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Amateur Traveler

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The Amateur Traveler Podcast is a podcast for people who travel for the love of travel. The host is Chris Christensen (
Recent Episodes for Amateur Traveler
DATE: Sat, 25 Sep 2010
SIZE: 25.2 MB
AT#249 - Travel to Milan, Italy

The Amateur Traveler talks to Jessica Spiegel of BootsNAll’s Italy blog “Why Go Italy” and the Eye on Italy podcast about one of her favorite cities in Italy: Milan. Jessica tells us about the fashion industry, the spectacular cathedral, and the first mall as well as some quiet neighborhoods and parks. She also tells us how far in advance you should get tickets to see Leonardo di Vinci’s Last Supper, what to expect when you watch soccer in Italy, and what to do when you see movie stars walking down the streets of Milan. We talk about wonderful Italian people and the joys of learning Italian.

DATE: Sat, 18 Sep 2010
SIZE: 17.3 MB
AT#248 - Travel to Toronto, Ontario

The Amateur Traveler talks to Corinne from Have Baby Will Travel who is a life-long Torontonian (that is to say that she lives in Toronto, Ontario). Corinne gives us an interduction to her city and its many parks, its great ethnic food, its iconic skyline punctuated by the CN Tower. Its neighborhoods includes two different Chinatowns, Greektown, the Irish-influenced Cabbagetown,  Distillery District, Kensington Market, Harbourfront and St. Lawrence Market, She particularly suggests you visit during Thanksgiving (Canada's which is in October) or Toronto International Film Festival. Corinne also describes side trips from the city heading out towards Niagra and Ontario's wine country. The city houses both a working farm in Riverdale Farms and a warren of underground shops in the Toronto Underground PATH.

DATE: Sat, 11 Sep 2010
SIZE: 24.1 MB
AT#2347 - Travel to Chile

The Amateur Traveler talks to Jodi Ettenberg of about her trip to Chile. Jodi left the corporate world as a lawyer and started her trip around the world with a visit to Chile. She first went mountain climbing in Patagonia (both in Chile and Argentina) marveling at the glaciers and appreciating the view if not the taste of lama. She then took a 42 hour bus ride to Santiago for a wild soccer game (which is not for the faint of heart) before flying north to visit San Pedro de Atacama, Valle de la Luna. She also dipped into Bolivia to visit Salar de Uyuni, the immense salt flats. Along the way she saw the largest copper mine in the world at Calama. She dealt with bronchitis (brought from New York) and food poisoning (did I mention the lama?). She met locals including a helpful taxi driver and practiced the difficult Spanish dialect of Chile. Jodi also talks with great affection about the UNESCO World Heritage site of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar which were hit hard in the big earthquake earlier this year. Valparaiso is a colorful city of art built on the side of a hill and sloping down to the Pacific.

DATE: Sat, 04 Sep 2010
SIZE: 24.3 MB
AT#246 - Travel to Northern Ohio

The Amateur Traveler talks to Seth Oakley about traveling to his birthplace in Northern Ohio. Years ago Ohio and Northern Ohio in particular, had a very bad reputation for pollution that one can only get when a river (the Cuyahoga) catches fire. But these days Lake Erie is cleaner than it has been in maybe a hundred years and boasts sites like the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame, Cedar Point, surfing, and even a burgeoning wine region. The area is rich in history as the site of the Battle of Lake Erie, the birthplace of Thomas Edison and one of the first states added to the new United States. Seth also gives us a glimpse of small town life with a side trip to his hometown of Milan which is the home for both the Milan Melon Festival and the little-known superhero Melon Man.NewsChris takes a new jobShow NotesNorthwest TerritoryCuyahoga RiverMoon Handbooks: OhioOhio: Off the Beaten PathMilan, OhioLake ErieZebra musselsOhio on WikipediaFirelandsHistory of OhioCity of ClevelandThe Rock and Roll Hall of FameGreat Lakes Science CenterOhio’s sports miseryLeBron adds to Cleveland sports setbacksA Prairie Home Companion with Garrison KeillorLeBron signs with MiamiSandusky, OhioCedar Point Amusement ParkCedar PointDestination: Cedar Point Amusement ParkSoak CitySandusky HotelsLake-effect snowLake Erie IslandsBattle of Lake EriePaper Moon VineyardsPaper Moon Vineyards, Vermillion, OhioThomas EdisonOhio Festivals and EventsMilan Melon FestivalFirelands WineyardsGreat Lakes BreweryMelon Man’s Facebook

