and somewhat smaller tourist numbers. You’ll get a little bit of the winter AND summer benefits all in the course of a two-month window.

During Autumn in Iceland, the climate ranges from a high of ~50ºF (~10.1ºC) to a low in the evenings of ~36ºF (~2.2ºC).

You’ll definitely have enough daylight in Autumn in Iceland for activities. In Autumn, Iceland experiences anywhere from 10 to 14 hours of daylight. While Autumn is certainly not the season with the most or the least hours in the day, this season will afford you plenty of time to take adventures without all of the summer tourists.

Top Activities to Do in Autumn

  • Round-Up Season (RÉTTIR): Round-up or Rettir season is when all the farmers in Iceland go to fetch their sheep and horses that have been roaming for the season. This is a part of the year where neighbors and fellow farmers gather to sort the thousands of livestock to take back to their farm. It’s a very Icelandic thing to do. We’d recommend you try to partake!
  • Northern Lights spotting: If you read, winter is a great time to watch the northern lights, but autumn is also an opportune time to take a rental car and get lost somewhere away from the city to watch the Northern Lights if you’re lucky. Monitor the Northern Lights Forecast to see where the best chance of visibility will be on your trip.
  • Reykjavik International Film Festival: We all love a good film festival. If you’re in the city around this time the Reykjavik Film festival may be worth checking out at the end of September and early October.

Cost of Visiting Iceland by Season

Traveling to Iceland is undoubtedly one of the more pricier countries to visit currently. In general, the diagram below is a good guide to see which seasons are more or less expensive taking into account: lodging, food, airfare, rental cars, activities, etc…

WinterSpringSummerAutumn
$$$$$$$$$$

 

Not-So-Scientific Seasonal Cost Analysis: Iceland

We decided to run our own little Iceland cost experiment to see what kind of pricing fluctuations happen for different seasons in Iceland. Prices below are meant to be as rough benchmarks for two people traveling together in the varying seasons for 6 days / 5 nights.

Airfare

x2

Airbnb

x2

Compact CarBlue Lagoon x2~Avg Total
Winter$957$1,098$372$192$2,613
Spring$891$1,098$258$192$2,439
Summer$890$1,086$642$192$2,810
Autumn$863$1,080$414$192$2,549

Chart based on data for 2019 & 2020 season data.
* Car rental using Compact size via Hertz
**Airfare found via Google Flights and using the cheapest, non airline specific. (WOW airlines is no more remember RIP)
***Airbnb metrics are the “average” price given from Airbnb for a given window.
****Blue lagoon price for two on peak time in the day.

What we found

Our research found that for a couple traveling to Iceland, your biggest cost changes depending on when you travel, is your rental car. In the summer months, a car rental can be more than double (2X) than in the Spring or Winter seasons.

That money adds up quick!

Luckily, airfare, Airbnb lodging, and activities seem to stay pretty competitively priced during most times of the year.

Cost Tip: One variable not mentioned in this experiment is the cost of fuel for your rental car. If you’re an American traveling to Iceland you will be sticker shocked by gasoline prices so prepare your budget accordingly. Most of your trip involves driving and burning that fuel.

When Should You Visit Iceland to Save Money?

Iceland’s spring season seems to be our winner when it comes to saving the most money while adventuring to this beautiful country.

While we think most of our numbers are pretty accurate, please don’t take our cost analysis as gold. Pricing varies depending on many factors. Do your research or let us handle all of that for you!

When’s Our Favorite Time to Travel to Iceland?

The springtime. Spring is affordable and gives you access to almost everything you can get in winter and the summer months (ice caving, Northern Lights, access to roads). We love the spring so much that we offer a yearly Life Nomading group adventure trip there in March were we take up to 12 travelers and have one heck of a time.

Woohoo, you’ve made it this far! Congrats, you’re now pretty frickin educated about when some of the best times to visit Iceland are. As you can see, Iceland is great in any season you visit, it just depends what your travel goals are. With a climate that stays pretty consistent and plenty of things to see and do you can’t go wrong any time of the year.

If you’re headed to Iceland, but would prefer to join a group of other millennial travelers this could be the perfect opportunity for you. You’ll save even more money, see and do things you wouldn’t think were possible, and get to meet others along the way. For more information about our trip be sure to visit our Iceland page.

Whether you’re a photographer looking to capture the still life and Northern Lights, or a college student with time to visit Iceland in the summer, we recommend to just take that leap, book your tickets now, and go.

Sunsets Over País Vasco, Spain

Listen in as we chat with Kayla Tulane about how something so simple as a sunset in northern Spain can be the perfect time to reflect on some of life’s most important lessons.

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Credits

Guest: Kayla Tulane – Thanks Kayla for sharing your stories!

Hosted & Narrated by:

Editing: Laura Samulionyte

Show Transcript

coming soon

Why Following Your Dream Is The Easiest Way To Ruin Your Life

Why Following Your Dream Is The Easiest Way To Ruin Your Life

Doing something you love for too long can leave you in a pickle.

Doing something you “love” for too long can leave you in even more of a pickle.

I won’t go too deep into my life story, but I just need to first say that sometimes we are so driven to find our dream job that we convince ourselves we have. Guided by our families, mentors, friends, and social media followers’ watchful eyes, we do a whole lot to ensure that we are not perceived as failures. We had clear intentions. We had clear dreams. And we were successful.

The truth of the matter is dreams change.

Dreams, in a daily/nightly sense, are made up of references from experienced life. They mold, change, and evolve based on your day. The larger life dream, I think, evolves in the same way. There will always be bits and pieces of your life intertwined, but dreams absolutely can (and should) alter course. If they don’t, how do you mark your growth as a human?

With all of this being said, I changed course. It was risky, scary, exciting, and ultimately overwhelming, but I hate to say that a large part of those emotions were driven by my perception of outward judgment: How people would make up their minds about a decision that I spent the better part of a full year making. A decision that began with questioning how the outward world (and, therefore, I) categorized myself. Did I choose these labels? Did I accidentally fall into this job? Did someone just say that I was good at something and then I ran with it? If I don’t try something new, am I missing out on a larger potential?

