S4, E11: The Plus-Size Traveler on a Mission to Change the World

On this week’s episode of Travel Tales by AFAR, Jeff Jenkins—host of the National Geographic show Never Say Never—reminds us that life begins where our comfort zone ends.

On the 11th episode of Travel Tales by AFAR, season four, we travel the world with Jeff Jenkins, host of the National Geographic show Never Say Never.


Aislyn Greene, host: I’m Aislyn Greene, this is Travel Tales by AFAR. In every episode, we hear from a traveler about a trip that changed their life. Plus, this season, I’m sitting down with each storyteller to talk about life’s big travel questions. Well, I’m not really sitting down with them, because I’m recording all this from my houseboat in Sausalito, but you know what I mean.

How often do you travel beyond your comfort zone? I find that for me, it’s gotten easier over time. But I’m always inspired by someone who seeks to remind us that when we challenge ourselves, life gets so much bigger. People like Jeff Jenkins, host of the National Geographic show Never Say Never. For the show, he travels around the world testing the limits of his physical abilities. He’s climbed a tree in the Adirondacks, gone swimming with sharks in Mexico, and done sumo wrestling in Japan. You can find some really fun photos of that on our Instagram. But it’s also a show about accessibility. See, Jeff is the founder of Chubby Diaries, an online community for plus-size travelers. Jeff had an unlikely path toward becoming a travel TV star, as you’ll soon hear, but people really responded to his platform, which he has used to advocate for more inclusiveness in travel media.

And through Never Say Never, as he says in the show, he wants to show people that, quote, “you can look like me and live your best life.”

Well, Jeff, thank you so much for being here. Welcome to Travel Tales.

Jeff Jenkins, TV personality: Well, I’m glad to be here today. It’s [been] a long time coming.

Aislyn: Yes, it sure is. You’ve had a busy summer of travel, that’s what I understand.

Jeff: Yes, I did. Yes, I did.

Aislyn: Are you—you’re home now? Where is home for you?

Jeff: Yes, I’m home in Austin. And this is actually the first time in a while that I’ve been home and I, well, I’ll be here until the end of the month and then I think travel will pick up.

But you know what? Being home gives me time to, like, organize my business and stuff like that. So I’m excited to be home. Literally excited. People ask me, “What is vacation for you now?” I’m like, “Home, like my bed. That’s vacation.”

Aislyn: “My job is travel—being home, that is my vacation.” I get it. I mean, ’cause it’s, it’s a lot of work, right? You’re traveling.

Jeff: Sure is.

Aislyn: So where were you this summer? Were you on a cruise?

Jeff: We were actually supposed to be on a cruise. Didn’t do that. I haven’t, I didn’t go to a lot of spectacular places, but to, I was in New York, like four or five times, L.A., San Diego, a couple of times, New Orleans, Orlando, Tampa. And so nowhere internationally or fun or—well, people say fun. I love traveling around the nation, but I didn’t go anything exotic this time around.

Aislyn: Well, your whole show, Never Say Never, was all about that. I mean, it is a fun show. Would you mind just kind of sharing in a nutshell what it’s about?

Jeff: Yeah. So Never Say Never With Jeff Jenkins is a travel adventure show where I’m traveling around the world, doing all these epic adventures and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. The whole theme of it is, life begins where my comfort zone ends. And so it’s a really inspiring and motivational show to show people that like, “Hey, you can travel and live life now, no matter your size.”

Aislyn: And it’s terrifying sometimes to watch the things you do, like, honestly, even in the first episode when you had to jump backwards when you were doing the, I guess it was the cave.

Jeff: Yeah, the cave. Yes. You know, so many people—I didn’t think that was the, like the hardest thing to do, although it was a little nerve-wracking, but for some reason people was like, “That’s, that’s a never for me, buddy.”

Aislyn: OK. So that’s interesting that that is like something that a lot of people have reacted to. What was the kind of most intimidating moment for you throughout the show?

