Alpaca My Bags is a Canadian podcast, recorded in Toronto, that focuses on responsible and sustainable travel. This travel podcast is hosted by me, Erin Hynes of Pina Travels! I chat with a different guest every episode about travel destinations, travel controversies, and different perspectives of travel.
We cover things like dark tourism, overtourism, authenticity and travel, and what it’s like to travel queer, trans, or as a person of colour. Because let’s be frank: travel, like anything else, should be discussed through a critical lens.
Sometimes serious and often hilarious, this Canadian podcast is released bi-weekly and is available wherever you get your podcasts!
How Alpaca My Bags Travel Podcast Started
Not long after starting this travel blog, Pina Travels, I had an idea for a travel podcast that would focus on what it means to travel responsibly. If you’re from Toronto, then you know about the Facebook group called Bunz. I used this resource to ask other Torontonians about how to start a podcast.
And this is how I met Kattie, who would later become the producer of Alpaca My Bags. We had never met each other before, but Kattie was an audio producer looking for a new podcast project. She reached out to me in response to my post on the Facebook group, and we decided to meet.
We met for the first time, and instantly got along. Kattie loved my responsible travel podcast idea, and we knew right away we would work well together. Kattie’s passion for podcasting combined with my passion for travel and critical discussion was the perfect combination. Two months later, we got together in my living room along with two of my friends, and recorded the first ever episode of Alpaca My Bags.
It’s been a whole year since we recorded that first episode, Kattie and I have become more than just a podcast team, we are good friends. We’ve attended podcasting conferences, networking events, gone camping, and spent many nights hanging out and chatting about podcasts, travel, and more. Although it’s mostly my voice you hear on Alpaca My Bags, this Toronto podcast is truly a team effort.
Alpaca My Bags is About Responsible Tourism
Alpaca My Bags is all about learning how to be responsible travelers, and travel more sustainably. In each episode, I chat with a guest about a specific topic that ties into these larger themes. The overall goal is to explore how we can all travel in a way that is better for people, and for the planet.
Some episodes have a light hearted and fun angle. For example, in an episode from season one I shared stories of travel disasters I’ve personally experienced, and in another, I narrated a visit to an alpaca farm to yes, you guessed it, visit real alpacas!
Other episodes more seriously approach what it means to be responsible travelers. In season two, I chat with Miss Peppermint from Rupaul’s Drag Race about her experiences traveling through airports as a trans black woman, and I talk with Ryan McMahon about why there is so little Canadian Indigenous representation in the Canadian tourism industry.
In seasons three and four, we unpack topics like colonialism and travel, India syndrome, and why a passport is a privilege. Plus, we dive into some travel history by exploring the stories of the Hippie Trail, an overland route that was popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
Although Alpaca My Bags is a responsible travel podcast, it’s also a judgement free zone. As the host, I am learning and self-examining my approach to travel with every single episode. Alpaca My Bags is about learning together how to explore the world in a sustainable and responsible way, that works for each individual traveler.
We’ve Visited an Ontario Alpaca Farm!
After launching Alpaca My Bags, Kattie and I realized that we couldn’t have a podcast named after alpacas without actually having met alpacas. And so we got in touch with Kickin’ Back Alpaca Ranch and arranged a visit. In Spring 2019 we drove about an hour north of Toronto to meet with Caroline and Doug, who taught us all about alpacas and let us meet their adorable herd. You can read about our alpaca farm experience, or watch our visit, right here:
Listen to Alpaca My Bags Podcast
Alpaca My Bags podcast is available on all your favourite podcast apps. You can listen for free! If you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a review and rating on Spotify and Apple.