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About Bridget Phetasy and what we cover
She was nearly murdered in Sri Lanka. She accidentally joined a sex cult in Australia.
When she was a child, all Bridget Phetasy wanted to do was travel and write. It mostly worked out. These days, Bridget is a successful political pundit, writer, comedian, YouTuber, and just a generally silly person who says important things. But there was a day not so long ago when she was struggling with addiction and alcoholism and failing to find her footing. She filled the void with drugs and sex. Later, she filled it with solo travel. She traveled around the globe: to Sri Lanka and India, to Australia and New Zealand.
Somewhere in between, she found her sober self. She hustled all the while and built the brand we know and love. And, then, she met her husband in recovery. They were engaged and married and, in November of 2020, they spent their honeymoon on the savanna in South Africa, in the world-famous Kruger National Park. This interview is the story of Bridget Phetay's life - of overcoming obstacles - through the lens of her travels. Enjoy.
Weird trivia and stuff Will wants to say
- Oh hi there. This is a new look for us, huh? Welcome to the very first interview from the Baggage Claim podcast. If you're new here, this is normally an immersive storytelling show designed to transport you to another world. I recommend starting here if you're curious.
- Today's guest is Bridget Phetasy. She's absurdly badass and it's kind of silly that she agreed to talk to me. She's been on the Joe Rogan Experience, Glenn Beck, Rubin Report and more. She hosts her own show, Walk-Ins Welcome (available wherever you get your podcasts) as well as the Dumpster Fire YouTube show, which is absurd and amazing. All the links for all the things are down below.
- I'm hilariously quiet in this interview. It was my first time interviewing (eh second time but the real-life order doesn't matter) and Bridget's a professional comedian. So I shut up.
- The blog - and my writing muscle - is about to get way more active. I'm moving away from seeing Baggage Claim purely as an art project. This is moving into a full-clip mission-driven operation. The interview component is a big step in that direction. Authentic Travelers is, too. But really, it's about ideas. I'll see you over there soon.
- I'll say a whole bunch of stuff in this section so this is a good place to spend time. That said, make sure you subscribe on your favorite platform so you remember to come back. Especially subscribe on YouTube, for two reasons:
- I can do fun things with interviews on YouTube that I can't do on the normal podcast feed. The obvious one is that I can include video, but I can also chop up the show into fun bite-sized bits. I can pull interesting 1- or 5- or 10- or 30- minute segments and share them. I can do all of this without making the podcast RSS feed look like I vomited meatball pizza (real thing that happened to me - they rolled down the hallway). So anyway YouTube's gonna be helpful.
- If you're here, you're probably either new to Baggage Claim or you already listen/subscribed on some streaming platform or another. I know this because I have thousands of subscribers and listeners in those places. Want to know how many YouTube subscribers I have? At the time of this writing, 22. That's because I haven't used the YouTube page, so that's my fault. But that's changing now. So yeah. Go subscribe please.
- Bridget is so unbelievably open-minded and open, generally, but I think it's important not to confuse openness with a lack of shame or thoughtfulness. I sense her (both in this conversation and elsewhere) making the conscious decision to be willing to share. On some level, she's just the way she is. But it's quite clear to me that she has the comedian's instinct to turn her pain into story and humor. She consciously shows up like that every day. I think it's beautiful and worth celebrating.
- On that note, I deliberately opened the interview portion of this show with Bridget for exactly the reason that she's this open. I'm hitting you - right upfront - with how things are going to be around here when it comes to interviews. This is a place to be authentic and real. That's basically all I care about.
- Spending time judging humans negatively instead of learning from them is a big fucking waste of time. I don't recommend it.
- Interesting tidbit - I actually don't love travel that much. I mean... I do. My whole podcast tells the story of travel's impact on me. I get that. But I didn't spend all this time building Baggage Claim to be a travel influencer or anything along those lines. I did it because travel makes for a really interesting plot device. When I use the word "travel," I generally mean something that sounds a lot like forcing yourself to the bottom of a new learning curve, looking up and realizing all this stuff - this experience and this knowledge that you just don't have. And then trying to fill in the blanks. When you do that, you discover a lot about who you are. That's what Baggage Claim has always been about, and that's what the interviews are going to be about. It's about discovering who people are by putting them in weird, interesting and usually uncomfortable situations where they're forced to make discoveries about themselves and the world. So yeah I don't really give a shit about the Eiffel Tower (except where it intersects with the above).
- I've had this awkward thing happen quite a bit recently. I run in a few circles of travel influencer types. Sorta hard not to. Clubhouse is one of the main places, as is Instagram. Everyone wants to be a guest. I've said no to about three dozen people so far. I'm specifically looking for people for whom travel is a learning curve. People monetizing travel generally aren't the right types of folks. I'm looking for people who are badasses in other walks of life and have some interesting part of their life tied up in the learning curve above. When I do talk to travelers (Jon Krakauer is my dream guest, so if you know him...), the conversation will focus on the human element - people they met or ways their mindset changed.
- You'll notice a theme to many of my early guests. They're all these independent thinker types who run in a very similar circle. They're all a bit controversial in that they're heavily anti-cancel culture and they're generally politically active (they're mostly all recently homeless Democrats who don't love the current direction of liberal politics). I know in my bones I have a good reason for this and I know I'm going to articulate why pretty soon, but hang with me until I can find the words.
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Bridget Phetasy in her natural habitat