Jeff: Definitely, definitely climbing the Notch Mountain. First time ever mountain climbing. Like literally, first time ever, like, even remotely trying to do it. Uh, and we’re talking like hands and feet here, guys. And it was, I haven’t seen anybody remotely my size climb a mountain. I’ve only seen straight body, fit people do it. I haven’t seen any medium-sized people do it.

So it’s, it was very nerve wracking because the whole time I was thinking to myself, like, “How am I supposed to get to the top?” And there was times where I wanted to quit, uh, and like the top looks so far away. And the fact that I was able to do it, it was, it was just remarkable, but it was the proudest thing I’ve done, but the most terrifying and daunting thing I’ve ever did.

Aislyn: Do you feel like the show helped push you through it? Like if there weren’t for a camera, would you have said, “OK, that’s good. I’ve done enough.”

Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. I’m going to be honest. Yes. I probably would stop. And I think I would not have even tried some of the stuff that I did, but I literally kept telling myself, and I even said it to myself on the rock, and I think it could have been edited in the show, but I know for a fact, I kept saying to myself, like, “I’m not doing this for myself. It’s to show others that they can do it.” And me putting other people in that place and thinking about it that way, that’s when things change for me. That’s when, like, I have the motivation and encouragement to, like, really go for it.

And so it is other people that encourage me. And so it helps me step outside of my comfort zone because I get to be that representation.

Aislyn: I love that. And, you know, you’ve talked a lot about how, you know, that is part of your journey is, like, making adventure travel more accessible to plus-size travelers.

And I don’t know—that, that kind of hit home for me, too, in your journey through Japan. Was that one of the moments that for you was like—because getting to the sumo event felt like it was a pretty emotional journey for you. Like, were you doing that for people watching? And less for yourself, do you think?

Jeff: Oh, definitely both. Japan still is my favorite country. It was one of our favorite shoots. I think there was just this, this aura or this magic that was in the air for our crew and myself, and it just felt beautiful, but to do those challenges, um, oh man, I, I was thinking about Japan maybe two, three months ahead of time.

I knew what I had to do. I knew I was going to do sumo wrestling. I knew that. That I possibly was going to have to take off my shirt. And I think I even fought it the first time they even mentioned it. I said, “No, no, we won’t be doing that. Like, I don’t want to expose myself in that way.” And so in a lot of ways, there’s, I don’t know, like, I don’t know some of the rationale behind it, but I would say at the end of the day, even if it’s for myself—cause it was fun—I’m glad I did it. It was enjoyable.

I still think about others and to hear how many people have said that that part of me deciding if I was going to take my shirt off and expose—like just show bare skin, like I’ve never done that before—and, and how many people, they can relate to that. And how many people said that they just like straight up just cried because you couldn’t tell what was the challenge. Was it me taking my shirt off or was it I’m doing the sumo match? And so like, it really, it was like two different challenges at once.

And I thought that was beautiful to hear how it resonated with so many people. And that to me, like that’s the moving out of the way kind of thing and not thinking about myself and thinking about others and how I hear—like some guy just said the other day, he was like, “It’s been two decades since I’ve taken off my shirt because I’ve thought about what people would think about me at the, at the beach or at the pool,” or even when they’re his kids. He said his 13 year old would even think about me.

And he said, “I just didn’t care.” And he said, “I looked around and nobody cared. Nobody was paying attention.” And I was like, “Wow, it’s crazy, isn’t it?”

Aislyn: That is so cool. That is really neat. Have you noticed a lasting impact for you within yourself in terms of, like—after recording the first season?

