“Embrace your journey, and it will take you to where you are supposed to be.” Dayvee Sutton
When we reflect on our journeys to where we are, we see how different events and experiences led to our current positions. Therefore, we must embrace our journey to find meaning and fulfillment in life. This is according to our guest today, Dayvee Sutton, who believes that her present is largely explained by everything she has experienced in her previous experiences.
Dayvee Sutton is an investigative storyteller who travels the world uncovering the unseen in the most picturesque places. From hunting for pink dolphins and black caiman in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest to riding a motorbike through the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam, and gritty reporting in the infamous La Perla neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She uses travel adventures as the gateway to draw in audiences. Her reporting range covers everything from fun holiday travel tips to breaking news stories like navigating trips in the pandemic and important issues like the climate crisis.
Dayvee’s unique perspective as a black woman in this space allows her to explore how the climate crisis affects the lives of women, indigenous people, people of color, and others whose needs and welfare tend to come last around the world. Her storytelling approach is relatable and tangible for audiences from her years as a journalist and not a scientist.
Dayvee’s work can be seen on NBC News and TODAY Show, CNN, Dr. Oz, and The Weather Channel. She produced and hosted two seasons of an adventure travel show for Amazon Prime Video called “Beyond the Usual”, the series “Extraordinary Experiences” for USA TODAY Network, and is a Pathfinder host for “Lonely Planet.” Dayvee also is one of the producers for “Health Minute” and “Consumer Watch” for CNN New source.
In today’s episode, our guest will discuss her travel experiences and how her journey has led her to discover her art, which is entrepreneurial journalism.
- So my background is as a traditional local news journalist, and most of my career was spent in sports, which I did for about 12 years. [4:01]
- I then co-hosted a lifestyle and entertainment show locally, and that is where I really kind of found what I like to do. [4:13]
- Everything in my background is like a full circle to making sense to right now, starting from where I was born and raised. [4:24]
- I grew up in south of the suburbs of Los Angeles, where I was exposed to all kinds of cultures just being in a diverse friend group, and I was always so curious. [4:30]
- Come to curving a whole journey of 15 years in news media, making a career pivot about six years ago to start my production company and go full-on in and tell travel stories. [5:28]
- My background and even my college education help me take a deeper dive because what I learned as having a degree in world religions are empathy and perspective. [5:48]
- One of my kind of taglines is that my job is to inspire you to go, and the audience consists of people who want to be inspired to try and go, but most of the audience are just interested in learning. [7:54]
- Another underlying mission in my work is to dismantle colonialism in travel, and I know that can be triggering, but the whole industry is based on that. [8:20]
- That means everything is set up to accommodate your comfort and your standards instead of allowing you to immerse yourself into how they do things. [8:50]
- In my stories, whether they are the short, fun ones or on video, or if they’re a longer, deeper dive one, I kind of try to unpack the impact and how to do it better. [9:11]
- Being humble is a better approach than demanding that somebody tend your way just because you are who you are. [12:45]
- You stand out and probably will get treated more favorably if you are humble in your approach because they aren’t used to it. [13:18]
- Basic manners and kindness does go a long way. [14:20]
- Commercial Break. [17:15]
- Travel is the best education, I think, and so whenever I touched the ground into a new place, I have my ears and eyes wide open, and I try to just soak it all up. [19:34]
- I recently unearthed and digitized these VHS tapes of when my dad took us to different places, and it was a bit surreal seeing little me and doing what I do now. [20:04]
- Talk about a full circle is just learning about this child me, and what I do now has just been amazing. [21:30]
- I love the world and learning about how people live, and it is those human bits anywhere around the world that inspire me to encourage people to travel. [21:45]
- Whatever little box we have grown up in, when we start to see that people are all the same, it breaks down all stigma, stereotypes, and bigotry that they might have grown up with. [22:38]
- I was working in a traditional newsroom when I became inspired by another journalist who is a celebrity journalist, Soledad O’Brien. [23:50]
- I started to investigate the idea of entrepreneurial journalists, which is different than a freelance journalist. [ 54:51]
- In my company, we create ideas like programs segments, and we produce particular content for different networks and outlets, and my approach is a little deeper. [25:12]
- One of the things that I do pretty regularly is I am on-air contributor to several national programs. People are curious about how to do that, so I’m coming up with an e-course to show people that any expertise is fit for TV. [25:38]
- Your dream is your dream, and there are lots of obstacles along the way, but if it were easy, everyone would do it. So keep going. [29:40]
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