Kyle Potter: Journalism that Brings People Together

After years working as a journalist focused mainly on politics, Kyle Potter decided to use his talents in a different way. Now, as Executive Editor at Thrifty Traveler, he’s writing articles that help people explore, connect, and find meaning with others around the world.
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Kyle Potter
Executive Editor - Thrifty Traveler
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For Kyle Potter, success has always been about pursuing passions, whether it was playing soccer, being in a band, or finding his path as a journalist.
In the age of social media, when everyone has a voice, Kyle says true journalism is perhaps more important than ever as a way to break through our echo chambers.
When he joined Thrifty Traveler, Kyle says he was excited to use journalism in a new way, to educate and help people explore the world and come together.
Kyle says one of the biggest challenges for the future will be creating more climate-friendly transportation, including sustainable methods of air travel.



IVAN STEGIC: Hi there! You’re listening to ONE OF 8 BILLION, a podcast about all of us! I’m your host, Ivan Stegic. This podcast is supported by TEN7, a technology studio whose mission is to Make Things That Matter. Online at

We all have a story, don’t we? We’ve all had successes and failures, joy and disappointment, love and sadness. And yet, we’ve all made it to here… to right now! Our stories are one amongst eight billion others… eight billion other stories, each of them unique, each of them grand in their own way, and each of them a window into the humanity that connects us all. ONE OF 8 BILLION tells life stories from around the world.


Our story today is about Kyle Potter, the Executive Editor at Thrifty Traveler. Kyle brings a passion for writing and journalism to his job, along with a desire to bring people together and help people focus on what’s really important in life. Let’s listen!


IVAN: Welcome to ONE OF 8 BILLION, would you please introduce yourself.

KYLE POTTER: Sure, my name is Kyle Potter. My day job is I'm the Executive Editor of Thrifty Traveler, a Minnesota based travel and flight deal website. And beyond that, I'm a husband of four years. My wife Allie and I live in Minneapolis, where we have a very sassy six-year-old Corgi named Mikka, who we sometimes try to walk and increasingly don’t because she's recently decided she doesn't like to walk anymore, which is great. And yeah, I just, in my day job with Thrifty Traveler, just try to help people travel more for less, whatever that means to them.

IVAN: That's awesome. I am really amused by the fact that you have a Corgi that refuses to walk because I have a couple of Dachshunds, one of them loves to walk and pulls and pulls, and the other refuses and needs to be dragged. So it's like going for a drag not for a walk occasionally.

KYLE: Yeah, that is my life these days. It's very odd. Mikka will not walk for me. We go outside she does what she needs to do and plants herself until I say, “okay, let's go back inside,” and she will walk with my wife no problem. So I think I'm the problem at this point, not her.

IVAN: That sounds amazing. That means you don't have dog walking duties.

KYLE: In some cases it's great. But other times, I would love to go for a nice long walk. And I would just be going by myself, which is not the worst idea.

IVAN: No. And I would imagine since you live in Minneapolis, there’s probably a lake somewhere close by that you would love to take Mikka around.

KYLE: Exactly. If only she would join me.

IVAN: Thanks for telling me a little bit about yourself and where you're at and about your now. I would love to go back to the beginning of Kyle Potter's life. Where were you born? And where did you grow up? What did that look like for you?

KYLE: I was born and raised and grew up and spent at this point, still more than half of my life in Duluth, Minnesota. That’s where my parents lived and I still live nearby anyway, to this day, and really an incredible place to grow up. I have nothing but amazing things to say about Duluth. I've lived here in Minneapolis for the last decade and a half now, but Duluth will still always be, if not my home, at least a part of my home. Because it was really a great place to be a kid.

IVAN: And did you have siblings growing up? Or were you all on your own?

KYLE: No, I have an older sister named Carly, who's two and a half years older than I am. And up until recently, she still lived in the Duluth area.

IVAN: And while you were living up in Duluth, do you have an earliest memory you would like to share with us? I'm always fascinated by kind of the very early things that people remember and how far back you might be able to go.