DATE: Sat, 28 Aug 2010
SIZE: 19.3 MB
AT#245 - Travel to Miami, Florida

The Amateur Traveler talks to Kara from Miami about her hometown of Miami. Kara tells us Miami is not as it is pictured in TV shows like Miami Vice and Burn Notice (except perhaps that it is filled with beautiful people). She tells us about some of her favorite hotels and restaurants as well as cafes where you can sit and people watch. Miami is known for its beach life and Kara tells us where the daring can go to bare all or where you can find a quiet spot away from the tourists. Increasingly Miami is known for its fashion district and its food scene. The summers are hot but offer some of the best bargains on restaurants, hotels and spas… if you can deal with the humidity. Miami defines hot in all senses of the word. So whether you want to see snowbirds or eat stone crabs, Miami might be a place you should check out.NewsMuslim hostess and Disney still at odds over headscarfFrench Flight Attendant Arrested for Stealing Cash and Jewels From Sleeping Passengers’ Pockets and Carry-OnsShow NotesDiamond PRMiami ViceBurn NoticeHaulover BeachSouth Pointe ParkTop Ten Miami RestaurantsBrickell, MiamiKey BiscayneMiami MuseumsMiami Design DistrictVan Dyke CafeMiami Spice Restaurant MonthMiami Spa MonthNeighborhoods of MiamiMiami Design DistrictMichael’s Genuine Food and DrinkCalle Ocho FestivalSouth Beach Food and Wine FestivalMiami Public TransportationFontainebleauMiami HeatMiami Heat TicketsSmith and WollenskyRed, the SteakhouseJoe’s Stone CrabsAdrianne Arsht CenterSnowbirdsCommunityScott enjoyed the group interview in Travel to Namibia – Episode 243Tricia hits the roadAmateur Traveler guest post guidelinesAmateur Traveler site redesign to add countries

DATE: Sat, 21 Aug 2010
SIZE: 29.1 MB
AT#244 - Travel to Montpellier and the Languedoc Region of France

The Amateur Traveler talks to Christine Cantera about her time living in the Languedoc region of France in the city Montpellier. Montpellier is sometimes called the San Francisco of France. Christine shares with us a few thoughts about cafes, bars, which museums are worth it (and which aren’t), beaches, fortified cities, when to visit, and the one day of the year when nobody in France gets any work done. She discusses what are her favorite 3 places to see in Languedoc including one seaside town that still has jousts but with a very nautical twist.NewsSouthwest attendant takes baby after slap from motherAmerican Airlines to Charge for Front-Row SeatsNursing at SeaShow NotesFrance Travel GuideMontpellierLanguedocJardin des plantes de MontpellierLe Petit Train Touristique du Centre HistoriqueLanguedoc wineLe Jardin du Champs de MarsPaparazziLa Dolce VitaAigues-MortesCarcassonneParc naturel régional de CamargueMusee FabreAntigone DistrictPalavas-les-FlotsSèteNîmesBeaujola is nouveauBar le Saint-RochMissExpatria’s photostreamCommunity Sam was looking for a show on MaltaDon't use the first LukeDon’t use the first Luke

DATE: Sat, 14 Aug 2010
SIZE: 24.6 MB
AT#243 - Travel to Namibia

The Amateur Traveler talks to Carla, Jason and Janie about their trip to Nambia. While traveling in southern African to attend some of the games of the World Cup the three made a visit to nearby Namibia after hearing from friends that it was one of their favorite African countries. Come with us as we learn about a country that is perhaps surprisingly prepared for tourists. We will talk about seeing 4 out of the "big 5" safari animals. Our trio talks about miles of sand, sand storms and riding camels but also talks about visiting the show and seal colonies. The camping was easier than expected and the food was more diverse (you won't believe what they found on pizza).

DATE: Sat, 07 Aug 2010
SIZE: 25.3 MB
AT#242 - Day Trips from Florence, Italy

The Amateur Traveler talks to Italophile Ira Bernstein who returns to the show to talk about day trips in Tuscany that you can take from Florence. We talk about visiting the walled city of Siena and its famous bareback horse race the palio, viewing the many towers of San Gimignano, climbing the leaning tower of Pisa (after you take the obligatory picture of someone holding it up), and walking on the walls of Lucca. Each town has its own character and attractions. Arezzo has a jewelry museum and the home of the “Father of Humanism” Petrarch. Fiesole is a rich enclave, a suburb of Florence with views of the city and a roman theatre. Montepulciano and Montalcino are both known for their wines. Ira talks about some of the events that the locals enjoy like the palios, flea markets and flag throwing competitions. So even if you just get as far out of Florence as Piazzale Michelangelo there are many places to explore in Tuscany.

