Monthly Archives: December 2016

AtW Podcast, Episode 22: Kroy and Shalon

Podcast - Picture of smog.

When we recorded this podcast, the AQI was over 400.

My guests for this episode of The Around the World Podcast are Kroy and Shalon Nernberger. Kroy is a world-class curler who was invited to play in a tournament in remote Xining, Qinghai Province. His wife Shalon joined Katie and me in Beijing, and together we traveled to meet up with Kroy. We recorded this podcast from Xi'An, just before we split up. Shalon and Kroy recounted all of their adventures in China. Hopefully you'll gain some inspiration to plan your next trip!

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Show Notes:

  • Qinghai (青海) Province is in western China. Here'a a map.
  • Most curling stones come from two sources: Aisla Crag in Scotland and the Trefor Granite Quarry in Wales. The stones weigh between 38 and 44 pounds.
  • Here is Kroy's curling profile.
  • In Chinese culture, many numbers are either lucky or unlucky. Here's a page explaining these numbers and their significance.
  • Shalon mentioned the legend of the Bell Tower in Beijing. Here's more info about that legend.

Podcast - Picture of hutong life.
Life in Beijing's Hutongs.

Podcast - Picture of Lama Temple.
The Lama Temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in Beijing.

Podcast - Picture of Buddha.
This Buddha is 26 meters tall and is made from one piece of sandalwood.

Podcast - Picture of Drum Tower.
The Bell and Drum towers were used for timekeeping in ancient times.

Podcast - Picture of duck.
Peking duck is a delicacy in Beijing.

Podcast - Picture of Great Mosque.
The Great Mosque in Xining.

Podcast - Picture of curling.
Kroy is a world-class curler.

Podcast - Picture of Ta Er Si.
Ta Er Si (Kumbum Monastery) is a large Buddhist monastery near Xining. Click here for more of my photos from the monastery.

Podcast - Picture of butter sculptures.
These sculptures are made entirely from butter, a Tibetan art form.

Podcast - Picture of Kroy on train.
Kroy is elated to ride the train to Xi'An.

Podcast - Picture of terracotta warriors.
The terracotta warriors accompanied Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) to the afterlife.

Podcast - Picture of candy.
The Muslim Quarter is one of the highlights of Xi'An. Here, a man twists a strand of candy.

AtW Podcast, Episode 21: Sam Dreiman

Podcast: Picture of Sam and Dan.
My guest for this episode of the podcast is Sam Dreiman. His first trip to China was just before the 2008 Olympics. He has been living in the country, on and off, for the last six years. Other than China, we talked about his upbringing in Africa, my trip to Antarctica, his time biking down the World's Most Dangerous Road, and North Korea. Sam is a fascinating character who has spent much of his life traveling around the world; I had a great time talking with him.

Here's the show, available for download in your favorite format:

[Download] [iTunes] [Stitcher] []

Thanks for listening! What did you think? Have you been to any of the places we discussed? Let me know in the comment section below.

Show Notes:

  • The Antarctic Treaty has been in effect since 1961 and expires in 2048. One interesting facet of the treaty is that all scientific observations obtained on the continent need to be made freely available to the public. Also, drilling for oil and military occupation are both forbidden. This could have some scary implications when the treaty expires.
  • I talked about Mount Roraima during the show. Here are some stats from the Wikipedia page:
    • Roraima has a maximum elevation of 2810 meters (9220 feet)
    • Its prominence is 2330 meters (7671 feet)
    • It was the first tepui to be climbed, in 1884
    • The route I took is the only one that doesn't require any climbing gear
    • The scenery for the movie Up was based on several tepuis, including Roraima. I found a good article about the Pixar team's visit to the region.
    • My next book will include the story of my own experience climbing Roraima, so stay tuned.
  • Cerro Sarisariñama is another tepui, famous for its sinkholes. The largest of these sinkholes is 352 meters (1155 feet) wide and 314 meters (1030 feet) deep. The Eiffel Tower would easily fit inside of it. The mountain has only been reached by helicopter, on a limited number of scientific expeditions. Could there be dinosaurs lurking at the bottom of one of these sinkholes?
  • The Yungas Road in Bolivia was named the World's Most Dangerous Road by the Inter-American Development Bank in 1995. During our podcast, Sam told his story of riding a bicycle down this road. I wrote about my own experience there on pages 236-247 of my first book.
  • The Ryugyong Hotel is a 105-story pyramid in Pyongyang, North Korea. An Egyptian company finished the exterior, but its interior is still vacant.
Podcast: Picture of Ryugyong Hotel.

Here's a photo I snapped of the Ryugyong Hotel, while on tour in Pyongyang.

Podcast: Picture of Ryugyong Hotel.

Here's another view of the hotel.

And here's a look at Kukenan, the tepui next to Roraima. Posted to my Instagram account, @1000DaysBetween:

The beautiful Kukenan Tepui from our campsite on our way to Roraima.

A photo posted by Dan Perry (@1000daysbetween) on

Podcast: Picture of book cover.
Finally, just a friendly reminder that my first book is available on Amazon. Thanks for checking it out!

AtW Podcast, Episode 20: Paddy Robertson

Smart Air - Picture of Dan and Paddy.

Paddy and I do our real-world test of a Smart Air filter on a polluted day in Beijing.

My guest for today is Paddy Robertson. He and I met on his first night in Beijing, about a year and a half ago. At the time, he was just beginning to study Chinese, and now he speaks the language far better than most foreigners, even among those who have been here for much longer than him. How has Paddy managed to learn Chinese so quickly? One big reason is that he works for Smart Air, which sells affordable air purifiers. His co-workers are Chinese, so he gets to practice the language on a daily basis.

Paddy was a very interesting guest. He has accumulated a broad array of knowledge about China and much of the world. Our hour together flew by. Choose a link below to listen to it in your favorite format:

[Download] [iTunes] [Stitcher] []

Here's a video we shot immediately after finishing our podcast:
* This video may not load in China because it's on YouTube.

Thanks for listening and watching! Did you enjoy our discussion? Hate it? Let me know in the comment section below.

Show Notes:

  • We started our discussion by talking about polychronic and monochronic cultures. Here is a good article that explains the difference between these types of societies, specifically with how they view time.
  • I mentioned The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. Sorry, I couldn't recall the author's name during the recording. This is one of the best books on self-development ever written. It's just as relevant today as it was in 1989, when it was originally published.
  • I also mentioned Gantt Charts. This website has a ton of info on Gantt Charts and how to use them.
  • Here's an explanation of Agile Software Development. Many of these concepts can be applied to a variety of different industries.
  • We discussed the incredible growth of Beijing's subway system. This article includes a gif that illustrates this growth.
  • I talked about the city of Mudanjiang (牡丹江) when I meant to say Zhanjiakou (张家口) in Hebei Province. The two names are so similar, you can easily see how I would confuse them. The Around the World Podcast regrets this error.

Smart Air - Picture of Paddy.
Here's Paddy, having a moment with a Smart Air filter.