100 episodes

After exploring the world and embracing adventure often in my teens and twenties, I realized the shift to motherhood and a professional career was threatening the amount of adventure that showed up in my life. I responded by reframing the destination to a journey. In designing a life of adventure we nurtured the creation of new experiences, challenged the status quo, and tested our risk tolerance. 10 years and 3 children later, these intentional family adventures were far greater than any destination. These simple and authentic adventure experiences had a noticeable impact on every member in the family. Adventure is an ingredient in our lives that allows everyone to connect deeper and show up as their authentic selves.

The quest for the summit requires support from a tribe of helpers, a noble force of goodness and strength known as Sherpas. They push each person toward their summit and celebrate peaks and pits together. This mighty crew of listeners and the community we are forming online are the ordinary everyday people who support families connecting and experiencing authentic adventures together. We are Ordinary Sherpa, a podcast designed to share learning and create community to inspire families to experience joy and connection together through adventure.

Ordinary Sherpa: Family Adventure Coaching and Design Heidi Dusek

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 101 Ratings

After exploring the world and embracing adventure often in my teens and twenties, I realized the shift to motherhood and a professional career was threatening the amount of adventure that showed up in my life. I responded by reframing the destination to a journey. In designing a life of adventure we nurtured the creation of new experiences, challenged the status quo, and tested our risk tolerance. 10 years and 3 children later, these intentional family adventures were far greater than any destination. These simple and authentic adventure experiences had a noticeable impact on every member in the family. Adventure is an ingredient in our lives that allows everyone to connect deeper and show up as their authentic selves.

The quest for the summit requires support from a tribe of helpers, a noble force of goodness and strength known as Sherpas. They push each person toward their summit and celebrate peaks and pits together. This mighty crew of listeners and the community we are forming online are the ordinary everyday people who support families connecting and experiencing authentic adventures together. We are Ordinary Sherpa, a podcast designed to share learning and create community to inspire families to experience joy and connection together through adventure.

    099 | 60 days to departure {Family Gap Year}

    099 | 60 days to departure {Family Gap Year}

    For the full show notes head to: https://ordinarysherpa.com/099 
    To follow our Family Gap Year Adventure on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ordinarysherpa/ 
    To learn more about Metrics of Thriving or "the Life Pie" referenced in this episode you can read my book: Beyond Normal: A field guide to embrace adventure, explore the wilderness and design an extraordinary life with kids. 

    • 22 min
    098 | Take Your Kids Everywhere (TM) with Eric Stoen of Travel Babbo

    098 | Take Your Kids Everywhere (TM) with Eric Stoen of Travel Babbo

    Website for this episode: ordinarysherpa.com/098
    Register for the FREE Travel Rewards for Families Live Q & A: Ordinarysherpa.com/LIVE
    At one time, our guest worked in healthcare, but was (not so secretly) addicted to travel. He’s been to over 100 countries and seven continents. What sets him apart from many of the travelers I know is his approach; his uncanny way to make you laugh and be completely envious of him experiencing incredible locations with his kids.  While many parents like taking breaks from their kids and heading overseas without them. Their family is not like that. Starting at age four, each of his kids got to pick any destination in the world every year for a one-on-one trip, and his kids weren’t shy about picking crazy destinations – trips have included Australia (ages 4 and 6), Hong Kong (5), Belize (4), Easter Island (6), Iguazu Falls (6), Bali (9 and 10), Japan (7 and 8), the Maldives (9), and Antarctica (8) and that was just when they were ages 4-8. 

    In 2012 he was lucky enough to win Conde Nast Traveler Magazine’s Photo of the Year contest out of 21,000+ entrants. The magazine planned an amazing two weeks in Florence for them. The first two days there three different people called him Babbo – Italian for Dad or Daddy. The kids started using it and it stuck – they haven’t called him Dad since they returned from that trip. The funny thing is that Babbo only means Dad in certain parts of Italy. In other areas it means Idiot. Today I am excited to have a conversation with the Family Travel influencer who literally has the registered trademark to Take Your Kids Everywhere, Eric Stoen of Travel Babbo, Welcome to Ordinary Sherpa.  
    Follow or Connect with Eric at:
    Website: https://travelbabbo.com/
    Instagram: @travelbabbo 

    Key Takeaways
    Eric will go wherever the kids want to go or return to.  There are many things that make a location returnable, it’s whatever speaks to our hearts.  For us we visit Italy specifically Florence and Tuscany or the Greek Isle of Naxos.  So much so that locals know our names in several of the locations. 

    Let the kids have a stake in planning.  Look for kid-friendly tours.  They are simplified and the content is perfect for parents too.
      Parent first, then traveler, then a photographer and travel writer.  He didn’t want travel to become not fun for the kids ot getting paid to do things that weren’t kid-friendly.