KYLE: I wish that my answer was some kind of very quintessential Duluth experience that shaped me and shaped my love for my hometown. but honest to God, the earliest memory that I have is I was probably two or three, I was very young, and I was playing in our basement in our house in Duluth with, I can't remember what they're called, but it's this old toy that they probably decided to wisely stop making, those connector sets of big long plastic tubes and I decided in all of my wisdom of two or three years old to jump off of a table with one in my mouth which ended very poorly for me. So I don't know if it's trauma or hospital memories or just shock. I don't know what it is but that is the most vivid early memory that I have, it is something pretty horrible.

IVAN: Oh my gosh, did you go to the hospital after that?

KYLE: Yeah, it was hospital and a lot of stitches and a lot of blood and a lot of all the horrible things that you don't want to remember as a little kid. But of course you don't remember all of it but I do just remember the shock of that kind of a situation.

IVAN: Were pretending to be an airplane? Was that one of the very early hints that you might be starting Thrifty Traveler?

KYLE: No. And the odd thing is in a couple of ways. I just work for Thrifty Traveler. This isn't my company. We have a really great team here in Minneapolis, including Jared, my boss who started the company long before I started working there and decided for one reason or another that I was a person worth hiring. But travel was not a huge part of my life until really only fairly recently. I traveled as a kid with my parents. We went to Phoenix to see my grandparents every winter.

So we went on ski trips, we went to Mexico to the beach when it was too cold and we needed to get out, but travel wasn't really a big part of my life until I met my wife really and we started traveling a lot more and got my first taste of what would become such an integral part of my life just five or six years ago when my wife and I went on a big trip to Thailand, Vietnam and Japan for three weeks. And from there that was a turning point in my life. That didn’t immediately start what has now become my career but definitely put me on that path because I was pretty hooked from that point forward.

IVAN: I apologize for assuming that you were the founder of Thrifty Traveler. You and Thrifty Traveler are synonymous in my mind and maybe that's because I look at Thrifty Traveler and Kyle Potter @kpottermn on Twitter all the time, and they're just basically the same to me. Apologies for that.

KYLE: No, that's just fine. No. I am a small part of a very good team of people that run the company, which I certainly cannot do. And an incredible team of employees who find the flight deals for the people that subscribe to us, love and helps them see the world for less. And I just get to write about it, which is really fun, and plays to my strong suits because those other things are not.

IVAN: Okay, let's just go back a little bit before your Thrifty Traveler time and maybe after your birth. I'd love to hear what you thought you wanted to be when you grew up. Did you have any ideas? Or were you just going through life like some of us do, and don't really have any designs on what a future career might be?

KYLE: My life and my goals have four stages. I spent more than half of my life playing competitive soccer. And of course, when you're a kid, and you're spending not just every summer, but every fall, and every winter, every spring, playing soccer year-round, you think and you hope that's what you're going to do for the rest of your life. So that was my first great love. And my aspiration was to be some kind of a professional soccer player. And then by the time I made it close to high school, I found a new love that's still one of my great loves today, and some of what I'm most proud of in my life, which was music.

From the time I was probably 15 until I was midway through college, I spent time playing and touring in punk and hardcore bands. I thought that was going to be my life and I was really happy about that. And then as I made my way through college, I found something that I loved just as much, which was journalism. And that gave me what I was looking for through all of those aspirations, whether it was soccer or music, or journalism, which was purpose and something that I felt I was good at. And those two things, purpose and a feeling that you can do something and make a difference and something that's important to you, that's magic.

IVAN: It is magic, isn't it? Where did you end up in college? And what does that high school to college transition look like for you?

KYLE: I spent my first year at home at UMD and it was great. It was a great school and I loved being there. But I spent 19 years of my life in Duluth, and it was time for a change. I wound up moving down to Minneapolis and finished out my degree in journalism at the University of Minnesota. And I almost hesitate to say I finished out my degree because the degree was secondary. What was really the most important part of that, for me, was working at the University of Minnesota's school paper, the Minnesota Daily. I started studying journalism almost as a default because I didn't know what else I was good at. Writing just fell into journalism and took the courses and it was fine.

