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No Blackout Dates

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No Blackout Dates

The Official Matador Network Travel Podcast

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No Blackout Dates, hosted by Eben Diskin and Tim Wenger, is the official podcast of Matador Network and provides a truly unfiltered and honest look at the world of travel and adventure. Join these two travel writers each week for completely raw stories from the road that any responsible editor would (and has) cut from print. They talk about what it’s like to travel for a living, introduce you to the wild characters they’ve met along the way -- from astronauts and flight attendants to Amsterd ...
 
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show series
 
These days, more and more jobs can be done while traveling. That includes stripping – and today, Stella is here to talk about what it’s like to travel to different strip clubs around the country as a professional dancer. She’s worked at clubs from Florida to Chicago to the northeast, and she breaks down the differences in the job based on location,…
 
In this week's Stories From The Road, Eben reads aloud his narrative of visiting the remains of the Treblinka concentration camp in Poland. As someone with ethnic ties to the Holocaust, the experience painted a vivid picture of one of humanity's biggest atrocities. For Eben's travel companion, visiting Treblinka proved equally jarring. Relevant lin…
 
Travel to places far off the typical tourist track – think Iraq, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia – is an increasingly common theme here on No Blackout Dates. As the founder of Untamed Borders, a tour operator that hosts guided trips to places like Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Yemen, and elsewhere, James Wilcox knows more about the logistics of visiting often misunder…
 
The second installment of Stories From The Road pits Tim and Eben against each other in one of their most classic debates: whether or not coworking spaces are worth the money. Tim is famously pro-coworking, having held memberships at spaces across the world from Bali to Oaxaca to Colorado. He credits coworking for helping him find friends, clients,…
 
To kick off 2023, Tim and Eben plunge into the depths of the travel industry – uncovering the trends they expect to see this year, along with their best travel stories from 2022. The hosts also break down the destinations doing things the right way – whether that be reframing an outdated image, innovating new ways to experience the destination, or …
 
Marketa and David Daley hiked 1,300 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail -- an impressive feat far greater than most will ever accomplish in the wild. But the Daley's did it with their three young children, a monumental undertaking that required guts, parental instinct, and a lot of pep talking. Marketa joins No Blackout Dates to discuss the expedition…
 
We're trying something new this week on No Blackout Dates. To complement our interview episodes, every other week we will feature a read-aloud of a crazy travel story from Matador Network. This week's adventure is from writer Nicholas Mancall-Bitel, entitled "My Car Broke Down in the Sahara, and It Taught Me About Trust." The story is read aloud by…
 
Few myths are as world-renowned as the Loch Ness Monster. Willie Cameron is Nessie’s biggest advocate, a lifelong resident of the region surrounding Scotland’s most famous lake, and a pioneer of Loch Ness tourism. He joins the show to educate the curious and dispel any naysayers, shedding light on the legend of Nessie and why so many believe that s…
 
To kick off Season 3 of No Blackout Dates, Tim and Eben welcome Wired magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly . In addition to creating one of the most influential magazines in the tech space, Kevin has spent much of his life traversing Asia, documenting the vanishing cultures of the world’s largest continent. He discusses this project, known as Vanishing …
 
No Blackout Dates is back -- bigger and better than ever -- for Season 3. Matador Network's official podcast takes an unfiltered dive into the world of travel, as told through the stories of guests who lead extraordinarily unfiltered lives. Adventures on tap this season include Wired magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly on his new project documenting th…
 
Vladyslav Stadnyk has been raising funds to equip Ukraine’s military for over eight years. He joins the show this week to provide an inside perspective on what it’s really like in Ukraine since the country was invaded by Russia in February. Based in Kyiv, Vlad strikes a defiant and positive tone that captures the determination of Ukrainians to defe…
 
Eugene Buchanan has done everything that you’d like to say you’ve done. He’s searched for Incan treasure in an uncharted South American Canyon. He’s paddled Russia’s Bashkaus River with a ragtag crew of adventurers speaking multiple languages. And he’s raised a family in the always dangerous environs of a Colorado mountain town. He’s also written b…
 
