Adult ISH hosts Nyge Turner and Dominique French explore the pros and cons of traveling for adventure, swap memorable travel stories, and address the elephant in the room: is it ethical to travel with COVID still around? For help, they turn to travel agent (and Nyge’s pal) Ahnesti Robinson, and senior producer (and former world traveler) Georgia Wright.
Adult ISH is produced by YR Media and brought to you by PRX’s Radiotopia.
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Nyge: Aye, hey, it’s young Nyge on the beat.
Dom: Nygerelly! (Laughs)
Georgia: He’s shaking his head. He didn’t like that! (Georgia and Dom laugh.)
Nyge: Alright, let’s do it!
Nyge: Welcome to Adult ISH produced by YR Media and brought to you by Radiotopia from PRX. I’m Nyge Turner.
Dom: And I’m Dominique French.
Nyge: So this was originally going to be an episode about traveling, but that conversation got really complicated very fast.
Dom: We didn’t want to outright promote traveling during a pandemic, but we also didn’t want to act like it isn’t happening either.
Nyge: For all kinds of reasons.
Dom: Work, weddings, vacations, emergencies, you name it.
Nyge: So instead, we decided to have this complicated conversation around travel be the episode.
Dom: And it started with a chat between producer pal Georgia, Nyge and myself about our respective travels. Let’s get into it.
Nyge: I was at my parents house and one of my cousins was over and we were just talking. And then my cousin, who is in her early thirties, mentioned that she had never been outside of the Bay Area like ever in her life. And I was like, “Well, do you have, like, a desire to?” And she was like, “You know, I mean, not really.” And my dad was like, “No! You have to, you have to go down to Louisiana because that’s where your family’s from. We gotta do Vegas!”
Georgia: He like pulled up a whole itinerary.
Nyge: No, he literally wrote it down on a piece of paper, like and then he was like, “Those are just some places that you have to go just to, like, get a bigger view of just even your country that you live in.” So, yeah, I think it’s really important that people travel. It definitely changed the way that she like looked at the world.
Georgia: Been around the block. (Georgia and Dom laugh.)
Nyge: For both of you, like what’s a travel experience that changed your outlook on the world?
Dom: I hadn’t traveled very much until I was about 17, and then I went to Connecticut, big party state (Nyge chuckles) to study acting for like a summer, which Connecticut is not … I mean, it’s a culture shock in some ways. (Everyone chuckles) But for the most part, it was like, it was like more of a huge shock to me because I was 17. I was living on my own for the first time. But the first time I left the country, I also stayed around three months in South Africa and that was wild. And I had a very strange experience as a mixed person in South Africa because the way that I look very much blended me in with the population there. And people would treat me, especially white people, would treat me not very well until they learned that I was from the U.S. and then they would be a lot nicer to me and a lot more interested in me. And that was a really strange experience.
Nyge: In what ways did that, like, change the way that you looked at things?
Dom: I think it removed the idealized version I had of other parts of the world (Nyge: Mm hmm.) and made other parts of the world just another place where people are. And people can be great and complicated and awful anywhere. (Nyge: Mm hmm.) You know, it’s just. It’s just a different accent. Or different language. (Nyge: right.) Of course, I had really wonderful experiences and made really beautiful friendships as well, but it made the world seem smaller. No matter where I went, I was always going to be a Black woman, and that was always going to affect things a certain way.
Dom: What about you, G?
Georgia: The time that I really felt super changed by travel was when I was 18, and I decided to defer my college acceptance for a year and take a year off to essentially travel. But, you know, on the cheap. I was like sort of an au pair educator in Spain. And I stayed with the host family in Madrid for the first half of the year. And then the second half of the year, I did some sort of like educational volunteer work, which is very complicated and I’ll get into that later, in Peru. But, you know, I’m from an island hometown of 5,000 people. It’s extremely homogeneous, it’s very white, it’s pretty upper class and traveling outside of the United States and like, moreover, traveling to a city. I mean, I think that’s part of why Madrid in particular was, like, so mind blowing for me was because I was just like on my own as an adult in a city. I was like this sheltered little white girl who was just, like, suddenly kind of released into the world, which I wish that the contrast had not been quite so sharp. There’s such a humility in traveling and like realizing how small you are in the big scheme of things and how unique your perspective is. And like in my case, not representative of the world at large in many ways. And so, it really, like, helped me contextualize myself in my life in a way that I’d never been able to do before that year.