    I’m not afraid to show my kids faces, but seeing those accounts didn’t inspire me.  Most times I shared photos of my kids often walking away because that's naturally where I was and they weren’t interested in posing.

    Even if a place looks cool online doesn’t mean it’s a great kid-friendly place. Capture what’s authentic and find the details that speak to you. 

    Eric is not willing to disrupt their vacation for work.  his followers deserve better and he wanted to maintain an organic nature of photography - not sponsored, posed photos. 

    He set a boundary that he didn’t accept free travel.  He wasn’t going to travel without his family unless he was getting paid.

    Networking is everything and meeting people in person is a game changer.  Travel writers and adventure brands are fun to be around.  Go to events and meet people face-to-face.  For Eric, while he was new and uncomfortable at ITB Berlin, Geeking out with new destinations was a trip and he often meets people that he’d like to hang out and travel with. 

    What’s your intro? Have 20 seconds that describes why are you unique? Why would someone work with you? What is your attitude on travel? What is your perspective on ___? Your intro is what makes you memorable. 

    Travel is cumulative.  Explore with your kids as early as you can because good things will come of it.   Resources referenced during this episode:
    Start Here: https://travelbabbo.com/start-here/
    Month by Month Guide to the Best Vacations with Kids: https://tra

    • 35 min
    097 | Travel Hacking for Families Offer

    097 | Travel Hacking for Families Offer

    Today you are going to a little bit of real talk with Heidi. Maybe because I am on night 3 of a hotel to MYSELF while I’m at a conference or maybe I shouldn’t have had that second cup of coffee (by the way if you like Real Talk with Heidi version, feel free to support this buying me a coffee) Either way, I wanted to give families a valuable way to use travel rewards to supplement their travel budget, traveling longer, farther - let’s just say it’s one of my favorite optimization strategies AND after 2 people it gets much more difficult - you even heard Chris Hutchins from All the Hacks say it on episode 092.  The game is harder to play with more people.   
     
     And I’ll just say it, the content out there for families is eh.  I don’t think you need to pay thousands of dollars to follow someone’s system.  Once you learn the rules of the game you just need a reliable source to ask questions and find the answers you need. I also don’t think everyone needs to take online courses to understand how points and systems work.  Many of those groups want you to use their links so that they get all the referral bonus points. Just for the record, I’m not opposed to any of those things, people can make money doing things they are good at and I know that many use the referral and affiliate links to fund their work.  I just think there is a better way to support YOU through this - what can I say, we are sherpas helping families adventure.  I think families need a fair shot at the travel rewards game.   
     
    Part of the challenge with travel hacking is that the rules change often.   It takes time to understand and let’s be frank - we don’t have time to scurry down the rabbit hole of travel rewards.  For this episode I am going to highlight some of the travel hacking resources I have and walk through three examples of how we recently used travel rewards.  I also am announcing a FREE Live Family Travel Hackers Q/A Session so stick around and make sure to register to get EVEN more tips.
     
    First to highlight some of my previous content:
    On episode 018 | Travel Rewards tips with Melissa Lagerquist.  We talk about some of the basic terminology, approaches and ways she has used points to hack cruises.  Full disclosure - Melissa is connected to the Choose FI Travel Rewards course.  If you want to go down the rabbit hole that free course is where I started when it was launched probably close to 5 years ago.  On episode 019 | Our approach to travel rewards I walk through our strategy and I give you a free downloadable planning guide to help you through the process.  That is available at: https://ordinarysherpa.com/rewards/   Episode 032 | How to Fly a family of 5 to Hawaii for under $500 I dive deep into Southwest Companion Pass which we have had for 4 years straight.  We are not renewing next year because we will be traveling in the RV next year and as you will soon hear we have a different strategy.  Episode 070 | Hacks to Optimize Family Experiences without Sacrificing Value offers an updated approach to how I plan our summer vacations in particular.   We also reference travel hacking in episode 084 with Ed Tee adventuring near and far; Episode 040 Interim Expat with Scott Barrett, and Episode 077 | Funding the Fun with Jen of Investor Mama.  
     
    The DIY approach to learning travel hacking can seem like an uphill slog.  I may have said on more than one occasion “Can someone just tell me what to do?!” Stick around until the end to get the link to register for our Free Family Travel Hacker LIVE Q/A.  Tonight I wanted to share a few behind the curtain tips to help you travel more for less.  
     
    Hawaii flights for 5 for under $300 It’s no secret here that we used 2 Southwest Companion Passes.  RIGHT NOW is the best time to start earning the Southwest Companion Pass to give you the maximum amount of time where one person flies free with you (-$5.50 per flight in taxes and fees).

