S5E2: Secret Havana – Rachel Rudwall: Explorer | Motivator | Traveler

Are you enough? The answer, no matter how you feel in any particular moment, is always a resounding “yes.” Rachel Rudwall believes that every person is “enough” to start an adventure, that stories are born from the unexpected, and that childlike wonder has a place in the life of a traveler. Her optimistic outlook on life and her love of worldwide connections are a breath of fresh air in the travel world. With a travel story from Cuba entitled “Secret Havana,” and a bright personality, Rachel gives us a story and an interview to jumpstart our own travels.

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Secret Havana

Rachel brings a travel story all the way from Havana, from the moment she realized that the whole world would open up to her the moment she recognized that other people existed. She was walking down the street in Cuba when she was struck by the impulse to tell a woman she liked her hat. After acting on this impulse, their conversation soon evolved into this stranger taking them to see some sweet street art. On the way, they encounter a festival, amazing music, a celebration of a symbol of the revolution. This leads into a store, then to a ramshackle Havana building to buy a special item from a strange apartment. Their host told them all about her life, and helped them to explore the deepest parts of her world. Rachel’s experience never would have happened if she hadn’t commented on a stranger’s hat. Rachel believes you will never truly know someone or have a genuine experience unless you truly get to know the people.

The Power of Storytelling

Every experience is either a good experience, or a good story later on. Rachel and Hayden discuss not being able to predict what any journey will bring you, and Rachel adds on how she likes to be surprised, moved, taught, and connected to others in her travels. They talk about the different archetypes of travelers, and how confidence and vulnerability, working in tandem, can bring about the greatest experiences of all. Rachel’s spirit for adventure began and was fostered in the midwestern United States, where mountains and oceans only existed on television and children like her found pleasure in the little journeys she took. She thinks it’s important to bring that childlike wonder and curiosity into your everyday adult life, rather than over-thinking and limiting yourself from exploring unplanned, pure experiences. She tells Hayden that stories are born from bad or unexpected things happening to you as a traveler; stories, she says, like her own “Secret Havana,” give us everything that might be a building blood for our lives. Storytelling enables us to see where we exist in our own lives, and in the universe. When you explore what is natural and real and inherent to life, you choose to leave behind what is familiar and instead have to listen to what your body tells you, because that animal instinct is all the familiarity you have left. The risk, however, is worth it; after all, what’s the worst that could happen?

You Are Enough: Do I Have the Potential to Travel?

Rachel Rudwall is an advocate of the concept of being “enough.” Many people believe that they are not good enough, not prepared enough, not ‘enough’ enough. Rachel thinks, though, that people are always prepared. You may not be in a place where you’re perfectly prepared, perfectly good, perfectly anything – but you are always enough. You are enough to start your journey. You are enough to put yourself out there, like Rachel does in “Secret Havana.” You are, Rachel says, capable; you will learn. You can do this. You are enough. Every person has an innate potential. Rachel is all about people and planet. Anything you can do to share experiences and love, Rachel believes, is what you should be doing. The world is scary and divided right now, but it doesn’t need to be in every realm. You can adjust your own sphere and make the world a little closer and brighter if you are willing to connect. You are enough to bridge that gap.

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