No Ordinary Adventure

Travel Stokes with the World's Number One Bucket List Expert

September 08, 2021 No Ordinary Adventure by UnCruise Adventures Season 1 Episode 14
No Ordinary Adventure
Travel Stokes with the World's Number One Bucket List Expert
Show Notes Transcript

For those who love to travel, now feels like a time to get out there more than ever before! There is no magic bullet to when normal will be "normal" but we can talk plenty of travel stokes in the meantime with two adventurers who've been around the world. In this latest episode, Captain Dan talks with Trave Bell, a guy who's made a lifestyle out of a little blue book of travel wish lists! From Juneau to Melbourne the man who is known worldwide as THE Bucket List Guy shares his humor, insights, engaging stories, and truly unique way of travel all distilled into a 30-minute podcast. Trav Bell is an author, podcaster, CEO, travel coach, amateur DJ, and uplifting adventurer. He has plenty of humor and stories to share.  His goal? Making your bucket list happen now and throughout any stage of the pandemic, even in your own town.

We dive into travel, adventure, and the intersection of finding happiness through accomplishing all things small to big.  If you're looking for great travel inspiration and the tools to do it right, this is a no-brainer listen. Stay safe and get outside. We will see you on board!

Follow Trav Bell, The Bucket List Guy on Instagram
Find more at
Get his book (hand-signed) at:
Listen to his podcast:
Become a Bucket List Coach:
What Trav is reading now:  Mindset, Carol Dwick Ph.D

Follow No Ordinary Adventure and UnCruise Adventures:
YouTube: UnCruise Adventures
Enter to win a cruise for two on the UnCruise Adventures website: Enter Now
Find more at

Contact the team at

Want to know more or want to leave us a voice mail for the podcast? Leave us a message here:

Hey adventures. Welcome to the no ordinary adventurer podcast, a place we call home for adventure and the conversations you want to have. We bring you inspiration stories from the field and talk with adventure travelers and industry experts from around the world. This is the place to fill your heart and head with travel knowledge. Now, your host Dan Blanchard, a lifelong Mariner traveler and CEO of UnCruise Adventures, a small boat adventure company defining the UN in UnCruise. Let's get started. Well, another great day to be talking around the world. I'm Dan Blanchard, and I'm a lover of all things, and particularly all things wild as many of you have learned, but today, I've got on no ordinary adventure. A really special guy, proud bell. And if, if there's the term bucket list, if it generated in one place, I believe it started with Travis. That is a big movement across the world. But Travis, I've kind of studied about you and talked to people who know you, man. I mean, blow me away, brother. I feel a lot of kindred heart with you. And I think what you're doing and of course, you're coming to us from Melbourne right now, where I love the fact that we're both wearing jackets, as I'm looking at you. You just got in from your morning coffee. Yeah, I did on from that. Yeah, Dan. Hey, man. Thanks a lot for having me on, man. It's a pleasure and no ordinary adventure. You know, when this lined up, I was like, I can't wait to do this because it's just so aligned with what I do, man. And yeah, I'm from the future. So I'm from I'm from. I'm from Melbourne. It's Wednesday. It's Tuesday. There. It's been one hell of a no ordinary adventure for the last 10 years as 10 plus years is the bucket list guy, that's for sure. Now, I don't think I put it on the map though. There was there was there was a movie that came out. Starring two probably more famous people than me, Jack Nicholson. Don't know if you've heard of him. And this bloke port by the name of Morgan Freeman. Now the crappy thing about this movie the bucket list is the fact that they got given a cancer diagnosis and then they wrote their bucket list, which was stupid. Alright, that's why it's a crap movie. And I always say it's a crap movie because it took them getting a gift giving a used by date for them to ride a bucket this my whole mission man is to, to wake people up before they get given to us by day. I am so down with you and I and I have say I love the movie. But I came to the same result. And I've shared the same thing with my staff and people like I want 70 or 80 years of doing this not to Yeah, hello decayed should have done it beforehand. Sorry. Yeah, it kind of maybe goes along with the fold attitude, you know, when I was growing up the golden years, and you waited for everything to happen in the golden years, and then you died. There crazy. But you know, I'm really curious because, you know, obviously, a lot of people saw the movie, but I think you are the person that is carrying the thought of the bucket list forward in a meaningful way. I mean, how did that all germinate in you? It came about because look, real quick backstory. Dan is is the i's. I've always been an entrepreneur, you know, and I was a jock growing up surfer. I literally am looking at the beach straight after this. I'm going for a surf because the surfs on today it's offshore, it's it's looking really good out there. Lots of swell. So grew up surfing, Surf