Travel Blogger Gary Arndt talks about the Travel Biz, Photography, Podcasting and more [EP 251]

Since Gary sold his house to travel full time in 2007, he has become one of the most influential online personalities in the travel industry. His travels have taken him to all 7 continents and over 200 countries, his travel blog, Everything Everywhere, is one of the most authoritative and popular travel blogs in the world. His photography, blogging, and social media efforts have made him the most awarded travel photographer in North America in this decade.

Show Notes

CreativeLive

Jack Black Dragon Ice

Everything-Everywhere

National Geographic

Suck Less Motto– the motto I always have is from when I would coach debate. I would always tell my kids. All you have to do is suck less. You don't have to be good. You just need to suck less than whoever you're debating, you know, competing against. So the goal was always just incrementally suck less than you did before and to just get better.

Advice

The best time to get into this was probably 10 years ago. And the second-best time to do it is today. Right? So you just need to start doing it. And you really do kind of need to, you know, get an obsession for it. The first year that you're doing it, If you look at most podcasts, for example, they never reach episode seven, right?

They just give up and most blogs are abandoned. So people have these dreams, they don't see success right away and they quit. And if you look at an exponential growth curve, there's this period where it's flat for a very long time. And then it turns up and it becomes almost vertical. And that flat part really sucks because you don't know how long you're going to be in the flat part.

I was just reading an article yesterday about, this guy with a tech newsletter, stratechery I think is the name of it. And it's become really successful in the last few years, he's making a lot of money from it. And I didn't realize he had been doing it for. Basically a decade. And you know, there were years where he's been doing this and it didn't get a lot of attention. And then all of a sudden it just kind of became a big thing. And there's a lot of things that kind of work that way, where you have to do it for years, photographers have the same thing, you know, that you suck at the beginning, but then as you improve your photography, people continue to follow you and like your images more.

Favorite piece of gear under $100

I don't even know where to find it because I got it for free. I went up to, Churchill, Manitoba to photograph polar bears, and the company that runs the excursions up there Frontiers North gave me a hat, just a plain old stocking hat, except it has an led light built-in. So you just like, press a dot on your forehead and then it turns this light on. So it's like a headlamp except it's built into the hat and it pops out and you can charge it via USB. So there are no batteries. I use that all the time and you have a flashlight and you could pop it out if you want and use it as a handheld flashlight. It's just the niftiest little handy thing, and I don't even know where you can buy them, but it was the best swag I've ever gotten.

