Connecting people through cross-cultural, shared desires and insecurities

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In this often divided world, what do we need in order to come together so that we can collectively work towards a more sustainable future? Across cultures and language barriers, what are some universal truths about happiness that we can learn and implement? 

Sharing her wisdom with us today is filmmaker and host of her own lighthearted documentaries on culture, happiness, and sustainability, Alison Teal of Alison's Adventures. She's been named "The Female Indiana Jones" by TIME Magazine and "The Oprah of Adventure" by Huffington Post, and has also been on the Discovery Channel TV show, Naked and Afraid, where she firsthand experienced the serious issue of plastic pollution even on secluded islands. Let's dive in.

This is a conversation on Green Dreamer Podcast with Kaméa Chayne, a show exploring environmental and intersectional sustainability from ideas to life. Subscribe to Green Dreamer on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app and let’s learn what it takes to thrive in every sense of the word!


[2:44] What first inspired Alison's passion for the environment. 

[5:13] Kaméa: "At what point did you realize that your upbringing was different than most others'?" 

[6:41] Alison talks about what she calls the disease of 'over-there-itis' and how we always want we can't or don't have. 

[7:23] Kaméa: "What is one of the craziest memories you have from your crazy upbringing and living in the wilderness?" 

[9:56] Alison: "Stories are the fabric of our world and our culture, so we need to keep sharing them.

[10:43] Kaméa: "How do you think your travels have shaped your perspective on the world differently than most other people?" 

[12:41] Alison: "If you're sitting there one day and you're like, I'm never going to heal or I'm never going to be happy or I'm never going to be able to have the life I want... sometimes if you set out on an adventure, you meet another person, you get a new perspective, and then suddenly you realize you can have the life you want and you can become the healthiest, happiest version of yourself.

[13:05] What led Alison to starting her Alison's Adventures

[15:49] Alison: "If we love something, we want to protect it, and I've fallen in love with cultures and places around the world." 

[16:54] Alison's biggest challenge in her work right now. 

[20:16] Alison's advice for someone who isn't happy in their current life situation and wants to travel, but doesn't currently have the means to do so. 

[21:26] Alison: "Having that life experience is better than anything you'll ever read about or see on a social post—you gotta go experience it.

[22:54] Alison: "What I always think about when I enter a room is: every single person there is just as insecure as you are about what you're thinking in that moment, like: What do I look like? Is my work good enough? Am I cool? All those things that usually run through your head when you walk into a room—we are all in the same canoe... So then once you realize we're all in the same boat, it's just about compassion and not caring about the material possessions because nobody has it figured out.

[24:27] Alison shares about the time she asked a shaman from one of the last tribes on earth what the secret to happiness is. 

[26:01] Kaméa: "What do you think it will take to inspire more harmony and connection among humankind, in spite of all of our differences?"   


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Alison Teal


To follow: "I stay out of following things online or social media for inspiration—I try and get out into nature." 

Words of inspiration: "Lots of chocolate, of course. Life is really darn short." 

Health tip: "Surfing!" 

Green tip: "Everything. The plastic thing is such a big issue." 

Element of hope: "Millennials." 

Words of Wisdom: "Live aloha. Smile and talk to people."   

Two Takeaways