Dom: I think it’s so interesting because I would say that when I studied abroad in South Africa, most of the people that I traveled with had an upbringing that was more similar to yours, Georgia. (Georgia: Mm Hmm) And we were — we spent some time in Cape Town, but for the most part, we were a very small fishing village that was, like, smaller than the neighborhood that I grew up in. (Georgia: Mm hmm.) And so it was a lot of their first-hand experiences with poverty, with low income people, (Georgia: Mm Hmm) with people who went out and fished for their food or their work. And I had a lot of experiences that made me realize that there were times in my life where we were really poor growing up. (Laughs) And I didn’t know about it, and that my family had like a ton of upward mobility throughout the course of my childhood. And so we experienced everything from, like, living in a trailer, to, like, living in the, like, home that we live in now in like a pretty suburban white area. And that dynamic was very interesting for me to experience. It just made it, it made it so different.
Nyge: Yeah, like I’ve always traveled a lot. And that’s because of like, definitely because of, like, the privilege that I grew up with. Y’all are both talking about kind of like that culture shock. And I think I didn’t really have that because, like, I knew what it was, what it was like. And I could always kind of, like, go back to other times in, like, my childhood where I, I’m like, “Oh, this is like, you know, when we went here,” or “This is like when we went here.” And I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I know it definitely is something that, like, made me who I am. It’s like, taught me things, like, about myself. It has like enabled me to have, like, a different confidence in things. But I think it also is important to get into, like, some of the other things surrounding travel that, like, make it inaccessible and then also problematic.
Dom: Yeah, definitely. I mean, when it comes to traveling these days or any days — like I said before, I’m a Black woman Monday through Saturday. And on Sunday – no just kidding! Every single day. (Everyone laughs) So that’s always going to be a factor that complicates things greatly. But when it comes to traveling specifically during the pandemic, for me personally, I have family members that have health complications that would be greatly, if not like mortally, affected by getting COVID. And even if that weren’t a factor, I do hope that I would be someone that was like plugged in to the happenings of the world enough to still feel the same way that I currently do, which is like very, very wary of traveling for simply the sake of it, no matter how many safety precautions I take. And I had an exception to that recently. I went to Dollywood, which is crossing state lines. (Georgia: Watch out, world.) Watch out world. Here I come. (Laughs) And right before that, half of the family like had a COVID scare. I had immense amounts of guilt going on, like a family vacation without half my family — going at all, having been potentially exposed despite the fact that I was taking every precaution I could, I was testing negative. But it felt so superfluous, so like extra, so like something that did not have to happen.
Georgia: It’s interesting because y’all have seen me at my, like, least travelly. I mean, we’ve all taken trips during the pandemic. We went to California. Dom and I both flew out to California for a work event. Yeah, Nyge was already there. (Everyone laughs)
Dom: Nyge just got on the plane, turned around the circle, and landed. (Everyone laughs)
Georgia: Now that’s, that’s carbon emissions! (Dom laughs) But, you know, initially at the beginning of the pandemic, the first, like really big wave was done and it felt like things were, like, finally petering out naively. This was still fall 2020. So obviously we know that didn’t happen. And I flew out to Southern California to visit my now partner, who like has since moved in with me and, like, drove across the country to move in with me in Rhode Island. And honestly, I don’t know if we would be together and, like, have lived together for almost two years now if I hadn’t taken that trip.
And so, like, even though I look back and I think, “Damn, you’re so stupid” because I got, I got COVID from the trip and I got really sick and I got complications that, like, are still part of my life today. And, you know, there’s part of me that wants to be like, “Okay, well, obviously I was an idiot who traveled during COVID and I shouldn’t have done that.” But there’s also still a part of me that’s like, “Well, if that’s what made it possible for me to, like, be with this person who I’m really in love with, I don’t know if I could say I would take it back.” But, you know, even setting that aside, I think a lot of what I hear from the disability justice community is that they feel really, really abandoned and left behind by the way that so many people are treating the pandemic as though it’s over when there are still a ton of cases happening, there’s still a lot of people suffering from health problems that had to do with their COVID cases.