Jeff: Why am I in my feelings today? Wow, who that? Yeah, I have. Like the first thing that came to me is how resilient I am. I realize shooting the show, how much energy and effort and dedication that it takes to make a great quality piece of work. And I put myself—’cause I mean, from all the activities to our, like, the excursions I had to do, like, like we’re doing adventurous stuff here—and I mean, it’s grueling. Like, I mean, my body is, like, bruises for days. There was one moment where I thought I was going to lose my life. To mentally get over all of that, to physically get over all of that and, and keep pushing and driving and have a smile on my face and, and being able to laugh, like all of that, to me, I felt like I was Lionel Messi, in the sense of the caliber of like the energy and the studying that I did, or LeBron James, Michael Jordan, like it was so laser focused. Yeah, I’ve never experienced that myself. I think my crew, they were just amazing. And they just kept telling me, they was like, “Wow, I can’t believe you’re, like, going like this. Like we’re exhausted and you’re like, ‘Let’s go, whatever.’ Like you have a smile on your face.”

And, and that to me just showed me how to be a leader. That was the other thing that I feel I came out of doing this show is like how to lead and delegate well, as I work with 30 people, uh, on a daily basis.

Aislyn: That’s huge. That’s, like, life changing. Have you always been an adventure seeker in terms of your travel?

Jeff: I mean, in my head I thought I was. Yeah, I would say I was adventurous. I think this is one thing that I’ve been learning about myself lately is that my power lies when I can move past my permission stage or the permission, like feeling like I have to ask for permission to do something.

And instead of just taking it on myself and being like, “You know what, I don’t have to ask anybody to go do this, like, I’m gonna just go do it.” And so I think that by itself is adventurous, like, because it opens up the door to do so many other things. And I would say one of the most adventurous things—I don’t even know why I’m going this way with it, but like, I’m telling you—like growing up in the inner city, living in a bubble. Like I’m from Orlando, right? And so it’s still Mickey Mouse country. So there’s like the two sides of, uh, of Orlando. There’s the theme park, Disney side. And then there’s the people that live there. And it’s so many people that have been like, “Wow, I’ve never even thought about people actually living in Orlando.” Yep. We live there.

And so definitely bubbled, um, especially when I started traveling 17 years ago. The reason I was even able to do it, and I was saying that the most adventurous thing that I did was I went to the movie theaters by myself. It was like a sin to go to the movies by yourself. Like when—I remember the first time I told somebody I went to the movies by myself, they said, “You did what?”

It was like, “I didn’t even know people did that. I’ve never done that.” And it was the thing that it taught me in that moment was that, “You know what? It’s OK to go do stuff by yourself. You don’t have to ask for permission.” I still want to experience something. I still want to enjoy something. And this was when I was like 18, 19, when I graduated from high school, I was in college at the time, and it was that that got me to a place of being like, “You know what? I need to step out more. If I have to go do it on my own to experience it, that’s what I’m gonna do.”

And it started, truly started like in college where I was able to do things that I saw in the movies and, and in TV shows like Steve Irwin and like I’m traveling all over. Rick Steves. I’m, I’m, I’m—the things I see in AFAR. Like I was like, “I didn’t know I can even see all of this stuff.” First time I ever got on an airplane was at 20 and it was to go to Japan for the first time. So, uh, 17 years later, I’m still traveling and, and, and wanting to explore.

Aislyn: Just leaving your front door can often be an act of adventure, right? And doing anything by yourself, it is shocking how many times people will say like, “What, you’re going to eat dinner by yourself or travel by yourself?” Like even still. How long were you in Japan for that first trip?

Jeff: Four months. It was, like, the whole entire summer.

Aislyn: What were you doing there?

Jeff: So, yeah, I was contracted through the government. So we used to run child development centers and did summer camps called Camp Adventure, uh, on American military bases. And so they took a thousand students from the nation and took them over to military bases in other countries. And so I was in Okinawa, Japan, and Yokosuka, Japan. Greatest, greatest time.

Like I was like, “Oh my gosh, like what is going on?” Like, like this is, this is outside of just like anything that I thought of, but it was a year in the making. My friend told me about—the day I met her was the day before she was going to Japan to do that program. Yeah. And my brain was—like it exploded. I said, “Wait, timeout, timeout. Tell me.” I was like, “You’re going where?” She was like, “I’m going to Japan.” And I was like, “Japan, Japan?” And this is before Instagram. This is before—Facebook just came out that year. And so you were talking about the only thing I know about Japan is what I read in Rick Steves. Actually, I ain’t even know Rick Steves at the time.