21:48 Debate coach motto: Suck Less
23:00 Advice
36:57 Gear

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Episode Transcript

Welcome to the show, Gary. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Good to talk to you. So we were just talking here in Wisconsin this morning. How's things awesome. This week in spite of all the craziness in the world.
temperature here is pretty normal. It's in the thirties dips down below, freezing at night at a little bit of snow already. So not too bad. Yeah. You're like us and Bishop here. We had the below freezing at night, but warm. It's gonna warm up to like 65 today. So that'll be beautiful. I would like 65 degrees right now.
Oh bet. So you're a pretty adventurous guy. Where does that come from? Is your family adventurous or just running? Just, yeah, famously I'd never seen salt water until I was 21 years old.
I was, were my senior year in college. We were going to the national debate tournament and, it was held in Washington state and we landed in Seattle and we were driving past Puget sound. And we were in the van. I was like, stopped. The van, stopped the van and nobody knew it was happening. So I got out and I ran and I had to go taste the water.
So then you need to verify myself that it was salty. Right, right, right. How old were you then? 2020. You said 21? 21? Yeah. Wow. That's cool. You grew up in, Wisconsin or Minnesota, then I get that wrong, Wisconsin, Minnesota. Okay. Got you. All right. And then you sold a business before you started this whole travel thing.
What kind of business was it? So I was, really early on when the internet started, I had a college roommate who built a product that was one of the very first to let you hook up a database to a website. So, this is like 1994, 1995. And he had companies that were coming to him who wanted their businesses set up, you know, to use this product on their website, but he wasn't in the actual business of building websites.
He was just building this tool. So he says, well, do you want to do it? So I'm like, sure. Yeah. So I, I did it for one and then I had more. And so I had a friend helped me and he had a friend and, you know, next thing, four years later, I'm 28 years old and I have 50 people working for me. And, I sold that business to a big.
Multinational corporation. Wow. And I sort of conned them into sending me a hundred around the world trip to talk to their regional offices about internet development. So I, in 1999 of January, right in 99, I went on a three week whirlwind tour where I went to Tokyo, Taipei, Singapore, Frankfurt, Belgium, Paris, and London.
Wow. Literally circumnavigated the globe, first time I'd ever really been anywhere. And, that was, that was a real eye-opening experience. That was my first big trip. And did you Yukon then, did you just, we're just trying to help them understand the product that they just bought or what was the, what was the stick to get them to do that?
Yeah. I mean, it was also like, I felt that developing applications using a web browser was going to be the future, which I was right. And they were, you know, a consulting firm. So I think that it was something that if, if the, all of their offices around the world were to start developing, it would give them an edge up.
Yeah. And also I wanted to. Right. Yeah. Yeah. That's very smart. That's pretty savvy. Yeah. I like that. Yeah. So you hadn't traveled much until that three week trip, but then you kind of didn't travel again for awhile. What inspired you to drop everything and start traveling around the world? I went, so I started another company.
I started a network of video game websites and that did okay up until the.com bubble burst. And, you know, we had a really good deal going with, CNET. We sold all of our ad inventory through them, and then they pulled out when the stock market crashed. And after that, I, I went back to school for a couple of years.
I always said if I could go back and, you know, go to college again, I would either. Blow off all my classes and get DS and everything and focus on winning a national championship in debate, which I really couldn't. I couldn't do anymore. I was recruited to go to college. I was one of the top academic debaters in the country.
And I, I came close to, I didn't, I did, well, I never won a national championship or anything. And I said, or I would go back and I'd get a degree in physics. And my degrees were in math and economics and political science. I said, well, I could still do that. So I enrolled at the university of Minnesota for a couple of, was a little under three years.
And I just took a ton of science classes, primarily in geology and geophysics and, That's what I did. And I was in my mid thirties at this time. And I realized that getting a PhD was probably not something that I would have enjoyed. I liked learning. I didn't particularly enjoy doing research. And that's when I just kind of had this idea of.
Traveling around the world. You know, I had no wife, no kids, no job. I had enough money saved up. Yeah. There was nothing stopping me from doing it perfectly. And it took me about 18 months from when I had the idea to doing it. I just said to tie up all the loose ends in my life. I just sell my house, everything else.