I know, like, in Hawaii, there were a lot of Hawaiian folks saying, “Please stop coming (Dom: Please stop coming) to Hawaii, like, we’re begging you, stop coming to Hawaii. People visiting from the states are like really, really stressing our systems and like we’re already kind of at our wits end.” And I think that, you know, a moment like that when a community is very actively saying like, “Don’t come here,” you know, it’s important to listen. And then again, there are other parts of the world like where my grandmother’s from, Portugal, that are, like, really trying to stimulate their economy and they’re like trying to get people to come and they’re asking for people to come. And so I do think that, you know, a big part of what I’ve learned is like trying to be really, like, mindful and do my frickin’ research ahead of time. When I first traveled it, it just, like, broke my world open in a whole new way. And there is a part of me that still wants to, to seek that forever and seek the experiences and the learning and the knowledge and the cultural exchange. And I have a lot of feelings about being a upper middle class white woman who travels by plane, you know? From a climate perspective, from a cultural sensitivity perspective. You know, when I was in Peru, I saw all sorts of, like, people who just really inserted themselves into a culture without doing their research, without coming from a place of learning and openness, but instead coming from a place of like, you know, kind of like imperialism, of like “We’re going to tell you how it’s going to be,” like missionaries. You know, I saw missionaries come in and try to, like, tell a bunch of little, like, low income Peruvian kids that they needed to change their, you know, Spanish names to Americanized versions of their names. That was like extremely fucked up. I was so upset at that and I didn’t really have the language at the time to be like “white savior complex”, “imperialism.” (Dom: Right) But I knew it was wrong. And at the same time, like being exposed to even those experiences and the complications around travel has driven me to the work that I do now. Working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and working on climate, even, you know? I don’t think I would have really understood what it meant to be experiencing a global crisis in the same way that I do because of the travels that I’ve taken. So I feel, I feel really conflicted about it. And I’m like, “Maybe my travel days are over.” But I don’t, I don’t know. That makes me really sad, too. I don’t know.
Nyge: I was thinking that, like, I had never really, like, booked my own travel. But I stayed at a resort. And this is when we went to Saint Lucia. We were talking to some people who live there, like all the tour guides, and they’re talking about this resort and they’re like, “It’s cool. Like it does provide like a few, like, good jobs. But I mean, the pay is, like, on the same scale as any other job kind of around here. So you could get like a job working at a fast food spot or whatever, (Georgia: Wow) and you’d still be making the same amount as you’re making at this resort. Whereas they’re making like American money, which is on a whole different level, and that just doesn’t seem fair.” And I mean, honestly, it’s all me for not like looking into it, but I don’t even know to look into that stuff. And that definitely has, like, changed the way that I look at travel too. Because yeah, it’s easy to just like Google something, look at a room and be like, “I want to stay in that room, I want to go to that country or whatever. And that’s what I want to do because I need a break from — especially as a Black person — all the nonsense going on here.” But you got to be thinking about, like, how you could be contributing to somebody else’s set of problems where they live too. Like when you’re traveling there.
Dom: One of the things that came to mind while you’re both talking about cultural exchange was the fact that the most meaningful cultural exchange that I’ve ever had has happened in the U.S., which maybe I’m traveling wrong. But for me, for example, our next door neighbor, somehow, despite the fact that we live in a very white area, is a Buddhist monk and he lives in the home that, like his community like pays for. He has taken a vow of silence — like a full-on Buddhist monk. (Georgia: Wow) And we held temple at his house. So we were sitting on the floor, you know, criss cross applesauce, doing our meditation thing, and everyone’s eyes are closed. I like peeked my eyes open and I was looking around all the beautiful things in the room and everything was so quiet. And I looked at him and the moment I looked at him, his eyes shot open and he looked right at me and I was like, “Oh my gosh!” (Laughs) I was like, “It’s real. It’s all real!” And, you know, we sat and we broke bread, we ate amazing food. And had a member of his temple translate things that we were saying to him for us. And I just want people to know that even in super homogeneous places, there are pockets of people and things that you could get cultural exchange from. Exchanging with a culture can happen anywhere, with anyone. It’s all about finding this small, magical moment that sticks with you forever.
