Cocktail Banter, Episode 4: Building Peace Starts With Crossing Borders

Cocktail Banter connects you with the best of politics and pop culture. It’s the podcast that gives you everything you need to know to be in the know.

This week, we're talking with Erin Spens, a Los Angeles-based writer and the editor of Boat magazine, a travel and culture publication that focuses on a different city in each issue. 

Erin makes the case that the more we cross borders and engage with others, the safer the world becomes. She shares some of her adventures from traveling around the world and talks about the people who have influenced her perspective, including a woman who survived the bombing of Hiroshima and her advice about what each of us can do to prevent war (31:30). It’s advice that feels pretty timely in the midst of this election season. 

We talk about how Erin lived outside of her comfort zone in Istanbul, from listening to the daily call to prayer to joining in Ramadan celebrations (11:56). 

We also discuss how we can explore cultural exchanges at home, even when travel isn't an option. Erin suggests reading books that show life from different perspectives, like Narcopolis, a book about the drug trade in India. And if hearing her stories about life in Turkey makes you interested to learn more about the country, she recommends reading a book by Orhan Pamuk, like My Name Is Red or Istanbul.

You can continue the conversation online by connecting with Erin on Twitter. And make sure to find Boat online as well - its Instagram feed is one of my favorites. Check it out and you'll see why Design Week called the magazine, "A brilliant concept and equally brilliant execution." Past issues of Boat - featuring cities like Havana, Sarajevo and Detroit - are available for purchase here