So here’s how it went down:

College, graduation, move to New York, landed steady job (excited), grew in said job (okay), grew stagnant in job (not so excited), decided a change was needed, set date to leave job.

Past this, I didn’t have much of a plan. I decided to take two months to travel, something that I hadn’t done much of despite my keen interest in people and culture. The plan was (against my better judgment) to return with a fresh slate and start new when I returned. I started out with zero expectations other than craving something that would wake me up from the labeled coma I had somehow found myself in.

I wish I could tell you that I had some sort of sparkling, fireworks revelation while traveling; A moment of realization about how I wanted to repurpose my life. Despite every Elite Daily article you read, that doesn’t always happen when you “Travel the world to find yourself.” My revelation was much more subtle and felt as if it were plainly obvious the whole time.

The revelation (that traveling helped me find):

Your passion, dream, identity, and job are not all the same thing and do not need to be neatly categorized into one box. My concept of the word passion had always been associated with dance; A love that had already grown and changed course for 15 years, but neatly fit into one artistic box of my life. Dance and movement grew to be an integral part of my personality, life and being. And it always will be, but as my 20-year-old self once wrote in a college theory paper, “Change is the only constant.” Little did I know, those words would ring loud and clear with a whole new, proven meaning five years later.

Just as my love for ballet morphed into a love for modern dance, I have morphed that passion into an emotion. The thrill of finishing a ballet class sweaty, heart pumping, and standing a little taller. The feeling of improvising for a full hour only to narrow in on a single moment’s feeling of your whole body breezing through the air. The mind-tugging moment of reading a book only to look up and visually comprehend that the world is a very real place that holds beautiful people, stories, and history. The fresh taste of completely foreign cuisine prepared by a chef who has cooked with these spices for their entire life. Connecting with a simple violin solo that seems to capture a feeling so perfectly.

I am enthralled by moments that remind me of my humanity and connect me with others doing the same. It may seem incredibly vague, but this is what I crave, this is what I love, and why my dream(s) have altered yet somehow remained in the same vein. I truly believe that these moments are why people travel in the first place, to reconnect and to explore senses that awaken them to the world surrounding them.

I’m 25, but I fear that many people much older than I have never taken a moment to curiously explore, capture, and meditate on what it is that drives them to do and love what they do and love.

The post-revelation life adjustments:

Your passion, dream(s), identity, and job should support the others (And they may be in a few fluid piles rather than boxes). Find a way to make it work. For me, this meant finding a flexible job that will allow me to take the time my personality craves to be curious: to travel, to experience, to learn. I’ve found new passions, taken steps to dare myself, have started a business, and want to share my experience of being curious in different corners of the world through my business Life Nomading.

As an outsider looking in it may seem like a backwards career move, but to me, any move in a career that you aren’t whole-hearted about is backwards.

New Zealand: The Best Way Up is Chocolate

Dirk Frey Life Nomading

Dirk Frey Life NomadingIn our first Travel Tale, we take a peek into our friend Dirk Frey’s stories on the road around New Zealand. Listen in as he shares some of the highlights from his stint exploring and living in New Zealand, a country with many interesting characters, endless Lord of the Rings references, and even a special folk music festival.

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Credits

Guest: Dirk Frey – Thanks Dirk for sharing your stories!

Hosted & Narrated by:

Editing: Laura Samulionyte

Show Transcript

Caroline Lloyd: We’re just going to be chatting over a beer

Dirk Frey: Well if it’s going to be over a beer then… let me get a beer.

Ian Hoyt: Hey there fellow nomads. This is Ian and Caroline and this is the Life Nomading podcast.

Ian Hoyt: Welcome back, fellow nomads. It’s Ian and Caroline and welcome to the first episode where we take a listen to some of your stories, stories about what makes traveling so special.

Caroline Lloyd: This week on the Life Nomading podcast. We sat down with an old friend, Dirk Frey.

Dirk Frey: I am currently a programmer for a CNC machine at a cabinetry company and I do woodwork there too.

Ian Hoyt: Now Dirk has an interesting connection with Life Nomading. That is Dirk and I grew up on the same block.

Dirk Frey: Ian and I we go way back then. We were in the same neighborhood. We were the neighborhood kids growing up. I Dunno, we are the same bicycle crew, I was thinking that I was hanging out with Dan and the culdesac and Ian was uh, playing with I think more like Halley and chase and Ricky and there was big gap and then I saw him again in Cincinnati and we reconnected.

Caroline Lloyd: But when Ian and Dirk reconnected years after their col-de-sac had days, they realized that they had grown to love a common interest, travel.

Ian Hoyt: And that’s not an uncommon shared passion in the normal world. But coming from a small town in the Midwest, it’s a bit rare to venture that far from home.

Dirk Frey: I thought it was impossible. I guess. I don’t know why people in like Findlay, Ohio were just raised like, I guess it was so expensive for our parents growing up and throughout the 80s and stuff to fly to like Europe. You had to like set aside like maybe 10 grand to do like a proper, Europe trip back then or something. And that’s in like 80s dollars and stuff. Think about flights for two grand each way, you know, France and, and stuff like that. So it was a lot more expensive. And prohibitive talking to people from Findlay. Sometimes it’s just like, so wait, so what is it like there? They don’t like Americans do they, or they’re like, or they might say something like, I don’t know if I could handle French language all around me or, or just people speaking Spanish.

Caroline Lloyd: So how did Dirk become this adventure seeker that he is today?

Dirk Frey: So I would, I wasn’t into travel or even I would say the outdoors and particular until into college, a couple of years basically I met some guys, I would say, uh, some rock climbers who I befriended and ended up becoming some of my best friends in college. And I joined the mountaineering club at UC. And so I got really into the outdoors and rock climbing and I go out in the nature with them. And then they were, one was the son of a air force pilot and so he was kind of an air force Brat and traveled around with his family from like state to state and out of the country a lot. And so he’s always talked about his grand travels and stuff and always wowed me. I was like, wow, you can get out of Ohio on. I was also amazed that you know like 19 years old or 20.