Georgia: I really agree with that. And also like the pandemic has taught us that there is lots of exploring that we can do remotely and virtually and you know, through music and art and literature. I think there’s a very self-centered way that a lot of people travel. And I think there are also ways that people travel that are a lot more humane and ethical and, like, open, I guess where you’re not putting the self first, but you’re trying to be, like, as respectful as possible for the community that you were lucky enough to get to take a glimpse into. And I think that like being able to look around your own community and think about the way that you would approach it if you were an outsider and the ways that you might find wonder around you. It’s not travel in the conventional sense, but it’s still really special.
Nyge: Yeah, and I really like that too. I think being big on community is something that’s, like, increased in importance as I have grown up. Before, I just wanted to get out of Richmond, I wanted to get out of El Sobrante, I wanted to get out of, like, where I was from because I was just tired of seeing all the same people, I was tired of like — I just had this feeling of like “I’m destined for bigger things” or whatever. But it’s like, as you grow up, you just realized the, I don’t know, the importance of where you’re from, the importance of your story, the importance of your perspective and not all of these like perspectives that you were taught by, like, mainstream media or whatever to like hold as higher than, than your own. Like you’re taught that, like, people in New York really know what’s going on, and you know what I mean?
Georgia: They totally don’t! They do not! (Laughs)
Nyge: Like people in D.C. really know what you know. Also, though, I think it’s important for Black people to go places where other Black people are owning a lot of the businesses, working in a lot of positions, just kind of like at the forefront of, like, the economy. I think that that was really big for me. I think going to places like Atlanta. Going to like places like Charlotte. Going to places like D.C.. That really did change my view of things that — if you’re from California and you’re Black, yeah you see other Black people, you know, but at a lot of, like, the positions of power or whatever, like, it’s usually a white face. And I think that that’s something that like I would just take in subconsciously. And maybe that’s like my moment of like shock from earlier was when I went to Atlanta and I had to get some money out the bank and like, it was like all Black people working in the bank. And it was like a Black manager with Black, you know, employees and Black like… it was, it was wild to me, though, because, like, you kind of really don’t see that, you know, where I’m from. Even just, like, also traveling outside of the country and seeing Black people in every position. And so I do think that it’s important to see that at least, like, once in your life.
Georgia: Different people have different reasons for wanting to travel, right? I think that’s kind of what you’re saying Nyge. And, you know, I think there are, like, some very well thought out reasons for traveling and, like, less thought out reasons for traveling. it’s less about exactly what you do and more about how you do it, you know what I mean? And about developing self-awareness, a sense of wonder and respect and curiosity for the world around you. Those things are going to serve you, whether you’re at home or whether you’re in a place where everything is different from you. And so I think that’s, like, actually a really comforting thought. I think it’s, it’s more of a mindset than anything.
Nyge: If you want to hear more from Georgia, be sure to check out our sibling podcast “Inherited” wherever you get your pods.
Dom: Arguably one of the most fun parts of traveling, and the thing that I miss the most is meeting new people. And not just anyone, but those super experienced travelers who shock you with their stories, take you under their wing, and completely change the course of your travels. So we’ve re-created that experience for you by bringing in travel agent Ahnesti Robinson.
Nyge: I think it’s important to state that we, that we know each other. This is my friend Ahnesti, y’all. (Ahnesti: Yeah. Both laugh) I invited her on the show, um, was in my wedding. All that. All that stuff. What made you want to be a travel agent?
Ahnesti: I want to show people that they can afford to travel. Or it’s something that if they’re interested in, it’s something they can do. So then my mom had a friend who was a travel agent, so I linked up with her. We met and then, yeah, I’ve been doing it ever since.
Dom: That’s amazing. I … So, as a Black woman, I have always wanted to travel alone, but have always been super duper scared to. And I don’t know if you’ve traveled by yourself, but being a Black woman, even traveling not by yourself, is also very scary. Can you walk me through a little bit of how you process those feelings and emotions when you’re traveling?
