When Leanne and Lyle McCabe met over a last-ditch coffee date, little did they know what was in store: A second marriage, a travel podcast and the adventure of a lifetime.
Leanne was ready to pack in online dating. After all, she had a great job, an apartment, three adult kids living under an hour away and a solid group of friends. There was no need to rock the boat with blah dates anymore, but she decided to go for it one last time.
Lyle was also done with online dating. He wasn’t connecting with anyone but figured he would try it once more before calling it quits. If it didn’t work out, he was happy being independently wealthy.
As fate would have it, Leanne and Lyle had agreed to one last date with each other. The rest, as they say, is history. ‘It’s hard to believe how much fun we’ve had in the last eight years,’ says Lyle.
Both agree that travel has significantly shaped their journey as a couple. Still, neither discovered travel as early as they would have liked.
Leanne took a trip with her three teenage kids to the United States in her 40s and visited Egypt at 50. Meanwhile, Lyle first experienced travel in his 40s. ‘I just didn’t realize how much fun it was. If I had, I would have [travelled], but I was just too busy working [before that].’
Leanne does wonder whether she would be travelling the way she does now if they hadn’t met. ‘It would be very different, I guess. I’d have given [travel] a go if I could, but I wouldn’t have done it solo… it’s nicer travelling together,’ adding that some moments are better shared.
Leanne recalls fondly that one of the first things she said to Lyle was that she wanted to travel to Spain, to which he replied ‘I guess I’m going to Spain then.’ After spending a few weeks in southern Europe’s largest country, they realised they wanted more travel in their lives.
Since meeting in 2015, Leanne and Lyle have made big changes to make that possible. They downsized their home and sold their co-owned hospitality business to spend more time with their kids and grandchildren and explore the world with one another.
You could almost say their first trip together unleashed a new lease of life for them.
Travelling is just one part of the journey. The other part is sharing it on their podcast, Beach Travel Wine. Lyle jokes the podcast started because Leanne wanted to impress her kids, but the truth is she always wanted to be a travel writer. She just wasn’t motivated enough to keep up with her blogging.
But an obsession with listening to podcasts helped pave the way for them to have their own show. One day, while looking for new content, Leanne came across podcasts where hosts are unburdened by a professional microphone set-up and simply speak into their phones.
‘What a great way to share. There’s nothing better than sitting down with other people interested in travel, telling stories, giving each other tips and information and having fun doing it.’
Leanne realized guerilla-style podcasting was actually something they could do together. ‘We did our first one in Paris and got such a buzz. We loved it so much and kept going from there,’ she explains.
While it may have started as a simple idea to document the post-50s travels of two people in their second marriage – with 70 episodes and counting – the podcast has brought Leanne and Lyle much more satisfaction from their trips. Leanne thinks that’s because they put a lot more effort into researching where they are going and do more when they return home and put the episode together.
Leanne and Lyle are incredibly generous with the amount of detail they go into with each episode. Both are often looking for stuff that will add more colour and depth to each episode.
When in a destination, they’re connected with each other and the environment much more because they think and talk about the podcast. ‘It’s added so much to our travels,’ says Leanne.
And if you think back to Leanne’s earlier sentiment that some moments are better shared, this podcast plays right into that. It’s their way of sharing some of the magic they experience while travelling with the world. Perhaps even encouraging others to embrace the joy of travel, regardless of their life stage.
‘We’ve got friends who don’t want to travel overseas, and I think that’s fine, too. Do what you’re comfortable with, even if that’s exploring your own backyard. You could go within a couple of hours of where you live. It’s just so nice to go out and talk to other people and experience a few different places,’ says Leanne.
Lyle adds it’s important not to overthink it. ‘Too many people are trying to work out what they can’t do versus what they can do.’
Even though they’re fresh off a trip in Italy with Intrepid and publishing podcasts about drinking wine in Rome and hitting beaches along the Amalfi Coast, they’re already thinking about their next adventure with Intrepid.
After being on a bus with 25 people in Mexico, Leanne and Lyle had initially been reluctant to go on another group trip, but a friend convinced them to give Intrepid a go. The small group travel experience turned out to be the perfect pace for them. Lyle says it really topped off their eight-week jaunt in Italy. ‘There was plenty of free time, but there were also other things you could do that were organised, and we didn’t feel rushed.’
‘We’ve been looking at Turkey and Intrepid tours that we might be able to do there. I really want to go to Turkey. I think it would be a great trip,’ says Leanne.
It doesn’t matter to Lyle where they go as long as it’s together. ‘Wherever I am in the world, if I’m with Leanne, I know I’m going to have a great time, and that’s gospel. So yeah, whatever else happens, that’s all that matters.’