Category: The Journey

Aliza Hava – Into the Light

Aliza is making her second appearance on the show.  We first spoke back in January and talked about the healing power that music has.  Feel free to listen to that conversation by clicking here.

In this episode, we really focus on talking about her new album that is scheduled to be released in the coming months. “Into the Light.”

This album is deeply personal for Aliza.  She has used music to help her overcome the trauma of an abusive childhood.  It was a healing journey for her, and she hopes that it can be used by others in their own healing journeys.  The album was produced by multi-platinum Grammy-winner Mikal Blue, who is best known for his work with Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, and OneRepublic.  The album is a body of work, which features ten songs that take the listener on a soulful journey from darkness, “Into the Light.”

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Roy Coughlan – Mission Driven

Roy is a podcast coach and hosts six different podcasts.  I was honored to be a guest on his show back in March of 2023 and love that I am able to have him as a guest on my show now.

More importantly, Roy approaches life with a mission driven philosophy.  He understands that it’s more important to make the world a better place as opposed to just trying to acquire and material things in his lifetime.  Focusing on gratitude, he understands the benefit of always being present in the current moment.

Roy helps people create a podcast and get into the top 10% of Podcasts.

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Pay it Forward

One of my mother’s favorite movies was “Pay it Forward.”

She lived her life in a fashion where giving back and paying it forward were at the forefront of everything she did.  Whether it was when she was volunteering at ground zero after 9/11, or in Florida with the Salvation Army and its Hurricane Relief efforts, helping a friend stay sober, volunteering with the Florida Attorney General’s Rape crisis network, or just helping a friend put shingles on his roof, she always had time to lend a hand.

It was her influence that instilled a drive in me to always want to help others.

So, it’s with that spirit of giving that I am excited to introduce the “Pay it Forward Book and Literacy” program.

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Brittany & Cody Holifield (Halls Top Hangout) – A New Chapter

A lot has changed for them over the past couple of years, and they are about to start a new chapter.

Hitch to Hitch is changing to Halls Top Hangout.  What is Halls Top Hangout, you ask?  It’s a brand new off-grid adventure camp in the beautiful East Tennessee Mountain town of Hartford.

Hartford, Tennessee is located about an hour from Knoxville, Ashville, and Gatlinburg, on the edge of the Cherokee National Forest.  

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Youk’s Last Ride

It was a hot day, but we were very excited to be on a volunteer project again with many of our fellow RV friends.  Mainly because of my book signing schedule, we hadn’t worked a volunteer project since September of 2022, so this had been a long-time coming.

As Youkilis has aged, he really minded hot weather.  He would lay around on hot days and not move much at all.  This is the way that he was when we arrived at the project.  It was the third day in a row of pretty hot weather, so Sandy and I really didn’t think much of it.  We just told him that tomorrow would be cooler.

After we had our volunteer meeting and tour of the project facility, Sandy, Youk, and I went over to sit and talk with our friends, Jennie and Eric, who we’ll be traveling through Canada and Alaska with this summer.  Youk got his customary pets and love when we first got over to their rig, but it didn’t take him long to just settle and lay down while we chatted.  It was starting to cool down, so I thought that we were on the home stretch and he’d be back to his old self soon.

When we started to pack our chairs up and head back to our rig for the night, Youk couldn’t get up on his own.  I helped him up, but again, didn’t think too much about it and just figured that he was still just beat from the heat that we had experienced over the past three days in the desert on our way to the project.

Monday morning when we woke up, he was laying in the exact same spot where he was when we went to bed.  Normally, he would change locations during the night.  If he went to bed near the hallway, many times he would be sleeping by the couch in the living room or in front of our bathroom door in the hallway when we got up.  That was just his routine.  When I told him to get up so that we go potty and eat breakfast, he tried, but could not get up on his own, just like the night before at Eric and Jennie’s rig.  Now we were starting to get concerned. 

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Billy Lahr – Live More Intentionally

In 2021, Billy was one of 47 million Americans who quit their jobs due to burnout and priority re-evaluation.  Following the challenges our nation’s educators faced during the pandemic, he no longer had the passion needed to work with high school students.  For the next two years, he traveled all over the world in search of meaningful experiences to reignite his passion for helping others.  Throughout his journey, he met many incredible people along the way, and he shared with them how his mindfulness practice not only changed his life but most likely saved it as well.  When he opened up about his own mental health struggles, he found that people all over the world were also re-evaluating their priorities in life but just needed guidance to do so more intentionally and mindfully.

