Experience The Thrill Of A Surprise Vacation
Join us for the vacation of a lifetime with travel agent Bridget Scotti – CEO of Whym Travel to learn how you can experience the thrill of a surprise vacation without the hassle of planning.
Download this podcast episode now with the audio player above, or watch the show below.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- Bridget’s top recommended European destinations
- Surprising delicacies in different parts of the world
- Examples of surprise vacation destinations and happy customers
- How Whym Travel creates a hassle free customized surprise vacation
- How to book your Whym Travel experience
Get the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card as we celebrate the upcoming 100th episode of the imPERFECTLY emPOWERED podcast. Visit https://hammersnhugs.com/100-episode-giveawayto enter and splurge just in time for Christmas!
ABOUT: BRIDGET SCOTTI
Bridget is the founder and head traveler at Whym Travel. She is from Pittsburgh but has been in NYC for more than ten years. She grew up traveling and, after grad school, spent 3 months hopping around Europe. She someday hopes to eat at every Top 100 Restaurant in the world.
CONNECT WITH: BRIDGET
- Website: Whym Travel
- Instagram: @whymtravel
- Twitter: @WhymTravel
- Facebook: Whym
- Pinterest: Whym
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I believe in the benefit of travel. I believe it makes us better people, better citizens. It makes us happier. We become better partners or parents when our minds are a little bit more expanded and we take those few days to change that. That could be big and expensive. It could also be a couple thousand dollars and a long weekend, right within the United States. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with DIY Healthy Lifestyle blogger on a former empowering you to transform your life one imperfect day at a time. Hey, you guys, this is just a reminder that all month long we are celebrating an anticipation of the 100th episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast that will air on Tuesday, December 6th with a $100 Amazon gift. Giveaway just in time for you to splurge on yourself. Do something fun this Christmas, guilt-free. You can enter all month long by visiting the blog post and clicking on the giveaway link. Or if you’re watching on YouTube, you can click on the description below or in the show notes and you can enter to win in a variety of ways. One of the ways I am asking you to enter is by reviewing the show. On Apple or on iTunes. And one of the things I’m asking you to mention is which episode was especially meaningful to you this year? And if there was any guests that you especially wanna give a shout out to, I will screenshot it and make sure that they get it because your kind words mean so much to us. And I thank you for your reviews of the show. Johanna B says, I absolutely love this podcast. Anna does such an amazing job getting valuable bits of information from guests and simplifying everything so that it is super easy for all listeners to learn and apply. Thank you so much, Johan. B, I would not be here without you. I Mapper says, hard hitting and heartwarming. Anna has a way of addressing difficult issues with grace and compassion. She isn’t afraid to ask the more challenging and vulnerable questions, which. All the difference. It’s easier to find clarity through real world examples so you know if what she and her guests are discussing resonates with you, and it usually does. Thank you so much. I maps, there’s so many reviews. I’m so thankful for your reviews. Please, please add your review. It’ll also enter you into the $100 Amazon gift card giveaway. Make sure you. Through the link though in the notes so that it captures the fact that you entered and we will announce the winners. I cannot thank you enough for being here, and I hope that you enjoy the show. Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I am your host on a fullmer. Today we have Bridget, Scotty on the show. Bridget is the owner of whim, a travel agency that specializes in booking customized. Destination trips. You guys, this is the coolest business model you have ever heard. You do not wanna miss this episode and what the amazing things are that Bridget is doing with this travel agency. Welcome, travel agent and World Explorer, Bridget. Scotty. All right, here we are. Bridget. Welcome to the podcast. This is so fun. We had a, uh, technical malfunction that was completely on my end. , so we are on take two. But I love the fact that you have this, When the agent first reached out and I was like, What does she do? She’s a customized travel agent, was surprise destinations. Everything about it was like, wait, click. Curious what, what is this? I always like to press rewind a little bit. You started out in insurance and finance? Yeah. New York City. Tell me a little bit about that. I would’ve wanted to switch careers as well. ? Yeah. So. I grew up, I’m, I’m a traveler by nature. I love it. I love the adventure of it. It comes from how I was raised. My dad was like this old fashioned traveling salesman type of guy who would travel 250 days outta the year. And what that meant is we were always kind of going to meet him wherever he was. And it led to me always wanting to kind of be on a plane or be on the go or see something new. So that’s always kind of just been part of my life. I. As a person tend to gravitate much more towards numbers and spreadsheets and all of that. So insurance and finance and like the deep, logical approach Yeah. That, that entails, uh, has always appealed to me. I mean, I love those topics as well. They’re, I always think that it is an. Overlooked facet of people’s lives, especially for women. But I found a real passion for it. I went into it. I lived in New, I’ve lived in New York City since I was 18 years old. You know, it’s the epicenter of kind of the finance world and all of that, and I really loved it. But what also comes with living in New York City is you’re exposed to. So much more than kind of your, you know, your own little bubble. You’re exposed to people who visit from all over the world, people who live here from all over the world. And I got spoiled living near one of the largest airports in the world. So, you know, I would, even as an adult, I would go on my own to travel as much as possible. Actually, When I was 18 years old, my parents set me up a savings account and the rule was I had to put 15% of every paycheck away from 18 till I graduated college. I went and went through You said 15%? 