Ian Hoyt: One of the most dramatic changes in mindsets for Dirk was actually a road trip from coast to coast, casually seeing pretty much all of the US on just a couple of hundred dollars. Was it luxury? No, but the memories seem to be worth it.

Dirk Frey: It just showed me like, oh, on a shoe string budget and just like as long as you have good friends, even if you hate each other halfway through the trip because you know Joe is six foot eight, he’s taken up all the room to sleep. Having the friend and having that connection and by someone to share the glory and the misery altogether from the highs and the lows of the trip. And then also like it’s something when you’re a young person and like I think that’s one of the best things you can do in America is road trip because you get to go from like temperate forests to plains to a mountain desert to like the ocean, the other side of the ocean. So it was just like seeing all the sides of America stopping in, making goofy jokes with your friends and listening to music. Yeah.

Caroline Lloyd: And it’s all about those little moments. So we decided to ask Dirk about some of his favorite travel moments, things that stuck out in his mind, poignant memories, things that made the journey worth it.

Dirk Frey: There are times that I can think of a travel idea or a story in my brain and like my heart’s still kind of swells with, you know, the pride, a camaraderie that like I, I’m glad I was here in this time and space at this juncture with these people.

Ian Hoyt: And before we jump too far into Dirks incredible stories, we need to set the stage a little. He was on an extended excursion inspired by his childhood dream that started in the backyard of Findlay, Ohio. A little adventure movie called Lord of the Rings.

Dirk Frey: I quit my job for a bit and I traveled around the world for six months and four of those months were just on the island of New Zealand, South island in particular. And I decided I wanted to do a big bike trip and I was going to ride a bike and just bike around all of the South Island. And I went from Christ’s church and I went up into like near the mountain ranges. And that’s why I was saying that Lord of the rings would come in later because I specifically stopped at every location. That was super important to me. Having watched the extended cuts of the DVD releases, I was on a working holiday visa. So in New Zealand, Americans are allowed to work for one year you get a tax number. And so after the bike trip I uh, lived and worked in Christchurch doing various jobs. Like I worked in a kitchen, I was the stop go guy at the traffic.

Caroline Lloyd: So this particular tail started on a biking trip with the little sprinkle of local New Zealand serendipity. I should also mention that Kiwis are what New Zealanders are referred to in this story.

Dirk Frey: I was biking and uh, you know, after 60, 70 kilometers on the bike that the heavy gear and it’s like, okay, this is a good stop. And I’m on my way. I had to keep going uphill slightly because I’m going into the mountains to go to this certain mountain called Mount Sunday and I get to a bar and I decided to have like a beer and maybe I’ll get to know the locals a bit and it’s just all crusty old New Zealander Kiwis who are working on the sheep farms and it’s kind of the off season so there they’re drinking more than having to work with these times.

Ian Hoyt: And one of those crusty old Kiwis he starts talking to.

Dirk Frey: He wasn’t from New Zealand. He was from some place between Scotland and England and his accent was just as thick as you could possibly imagine that. But he was like, “Nah, you can’t do that on the bike, man.” I was like, Nah, I was just pedal real slow. I was like, no, no, you can’t do that in the bike.

Ian Hoyt: After finally convincing Dirk that biking up the incline was a terrible idea. They loaded up the bike in the man Subaru.

Dirk Frey: He invited me to his sheep station up in the mountains and we put it in the back end and we’re going over like potholes and shit and it’s dark out. I thought I was going to set up camp, but he’s just like, no, you’re going to come to my house and you’re going to sleep in this bunk bed. I’m like, okay, sure. Okay. And yeah, no. And I just, I went along with it cause I was really tired. I was like, I don’t have the pedal, any extra of this mountain and if I don’t really have to. And he was super nice and we, uh, shared a breakfast and it was really beautiful scenery. And once I, this dawn opened up and it was just mountains on either side and showed me his sheep dogs and stuff. He’s got no classic radio stations up there. So he has these tapes of singers from the 60s and it like use these cassette tapes that he puts into scar to place singers and stuff. And one of them is somebody who had the car before and it was a Maori track. And so they’re not aboriginals, they’re the people before any of the Europeans came over the Maori people. And so like there are traditional chants and the Haka call. So it’s cool. And it puts you in New Zealand when you’re going into everything.

Caroline Lloyd: And this was just one stop on his biking journey. Dirk continued on his trip to his final destination, which was actually determined by a run in earlier in his trip. He had met some people that had invited him to a festival. The Waihi Bush festival to be exact.

Dirk Frey: What I did was I got back onto couch surfing, which I hadn’t done in a while. I found a place to stay that was near the beach and Christ church and these guys were super, super nice and accommodating and they uh, put me up in a bunk bed. I would do my best to like be a good guest and I would even like try to introduce them to some American culture and customs. And so like, the best thing I could do is like, I can make really good Reuben’s but oh, they appreciated it. And like, I mean like I, I went all out to like make them dinner and stuff and like I even bought some things cause I was like staying for free and I wanted to give back to them and they were very gracious and say, well if you, uh, want to do some more volunteering over again, we had this thing called Waihi Bush festival and basically one of their dads owns a farm out in the rural parts of New Zealand and they hold a folk festival every year. And I was just like, Oh yeah sure. I mean like yeah, like it’s in February. I’m like, ah, that’s fine. That’d be a one month after my biking trip. And so like I did the whole biking trip and I could go into that for a lot more things, but I had to like haul ass to get to the festival, the tail end of the trip. But it was so worth it.

Ian Hoyt: Now you can only imagine something exciting would happen at an event called the Waihi bush festival. But trust me, this wasn’t anything you ever could have imagined.

Dirk Frey: There was a, there was a suicide that happened before and I don’t know if this is a British or New Zealand culture, but they made jokes about it to get over it. And it was something that like, you know, you just, just like what you do when you travel, you experience different cultures and way people process things are different. And so instead of letting the suicide, I mean people were down about it, but they didn’t let it hang over the whole festival. So they would make jokes about it and say, sang this song. It’s called when you’re feeling down the best way up, is chocolate. So the song goes, so when you’re feeling down the best way of this chocolate, it’ll help you get you through the day.