Ahnesti: Yeah, so actually I took my first solo trip this January. And like the end of last year, I was traveling so much and I was like, “Okay, I can do this.” But then I kind of started to run out of people to travel with like, so I was like “Okay wait a minute. (Laughs) Maybe we need to try this on our own.” And so first I was like, “Oh, no, I don’t know.” And what happened was I got on YouTube and I typed in “solo Black women travel” and I watched one video of this girl who went to Mexico by herself. And right after that, I booked my trip. Like that same night. (Dom laughs)
Dom: So when you’re by yourself traveling and you start to feel scared or uncomfortable, what are some of the things you do to ground yourself?
Ahnesti: Yeah. So I’m going to steal something that I stole from a YouTube video, so I’m not taking credit for the statement. But one of the things that they said was to find a place that you can regularly go, to create familiarity. So, like, when I would go to, like, breakfast every morning, I would sit at the same spot. And then when I would go to lunch, like I would sit at the same spot. And then when I would go down to the beach, I kind of had, like, this area that I was always sitting in. So that kind of made me feel a little bit more comfortable, more familiar. I knew where I was going to go, and that definitely helped. I also, even though I’m by myself on solo travel, I, you know, I try not to isolate myself too much. So when I start to feel like, “Okay, this was fun,” I call a friend, text a family member, might get on social media just to feel like some sort of connection so that I don’t feel too isolated or too alone.
Dom: That’s really good advice. (Laughs)
Nyge: How would you say traveling alone is different than traveling with other people? Like what did you get from it that you didn’t get from going on, like, group vacations?
Ahnesti: You know, I do love all types of travel, but when you’re on your own, you are truly on your own time. There’s been times — like, I went to Hawaii in February — I spent the whole day in bed. And had I been on a girls trip or with family or friends, like, we would have been completely outside, rooftop, ATV, which would have been nice. But like, in that moment, I needed to be in bed. I was exhausted. I was burned out from work. Like all I had to give was a nap. So when you’re on your own, you truly get to do what you want. If I want to eat for the first time today at 3:00, then I don’t have to worry about somebody waking me up to go to a breakfast I don’t want to go to. And so I feel like just kind of being able to do what you need. There’s been times when I’ve been, like I said, burnt out and I just got to cry and I got to process and I got to say, “Oh, my goodness, okay, let me be present in the moment. And what does this moment look like?” We’re so busy. Life is just going on around us and we just kind of got to just get up and keep it going. But when you’re able to stop and be by yourself and express whatever you need to express, to process whatever you need to process, like that is, that is so amazing for me.
Dom: That’s so amazing because I feel personally, and I’m sure other people do too, such a pressure to have fun and a good time, not just for pictures, but for the people that I’m with, for my own wallet, because I paid for it and I want to get my like Duckett’s worth on every vacation, in every single moment. So the idea of having a … almost a more spiritual experience with yourself of processing wherever you’re at through travel is so beautiful and something that I have never heard of before.
Nyge: No, I think that’s a really good point and I know I’ve experienced that so many times, like going on vacation, and I’ve just been like, “Oh my gosh, like now I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation!”
Ahnesti: Yeah, I hear that 100%. (Laughs)
Nyge: How did the pandemic affect you mentally, especially just not being able to travel?
Ahnesti: Oh, it was it was rough. Having to sit down. I don’t sit down. I don’t like it. It’s just how I like to live my life. I like to be busy. So when everything shut down and as the control freak that I am, I couldn’t control nothing. Like, “I don’t know if I’m going to have a job to go back to. I don’t know what anything is going to look like.” It was extremely mentally and emotionally taxing. And then again, as somebody who keeps herself so busy, having to sit down and process emotions that I hadn’t even acknowledged was tough. Like, I started therapy maybe two months into the pandemic because I was like, “Wait a minute.” Like, I’m having insomnia. I ain’t never had problems sleeping. Like I’m having troubles that I’ve never had just because I’ve had to sit down and all this stuff is so heavy. So I know therapy was huge for me. I started writing letters a lot to like my loved ones. I wrote my parents letters, my siblings letters just so much that I realized I wanted to say that I had been so busy that I hadn’t even realized was something I wanted to do. And then it was just kind of a time to just reset. Okay, so this is what the first half of my life has looked like. So now that we’ve had this abrupt stop, when things start to open up or things start to change and your new reality sets in, what do you want that to look like going forward? But as far as travel goes, it did make me realize that when I have the opportunity to do something, I want to do it. And that’s kind of how I’ve been living post-pandemic, is that if I want to do something and I have the means to do it and I’m able to do it, I’m gonna do it.