But school was always school to me, it was something to get through rather than to, to really seriously put myself towards. And then I started working at the Minnesota Daily as a result of that and that's just when things fell into place. And I knew that at least the start to where I am now and I really do think for the rest of my life some version of what I do is always going to be tied to working in newsrooms, working in journalism, reporting, giving people information that I feel like they need to know because if there's a purpose in my life as it relates to my career, I think it's always going to be something like that.

IVAN: What was your beat at Minnesota Daily? What did you love doing there?

KYLE: I did a lot of different things. I started out as an intern covering politics and policy. And then I covered health and healthcare. And at this point as luck would have it the last big Minnesota nurses strike, which we're in the middle of again now more than a decade later, and I spent time working on really big projects, long term, more kind of investigations and features. And then I spent some time as an editor there. And all of them, I think, have been really important to informing what I am now and what I care about.

IVAN: So you found your passion and your purpose in journalism, in writing, and you really were able to practice it and craft it while you were in college. What was the next thing that happened after college? What did that first job look like after you graduated?

KYLE: I would say my first job out of college was an internship and it was not in Minneapolis or anywhere close to home, it was in Las Vegas. I spent a summer working at the Las Vegas Review Journal a decade ago now. And it was everything that you think it would be and nothing like you would think it would be. I didn't know what I was getting myself into at the time but it was great. I got to do so much. I got to do some really horrible stories and by horrible covering deaths of children and murders and the things that you associate with journalism, and you never ever want to do because the reality is that for every journalist who is covering some kind of grisly murder or horrible accident, the journalist on the other side of that story has to actually pick up the phone or walk up to the person who's experiencing the worst moments of their life. And some of those things just always stick with you. That part of my career, I think, anyway, where I have to report on things like that is so far behind me at this point, still, some of those experiences in Las Vegas will just never leave me.

IVAN: What's one of those things?

KYLE: The biggest one that stands out to me is I had to cover a fire in a motorhome park in northern Las Vegas where three children under the age of three I think died in the fire. And being there on the scene and seeing their mother there dealing with that, there's nothing you can do except try to give them space. It never goes away those things. Even before covering crime in Las Vegas occasionally, here, when I was working at the Minnesota Daily while I was still in college, you have to cover the odd crime. And as a journalist, when you hear about things like someone jumping off a bridge, for example, part of your job is to go there. And so, you never forget seeing something like that for the first time.

IVAN: There's a human quality and aspect to being a journalist that you almost, from what I can tell, have to compartmentalize so that you could do the reporting in a diligent and factual way. But at the end of the day, you still have to go home and think about the human perspective, the human toll that you have witnessed and reported on and not being a journalist, I can't imagine but I would imagine that it's similar to being a doctor, or a first responder that has to deal with that kind of situation, perhaps in a more obvious way. Do you feel like that's something that's covered in school? Is it something that you're prepared for before you go out there? Or is it something you have to learn and deal with in an internship?

KYLE: I think it's a serious problem for all of journalism, not just journalism, but as you said, doctors and dentists and any aspect of life where you're dealing with trauma. And I don't think journalists who are in school, studying and training to become reporters are really prepared for that. I think it's something that journalists in particular really struggle with. And look, there's another side to this coin too where I don't know that journalists and newsrooms and news organizations and media outlets always do the best job of preparing and properly contextualizing reporters' jobs in these situations. So that they're not being harmful.

That they're not the phrase in the journal is to question authority and comfort the afflicted. But a lot of times, journalists can have an adverse effect. So the list of problems with journalism in the United States and abroad is very long from the economics of how it all works to the ways that newsrooms and media outlets function, the incentive structures around them so that they're doing jobs that they're supposed to be doing versus the things that may make them feel rewarded emotionally, or financially. But this is a big one too, making sure that people understand in the chaos of going from one story to the next that some of these things are probably going to stay with them. And how do you properly process that?