Dirk Frey: It felt like a movie almost playing out to me. Cause there’s these characters and there has these highs and lows and it was just like this whole story and dancing.

Caroline Lloyd: But ultimately what Dirk experience came from a collective experience. It’s an ideology that stems from people and how people and moments alter perspective. Oh and don’t forget chocolate.

Dirk Frey: It’s always better to make memories with friends I think. It’s really rewarding. I won’t say I won’t knock my solo trip or the amount of time I got to contemplate and just sit and stare at really beautiful scenery. But yeah, it’s the memories we make with others. It’s pretty great.

Ian Hoyt: So that’s it for this episode of the Life Nomading podcast. I hope you enjoyed the very first Travel Tale?

Caroline Lloyd: It’s that until someone writes in with a better title. So send in your input. And on that note, if you would like to be featured on this podcast, you have a great story to tell. Feel free to send us a message on Instagram @lifenomading.

Ian Hoyt: And if you get a second, we’d love to hear your thoughts about this new format of the Life Nomading podcast. And you can do that by going to iTunes and leaving a review. We would so appreciate it.

Caroline Lloyd: So that’s it for this week. I’m Caroline

Ian Hoyt: and I’m Ian and until next week go explore something. See yah.

The Truth Behind A Remote Working Lifestyle

remote working lifestyle

Goodbye offices, cubicles, and commutes! When it comes to working remotely from home, a co-working space, or perhaps a local coffee shop there is more than meets the eye. We share our thoughts on the pro’s and con’s of working on your own from wherever inspires you most.

Show Notes

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Credits

Hosted by:

Editing help by Laura Samulionyte

What Do Bulgarians Eat

what do bulgarians eat

Bulgaria is located in the southeastern part of the Balkans. With that location, comes a tradition of phenomenal food that makes even the biggest of foodies blush. At one point in time, this region of the world was occupied by the Romans, Greeks, and Turks making it a crazy melting pot of Mediterranean and Arabic cuisine. If you love food and are wondering what do Bulgarians eat, here are some of the dishes you can’t leave the country without trying.

Bulgarian Baked Goods

bulgarian baked goods and breadBulgarians love bread. If there is one thing you won’t have trouble finding at any point on your visit to Bulgaria it’s a delicious hunk of bread in many different forms and variations. I’ve personally seen grown men cry over some of these baked goods, so you shouldn’t be ashamed if you do the same after trying them.

Milinki

This is possibly the most dangerously addicting food you will try in Bulgaria. Milinki is essentially little balls of dough topped with lots of butter and brined cheese.

bulgarian eating milinki

Me in the wild enjoying Milinki heaven.

They are typically baked and sold together in sets of around 6. You may tell yourself that you’ll only eat one, but you’ll probably end up eating them all.

Banitsa

Banitsa is arguably the most Bulgarian of all the baked goods. Even though there are tons of different types of banitsa they are based on filo dough which is layered with a delicious Bulgarian feta and egg mixture. Varieties can differ based on the region, type of cheese, and even baking method. Incredibly addictive. Beware.

Kozunak

Kozunak is considered a dessert and traditionally made on Easter. It is usually made by taking three strands of dough and weaving them together. The Kozunak is then baked and topped with sugar and nuts. One of the things that make Kozunak unique, and even more delicious, is how flaky the dough is.

Bulgarian Salads

Bulgarians love their salad, and you can easily see that by opening up a menu at any restaurant. There are many different types that are both healthy (most of the time) and delicious, but here are some of the most famous ones.

Shopska

If there is one thing for certain, it’s that it’s never hard to find Shopska salad in Bulgaria. Easily found in every restaurant or on the tables of home-cooked meals, it’s made of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, red onion, and topped with a healthy amount of Bulgarian feta cheese (which is many times shredded, creamy, and delightful). It doesn’t come with a “dressing” but all restaurants in Bulgaria have olive oil and vinegar on the tables so you can season your salad to your liking.

Snezhanka

This salad is pretty unique and made by finely chopping cucumber and dill then mixing it into strained yogurt. The resulting salad is tart, salty, and very refreshing. You can also add some finely chopped garlic and top it off with walnuts if you want.

A “winter” variation exists which replaces fresh cucumber with pickles.

Russian

Despite its name, this salad can be found all over Bulgaria and is traditionally made in the winter around the holidays. It’s made by chopping the following ingredients in cubes: pickles, cooked carrots, cooked potatoes, peas (not chopped obviously), and best of all hot dogs. Yes, hot dogs. This is then all mixed into mayonnaise! While this might sound like an odd mixture you’re guaranteed to love it. Unless you hate mayonnaise…then it might not be your thing.

Bulgarian Meats

bulgarian meatsBulgarians eat a lot of meat… like a lot. And there are tons of different types of meaty deliciousness waiting for you if you’re a true carnivore. Here’s what you need to try when you visit Bulgaria.

Kufte

Kufte is the Bulgarian meatball, but with a little something extra.

Unlike most meatballs that are just meat, kufteta (kufte in the plural form) have a mix of chopped onions, parsley, eggs, and wait for it… soaked bread. The resulting “meatball” is not just a spherical hunk of meat, but a delicious treat that is loved by all Bulgarians.

Another secret ingredient used in the making of kufteta, and most Bulgarian meat dishes, is chubritza. Chubritza is a special herb mix which you can get only in Bulgaria. It has a strong, very distinct smell that you will later dream about.

Kebapche

There’s no great cuisine in the world that does not have a recipe for meat in tube form, and Bulgaria definitely lives up to that.

The kebapche is usually made from ground meat that is 50% pork and 50% beef along with a healthy sprinkle of cumin and chubritza. The mixture is then rolled into a tube shape and grilled. For the most Bulgarian experience possible, it should be grilled outside with lots of beer close by.

You can find kebapcheta (plural form) at many pubs and restaurants as meze – a type of food that’s eaten as a side to alcohol. You never order one, and you should definitely try dipping it in some lutenitsa, a type of pepper and tomato based spread famous in Bulgaria.