15%. That was the rule. That’s a great idea. Okay. And you know, at 18 your job is like, you know, you’re doing it for money, but you’re not really doing it. Most people can’t live off of the job they have at 18. I couldn’t. I made like, I don’t know, $12 an hour or something. Right, right. But so I got my, I did a double bachelor’s and then I did a master’s. So I was in school till I was 25, uh, straight through. And so a few months before my 25th birthday, before I was supposed to graduate about six months before I opened up this savings account, and all of a sudden, I had more money than my 20 something year old self had ever seen. And my parents were like, Oh, that’s so great. You’ll be able to use that to like pay down loans or help get you a real apartment. And I was like, Peace, I’ll see you when the money runs out. And I headed to, I headed to Europe for a few months. and just kind of really indulged in that sense of wonder and and exploration. And I city and country hopped, I did it for just over three months. Came back when it was all gone. Okay. Wait, now I have to ask those. So you were in Europe specifically? Yeah, I started in London. What was your favorite? Okay, so tell me where all you went. Yeah. And then what was your favorite, Like where are my listeners where we all need to go? Sure. I love asking these questions. I love it. I’d been to a bunch of places beforehand and many after, but during that trip, I changed cities every three days for about three months, so I could see as much as possible. My, Yeah, I mean that is some deep 25 year old decision making . Which city do I go to today? Yeah, pretty much. I mean, I loved a lot of it. I loved Monica. Like I thought it was super cool. It’s this like tiny little enclave. My favorite place probably was Barcelo. I’m a city person, so yeah, Barcelona spoke to me in a way similar to how New York does. I love anywhere that really loves themselves. Like I love some deep city pride. Mm-hmm. , you know, Barcelona with their flags and their, their own dialect and just this like deep rooted, like you’re walking down the street and you’re like, Oh, that building was designed by Gdy all these years ago and it still exists and is prized. I really loved Ice. If anyone’s ever been, I rode an ATV on a, uh, ice, like on an ice flow, and we went searching for the Northern Lights. You know, I did a little bit of everything. We did the Greek aisles. I didn’t love that quite as much, but I’m not a beach person. It was a little too much. Oh, see, girl, That’s where I’d be like, okay, my surprise, quote unquote, surprise destination. Send me to a beach . Yeah. And a lot of people feel that way. Uh, but yeah, what did I do? So I started in London. I went to Spain. I hopped around Spain for a while. I went to Greece, hop around all of Greece for a while. Then I went to France for a while. I did Paris. I did the South of France, which is beautiful. When I ran out of that, I went to Italy and I basically did almost all of Italy, Tuscany, Milan, Venice, whatever, all over. Mm-hmm. . Then we went to the Netherlands for a bit, ended in Iceland and then came home. Cause I, What were the Netherlands in Icelands like in terms of, I’m so ignorant to actually what those no countries would actually be like, even just in terms of weather. Sure. Cold are. Written. I’m showing my ignorance here, y’all. No, you’re so good. Um, I mean, I don’t think iceland’s a lot of like, I mean it’s cool now, but back then it was definitely like, I just picked it cuz it was the next cheap flight. Yeah. Like, it wasn’t like I did a bunch of initial research. Right. The Netherlands were very, pretty, very different from here. The weather was temperate. I went in the fall. It was, it was fall. It was proper fall. Little rainy. Okay. But I got to see the tulip fields. You know, you drive and it’s just fields and fields of perfectly rainbowed tulips, which is kind of a blast. We did, I did Amsterdam, I did a few places, but I think Amsterdam kind of gives the idea of like the red light district and all of that stuff that people have image, but like, What I had found was the red light district was like Times Square in New York City and that it’s there and tourists like to go to it, but no locals are hanging out. It’s very much like, you just wanna say you’ve seen it and done it. Right. I ate a lot of french fries, a lot of Belgian fries on the street quarter. Interesting. Highly recommend. That’s interesting. Okay. And then I went to Iceland. You know, historically speaking, Iceland is actually. It’s not icy. So when they discovered Greenland, I understand, right? Exactly. Yeah. Mighty ducks. Anybody. It’s like the line. I remember exactly. Iceland is green. Green and Greenland is icy. . Exactly. The only thing I remember that is true. It’s media for you. The coolest part about Iceland though was, you know, it’s dark all day in the, in the winter and it’s light all day in the summer. So wait, where’s this one? Iceland. Iceland. So interest. There was no sunshine when I was there. There was only three hours of sunlight. Wow. Or four hours of sunlight, which was a total trip. But I actually, I thought it was really cool cause I’d never seen that before. But I woke up and I had no sense of time zones at that point. I knew what anything was, but I woke up and I was like, Is it the middle of the night? And I’m like, Oh no, it’s 1130 in the afternoon and it’s, The sun is just starting. Um, That’s crazy. That was very, very cool. I ate a lot of weird food. I’m a very adventurous eater, so the weirder the food, the better what? El Iceland is cool because they’re almost entirely a self-sufficient nation. When they declared bankruptcy decades ago, they turned for help from other countries, and the other countries didn’t help them as much as they needed because they were. Arguably a, a huge resource to these other countries, like they didn’t provide like oil or whatever they needed. So what they, uh, resolved themselves to do is they committed to being almost entirely self-sufficient. I believe when I went, they were 92% self-sufficient. They didn’t import anything that was required for existence, like the 8%. The import was like, honey, because bees can’t live in that temperature or like, you know, kind of this other random stuff. So I thought that was super cool. Also, everyone there believes in troll. Which is weird. They actually believe like that under rocks. There’s like little tiny. That is so fascinating. This is Iceland. Okay. Yeah. How much colder is Iceland like compared to not that much Colder Britain or somewhere I am familiar with. Oh, okay. I mean it’s more, I mean it, I live in New York City. It is cold here. . Yeah. Yeah. We’re same. Yeah. Yeah. I took the same coat, like I took my puffer coat. Oh, interesting. Yeah. I mean it’s, it’s cold, but it’s. I mean, it’s Canada cold, it’s crazy dark, and there’s trolls. People start, there’s, there’s trolls, Iceland. Okay. Where was the place that you had, So you said you’re really adventurous with food. Yeah. Where was the place that, like what did you eat that surprised you the most, that you loved it? And what did you eat that you were like mm-hmm. Never. You can take my right hand . Um, I’ll eat anything I’ve eaten. Okay. I’ve eaten deep fried bugs. I’ve eaten chocolate covered. You know chocolate covered bugs too. Actually, I’ve eaten in Iceland I ate puffin sliders, which is like a type of penguin. I ate a horse steak cause they don’t have beef sliders. There’s so much about that. That just sounds, It was like little burgers but it was made outta puffin