Lifesaving or being a lifeguard and also as a swimmer. So I was pretty much a jock, as they say America. And that led me to do a physical education degree. This is in the early 90s. And in my third year uni I, I started this single personal fitness training. This is when there wasn't an industry and personal trainers over here. And I was wanting I started with one client ended up with 10s of 1000s of clients around Australia because I was the first to franchise personal training studios in Australia. And that's because someone said you can't franchise it and say well you know, I'll tell you you can't do it. Exactly MAN Yeah, that's don't ordinary adventure. Don't Don't Don't tell me I can't do something. So it grew you know we had so but just me and me we had a big chain of personal training studios grown into a bit of a monster to be honest bit of a breakdown before break through story if you like and I became too much of a lawyer too many toxic people came into my life. One thing led to another and I fell out of love for it. I love helping people but I fell out of love for the business model and there were some quite cancerous people within the organization and just did my head into the point where I just got over it I went into a albeit mile, you know, depression but at that time you And when I, when I when I say mild compared to what I've heard since you know, and but instead of going on heavy antidepressants and basically putting a band band aid over the top of it, I went, you know what I'm going to, I'm going to get to the root cause of what's going on in my head here, because I'm just sort of fascinated by psychology and why not be my own guinea pig. So I made if you put it on a course back then I would have done it or would have run to the back of the room and, or would have run to the back of that room and upgraded and I, I basically, you know, went and did everything I you know, from, from Burning Man to Ayahuasca to walking on fire to all this stuff that you do the work yourself out, and I did. That was about a year and a half into it. A friend of mine said, Hey, why didn't Trove urine all these things, you invested his money? And I did work out some stuff, which was the most important part of it. And he said, Why don't you teach your stuff? Yeah, she said, Why don't you teach it and I went, Ding lightbulb moment helped me compartmentalize and I put on a talk. And they had to pay the 40 people to come to the talk. And I started this is only 10 or 11 years ago. And I started sharing that talk, I started sharing the fact that I had a list to do before I die actually written down since I was 18. It wasn't quarterback at least or anything at that stage was just a list of things. So wherever I went around in uni, and all that shared housing, I had my little blue folder with my list of things to do before I die, it was always my compass. Always the thing that I recalibrated on, it probably kept me alive, to be honest. And I started sharing the fact that I had one of these, this and this and close people, you know, to me, at the time in that room, and no one had in the idea that I did this, and I didn't even share it within I just thought off because everyone did it. You know, why not? And I said to the room, or who's got one of these own, you know, there's lots to do before you die, she written down like out of their head when I was the only freak in the room. And I told him some stories and inspired them. And then Joe, one of the participants said, How's it this list to do before you die stuff at the end, she said this, like the back of the show, like the back of this guy. And I went ping lightbulb moment, all the planets, all that all that align then. And I went home that night and registered the bucket list And I've been doing that ever since then it was you know, really a tipping point for me to D franchise, the personal training side of things. Go online, get rid of the bricks and mortar businesses, Tim Ferriss had just come out with his four hour, frickin workweek book, and he was running everything from a hammock in Thailand. So I'm thinking, That sounds pretty good compared to what I was doing. So I went you know, only go online, I knew for me that I could, as a speaker help one to coach one to many from stage. So it's kind of ticking that box. And back at this was just how I viewed my world. That's always been how I looked at life is like, you know, this bucket, this thing isn't just about taking a whole bunch of cool stuff off. It's really about how we reverse engineer every aspect of our lives in order to make this stuff come to fruition. It's a growth of us on this journey towards these self imposed destinations, right. But most importantly, it's about the US the bigger version of you that exists on the other side of your bucket this and this the person that we don't know yet. So I've always been fascinated with that, with that growth. And that potential that sits on on the other side. So as a result, the bucket this guy was obviously going to be getting more attention than Trove Bell online, no one knew who the hell was this guy? And here I am. I love it. What a great story. I mean, you know, so I totally get the part about you know, when you were talking about coaching earlier on, and you had the brick and mortar