    • 21 min
    096 | Dual-Citizen Family Explores all 49 State Parks in Wisconsin

    096 | Dual-Citizen Family Explores all 49 State Parks in Wisconsin

    096 | Dual-Citizen Family Explores all State Parks in Wisconsin
     
    Tracy Philippi is a 4-seasons adventure enthusiast raising her 3 young, dual-citizens between Madison, Wisconsin and Canada. During COVID, Tracy and her family completed their goal of camping, hiking & swimming in all 48 Wisconsin State Parks. Tracy is a professional fundraiser, leading the charge to build a library in her community (the only place in Dane County without a library!) as a passionate volunteer. Currently on a gap year from paid employment, Tracy is focusing on slowing down, solo backpacking with her kids, expanding her vegetable & pollinator gardens and reading as much as humanly possible. Tracy has a Master’s in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto and is a Certified Cicerone (Beer Sommelier).

    Website for this episode: https://ordinarysherpa.com/096
    Will you leave Written Review on Apple Podcasts:  https://ordinarysherpa.com/review/
    Subscribe to the email List:  https://ordinarysherpa.com/subscribe/
    Join the Ordinary Sherpa Facebook Group to interact with other listeners.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ordinarysherpa
     
    Key Takeaways
    A cicerone is a fun way to dive deeper into beer culture and great inspiration to visit breweries on your travels A family goal to visit all 49 Wisconsin State Parks was a cost effective way to see the state, such as the Cape Cod equivalent in Door County, and allowing their oldest the space to thrive while exploring outdoors.   Hiking, Swimming, and Camping in State Parks have a very low barrier to entry. (Currently $28 for a resident State Park Sticker).  Park of the fun is discovering what is unique about each state park.   There were 5 state parks referenced in this episode.   Straight Lakes State Park Kohler Andre State Park Big Bay State Park  Wyalusing State Park Devil’s Lake State Park Some tips for camping with kids started with lower your expectations.  It’s okay to leave early or go out to dinner.   Camp with a big group of friends or if you are a parent of multiples do a 1:1 experience.  Both options will take the pressure off the parent.  It takes 45 minutes of unstructured play for kids to start being creative and using their imaginations.  It takes time for kids to acclimate to surroundings.  Pack light and keep things easy.  Challenge yourself to leave “what if” items behind.  It will make you more resourceful in the moment.   Dress for every occasion.  They like to camp in spring and fall which means less bugs, but much cooler temps.  This makes wool baselayers, rain coats and pants essential on the packing list.   Tailor your location based on your kids interested.  There is a state park with or near just about anything you could want to do.   State parks can be magical year round.   State Park Passes are a great gift. For $28 (resident sticker) you can support your staff, family or friends getting outside and exploring state parks.   To connect with Tracy Phillippi come join the Ordinary Sherpa Facebook Group.  

    • 42 min
    095 | Working Through a Low Energy Slump

    095 | Working Through a Low Energy Slump

    As nature prepares for winter, the leaves fall, the damp chill has us grabbing for blankets or cozy clothes, the drive to adventure can sometimes dissipate.  The darkness lingers longer in the morning and comes sooner at night.  While I am not an expert in moon cycles, I have even learned that we are in a low energy cycle currently.  I think it’s perfectly okay to listen to rest and embrace the low energy season, we might feel the undertows and external current of productivity suggesting otherwise.  For some of us who see goals and achievement as key drivers it also can feel like we are off the wagon.  
    I’ve been in this awkward phase.  I’ve been less motivated or inspired to create the last few weeks.  I shared the rut I was feeling with a few content creator groups and crowdsourced their suggestions. I  thought I would dedicate this episode to share what I have learned and some things I have tried this week.  
    Pay attention to the Moon Cycles
    “I don’t know how long you have been feeling this. But I can say that we have just entered the waning moon phase. This phase lasts two weeks after the full moon. We had a full moon on Sunday. This is a lower energy time. This is a time for maintenance, and more rest, this is a time to be extra aware of your energy. A time to do more of what you love, and less work. This is your time to hibernate and declutter a bit so that you are ready for the next moon cycle. So instead of feeling guilty that I’m not as energized or “making progress” or inspired, I embrace the slower pace. Let yourself nap more, remind yourself  this slowing down, and not always “doing” is natural and necessary.”  I am putting a link to Beth Suter who was the person who offered this insight if anyone wants to learn more about this.  

    Listen to your body - I have been feeling heavy and frumpy and wanted to wake things up a bit.  Confessions from a true podcaster, when I need to amp up the energy to get on the mic or be “on” for whatever reason I usually cranks some empowering music.  Usually it’s something like Rachel Platten, Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift - these wouldn’t typically be the music I listen to but there is a touch of authenticity mixed with brash that invigorates my systems.  I have noticed the last few weeks I’ll break out into dance or yoga or some combination of the two - what would that be called doga?!?  Feeling strong and moving my body is kind of freeing which leads me to my next one.  