IVAN: And I feel like the whole field of journalism has been co-opted by a larger idea that anyone can be a journalist, and anyone can report it. And if anyone says it, it must be true, which is definitely incorrect and completely wrong. And just because you have an opinion, and you put it out there doesn't make it true, and it also doesn't make you a journalist as well. So, in addition to all the things you just described, there's also this more global problem that everyone thinks they're a journalist as well.

KYLE: Yeah, I think everyone can and should have something to say. But I think, in the echo chambers that have been created for everyone, be they a journalist with a blue checkmark on Twitter, or a random person whose account was created yesterday and has 18 digits after their name on Twitter or wherever that so many voices have tools to be amplified now. And I think that can be a good thing. But at the end of the day, I think the role for organizations and journalists who have spent years if not decades of their lives, training and perfecting these things, and understanding how to approach certain situations and how to report and really get to the bottom of situations and ask questions for the sake of getting answers not just to be seen asking questions, and the role of serious news organizations, I think is always going to be there. And in a lot of ways, it's more important than ever.

IVAN: Totally agree. Totally agree. What happened after Las Vegas? You did your internship and did you come back to Minneapolis? Or did you stay out there in lovely Las Vegas?

KYLE: I did come back to Minneapolis. In fact, I couldn't have come back to Minneapolis soon enough. I loved my time in Las Vegas, the work that I was able to do, I think it was really important for me to learn what I wanted to do next to affirm that I was doing the right things but I just needed to be back home. I was really glad that I did it but I needed to be back closer to family and in a state where I felt more at home. So, I bounced around for a little bit and I was very lucky to get another kind of internship not long after working for the Associated Press at the Minnesota Capitol, which it turned out was probably one of the most important developments in my career, to get that experience covering the Minnesota Legislature for a few months.

IVAN: And that was for the Associated Press as a journalist as a part of their internship program you said?

KYLE: Yeah, I don't know that they do it as much anymore. But for many years, the Associated Press would hire contract workers for the length of the legislative session to help cover state capitals in every of the 50 states which was amazing for me personally, but also just a great vote of confidence and how important that work is for covering the inner workings of democracy. But on the flip side, the fact that at least I don't believe they do it anymore, that's a pretty sad statement about what has happened to journalism in the last five to 10 years.

IVAN: And was that the job prior to landing at Thrifty Traveler? Tell me about how and why you decided to go to Thrifty Traveler.

KYLE: In between that, there were a couple of things which were not just the most important moments in my career but also in my life. After that internship ended I took a full-time job with InForum in Fargo Moorhead with only ever having been to Fargo one time in my life for a weekend soccer tournament when I was probably 12 years old, I moved to Fargo and I worked there for just over a year. But in that span, I met the woman who would become my wife.

IVAN: Yay.

KYLE: Exactly. And then after working there, meeting each other, we eventually moved back to the Twin Cities where we've been since 2014. And I started a full-time job back with the Associated Press. So after that brief stint for a legislative session, I came back to Minneapolis, I went back to the Capitol and I worked there for just over four years before eventually making my way to Thrifty Traveler.

IVAN: So really a storied existence in journalism, in politics and the grit of everyday life, and then a jump over to travel. That seems like something amazing to be able to write about travel.

KYLE: It really is and that’s at the end of the day why it happened. As I was working for the Associated Press, my wife and I got married. And we were starting to plan our wedding and looking at the money that we had saved and the budget that we had, that we knew our wedding was going to cost us and it became clear that math wasn't really going to work. So I started freelancing for Thrifty Traveler on a whim actually, sent Jared my now boss a message on Instagram and said, “can I write for you guys?,” because we needed to make more money and knew that I liked to travel and wanted to try it out and make some extra money to pay for our wedding. And luckily, they let me write for them, which you'd have to ask them if that was a good or bad thing.

IVAN: You're Executive Editor, I think it worked out.

KYLE: And within really a couple of months, it became clear that this was that new kind of magic moment that had marked so many stops in my career, where I was able to do what I felt I was good at and put it towards something that really made me excited. I loved covering politics at the Capitol and some people can and do it for many decades and do it really well better than I ever could because it really just started to wear on me. And at the time when it started to wear on me and I got tired of writing what felt to be like the same stories, I fell into Thrifty Traveler, and it just really fit.