and, and, you know, lawsuits and legal things. All right. Well, yeah, I mean, I got a lot of brick and mortar except it floats. It's like, for me, it's like a floating beautiful lodge at sea. Yeah, you just go to different mountain every day. As per you you've got this thing going where, you know, it's kind of ideal and maybe looking at from a business standpoint. I mean, how long did it take after you kind of realized that the bucket list was gonna be something called before it really took off and became a business that was, you know, good for you. Yeah, it's a really good question, man. And I didn't exactly know how I was going to monetize it at start. I just saw my limiting belief is why the hell would anyone need someone like me to tell them how to write a bucket list? But dude, I've been doing this for over 10 years now. The fact is that as I've got into it I've kind of kind of reverse engineered the brand and I've really you know, and now we've got like, like scaling it out now we've got certified back at this coaches in 22 countries around the world of which I'm the CEO of thank God I went I always say to other thought leaders pick a highway then pick a lane and own the line could have been the fears guy I love motivating people inspiring goodness for all it didn't personal training essentially. But back at this was just more congruent with who I am and it gave me license you know, to run around the world do ship ship and and Daniel love this and write it off on tax. Oh my gosh, now that's not a bad way to live. Still do still to this day. My accountant says trovi not as dumb as your look. I said know exactly what your mouth but exactly. If it's if it's true with you, it certainly is true with me I was really good at what I did. But I didn't really have that full concept of the advantages of a business. And it's gonna feel right it's gonna feel congruent. It's gonna take you your internal rulebook, which is your values, and I think in our in a deed, but there is method to the madness, you know, one is, is, in my studies, I put I studied a lot of positive psychology, right and positive Psych is all about helping people find more experience more meaning purpose and fulfillment, more gratitude and your life. Yeah, and, and that is the cure to the mental health disease, right there. Unless you put drugs over the top of it. But it so I've, instead of going around on positive side, now I just put the brand back at least over the top of it because it made them more palatable, more tangible. But it's basically what I teach is positive psychology. If I want to help, you know, which we have, we've helped kids we've helped, you know, older adult with, you know, back at this is cool. And it's more than just just a lot more me and so I can talk about this. I don't know how long your podcast is membered I can talk about this all, you know, flat out. And we might have a, b and c, then what we have for three sessions here, man, it'll lay this will end up as the Dan and Trevor show. The but you know, at the end of the day, I think that that's that's the signposts, right? If this thing's can grow in, if your thing is congruent, if anyone else's thing is congruent with them, and they can't shut up about it, and they see the world through through it, it is their lens, then there's something in it. So I really didn't know, I knew that being a speaker was my main modality of choice to get out there and my way of getting this message out there and I love you know, love going love going and this is what I miss, you know, with Corona and all that sort of stuff happening is you know, how the travel industry, you know, I did, there wasn't a lot of freedom, you know, building a bricks and mortar kind of business and all my mates, you know, they traveled around the world and did that. And I didn't do that much of it. So for me, it is freedom for me to go to away a conference and stay in some random place and, you know, wherever in the world, you know, become friends with with audience members and meet new people and new experiences, new adventures, and the fact that I could rock up, get paid pretty well for an hourly keynote presentation that most people would probably get paid in the months and then piss off and then go and do something on my bucket list. Not the worst world No, is a hashtag first of all problem right there. I love it. I love recognizing it. So let's talk a little bit more maybe pull the string on the business side a little bit more. So as an example, you know, my company UnCruise Adventures, we have some brands we're connected with we were connected at the hip with a company called Rei in the states here it's the largest outdoor outfitter in the nation. And we just set up a brand we're hooked up with called Iron Man, which is worldwide. And yeah, I mean, these are, you know, brands that represent my company and, and the type of eco that we carry forth, right. I'm curious for the bucket list. You must have worked with a lot of different companies and entities. I mean, are there some that you just kind of from day one connected with and still today are just like going gangbusters with the same ethos that you're, you're carrying forth? My dad is an interesting question because I really haven't. I've been approached by a heap of people and