And then in 2007, I turned over the keys to my house and started traveling. Wow. Where's the first place you went? West more heat. Well, no, that was the plan. Really. I didn't have a detailed plan. I went from Minneapolis to Dallas. I rented a car. And then from Dallas to Los Angeles, I went by train, which was a horrible experience.
Then I went to Hawaii where I learned how to scuba dive. I did that on Maui. Spend some time in the big Island, went to a wahoo. Then I got a flight to Tahiti. then I went to Easter Island, back to Tahiti cook islands. New Zealand, Fiji Samoa, Tonga. Wow. so I spent basically six months crossing the Pacific ocean going to all the Island countries.
And that was kind of, yeah, because I'd always been fascinated by those places because you see their names and like an Almanac or an Atlas, and they're places that no one ever really visits. So. I kind of wanted to go visit. Yeah. And was it you that I read had the big national geographic magazine collection?
Oh yeah. Well, I still do it. In fact, I have a huge collection of national geographics. So you see all that stuff in there. Right. You just want to go. Right. Okay. Yeah. And my dad, you know, growing up had a subscription to national geographic, so I always, I was a really. Early reader. Yeah, I was reading before I was in kindergarten and I was always reading, stuff like that.
And I think that's, that's where a lot of it came from. And also, you know, photography also came from that. Yeah. Yeah. We had the same thing growing up, all the net geos and, and world book encyclopedia is back when people had encyclopedias. yeah, I was the kid that always read the encyclopedia. I didn't read it, but I thumbed through it a lot.
I was more of a picture guy. where does your entrepreneurial spirit come from? You see, you know, you started a blog, you had that business. That's pretty impressive. Was your dad post stubbornness? No. I, I just make a horrible employee. And I had a job between my, freshman and sophomore years of college.
I worked for the city planning department where I live and they had a drug that year and they were talking about, well, we to go hire, you know, this company to water all the landscaping. And I was just like, I'll do it. So. They just paid me directly and I bought hose and, that was kinda my first business.
Wow. So yeah, it's always like, I've never really had field job as an adult. either done my own thing or. You know, even after I sold my company, I was technically on their payroll for a year, but there was like no one above me or below me in the org chart. So it was a very awkward situation where I would show up to work at 10, let everyone know I was there.
I'd go to lunch. And then. And then never come back. I don't care. That's a good spot to be. So your blog is crushing it right now. And you started that in 2007. Is that right?
yeah, just before I started traveling before we started that six ago. Yeah. I launched the blog and then, well, I mean, no one cared about it until I actually started traveling. Right. All right. Where'd that idea come from. That was pretty early on to be doing that. when I took my, that three week trip around the world, back in 1999, I actually started a website.
I did it for the employees in my office, and I had a very early digital camera and I, I took some snapshots of different places. You know, it was before blogs were called blogs and I've always had a personal website. I've had a, I have a personal website that I have up since romance. Like the mid nineties.
And again, it wasn't called a blog. It was just a website I had. Right. And now you're really you're rocking it. What, what do you thinks driven that success? Is it the con obviously the content is got to have good quality content, but have you done anything specific or just that you've been everywhere that helps?
Well, at first, yeah, a lot of people, when they go in and around the world trip, they go to basically the major cities of the world. Right. Paris London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Bangkok, stuff like that. And when I started traveling, I was going to really weird places and I think that, helped draw an audience. And, and to be honest, blogging has changed a lot since when I started a lot, lot.
my blog was my social media and then with, you know, Twitter and Facebook existed back then, but they weren't that big of a deal. And. You know, with the rise of Instagram and everything else. Now people are using social media as their primary platform. Right. And you don't have regular readers to a website like you used to have, you know, I had people that would just visit my website every day and they'd leave comments and it was more of a community and that doesn't exist anymore because social media has really taken that over.
And now it's, you know, And stuff like that. You kind of have to be on all of them now, too. Right? I mean, you can't just do one. You could do one or two maybe, but you gotta be on them. Most of the places. Hey, I dunno if that's true. I think you, you tend to spread yourself a little thin said do well, tend to have real deep audiences on like one platform.
