Joanne has traveled to 83 countries and 47 states in flip flops. She is the host of the travel podcast Backpacker Flip Flops which debuted in February 2020 as well as the host to the Instagram travel series #MondayMustSees. Joanne currently lives in New York, but has previously lived in Denmark and Japan as well. She is also a runner and has completed several marathons.
Q: First of all tell us about the start of your podcasting career?
A: For years people said I should write travel books because of all of the unique stories I had about traveling around the world, but I felt that something was lost on the pages. This past December I went to the Middle East for vacation and put hours of podcasts on my phone, and one day in Dubai it all clicked that I could make a travel podcast! When I returned to the United States, I spent the next few weeks launching a website and learning how to record and publish a podcast, and in February 2020 I launched my first episode.
Q: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
A: The best advice I could give is to accept nothing will ever be perfect. If you wait for the perfect conditions and perfect situations, you’ll just work on creation and never actual implementation. Trust yourself that very good is good enough!
Q: When you decide it’s time to make a new podcast, is that more exciting or stressful?
A: It’s so stressful, but an exciting stressful if that makes sense. Because I talk about places around the world, I really want to capture the local experience and be respectful of the area and people I am talking about. It may be the first time a person is hearing about a place or experience, and I want to be careful to be sensitive when sharing the honest truth.
Q:How do you like to be managed? What sort of management style gets the best out of you professionally?
A: I do the best when I am trusted to get things done, with light accountability. I do not like deadlines because some things can get done quickly and other items need more time, and I work best with flexibility. I like that both traveling and podcasting offer independence along with goals.
Q: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
A: A quote I live by is ‘The woman you are becoming will cost you people, places and material things – choose her over everything!’ It can be hard to give up on some things like some non-encouraging friendships or wanting to buy frivolous things, but have found that by surrounding myself with the ‘right’ friendships and opportunities, my mind is a lot more at peace and I end up having better experiences and meeting so many incredible people!
Q: What is your favorite place?
A: I think my favorite place to visit is Berlin, Germany – though my answer changes between a few other cities pending my mood! I’ve been visiting Berlin for almost 15 years and have seen the city change so much while still finding reminders of the past.
Q: What are your future goals ?
A: Shortly before COVID happened I set a goal to visit 100 countries and all 50 states in flip flops before I turn 40, and I am still hoping to achieve that goal. I will also be launching Season 2 of my podcast in the upcoming weeks!
Q: What was your most memorable podcast to date?
A: My most memorable one was my very first episode, talking about visiting Otto Frank’s private office in Anne Frank’s ‘Secret Annex.’ Aside from the ‘Wow! I really did this!’ feeling, I had so many people reach out to me and say how much the episode meant to them, how they now wanted to visit Amsterdam to see it in real life, and how it made them re-read the ‘Diary of Anne Frank.’
Q: How can we follow you on social media?
A: You can connect with me on Instagram @backpackerflipflops or my website backpackerflipflops.com.