Thinking Liberty show

Thinking Liberty

Summary: Thinking Liberty is a weekly travel podcast hosted by Zach and Sarah Varnell. They are currently living and traveling the US in a 36 foot, Class A RV with their Yorkie, Ollie. Working remotely has provided them an opportunity to travel, which inspired them to dive into other ways that people are living free, travel-oriented lifestyles. Each episode will feature either an interview from someone who is Thinking Liberty, or a snapshot tour of a city, guided by Zach and Sarah.


 Ep 029 VanLife with Alli and Matt Owen | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:40

Alli and Matt Owen join the show to talk van life and the entrepreneurship and financial planning that make their life of travel possible. Connect with the Alli and Matt @Owenyourfuture – Instagram @Cliffordthevan – Intstagram Primal Noms

 Ep 028 Leveraging your career to travel more with Bryn Drescher | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:22

Love to travel but feel like that means sacrificing your career? Bryn Drescher joins the show to talk balancing career with your travel passions. If you want to learn tips for incorporating more travel into your career, don’t miss this episode!   Where to follow Bryn Twitter – @bryndrescher Instagram Live Lights in Action

 Ep 027 Creating a Life of Travel with Abby Lewtas | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:41

Abby Lewtas joins the show to talk about her extraordinary journey from Australia, to Buenos Aires, to living in Canada, and how she continues her life of travel. The Wanderlusters Mind Podcast Abby’s Instagram Abby’s Twitter  

 Ep 026 Destination Weddings with Courtnie Nichols | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:53

Courtnie Nichols joins the show to talk about destination weddings and her business making them happen.   Resources Mentioned Wander Wet Bags Calpak Backpacks   TravelBash TravelBash Twitter TravelBash Facebook   TravelBash – Freebies TravelBash – Travel Hack How to Pack for a Destination Wedding  

 Ep 025 Entrepreneurship and Freedom with Heather Parady | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:45

Heather Parady joins the show to talk about using entrepreneurship as a means to build freedom in your life. Heather is the host of The Weekly Parady podcast where she talks about the entrepreneurial mindset, interviews business owners, and examines how to overcome fear and personal barriers to accomplish great things. Resources The Weekly Parady podcast @HeatherParady on Twitter   Our first YouTube video – Zach and Sarah Travel Diaries: 2014 – 2017    

 Ep 024 What we’ve been up to & 2018 plans | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:19

Zach and Sarah talk about what they were up to during the holiday season, including some Airbnb travel, a cruise to Central America, and a big move affecting their personal lives and travel plans.   Resources Mentioned Travels by Lauren Rover – On demand pet sitting using the Uber / Airbnb model. Airbnb – Typically our preferred platform for finding places to stay when traveling outside of the RV.

 Ep 023 Entrepreneurship and Traveling with Kids with Logan Lenz | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:15:19

Logan Lenz is an entrepreneur specializing in social media, SEO, and new media. Travel has always been a passion for Logan, and he and his wife are passing this on to their young children. They prioritize family and travel, and have shaped their lives to allow them to pursue these great family memories. As of this interview, his 21-month-old twins are on their 25th flight and counting! Resources Mentioned Logan’s Twitter Panda Planer  

 Ep 022 Leaving corporate to pursue your passion with Sarah Williams of Tough Girl Challenges | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:39:32

After working in finance for 8 years, Sarah quit her city job and spent 18 months traveling the world, climbing Kilimanjaro, backpacking around South America and doing a ski season. She used this time to help her decide on what she wanted to do with her life. She set up Tough Girl Challenges as a way of motivating and inspiring women and girls. She is the host the Tough Girl Podcast where she interview inspirational female explorers, adventurers, athletes and everyday women who have overcome great challenges. She completed the Marathon des Sables in April 2016 and in 2017 and thru hiked the Appalachian Trail (2,190 miles) in 100 days! Twitter – Instagram – Blog/Website – Facebook – TRIBE – Tumblr – Pinterest – Patreon – YouTube –

 Ep 021 Fall Travel Photography with April Bielefeldt | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:10