meat instead of beef. Cause they don’t have beef in in Iceland as easily. So like chewy, Are penguins chewy? Uh, no. They’re a little bit fattier I suppose. It was very good interest. I was like, Oh yeah, I ordered a steak at Iceland. It was a horse meat instead of a cow meat, and that was kind of cool. In Italy, there’s a part of Tuscany where you can eat the fourth stomach of a cow, and it’s the only place in the world they serve that. That was pretty cool. And is that like supposed to be a delicacy or what makes the fourth stomach better than like the second stomach? It’s hard to clean. It’s like, I think where the digestive tract doll is. So it takes a lot of work to clean it out. Yeah. And so most places in the world don’t put in the time, but this region, like it’s historically, they used all of the parts. So they did. This was Iceland, you said that the fourth stomach of a cow was Tuscany in Italy. Tuscany, Okay. Tuscany. Interesting. Yeah. Wow. I just did Mexico and that had a lot of really cool food. They, I did. Ant eggs and uh, wheel of cochet, which is like, And eggs. Yeah. Wouldn’t you need like a million ant eggs to even No. They’re like actually spoonful, They kind of look like black eye peas, ant eggs. Like, are these ants the size of my hand? Are these a tiny ant lay an egg? That’s. That big. Couldn’t tell you. Didn’t ask follow up questions. I was just handed a dish and I was like, Let’s go. Oh girl, you are braver than me. I’d be like, mm-hmm. I don’t even wanna know the Antipathetic game out of love it. It was so good. They were like buttery and delicious. It was like, it’s like Mexican caviar. It was great. Interesting. Yeah, so I don’t know. I’m a little bit of the opinion that other countries come here and they’re like, What do you people eat? You know, They’re like, We have very auto food here too, and boring. Like I think one of the differences is that it is very packaged here. Yes. And so I do agree with that. I have, I have also traveled to multiple places, and that is, I think, pretty consistent. Most other countries. It might gross us out a little bit, but the reality is they’re using their natural resources probably better than we are. No, absolutely. And like I had a hot dog, the national food and Iceland since we were talking about is a hot dog. And I was like, well, we have hot dogs here. That’s not ing. Yeah. But it’s just such a different approach. Like, it’s like more like sausage and stuff that it’s like real meat . Yeah. It’s not like whatever parts were left over, um, Exactly. That we use here. I don’t know. I just, I, I’m a big believer. You don’t know what you don’t like until you’ve tried it or you don’t know where you wanna see until you’ve been there. Right. And we all, as a general statement, like our comfort zones. Yeah, absolutely. Find that our comfort zones limit us to growth and understanding and like what else could be out there. So there’s been things I’ve tried that I was like, well, I could have done without that one I didn’t love. There’s this Filipino dish. That has like a partially developed chick inside the egg that you’re supposed to eat that one. Oh, that was a lot for me. I didn’t, I could’ve done without that one. . Oh man. Yep. That actually just sent shivers down my spine. . Yeah. I could’ve done. That one. Yeah. We could take, we could take a pass on that in the future. A pass on that. Uh, speaking of chickens, actually one of my least favorite experiences, So I lived in Peru the summer after I graduated from college, and I traveled all throughout the Andes Mountains. And one of the things, again, they used all their resources, which is, there’s something to be said for that, that we do not do well here. However, however, their thing was, they would put, for some strange reason, the chicken feet in the, so, Yeah, like, I don’t know if it was a flavor thing. I, I actually don’t even know to this day exactly why they would put the foot in the soup. But the problem was sometimes the nails would come off. Mm. And then you’re eating the soup and you chomp down. So one, the fact that I always tried to scan for the chicken foot in the first place. Yeah. But then when you would find it, you’re always on edge. You know, you search for all the nails and make sure, Oh man. It just, that was one of my least favorite. And then actually my other food experience in Peru was they would cook up, not hamsters. What am I trying to say? The like bigger version of jars. Guinea pigs. Oh, Guinea pigs. Guinea pigs. Guinea pigs. Yeah. Thank you. Guinea pigs. And. It’s a per, this was like a, this was like a, um, for them, like a delicacy. This was a very poor town and they were thanking us for coming to visit, and so our host family was cooking US skinny pigs, and I came down fairly late, like the sun went down pretty early in this. Village. And so we were on the second floor. So I came down and the way their building was set up, it was like a big courtyard that the building surrounded. So I walked down these stairs and there was these laundry lines hooked from end to end on the wall. And what I thought were socks hanging from these laundry lines. So I’m walking down and the lines are also pretty low. And my head hits one of these socks and it was like one of those instant, you know, when you’re putting something in your mouth that you think is one thing, but it’s actually another. And absolutely. Even if you like that flavor, because it shocked you, it like instantly makes you almost nauseous like you’re gonna gag because it, you realize it’s not what you thought it was. Yeah. That was the experience that I had. I realized that that was slimy and it felt. Like tissue, not a soft sock. Anyway, needless to say, I had just walked through a line of skinned. Guinea pigs . Oh, that is a tough hang. Let’s just say dinner was a little rough. It was a little rough. I don’t cook. I live in Manhattan. Everything delivers to me with a button, so I will eat anything, but like, don’t ask me to do anything with it. I just, I assume all animals just come out like in a nice cream sauce at the end. I don’t need the process. , right? Yes. This definitely was sort of an appetite killer, and I have all the respect for the people who are getting my food onto my table. Let. Say that right now. I’m incredibly, incredibly grateful and don’t take that for granted. But yeah, it’s, it’s an adjustment, but it’s like you just said, it’s that it’s the experience and it is the opportunity to also engage, I think with the culture around the food. Mm-hmm. , and that if there’s nothing else to be said for it, there’s something really special about the fact that as humanity, any culture I’ve ever been, Everyone gathers around food cuz it’s an essential part of living. And so culture literally happens around food. For no other reason. It’s worth it to just be able to get to know people around food, of other cultures. And like you said, this family was trying to say thank you. So they were preparing something meant meant something to them. Exactly. And so I was raised by, and I ate it by the way. I ate it