At the time when I eventually took the job with Thrifty Traveler and they hired me full-time as the Executive Editor, I decided, which I still stand by today, I'm doing a lot of the same things with the same skills and the same mindset covering travel as I did covering politics. It's just instead of making people angry or pissing them off, I get to do something that makes people really happy.

IVAN: What a wonderful change. And I bet a bunch of additional job satisfaction as a result.

KYLE: Yes, it's really gratifying to do this. I think from the outside, some people might think that going from covering politics to writing about airlines and finding cheap flights and how to use frequent flier miles and all of this stuff feels less important (capital “I” important) you might say, but to me, it's just the opposite. I think travel is such an important force for good in people's lives and something that makes people happy and its very best can bring not just people and families but entire cultures and countries together. And so, to be able to have that be the subject matter that I'm doing journalism in now is really cool.

IVAN: Yeah, when you think of travel, you sometimes think of yourself going somewhere exploring something, seeing another state or another country or another culture. But it's also such a huge family connector. There's travel, like the industry itself, the fact that you're moving from one far off place to another brings families together, the Thanksgiving season, the holiday season, you are literally connecting all these different families and putting them in the same place in some cases. And so that leads me to think of all the connections and all of the ways that people have been brought together just by airlines, or by buses or by trains across the world, across the planet.

And it reminds me of what our podcast is called, ONE OF 8 BILLION and it reminds me that even though I sometimes feel pretty small in this giant world, there's a good way to be connected to everyone, I get on a plane and I go see England or I go to France or I go to Africa or Thailand, wherever I go. What does ONE OF 8 BILLION, being one of this human race mean to you? What does it make you feel? What thoughts come to mind when I say, “hey, Kyle, you're ONE OF 8 BILLION.

KYLE: First, I agree completely with you. I think the ability easier than ever, really, the last two and a half years notwithstanding to get on a plane and join any of those other 8 billion people out there, makes the world feel small, which is, again, so cool, that you can get on one plane, or two, or a plane and a train or three planes and a car and get to literally any corner of the globe within about 24 hours, is an absolute miracle. And that is the power of travel. And that's not just about seeing new corners of the globe or experiencing new cultures or finding a really cool spot to go on vacation, but it's also about meeting and connecting with new people, meeting and connecting with old people that you love, that you haven't seen in a long time, so that's really important.

On a personal level, the temptation is to think about being ONE OF 8 BILLION, to feel personally small and powerless. And that I think a lot of kids, myself included, when they're growing up, you feel like you can do anything, that you have the power to change the world or to be a professional athlete, and then at a certain eye, and I think many people start to accept that everyone really wants to be extraordinary, and very few people are. Very few people have that power and skill and that reach to change the world with some new invention or contribution. So, what I do is I zoom in. I won't ever win a Pulitzer Prize, and that's okay, that's not my goal in life. I certainly won't come up with some life-changing invention and that's okay. But if I zoom in, and I think about being the best husband I possibly can, and being the best friend, and the best son and the best brother and the best uncle, and the best father to our dog, that's where I can have an impact. And then from there, everything else that I can do is great, but really in comparison, it just doesn't matter.

IVAN: I love that perspective. It's being able to do what you can in your own local community, in your own life and being able to affect those around you.

KYLE: Exactly, and I try and I hope I can and I hope I'll continue to do more beyond that, that is my rudder in life is be the best husband I can, to be the best friend I can, to be the best son and brother, you name it. All of the people that are immediately in my life, that is in my control.

IVAN: What inspires you to do that? To be the best you can.

KYLE: When you talk about purpose. I think that's it. What is life if not trying to improve? If you're not trying to be a better person than you were last week, to right the mistakes that we all make and not make them again, I think that's what life's about.

IVAN: Yeah, leave the earth and the planet a little better than what you found it. Try to better it, try to better yourself.

KYLE: Exactly. And if you can't solve global warming, you may not be able to do that on your own. I know I certainly can't, but I can do what I can and I can make the people around me happy and that's really important too.