Maine hikes, kayak tours, and fall photos are the focus of Zach and Sarah’s final week in Maine. This week some of their adventures included Echo Lake, The Bass Harbor Lighthouse,  Wonder Land Trail, Castine Kayak Tours, and Acadia Mountain Trail. This week’s guest is from Fall Photo Trips, April Bielefeldt, a travel photographer who leads small group USA photo tours. Her passion is sharing Autumn with interested folks! Resources Mentioned April’s websites for tours: and Instagram: FallPhotoTrips You can view April’s artwork on Fine Art America and on Flickr. April’s Podcast which gives great tips for taking better photos: Eyes for the Road April also mentioned two meetup groups on this episode: Day Trippers and Tours for Women April’s recommended book: Photographing Acadia National Park: The Essential Guide to When, Where, and How

 Ep 020 Yachtie Talk with Kaki Burgess | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 59:25

Zach and Sarah are experiencing first hand that Maine is truly a national treasure. Sarah is ready to move (again), the weather is perfect for exploring and the bucket list is getting smaller! Well, actually there is always more to add, but that’s part of the fun. Working from home is great, but sometimes it’s nice to get a change of scenery. While still in Old Orchard Beach, Zach and Sarah checked out Bard Coffee Shop, which was a recommendation from a Wild Terrains travel guide. It is a great working location, plenty of seating and outlets, decent Wi-Fi and good coffee. The atmosphere was very casual and laidback, with very friendly staff. Portland, Maine is a town that requires more time to explore than we had, but one date night led us to The Great Lost Bear, which is a tavern with a great selection of local beers and mead, plus a unique take on tavern food. Continuing the Maine adventures, Zach and Sarah are now parked in Bass Harbor, Maine, a perfect location for exploring Acadia National Park. Seawall Gorham Mountain Kaki Twist Burgess joined the show to discuss her life on yachts. You can connect with her on Facebook or on Instagram.

 Ep 019 Affordable luxury travel with Astrid Clements | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:22:06

Zach and Sarah interview Astrid Clements on solo travel, her favorite destinations, and the projects she’s involved with. Resources Astrid’s Website Astrid Solo Travel Facebook Astrid Solo Travel Twitter  

 Ep 018 Staying connected and emotionally grounded on the road with Dana Nelson | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:29

Enjoying their first time in Maine, Zach and Sarah are hanging out in Old Orchard Beach, with a 10 minute walk to the beach from their RV park (Sarah is ready to move permanently). They are eating Maine lobster (because that’s what you do in Maine) and share a bit about how and what they cook and eat in the RV. Today’s guest is joining your hosts from Lyon, France. Dana Nelson is an American psychologist and counselor who specializes in working with expats, international students and other living abroad who are struggling with emotional and psychological difficulties and who want develop greater self-awareness and self-compassion, feel more grounded, and develop more meaningful and satisfying connections with those around them. Dana has a regular podcast The Mindful Expat Podcast, where she dives into challenges of traveling and living abroad and provides advice and information for those seeking personal growth and transformation. As mentioned on the show: I Am A Triangle — and the community group – If you are looking for a therapist, check out the resource provided by Dana: Therapist Directory Check out Dana’s show at the Mindful Expat Podcast, and be sure to follow her on Facebook.

 Ep 017 Traveling with Pets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:30

Traveling is great, but traveling with pets is amazing. Zach and Sarah share stories of their experience and basic tips and guidance for how to best travel with your pet. For all travel, be sure to consider age, health, and personality of your pet, as this should directly affect how often and how you travel with your pet. Comfort of the pet should be considered, and if you find that your loved one would be more comfortable with a pet sitter or at a pet day care, consider this option. If you do travel with your pet, be sure to slowly adapt them to the experience. If going by car or RV, start with short, easy trips, and work up to longer trips. Don’t forget the potty breaks! For traveling by air, check your airline requirements, make sure the carrier your pet travels in is comfortable, and listen to Zach and Sarah share a bit of their personal experience with airline travel that could be useful on your next trip! Rules change based on if your dog is a service dog or traveling as a pet, so be sure to understand which category your pet is in! Traveling abroad? Be ready for paperwork, vet visits, and a trip to the USDA. Zach and Sarah walk through their experience and what they learned. Interesting news for pet travelers, the airport at JFK has introduced ARK, which has equine, aviary, veterinary and grooming offerings. The goal is to make airline travel easier, more comfortable, and less stressful for pets and owners. Wishing to travel more but worried about pet friendly housing or the costs? There are resources where you can travel and either house sit or pet sit in various locations around the world. Check out TrustedHousesitters and if you use this service or a similar service, let us know what the experience is like!

