100 episodes

Take a profound and distant journey. Call it Deep Travel, Immersive Travel, Slow Travel, or Vagabonding. Francis Tapon guides you to the intersection of travel, technology, and transformation. The podcast will compel you to go beyond your comfort zone.

WanderLearn: Travel to Transform Your Mind & Life Francis Tapon

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.1 • 30 Ratings

Take a profound and distant journey. Call it Deep Travel, Immersive Travel, Slow Travel, or Vagabonding. Francis Tapon guides you to the intersection of travel, technology, and transformation. The podcast will compel you to go beyond your comfort zone.

    Kosovo's Past and Future

    Kosovo's Past and Future

    I interview Teouta Luri, a Kosovar & ethnic Albanian who was born in Yugoslavia in 1976.
    She is the daughter of a prominent Yugoslav politician.
    We discuss:
    Why Tito was the most popular dictator ever.
    Why Milosovic's policies inadvertently brought on civil war.
    Why she thought getting married and having a baby in the middle of a war was a brilliant idea.
    Why Albanians love the USA more than anyone else.
    Whether women in Kosovo are more or less liberated than American women.
    Her first impressions of the USA.
    Whether there is an accent between Kosovars and Albanians.
    Why did I sometimes interrupt and talk over Teouta?
    Two reasons:
    1. Teouta and I talked enough before the interview that I felt comfortable enough to talk with her like I talked with Sym Blanchard. I was comfortable enough to allow for natural banter to develop.
    2. Like my interviews with Sym, we were in the same room with two separate microphones, so that makes it much easier to read body language and not have to deal with the lag that comes when you interview someone remotely (via Skype/Zoom).
    Sponsors
    This episode is sponsored by: 
    The Restoration Project 
    Rerouted.co
    My patrons at Patreon 
    More info
    You can post comments, ask questions, and sign up for my newsletter at http://wanderlearn.com.

    If you like this podcast, subscribe and share! 
    On social media, my username is always ftapon. Follow me on:
    http://facebook.com/ftapon
    http://twitter.com/ftapon
    http://youtube.com/user/ftapon
    http://pinterest.com/ftapon
    http://tumblr.com/ftapon
    My Patrons sponsored this show!
    Claim your monthly reward by becoming a patron at http://Patreon.com/FTapon
    Rewards start at just $2/month!

    • 34 min
    10 Reasons Why El Camino de Santiago Sucks & 10 Benefits

    10 Reasons Why El Camino de Santiago Sucks & 10 Benefits

    El Camino de Santiago has 10 benefits, 4 things that are either good or bad depending on your perspective, and 10 sucky things about it.
    In this episode, I read my most popular article and interject commentary.
    The article has over 3 million views because it appears in the Top 10 results whenever you Google "El Camino Santiago."
    Sorry for the 1-month hiatus. I'll be pumping out more episodes to make up for the missed podcasts!
    Question of the Week
    Yida asks: 

    I'm reading about Rwanda right now. I'm wondering whether you ever went gorilla trekking there?
    I'm also curious about the economics of safari tourism in Africa. A gorilla permit in Rwanda is $1500 US while the GDP per capital there is only about $800 US! Safari adventures for foreigners cost a lot compared to what locals spend. But hiking and camping for leisure also seem to be more of a North American thing and not universal. 
    Do locals go on much cheaper packages available for citizens only if they ever want to see wildlife?

    Sponsors
    This episode is sponsored by Rerouted.co! Rerouted.co is a great way to either:
    1. Buy 2nd-hand outdoor gear, thereby saving you money & saving the planet.
    2. Sell your gear, thereby making you a bit of money & saving the planet.
    This episode is also brought to you by my patrons at Patreon!
    More info
    You can post comments, ask questions, and sign up for my newsletter at http://wanderlearn.com.

    If you like this podcast, subscribe and share! 
    On social media, my username is always ftapon. Follow me on:
    http://facebook.com/ftapon
    http://twitter.com/ftapon
    http://youtube.com/user/ftapon
    http://pinterest.com/ftapon
    http://tumblr.com/ftapon
    My Patrons sponsored this show!
    Claim your monthly reward by becoming a patron at http://Patreon.com/FTapon
    Rewards start at just $2/month!