DATE: Sat, 31 Jul 2010
SIZE: 17.9 MB
AT#241 - Travel to Mail

The Amateur Traveler talks to Dan Stromberg about his recent trip to Mali. Mali is a destination so remote that Dan says “I couldn’t imagine myself being here when I was there”. Dan started in the capital city of Bamako, before heading out to Bandiagara and Dogon country. The highlight of the visit was a trek along the Bandiagara Escarpment which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Dan and his girlfriend, along with a guide, walked and hiked along the cliffs and then stayed in the local villages of the Dogon people at the base of this 200 km long sandstone cliff.

DATE: Sat, 24 Jul 2010
SIZE: 19.1 MB
AT#240 - Travel to New Zealand's North Island

Chris, the Amateur Traveler himself, talks about a recent trip to New Zealand’s North Island where he went to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and took a dolphin watching cruise up by the Bay of Islands. He visited the Coromandel Peninsula with Cathedral Cove and Hot Water beach, toured but can’t talk about Hobbiton near Matamata, climbed Mt Maunganui, saw (and smelled) the geysers and baths at Rotorua, journeyed south to the Capital at Wellington, visited a ski area on a volcano and rafted the caves of Waitaomo.

DATE: Sat, 10 Jul 2010
SIZE: 18.9 MB
AT#239 - Travel to Prince Edward Island in Canada

The Amateur Traveler talks to Pamela Beck of the Department of Tourism for Prince Edward Island in Eastern Canada. Pamela describes Prince Edward Island (or PEI) as a get away from it all location that is easy to get to. Surrounded by beaches this 140 mile long island features wonderful seafood and champion oyster shuckers. It has miles of bike trails and relaxed helpful locals. Pamela also describes it as a wonderful golf vacation or a place where you can try your hand at lobster fishing (be ready to get up very early), oyster raking or chocolate making through one of their experience tourism programs.

DATE: Sat, 03 Jul 2010
SIZE: 26.5 MB
AT#238 - Travel to the Cook Islands

The Amateur Traveler talks to Melanie Waldman of about a recent trip to the Cook Islands in the Pacific. Think of the Cook Islands as Tahiti without the French language and using the New Zealand dollar to make it more affordable. Melanie tells us about this corner of Polynesia with beautiful resorts that she and her husband visited for their 10th anniversary. They hiked the mountainous spine of Raratongo with Pa who knows all of the plants and their uses and cruised the small outer islands of Aitutaki with a guide named Captain Awesome. They also took an archeology tour, drove the ring roads, shopped in the farmer’s market and just hung out on the beach drinking the cocktails of the moment.

DATE: Sat, 19 Jun 2010
SIZE: 25.8 MB
AT#237 - Travel to Bail in Indonesia

The Amateur Traveler talks to Sam Oppenheim who makes a rare 4th appearance on the show to talk about Bali in Indonesia. Sam started his exploration of Bali in Ubud which is the cultural capital of the area. He met two of the people mentioned in the popular book Eat, Pray, Love: Wayan and Ketut Liyer. In Ubud he attended some of the traditional Balinese dances (Legong, Barong and Kecak). Sam explored the Hindu temples and the resort area of Kuta Beach with its famous nightlife, dove a ship wreck and explored the island by motorcycle. Sam’s does regret was not getting down to Nusa Dua on the southern tip with its wonderful sunsets or out to Komodo.

DATE: Sat, 12 Jun 2010
SIZE: 27.1 MB
AT#236 - Travel to Michigan

The Amateur Traveler talks to Erik Smith about his home state of Michigan. Erik has been on the show twice before talking about National Parks but this time he tells us about the beautiful state of Michigan. While Erik is from the Detroit area and describes some of its museums and other attractions what he really recommends is the west coast of Michigan with its sand dunes and sunsets, Traverse City with its boating, and the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula. He does manage to work some national parks (Sleeping Bear Dunes, Pictured Rocks and Isle Royale) and state parks into the conversation. We also talk about the European-style of Ann Arbor, the quirks of John Harvey Kellogg and the unusual location of Edison’s New Jersey lab (moved by Henry Ford to Michigan).?

DATE: Sat, 05 Jun 2010
SIZE: 27.8 MB
AT#235 - UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The Amateur Traveler talks to Gary Arndt of  about UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The World Heritage List includes 890 sites from around the world which are part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having “outstanding universal value”. We talk about various sites as well as how to use this list as a resource in your travels.

There are 222 more episodes in this feed. View All Episodes
Recent Comments for Amateur Traveler
World Travel Dialog

Super podcast dealing with world and domestic travel. I like that common everyday travelers provide their experience and insight to destinations. People who live or work in an area are also common guest and give little known facts and local specialties that are not found in guidebooks.

Submitted By: lchurchman@... (on 4-2010)


This a great Podcast. The interviews and topics are interesting, inspiring, intelligent. Really makes world travel do-able. Good production.

Submitted By: w.sandinshoes@... (on 4-2010)

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