121. Sam McManus; Adventure Travel When the World Closes, Costa Rica, Green Northern Spain and the Unexpected Pull of Home   - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 121
July 26 , 2021

121. Sam McManus; Adventure Travel When the World Closes, Costa Rica, Green Northern Spain and the Unexpected Pull of Home  

Just as the world was closing Sam McManus from YellowWood Adventures took a daunting gamble and hopped on a plane to Costa Rica. We talk about how the pandemic can change travel (even for the better), tourism being potentially a means for good, eco-tourism and re-forestation, surfing, small pueblos in the green hills of Northern Spain, his wonderful travelogue about his explorations – Wax and Gold Journeys in Ethiopia & Other Roads Less Travelled – and feeling the pull of friends, family and home. 

 

On this episode we cover: 

 

Second only returning guest  

His wonderful travelogue – Wax and Gold Journeys in Ethiopia & Other Roads Less Travelled  

Ethiopia and the inspiration to go there  

Tribal country and the civil war in Ethiopia  

Sending money to his business partner to escape the conflict  

The terrible plight of his business partner in Ethiopia   

The famine in Ethiopia being caused by the regimes  

Ethiopia being surprisingly verdant   

Camping out in the remote Tigray region   

Making his business about remote regions   

Touring Oman, Lebanon, Mongolia   

The pandemic putting a stop to the tours   

Booking a one way flight to Costa Rica on the eve of the UK lockdown  

Adventures during a global pandemic  

Sleepless nights in hostels whilst people were fleeing the country  

Studying and surfing Costa Rica for a year  

Planting trees and ecotourism in South America  

The positive financial impact of tourism   

Compared to the negative impact of over tourism   

Barcelona going from over-tourism to empty   

Carbon compensation and biodiversity  

Partnering with a food giving charity in Lebanon  

Partnering with an animal protection charity in northern Spain  

Climate change speeding up   

The opportuning to reset travel after the pandemic   

Feeling a huge shift in investors starting to care   

Al Gore – the sustainability revolution will happen with ‘the speed of the digital revolution’   

Lisa contrasting Sam’s lockdown in Costa Rica to hers at home in the cold with no school!  

Spending his lockdown in a tropical paradise   

Making lasting friendships in difficult circumstances abroad   

Driving down to the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain   

National Geographic asking for an article on Beirut   

Writing an 80000 word travel anthology  

Achieving life goals,  

Living and being locked down in rural northern Spain  

Falling back in love with the UK  

Home and friends again  

Listening to classic music in the car and getting stick for it