It was something I’ve probably seen on National Geographic. And the thought of her going there, and she was like, she was a young Black 19-year-old girl. I’m like, “Yo, that is—” I was like, “Can I do it?” And so literally I was dead set. Like, “Well, I got to do whatever I have to do to get to Japan.” And to find out it was, like, expense-paid trips.

I think I paid $700 bucks and technically I paid zero because you got a stipend. So I just used that money to actually pay for—so it was like four months in Japan, $700 bucks, everything included, like that to me was just beautiful. And so I, that was something I definitely cherish.

Aislyn: So, I mean, there’s a lot of time that took place between that event and then the show. How did, how did that lead you to the show?

Jeff: Well, I became a high school choir teacher. I did that for nine years. I decided to resign. And because I really wanted to figure out what I wanted to do. I was like, “It’s not teaching. It’s not being in this classroom.” ’Cause one thing I would say is that I felt like I was being stifled from doing the things that I wanted to do. Even with my students, my whole plan was to travel with my kids. Since I was a choir teacher, choir teachers travel all the time. I took 50 kids to New York one time. First time most of them been on the airplane, first time some of them been in a hotel, first time most of them been outside of the state or Austin.

And so, uh, like I was like, “Man, I’ll do this every day with y’all. Like we can go to Spain, we can go everywhere.” Yep. That didn’t happen. Uh, we did go to New York, but that was about it. And then we can only travel around the state. So I was like, “Nah, we got to do more for these kids.”

So I became an entrepreneur and it was my friend who convinced me. He was like, “Bro, you should just go into business for yourself.” And I was like, “I should, huh?” And I started doing Amazon books, uh, like reselling of books. And while I was doing those books, like waiting, cause you have to go to Goodwill and like wait on the books to come out so you can scan them and stuff like that.

And so that could take hours. But one day I sat there and read this book. ’Cause it was just random. Like there’s always books around. So I randomly picked up a book, started reading it and it talked about dreams. And I wanted to put that book down because I knew exactly what it was going to talk about. It was going to talk about me not going for my dreams.

I like, I knew I stopped dreaming. And so it told you, it taught you how to like, not only give yourself permission to dream, but then to dream really big. And then once you dream big to actually envision you having those dreams and then commit to them. And so it was at that moment that I wrote down these 109 things that I wanted to do.

At that time, we had just started a water well project in Rwanda to build water wells. None of us was engineers. Me and my friends did it. It was four of us. I didn’t know how water came out of the ground. And so the fact that we were able to start like a water well project, like take an idea and turn it into something. I was like, “Oh, it’s time to dream really big here guys.” Like it’s, it’s time to go for the gusto. And it was, it, it took three days, but I asked myself the question, “Like if money wasn’t an option, if whatever you were to dream up was to actually happen for you, what would you do?” And then I came to the conclusion of, and it was on the third day, Rwanda is considered the land of a thousand hills or is the land of a thousand hills, and I remember looking out and I was like, “You know what? I want to travel the world, help people, and get paid to do it.”

And it was that day back in 2018, May of 2018, that I committed to becoming a travel blogger or whatever. I was going to figure it out. I found out that becoming a travel blogger and an influencer was one way and even a quicker way to become, like, get paid to travel around the world.

And so that’s what I started. I started Chubby Diaries. I realized that I needed a niche and I realized that nobody was talking about the experience of a plus-size person traveling around the world. And I wanted to find my own lane that I can operate in. And I knew that this was something that these marginalized groups of people—myself—has something to talk about, or like they haven’t been able to see that representation.

And so that’s why I started Chubby Diaries because I wanted to redefine what travel looked like. And I think through all of that, it resonated with people so well. I kept pumping out content. I kept going to every networking travel event I can go to, I started doing consulting. I started meeting with different brands.