Meshena Skara

When translated into English the name of this “dish” is mixed meat, and it lives up to the name. If you want to get a taste of the entire gamut of Bulgarian cooked meats this is what you should get. It’s essentially a large platter with everything I’ve mentioned in this section and several more types of cooked meats/sausages.

So you should probably get it. Go crazy!

 

Bulgarian soups and stews

Shkembe Chorba

The name of this soup directly translates into “Stomach Soup” and it’s exactly what it sounds like.

This Bulgarian favorite is essentially beef tripe (stomach lining) that is chopped into cubes and then simmered in a paprika-infused milk broth. It’s then often times served with a healthy dose of garlic soaked in vinegar.

This may not sound like the most appealing dish in the world but it’s a must-try. It’s delicious and often times consumed in the early hours of the day when people are making their way home from the bars and need some strength to get them the rest of the way to their beds.

If the idea of eating tripe doesn’t appeal to you, don’t eat the chunks of tripe but just enjoy the broth. It’s one of the most flavourful and delicious things out there. Trust me!

Gyuvech

Gyuvech is named for the type of dish that the meal is cooked in. Essentially a Gyuvech is a clay pot (it can be both large and small) that is bulbous, with a clay top, and oftentimes decorated with classic Bulgarian designs. Gyuvech is a type of stew that combines meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, and other veggies. There are many different types of gyuvech depending on the area of Bulgaria you’re in and the season.

Tarator

Do you remember the Snezhanka salad from above? Well, this is essentially the soup version of the salad and beloved by all Bulgarians. It’s made by finely chopping cucumbers (never pickles), and dill, and combining it with a mixture of equal parts water and yogurt. The soup is then topped with olive oil, and sometimes garlic and walnuts.

This is possibly one of the most famous Bulgarian dishes and usually consumed during the summer since it’s served cold.

Whether its fluffy delicious bread in the morning or a shopska and Meshena Skara in the evening, Bulgaria has an endless array of yummy cuisine that is worth visiting and experiencing. When it comes to what do Bulgarians eat, I think it’s safe to say they eat well.

Crazy NYC Subway Stories

Crazy NYC Subway Stories


If you spend any amount of time in New York City you’re bound to take the MTA Subway a time or two. For those that live in the city, they can chew your ear off with all the crazy stories, people, and experiences they have had while underground on the subway. In this episode, we bring in our friends and colleagues to share some of their craziest subway encounters while living here.

Show Notes

Check out the Instagram account: @subwaycreatures

If you’re visiting the city be sure to check out our article about how to navigate the NYC transit system.

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Credits

Hosted by:

Special Guest Appearances:

Editing help by Laura Samulionyte

Experience the Upper West Side - Life Nomading Walking Tour Price: $29 / per person Experience the Upper West Side - Life Nomading Walking Tour Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 01/17/2019

Where to Store Luggage in New York City

luggage storage in nyc

About to visit New York City, or already here and need to quickly find a place to put your luggage? In this article, we’ll cover options for luggage storage in NYC so you won’t need to fuss with bags. Get ready to have the time of your life in the best city on earth.

We have this exact problem all the time when we travel the globe.

We get into a new city and want to go explore, but we can’t. We have an awkward amount of time where we’re left with our bags to lug around the city before check-in. Well lucky for the world, awesome companies have developed solutions that will help luggage storage in NYC be a breeze for you.

Luggage Storage Apps

Luggage storage has finally caught up with the times and now it’s easier than ever to shed yourself of your heavy burdens to explore a new place. Here are a few of our favorites and recommendations.

Bounce – Luggage Storage on the Go Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

luggage storage in nycMy favorite solution of all the storage apps would be Bounce Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . I just heard about this luggage storage app on one of my favorite podcast’s The Pitch. Their model is pretty cool and it’s super easy to use.

Just download their app and then find a local small business to drop your bags off at. It’s pretty simple and only $6/per bag/per day. Not bad if you think about all the lugging you’d have to carry alternatively.

They also offer a transfer service if you’d like to drop your luggage off at one location and have it delivered to another (say an airport or train station like Grand Central or Penn Station). This service is newer and really interesting if you’re like me and hate luggage lugging. Prices start at about $15 and go up from there for transfer. They have a $5,000 Bounce Guarantee so you can rest assured they are going to take care of your bags.

I’m a sucker for a nicely designed mobile app and website and of all the solutions on this page, Bounce wins the prize for this.

Because you rock, they’re offering 10% OFF to Life Nomading readers Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. so just click the link and it will automagically be discounted upon purchase.

Nanny Bag

Also available in New York City, this luggage storage app is competitively priced at $6/per day and extra days are charged at $4/ per day. No size or weight limits and free cancellations make it a very appealing solution as well.

Luggage Hero

Priced a bit differently but still offering a similar service is Luggage Hero. You can utilize them hourly for $1/hour or by the day for $10/day. This is great if you decide that you only need storage in New York City for a few hours as you will save a few bucks.

Be warned they do have a one time $2 handling fee and if you are using them for all day use I would recommend Bounce instead.

Vertoe

We’re just getting a little petty about the price at this point. Vertoe scrapes just under most of the others at $5.95 per item per day. If you’re trying to save every single penny for one more meal at Tortaria then I understand. Security seals, $5,000 in insurance coverage and all that is included with Vertoe luggage storage so you can rest easy that your bags are going to be OK.

Free New York Luggage Storage Solutions

Early Check-In

If you’re staying at an Airbnb or a hotel there is a chance you could just give them a call or message and ask if you could get an early check-in. If your host isn’t able to do so, perhaps ask them if you could at least drop your bags off. Most times, if it’s a shared space with a live-in host, they will be more than happy to accommodate. It’s worth a try if getting to your lodging arrangements is just as easy as a bag drop-off location.

Hotel Bag Checks

This is terrible, but if you’re really on a budget and need to find storage for your luggage then hotel bag checks could be an easy solution for you. Even if I’m not staying at a hotel, often times I will just act like I am in a rush and ask if they could hold my bag for me. They will give you a tag and then when you come back, thank them graciously and woohoo you just saved money on luggage storage.

I do however advise that if you have some dollars to spare, tip the hotel staff.