Zach Rosenbloom lived the TEFL dream and taught English in Japan for two years. Zach joins the show today to talk about one of the easiest ways to move abroad and have a job when you get there – teaching English to students in a foreign country. He discusses what it’s like to move somewhere and adapt to the place culturally, and what it’s like spea…
 
Autumn Moretti was a MasterChef Season 11 runner-up. That means that she not only crushes it in the kitchen, but she’s dealt with Gordon Ramsay and other tough talkers face to face – and lived to tell the story. In today’s ep, Autumn spills the beans on what life is actually like on the inside of those well-trimmed cooking shows we all love to watc…
 
Mikah Meyer is the gay Bear Grylls that America’s national parks fans have always needed. As the first person to visit all 419 US National Parks Service sites, Mikah has established himself as a leader in bringing LGBTQ+ rights to the forefront of the American outdoors. He speaks at events and churches around the country about his quest to promote …
 
If you’re both American and an avid traveler, you’ve likely considered joining the Peace Corps. Today, Tim and Eben speak with someone who did it – Ingrid Olson, an RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) who served in Senegal from 2015 until 2017. During her time in Africa, Ingrid worked primarily in women’s health, but had a hand in a number of oth…
 
A lot has happened for Tim and Eben in recent weeks. Most notably, Tim got Covid – finally. Beyond that, though, the pair have embarked on international travels that have offered fresh perspectives on global gallivants. This week, instead of probing the experiences of someone else, we look inward for a mid-year recap. Tim discusses what it was like…
 
A stunning backdrop makes every party better. No backdrop better proves this than Iceland’s Westfjords, which served as the setting for the first-ever Detour Discotheque earlier this year. Jonny Ensall, Ink’s Global Editor in Chief and the mastermind behind the shindig, joins No Blackout Dates this week to talk about how he wrangled a crew of top-n…
 
You’ve heard of solo travel, adventure travel, and even revenge travel. But what about surprise travel? This week’s guest Lillian Rafton is here to enlighten us all on the new trend in travel – traveling to a mystery destination, potentially even somewhere you’ve never heard of. Lillian’s business Pack Up and Go sets up travelers – from solo to lar…
 
To say that Airbnb has revolutionized the process of booking – and enjoying – travel accommodations would be an understatement. Where else can you book a forest treehouse, a high-rise apartment with a rooftop pool, and a houseboat on the ocean, all in the same place? Airbnb just launched the biggest updates to its platform in a decade, and Catherin…
 
Touring in a rock band is one of the most fantasized about – and widely misunderstood – lifestyles in the modern world. While everyone thinks it's all backstage parties and endless excess, the reality is far more down to Earth, though no less interesting. Dan Aid is here to set the record straight on tour life, having been around the globe with the…
 
Mother’s Day is coming up. For the No Blackout Dates crew, this is a holiday where we celebrate the brave and courageous mothers in our lives. The day is more personal for Monet Hambrick, however – a traveling mother of two who has spent the bulk of the past decade gallivanting across the globe with her family in tow. She’s written a children’s boo…
 
To make a living traveling the world, you have to get down to the essentials. Photographer and global explorer Chris Burkard joins No Blackout Dates to discuss how, exactly, he manages to do that. Chris shares insight on everything from what makes a good story to how he packs for expeditions. One constant theme through all of this? Risk management.…
 
Molly Duane has one of the most important jobs in two industries – she’s a nurse, for one, and a traveling nurse at that, easily catapulting her to the top of the list of who should rightfully get that final standby seat on any packed flight. Her work has taken her from her home in Salt Lake City to rural Montana, Houston’s concrete jungle, and els…
 
In 2021, the city of Amsterdam announced it would move its sex workers out of the famed Red Light District in the heart of the city. Visitors have long ventured to the Red Light District, some to hire a sex worker and others out of sheer curiosity. This curiosity is part of why the city made the decision to relocate its sex workers – the women had …
 