I became a journalist. A boy who has friends—or his not friends, his family members, his closest family members—used to pick on because I used to ask them, “How do you spell this word?” Like I could never spell a word right. But who knew that that same guy would win an award for his journalism work, you know? Like, and that, that’s something I even would say with a kid or just even to anybody that like, like, “Man, there’s tools out there. You actually, the power or the greatness in you might not just be on your own. You might need a tool to help you get to the level or to the place that you want to get to, man.” That was with me and my writing. Like, I needed a word processor, you know? And that’s all I needed. So, so it was in that. And that’s when I started getting recognized by a lot of folks.

And, uh, the long story short, uh, yeah, like, I started doing a lot of publications and getting recognized. Travel + Leisure named me one of the most influential people in the travel in the past 50 years. And so to be on that list with Rick Steves and Anthony Bourdain, all of them, like, and so that’s when I felt like I got the call from Nat Geo, or a production company that was commissioned through Nat Geo to create shows. And it was like, “Hey, we want to make a show around you.” And that was back in 2021.

Aislyn: And did you get to pick the places, pick what you were doing? Like, did a lot of that come from you?

Jeff: So I hope that people hear me when I say, go ahead and write your 109 things you want to do before you die. Because all I did was I—my contribution to it, to us picking things and what we did, was based off of my list that I made.

And that was a list that I made a whole, what, three, four years before. How great, like, how crazy?

Aislyn: You manifested it!

Jeff: Come on, how crazy? Like, they was like, “Oh, you want to go hot air ballooning? OK. You want to go to Vietnam? Gotcha.” Like, it was, it’s, it’s, you never know. You never know.

Aislyn: Wow. How cool. How long did it take you to film everything?

Jeff: Eight months, eight months.

Aislyn: OK. And was it pretty nonstop?

Jeff: No, it wasn’t. Oh, it was, it was big time breaks. We shot the first one and then it was like a two-month break. And then we went back. So I’ll do like two episodes and then take a week or a week and a half, two weeks off and then go back. But then when October came, to do the last four episodes, the last four episodes [were] just nonstop from October to December. And then like, there was a break between Japan and Vietnam and, and then we went from Asia to South America. So while we had our week-off break, I decided that I was like, “Why go all the way home? I’ll just go somewhere in South East Asia.” So I ended up going to like, I think, where did I go? Did I go to Malaysia? Yeah, so I went to Malaysia.

Aislyn: Well, what’s next for you?

Jeff: You know, so I’m so excited to be home. So I’m trying to plan my own adventures. I’m trying to take some people with me on some of my adventures and we’re just looking for it. It’s not a matter of if, but when, we have the opportunity to shoot a season two and hopefully we already put some places in there that I think will be really, really fun to go to. And I keep saying in every interview I go on, like you—they were like, “Oh, where would you want to go?” Like, and I tell people all the time: Antarctica.

So Nat Geo, if you hear me right now, Antarctica, that is on my list.

Aislyn: Would you do a cold plunge?

Jeff: Oh, possibly, possibly. No, I would, I would, I’d do it. I’d do it for y’all. That’s, that’s the reason I’ll do it, but no, you, you never know. Like when you do these adventurous things or adventure-seeking, thrill-seeking things, you never know what it teaches you until you do it, you know. And you also find out what you do or don’t like, like you be like, “You know what, I’m good on that one. Like, I did it once and I can’t tell if it really did it.”

Aislyn: “I don’t need to go rock climbing again.”

Jeff: I’ll do the rock climbing again, but I will never cross a suspension bridge again. That was just, that’s just out of the question. Like, I just, I don’t have it in me no more.

Aislyn: And I think it’s good to know, like what your are limits are, you know, to try something and then know, “No. OK. You know what, that’s not for me.” That’s yes, that’s healthy. That’s very healthy. Well, you’ve talked about how your mantra is that life begins where your comfort zone ends. What advice do you have for other people who want to get outside of their comfort zone or maybe are afraid of something?