If you’re anxious or worried they’ll call your bluff than this tactic isn’t for you. Instead, use an app storage solution like Bounce Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . Confidence is key.

Drop luggage off at a friend’s place

Think reaaaaaaaallllyyy hard. You must have at least one friend in the city that never sleeps. If so, give them a text and if you haven’t seen them in a while first inquire about their lives (eye roll). Then make the ask if you could drop your bag off for a bit while you explore the city. Who knows, maybe they’ll even show you around the city. If they don’t, no biggy, we have a tour for that! 😉

It’s no secret that with a city this big, you have plenty of luggage storage in NYC options at your fingertips. Don’t stress too much, you’re not alone and you’ll be okay. If I were you, I would suggest using an app service like Bounce Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. or the hotel bag check hack, but at the end of the day be sure to choose an option that gives you more time exploring and less time stressing.

Have a great time in the city that never sleeps and best of luck getting rid of those heavy bags.

What is Home?

Ian's Home

When we’re traveling, it can be easy to get a feeling of homesickness. But the bigger question is, what really do we consider a home? Is it the places we live, the people we spend time with, or the experiences we have? We dive into the topic of home and share some of our thoughts and personal stories as we try to begin to work towards how we define and view what “home” means to both Caroline and me.

What does home mean to you? (please send us a DM on Instagram or leave a comment below, we’d love to hear.)

Show Notes

 

If you’re curious what a smaller more high pitched Ian looked like referencing the audio of me as a kid. ^^

Seriously, we do have a pooping while traveling article. Read it here: The Shitty Side of Traveling

Interested in the Bulgaria trip we discussed? Visit: www.www.lifenomading.com/bulgaria

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Credits

Hosted by:

Caroline Lloyd: @caromanifesto
Ian Hoyt: @IanHoyt

Editing help by:

Laura Samulionyte

 

Show Transcript

Caroline Lloyd: Now that we know Ian loves going, we’re sponsored by a laxative, a sponsor.

Ian Hoyt: We do have a pooping article that will link to since we did mention that you should read it. It’s about pooping while traveling.

Caroline Lloyd: Anyway, that’s why I’m a home body. I don’t know.

Ian Hoyt: Where you can stay regular

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. This is Ian

Caroline Lloyd: And Caroline

Ian Hoyt: And this is the Life Nomading podcast.

Ian Hoyt: Hey there, fellow nomads. It’s Ian and Caroline and welcome back to another episode of the Life Nomding podcast. Caroline is making fun of me because I use my hands when I talk into the mic.

Caroline Lloyd: Conducting a choir over here when he’s talking.

Ian Hoyt: I’m conducting the podcast, dedication to the creative process. It’s episode number six, six weeks. I’m very impressed by us. I’m proud that we’re cranking out episodes and I feel like we’re getting better. I don’t know. Please let us know how we’re doing in a review on iTunes. Shameless plug.

Caroline Lloyd: Today we are really deep diving into a new kind of topic for us. Um, you know, typically we’re talking about traveling and all things related, but we’re dialing it back a little bit this week and we’re talking about home.

Ian Hoyt: They probably knew that by the title already.

Caroline Lloyd: You clicked on it.

Ian Hoyt: But yeah, we’re going to talk a little bit about what home means to us and what it means to travel.

Caroline Lloyd: So just I think to start off we should orient ourselves and say what home means to us because I think by this point in life we both realize that home isn’t a physical house, but much more than that. So Ian, what does home mean to you?

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, I think home is definitely not necessarily about the location as much as the people or as much as the combination of the two. You know, when I was growing up, I lived in three different houses, which I think is fairly normal for the average human in America. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know.

Caroline Lloyd: I lived in the same house for my entire life. My parents still live in the house that I was brought home from the hospital to, which I think is odd for most people living in the U.S today.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, and you know, it’s actually really kind of funny is I lived in three different houses, had maybe a little bit of a different upbringing just because I lived with my mom and my sister. My Dad had passed away when I was younger, so it was a little bit different. But what’s really interesting is every time we would move or think about moving, I remember distinctly that my mom would always be really concerned that my sister and I would be really sad to leave the house that we lived in and I always innately just thought that was crazy. I was like, mom, it’s, it’s a house. Like it’s whatever. Like sure you get used to the house you’re living in, in, in your room and things like that. But the things I remember are the intangible things, the things that didn’t revolve around the doors and the rooms, but the things that I did there,

Ian’s Mom: Wave to the camera. Say Happy New Year!

Ian Hoyt: From, you know, recording youtube videos in the backyard with Robbie, Robbie. Shout out one of my best friends.

Ian Hoyt: Robert’s potato eating contest in Alabama we are EXSCN and we’re going to be covering the Browns training camp first.

Caroline Lloyd: So those videos are still on YouTube. So please go look for them. They’re the best.

Ian Hoyt: I will give you extra Brownie points if you can find them on the Internet. So, um, but yeah, like recording videos in the back yard or playing in the snow in it was a different house than that one. So like the memories are what stick with me. It’s not about the walls. And so maybe that’s why I thought it was always crazy when my mom would ask that question. She still does today.

Ian’s Mom: Okay. Do you like your new house? Look over here buddy. Ian, look right here. Do you like your new house?

Ian Hoyt: If they were to move. We don’t live there anymore, but like she, she always brings that up. It’s like, no, I really don’t care about that. It’s about the memories and the things I did there that involved people. And activities and so I think that’s kind of interesting because I bow that with really how I view home in general now and it’s not so much about the location but the experiences that culminate in a similar area. So that’s kind of what I think. What do you think Caroline? What does home mean to you?

Caroline Lloyd: Well, I said that I lived in the same house growing up from when I was born until, I mean now my parents still live there.

Ian Hoyt: My question is, were you a baby in the room that you stayed at your whole life? Or did you change rooms at all?

Caroline Lloyd: Yes. Not my current bedroom, but like now it’s still. I have my things in the room. My bedroom was my baby room. It’s gone through several iterations. It was teddy bears and then it was Minnie Mouse and then it was very brightly colored and high school and now my parents have painted it a new neutral colors.

Caroline Lloyd: So when guests go in there they aren’t blinded. It used to be yellow. I don’t know why I chose yellow for my room.