I've said no to the majority because of, of just some misalignment I'm very, very, very protective of my personal brand. Yeah, as you would be. And when you build, I mean, I in this day and age, with influencer marketing, I don't know that 30 Or not 20,000 people on Instagram, you know, like, in, you know this many people in our database, blah, blah, blah, you know, the reach is pretty good. But you're putting that you're staking all that on on another person's brand. And if you see something pop up in the news that could affect you, yours that I've built 10 years doing? Yeah, yeah, you know what, I'll just say no, I don't need that many extra. I don't, I don't just don't need it, I'm pretty good. Like it is. And so there has to be a really, really strong connection with the owner, with their mission with their values with their team, not just something that that's in it for me, or that I can do. So I've done some app, I've done some app stuff. I mean, I've done some some travel stuff, but not that much. But yeah, it's probably more and more cautious as the years is going on. I really don't need it. I don't personally need it. But you know, always open to opportunity. Yeah, but more I do stuff probably more as a joint venture these days than a straight up, you know, spokesperson or something. So we're doing then a lot of stuff in charity for nonprofits and, and aligning my brand with with non for profits. So that stuff would get behind, you know, willy nilly every time, you know, and especially, you know, in the in the cancer space, because that's what the whole thing is about, and Depression Initiative, suicide initiatives, these sorts of things. So it's, it's interesting, it's an interesting world, you know, the influencer world and I mean, there, I've got a lot of other people that are no online that have just align themselves with everyone and trying to flog everything, and it's like, well, it just waters down their own brand really quickly. Yeah, it's easy to lose the message if you don't, and particularly when the message is you in so many ways that you as an individual, and I can quickly get that I as you were sharing our crystal, I want to say thank you. I mean, thank you that you're doing so much for nonprofit, I'm a firm believer that way as well. And, you know, our world needs more of that. So we appreciate Yeah, yeah. So I mean, you know, if you're looking you know, it kind of how things have developed for you over the years I mean, is there kind of a trap mantra is I mean that you have just personally not not even a business just you as a as a human being. were planted on kind of what keeps you ticking through now 10 years of this and then a previous life and these questions, these are heavy, heavy hitting questions. You know, like be the best me I can be while I'm Yeah. You know, like liver, liver regret free life rather than regret full life. And I guess the more I do this, the more congruent with a true me I really am. You know, it's just, I, I'm reading Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck at the moment, and the book. And it's about you know, the fixed versus growth mindset. And growing in our like, I'm just ticking all the boxes growth mindset, because, you know, I love love learning and love seeing where I can go next. So becoming even more of a Yes, man, you know, and seeking adventures seeking opportunities. You know, it's not just it's certainly not just about travel travel is one component of this of this thing. And I've done a lot of media lately. It's, you know, about, you know, what is the bucket this guy do when he's not traveling? If you've read the book and saying, the same the back of it, there's a 12 letter acronyms that says, My bucket list and travel is short, it's big on everyone's bucket list. But it's not everything. So it gives people the opportunity to try new things to experiment, have their own little mini adventures, be a tourist in your own hometown first while we're locked down versus the big Machu Picchu or Alaska trips to do you guys, you know, all that sort of stuff. It's, it's, it's about choosing happiness, intentionally designing happiness into your life. Unfortunately, a lot of people are just busy being busy that they forget about their bucket list until it's too late. So, you know, out of this, I just encourage people to either yes, grab a book read, you know, have a look at the TED talk or, or whatever but but actually brought this stuff down, maybe for the first time, write it down, and then send it to Dan and myself. for accountability purposes. We want to see it. We want to see it. We want to keep your up If you don't send it and I look, that's, that's what it's about, right? That's what it's about. And and I'm doing, um, you know, one of the things that I'm doing on my web still got some restrictions here in Australia. And I'm like a cage monkey. So when I've been traveling solidly for 10 years, and I've got to get up your way, I mean, it's killing me. But at the end of the day on, you know, one of the challenges one of the ultimate challenges I've set for myself risk is I'm reading 52 books in a year. I'm learning I'm learning Spanish. Learning how I'm 48 I think, I think I'm 48 I think I'm 48 but I'm learning to be a DJ awesome, grow up my grow up. Oh, my