IVAN: I agree. You do a lot of writing, a lot of editing, you publish on Thrifty Traveler, you are very active in the travel community. What are you ingesting? What are you reading? What are you watching that you are interested in that fuels the work that you do?

KYLE: Too much of the internet. No, there's so much information out there, some of it better than others. So, in terms of the things that I do that I read, that I ingest, that make their way onto Thrifty Traveler and our website, there’s a lot of great resources out there and there's always more every single day about how to help people travel more for less. About the new opportunities to use your credit card points, or airline miles to do something fun and new, to take a great new trip. And the airline industry in particular is about as far from boring as it possibly gets. So that is an endless pit of news.

IVAN: Are you watching anything fun or crazy or mindless right now that you love and adore?

KYLE: I wish I could say that I am a voracious reader and I'm constantly reading books and go through a huge pile and onto the next one. And the fact of the matter is that I just get tired of words, from nine to five. And so the only time within the last few years that I've read a book has been when I'm on vacation. I love reading. I absolutely love reading, but my brain and my eyes get enough and I just can't do it anymore. So I think what's become a pretty established habit of people, especially in the pandemic of rewatching shows and movies and rereading books, in the off chance that I do end up reading things that I've read and seen and watched before. So, I just about once a year, actually, at this point, I reread All the President's Men and The Final Days too, I think probably. The most important chapters in American journalism from the Nixon administration.

And I will say, and this is not a popular opinion in Minnesota, I absolutely hate baseball. I don't care about the Minnesota Twins, which might be a popular opinion right now but in normal times it’s not. I cannot watch a baseball game to save my life, I turn it off. But, one of my favorite movies is the movie Moneyball. I recently rewatched that and after rewatching it I read the book while I was on vacation. Because it’s the only time that I can bring myself to read. And it's just as good of a book if not better as it as a movie.

IVAN: So I grew up in South Africa watching and playing cricket and baseball was this idea that I saw on TV that I never really quite understood, especially why would it be a World Series if it was happening only in the United States? I could never understand that. But once I emigrated to the United States, and my wife was on bed rest with our child, the only channel that came in was the channel that had the Twins on it, and we ended up watching a baseball game, and I ended up being hooked. And I remember myself before baseball, and I think I totally identify with what you described but now I'm into it.

And I think it's fun. My son watched the movie Moneyball as well, and loved it. He's totally into baseball but now he wants to be in data science as well, and he wants to go into sabermetrics. That movie, and his experience in baseball has inspired him to do work that is related to the system, to the math, to the stats, and I'm just glad it happened. On the other hand, I totally agree it's ridiculous. It's a group of guys hitting a ball and there's like, all of these systems around it, and baseball is like a money-making thing. Organized sports. Am I right?

KYLE: Don't let me rain on your parade, whether it's baseball or any other sport, I'm a big hockey fan, personally. So, it's certainly nothing against sports. It’s just something about baseball, it does not do it for me. Basketball is a close second in that regard. There are plenty of sports that I will and do watch, those are not two of them.

IVAN: Okay? That's absolutely okay. I usually ask what do you hope you'll see in your lifetime that you haven't seen yet? And I would love to ask you that question, but I would love to tweak it and ask it more in the specific field that you're working in, as opposed to being more general. What is there or what do you hope you'll see in your lifetime in the travel industry that we haven't seen yet? What is that one thing that kind of would make all of the best things for everyone involved? Or maybe there isn't such a thing. But I would love to hear your thoughts.

KYLE: The first thing that comes to mind is, I would love to see a truly sustainable form of air travel. I think, fortunately, if we don't get there in my lifetime, I think we're getting get pretty close, because there are a lot of half measures out there from buying carbon offsets, to investments in sustainable aviation fuels, to electronic and hydrogen-powered planes, and probably a million other things that I'm not even aware of yet or that aren't on my radar. But I think there has been a pretty serious change in the tide in the last five years or so, that airlines can't just spend their time and resources on this as a half measure anymore. People are aware that the trips that they take, no matter how great they are, they have a cost. I think that's really good. And that kind of consumer appetite to make sure that they are leaving the world a better place than they found it and making sure that they can protect the ability for people to fly halfway across the globe 50 years from now, further damaging the planet, I do really think that most people are invested in that.

