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Episode 12: An Unfiltered Reunion with International Nomad Ryan Drysdale & Remote Worker Casey Lembke – Live from LowDown Brewery in Denver, CO

Chris, Ryan, & Casey (L to R)

Consider this somewhat of a bonus episode, thirsty listeners, because this one gets silly…but, it still packs a great message about travel and pursuing what moves you!

Full-disclosure: Casey Lembke and Ryan Drysdale are 2 of my good friends from college, so you can expect where that would lead our discussions…8 years ago, Ryan, Casey, and I dressed up as pirates and partied on boats in Lake Michigan. Now, we just drink at breweries in Denver. But in those 8 years, we’ve each covered a lot of ground. Casey has been a remote worker living in D.C., New Orleans, and Paris, while Ryan has spent time in Thailand, both U.S. coasts, and Chile; now, both call Denver home.

Once we make our way through the inside jokes of years past, Ryan and Casey share their respective stories of traveling the world, working remotely, trying out a number of different roles while still building a career, and living an unconventional but fulfilling lifestyle.

We visited LowDown Brewery + Kitchen in Denver’s Capital Hill neighborhood for this conversation, and made our way through many aptly named brews during this walk down memory lane.

Drinking Destination:

LowDown Brewery – Denver, CO

LowDown Brewery + Kitchen is one of Denver’s many breweries, but one of the most centrally-located only a few blocks from the state capital building. With a diverse selection of taps, food, and a hospitable staff, LowDown is definitely worth adding to your list when making your way through the Mile High City.

Coaster Notes:

Casey Lembke

  • The Boys – Casey Lembke, Ryan Drysdale, and Chris Luecke – spend 5 minutes reminiscing about an open-bar booze crews they threw to wrap-up their college careers. It was a wild time.
  • Ryan and Casey have been traveling the world in 2 very unique ways over the past 7 years. Ryan Drysdale began by teaching English in Thailand, then went on to Australia to become a bartender/plumber/carnie on a working holiday visa, California to join AmeriCorps, upstate New York for grad school, then down to Chile for 6 months before moving to Denver. Now, he’s working for Inspire Colorado, an organization with a mission of increasing youth voter turnout.
  • Casey Lembke, on a whim, drove out from Chicago to D.C. after college to get involved with international development and public health. He then left for New Orleans to become a brewer/community gardener/house-builder. After returning to Chicago to work on political campaigns and prepare for nursing school, he went back to New Orleans (again) to work for the city, traveled internationally, then picked up a gig writing for the U.S. Treasury Department which allows him to work completely location independently from Denver, CO.
  • Experiences you received by not going the traditional career path in your 20’s
  • When Casey was interested in public health, he worked for a Godiva Chocolate store in D.C. to help make ends meet. But, by dabbling in a number of different jobs, his path toward public health took a turn when his interests started to align elsewhere.
  • Shout-outs to Conway’s Smokin’ Bar & Grill and Summerfest!
  • “I’ll take 4 Summer Shandy’s please” –Manly Dude in Harley Gear
  • Through traveling, Ryan learned to be flexible, adapt, and learn quickly. At one point, Ryan was able to speak 6 different languages.
  • A manual labor job setting up stadium seating for a lacrosse tournament in Australia saved Ryan from going broke and having to call his trip early.
  • On problem-solving abroad: 6 Ways Long-Term International Travel Makes You a Better Business Person
  • Traveling shouldn’t be viewed as running away from something, but a “slow, sauntering meander toward something.” –Ryan Drysdale
  • Shout-outs to Eat, Pray, Love, Beerlao, and Chang!
  • On remote work: Casey’s job allows him to work from anywhere as long as he meets his deadlines. He has lived in France for 4 months at a time, and doesn’t really worry about vacation time. Remote work allows Casey’s coworkers to work on beaches in Thailand for months at a time, and afford him the flexibility to travel around the country to be with friends and family.
  • Living abroad allows you to really connect with a location, the people, the culture, etc. vs. just “flashpacking” through on a 10-day trip.
  • A couple “cons” of constantly being abroad: financial stress, and missing all of your friends’ weddings.
  • On working the 9-to-5: companies are becoming more flexible, travel is a catalyst for showing you the value of diversity of thought in a workforce, and be smart about how you’re using your vacation. But, you don’t necessarily have the same flexibility to travel for months at a time.

    Ryan Drysdale

  • Ryan butchers an Australian accent…
  • Speaking of Australia, Ryan shares a story of his adventures working as a carnie in Australia for a week and being banished to a dog crate.
  • To kick off Tipsy Talk, Ryan threw a Jimmy John’s sandwich at a LIMO that was transporting the wonderful Megan Janni…NICE!
  • Ryan wasn’t working for the DEA while he was in Thailand…or was he?
  • We briefly reference Alan Gross, a U.S. government contractor detained in Cuba after being accused of working for American Intelligence agencies. Here’s a history lesson if you’re not familiar with him.
  • I love Thai moonshine rice whiskey…apparently no one else does.
  • 2 places that can drink all others under the table: villages in Thailand have more drinking endurance than the U.S., and New Orleans on St. Patrick’s Day because it involves cabbage, porn, Twinkies, and carrots being thrown at you all at one.
  • Don’t just spend all your time abroad getting wasted (seriously). Take time to connect with the cultures.
  • Casey would grab a beer with the Obamas, followed by Kim Jong Un. Ryan would grab a drink with his grandfathers
  • Ryan Drysdale – believe it or not – plans to stick around Denver for a while. Don’t be surprised if you see him open up a hostel though sooner or later.
  • Don’t look at traveling with a significant other as a litmus test for your relationship, look at it as “building a castle of memories.”
  • Seriously, come to Denver and drink with Ryan and Casey! Contact info below…

Resources for When You’re Sober:

 Ha! Not in this episode!

Connect/Drink with Ryan & Casey:

While I would highly recommend against that (kidding…but a night with Ryan will leave you with a killer hangover and a handful of regrets), you can find Casey Lembke on various social media at @cheese09, and you can reach Ryan Drysdale via postcard or email at drysdale.ryan@gmail.com, or you can find him at his travel blog Ryan Around The World…or passed out on my couch covered in mascara. Also, if you tweet at Ryan, he will send you a postcard.

The Boys…doin’ their thang.

Visit LowDown:

LowDown Brewery + Kitchen is located at 800 Lincoln St, Denver, CO 80203. Bar hours are 11am-11pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11am-12am Friday and Saturday.

Music Credits:

“My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit. Check them out at LitBand.com.

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