Episode 28 – Goodbye Episode

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play or Spotify

Hello Everyone,

As you can guess by the title, I will be closing the TravelTalk podcast. This has been an incredible journey, and I appreciate every one of you who has been through this process with me.

Originally, this podcast started out as a passion project –  I have loved listening and recording every one of these stories, and I’m grateful for everyone who has participated in some capacity in this podcast. Your stories, words, and thoughts have brought new perspectives and has taught me to look beyond my figurative surroundings and be open to new ideas. I hope this lesson has extended to our listeners and has encouraged some of you to even branch out and consider new places or locations that you may have otherwise de-prioritized.

Our world is vast and diverse – both figuratively and literally. While primal instinct is to seek the familiar, I hope we are all willing to go beyond our comfort zones and take new risks.

I have been so grateful for this journey and owe many thanks to many people. I’d like to specifically thank Nebula Halseth and Jen Liu – my co-contributors. Without you, this podcast wouldn’t have the legs it has today. I’d also like to thank Evan Kolesar for his tireless work on the sound editing. I’d like to thank my husband, Ole Bjoernstad, who has been patient and supportive as I navigated the next step in my life. And finally, I’d like to thank all of you who tuned in. Seeing all of you across the world tune in and listen to these episodes has been a joy for me to see and I hope you got as much out of these episodes as I did creating them.

Thank you again, and adventure is out there!

Melissa

Episode 27 – New Delhi with Saumya

Meet Saumya! A New Delhi native who’s here to share her recommendations so you have the most authentic, local experience while experience this vibrant city.

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play or Spotify

Saumya at the Red Fort

Saumya’s top guides and resources for visiting New Delhi and Agra (Taj Mahal)

Happy camel in New Delhi

Episode 26 – Nigeria with Abdulkamal

Abdulkamal is from Lagos, Nigeria and is here to share his story and recommendations about the city and country! I’m particularly excited to share this episode with you as I lived in Lagos for 2 years as a kid – it’s been a trip down memory lane.

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play or Spotify

img_20181030_135258_902

Episode 20 – Norway with Ole

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play or Spotify

Wow! Norway has 30 medals and counting from the 2018 Winter Olympics!

With all this exposure, you may be wondering about this amazing country that churns Olympic athletes. Look no further! You now have an inside scoop into this great country by my husband, Ole.

Ole is Norwegian. While I convinced him to reside in Los Angeles with me, he has spent most of his life in Norway, and he has been returning twice a year to reconnect with immediate family.

We always root for the Norwegian team at the Winter Olympics, there is always a supply of aquavit and brunost in our home (even in LA), and skiing is in our blood.

IMG_20161231_152848
IMG_20171230_144929

Ole’s Recommendations of Oslo

Our capital is a really great city and has a lot to offer, like award winning restaurants (like 2* Michelin Guide restaurant Maaemo) and coffee shops (like Ristretto), an ocean-front boardwalk, a castle, the Palace, cool museums and much more. However, plenty of other cities can offer similar things. If you’re visiting Norway, I recommend limiting your stay in Oslo to just one day.

Here’s your must see list:

Vigelandsparken: A sculpture park with some amazing statues. The most famous ones are Monolitten (tall column of a single piece of granite depicting 121 naked people) and Sinnataggen (a little angry kid), but my favorite one is a piece of “abstract art” featuring an adult man fighting off a horde of babies.

Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen: Oceanfront boardwalk with several nice restaurants and bars. One of my favorite places is a burger shop called Døgnvill which translates to Jetlagged and it won’t break the bank either.

Karl Johan’s gate: The main street which stretches from Oslo Central Station to the royal Palace (which is conveniently close to Aker Brygge) features lots of cafes and shops.

The Opera house: You can walk on top of this architectural masterpiece which features great views of Oslo and the new development called Barcode – a series of skyscrapers shaped like bars in a barcode.

Episode 16 – Rwanda with Steven

Rwanda is a beautiful country in Africa with a controversial past, but through this history it’s blossomed into an incredible place to visit if you’re looking for either a relaxing or adventure trip that’s off the beaten path.