Jeff: So that, that trip I took to Japan when I was in college, it was there that I actually learned that phrase from one of my mentors, Chris Kasparik, and he’s the one who said it, and so it was one of those things where he said that, like, “You just got to go for it, you know, like think about what your comfort zone is and just be like, you know what? I’m not going to think, I’m just going to do.”

And he encouraged or forced us to do—second day in Japan, he had a whole scavenger hunt for us to do around the city.

Aislyn: Oh, fun.

Jeff: Oh, it sounds fun. Not at first. Not at first. Cause it was like, “I just got there.” I mean, it’s literally the second day there. Like he was like, “All right, we’re going to, you got to go catch a train, catch a taxi, uh, order food from this place. Uh, walk over here to this temple.”

Like, so although I got to explore and see all this stuff and it was fun, but it was, it was terrifying at first. And then after a while you’re like, “Oh, man, we’re making it through these challenges and it’s going well. Like, I guess I can keep doing this.” And so it’s those things where I kept saying to myself, “Think about there is a lesson that comes with stepping outside of your comfort zone.”

And like I mentioned earlier, you’ll find out what you like and don’t like, and you’ll start realizing some of these things that are outside of your comfort zone, like that’s where life is. Like that’s where the beauty is. And the more and more you do it, your spirit, your box gets like, I guess bigger.

Would it be that? Yeah. Yeah. Your box gets bigger, but it becomes a thing to where like, you don’t have to be like a thrill junkie, but it really shows you like—you’ll try food that you never try. You’ll go places that you never went. And so if you start thinking about like, man, “I can do these things that I’ve seen Jeff do, or other people do like, you know what? I might want to step out of my comfort zone because that is where life is.”

Aislyn: I love it. Well said. And such a smart idea really for a scavenger hunt to force you to kind of get over any kind of culture shock or fear of, like, right away before—like, you’re still jet lagged. You’re still like—what a brilliant strategy.

Jeff: I think I even do it now. Like even personally, I’ll get to a country and I’m ready to go out. Whoa. Oh my gosh. I do that everywhere I go. I probably would not have done that. Like he set the tone for that. Whoa. Did I just have a whole moment to myself then? Wow.

Aislyn: And there’s no time to get, like, freaked out about whatever might be coming up, you know? “Oh, this is uncomfortable. I don’t speak the language,” you know, all those things that cause it can be intimidating, right? You know, you don’t know the cultural code. You don’t know even how to hail a taxi.

Jeff: And, but, but then it was harder. Now it was a lot easier. Like social media has changed that. Like if I, if I go to a country I realized now I can just go on YouTube and check out, like, some YouTubers that have been before. Even if it’s somebody who has 10 followers, they made their first, like, video. They’re going to give you some insightful things, like you can see what they did and they can tell you what not to do. And that’s the—I’d be like, “Oh, yeah.”

And so even as a plus-size person, I can show you the things to go to or that I’ve done that you can probably do as well, because like, there’s some excursions that you can’t do. And one thing I always tell people, I’m, I’m not, I’m really good at—when you follow me, it’s more so, “Hey, although we can’t do this, there’s all these other things we can do.”

And so that eliminates that, that, that sense of isolation or embarrassment, um, when you get up to a ride or something like that or try to do the excursion and you find out when you get up there that, hey, you can’t fit or you can’t get on because of your size.

Aislyn: You talked a little bit in the show about, like, the wetsuit that was custom made or, like, a harness that, you know, that there’s not a lot of accessibility in that. Have you seen any kind of change in terms of the industry?

Jeff: Not yet fully, but I have seen small changes being made and it’s more so of one of those things that I know I have way more work to do, uh, and we’ll figure it out. But yes, definitely people are way more open to it more. I’m telling you, some of these things are—like the, the modifications or to make something more accessible is simply just buying an extended wetsuit.