    Draw, Paint or color out emotions - This suggestion actually made sense to me from my teaching and adult learning style days.  Our brains actually need to be stimulated to cross the right and left brain hemisphere.  Like we need to loosen the reigns of logic.  Or on the flip side we might have all the pieces and need to get out of our creative brain and into logic so doing something like playing with legos, sudoku, or a word puzzle sometimes can give your brain directionality.  
    Putting myself in unfamiliar circumstances that interrupt my routine.  Listen or look for content to distract, reflect and inspire. Breaking out of your typical places, go for a long drive, head to a different coffee shop…you can’t change who you are, but you can change where you are.

    Just hit record for 5 minutes.  Usually I make it all the way through and it turns out better than expected.  Like the pringles saying - once you pop, you can’t stop! 

    Take an Untourist walk - new place, look to learn, fresh air similar to putting yourself in an unfamiliar circumstance combined with the mantra that motion creates emotion. 

    Sounds like you might be overwhelmed.  What are you NOT going to dof? Funny story, this was one of the key message of my presentation and RV Entrepreneur Roundtable and like a darn boomerang the organizer brought it right back to me LOL.  Sounds like great advice.  Well you want to know what I decided.  I'm going to simply enj

    • 19 min
    094 | Adventuring with Teens and Tweens with Tiffany of the Stoke Fam

    094 | Adventuring with Teens and Tweens with Tiffany of the Stoke Fam

    A fun win of the week is that Ordinary Sherpa crossed 100 written reviews.  This is a huge benchmark for the Podcast.  If your name is NOT one of the 100 Written reviews, there is still time - we will continue to need those as we reach more people and brands with our work.  Apple DOES not make it easy so feel free to check out this tutorial to walk you through the process.  
    Will you leave Written Review on Apple Podcasts:  https://ordinarysherpa.com/review/
    Website for this episode: https://ordinarysherpa.com/094
    Join the Ordinary Sherpa Facebook Group to interact with other listeners.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ordinarysherpa
    Bio: Grab notes from: https://thestokefam.com/about-us-2/

    Our guest today firmly believes what lights you up AKA your Stoke, shouldn’t stop when you have kids.  With the goal of helping families adventure more and stress less she and her husband created The Stoke Fam.  Through their practical advice, actionable tips, and stories that resonate they empower families to get out and explore together while building stronger relationships with their children & teens. I have chuckled at the mishaps and appreciated her humility as she keeps adventure real with kids.  Tiffany, welcome to Ordinary Sherpa. 


    Key Takeaways
    Adventurous Mom is a title that you can grow into and evolve with your family.  While Tiffany had adventure experiences as a kid, much of her adventure spirit has been nurtured since having kids.  Investing in ski lessons from someone other than your significant other is usually cheaper than therapy in the long run.  Your relationship might thank you for this insight.    While you can and should adventure with whatever you have, investing in a few key pieces of gear was a game changer for Tiffany.  Learning how to layer and find some key items to keep her warm and dry while adventuring made the experience much more desirable.   Find your Stoke is to find that thing that lights you up.  What is the spark or what brings you joy.   As kids age their attitudes, opinions and personality shine through.  Recognizing each individual has wants and needs and making sure to consider everyone's desires in the process is critical for teens and tweens overall engagement.   Allow your kids to have an opinion both in the planning and timeline for family adventures.  We want to empower kids to speak up and share their limitations and have a voice in the decision making.  If we do this well they become invested in the overall experience.  Opting out might be a choice to consider.   “Be a welcome mat to family adventure”  Most of the adventures we see others doing, didn’t start at the epic summit.  We work up to those.  Be careful not to compare your start to someone else’s summit.   The Outdoor Resource Guide and Start Here sections of the Stoke Family blog are great starting points to consider things that trip us up in adventure.  The goal is to make it easy so you can spend less time researching and more time adventuring.    
    To Connect with or Follow
    Website: thestokefam.com
    Email: hello@thestokefam.com 
    IG: https://instagram.com/thestokefam
    FB/Twitter/Pinterest/TikTok: Also all @thestokefam, but spend the most time on Instagram
    A few resources referenced during the episode:
    Outdoor Resource Guide: https://thestokefam.ck.page/25b1efeea6
    Start-Here section of the Blog: https://thestokefam.com/start-here/

    • 44 min

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5.0 out of 5
101 Ratings

101 Ratings

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Engaging even for an empty nester

I listened to this podcast for the first time in the background while doing some work at home. Wow…podcasts are your jam! Your storytelling kept me engaged and interested and left me wanting more even though I am an empty nester 😊

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