Dom: So switching gears a little bit. Who are some of the most interesting people that you’ve met while traveling?
Ahnesti: You know, it’s so funny because I always say that some of my life changing conversations have come from Uber drivers or people I’ve talked to in travel. I remember one time I was leaving a cruise and I was trying to get to the airport. And when I say I barely, I barely made it — like I am walking on as they were saying my name. And I remember I was in the car and I was panicking. I was freaking out and the lady kind of just let me have my moment. And then she was like, “You do realize that either you’re going to make this flight or you’re not. So I get that you have to maybe get this out. But you’re doing all this panicking when one, you may make the flight or two, you’re not going to make the flight and you’re going to have to go to the gate. And have to get on the next flight, you’re gonna have to do that anyways.” And it really changed my perspective on a lot of things just because it was like I’m in the moment, so of course it’s a big deal to me. But taking a step back, it’s like, “Yeah, I’m gonna make this flight or I’m not.” And I think about that a lot just in regular life when it’s something that, you know, I don’t have control of and I start to make it a big deal. And then I’m like, “Well, either it is or it ain’t,” but it just, I don’t know, good to talk to different people, people that I wouldn’t. When I’m with my friends or my family, that’s who I’m talking to, that’s who I’m with. When you’re by yourself and you’re at the beach, then you’re kind of forced to look at the person next to you, like, “Hey, tell me a little about yourself.” I’ve talked to so many people, especially on my solo trips I would have never talked to if I had somebody with me just because I just wouldn’t have. That’s just how things go.
Nyge: Yeah, definitely. I think this, like, perfectly transitions this into the next question too, because you’re talking about, like, meeting people on vacation. Do you enjoy making vacation friends? And if you do, what are the rules? Like, does it end when the vacation is over? Do you exchange only social media, not actual phone numbers? Like what are, what are the rules behind making vacation friends?
Ahnesti: So when I’m with other people, I’m more open to making vacation friends. Like, you know, it’s — I feel more comfortable. It’s a group of girls, we’re a group of girls who want to party together. (Nyge: Yeah.) Like, “Oh yeah!” Like, I’m down. Social media only. Like you don’t need my personal contact information and this is not going past the vacation. Like, I see it on Instagram, where girls are like, “Oh my gosh, we met at this place” and now they’re best friends and I love that for them. Me personally. No. (Laughs) But when I am by myself, um, no, I’m not making any friends. Like I said, I’ll have a conversation here or there, but I’m gonna be honest with you. I’m lying, like, “Oh, yeah, my friends are here. My man is here, you know, they’re just in the room. I wanted to take a walk. There’s just in the room. I wanted to…” Like, I’m not out there, like, “Oh, my gosh, I’m here by myself.” Uh uh.
Nyge: Yeah. And I mean, that’s, that’s the smart thing to do, I think, too, like, so people aren’t just like, you know, trying to take advantage of you or anything like that.
Dom: So on a similar note, Ahnesti. Do you ever catch feelings on vacation?
Ahnesti: Heck, no! (Everyone laughs) I barely want you to be my friend, how we catch feelings? (Everyone laughs.) No, we are definitely not taking this on the road. (Nyge: Taking this on the road! Laughs)
Ahnesti: Actually feeling like I actually like you after this trip is over is crazy.
Dom: Just some, just some light sprinklings of feelings.
Ahnesti: No. I know from the beginning what time it is.
Dom: I definitely have caught feeling — I’ve never had, like, a vacation romance. But I, there was definitely a time when I was in South Africa that I — We had, like, a day trip to like a mall or something wild like that. Something like so regular. (Laughs) And I, like, went to a surfboard shop and there was a beautiful man (laughs) in there. Just like gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. And like, I spent the entire time in the store talking like him and his friends, and he, like, walked me back to my, like, little, like, charter bus or whatever with all the other little white kids I was on this stay abroad thing with. And he was like, “Oh, I feel like I want to kiss you.” (Nyge: Oh) And I was like, “Oh. No.” (Laughs) I was like, “I’ll be back. I’ll be back in Cape Town in like, like two weeks. Kiss me then.” And he was like, “Okay.” And I was like, “Bye!!” And he ghosted me and I never talked to him ever again. (Laughs) So that’s really more my lane when it comes to catching vacation feelings. What about you, Nyge?