head, I would love that. So as a reward for myself for getting this book out at the end of last year, is that's been 10 years in making. That was a thank you COVID actually got me to sit still for a while get thing done. But getting that done. And then I rewarded myself with buying a four channel mixing desk desk for being a DJ. And, and learning how to do that. I don't know whether I'm going to be you know, in AI booth or any anytime soon headlining Vegas or anything. I don't think that's the goal, but just to be able to learn, learn new skills and be open to learning and opened open to growing because, you know, then you've come across it. People are dying at 40 and being buried at 80. All the time. All we know, you'll know the sheeple we know the sheeple. Yeah, we know, we know that people should be going on your adventures now. Not later on. Well, I'll tell you, you're gonna have a huge impact amongst us Americans for a couple reasons. One, we all need to hear this message. But this one's totally off base, but I'm just going to tell you you know how long it's been since we've heard a good Ozzy accent? Night. I'm just telling you a trap. You know it since the days of Paul Hogan. And all that stuff. Americans just love Ozzy's. Right. You don't drink fosters, either. Just quietly, we don't call them shrimps. Well, you know, it's one of the we, in my business, we have a lot of Aziz, come and visit us in Alaska. And, you know, let me tell you where we are missing the life of the party. And we're missing the accent. And it's also the Irish right? Oh, I let me tell you, brother. Good stuff. Yeah, it's seriously, it's good to hear good odds dx. And I'm sure a lot of our listeners are going to be thinking the same thing. If you're looking down to that, I mean, you know, obviously, things are pretty locked up now at the Delta variant and all that going on. And you know, it's pretty much as you said, traveling country and for my longtime girlfriend and I, we probably put something on our list that we never thought we do, which was like so many people, we got a puppy was on our bucket list. And we're loving it. Oh my god, I can't tell you how much we're loving it. But you know what, once we open up I mean, what's going to be different for you in life of the seven wonders of the world. I've still got Petra in Jordan. And I've still got Rio de Janeiro big Jesus to knock off my bucket list and so so they're the kind of immediate travel ones, but it's also about facilite like you do it's probably less about me it's all about we now because I've I've got the means I've got the means to be able to travel you know travel around the world you know travel around the world and and do my thing. I still got I'm still at stand up comedy routine, which I'm avoiding like the plague and I'm clubs on open so that's my big big excuse. Do you reckon I'm avoiding it? Oh God, where is that night that scares the enemy. I've jumped out of planes have run marathons have done Ironman, and all sorts of stupid stuff and stand up comedy scares that. Well, you know what, when the day comes, we meet in person you never know I might just force you into that spot want to break through new ground together? Tell you what that'll be a median unfriend. Right there if you were, if you're like me, half the time when I'm telling comedy. I give the punch line away right away and then tell the joke. Yeah, let's see. So now that's probably the scariest you know, thing I'm about but it's about like, you know, my partner Tracy. She she hasn't traveled a lot. The kids haven't traveled a lot as well and I want to make their adventure you know? their adventures come to life as well. And you know, and other people's, you know, but it's about building legacy. It's about doing, you know, doing more, you know, more charity, charity stuff kayaks for others, you know, but the trouble is always going to be there, isn't it? One way or another? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I've still got a bunch of states in America, I've got to go to I've still got to get up to Canada, you know, there's that there's a whole bunch of things are still going to do. And I really do miss that. And, you know, there's, there's nothing better than, you know, rocking up in a place in the world on I missed this really like part of trouble, right? I'll be really specific. I'm a coffee, coffee nerd. You know, being in Melbourne, mister. That's the cultural hub, we like to call it of Australia. And there's nothing better and I really do miss this as is flying in your place, getting some coffee and catching up on your sleep. Getting up in the morning seeing the hustle and bustle of a new new place that you are in the world, being a bit of a you know, being a local going to finding a local coffee shop, you can sit down and people watch and enjoy that first cover, wherever you are in the world, watch the world go by and be introduced to that, you know, to that part of the world and to that language maybe into that those that culture that people and I really do miss that. That's that's part of travel that I really love. And although it seems small, that's just I think that's the Yeah, meeting new people as well. That's what it's that's what it's all about. And the human experience is about being around and