    • 49 min
    The Radiolab of Travel Podcasts - The Armchair Explorer

    The Radiolab of Travel Podcasts - The Armchair Explorer

    Aaron Millar's Armchair Explorer Podcast will delight Radiolab fans who love to travel!
    (Millar is pronounced like Americans pronounce "Miller.")
    In this podcast, you'll learn:
    Aaron Millar's origins
    How Millar took the leap of faith of becoming a writer and then a podcaster
    Why and how Millar integrates music in his podcast 
    Why Steven Dubner, the host of the Freakanomics podcast, heavily edits his podcast - and why Millar does it.
    Difference between video and audio storytelling
    What telling someone about Bob Dylan lyrics says about you
    The power of pacing & pauses 
    How long it takes Millar to produce a 30-minute podcast
    How can you find the courage to make a radical career shift?
    What is FOPO?
    Dolly Parton's wise saying
    One of the joys of travel
    I listen to most podcasts at 1.3 to 2.0 times faster than normal so I can be productive and efficient at cramming information into my skull.
    If you also do that, do me a favor and take a break from that habit on this particular podcast episode.
    Why?
    Because speeding up music ruins it. I spend many hours integrating music for your listening pleasure. Besides, I edited out 60% of my one-hour interview. Therefore, in a sense, it's already sped up!
    As a bonus, I'm Beta Testing a new segment called...
    Question of the Week!
    To debut the question, I have a question about viruses, especially the Coronavirus.
    Sponsors
    This episode is sponsored by Athletic Brewing! Use promo code WANDERLEARN20 to get 20% off. Order two 6-packs to get free shipping!
    And my patrons at Patreon!
    More info
    You can post comments, ask questions, and sign up for my newsletter at http://wanderlearn.com.

    If you like this podcast, subscribe and share! 
    On social media, my username is always ftapon. Follow me on:
    http://facebook.com/ftapon
    http://twitter.com/ftapon
    http://youtube.com/user/ftapon
    http://pinterest.com/ftapon
    http://tumblr.com/ftapon
    My Patrons sponsored this show!
    Claim your monthly reward by becoming a patron at http://Patreon.com/FTapon
    Rewards start at just $2/month!

    • 34 min
    How Do You Get Sponsors?

    How Do You Get Sponsors?

    Would you like to get sponsors for your activities?
    I'll paraphrase JFK...
    Ask not what sponsors can do for you, ask what you can do for your sponsors
    The CEO of GoLite said that I was the first person to ever send him a sponsorship proposal with the section called "ROI" (Return On Investment). That shows that oftentimes people don't consider that companies want to get something out of the experience beyond just the feeling that they're helping someone who needs help.
    That's normal: most people don't toss money to beggars, but are more likely to give to street musicians who are providing a service (i.e., entertainment). When you seek sponsors, don't be a beggar - offer something in return for the donation.
    Write a 1-3 page proposal. In your proposal, try to answer these questions:
    How will you market their brand?
    How much visibility will you get?
    Why you and not someone else?
    How do we know you will publish a book (or whatever)?
    How many books will you sell? How many presentations will you give?
    How prominently will you display our logo and where?
     
    Four more points about getting sponsorship
    Approach small companies rather than big ones. It's hard to get Nike to sponsor you (unless you have a connection).
    Don't expect cash, especially from small companies. I have never received a check from any sponsor. They just give me gear. A few don't even give free gear, they just sell it to you at a steep discount. The outdoor companies (like most backpackers) are cash poor, so have low expectations. Yes, North Face (and others) sponsor amazing Everest expeditions, but unless you're doing something insanely extraordinary, don't expect cash.
    Getting sponsors is often not worth the trouble. Factor in all the hours writing a proposal, calling, following up, and supporting them afterward. You might conclude it's just easier to buy the Mountain Laurel Designs tarp for $200 than go through all that hassle. Although getting food sponsors is great, do you really want to eat the same energy bar several times a day for months? Also, you might not like everything your sponsor makes. I've always had non-exclusive arrangements so I can pick and choose the best of the breed in my gear and not carry/promote stuff I don't think is the best. Same with food - I've always had a couple of food sponsors to vary my diet.
    On the other hand, if you intend to do many expeditions, it might be worthwhile establishing a relationship with a few sponsors. Once they've sponsored you once, it's much easier to get their support in the future (assuming you served them well). Eventually, you'll have companies calling you asking you to use their gear! That's a great position to be in!
    Getting sponsorship isn’t as glamorous as you might imagine, but it’s still an honor, assuming you love the company that is sponsoring you. It’s also not easy to obtain, so be persistent, start with the small companies first, and then as your accomplishments increase, go after the big companies. Good luck!
     

    Sponsors
    This episode is sponsored by Athletic Brewing! Use promo code WANDERLEARN20 to get 20% off. Order two 6-packs to get free shipping!
    And my patrons at Patreon!
    More info
    You can post comments, ask questions, and sign up for my newsletter at http://wanderlearn.com.

    If you like this podcast, subscribe and share! 
    On social media, my username is always ftapon. Follow me on:
    http://facebook.com/ftapon
    http://twitter.com/ftapon
    http://youtube.com/user/ftapon
    http://pinterest.com/ftapon
    http://tumblr.com/ftapon
    My Patrons sponsored this show!
    Claim your monthly reward by becoming a patron at http://Patreon.com/FTapon
    Rewards start at just $2/month!


     

    • 16 min
    AMA: Short episodes & My Upcoming Book

    AMA: Short episodes & My Upcoming Book

    I tackle more listener feedback. Here's what they wrote:
    DC Qranky wrote

    One thing I find very appealing about your show is how insightful you are and the way you both remain open to ideas while expressing your own opinion even if it’s totally contrary to a guest, for example.
    How about if at the end of every show you had a short segment in which you take one reader question or topic suggestion and run with that? It’s another way to engage with listeners without bribing them for 5-star reviews and it’s basically giving you free show ideas. It can be about ANYTHING! Literally, anything at all. If you can get an expert on your show to discuss with, all the better, but if not you can just spin your wheels on the question/topic yourself.
    It should be the same duration every time - long enough to dig in but not so long that you start to ramble. I’d say 5-10 min max. Maybe you can give it a catchy name like ‘New Idea Fix for 6’, as in 6 minutes. That’s a terrible name but just to illustrate the point. And!…give listeners an opportunity to post their thoughts after the show. You’ll read the top 3 most compelling feedback on your next show prior to the special segment.
    If you do this, DC Qranky wants an associate producer credit!