for you . Um, I actually really like Chinese preparation of chicken feet. I think it’s really good. It just takes a lot of work. Like there’s some food that you just gotta put in so much work to get the meat or to get whatever you’re supposed to out of it that it. Too hard, so you don’t do it very often. Yeah, but my grandfather’s from Beirut and so we were raised with a lot of Lebanese food in my household growing up. Interesting. Which was, It’s not odd, but it was like not the norm in my, like, what’s typical Lebanese food? I have no idea. What would make a, something a dish. Lebanese. Yeah. So grape leaves. We ate a lot of grape leaves going, growing up, right? Like it’s, uh, beef or lamb and rice stuffed into the actual leaf from a grapevine rolled up like little tiny, like they almost look like little cigars. Hummus is Lebanese, which everyone eats nowadays. Chibi, which is like fried beef balls, or we ate raw kibby growing up a lot, which weirded people out that I’d be like, What do you want for a snack? We have this raw beef platter in my scr. Interesting. And no one got sick off of that. Huh. That’s a fascinating conversation that, I mean, it’s like su on the right of it. Exactly. It’s like sushi. It’s if you put in, if you buy the right ingredients, if you’re not, you know, you don’t leave it there for weeks. Interesting. Uh, so I think, I think being the kid who had kind of the weird food already made it a little less like odd to me that said, I was still, you know, just like all children, you’re like, I want noodles or whatever it is. But, um, um, where’s. Mac and cheese people. Uh, still to this day, I keep cracking. Yeah. This raw beef off of my plate. . Yeah. Yeah. But I, I think you’re right that like, culturally, it’s, it’s how we show love. Like the Arabic culture that we were raised, raised with, like, Lebanon is not a wealthy nation. It is a country that is very prideful, but it, it doesn’t exactly. It’s, you know, it’s, Not America. It’s not these places that have unending access to stuff and not that everyone here does, of course, but cultural, like on the big stage. Yeah. Relatively speaking in relationship to most of the world. Yeah. And so my family shows love through food. It’s, it’s how they define each other and like a my aunt. God love her. She went away for college and decided she was going. She went to art school and she came back and she’s like, I’m a vegetarian. And all of this kind of, you know, like 18 year old finding herself, whatever. Right. And my family came over from Lebanon and it is a country that meat signifies wealth. You know, largely it is a vegetarian based culture, but when you are a more affluent family, you would be able to put be for lamb as part of your table. And so when she came home and she’s like, I’m a vegetarian, my family was like, That’s not a thing. You don’t choose not to eat meat. And eventually, like the matriarch of my family actually explained like, You know, we fled a nation to come here. And the fact that we as the elders and the family can put meat on the table, that is us showing you that we’ve accomplished what we came here for. And you saying no is, is an insult to that. And so my aunt has been a vegetarian, I wanna say for like 40 plus years at this point. However, the twice a year she goes back home, she’ll. Because to her, that’s her signifier of like, I respect kind of what we did to bring this, I respect the familial line of, of how important it is. And I, I think food and cultures define each other differently through that and how it’s shared and is it individualized? Is it, but you know, family style, is it all day? Is it one large meal? Is it, And if you go to a country and you know, you’re the American who’s like, I found the local Burger King, or I ate. I ordered pizza in Japan. Like, don’t be that. Right. Like, don’t perpetuate that stereotype. Right. When I went to Meke a couple years ago, it, you know, it’s a Muslim nation. It’s in Africa. It’s this beautiful clash of cultures and one of the cultural things is women don’t show their shoulders or their knees. That’s fine. I’m visiting their culture. I, as a, as an outsider, should respect that. Sure. So I came prepared for that and I loved it. It. The only place I’ve ever been that photos doesn’t capture it even a little bit because it’s loud and the smells and the sounds like it. It’s a multisensory experience that I’ve never been, I’ve never lived in a place that has a call to prayer. And it’s utterly beautiful that these people respect their nation this way and their beliefs. But then you see these Americans walking around in this hot desert heat in like short shorts. Yeah. And like, you know, That’s not necessary. You, you’ve chosen to go to their land. You should also choose to behave, you know? Yeah. And don’t be like, I don’t like in a way that’s at least not right. Right. Like a slap in the face. Yeah. Yeah. You can be nice. , nice as cop, Nice people. Oh, phone be nice, right? Oh, Foley was so, so easy. Oh my gosh. I love that. And this is just the food. This is just the one element to traveling and experiencing other cultures. We are going to take a quick break, but when we come back, stay tuned. We’re gonna play a speed round of this or that. Get to know Bridget a little bit better. And we are going to talk about how to find your next thrilling adventure on a. With Bridget right when we come back, you have tried it all. Worried you will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoyed. Want to achieve bat loss without spending hours in a gym or eliminating entire food groups from your diet? Well now. You can in the virtual faster way to fat loss with Anna, my six week fitness nutrition program, you will learn how to pair effective 30 minute workouts with all natural evidence-based nutritional strategies to leverage what you eat and when you eat, to reset your metabolism and burn fat fast. Even that stubborn belly. I am a dual certified nurse practitioner, passionate about teaching sustainable strategies to promote fat loss and prevent disease. I have cheered on thousands of clients who have done just that with the Faster Way program. In my six week program, the average client currently sheds seven inches of body fat. 93% report more energy and 89% state that their mental health has improved. 100% of clients report. They feel this program is sustainable. Curious to try the program, but not sure if the strategies will work for you. Try the faster way strategies for free. Head to www.hammersandhugs.com and sign up for. Free seven Day Fat Loss accelerator course today and start your own transformation story. All right, We are back here with Bridget. We are going to play a quick round of this or that. Super simple, no stress. It is going to be two options. Pick whichever one comes to mind first. Burger or hot dogs since we’re on the food kick. Burger, this is also so vague because now that we’ve talked about like all cultures, that is such a like burger with what? Turkey cow. It could be anything. Yeah. Horse. I like a burger because while I like a hot dog, a burger to me can be low end, high end. It can be consumed, you know, like you said, culturally, you know, I had a slider that was a penguin. I can have, you know, you can have it in so many ways. I think it says a lot. And you can have a $150 burger stuff with truffles, or you can have like, I don’t know, an $8 burger at a cart and they can both fulfill the. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t, I love, I love burgers. A good burger should go by. Coffee or tea? Coffee, black or how do you take your coffee? Uh, I drink a mocha every morning. I drink the same as I drink. Here is actually, I’m very curious. So I’m a huge coffee lover in our house. It’s like Jesus family coffee in that order, . And so where is the best coffee you have ever had? That is a good question. Let me, Vibe wise, France. Taste wise? Italy. Italy likes their coffee. Okay. Wait, Vibe wise, tell what’s a, what’s the coffee vibe? You mean like where you’re eating it? Like the actual, Well, France just really commits to the idea of like an afternoon cappuccino where everything experiencing it. Yeah. Yeah. And like they value that kind of the, you should stop and you should sit here and you should drink this cappuccino or this espresso, and it should not. Your phone shouldn’t be out. You should sit, You should face out and watch the world and drink this coffee and that’s not a thing we do here. Like I grab my Starbucks and I like go for everything is on the go. Yeah. As far as actual taste, I love the Italian preparations of coffee where it’s kind of that more intricate I’m, I don’t drink super. Super black coffee, like I tend to like it a little friller and Italy does it really well. I will say if you’re somebody who likes super, like coffee, coffee, you know what I’m saying? What do you mean I drink my coffee black and I am so free. I love that. Um, I went to coffee fields in Cuba and it was amazing and they, I went with a friend who is like you, who loves her like, you know, a perfect black cup of coffee. She wants to be able to taste the bean and they. It was amazing watching them like roast it and do it. Like you would literally watch them do the whole process right in front of you and hand you a cup of coffee and you’re like, I can taste that field. Like I can look at the field and taste it right here. Which is pretty cool. That is really cool. Uh, I like my, I need coffee now. . I think the one that we get that I absolutely love is actually from Honduras. Makes sense. A very similar vibe and, and whether. Right. Okay. Would you rather visit LA or New York? You’re in New York, so that’s actually a terrible question. Let’s go London or Paris. Oh, okay. Probably London. Paris is a more fun vacation. Like, it’s more like, let me go spend a bunch of money and eat a bunch of really fabulous food. London’s food is not, that’s not great, but, uh, the museums, I, I’m a big theater museum live and I could spend a week, so like West End. Oh, all day. Yeah. The old, the actual globe, like going to see Shakespearean Theater in the globe, I mean, just everyone should do it. It’s so. Yeah. That is, I feel like the, the history of London is really, Yeah, yeah. Like what you’re saying, It’s like the origination of so many different things that traveled over to America but didn’t actually originate with us. Yeah. I mean, I’d rather not eat the food in London, but, um Right. But I’ll take, I’ll deal with it. I’ll eat some mushy peas in exchange for Yeah. For the globe or some tea. Drink some tea. Yeah. I do love, I do love a, a British high tea. Well, same tea on the other hand, is very hard to beat from. Yeah. We don’t do tea here. It’s not really a thing. Like I, if I’m gonna do tea, I’m not gonna have a cup of tea at home, but I want, I would go and do the whole like, proper experience. Yes. Well, what’s funny is I actually grew up in Scotland. And, um, first like five years of my life, and my parents were pretty young at that point, and so they became tea drinkers, avid tea drinkers because of, of course, the British, like you said, in Paris, people sit down and you have your coffee. That is like, very much so in Britain it’s like you have your tea, so they don’t drink coffee. They only drink tea. What part of Scotland? Glasgow. Aberdeen. Aberdeen, of course. Yeah. My dad went to the University of Aberdeen for his doctorate. Very cool. I love Scotland. Edinburg’s one of places I’ve ever been. Cause it, I mean, just the fact that you’re like walking these cute little streets and you’re like, Oh, there’s a massive castle. It’s, it’s just so cool. It’s so not anything we have here. Yeah. Scotland, I would love, That’s on my to-do list to get back there. And then I’d love to get to Ireland. Ireland also just looks beautiful. Yeah. I like Ireland, but I love Scotland. I like to go to Scotland in, um, August for Fringe Festival. Oh, if you are somebody who likes live art at all, you go in August, it is 30 days where they have live comedy theater magic shows, just like real weird, like burlesque. Whatever the weirdest thing you can think of is, and it runs for 24 hours a day. Hundreds of look like there’s like 400 locations across. And it can be like the basement of a bar or like the attic over a library, and then also real theaters. And it runs for 30 days or whatever, 24 7. So you’re just walking down the street and you see a sign and you take a right turn, and now you’re just like immersed in this live art. And where is that? Uh, You said Scotland, but where in Scotland? Edinburgh. Edinburgh. Oh, it’s in Edinburgh. Okay. Mm-hmm. . That’s hilarious. It’s so cool. It’s so weird. I saw. Real, real terrible stuff, but I also saw some really amazing artists. Yeah. So be prepared. This comes with a warning label. Yeah. And then you can go see the castles. The castles are the really, like the pictures my parents have. I was too young. Like I remember bits and pieces, but not, you know, with the same consciousness I would have if I went now. So, Oh my gosh. The castle pieces just, we don’t, in America, we just simply don’t build buildings like the rest of the world. No, we really don’t. We all history. We’re young. We’re baby. No. We’re a couple hundred years old. We don’t know anything. We’re basically a teenager in the world. Sometimes we act like it, but we are basically the teenager in the world. Yes, the like really, really wealthy teenager that is not quite sure how to handle. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So that is honestly, if there, if you’re like listening to this and you haven’t done a lot of traveling, first of all, that’s okay. I understand this is really a stretch for some people who are, did not grow up traveling and it feels very intimidating. But I do think that one of the coolest things about traveling to other cultures is there is a richness in history that is so hard to fathom. Here, you just can’t fathom it because you walk around. Like when I was in Poland, one of the oldest, Is it an Abby? I think it was an Abby, like one of the oldest in the world was there. And that was still a functioning Abby. And there was like these women in there who had, who basically they go in and they don’t come out. They basically like devote themselves to, and just thinking of the years, like thousands of years. And I was just like, What? Like you just don’t have anything. It’s so like that here. Cool and creepy all at the same time. , it’s just this concept like, Wow, this still exists. It’s like what we only see in movies is actually in existence in other places. So, Anyway, I’m, I love, love this. I love this. I remember going from here to London and being like, Oh my God. Like I had tea at this place called Fort and Mason, and this tea house is older than America. Like. I had tea at a place that has existed longer than the nation I was raised in. And I remember thinking that was mind blowing. And then I took a plane to Athens and I remember being like, Oh, I thought London whistled. And now I’m standing at the Paron, and that’s just a level. History that it was unfathomable in a way that I, I hadn’t really grasped. But I will say there’s so much culture and history on a much smaller scale, but right here in America and I do not believe that we properly utilize that. We’re very quick to leave the us but there’s so much here. We’re such a big country with so many people from so many. Yes. Backgrounds and it is too often overlooked, and that’s what we do at whim. We only do trips within the US and territories because I do very, very behe believe that there’s a lot of, There’s a process here. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Well, since we’re talking about whim, let’s, I love, that was a great transition because I think to your point, one of the things that is too easy to do here is that it is so easy to get comfortable. With your own, despite the fact that we live in a melting pot, it’s almost easier than other countries to still only connect with the people that you relate to. Because we have so many opportunities, and so it is this weird dichotomy a little bit here because we’re also very isolated. I’ve talked about this before on other interviews, but a lot of other countries, just simply the proximity of their country to other cultures makes it so much easier to hop on a plane and you could potentially reach, you know, five countries. Mm-hmm. just by plane hopping. Where here, you know, we only border. What we’re our access just in terms of proximity is a lot, and Canada is, I would argue, not significantly different in culture to to here. So I love the idea of trying to tap into what we have here. Mm-hmm. . To help expand that sense of culture. One of the things that I love on your website is you have this concept of answer three questions and I’ll tell you where you need to go vacation. Yeah. Tell me a little bit about that. How, what are, what are these questions? What do we, and and how do you basically use that to help determine where you need to go for on your next adventure? So first I wanna say, I, I think you said it beautifully about the dichotomy that we have in this country. Big or small, like put everything else to the side. You’re right, like I speak one language, despite my attempt to speak many, I’m, I have a tinning, her and I have a friend who speaks like nine languages. She grew up in Germany and I talked to her about it once and I was like, I would give anything for that. She goes, You would speak this many languages if. Ohio spoke a different language than Pennsylvania. That’s right. That’s, And you, you just, we just don’t, we all, we speak, you know, I mean, there’s parts of our country that do speak more Spanish than English, and yet still we do not have Spanish as like nationally taught as arguably statistically we should. We talked about that so many times in my house. My sister’s a Spanish teacher and it drives me nuts. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s insane, but yep. I think you said it perfectly is that it’s interesting just to kind of see that, So yeah. So at whim, what we do, I do believe in the benefit of travel. I believe it makes us better people, better citizens. I believe it makes us happier. I think we become, we become better at our jobs. We become better partners or parents or whatever, when our minds are a little bit more expanded and we take those few days to, to change that. Now, that could be. Big and expensive and you know, whatever, Fly Abu Dhabi, it could also be a couple thousand dollars in a long weekend, right? Within the United States to see a different part that we hadn’t before and talk to people we wouldn’t and eat different food or whatever the case may be. So what we do at Whim is you go on our website and you choose a type of trip. Do you want like a family trip? Do you want a road trip? Do you want a couple’s trip? You choose, Tell me what you, what you’re. You pick your dates and your budget and then you fill out, admittedly, a very extensive survey, like when you open up the survey, it actually says like, you know, grab some ice cream, a bottle, or a bottle of wine. Settle in. Give us 30 minutes and tell us all about yourself. Mm-hmm. , we are genuinely interested. We, I wanna know what you’re into, what you like. Like you said, you love a beach. We have questions about, you know, is there anywhere you definitely don’t wanna go? Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever been? We even ask, how long does it take you to get ready? How many meals do you. So we can love it. Well, I love that. Yeah. And then you don’t do anything else. You okay? Let’s say that one more time. Okay. Busy moms. Let’s just . I mean, I wish I heard this more in my life. You don’t have to do anything else. We never hear this. Thing. So if there is one thing that you can take away from what Whim offers, say that one more time. You fill out the questionnaire and then you don’t do anything else. not a thing. Tagline. We have so many. It should. We have so many moms who do exactly that, who are like, I want my family to go on a trip. I do not have one more moment of capacity to track flights and book hotels and figure out what’s the nearest park, whatever. Literally on our homepage we say life’s hard vacation shouldn’t be it. Shouldn’t it? The privilege that I had at 25 of getting on a plane and just going is amazing, and it’s a feeling. Most people will chase for the rest of their lives cuz who has the time and the ability. Yeah. So that’s what we do at Whim, we give you that sense of complete spontaneity and excitement, but with the guarantee there’s a four star hotel waiting for you when you land. Like we’re not, we’re not looking to, we’re not about you end up like on a little shanty in the street, . Oh, I’m a huge snob. I would never, I would never, People will message us and they’re like, We wanna make sure you don’t send us to McDonald’s. And I was like, Trust I, you couldn’t, you couldn’t pay me enough to make, to let you go to McDonald’s on one of my trips. Thank you. So yeah, so that’s it. You pay and then your hands off seven days before you get weather, like a, a forecast and a packing list, 24 hours before you find out like