And there's also definitely a generational aspect to it. I remember there was this phase where everyone was like, Aw, Snapchat. And you look at the demographics of Snapchat and I'm not even exaggerating when I say this, but the app was created, so kids could take, could share parties. Or pictures from parties.
They went to without getting in trouble because they were posting stuff to Facebook and their teachers and their parents are saying. And so with Snapchat is everything disappeared after 24 hours. And that's why it came about. And you also saw that as people graduated, you know, they'd leave college, they would stop using Snapchat because.
Adults don't communicate that way. Right. And it really was something that was just stuck for that generation. So, yeah, it's what I'm in all my efforts lately, I've actually been going into podcasting and I do believe audio and video is really going to be what's going forward because I've been doing a podcast for 11 years now.
And in terms of you look at the numbers of the things I do. it has the lowest numbers, but when I meet someone in person, podcast is always the first thing they mentioned. Yeah. Because they hear your voice and they develop a rapport with you that they just can't do. On Instagram. Yeah, that's what I've been telling.
A lot of folks in the outdoor space. I have another little business, podcast has workshop, and I think, you know, you you're way connected to the outdoor adventure business. And I think all of those outdoor brands and adventure brands and adventure tour outfits, you know, could benefit tremendously from a podcast because you just said it, your voice is your most.
Important superpower. You know, they can see inflection and excitement and disappointment and all those things. And the other beauty of it is, you know, they can stick you in your ear, 24 seven. They don't always have time to watch your video or read your blog or whatever. So I think you're spot on that.
Audio and video are the new, the new trends. How did you get into podcasting? How did you discover that? Oh, again, I've been doing it before was called podcasting. Right? when I had my network of video game sites, we used to do a live. Streaming audio thing. you know, we weren't saving the files or anything like that.
You had to listen to live and we'd get several hundred people every night. We'd be talking about video games. So again, that was sort of a natural thing. the, the actual podcast this week in travel is the show we've been doing for a real long time. that was in 2009. We attended, I was at the very first travel blogger convention and I met a bunch of people and I said, Hey, let's start a podcast.
Oh, very cool. Yeah. And now you're doing a daily that that's interesting. And that's a whole nother level of work. Yeah. Well, what happened is with. The pandemic, everything I was doing kind of fell apart. You know, all my business opportunities, you know, I work with, travel brands and destinations, everything fell apart.
not only could you not travel, but all their budgets fell apart. You know, they're, they're, they're trying to stay alive. they don't have money for marketing and advertising and. That was kind of a disaster for me. So what I did is I launched a daily podcast. That's not travel related actually. Yeah. I listened to, I listened to a couple episodes this week.
Yeah. I like it. Yeah. Yeah. But it's, it's, it's travel adjacent. So a lot of the things I've learned and discovered from travel, I can talk about, it's basically kind of, you know, it's called everything everywhere and it's just, you know, the tagline has learned something new every day and. The topics are literally all over the place and, that's kind of the appeal to it.
You never know what the next thing is going to be. so yesterday I did an episode on syndrome K, which was a fake disease that Italian doctors came up with to, rescue Jews in Rome, during world war II. And today's is going to be how many Nobel prizes would Einstein have? Oh, interesting. That's a good one.
Yeah, the answer is about seven, seven. Wow. Really? I thought, yeah. That's he probably could have got a few more, I think. Yeah. If he had lived, I mean, yeah, that's true. That's true, right. That's true. Yeah. Give us three actionable suggestions for anyone listening that wants to start a blog or website or maybe a podcast.
Do you have anything like that? Three things that you would just, you got to do this, this and this. You need to be consistent. Yeah. And so when I very early on, you know, I was, I would put an article on my website every day when I first started. And I had a purest streak of eight years where I posted a photo on my website every day.
Wow. Because I real, I realized the power of photography with travel. And I also recognized that I needed to improve as a photographer. So I started doing that every day. Great. And this was before Instagram. So it wasn't like I could use that as a platform. Right. And that made me a better photographer. you know, I went from buying a camera that I didn't know how to use to winning the travel photographer of the year three times.