connecting with strangers with with new people and new new new adventures in saying yes, yeah, we're no kidding. I mean, it's the it's the essence of life. I think for most of us that percent, have found that bucket list, whether it comes in heartfelt things or travel or whatever. Yeah, it is the essence. Yeah, yeah. 100%, that that's what I miss. And that really, overall, it helping, you know, this whole message is about helping people out of where they are, they're not on the treadmill. And I hope that Corona is, you know, taught some people. You know, I think we've we've all been given permission to take these big global deep breath in and recalibrate. Yeah, there's a lot of people who have quit jobs. There's a lot of people who started side hustles there's a lot of people that have gone you know what, I'm not happy in this relationship. I want to do more of this and less of this. And from what I hear a lot of people have recalibrated, which has been a good that have come at this come out of this is Miss. Yeah, I think so too. And let's just hope that that changes our world makes it a more loving, peaceful place. I know a lot of my listeners, which is a lot of the UnCruise family of guests that we've had for 25 years. You're preaching the right word to us, brother, you really are. This is the kind of thing we live in. It's our vibe and I mean, how can they get in touch with me? What's the best way? Oh, my, you know, like, well, I've I've done my marketing pretty bad, my social media pretty bad if you can't find me and just google me if you can't Trove Belva bucket list guy but they can go to the bucket lists and find you know, find more there if they want to grab a book sure go to the bucket list forward slash book and I'll send over a signed copy as well. The old Sharpie has been getting a workout lately which has been but yeah man like in people you know, like I'm serious to like I want people to actually stop now. Not wait until later on. And here's the thing what's easy to do is easy not to do. So we need to stop put some time in your diary this week this weekend. And and give it an hour go through the book go through the TED Talk ordered on Amazon whatever but use it as a guide. The my bucket list blueprint will help you unpack go north south east west in your own brain and help you extract and articulate this personally meaningful and holistic list. And the sooner you do this, the better then once you've done it, it's all well and good having it just sit there and then you'll put it away somewhere but then you send it to Dan or you send it to me Trev at the bucket list. There you go. Plus, I'm looking for book number two hearts I'm looking for 365 bucket lists from people around the world. Okay, well I'll tell you if the opportunity comes to have you up in Alaska or we can cut loose or eating I'll tell you one area that and I'm I'm an Alaska boy through and through I wasn't raised here but I this is my my home. Are you an Alaskan? Are you in Alaska now? You're coming right from my dock in Juneau, Alaska. Wow, that was so cool. And we're entering into the late summer and start to get a little darker Northern Lights pretty much every night when it's clear. And when you get up there. Oh, yeah, yeah, they generally start in late August, mid August. And we usually have them in the early part of the season and April and May two. So it's, it's Yeah, so I want to say, do you have now walls? That's a little farther north in Alaska. So huge. Yeah. Yeah, it's a that's about 1500 miles north of here. See, I'm trying. I'm Australian, I've got no idea what you could have said, yeah. Right now, really? Well, you know, another place near you that I try to get to as often as I can. And I need to take Megan soon as the Solomon Islands, some of the remote areas of the Solomons or you know, the Pacific 100 years ago, so maybe if I get over your way we can meet there. And if you get over my way, we'll be in Alaska, do same crazy boat, bring the boat, bring it on. Now, tell you what, if I'm going to do it, I'm doing it with you. And I want to get out there and I want the local to want a local to show me everything I want to see. I want to see everything that Alaska offers, that's for sure. Well, and the jacket I'm wearing right now this emblem on the gas can't necessarily see it. But you can this is dated iAk out of about 500 miles north of here. Yeah, just I mean, it's Alaska is a really strong native communities and just unbelievable beauty. It travels. Thank you so much for coming on. I'm glad we finally connected. Thanks for finding a way to meet with me. I really appreciate it. Hi, again, thanks a lot for having me on. And, you know, I start to start to do round two whenever you want. It. Sounds good. And three and four. Anyway, thanks throughout. This has been Dan with no ordinary adventure and we look forward to talking to you in the future. Thank you. Thanks for listening to no ordinary adventurer sharing locally harvested stories about adventure. Be sure to subscribe leave a review, tell a friend and help spread the word. We are a community of nature lovers, intrepid travelers and outdoor adventurers mostly from the comfort of a small boat and we want to spread our love of this fascinating planet. That's it for this episode. Now get inside