Part 2 is about Michael Barticel's story, which seems, could be a news headline or a movie plot: selling all his stuff to travel the world. But there's more to that story. I am privileged to dive into the reasons, struggles and lessons of Michael's life, and the role handpan played in it.
Sylvain: Hey, it's Sylvain! And this is the handpan podcast.
This episode is part 2 of a short series of two separate conversations I had with Michael Barticel. The first chat we had was made for his podcast (The Good People Effect podcast), that's part 1. And this conversation you're about to hear was made for the handpan podcast, this is part 2 that you're listening to.
If you haven't listened to part 1 yet, I think you should because you get to listen in on this really cool conversation that happened between 2 complete strangers. I feel like I had an instant connection with Michael. And in part 1, he's actually interviewing me, so I'm on the opposite side of your typical episode of the handpan podcast. Of course, you always hear snippets from me here and there through my reactions and interactions with guests of this show, but part 1 is by far the most information I've shared about my own journey on this podcast, that's kinda why I called this series "There's More to that Story".
Okay, now turning to this episode. What you're about to hear could be a news headline or even a movie plot: someone who sold all his possessions to travel the world. The thing is, it's about more than that. He's about more than that. I am privileged to dive into the reasons, the struggles and the lessons of Michael's life story, and the role the handpan played for him. So, here we go:
Sylvain: Okay. Great. Well Michael, thank you for joining me for this episode. It's so good to chat with you again.
Michael: Thanks for having me on the show and thank you for the invitation. I'm excited to have another conversation cause I feel like the last one we had was was very enjoyable.
Sylvain: Yes. And I feel like we need to give some background for listeners, this feels like part two of a conversation between you and me because part one happened on your podcast, The Good People Effect podcast, and we'll get into that in a moment. Um, but you were incredibly kind to invite me on your show and it feels great to, uh, now kind of turn the table and get to hear more about your story. Um, and obvious place to start is you have a really cool accent. Michael, where are you from?
Michael: Thank you. It's, it's an Aussie accent and I'm from Melbourne, Australia. It's kind of like the South part of the country. Yeah.
Sylvain: And what time is it there right now?
Michael: So at the moment I'm in, I'm on Vancouver Island in Canada, so it's actually about midday. Where I'm from. I think it's like the next day and some change shorts. It's quite difficult to stay in touch with people from home. But yeah, I'm on Vancouver Island at the moment. It's about midday.
Sylvain: Oh, that's great. What brings you to Vancouver Island?
Michael: Well, I'm on a, it's kind of like a Workaway experience. I really wanted to visit, British Columbia. I felt like there was a lot of natural beauty that I wanted to experience here and I was trying to find a way to do it while still working on the podcast. And I met a guy online that does these, they're kind of like adventure wildlife tours. So we go out on the boat and there's like bear watching and, and we from a distance we look at, um, wildlife whales and Eagles. It's an amazing thing. And it sounded great, um, online and he needed someone to help him run a bed and breakfast on Vancouver Island. And I kind of made a little video and sent it to him. And here I am. So I'm here. I've been here for a couple of months now and I've got about another six weeks to go.
Sylvain: Wow, man, that sounds like a remarkable experience among many, many travel experiences that you've had. And I'm, I'm going to ask you about that. Um, you know, one of the things that I noticed right away when, uh, you reached out to me and I checked out some of your art is the term "today dreamer". This is, uh, your domain name for your website today, dreamer.com. It's also, um, your handle on social media, on Instagram. What does "today dreamer" mean to you? That's it.
Michael: That's an awesome question. No one's actually ever asked me that before. Uh, so today dreamer, for me is, is the idea of having dreams, uh, daily, um, but also acting on them and um, really kind of not sweeping anything under the rug and not kind of daydreaming and trying to be as much as you can, you know, in the moment or something we spoke about in our last conversation as well. Trying to live in the moment as much as possible and letting go of the times that we're not able to do so. But really just taking action. It's like a little reminder to myself to take action on the dreams that I have and really, you know, um, use the tools that I have at my disposal to create something.
Sylvain: Hmm. That's a beautiful juxtaposition because, um, you're right. Oftentimes the term dreamer becomes a caricature, right? Of someone who just lives in their inner world, uh, which is important, but who doesn't take action. And you come across to me as someone who's really balanced that cultivating and nurturing your, your creative, imaginative world, but also pursuing some really adventurous experiences. So it's, it's just a beautiful picture of a new, a third way, an alternative to, to really balance those, those things. Where does that originate?
Michael: I couldn't point it to a single origin, but I guess through all my experiences and just different situations that I've been in and, and kind of analyzing the outcome afterwards and trying to learn from certain, certain things that, that happen, that in situations that we're in and, and try to see things from as many perspectives as possible, I guess. Um, I've just developed into who I am. It's, I can't really say it was one thing more than another, but I really feel like the message that, you know, your imagination is what reality actually is, is, is an important one that I've, I've learned for myself.
Sylvain: Hmm. And um, so you're a filmmaker, a photographer, a handpan player, and talk to me about this creative itch that you've scratched. What are some of the, the paths that you've explored, um, tapping into your creativity?
Michael: I don't know if I've sort of scratched it just yet, to be honest. Sylvain I feel like it's, it's like a constant, um, game I guess. And I want to develop further. And, um, and I'm, I feel like I'm honestly in a lot of ways just beginning my journey. I guess if I was going to kind of start from some point, it would probably be, uh, I went into, went into school to advertising and I felt, uh, kind of drawn to advertising. And I, this is another lesson that I've kind of figured out just recently and really kind of experiences when you're drawn to something and you follow it. And it's interesting what happens, um, in comparison to when you don't. And anyways, so I got into, uh, advertising and I studied advertising for a little while and then I went off and, uh, weirdly enough got a job at a bank and I worked at the bank for a little while and I felt my, I don't know, I just felt myself slipping away and I didn't feel like the life I was living was right for me. I felt like there was something kind of wrong on the inside. So I decided to save up some money and go on, go on a bit of adventure to Europe for three months. And that adventure, although there was, it was in my early twenties, there was a lot of kind of partying and chasing girls and um, doing, doing things that, I don't know, it's just like I was a younger version of me. I learned a lot from that experience and I was exposed to, you know, different kinds of scenarios as you are when you travel. And um, there was this course, there's was this course on creativity. I kind of left the advertising thing behind. It was this course and creativity that I was trying to get into. And uh, they accept only the 50, 50 students out of the, all the entries, thousands of entries from the country. And I'd tried before and I just didn't get in, but I didn't put much effort into the application. And while I was kind of traveling, I wa