And I think that's being borne out in some of the moves and investments that airlines, at least here in the United States, but also abroad are doing. So I'm generally not the biggest optimist in the world but I am quite optimistic that if that doesn't happen in my lifetime, it's going to be sometime soon after. I don't want to say that airlines and aviation in general are one of the biggest, if anything close to it, contributors to carbon emissions but it's there and it's unavoidable. And I think it's incumbent on everyone to be aware of that and to find a way to minimize that and I hope and think we're all going to.

IVAN: I agree with you. I think that if not in our lifetime, certainly in the next generations. And it's little things that you see that are happening, like when you do a Google search on the flights app, and you see the actual mention of the amount of carbon offsets or carbon emissions that are happening and which flights are more efficient. I do think that there are small things and small ways that we can each contribute to reducing our footprints when it comes to traveling. But it is an industry wide thing that needs to happen. And I'm looking forward to that future as well.

KYLE: I'm really glad you brought that up about Google Flights showing that because when they did that, and it’s been about a year, I scoffed at it first thinking that this isn't really going to ultimately change people's habits because they're going to book the cheapest ticket, not the one that emits the fewest carbon emissions. But then there are very real situations where you've got a choice between the two exact same flights, and one emits 27% less carbon emissions than the other and that gives people not just some very actionable and easily actionable choices that they can make that then gets sent signals to airlines about what kind of planes people are booking and what they really care about.

But there are new ways that airlines and technology companies have done. not to fix the problem, we’re still far from that, but they're finding new ways to give people additional skin in the game and raise the awareness while buying carbon offsets for every flight that you take, which you know here in the US anyway, basically every single time you buy a plane ticket an airline will give you that option. That is not going to solve the problem. But it does continue to raise awareness for the fact that this is something at Thrifty Traveler, our entire team for three plus years now, every single flight that a member of our team takes we buy carbon offsets to try to offset that. Does that completely solve the problem in the contributions to carbon emissions that we're all making as a team and the 10s of 1000s of travelers who fly halfway across the globe thanks to Thrifty Traveler deals? It certainly doesn't.

But it again raises the awareness that this is something to be aware of. And that's important. And I think that these tools and these platforms and these promises are playing a part in making people more conscious of it and demanding additional changes and investments from the companies that are ultimately going to be responsible for making sure that this problem gets solved. Again, hopefully, in my lifetime.

IVAN: Yes, hopefully. It’s been awesome talking to you, Kyle. I love that we ended on such a positive optimistic note. It was wonderful to learn more about you and your history, and I'm glad to have been able to do that. So, thank you for being on the show.

KYLE: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. It was great talking with you as well Ivan.


IVAN: I hope you’ll join us in the next episode of ONE OF 8 BILLION… when we hear from Lynn Fellman, an artist and writer who is using her creative talents to educate and inspire people about the human genome.

LYNN FELLMAN: So it was always this combination of learning the science. How to interpret it in an interesting way that told a story visually, but also pulled it out of my computer so people could have the tangible thing on their hands. I printed on silk. I printed on paper. But something else that I started to do that felt really good, is I wanted to write about it and explain more of the story. That just couldn't all be in a picture. And that's what I'm doing now these many years later is really combining illustrations, with a character in a story that is also behind it with the real science that's going on today.


This has been ONE OF 8 BILLION, a podcast about all of us... online at Join us again next time as we listen to one of eight billion other stories!

ONE OF 8 BILLION is supported by TEN7, a technology studio whose mission is to Make Things That Matter. Find out more at I’m Ivan Stegic. Thank you for listening.


This is episode 145 of ONE OF 8 BILLION. It was recorded on September 14, 2022, and first published on October 26, 2022. Audio length is 41 minutes. Transcription by Roxanne Chumucas. Summary, highlights and editing by Brian Lucas. Music by Lexfunk. Produced by Jonathan Freed.

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