And it was just incrementally giving, getting better. And the same is true with, you know, the podcast I'm doing now every day. It's just something you have to do. no, that's good. I do a once a week. Yeah. It's you gotta be consistent. And sometimes, you know, I think if you're in the outdoor space, your interest is doing outdoor stuff.
But if you do this, you know, you can't really do them both at the same time. You can't be out in the Backwoods, hiking around and blogging being in podcasting because you have to be sitting at a computer to do that. So you're kind of always shifting back and forth. You need to be out doing stuff that makes it worthwhile listening to you.
And then also creating content, right? Yeah. That's good advice. Yeah. I think it's getting a little more mobile. That's why I love my little zoom handy recorder. Cause I can pretty much take that anywhere. And as long as I have batteries and two mikes, we can get it done. Pretty fun. Oh, it, it, it definitely has, you know, even just with smartphones and everything, but it still requires a focus and a commitment, to get it done.
And then you have to go back to the computer to get it all edited and uploaded and all that stuff. Yeah. That's right, right. Do you enjoy the daily? Oh yeah. I mean, it is, it is a lot of work, but just the business model of doing a daily show is so much better than. Anything else it's not even funny. Yeah.
Yeah. I'll bet. Well, the numbers have got to do your numbers pick up by doing it daily, right? Collectively, I mean, not maybe not individual episodes, but over the course of a, of a month, you get a lot more downloads than you do. Just doing a weekly or a couple times a month. Yeah. I mean, all things being equal it's seven times more, right.
Yeah. Right. And you know, and this is true in both blogging podcasting or social media, every piece of content that you produce. Is another opportunity for someone to discover you. So by doing something daily over time, you will actually, I think get more downloads per show. Because it allows for a faster rate of growth than if you were doing it weekly or bi-weekly you get any collect were followers probably.
Yeah. Cause they find you in different places with different yeah. Different topics. Yeah. The same is true with, you know, writing articles on a website more. I mean, there is, I mean, quality is obviously very important, but there is a quantity element as well. Right. We're gonna take a little break and give some love to our sponsor.
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That's the outdoor biz podcast.com/ Jack Black sued those fun bumps today. Now back to the show. So what was catalyst for picking up the camera? You just wanted to take pictures of where you were. W where'd that come? How'd that come about? Initially, it was simply so, you know, I was planning on traveling for a year or two and I wanted some, some pictures of places to hang on my wall when I got, but as the website became a bit bigger, I actually, I was in Hong Kong.
I remember this is Christmas, 2007. I went to a newsstand and I bought every travel magazine. And then I just opened up a spreadsheet and I kind of did an analysis of all of the. What was in these magazines. And one of the things I concluded is that photography is really important that, you know, if you look at the cover of any of these magazines, what, what draws people in it's the photography, right?
And if you want it to be successful, you know, just having an article without good photos is like eating a piece of bread with nothing on it. No, No one does that. Right? A few people. Did you, how did you, teach yourself photography? You seems like you're self-taught then, right? Did you take any classes? I just don't want to take a class, never read a book.
I just, you know, the motto I always have is when I would coach debate. I would always tell my kids. All you have to do is suck less. You don't have to be good. You just need to suck less than whoever you're beating, you know, competing again. So the goal was always just incrementally suck less than you did before and to just get better.
And you know, one of the biggest things is to be able to just be self-critical enough. You just have to, be really brutally honest as far as what is good and what is bad, you have to figure out. Okay, why is this photo good? What did I do? And try to replicate that more often, you don't want something as bad stop doing that.
And then I would just, you know, read a lot of stuff online as to, you know, there's a lot of buttons and dials on your camera. And one of the things, you know, when I'm, when I teach people this stuff, it's like, you have to know what those do. Cause there's there for a reason. They do stuff. And the vast majority of people who are on cameras set it on automatic.