Ian Hoyt: I could see that.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. But, you know, home is, I think, boils down to people and the feeling that people give you when you are around them and you care for them a lot. And also I think memories slash rituals or routines. I mean, I know that every time I go home I kind of get into the same routine, even like down to what I eat when I’m at home, when I fixed in the kitchen because my mom always buys the same groceries. I know what certain things I can make in the kitchen. Um, and you know, going to a certain coffee shops where I had a lot of memories growing up in high school or restaurants in the area. And you know, one thing that I really love is home videos because I think that totally encapsulates what home is. And all of your experiences and memories are recorded in a very timeless way, uh, to reflect back on.

Ian Hoyt: By timeless you mean super pixelated?

Caroline Lloyd: The date printed on the bottom right hand corner

Ian Hoyt: and a button that you can press on the recorder that does like the Auto Fade from one clip.

Caroline Lloyd: Oh my gosh. Yes. I have so many like home films like that to the point where it’s like ridiculous. My family, I feel like my parents basically just handed me and my sister’s a video camera when we first got it and it was a novel technology and we got really creative. My oldest sister Emily was like bossy creative director and would make these really embarrassing short films of me and my sister. Um, but I’m so thankful for that because they’re really fun to watch now.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. I’m so thankful too because we get to watch them together.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. Every time I go home my mom has just transferred them all to dvds and we sit and we watch them. But don’t tell me you don’t enjoy those.

Ian Hoyt: They are very enjoyable, especially the pageant ones, but we don’t need to talk about that.

Caroline Lloyd: It is a scholarship program.

Ian Hoyt: Whatever you wanna call ’em.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. But for me, I think home is people memories and uh, routines.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. I feel like we’re, we’ve got some similarities there then, so we’re not crazy. All right. So that’s kind of what home means to us. So with that being said, I guess another aspect of this is feeling homesick and where and when. So like Caroline and when have you felt most homesick, was there, is there a specific time in your life or a moment or a place that you can recall?

Caroline Lloyd: I think like the first inkling of being homesick happen when I was a kid at camp, you know, when you’re like, I don’t know, in a bratty stage of life or like people start making clicks and you’re like in a new environment and you just feel very out of place. Uh, you don’t have your normal group of friends and it’s a stressful time when you’re like nine years old and then, and that’s kind of like your first taste of it and then maybe you go away for like a longer period of time. I mean I spent like four weeks in an arts camp when I was in high school and while that was a long time to be away from home, even when I was like 15 or 16 years old. That is a long time. And I dunno, I think it’s like your first step towards really changing your life and I’m so thankful that I had those experiences at a young age because I feel like it enabled me to go on and, you know, not be afraid of going to college six states away from my home base and leaving to make entirely new friends.

Caroline Lloyd: I didn’t know anyone when I moved out to Texas. I didn’t know anyone when I moved to New York. Like I think it gives you the confidence to really change your life and start building something on your own.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, I could see that a lot. That’s interesting. I feel like for me, I would have to say probably the first inklings that I really think I felt homesick because, you know, quite honestly I’m kind of weird. I feel really comfortable when I’m on the move and we can talk about that more later. But like college was definitely a moment when I felt homesick but not because I necessarily missed home because I loved the whole independence thing. I can do my own thing and like, you know, whatever. But I think it was just not being in an environment that I wanted to be in or that I thought I would be in. So I think there’s a complex there.

Caroline Lloyd: No, I think what you’re saying of being in an uncomfortable situation and pushing that towards more homesick than not because I do believe that there are places and people that you meet, that you spend time with that you immediately feel at home. And I think it’s the uncomfortableness of certain situations that propels you into feeling homesick.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah. And that’s probably why I felt that in college also. I just wasn’t my speed college. It wasn’t my thing. And so it made everything kinda weird. But ironically, like when I moved to New York, I didn’t feel homesick at all. I was super excited to be here. And although for the first few months it was just me kind of like navigating the world in a way. I still didn’t feel homesick. I don’t know how homesickness happens necessarily. Kind of weird.

Caroline Lloyd: I think we can boil it down to like homesickness is really craving a level of comfort that you are not in in that moment. I think there were definitely times when I had first moved to New York where I was sick or like things weren’t panning out exactly the way that I had thought and I was in a level of comfort that was a little bit too low in that leads to homesickness.

Ian Hoyt: On the inverse though, I feel travel sick a lot and I know that sounds funny, but I feel the opposite in a way. You know, like I have this sickness to get away and so I don’t know what you, the listener feel, but you’re not alone if you have that feeling. Now I’m not trying to sound cliche, but I really do have that feeling of like I always need to be moving and when I’m home too long and I’m not doing something, I’m not going to go see something. I get that travel sickness and that’s the only way I can name it because I don’t know what you’d call that. Travel sickness I guess.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. I think that’s a real thing.

Caroline Lloyd: So if we’re homesick, what are we homesick for and where do you feel most at home?

Ian Hoyt: Going back to what I was just mentioning, this is not a non answer. I feel most at home, typically when I’m going somewhere.

Caroline Lloyd: When you’re excited.

Ian Hoyt: No, not even the excited part. It’s the actual physical going, I love going to airports and I love going. I just love going and so like anytime that I can get, don’t get me wrong, I’m a walking contradiction because I’m a homebody in a lot of ways, but there is no better feeling to me then leaving my apartment and getting in an uber or getting in a car or get on the subway and going journeying to somewhere else. Doesn’t matter where, but the act of going is where I feel where I feel most in control. I don’t know why. I have no clue why, but it’s weird and that’s where I feel most at home if we’re being honest.

Caroline Lloyd: You know? That’s a really deep. That’s a complicated question, especially for me because growing up I recognize this about myself in a very early age. Like we’re talking like fifth grade here. I have a hard time.

Ian Hoyt: What kind of fifth grader or were you?

Caroline Lloyd: Well, I’m about to tell you I skipped fifth grade actually.

