Lessons Learned Traveling the World (#315)

This episode explores travel, and I’ll take the partial credit or blame in advance, as it might want to make you quit your job and head off to the airport with a backpack.

I have interviewed some fascinating people from around the world and in the next hour we will actually travel around the world with them. We’ll also explore specific tips and strategies from our conversations related to how they think about travel, how they personally travel, and the role that travel can play in your life. This includes conversations with:

  • Vagabonding author Rolf Potts about seeing the world now rather than waiting until some vague “later” that might never happen.
  • My friend Kevin Rose about hiding tattoos in foreign lands and getting by without knowing the local language.
  • Phil Keoghan from The Amazing Race about a life-changing epiphany earned while shipwreck diving.
  • Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly about favorite travel tools and gadgets on our trip through the mountains of Uzbekistan.

I hope you enjoy this episode of The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour!

Lessons Learned Traveling The World

Want to hear another podcast of The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour? — In this episode, we explore meditation and mindfulness with Chase Jarvis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Harris, and Rainn Wilson (stream below or right-click here to download).

The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour: Meditation, Mindset, and Mastery

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Along the way, Ray took tons of notes on what worked and what didn’t work. These were adapted over time for training purposes within his company, and then further refined for the world at large as Principles. In these pages, Ray shares the principles he’s developed over the past 40 years to create unique results in life, business, and investing, which any person or organization can adopt to help further their goals and make decisions with clarity of thought and purpose. Visit Principles.com for more details and to pick up a copy for your own shelf!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


  • Connect with Rolf Potts:

Website | Deviate Podcast | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

  • Connect with Kevin Rose:

The Journal | Twitter

  • Connect with Phil Keoghan:

Website Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

  • Connect with Kevin Kelly:

WebsiteTwitter Facebook


  • Introducing Rolf Potts. [06:59]
  • How does “vagabonding” differ from just going on another vacation? [08:40]
  • Rolf’s first vagabonding experience. [11:17]
  • Using our own time wealth rather than waiting for the lottery to give us a windfall to travel. [12:32]
  • Rolf’s recommended resources for fighting the fears associated with world travel. [13:09]
  • How the double-edged sword of technology cuts into the experience of the modern traveler for delightful convenience over inspirational serendipity. [15:00]
  • Introducing Kevin Rose. [22:20]
  • What it’s like in Japan if you don’t speak the language. [25:03]
  • The difference between losing a personal item in Japan and the US. [26:00]
  • Tokyo has a reputation for being an expensive city, but you can still have fun on the cheap. [28:54]
  • Book recommendations for people who want to learn Japanese. [33:33]
  • Introducing Phil Keoghan. [34:25]
  • Phil tells us about having a panic attack while diving a shipwreck at 120 feet — and how this charted the course for a life of adventure. [34:59]
  • What was Phil’s self-talk when returning to the wreck (and in the moment of facing similar fears)? [47:14]
  • Introducing Kevin Kelly. [49:18]
  • We cross a pass in the Tian Shan mountains at two thousand meters while Kevin explains the relative geography of Uzbekistan. [50:58]
  • My first cool tool. [51:59]
  • My second cool tool. [56:57]
  • My third cool tool. [59:30]
  • My fourth cool tool. [1:02:07]
  • Kevin’s heat-repelling cool tool. [1:04:55]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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37 Replies to “Lessons Learned Traveling the World (#315)”

  1. Hi- just received the email and haven’t yet listened to the post but as a woman who has traveled the world solo for 6months, I think you missed an opportunity to connect with your female listeners interested in travel by not including a woman speaker. The safety issues And considerations are different enough that having a woman speak to them would have been impactful. Thanks!

    1. Just how many activists obsessed with gender are in Tim’s audience… This single mindedness and bigotry is getting scary. How about we see people as individuals, not as representatives of demographic groups?

  2. Hi Tim,

    Great tips! However- you and your guests don’t directly address the main reason I’m hesitant to travel alone: sexual violence. When I do travel alone, I research safety for women and have made decisions based on it- I’ve avoided certain destinations, I’ve taken cars rather than late night busses, I’ve avoided cheap hostels with mixed sex rooms in favor of pricier ones with single sex rooms (or if that’s not available- even pricier private rooms), I’ve chosen tamer nightlife options- I could go on. These decisions have cost me time, money, and experiences.

    I’m disappointed that when you bring together four experts on travel, you neglect to include someone who can directly address the biggest reason more women don’t travel.

