Ray Blakney Giving the Most Insightful View on Culture, Travel, and Languages

“I could never live in the same place, and not wonder what’s over the next hill”

Growing up as a 3rd culture child, Ray Blakney is a nomadic entrepreneur who has travelled to over 50 countries and speaks four languages. Having lived 75% of his life so far as an expat, he has a unique and insightful view on travel, culture, and languages – he’s even set up his own language-learning company called LiveLingua where you can get online tutoring for your language of choice.

In the episode, we discuss growing up as a 3rd culture child (and what that means!), the importance of small things in culture, being more comfortable in foreign countries, volunteering in the Peace Corps, adventure camping on the Great Wall of China, why Morocco is so special, the Inca Trail and watching clouds flow like rivers, an insightful look on the benefits of second languages, and more!

Listen on all platforms or even Ask Alexa! (“Alexa, play Between The Mountains Adventure Podcast!”).

Growing Up as a Third Culture Child

Ray’s family and heritage comes from all over the world, resulting in him being born in the Philippines, and raised in Istanbul from 11 months old. One result – of many! – is that his first language is actually Turkish, followed by Tagalog as his second, and English comes in third place.

Well, technically those were the order of his first words. In practice, things take time to form and be learned.

But, Ray’s multi-cultural and multi-lingual background is normal to him. It was only when he moved to the US that he began to feel abnormal. He looked like an American and spoke like one too, and yet although everyone treated him like he should, he just didn’t fit in with their culture. Even simple pop-cultural references to shows like ‘Friends’ would fall on deaf ears to Ray.

I think there’s a lot to be said there, Ray’s biggest culture shock is only when he returns to America – not the tens of other countries he goes to. This ties in to one of his biggest things learned from this experience, which you can hear in the podcast.

“I didn’t have a vague idea about who I was until I was 30”

“If they wrote a book about your life, would anybody want to read it?”

Diving deeper, Ray starts talking about a pivotal moment for him: joining the Peace Corps.

He was on the standard successful ‘American Dream’; he had the condo and the car, and he could get a bigger condo and a more expensive car. The standard Silicon Valley/Fortune 500 life that he had gone down looked to be going well for him.

But around that time, an advert came on TV, showing the Navy Seals, that simply said: “If your life was a book, wold anybody want to read it?”.

One little advert, and Ray took the step to change – although perhaps with the background he has, it would have happened at some point anyway.

Joining the Peace Corps was the start of his journey, and has resulted in meeting his wife, starting up and running several 6 and 7 figure companies, and travelling the world.

What if your life was a book, would you make a change?

Renting a Ferrari and driving around Tuscany

Ray Blakney

All of the above, we discuss in the first 15 minutes. The chat with Ray was truly inspiring, fascinating, and in all honesty just felt like having a good chat and catch up at a bar with him. To hear more of his stories, his views, and gain some motivation, click the link below to listen on your platform.

Interested in learning a language, or want to strengthen one you already know? Ray founded Live Lingua, an online teaching platform for so many languages. Check it out here.

Are you a podcaster or want to feature on a podcast? You can also check out his website Podcast Hawk, which has a discounted offer if signing up this year.

Take a Listen

Listen on all platforms or even Ask Alexa! (“Alexa, play Between The Mountains Adventure Podcast!”).

If you enjoy the show, please:

  • Subscribe/follow so that you don’t miss another episode;
  • Share with a friend; and
  • Leave a rating on iTunes.

If you really really enjoy the show then:

All of the above helps the podcast to grow as much as possible!

You can get in touch with me on btmtravelpod@gmail.com or using any of the Social Media links: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / BTM Facebook Group here.

You Might Also Like These:

Exploring Cultures and Wild Places with Ian Finch

Ian Finch talks about his experience with and passion for expeditions that explore culture and purpose. We also chat about the remote wild in the Scottish Highlands, paddling the Yukon River, and more

Ray Blakney

“Chris is the perfect mix of totally prepared and relaxed in all of his interviews. He was able to bring back memories of trips and travels that I had totally forgotten about and even helped me gain insight on things I had not realized before about my travel experiences.”Ray Blakney, World Traveller and Entrepreneur, Episode 101


Published by Between The Mountains

Between The Mountains delivers researched, in-depth interviews, captivating expeditions, and expert advice for must-do adventures in the world of Adventure Travel!

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