Please tune in as we explore this country with Steven, a peace corp volunteer who was stationed in Rwanda for two years. You can check out his blog about his adventures here.

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play or Spotify

portrait - Lake Bunyonyi
Rwanda scenery
Gorilla in Virungas

Episode 14 – Japan with Ken

Ken from Japan is here to share his stories on Japan!

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play or Spotify

PC303249.JPG

Ken’s Recommendations on Japan:

FOOD:

One thing I love about Tokyo is the number of the great restaurants. Sushi, Sukiyaki, Ramen…

Top Restaurant in Tokyo: Yoroniku – The best Japanese BBQ (Yakiniku) in Omotesando area serving the best Japanese beef (Wagyu)!

Although this is BBQ, you don’t need to cock by yourself. Instead, servers will have them cocked perfectly in front of you, and they will propose you the best ways to eat them. Please note that Yoroniku is always very crowded, and you should get the reservation at least 2 weeks before.

ACTIVITIES:

I also like walking around Yoyogi and Omotesando area. If you’re tired from walking the busy city, you should go to spacious Meiji Jingu Shrine located right next to the Yoyogi station. This is relatively new shrine built 100 years ago, but you can feel the Japanese traditional Shinto spirits when praying at the main building surrounded by many trees.

Once you have refreshed, you can walk toward Omotesando station, the most fashionable city in Tokyo. You can enjoy shopping in the large shopping mall, Omotesando Hills, as well as tiny local shops in the back allies. This area is also really good for getting some souvenirs for your friends and families.

If you could luckily get the reservation for Yoroniku for your dinner, this is only 10 mins walk from Omotesando station.

Cherry Blossom season in Tokyo
Donuts in the shape of cats and ducks
Wedding at Japanese shrine in Tokyo

Episode 13 – Italy with Giovanni

A TRIP TO THE UNEXPLORED GEMS OF ITALY

THE ROMAGNA REGION

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play or Spotify

Giovanni1

My name is Giovanni Labadessa I’m an Italian living in Los Angeles since 2005. I’m a writer, a passionate foodie. Despite being born in the South of Italy the place I choose to talk about is an area in Italy that made me fall in love again with my country: the Romagna region and a city that I love very much: Santarcangelo di Romagna.

The Romagna region is situated by the Adriatic Sea and can be a great place to stop by in your way from Florence and Venice.

Giovanni2

This area has both the mountains and sea offering its visitors breathtaking views, in addition to beauty for both the eyes and spirit, with a mixture of the earthy colors, the aromas and the fresh sea air. Not to mention that the Romagna is a hotbed for music, cinema and art appreciated nationally and internationally.

Traditional of the Romagna region are Passatelli, Piadina, Pasta Fresca like Tagliatelle, Cappelletti, Ravioli, Nidi Di Rondine, Strozzapreti.

Giovanni3

My favorite of the many great beautiful towns in this region is Santarcangelo di Romagna which is a beautiful italian post card.

giovanni4

This small medieval village is recognised internationally as a City of Art and an extremely popular destination, thanks to the extravagant art and talents of its more celebrated citizens, the warmth of the Romagnolo welcome, the good food and conviviality but also because of the town’s fairs and festivals, which invariably attract thousands of visitors.

giovanni5

The most famous among the many cultural events that happen though out the year is the International Theatre Festival – Festival del Teatro in Piazza.

giovanni6

The festival is a major international exhibition of avant-garde theatre, which has welcomed, amongst others, the famous Mutoid Waste Company, an international group of performers and sculptors of recycled materials, which today live in a small quarter of the town by the river renamed Mutonia. This city passion for the arts has attracted several artists from all over the world making this city one of the most innovative cultural hub in Europe. The city is also home to the international film festival Nót Film Fest , several food fairs and literary events.