    I know you’ve said that gender equality is important to you, and I hope that you act in accordance with your stated values.



    1. What data do you have that indicates the reasons most women travel less (or data that they actually do travel less), other than your own personal experience? It is extremely narcissistic to assume your personal fears and thought represent half of human population somehow.

  3. Tim, you should check out Nas Daily. A software engineer in his twenties who just quit his job one day and started touring the world, publishing a 1-minute video every day.

    [Moderator: link removed.]

  4. And if quitting your job to globetrot isn’t financially feasible long-term or even presently, then what?

    1. It may be more feasible than most think. It is cheaper for us to live abroad now after we sold all of our possessions back in the States. Maintaining that while traveling would have not been feasible but it is less expensive globetrotting that living in Seattle. Teaching online a few hours a week and some other small business incomes have given us just what we need to move around.

  5. I’m not an aural learner. I don’t take things in by listening so I’m not a fan of podcasts. It all sounds interesting but I’d prefer to read a quick summary.

  6. Hi Tim, I just discovered your blog love it!!!

    I’m a long time fan since the slow carb diet, I need to loose weight 30 to 60 lbs, should I use the slow carb diet from the 4 hour body book or is there something new or better you recommend???

    33 years old with no health issues


  7. Hi Tim – I’m 37 married with two kids. Read four hour work week 10 years ago and it changed my game. About to pack it up and travel the world for at least a year with my brood. You and your interviews helped me get here. Thank you so much.

    Ps – maybe I can help with a “traveling with kids” edition 😉

  8. I’m a student of fifth year of medicine. I’m a workaholic, too. But here, in Venezuela, we don’t have money even to buy an airplane ticket.

    Sadly the truth.

    Maybe, some day!

  9. Hello, Tim!

    My sincere congratulations. Great content here, you have a nice writing style, and certainly wonderful that you are so well versed in this niche. I will definitely follow your work further.

    Best wishes!!

  10. Hi Tim,

    I haven’t listen to this podcast YET, but my husband & I just got back from 4 months of travelling.

    He quit his job & I asked my boss for time off & he agreed, much to everyone’s surprise. (I work at a South African listed Insurance Company. For a bunch of actuaries & accountants this is crazy/ unheard of)

    It was a phenomenal experience & I will definitely do it again! The time we had to think, talk, read (we both read your Tribe of Mentors and I also read 4 hour work week, which my hubby had recommended years ago)

    We ended our trip off with a 5 day hike in South Africa near CT & found a gorgeous stray cat on the trail who ended up hiking with us for all 5 days. We decided to take him home with us to Jo’burg. We named him Rumi because we had planned on getting a dog from the SPCA but “what you seek is seeking you”. So now we are 1st time cat owners. Haha!

  11. Hi Tim, love your podcasts and books. Why cant I right click and save as from the email any more. That was my usual way to save all your podcasts which then got downloaded to my mp3 player for drives, rides, trains and planes. Works on the site, just not in the email. Peace!

  12. Hey Tim!

    Just read a thought provoking book about travel called Travel as Transformation by Gregory Diehl. Explores the idea of using travel to upgrade identity. After I read it I thought “Why can’t we take the same principles of this book and apply them to our life without traveling.” That has been my goal since…to see if I can recreate all that travel provides with exposure to other cultures, rules, expectations by connecting with people who are simply different than I am. Would love to hear your thoughts on identity upgrading and using travel as the means to facilitate this.

  13. Tim – totally random, but your love of Zorba the Greek made me wonder if you’ve ever seen The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza). It’s a similar meditation on being an observer of life vs a participant. Thought you might enjoy. Peace man!

  14. Cindy Whitehead´s podcast was the best! So inspirational to those who are fathers of daughters. Tim your podcast has helped me in so many ways, opening lines of thought in multiple aspects. Thanks!! I feel in debt, if you ever need anything in Mexico please let me know!! Quick before they build the wall!!! hahaha

  15. Your recommendation to read vagabonding was what lead to us being here now, in Athens, Greece. I retired from my 25 year career, my husband was able to work remotely, we took our 2 teens out of high school and hit the road last September. We have a month left and then we head home to Canada. We are grateful we took the chance to do this as a family. We had this last window before our kids will leave home, to connect with each other and build a great relationship, which is rather hard to do at home. I wanted to travel like this my whole life, but was always too fearful.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Hi Tim,

    Have you ever heard of or explored Buteyko breathing exercises? Your PurMist comment in this weeks 5BF got me thinking that you might find it useful. Message me if you’d like any links or information. Great stuff for sinus issues, asthma etc.



