top of page

Elan Vitae


  • J Bristol


One ticket. One way. One destination. No coming back. Where would you go? If you could have a one way ticket to anywhere . . . ANYWHERE . . . past, present, future, real, imaginary or even a state of mind, where would you go?

This is exactly what Steven Shalowitz offers guests on his hit podcast, The One Way Ticket Show. Since its inception in 2012, Steven has welcomed more than 160 guests from a variety of fields including: Art and Design, Business, Communications, Entertainment, Travel and World Affairs. While there are some popular destinations, each guest has a unique reason for going.

Steven’s own experiences both working and living abroad planted the seed for this show many years prior to its launch. Born and raised in Chicago, Steven worked for a major international advertising agency in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore and New York City. He is an exhibited photographer with a penchant for travel to rogue nations and his adventures have taken him from North Korea to Libya, Iran to Burundi, and Syria to Burkina Faso. Steven earned his B.A. in Chinese Language & Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, and his M.A. in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C.

While living in Singapore, Steven had the opportunity to interview many celebrities for his Latin music show. He often found himself wondering what destination these guests might choose if they were given a one way ticket, no coming back. He held onto the idea, however, until he later returned the United States where he could dedicate time to building an entire show around the concept.

As whimsical as the topic of a one way ticket sounds, the conversations that result from each guest’s choice are anything but. Some have chosen to go back in time to witness historic events, to right wrongs, or to change the course of history if possible. Others have opted for present day but a land far from their own. Still others would like to explore space or other dimensions of reality. Each guest brings their unique perspective based on their personal history, profession, and even political perspective.

So, how does he choose who gets a one way ticket? According to Steven, his guests have to be interesting people doing interesting things. The one similarity they all share is passion. Passion for life and a commitment to what they do. In his more than 160 episodes, he has welcomed chefs, artists, diplomats, actors, educators, journalists, and designers. These guests have opted for one way tickets far and wide to such destinations as 1960s America, 2117 New York City, Germany 1932, the kitchens of Italy, Mars, and a small village in the south of France. When asked if any particular destination choices have ever surprised him, Steven said, “I wouldn’t say surprised me, but some are just so fanciful! I loved how chef and cookbook author Jennifer Abadi, who is a specialist in the cuisines of the Middle East, wanted her one way ticket to be a confectioner in the kitchens of sultan Suleiman the Magnificent at the height of the Ottoman Empire. WOW! After so many episodes, I've heard everything. Some want to go back in time because they like the era or to right a wrong or to be part of a movement. Many want to go into the future to see the fruits of seeds planted. Some want to go into space given their fascination with our universe. Each one is unique. Even if it's the same place, each guest brings a different twist to their destination.”

Steven’s gift for asking thoughtful questions results in a dynamic exchange, and often, a lesson in history. His The One Way Ticket Show Extra segment started out as just that, extra, but quickly became an integral part of the show. “I figured as long as I’m chatting with someone on their one way ticket journey, I might as well ask them about their lives and work and any projects they have” says Steven. What happens during this discussion often paints a picture of that person’s background and reasoning behind their choice of destination.

It would be difficult to host so many in-depth conversations with unique perspectives from such diverse guests and not have it affect you personally. Steven invests a lot of time preparing for each episode of The One Way Ticket Show, making each guest’s appearance quite an education for him. Many of his in-depth conversations have turned those same guests into friends. The most recent impact on Steven’s personal life by The One Way Ticket Show was his decision to go vegan. This lifestyle change had been under consideration for some time, but it was vegan icon Victoria Moran’s appearance on the podcast that solidified the shift for him.

Education, information, and entertainment await you, too, as you make your way through a substantial list of episodes.

If all this talk about one way tickets is sparking your own wanderlust, head on over to the podcast website at where you can submit YOUR one way ticket destination. You submission may even be read on air! While you’re at it, be sure to subscribe right there on the website for the latest episodes or search for The One Way Ticket Show on iTunes and Stitcher. You can also find unique snippets from the podcast at all The One Way Ticket Show socials including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

See full interview with Steven here:


bottom of page