Yep. That's true. A lot of people do that. Yeah. And you get a lot more creative when you get off automatic. Exactly. Do you have any suggestions or advice for folks wanting to get into blogging podcasting or travel photography? Yeah. there's, there's kind of a saying I've heard that makes a lot of sense.
The best time to get into this was probably 10 years ago. And the second best time to do it is today. Right? So you just, you just need to start doing it. And it really does kind of need to, you know, get obsession for, you know, the first year that you're doing it. If you look at most podcasts, for example, they never reach episode seven, right?
They just give up and most, most, most blogs are abandoned. So people have these dreams, they don't see success right away and they quit. And if you look at an exponential growth curve, there's this period where it's flat for a very long time. And then it turns up and it becomes almost vertical. And that flat part really sucks because you don't know how long you're going to be in the fact park.
Yeah. That's the thing. I was just reading an article yesterday about, the sky with a tech newsletter, strategically I think is the name of it. And it's become really successful in the last few years, making a lot of money from it. And I didn't realize he had been doing it for. Basically a decade. Wow.
And you know, there were years where he's been doing this and it didn't get a lot of attention. And then all of a sudden it just kind of became a big thing. And there's a lot of things that kind of worked that way, where you have to do it for years, photographers have the same thing, you know, that you suck at the beginning, but then as you improve your photography, people continue to follow you and like your images more.
So a lot of stuff is that way. It takes years to get better. Photography is also tough right now because everyone has a camera, right. And the cameras in everyone's pocket are getting better and better. It's amazing. And. I don't think there's many people out there who are going to accidentally write something great, but it's entirely possible for someone to accidentally take a good photo, to lighting conditions are good, you know, right place at the right time every day.
Yeah. I mean, it, it is possible. Yeah. And it's really hurt the photography industry. I have a lot of friends who are old-school travel photographers who work for national geographic and things like that. And it's a, it's a brutal business. Now. most of the travel magazines have gone under the ones that are left are not paying like they used to, if they're paying it all, they're relying on stock images from, you know, Tourist boards and whatnot, and there's not a whole lot of money in it anymore.
So making a living as a photographer has become very difficult. I know guys that are, you know, have big followings on Instagram, but that too has become very difficult because. You know, not a lot of brands have money anymore because of the pandemic. Yeah. And the quality, the expected quality has gone down too.
I mean, the quality, you can get a good photo with your phone, but it's tough to print that on the wall, hanging on the wall, but nobody does that anymore either. So it's really, it's a, from a lot of angles, it's getting tough. Yeah. Online images don't need to be the quality of the print images did. So. No.
That's why I think having, whether it's a website or a podcast or a YouTube channel, developing a personal following, where people are interested, you know, they're not interested in travel photos. They're interested in your travel photos, right? Your opinion on it. that's something very different. And I think when you can develop that, then you can, you know, one of the, one of the ways that a lot of.
People with travel blogs that are making money now is just through selling tours to their readers. there's one woman. I know she's I think she made almost a million dollars last year, in. not net necessarily, but in gross revenue, just selling tours who are readers. Yeah, yeah, yeah. A lot of tours and photography works.
I live in Bishop, California, so we get a lot of folks doing workshops over here in the fall and in the spring. Yeah. It's, that's a good way to go. I talked to a guy, interviewed a guy yesterday who does took, took adventures around the world. You may know him. Julian Carnell, Cornell. Sounds pretty fun, but yeah, you got to get creative, you know, and play to your strengths.
So I keep talking to people about Kevin. Kelly's a thousand true fans. If you can find a thousand people that love what you do and are willing to pay, you know, buy an image from you or, you know, something, you can make a pretty good living. So it doesn't take that many people followers more than that.
With the podcast that I have now, I realize this is going to be a far better vehicle for me to sell tours when that time comes again. And I have a lot more interesting ideas for tours now, than it would have been before I had it. I bet. Yeah, I bet. Yeah. And you've been to all the, travel and outdoor trade shows right.
When they were going on. And those are going to be gone too, but you I'm sure you've been to a few of those. Some, maybe not the same ones that a lot of people, like, I never meant to like the outdoor retailer. No. but I, but I know a lot of people that have, I just never bothered to go. Yeah. Yeah. Those are all gonna go away.
