TripLit's podcast

With hosts Emmett Sparling &
Mathilda de Villiers

What really goes on behind the shared stories in a travel photographer, videographer or writer’s life? Tune in to the TripLit podcast as Emmett Sparling and Mathilda de Villiers share candid conversations while exploring the world with well-known content creators. Meet influencers who align purpose with passion, and discover what it really takes to build a meaningful career in digital storytelling.



Two paths cross with Emmett Sparling and Mathilda de Villiers

Emmett is from Bowen Island, a small island just outside of Vancouver, Canada. He began his journey in his parents' backyard taking photos of bugs. Today, he is one of the most sought-after travel photographers in the world. Mathilda grew up near the shores of Southern Africa, in the electric city of Cape Town. She has been involved in many industries over the years and her journey landed her in Vancouver in 2016. Since then she has become a freelance journalist and photographer, and was recently appointed the Media Coordinator of TripLit.

Emmett's and Mathilda's paths crossed at the first TripLit conference in August 2019. Listen to them talk about how they met, where their path has taken them up until now and the exciting stories that have already developed in a short space of time since the launch of this exciting new company, TripLit.

Pursuing passions turns into careers with Emmett Sparling and Christian LeBlanc

"Instagram gives inspiration. YouTube gives inspiration and information" - Christian Le Blanc.

Christian left a career in business to forge a new path in travel, making a name for himself early on as a highly influential YouTube vlogger through his travel channel. His move to step away from a seemingly dream career to pursue his passion is inspiring and he talks to Emmett about how he made the leap and how others could also follow their dreams if they're in a similar situation.

Emmett and Christian, both from Canada, join each other in Bali as they sit in close proximity to one another, talking shop and how they have made it to where they are in their careers today.

Travel, near-death experiences & real friendship with Emmett Sparling, Sasha Juliard and Josiah Gordon

Three close friends who all travel the world sit on the floor of a hotel in Turkey talking about their extensive travels, near-death experiences and some hilarious stories about their deep friendship that is bound to evoke a grin.

Emmett Sparling is joined by Sasha Juliard and Josiah Gordon, three people who have been friends for a some time and who have done many trips together. In their experience as seasoned world travellers, they have been to remote places and they have had to overcome many challenges, including in places like India and Indonesia, which they touch on in this episode. Through all of it they have each, as individuals, learned how to adapt and how to travel smart.

All three friends grew up on different continents and their upbringings shaped their paths forward into now being highly successful content creators. They explore their pasts, travels together and the vast, beautiful world out there.

196 Countries by the age of 21 with Emmett Sparling and Lexie Alford

The youngest person to travel to each and every country on planet earth. At 21 years old, Lexie Alford traveled to and visited 196 countries. Not only that, but she is the first woman to ever do it.

"Your whole impression of a country doesn't even have anything to do with the country itself, it's just about what happened to you while you were there. It's a completely personal opinion" - Lexie Alford

How on earth did she manage this, and all self-funded? Emmett sits down with Lexie in Venice, California to find out some of her travel hacks and the process she went through to do it all so extensively in a relatively short period of time. On top of everything, the process that she had to go through to be granted a Guiness World Record took months of paperwork, as well as approaching over 400 strangers in the countries that she visited, all for the proof that she was really there.

Embracing risk and discomfort in order to thrive as a filmmaker with Mathilda de Villiers and Bryn North

Getting uncomfortable in order to push yourself and to grow is a concept that Bryn North is very familiar with.
"I say yes to some jobs that scare me...because I know I'm going to learn a lot from that"

A highly talented filmmaker, Bryn North, sits down with Mathilda de Villiers in Cape Town, South Africa. Bryn is originally from Zimbabwe and made the move to the Southern Coast about a decade ago. Mathilda and him both have spent many years in the electric city of Cape Town as creatives. Their stories are similar in ways, but also very different.

Bryn has built himself a career where he travels the world doing exciting projects for clients, all the while still focusing on passion projects in order to keep the flame of the love of filmmaking alive. He has a solid community of like-minded friends that has supported his growth and his career in more ways than one.

Listen to Mathilda and Bryn compare stories as well as how the North American industry differs to the one in South Africa.

The meaning of drive and dedication in today's creative industry with Emmett Sparling and Jacob Riglin

From working two jobs, one being filleting fish at a meat and fish deli, Jacob Riglin saved up for camera gear and committed to his passion for photography. Today, he is one of the most successful travel photographers on the globe.

Jacob and Emmett sit down together in Abu Dhabi in October 2019 to talk about the world of travel photography and how Jacob got to where he is today.

"You have to have that drive" - Jacob

Skydiver and car fanatic, he takes Emmett through his path and how he took the leap from being in university to take a job from Beautiful Destinations for about three years. He is fully into the freelancing world currently and also offers an online course.

Apart from sharing his story, Jacob also shares his insights about starting a career in being a full-time creative.

This episode was sponsored by Musicbed. Find the perfect song for your films with your free trial at:

Chelsea Yamase and Emmett Sparling: The calm found underwater and appreciating the true beauty in the world.

Free diver, model, photographer, adventurer. Chelsea Yamase sits down with Emmett in Kauai and they talk about how they met and became such good friends that they are today, where they've traveled together and their experience underneath the surface of the water.

Chelsea taught Emmett how to free dive and it awoke a passion inside of him to also pursue the sport, getting to the point of the two of them doing work together underwater, creating incredible content together for large brands across the world.

Chelsea is passionate not only about adventure and her craft, but also about sustainability and appreciating the beauty in the world. Listen to the candid, real and authentic conversation she has with her close friend, Emmett.