The old town of Santarcangelo is worth a visit by itself, all walkable with its narrow streets that climb up on top of the hill called “Monte Giove” where you can enjoy both a beautiful view over the city and the poems written on the corners of the houses.

giovanni7

One of the peculiarity of the old Town are the “Grotte Tufacee”, enchanting caves dug out of tufa: these mysterious caves, whose origin is still unknown, form a labyrinth underneath the towns historic center.

giovanni8

Santarcangelo is also home to several celebrated taste makers, amazing restaurant and Osterie.

giovanni9

Besides Santarcangelo the Romagna Region is rich of gorgeous cities like the city of Federico Fellini Rimini, the historic Republic of San Marino, the medieval castes of San Leo, and Ravenna with its Byzantine mosaics.

Rimini

giovanni10

San Marino

giovanni11

San Leo

giovanni12

Ravenna

giovanni13

Where to EAT in SANTARCANGELO

L’Ottavino Osteria

Via Pio Massani 16 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Pasticceria Succi

Via Felici 38 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Ristorante Ferramenta

Piazza Ganganelli, 19/20 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Ristorante Zaghini

Piazza Gramsci 14 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Rosticceria Graziella

Via Molari 13/15 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Osteria Ristorante La Sangiovesa

Piazza Beato Simone Balacchi, 14 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Trattoria del Passatore

Via Cavour 1 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Where to STAY in SANTARCANGELO

BB Agriturismo Locanda Antiche Macine

Via Provinciale Sogliano, 1540 – SANTARCANGELO

La Foresteria del Convento

Via dei Signori, 2 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Hotel Della Porta

Via Andrea Costa 85 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Hotel Il Villino

Via C.Ruggeri 48 – Santarcangelo di romagna

Residenza i Platani

Via Contrada dei Fabbri 8 (Centro storico) – Santarcangelo di Romagna

B&B Le Contrade

Via Dei Nobili, 38 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Tenuta Zavaia

Via San Vito 434 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Villa Greta

via Giulio Faini, 9 – Santarcangelo di Romagna

Episode 12 – Russia with Anya

Anya is from Russia and here to share her stories and recommendations around the country!

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play

IMG_9609

Anya’s recommendations:

In Moscow:
Cultural Stuff:
– Red Square is a must
– museums inside Kremlin especially State Regalia one
– Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow – my fav of all time, a lot of provocative visual art
– Tretyakov Gallery for classic fine art
Restaurants:
– White Rabbit – there is an episode of a Netflix show about it, authentic Russian cuisine
– Turandot – prepare to be wow’d by everything, royal dining experience
– Zhivago – USSR themed, really authentic
Other:
– Book a Airbnb walking tour experience to see the best of Moscow. Russians love to stroll, so streets are beautiful and pedestrian friendly. There are a lot of parks and squares with cafes and benches to relax and enjoy the view.

St Petersburg:
– Hermitage
– Peterhof (takes at least a full day)
– boat tour of canals is an absolute must
– roof of Saint Isaac’s cathedral for the best view (in photos below)
– any rooftop restaurant
– St Petersburg is a gorgeous city full of history. Just walking around is great. There are bunch of historical palaces and churches. Food is great everywhere.
– Highly recommend doing it only in summer time though. It’s extremely cold in winter and a lot of beautiful sites and Peterhof are closed.

Other cool cities to consider:
– Sochi
– Nizhny Novgorod
– Kazan
– Samara
– If you have a little extra time, there is a really fascinating river cruise around what’s called Russian Golden Ring. Over a few days a cruise ship goes through small and big historical towns around European part of Russia.

Episode 11 – Brazil with Camila

Camila is born and raised in Brazil! She’s my classmate from business school and recruited us for an incredible adventure and tour of Brazil. Here is her story!

IMG_0251

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play or Spotify

Her guide to Sao Paulo and Rio De Janerio can be accessed here: Brazil Trip (December 2016)

Episode 10 – Ireland with Fiona

Fiona is from Dublin, Ireland and will be sharing her recommendations and adventures of the Emerald Ireland!

Cycling Mizen Head Cork

To access the Traveltalk podcast from your mobile device, try itunes or Google Play or Spotify

IMG_20170331_130033
Melissa (TravelTalk host) with newfound relatives in Kesh
Giant’s causeway in Northern Ireland