 Bonus Episode: Bitcoin to the Rescue! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 5:15

What is Bitcoin? What is this magic internet money that everyone keeps talking about? Why would I ever need it? These questions will be answered in this mini-episode of Thinking Liberty. On episode five, our guest Hannah shared a story about how an airline pilot she knows always carries an expensive watch with him in case he was ever traveling and needed quick cash due to lost / stolen wallet or unforeseen expenses. Bitcoin can operate in the same way, without having to carry an item that could also be stolen. Resources What is Bitcoin? When you are ready to buy some Bitcoin, go to get $10 free Bitcoin when you buy your first $100.

 Ep 016 Weekend Getaways with Lauren Bates of Wild Terrains | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:06:04

Martha’s Vineyard, Gingerbread Cottages, Yachts, Beer, and an interview with Lauren Bates of Wild Terrains, a trip planning resource, we focus on short trips and enjoying travel this week. We also answer a commonly asked question about whether or not we get tired/overwhelmed/burnt out from moving around so often. And I’ve never been to Boston in the Fall! This is from one of mine and Zach’s favorite groups, Relient K. This is still true, but I’ve now been in the winter, for work, and will soon be there during the summer. So I’m bound to be there in the fall at some point. We are technically reserved to be in MA for 4 weeks, but we are bouncing all over this month. We left Rhode Island and arrived in MA last Saturday. The following day, we drove to New Hampshire so that Zach could be on site for a client engagement. I don’t usually tag along, but it was only about a 2 hour drive, so we packed a bit hit the road. We came back late Tuesday night, and then packed up again Thursday night so we could leave right after work on Friday for our weekend getaway to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Next on our list of travels, we fly out this Sunday to Atlanta so that I can be on site for work and then we are staying for DragonCon (see episode 15). Phew. We had a really great question from a listener, that we get fairly often, so we talk about it after the interview this week. Do we get tired moving around so much? Short answer, no we don’t. We have found a great routine for move days, and it is so much fun to arrive at a new campsite and start exploring the city! We had a great time this past weekend relaxing and unwinding on a small yacht that we found on Airbnb. (get $40 off your first trip with this link). We took the Hy-Line ferry, because we know they allow dogs (Thanks Captain Pete!), and our dog did really well. I was worried as Ollie can sometimes get motion sickness in the car, but he had no problems. (Not his first ferry boat ride after all!) We sampled from Cape Cod brewery on the ferry. Leaving from Hyannis, we arrived in Oak Bluff on Martha’s Vineyard where the captain picked us up on his dingy and took us back to the boat to get settled. So we got to the yacht, and it has small covered area with seats up top to hang out on, and then go below and there is an open space with a table and bench, and then where we stayed was off to the right, we had a private little bathroom, and bed, on the other side was the kitchen area, pretty small but still a stove and fridge and coffee maker. And then the captain’s room and bathroom. The first night we watched Captain Ron, we tried to hang out up top for a bit, but with the rain we just decided to go to our room and relax, it was a good choice because the next day we did a ton of walking. We went to brunch, explored the area, went to a museum. My favorite thing about Martha’s vineyard was the Gingerbread Houses. These houses are so whimsical, they look like they lept off of a page in a fairy tale. Or maybe I stepped through a portal for a moment? There are over 300 of these little homes making up what is known as the Cottage Colony on Martha’s Vineyard. These homes have been around since the 1800’s, and many have been passed down over generations of families. Some of these cottages are actually available to rent (going on my bucket list). The origin of the homes goes back to one of the great Revival’s, it was a gathering of Methodists, and the homes started as seasonal tents. They would decorate with flowers, lights, fabric,


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