time and location of departure. So whatever, 9:00 AM JFK terminal two, and then three hours before you take off, you find out where you’re going. You get a city page, which has like the top 10 things to know, um, a playlist to get you in the mood, like a cute little, like we call ’em a toy, cute little like picture of the city to that you can post to your social media and then when you land, you get an entirely custom-built itinerary. It includes restaurants, reservations, and neighborhoods to explore. If you’re a beach fan, it tells you where to get beaches, you know what beach to go to and where to pick up your chairs. And within that itinerary, we actually have additional surprises along the way. So that, like, that kind of like dopamine hit of the big reveal doesn’t stop at just the city. So if your interest is history, maybe the reveal is you’re going on a walking tour of, you know, the, the liberty well walking tour through Boston for the Freedom Trail. Or if you’re somebody who wanted like luxury, it’s like surprise. You’ve got a couple’s massage on the beach or mm-hmm. that would be. All day. I mean, if I have to be on a beach, they’re better be a massage. Uh, or like we, we have somebody coming up who, he loves golf, so we’re sending him to this like, fantastic area that he can play at this world famous golf, you know, golf club, and it’s gonna be really cool. So, you know, we, And you’re fitting this all into the budget that is given you at the beginning, like, this is ba is that right? Like you’re basically. Yeah, so it’s a two-parter. The budget you pay at the front includes your flights, your hotels, and those additional surprises. So like if I prepay for a massage or a tour. So that’s why the surprises can range, right? Like some people are like, I wanna go hiking, I wanna be in nature. So maybe the surprise is like, We got you this really cool reservation at this like, Speakeasy, and that’s what that is. Some people might have a bigger budget and that’s when we do like hot air balloons or whatever. Yeah. Because I do believe that everybody should be able to travel no matter what level they’re looking to do it at. Yeah. There’s adventure for you. And then within the survey we ask, how much do you want to spend while you’re there? And that’s because we recommend restaurants and, and like museums and stuff, but we’re not gonna prepay for that because I don’t know if you feel like a steak or a salad. I don’t know if you want, you know, To go at this time or this time. So we take it, it, it is a two parter. It’s not like a quote all inclusive uhhuh, but you can know the big stuff is paid and then if your budget when you’re there is like 300 to 500, you know, maybe we’ll recommend like lunches on the go. Or if your budget is bigger, maybe we’ll be like, you know, we like, um, this, uh, this go a guy who wants to go golfing. We recommended a second golf course for him to play if he wanted to. And you know, it’s like $250 a person. So that’s up to them if they wanna go do that. They can, Here’s how to do it. We pre-booked it for you. So yeah, I mean, we really respect what amount you wanna spend. We plan accordingly. We recommend you all the cool stuff to do. And the big thing we just ask is kind of get outta your own way. Like some people will be like, I don’t wanna go there. I’m like, You haven’t been, How do you know? Maybe it’s right. I would bet you you’ll love it cuz I know what, we know what we’re doing over here, . Yeah. I mean I love the whole concept of it really is, uh, it, I love it and I think specifically honing in as a busy mom myself mm-hmm. . And for a lot of women, regardless of the stage they’re in, they’re, they just want that whole, you don’t have to do anything else. So I think it is helpful to hear, from what I understand, you basically are giving a budget. From the beginning and then within that initial like level one budget is the big stuff. Here’s what we’re willing to spend on the overall big stuff of the trip. And then here is what we’re willing to spend a day on, like food or other. So I like that cuz as you know, the reality is, Most of us don’t have money to burn, so we need to be able to plan all in. Here is the most that we would be spending. Yep. On this trip. So for those of you listening and you’re like, How does this work financially? It feels like it could be, cuz I get it, especially with the family, you can end up paying a lot of money on the fly that you weren’t planning. So I think that is a great thing to highlight is. You’re basically giving an all in budget so that you have that cap in a sense. Mm-hmm. , and you’re working within, it’s just sort of separated in two different, What are some of the best surprise experiences whim has planned? Like what are some that, that you can talk about that. I mean, we love a hot air balloon moment, if that’s a thing. Yeah. We, we actually planned a hot air balloon ride for somebody to propose to their partner in. That was very fun. Yeah. One of my early one. They had a smaller budget and that’s okay. But one of our earlier ones was we put an early morning like block that’s, you know, our surprise block where you don’t know what you’re doing. And we were like, Go downstairs, there’s a car waiting for you. And we like called them a Lyft. And the Lyft took, they were in Austin, Texas, and the Lyft took them to Franklin Barbecue, which is like the OG most famous barbecue place in the country. But the line starts at the crack of freaking dawn and you have to. So they go and they get dropped off in this long line, and while they’re standing in line, about 30, 40 minutes in, we send them a text that we’re like, Hey, someone’s gonna call out your name, raise your hand when they do. We had them breakfast and coffee delivered in line while they waited. So they, for their lunch cuz they were big food people. And that was really cool cuz that like we had them so colos delivered, which is a local delicacy in Texas and that part of Texas. And so while they waited in line and they talked to all these people, like, their surprise was just this experience they wouldn’t have booked for themselves. Um, We’ve done kayaking, We’ve done like last bottom boats in, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We’ve done, we had somebody who went on a honeymoon who was a big baseball fan, and we sent them to San Diego, and while they watched a game at Peco Park, we had their name come across the board that says, Congratulations. Yeah. You know, it’s really just about what you’re into, what your stuff is. I mean, you know, if you’re a theater person, we’ve done tickets to Hamilton, we’ve done. Private ghost tours. We’ve done ziplining, we’ve done, I mean, we have a really amazing tour that we love in Kentucky that like does, it’s, it’s called, uh, Horse and Barrel, so it’s whiskey and horses through, you know, the bourbon trail, which is really well, bourbon and whiskey and horses, and that’s always fun. So, yeah, I mean, It’s all about what you’re into. It’s about what your family wants or you want, or you know, whatever you’re down