  17. Hi Tim – SUGGESTION: as many of us don’t have that much time to listen entirely to the podcasts, it would be great if they would include the option to speed up the palying (like on Youtube) or maybe upload the podcasts to Youtube, so it could serve to the same purpose.

    Trust this will be something useful.

    Thanks for all the great material you deliver for us.

    All the best,


  18. Hey Tim,

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the great content you have made over the past n years! A friend recommended your podcast right as I began college and have been hooked ever since. (certainly helps with ‘getting shit done’) I hope you have great success in Austin, and continue to share your findings!



  19. Hey Tim,

    Great compilation of interviews! It’s refreshingly helped me to re-appreciate the life that I’ve lived, ever deeper. Just last week, an interview was released on the Balloon Artist Podcast, where I got to share a bit about the 6 years that I spent as a vagabond balloon artist, through my twenties. The request for an interview took me by short notice, so I didn’t quite reflect on some of the deeper principles of living home free, as I might have liked, but it’s been great revisiting the foundation of the free being that I find myself to be these days. Now in my forties, after 7 years homesteading my farm in Costa Rica, I’m back in the states and finally taking a season to plug in and explore metro living and “adulting” in some of the more “conventional” senses (building my business, website, and credit, for instance), all as a further means to expand the creative unfolding of my lifestyles.

    Listening to your podcasts and reading your books, over the last year, has been immensely transformative in my integration of where I’ve been to where I want to grow. Thanks for spreading the message of being a life artist. I truly believe that these stories can contribute to the liberation of our slave labor society and, through that, our various core issues of alienation.

    You’re doing a great job,

    Keep it up!

  20. loved this one!! really liked how you stretched the theme trough different interviews! would love to hear more like this!!

  21. A friend recommended your book The 4-Hour Work Week and mentioned the challenge you gave students to contact someone who is out of reach and get a response to three questions. As a high school teacher, I thought it might be a good challenge for my students, so I tried it first. It took contacting 14 people and twelve days but I finally met the challenge. Thanks. It was a powerful experience.

  22. Tim, would be awesome if you had the author Ken Wilber on the podcast! His new book Integral Buddhism was an amazing read, and it would be great to have him interviewed by you. Thanks for everything man.

  23. Hey Tim came across your stuff via Japan media actually. – One recommendation for an interviewee (and I have his autograph and Rolf Pott’s on my wall too so same page for early-life inspirations,) is Jim Rogers. He practically pioneered the Hedge Fund with Soros, but left Soros in favor of the road. Rogers is my favorite author of all time, and specifically on travel, learning, and smart investing and working. Grab an audible copy of the “The Investment Biker” (first) or “Adventure Capitalist,” and if you don’t like it the book is on me. Safe travels out there and good idea not to let people know where you’re going 🙂 C

  24. Hi Tim, caught up with Bob Metcalfe at UT again this week and it reminded me of your episode with him. I’m here in Austin working on a PhD in communication, and just picked up a summer gig as an assistant for the technology commercialization program. Would enjoy the chance to chat sometime about better understanding the process and your experiences. I’m right there by Mozart’s on Lake Austin and would be glad to get coffee sometime. Thanks, Justin

  25. Would also recommend checking out Dr. Raj Raghunathan or Kristin Neff as possible guests for the show. Their work in happiness and self-compassion research has been highly influential for me personally and might be of interest to you and your audience as well. Also understand that your time is exceptionally valuable and you may not have a chance to sit down and chat locally. I understand entirely is so, and would also be glad to talk briefly by phone, focusing specifically on what to look out for when going from the sandbox of higher ed to the startup jungle. Thanks, Justin

  26. Tim,

    Which interviews can you recall, if any, are with individuals who disagreed with you the most; individuals who on or off record, challenged any of your published materials, debated you the hardest on your positions etc..

  27. Hi Tim, great podcast. I think Paul Rabil would be a good guest to have on the show. It would be cool to have a pro lacrosse player on this podcast.

  28. It would be nice if you included in the info about your podcasts the date on which the interviews were conducted. Why don’t you do this? If the info is of any lasting use to people it won’t be devalued by revealing how long ago the event took place.

    1. The publishing date of each podcast may be found just after the “Related and Recommended Posts” section of each blog entry, shortly before the comments. Podcasts are typically recorded within one to two months of publication.