So whether it's a consumer trade show or an outdoor trade show, it's, it's not going to happen. If you were able to hang a huge banner at either one of those shows or on the moon, visible from earth, somewhere where everybody could see it, what would it say? At a trade show, well trade so or some kind of a call to action banner or inspirational banner at the entrance to an airport Navy.
I, I would just, I would, I dunno. I just put something about, a URL for my podcast. I like it. That makes sense. You're the first guy to say that everybody else has said they come up with some kind of inspirational call to action or something. And I, with you, I would put something about my website or my podcast or something on there.
Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. Seize the day. That's great. I don't know what that's gonna, you know, everyone will ignore that. But if you're talking to like a show or something, and I have been to a lot in the travel world, I've been to tons of tons of trade shows. And to me, they always seem to be several years behind the curve when it comes to marketing.
And it took them a while to figure out that the internet was actually a thing. Yeah. And because there was this, you know, there for decades, there had been this. The industry of travel writers, you have travel sections of newspapers and travel magazines, and this was a highly established thing. And that's what it was.
And anything beyond that, they, you know, thought it was the equivalent of caveman and fire. And then all of a sudden they discovered it and then they just like, We're willing to do anything. Yeah. Yeah. You know, Oh, you have a Snapchat following. We'll throw money at you. We'll we'll end. It was kind of one extreme or the other and they never in I've given, I don't know.
The last several times that I spoke at the New York times travel show, I told people like the two biggest things that are not being utilized are email and podcasts because they're not sexy. No one pays attention. Yep. Yep. Through the two most effective things. Yeah. You're spot on. It's. It's interesting.
How many are not there? And when you mentioned, when you talked to them about it, they look at you, like you have socks on your head and it's it's, I mean, you do, you do a podcast. I do a podcast. It's not that difficult. And yeah, I, I, I've seen very few travel brands ever bothered doing advertising or marketing on podcasts and.
It's extremely effective at building a brand? no, I think you're right. I think you're dead on let's shift gears a little bit. As we wrap up, do you have any daily routines you use to keep your sanity? You meditate. Probably get a lot of exercise. I don't get a lot of exercise. No, I don't go out and walk or hike as great hikes.
Oh, I guess it's too cold where you're at. Yeah. Sorry. I forget that. I had been swimming. Like every other day, I'd spend a half an hour in the pool this summer before everything kind of hit the fan in Minneapolis, where I was living, was working up to doing a hundred thousand steps in a day on my Fitbit and getting that badge, which would basically require walking like 20 hours straight.
yeah. But now, since I've launched this, this new podcast, I'm kind of doing this every day and that's been tough and my sleep schedule just gets really screwed up. So I'm hoping that once, you know, a lot of this stuff ends, it'll kind of get to be a little bit more sane again. Yeah. When do you think that will happen?
I've been talking to a lot of folks about when, when this is all we know, once we get the vaccine and things, it'll never probably be completely under control again, but once we calm it down, when do you think travel will pick up? What are your thoughts on that? I don't know. And I've ceased guessing because when this first started back in March, A lot of the talk was, Oh, stuff's happening in China.
And I remember talking to some friends I know in China about maybe, yeah, maybe we'll come to China, they're going to probably want to pick up their tourism business. Maybe we'll come in, you know, April or may. Well, that's an app. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Then I was thinking of like, okay, well, I'm going to, I need to start planning my, the tours that I'm going to run for 20, 21, 2022.
I thought, wow, maybe I'll do a tour in, October or November. And we'll do something in the United States. Well, that can fly. And so now I'm just, yeah, I'm not even, I have no, I have no clue. And the thing is, even once it does start, it's not like this is going to be VE day, right. Where there's an announcement and all of a sudden everything is done.
It's going to be really gradual. There's going to be a lot of people who are still hesitant to travel. And from my stamp point, working in the business, there's going to be a lot of companies that. They're not going to have money to spend on marketing and promotion. Right. They're just trying to not go to business.