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Tracy Tanguay – Time to Rethink Youth Sports

Tracy is also passionate about changing the current culture that has developed throughout youth sports.  This is something that really resonates with me because I saw firsthand how the approach to youth sports has changed over the 30 years that I had been involved.  Sadly, that culture shift has not been for the better.  We have shifted from a team mentality to an individual focus.  Sport specialization at a young age is becoming more and more prevalent, which is leading to more injuries at younger ages.  The increase in injuries early the current MLB season could arguably be attributed to early sport specialization, too many pitches on too little rest at a younger age, and max-effort performance.

Tracy is an expert in her field, so she is speaking from a professional perspective as well as a concerned mom.  Our shared opinion is that we need to focus more on teaching the fundamentals, letting the kids have fun playing the game, and falling in love the sport as opposed to chasing weekend trophies, and a win at all cost approach.  We also agree on the fact that kids should multiple sports for as long as they possibly can.

Sports have a wonderful way of teaching us life lessons, the key is that we have let the game teach those lessons.

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Emma Rowena – Embracing Peace in the Journey

Emma Rowena is a musician, performer, intuitive reader, healer, meditation guide, and emerging social entrepreneur, helping people find peace, purpose, and healing in their lives.

Emma was born in the UK, grew up in Norway, and has lived in Cuba and the USA. With her bilingual and bicultural heritage, Emma never felt quite at home in one place – she always felt more part of the greater world, and the years abroad helped her connect to her energy and colours. Inspired by her music-loving, piano-playing father, Emma studied to be a classical pianist. For nearly two decades she made her living teaching children to play the piano, and performing with some of Norway’s most renowned singers and soloists.

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Shane Anderson – Music for the Soul, on the Road

They draw inspiration from the incredible adventures they experience all across North America in their converted school bus/home. Their unique journey inspires the ambient folk sound that captures the serenity of the Western vistas, the rhythms of the Eastern coastlines, and the brilliance of the national forests. They express their passion for life through music and invite listeners to travel along with them by listening to the intricate instrumentation, layered harmonies and lyrics that tell their stories.

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One of the things that my mother was notorious of was always wanting to surprise people.

Her entire life, she really seemed to enjoy surprising others.  On her travels, she brought this to an entirely different level.  She would simply show up on the doorsteps of friends and family who had no idea that she would be there.  This was long before the days of social media, so in most instances, people had no idea that she was in the area.  Many times, they didn’t even know that she embarked on her solo road trip across the country.

I did a leg of that trip with her down the east coast from Pennsylvania to Florida between my Junior and Senior year of high school.  On just that short span, she thought that it would be a great idea to stop and surprise my cousin, Paul, or “Tink” as we still called him.  He was a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, stationed at Quantico.  Sure enough, she thought that it would be “neat” to show up unannounced on his doorstep at about 7:15 in the morning.  We arrived in his driveway, and the debate started.  She wanted me to go up and ring his doorbell and tell him that I was lost.  I said, “No way!”  Tink was the oldest of our cousins on my mom’s side, and to say that he was an intimating figure would be an understatement of epic proportions.  He was a former Division I college football player and as I had mentioned earlier, currently a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.  I hadn’t seen him since I was probably about 11 or 12 years old.  The thought of a soon to be 17-year-old kid with a mullet waking up a Marine at 7:15 AM by ringing his doorbell just didn’t seem like it would end well for said soon to be 17-year-old with a mullet.

However, debating with my mother was rarely a winnable task, so, there I was walking up to Tink’s door, stopping and turning around and seeing my mother, then continuing what would surely be my death walk to the front door.  I sheepishly rang the doorbell and anxiously waited for my certain demise.

Tink answered the door in his gym shorts and torn up t-shirt and went about the routine saying that I was lost as my mom quickly sprung out from around the corner, yelling, “Well I figured if you wouldn’t be able to make it to the family reunion, we had to stop by and see you on our way to it!”

“Aunt Loretta! …and is this, Danny!?  Oh my God, you’re so big now!”  Tink exclaimed.  “What a great surprise!  What are you guys doing here?”

There it was, she did it. Tink was so happy to see us.  He immediately invited us into the house and introduced us to his wife and stepson, who neither of us had even met yet.  I can only imagine what they may have been thinking at that moment.

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