S4E11: Sarah Miduski – ‘Unexpected Wildlife’

Sarah Miduski from Obligatory Traveler joins Hayden to discuss how living a life of possibility and gratitude accesses a deeper level of adventure for travelers.

Knowing that you’re able to travel – able to afford it, able to hop on a plane and end up halfway across the world only hours later – can grant you a kind of appreciation you never realized before. Living in a place where travel is possible, where going on unprecedented journeys is possible, where listening to travel story podcasts is possible, is the ideal travel situation. How can you live a life of possibility, and how can you utilize the life of possibility that you have been given? Sarah Miduski of Obligatory Traveler joins Hayden to talk about life, health, and the pursuit of graciousness in travel.

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Sarah is a self-proclaimed “fangirl” of the show as well as a blogger, writer, and storyteller at Obligatory Traveler. She has three chronic illnesses, a rare heart condition, and an unwavering sense of adventure and wanderlust. She joins Hayden to talk about breaking into writing, branding herself, and how she handles her chronic health issues in regards to her travel desires. She reconciles her “medical mess,” as she calls it, with her adventures.

Hayden discusses with Sarah the importance of hindsight and looking back on your travels once you have experience to look back with. Sarah also talks about her list of where she wants to go and what she wants to do, which she has on her website. She talks about her epiphany surrounding her own mortality in her youth, and talks about how her realization of her mortality led her to her life of travel.

Sarah shares her story, a Panama-based tale that she has ambiguously titled ‘Unexpected Wildlife.’ She spins a yarn about the time she was desperately searching for a sloth on her trip, but instead encountered an entirely different kind of fauna in the forest. She tried to escape unscathed, but, unfortunately, she saw way more than she ever intended to see that day. Luckily, she did live through the encounter, and took from it an important lesson: always expect the unexpected.

In the modern traveler’s life, it is expected that they live a life that they ought to be grateful for. Travelers can tap into the idea of gratitude to access a deeper level to their journey, as well as utilizing this gratitude in their traveling. Hayden and Sarah discuss the theory of the “space between,” meaning the space between stimulus and response, with positives and negatives, as well as control when traveling. Travelers have an obligation to themselves to express gratitude for their situations, and to access their gratitude for their adventures.

  • 0:56 – Hayden introduces Sarah Miduski, a fan of the show and a blogger, writer, and storyteller at Obligatory Traveler; she has three chronic illnesses, a rare heart condition, and a strong sense of adventure. She discusses how she broke into writing on a blog, as well as how she got the “Obligatory” name, and how that ties in with her traveling.
  • 5:35 – Sarah talks about how she handles her self-proclaimed “medical mess” (her chronic health issues) with her travel desires and circumstances.
  • 11:00 – Sarah shares her story, taking place in Panama and intriguingly and ambiguously titled: ‘Unexpected Wildlife.’
    • Sarah was desperately searching for her first glance of a sloth when she came to the ideal Panamanian bridge. She knew she had to be silent in order to see wildlife; when she followed these rules, she found a cement pool, but what she found in the pool was an entirely unexpected kind of fauna. They had to come up with a scheme of sorts in order to escape unscathed. Unfortunately, they were spotted, and began to panic. They did get to live through the encounter, and they learned always to expect the unexpected.
  • 18:17 – Hayden and Sarah unpack her story of the truly unexpected, which Hayden certainly was not expecting to hear. He also explores the glory and importance of hindsight when looking back on your travel stories with the lens of experience.
  • 21:12 – Hayden asks Sarah about her list; she explains the list – of where she wants to go and what she wants to do – and how she built it. She discusses her criteria and how they come up with the list by never limiting themselves. She also talks about her epiphany regarding her mortality and how that played into her travel evolution.
  • 25:25 – Hayden brings up the concept of gratitude and how travelers can tap into the idea of gratitude, and how they can utilize that in their traveling. He and Sarah talk about the theory called “space between,” weighing the space between stimulus and response and how that can play into the positives, negatives, and control issues of travel.