So it's going to be a while, you know, maybe one or two years after that. So I'm not sure. Hanging my hat on anything at this point and planning for anything to happen. I just don't, I don't know what's going to happen. And I think anyone who claims to know what's going to happen is probably wrong. Yeah. I mean, there are.
I don't know how many cruise ships that are just, you know, sitting there empty. A lot of them have been, sent to be chopped up, you know, cause there's a cost to having them sit there and if they were going to be, have their life ends in three years, a lot of these companies are finding a wall. Let's just do it now.
Rather than eat the cost of having it, sit around for three years until we scrap it. Right. Yeah. And I think, I think you're right. And I think the longer it goes and the more we, you know, don't know and learn more about it, it's going to take even longer. It's going to be a slow burn back to reality, but reality.
You know, in 2025 is not going to be the same as reality. And you know, today, or even five years ago, it's going to completely different. So, but you know, that being said, there's going to be a lot of opportunities because these established brands sure. They'll come back, but they're not going to have the advantage that they had, you know, a year ago.
They're going to be weakened. So if you want it to say, start a tour company of your own, if you're willing to wait another year, another year and a half, you might be able to do something with that, or even like a restaurant. Think of all the restaurants that are going out of business, the demand for restaurants will still be there at some point, but there just won't be as many restaurants.
Yeah. Yeah. And I've been saying, you know, it's kind of morbid, but don't let a good pandemic go to waste. If you're, you know, scale back your business, keep bumping along, doing what you're doing, but use that slow time or that downtime to, you know, explore future ideas and new opportunities and things that might in prepare yourself.
Take that downtime right now and work on creating a podcast, work on creating, you know, other things to reach out to your consumers and other ways of doing stuff. So, yeah. I think you're right. You know, and I should also note there's a lot of websites and podcasts that have been launched, in the last year, because everyone's at home.
They have nothing to do. Yeah. Most of them suck. Most of them are going to be abandoned and most of them have been abandoned already because people just can't deal with the workload. Right. So if you can just stick with it, you know, a huge component of success in creating content is just not quitting.
Yeah. And so you just have to stick with it and not quit like the world on fire right out of the gate. Right. Take your time. And don't, you know, you don't need to be everything to everybody on day one to start slow, learn and grow as you go. And you'll be fine. Yeah, I agree. Yeah. And that's the frustrating part.
You have to be willing to do this, knowing that when you start. No one might be listening and that's hard to do, right? Yeah. We won't go into my numbers on episode one and two, everyone starts at zero that's. Right. do you have a favorite piece of gear under a hundred dollars that you take with you on all your travels?
Under a hundred dollars? Yeah. Yeah, I do. And I don't even know where to find it because I got it for free. I went up to, Churchill, Manitoba to photograph polar bears and the company that runs the excursions up there frontiers North gave me a hat, just a plain old stocking hat, except it has an led light built in.
Wow. And. So you just like, press a dot on your forehead and then it turns this light on. So it's like a headlamp except it's built into the hat and it pops out and you can charge it via USB. So there's no batteries. So yeah, I use that all the time and it's you have a flashlight and you could pop it out if you want and use it as a handheld flashlight.
It's just the. Niftiest little handy thing, and I don't even know where you can buy them, but it was the best sway guide I've ever gotten. I use it almost every day. Yeah. I'll bet. We'll have to look for that. I bet we can find out where they get some of those made. That's pretty cool. Oh, just call frontiers.
They'll know. They probably won't tell us though. was, is there anything else you'd like to say or ask of our audience before we wrap up? yeah. Check out my podcast. Yeah, we'll throw that in the show notes for sure. Yeah. It's called everything everywhere. Daily. anywhere you find podcasts, you can find it super easy to find online and you can find me, I'm super easy to find.
Also, if you just search for Gary and travel. You'll find me everywhere. Yeah. I was looking at that this morning. We'll link to all that stuff in the show notes. Well, it's been great talking to you, Gary, sorry for some of the drop offs that we've had, but I look forward to meeting you in person one of these days, if we can ever travel again, we will.
Oh, I'm sure. Yeah. All right. Well, have a good afternoon. Okay.

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