Sebastian Modak is living the dream. As the 52 Places Traveler for The New York Times in 2019, he visited 52 places around the globe in a single year – and turned around a dispatch about each of them. A “third culture kid” who grew up as a vagabond between the US, Hong Kong, Colombia, India, Indonesia, and elsewhere, Sebastian is accustomed to pick…
 
AJ Kinney coins a new phrase for us on today’s pod. The “orbiting spouse” is someone who moves somewhere because their partner got a sweet job offer – and ends up loving it so much that they full-on expatriate. AJ and his wife moved to Grand Cayman from Minnesota, a sharp lifestyle change from hunting and camping to fishing and fruity cocktails. AJ…
 
“Gatekeeping” is an unfortunate but common practice in outdoor-centric communities. Comedian Ivy Le is joining us today to discuss how this issue can be addressed. Ivy hosts the podcast FOGO: Fear of Going Outside, one of Spotify’s most popular new podcasts, documenting Ivy’s experience as an avid indoorswoman venturing (reluctantly) into outdoor a…
 
To cowork or not to cowork? The pod’s age-old controversial question is finally getting addressed by an expert. We’re learning the truth about whether co-working spaces are bullsh*t or if they actually provide real value to remote workers. Joanne Flynn Black a former WeWork employee who lived through the company’s most turbulent era, is joining us …
 
“The Lord of the Rings” revolutionized the Fantasy and Adventure genres in both print and film. What’s often overshadowed by the smashing success of the franchise is the impact LOTR had on the country that served as the backdrop for much of the footage in the film series – New Zealand. Ever since “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” …
 
Rob Gerard is a tequila influencer in the truest sense. As founder of The Tequila Collective, Rob shows off (code phrase for “indulges in”) fine tequilas of all stripes. He has built a following based on his extensive knowledge of the world’s favorite agave liquor, a savant cross between Reposado Recommender and Anejo Assassin. As it turns out, our…
 
No matter what you think of clowns, you likely have no idea what their lifestyle is actually like. From living on a train with Ringling Bros. to performing for kids at a children’s hospital, Joy Powers has done it all on the professional clown circuit. She joins the pod this week to discuss what it’s like to clown for a living. You’ll learn what it…
 
You have thoughts on cryptocurrency. Whether your opinion is bullish or bearish, it’s undeniable that the concept of DeFi (decentralized finance) is causing quite a ruckus in the media. How will cryptocurrency impact travel? To find out, we invited Ben Rogers on the show. Ben is the Chief Marketing Officer at Travala, a travel booking website that …
 
Samantha Brown is the reason you want to spontaneously book a flight to the other side of the world. She’s been in the travel hosting game for over 20 years, and you may recognize her from iconic shows like Great Hotels, Passport to Europe, and Girl Meets Hawaii. Her newest endeavor is called Places to Love, and Brown describes it as her ode to tra…
 
Remi Bumstead did what all of us have talked about doing at some point: buying an old bus and driving it across Africa to donate to a school for deaf kids. Ok, maybe not all of us. Remi’s bus, dubbed the Janga Bus, was bought in Germany, fixed up in the UK, and driven south from London across Europe and into Africa en route to The Gambia. Upon arri…
 
Marinel de Jesus is the type of outdoors-person the world needs more of. As the founder of The Porter Voice Collective, Marinel advocates for porters’ rights in top international trekking destinations including Peru and the Himalayas. She rallies for better working conditions, pay, and even food for the hard-working porters lugging our gear up the …
 
Marko Randelovic is a documentary filmmaker and photojournalist from the UK whose work focuses heavily on Southeast Asia. Marko joins No Blackout Dates to discuss his new film, Makepung, which debuts on Matador Network on January 12. Makepung tells the story of Bali’s long-running tradition of buffalo racing. That’s right – there’s a dedicated coho…
 