Like if that, if that’s the way to go about it, like I didn’t need a custom wetsuit. Well, I needed a custom wetsuit for like that seven millimeter, um, I see just cause that was the thicker one, but for just a regular wetsuit, like the shorties or something like that, I can get those on Amazon right now.

And then I wore like the—when I went to Mexico, that was one that I purchased back in 2017, 18 that I bought because I wanted to go do the great white shark diving in South Africa. And I knew you had to wear a wetsuit, but I’m pretty—in my head, I was like, “I’m pretty sure they don’t have my size.” So I got on Amazon, I bought it, had it sent to my friend that lived in New York because we were flying out of New York and it was in that moment that we figured it out and that was the only way. But that’s what I’m saying. Like it’s easy to get more people to do some of this stuff. It’s just you buying the extended sizes and or making small modifications that are still safe, but it opens up the door because a lot of people just aren’t thinking about plus-size people.

A lot of people aren’t thinking like, “Oh, you know what?” And that’s the, that’s the reaction that I get all the time, even from CEOs and heads of companies like, like these travel brands back in the day—I feel like we’re doing a really good job now—but back in the day, people, it was like very shocked. Like, “Oh, oh, I never thought of this. Like, like I just was not thinking about plus-size people at all.”

Like, so even in the design time or the planning time, if you bring more thought to it, then it actually would be very easy to make it more accessible for a plus-size person. And I always tell people in the—the way that I’ve been able to do it in the travel space, even in the consulting side is like, I talk dollars and cents, like, “Hey, there’s a whole marginalized group of people that when I did my own study, 98 percent of them said, ‘If there was more accessibility, they will take an extra trip or two.’”

And so that shows you that they have the money power to spend. They just need the accessibility. They need the accommodations. And so that to me, companies are always trying to find a way to tap into other markets. And this is a great market because the majority of the people in America are considered overweight or obese. And so, uh, 42 percent are considered obese.

Aislyn: I love that. And there are, at least what I’m hearing is that there are more conversations about accessibility in general in the travel space right now. And I think just talking about it, right? Like opening the door to dialogue is like a huge part of that. Well, is there anything else that you hope that the show inspires for people?

Jeff: Yeah. I mean, one, just stepping out and I hope it brings a sense of wonder. And, and there’s so much negativity going on on TV and on social media. And I like that my show can be one that inspires and just brings, like, it brightens your mood. That’s what I keep hearing. Like, I wanted it to happen that way and, uh, it’s one of those things where it’s like a show that you didn’t know you needed that you needed. And, and I hope that that continues to happen for more people. And I want to see the stories of people exploring and doing things that they never thought they would do.

Aislyn: Well, thank you, Jeff. Thanks so much for your time and for your inspiration. I can’t wait for season two. And Antarctica.

Jeff: Seriously, this has been a joy to be on with you today. I’m honored. So yeah, thank you.

Aislyn: That was Jeff Jenkins. Season two of Never Say Never has not been announced yet. But as he said, he already has ideas for it. Maybe Antarctica. We will link to Chubby Diaries as well as the show, which you can watch on Disney Plus, in our show notes. And of course, we’ll share his social media handles.

And that is it for this season, folks! Happy holidays to you all. Don’t forget to subscribe to our sister podcast, Unpacked, which we will link to in the show notes. That podcast will be back in your feed in January, and Travel Tales will return in Spring 2024.

Ready for more Travel Tales? Visit afar.com/podcast, and be sure to follow us on Instagram and X. We’re @afarmedia. If you enjoyed today’s exploration, I hope you’ll come back for more great stories. Subscribing makes this easy! You can find Travel Tales by AFAR on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform. And be sure to rate and review the show. It helps us book amazing guests like the one you heard today, and it helps other travelers find it.

This has been Travel Tales, a production of AFAR Media. The podcast is produced by Aislyn Greene and Nikki Galteland. Music composed and produced by Strike Audio.

Everyone has a travel tale. What’s yours?