    Yida wrote

    As you wrote such a detailed section on malaria in West Africa, I'm wondering if you plan to follow up discussion on Covid-19 in Africa and some major responses and developments?
    Another point I want to raise is who is your intended audience?Do you see children and educators reading your books?Perhaps some geography, social studies teachers/ professors have already read your books and reached out to you!There are lots of good discussion questions and essay topics that could come out of every chapter.
    Your book is very educational and filled with facts, geography, history, culture, told in your engaging narrative voice. However, the funny adult stories and frank discussions on sex, polygamy means it would be rated M for Mature.Chances are, kids working on projects would be unlikely find this book in their school libraries. I can see teenagers enjoying this and the book is very readable. I'm curious whether this book would be selected by teachers, school librarians, as part of their educational resources.I first found the Hidden Europe at a local public library but not at local bookstores or university libraries.
    I can see the Unseen Africa being used as an introduction to Africa and students can then consult your bibliography for more academic reading. My favorite geography reference book is Lonely Planet "The World" because it goes through every country in an accessible manner.

    DC Qranky wrote:

    Do I like your shorter podcasts? Hmm…sometimes. I also like your longer podcasts because it gives you an opportunity to get in depth. To a point. The lucid dream guy…that was pretty good. I don’t remember the length but the conversation was pretty compelling. Now listening to the married couple that won’t get married. A good bunch of it is fun listening but over an hour?? None of your podcasts should ever go over an hour and probably not over 50 mins. max.
    a) That’s a lot to listen to and if it needs to go that long, break it up into two parts.
    b) As stated, a good bunch of fun listening but also a lot of blah blah blah… You lose audience that way.
    It’ll take more of your time but you’ll have a better end product by scrubbing through the material and editing out, what some in my industry would call, “shoe leather”.
    I like your podcast but I may be biased. If I didn’t get to know you through your books and have you connect with my family in Benin and relate to you on a personal level (in many ways you seem like my brother from another mother), not sure if I would engage or not.
    Don’t change who you are or what you do but see if you can mold your podcast a bit t

    • 17 min
    AMA: Responding to Critics and Patrons

    AMA: Responding to Critics and Patrons

    I tackle my critics head-on thanks to an audience suggestion.
    DC Qranky wrote:

    You only read 5-star reviews on your show?
    C’mon man…don’t you want to encourage authentic dialogue? I think you should read ALL reviews! Not only will that encourage engagement, it will give you feed for your podcast. Let’s say some douche bag like, oh I don’t know, DC Qranky gives you a 1-star review and says you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground and you’re full of crap and playing off Trump, Africa is a shit hole country (I know it’s a continent) so why are you wasting your time there. That’s great stuff! Engage! Bring the f****r on your show.

    Sponsors
    This episode is sponsored by Athletic Brewing! Use promo code WANDERLEARN20 to get 20% off. Order two 6-packs to get free shipping!
    And my patrons at Patreon!
    More info
    You can post comments, ask questions, and sign up for my newsletter at http://wanderlearn.com.

    If you like this podcast, subscribe and share! 
    On social media, my username is always ftapon. Follow me on:
    http://facebook.com/ftapon
    http://twitter.com/ftapon
    http://youtube.com/user/ftapon
    http://pinterest.com/ftapon
    http://tumblr.com/ftapon
    My Patrons sponsored this show!
    Claim your monthly reward by becoming a patron at http://Patreon.com/FTapon
    Rewards start at just $2/month!

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

rg67777 ,

A Unique Point Of View

Francis offers a unique perspective and strong opinions which makes WanderLearn one of the podcasts that I subscribe to. Francis is an accomplished traveler and an excellent storyteller.

REVictoriaC ,

Eclectic Mix of Fascinating Topics

Francis Tapon’s podcast has outstanding audio production. His voice is pleasant to listen to.

He covers a wide range of topics and always offers a fresh and original perspective. He will challenge the status quo.

I’ve become one of his Patrons on Patreon.

You must subscribe to his podcast!

greenfrogz345 ,

Good entertainment and educational

I’ve been a long time fan of his books and videos. He’s actually one of the people that inspired me to hike thru the PCT and live an adventurous traveler lifestyle. I really enjoy his storytelling abilities and he also integrates facts and interesting history about countries he’s traveled in. Francis has a multicultural perspective knowing french and American culture and pointing out strengths and weaknesses in how people are in other countries. Travelling in every African country for 5 years is impressive and shows the patience and dedication he has to accomplish his goals and write good travel books. I’m also into cryptocurrency trading and appreciate the information he shares in the show. Some guests can be kind of strange most are pretty good and share funny stories and experiences. Some more episodes on traveling in Central Asia would be nice.

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