This episode was sponsored by Lexar. Find the perfect solution for your creative needs by choosing from their award-winning lineup of memory cards, readers, USB and solid-state drives. Visit

Jord Hammond: Behind the screen of the dream job and how that dream became a reality. With Emmett Sparling

From growing up in a small town in England to living in China, to traveling across the globe to capture breathtaking photos, Jord (@jordhammond) knows exactly what it takes in order to reach a career goal. But more than that, he has mastered the art of relishing in the journey, because the end result wasn't always clear in his mind.

Emmett and Jord, friends for years, made their way into this line of work at the same time. Still friends today, they exchange their impressions about the landscape of the travel photography industry and give listeners a bit of an insight into what really goes on behind the scenes of someone who does this work full time, especially working with brands.

It can be intimidating, coming into this industry today, but according to Jord, that atmosphere has also paved the way for some of the most creative creators to shine through. In order to be noticed, you need to stand out and you need to rather tap into the inspiration rather than the intimidation, according to both Jord and Emmett.

This episode was sponsored by Musicbed. Find the perfect song for your films with your free trial at:

Max Muench: Into the depths of Mongolia and behind the scenes of striking travel portraits. With Emmett Sparling

Outdoor, landscape and adventure is what Max Muench (@muenchmax) is all about when it comes to his photography. Instagram named him as one of their favourite photographers, holding an exhibit for him in New York in 2015.

Emmett and Max sit down in Bali together earlier this year to talk about Max's adventures over the years and what he has been up to since they first met in Germany in 2017. They also talk about where Max's journey with his camera started - which was at a very young age.

"We just wanted to take this cliche and play with it and create something new out of it" - Max when he talks about starting German Roamers.

Max talks about his time in Mongolia, where he has spent a lot of time since 2016. His vast adventures across the country took him onto roads less traveled and experienced some deep travel stories, which inspired him to launch a travel company that operates from within Mongolia. He also gives workshops in Mongolia that usually sells out within 24 hours.

This episode is sponsored by Musicbed:

David Moskowitz: Being a voice for nature in North America through powerful storytelling. With Mathilda de Villiers

Passionate about wildlife conservation, education, wildlife tracking and photography, David Moskowitz has spent years out in the field getting firsthand footage and knowledge on life in the wild and how us humans have made an impact on the natural world. He is based out of Washington, and does work both in the USA as well as Canada, particularly in British Columbia.

He has been involved in many different conservation initiatives over the years, including Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), where he was hugely involved in the making of their film, Last Stand The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest.

For David, being a wildlife photographer is about supporting the animals by "bringing their stories out of the shadows and into the light."

In this episode, Mathilda calls David up to talk about what he's currently up to as well as a bit more of a behind-the-scenes look at how a wildlife photographer operates and what conservation efforts are made through digital storytelling and the impact of those stories.

Find out more about the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative (Y2Y)

This episode is sponsored by Musicbed:

Lizzie MacPherson: Her Hollywood career track and where she's headed now. With Emmett Sparling

Lizzie MacPherson is a producer and associate director (AD) in Hollywood.

From starting out her career by hunting down jobs on Craigslist in LA to working on some of the biggest reality shows in North America, Lizzie has seen years of hard work and dedication in the film industry.
She has been intricately involved in reality shows such as Top Chef, Project Runway, Taste and Ink Master, to name but a few. She was also on the AD team for the film Her and worked with Joaquin Phoenix, an oscar-winning actor.

Learn about what goes on behind the scenes of a production - the craze, the stress and the family that is created on set. Emmett and Lizzie also chat about what it takes to make it in this tough, gruelling industry. "Be kind to everyone and treat everyone with respect because you never know if that person's going to be your boss one day"

She has worked hard to earn a successful career in what she's most passionate about and spends time teaching her skills to others. "Fixing problems before they happen" is probably the biggest asset that an AD can have, according to Lizzie.

Naude Heunis: Shining a light onto those who are saving the natural world. With Mathilda de Villiers

Naude Heunis (@naude_heunis) is not only passionate about filmmaking, but his passions are equally rooted in wildlife and its conservation efforts. He has, over the years, learned how to combine his passions into making a huge impact in lesser known areas in the wilderness.

He recently launched a new company alongside good friend, Donal Boyd. Together they founded Behind The Scenes of Nature, where they travel into lesser known areas and tell the stories about people doing their part for the natural world. Stories that need to be told.
"There are so many stories out there of people doing amazing things and these stories aren't really being told." - Naude

Earlier this year, Mathilda and Naude meet up in their hometown of Cape Town, South Africa, where they sit down and discuss just how his journey led him to where he is today. He also shares some of the wonderful stories that he has documented out in the wilderness, and he shares some of his encounters with the animals. He also discusses the importance of respecting the animals they work with as well as how to conduct oneself in a wild environment that he so often finds himself in.

"There's such a big disconnect when it comes to caring for animals and caring for our planet just because people don't appreciate it. And if you don't appreciate it how are you going to care for it. And if you don't care for it you're going to lose it." - Naude

"Inspire and educate" as an influencer after the world has been changed by COVID-19. With Mathilda de Villiers

COVID-19 changed the world in a number of massive ways this year, one of them being the way in which the travel industry operates, and those who work within it.

A big part of the tourism industry involves being able to travel, which most of the world cannot do at the moment, or at least are being advised against it. What does the future landscape of travel look like? And those of us who are involved in the travel industry

Jonny Bierman, an expert in destination marketing and sustainable tourism, talks to Mathilda in June, discussing everything from what sustainable travel really means to what an influencer is to him. Influencers, according to Jonny, have a huge responsibility, especially now, to "inspire and educate" through their platforms.

For more information on Jonny and to read some of his works, please visit his LinkedIn profile. Please feel free to also contact him directly if you have any further questions that weren't answered here on this episode.

Find out more about Eco Escape Travel and Jonny Bierman in our blog post about sustainable tourism.