You know those recap episodes your favorite TV show slips in mid-season, because they’re too lazy to put out new content? And you know how you usually skip it? Well, this is our recap episode, but don’t skip it just yet. No Blackout Dates is ringing in 2022 by doing exactly what they say you shouldn’t do in the new year – living in the past. Not on…
 
Ben Parsons founded Ordinary Fellow winery in Palisade, Colorado, to make wine approachable for everyone. Ben joins No Blackout Dates this week to talk wine and travel – most notably, how the two come together to create one epic life experience. A UK expat, Ben has traveled the world to make, taste, and promote wine for more than 20 years. He’s set…
 
Just in time for Christmas, we’re excited to welcome our highest-profile guest to ever appear on No Blackout Dates. That’s right. Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Jolly Saint Nick, the Big Man himself…Santa Claus is here to ring in the holidays. Tim and Eben hounded the North Pole’s PR office for months to get this interview, and after speaking with…
 
Meagan Martin’s eight-season run on American Ninja Warrior has outlived most television careers, and that’s just her side-hustle. Meagan is a professional rock climber whose passion for climbing has taken her around the world, from Boulder, Colorado, to Paris, Berlin, and even Hachioji, Japan. Meagan also provides television commentary of live clim…
 
On today’s episode, Matador Network CEO Ross Borden joins the show to discuss his recent trip to NEOM, the expansive desert of northern Saudi Arabia being turned into the world’s first “sustainable city.” Along with The Line -- a futuristic city built in a long, thin, and extra-eco-friendly line -- the planners of NEOM will include purpose-driven t…
 
At No Blackout Dates, we firmly believe in only three things: eating great food, traveling the world, and geeking out over early 2000s punk rock. Today’s guest Kelly Rizzo embodies the best of food, travel, and music. Kelly is the founder of Eat Travel Rock, a digital television show and production company that takes viewers behind the scenes of th…
 
Professional matchmaker Jenny Hart joins us today, and she’s revealing all her insider secrets for making lasting connections while traveling. Jenny has spent years pairing people up from all around the world, particularly travelers and digital nomads, and now she’s joining us to break down the complex world of international matchmaking. We discuss…
 
Traveling for tourism paints an incomplete (and sometimes wildly inaccurate) picture of the places we visit. Cengiz Yar is an international photojournalist who’s traveled the world telling stories that are often right in front of our eyes, but which aren’t exactly comfortable for us to digest. He specializes in conflict reporting, mass displacement…
 
Jules Verne’s famous character, Phileas Fogg, went around the world in 80 days. Pretty impressive in 1872. But times are different in 2021, and the bar is much, much higher. Not only has Gunnar Garfors circumnavigated the globe in just 56 hours, he’s also the first person to travel to every country in the world TWO times, visit five continents in a…
 
For the first time in the history of No Blackout Dates, we’re without one of our co-pilots this week. With the exciting birth of his daughter, Tim is taking some time off to learn how to be a parent -- which we imagine is much easier than being a podcast host. Luckily, Melanie Sutrathada is here to fill his shoes (if not his flannel shirts and Burt…
 
Let’s be honest -- we’ve all requested a song from a DJ before. Maybe they shut you down immediately, and maybe they reluctantly agreed but shot you a death stare the entire time you were dancing to “Uptown Funk.”Either way, they hated you for it. That’s right, DJ’s hate requests more than waiters hate people who order stuff that isn’t on the menu.…
 
Kina Pickett’s path is an unusual one. He moved out west from Vermont to chase big lines on his skis, becoming a reputable name on the big-mountain pro circuit. He went on to co-found the creative production agency Helio, and then parlayed his experience there into the collaborative ideation workflow platform, Zppr. Kina is a definitive example of …
 
Captain Kirk had it all wrong. The final frontier is, in fact, Antarctica -- a place explored far less than space, at least in our imaginations and fiction television programming. Today’s guest is here to shine a bit of light on the furthest away place you could go while still being based “here on earth.” Joe Horneman is a Physicians’ Assistant sta…
 
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