Nyge: I’ve, um. Yeah, I’ve caught feelings a few times on vacation. I think there’s, like, three times I’ve had, like, kind of little vacation romances, whatever. But, I mean.
Ahnesti: Seems like y’all out here having a ball.
Nyge: It never has extended past (laughs), like, a vacation or whatever, like.
Dom: Yeah, no.
Nyge: We used to go on these cruises every year. And they’re like seven day cruises. And literally every time by like the the third day, I’d be like, “I’m in love.” (Everyone laughs) (Dom: I cant with you!!)
What was a trip that changed the way that you viewed the world. And it, like, truly opened your mind?
Ahnesti: Costa Rica 2017. And that was my first, like, I think I was 18, my first international trip. (Nyge: Mm.) It was so beautiful. Costa Rica is still probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. And, like, I just remember… Growing up, maybe because I just didn’t travel like that, it wasn’t something that I was like, “Oh, I want to travel.” I was just kind of like, oh well, you know? But I remember after I went to Costa Rica, I was like, “Okay, we going to be outside from now on.” Like, it was so beautiful. And just the beaches and the people were so nice. And I remember walking away from that trip like, “I got to do this more.”
Nyge: You can find more Ahnesti on Instagram at Ahnest views. That’s A-H-N-E-S-T views.
Dom: I have to say, I am very glad that we kept this episode more open-ended than we originally intended to do. I can’t imagine having had a conversation that was strictly about travel without bringing up the pandemic. (Nyge: Yeah) And for me personally, what it means for my family and disabled people, people I’ve never met before, and the repercussions we all deal with when it comes to traveling. It was very cathartic to have the conversation with me and you and Georgia to process all of those feelings. But it was also so joyful to have the conversation with Ahnesti and relive some of those traveling memories of, you know, are you given your number out? Are you, you know, are you cheating on one bakery with the other bakery, like every Tuesday when you are there? (Nyge laughs) It really gave me hope for the future that we travel in while also making me remember how much exchange of culture I’ve had literally in my own backyard.
Nyge: Yeah, I think I’m mostly taking from this episode that traveling is just a really complicated subject. Not even just because of the pandemic, but because you have to be respectful of the places that you’re traveling to. You have to think about the effects on the environment when you are traveling. And you also have to think about your safety, too, when you’re traveling places, especially if you’re traveling alone. My main thing that I, that I’ve been thinking about a lot like through this conversation is just that when you travel, just really do your research, be kind to other people, be respectful of the places that you’re, that you’re traveling, the people that you meet. Understand that this is their home and you wouldn’t want somebody coming into your home trying to change it. And then also, I think it’s important to just always just keep an open mind. And I think that’s the main thing surrounding traveling and new experiences is just being open to your perspective being shifted, and that’s a good thing.
Nyge: Adult ISH is produced by YR Media. A national network of young artists and journalists creating content for this generation. Our show is produced by Georgia Wright, Dominique French and by me, your boy, Nyge Turner.
Dom: Our engineer is James Riley.
Nyge: Our executive producer is Rebecca Martin.
Dom: Our interns are Laly Vasquez. And Ichtaca Lira. Original music for this episode created by these young musicians at YR: Christian Romo, Anders Knutstad, Noah Holt, Jacob Armenta, Chaz Whitley, Michael Diaz, Sean Luciano Galarza and David Lawrence. Music Direction by Oliver “Kuya” Rodriguez and Maya Drexler.
Nyge: Art for this episode created by Brigada Bautista with these young people at YR: Ariam Michael and Jordan Ferguson. Art Direction by Marjerrie Masicat. Creative Direction by Pedro Vega, Jr.
Dom: Special thanks to our CEO Kyra Kyles and Eli Arbreton.
Nyge: We are also proud to be members of Radiotopia by PRX, an independent listener-supported collective of some of the most amazing shows in all of podcasting. Find them at Radiotopia.fm and if you haven’t reviewed our show on Apple Podcasts, please be sure to do so. Five stars is much appreciated. You can follow us on all socials @YRAdultISH. And on that note, we’ll see you later.