Ian Hoyt: Let’s all take a collective second to roll our eyes one. Alright, let’s go.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, but I think that plays into it. I recognize that at a young age that I didn’t attach myself to things or people really. I skipped fifth grade and change school districts even though I didn’t move, I left all my friends behind. Did the same thing in eighth grade when I went to high school, I graduated from high school and I chose a college to go to that was, you know, a thousand miles away in a different state where I didn’t know anyone.

Caroline Lloyd: And then when I graduated from there I came to New York and basically started over. So they’re jumping off points in my life when I pretty much picked up everything and just moved. So for me, I felt like I spent a lot of those years creating new homes for myself and I’m thankful for that now because I have pockets of friends scattered all over the country internationally as well and when I visit all those places again, I definitely get a sense of home because I invested a certain amount of years of my life in those places and those people. So that’s a very long winded answer. But I feel most at home when I can reconnect with a place that I invested time in and just for that brief moment of revisiting that place, it’s a nice overwhelming feeling of this is a home for me.

Caroline Lloyd: So this is a more complicated question I guess for you Ian, but have you ever encountered a place that was new that you immediately felt at home at?

Ian Hoyt: Not Complicated at all. New York.

Caroline Lloyd: That’s Different. I feel like a lot of people say that.

Ian Hoyt: It’s not a cop out. The answer is going to sound like a cop out, but I think it boils down to being a person that I just admitted that I love to go. I said it like a thousand times. I think New York is like one of the few places you can manifest that feeling every single day you’re here, whether it’s getting on the subway or just trying to fricken get from one block to another. I get that sense. I get that feeling anytime I’m here and that’s why I knew I needed to be here in my heart of hearts. So New York so happens to be where I live and it so happens to be you where I felt most at home, away from home and so now it is my home and that’s the best answer I can give.

Caroline Lloyd: I think I have to jump in here and say that I am the wise one in this conversation. No, I think that once you’ve lived here longer than what you have, it’s a little bit different and obviously New York wears and tears on people differently, but there have been several moments in my four or five years living here when I thought I was done because New York kind of burns you at both ends. I’m saying all of this to caveat with I think it’s important to leave where you are and get away to then return and have a new found appreciation for wherever you live.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, definitely. I think the, going back to whole, the whole homesickness thing, I think getting away from your home base or where you spend most of your time is good to reimagine and to miss it. There’s an aspect of missing things that plays into this conversation.

Caroline Lloyd: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Do you ever like travel and not pack a certain article of clothing and then when you get home and you open up your drawer, you find it and you’re like, Oh, I’ve missed this so much.

Ian Hoyt: Oh, absolutely.

Caroline Lloyd: I love that feeling. And then you try on that dress or those shoes and you’re like, Oh, I missed wearing these shoes so much.

Ian Hoyt: Yeah, I subletted for like a year and a half and when we finally moved all my stuff from home home, I was like, oh, I forgot about that. And I was like, Oh yes, like yeah, that’s where that t shirt was.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah. As much as we talk about home being like a in tangible philosophical thing, like there is something really rewarding about like digging through your closet in your childhood home and finding like pictures that you drew in second grade and like old school notebooks with notes that you wrote to your friends.

Ian Hoyt: All my love letters that back and forth to my childhood girlfriends.

Caroline Lloyd: I need to dig through your drawers.

Ian Hoyt: They’re Probably like really ridiculous.

Caroline Lloyd: I love doing that and it’s contradictory to me as a person because I love going through things and like throwing things out.

Ian Hoyt: She, um, she’s the purger.

Caroline Lloyd: I know, but I’m also like, I’m such a sucker and a pack rat for all those stupid little notes and fun little things that you can go back and reminisce on

Ian Hoyt: For sure. But Caroline, what about yourself? Is there a place that’s away from your home that made you instantly kind of feel like, oh, that’s where I feel most at home?

Caroline Lloyd: I think there’s two versions of this answer and one is when you’re actually looking for a home and you get that feeling, that’s a very different thing than visiting a place and thinking, I feel at home here, so I mean obviously when you’re like looking for a new apartment or house shopping, you want to get that feeling of home right when you walk in and I’ve definitely had several examples of that. I mean when I was touring college campuses for example, you want to have that feeling when you walk onto a certain campus and you say, I feel at home here, this feels right. I think that’s the kind of like gut instinct, but to kind of divert from your answer, I think the more important question at hand is where have you visited that feels like home? And for me, I think that was, you know, just from like all of our travels, I would have chosen Vienna.

Caroline Lloyd: I think that I can talk about Vienna forever, but it’s just a lovely city and it feels the right tempo. I think there’s definitely a tempo aspect and I can get into that philosophy a lot deeper.

Ian Hoyt: Which is weird because it’s different than. It’s way different than New York.

Caroline Lloyd: Yeah, but it’s just like good speed with all the right aspects. I felt like, I mean I’m not going to like build a life there, but I felt in some alternative dimension I could. Yeah, but even that is relative because you know, maybe if I would have visited Vienna 20 years later in life, I wouldn’t have gotten that feeling. I think it’s just depends on who you are in that moment.

Ian Hoyt: And you’re gonna throw your arms up because it really is. It’s all relative to your life stage, what you’re trying to accomplish, your goals like home is who you’re with and visiting with, where you are in your life at that point. It’s going to change. I had a home with six other dudes in Columbus and now I have a home with a lovely lady and a roommate and the cat.

Caroline Lloyd: So that’s a little bit of a break from your normal travel information, but I think it is just as important to recognize a home base and an anchor when you’re traveling as it is to plan all the fun details. So that’s it for this week. We will see you here again next Monday and we know that this episode is a little bit different than your normal broadcast of travel…

Ian Hoyt: But let us know what you think. We’re always trying to push the bounds of what we can talk about on this travel podcast. We want to make it more intriguing to you instead of just lists of things you should definitely do. So, uh, let us know in the reviews on iTunes, you can subscribe to us on overcast, spotify, apple, itunes, any other podcast platform that you can find us on we’d love if you subscribed. And, um, we’re here every Monday.

Caroline Lloyd: So if you have thoughts or comments or questions, feel free to send us a DM on Instagram @ lifenomading. So until next week I’m Caroline

Ian Hoyt: And I’m Ian and go explore something. See yah!