for, we’re down to. I love that. What, so for people listening who are like, Oh, this is so fascinating, , what does the process look like? Like what is the, give us a little like step by step. You did a little bit already, but if somebody’s interested. How far ahead can they, Can they book this? What, like what final thoughts would you give to somebody who is, Hmm, I need to look into this. What does the process look? So you can book up to a year in advance. We require a minimum of 21 days, and that is because it takes us some time to just plan through. We don’t like to do less than that because honestly, we’ll deliver a lack less of product, and that’s not what we do here. So anywhere from 21 days to 365, you just go to our website on a whim, but we spell it W H Y M. So on whim dot. You click book now and you fill it all out. But I fill out that survey that I mentioned. Like I said, make sure you have a little bit of time to like fill out that survey. But what makes us, I think what I prize myself on as a traveler is we’re asking you to give up control and I’m a huge control freak. Yeah. We’re asking you to kind of trust us in what we do. So we give lots of examples. We have a live chat on the site, but most importantly, you are assigned a personal concierge. This is your new best friend. They will be in your pocket via. To your whole trip, they will send you the reveals. They will answer questions. They will, you know, you’re like, Oh, I heard about this thing. Is that a good idea? And they will tell you, and they’re a real person who’s just as invested as you are in the outcome. We’re all just obsessive travelers who really get that same dopamine hit that you get when we like, Oh, they love that surprise. Or, Oh, that was exactly what they needed, or whatever the case may be. So, I mean, it’s really truly as simple. Go to a website, select your package and fill out a survey and put in your credit card and then you do nothing but show up at the airport. We take care of legitimately everything else. So it’s all the excitement of the bucket list item that I always joke about is like I always wanted to be the person who shows up at an airport with a passport and a toothbrush and just. Pick something off the board. So that’s what we do for a living. We give you that feeling, but you’ll know you have somewhere to sleep and something to do when you get there. Yeah. It’s like that balance of like super exciting but also safe. Yeah. You know, you’re absolutely, it’s all being handled by somebody and it’s secure, but you’re just not sure what’s around the corner. Like that is such a cool, I love this . Thank you. And we, we, a team of really diverse people, right? Where, where people of different religions, different colors, different, you know, genders, um, we. We have a work busy working mom. We have single guys in their twenties. You know, we have all these people so that who can like, speak to the real world. Okay. This vacation’s not gonna work for a family . Right? And, and you know, we, we had one recently who, it was a mom and her kids and you know, the mom. Team member who is, uh, the head of our planning department, Amanda, she, she wasn’t on that, that trip. And so the, you know, we’re a team. So the guy who was assigned to it was like, Let’s talk about this. And she goes, You need to find nearby parks. And he’s like, They didn’t say parks. And she goes, That’s not what they need. They need like, You know, you’ve got four year olds, they gotta run off some energy fi. So, you know, we make sure we put breaks for stuff like that and we wanna value what you need, whatever that is. And if we don’t know it, I dare you to stump us. Give us something that’s gonna stump us so we can go learn about it. We love it. We have, we have guys who are like, my hobby’s metallurgy, and I’m like, I’ve never even heard that word. So I’m out here googling. And we’re figuring out like what’s a cool hobby they can do with that? Or somebody’s like, we, we always create something unique from our trip. So we found a old fashioned printing press that still exists in Massachusetts and they had a private printing press class where they went and made letters with their name and uh, and that was their take home. That was their surprise. That’s amazing. That is so cool you guys. This is incredible. I love it. And I love it because my, y’all listening. My friends here, you have heard me say this before, The research has made very, very clear that if you want to improve your satisfaction with life and your joy and that sense of happiness, research has shown that you need to prioritize experiences over possessions. Mm-hmm. . So save yourself some Christmas money this year. Yeah. Get less and surprise your family. This kind of adventure with whim and start, start prioritizing experiences. Just a little side note, we have started doing this with our kids’ birthdays. This might be something we have to consider with Bridget and start saving even more money. But instead of buying gifts, we now have family gift them experiences. Oh, that’s so nice. So people will buy experiences to like local fun things as opposed to actually handing them stuff. So the same concept, like start considering how you can save money and be gifting experiences like this and adventures, especially as a family, so, so amazing. Bridget, where can people find you? And follow along and book their next adventure. Yeah, so you can find us on all social media at Whim Travel, W H Y M travel, uh, Instagram’s our biggest platform, definitely. And then on a whim.com we are always around. You can, you can te we have a text line, we have a chatline. We are. Always awake in many time zones, so you feel free to reach out and we will help answer anything that we can and uh, yeah, we do. We love family trips for the holidays especially. We do a ton of them. We have so many that we do right over, like they’ll leave like the 26th or they’ll go Yeah, yeah. You know, over New Years’ and stuff. The kids break. Yeah. Yeah, and I will also say keep your eye open on our social media. We always do a fun Black Friday deal for gift cards, so you know, if you’re gonna give a gift, you should get a gift too. It’s a great, It’s our believer. Yeah, it’s a great Christmas idea. Yeah, I love that. And of course, all these links will be on the show notes, the blog post, or on YouTube here in the description below. As always, Bridget, I love what you are doing. Truly it is. Thank you. Amazing. I get excited. Thinking about the people who are being blessed by the experiences you are giving them. And thanks for, I mean, you’re helping to make, you’re helping to cross bridges between cultures and that is amazing. So thank you for all your team is doing. Thank you. And thank you so much for your time. This was a true pleasure talking to you. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today, head to your preferred podcasting platform, and give the show an honest review and let me know what you. Remember, you cannot be redefined, only redeveloped one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.