The Big Listen ended production in May 2018. While this site is no longer updated, all the content remains available for archive purposes.
As a species, we humans love to explore. We also love to share our explorations with other people (think of all the family vacation slideshows and home movies people have suffered through over the years). There are tons of podcasts out there celebrating travel and adventure and we figured we’d showcase a few so we could live vicariously through them.
But podcasts aren’t just a great way to chronicle interesting journeys or share travel tips; they’re also a perfect travel companion. Clare Fieseler knows this better than most. She’s a National Geographic explorer and Smithsonian fellow. And in her spare time, she’s also a marine ecologist studying coral reefs around the world.
Fieseler travels to some of the most remote parts of the globe for her very cool job(s) and a lot of the time her destinations lack the creature comforts one might be used to living in the U.S. Often there’s no WiFi or even running water or flush toilets. So podcasts are often her only entertainment. Before she leaves on a long trip, she downloads a month’s worth of shows to keep her company during long plane rides or bumpy bus journeys or lonely nights spent running experiments.
Here’s what her playlist is looking like these days:
Love + Radio — The Living Room
Radiolab — The Man Behind The Maneuver
Tell Me More Shows To Check Out!
- Let’s Not Panic — Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Adam Wolfe were married in 2015. A year later, they took off on an epic journey, driving from San Francisco to Patagonia, Chile and back again. They decided to podcast their overland adventure so the rest of us could feel like we were tagging along with them. Highlights include an altercation with a llama, accidentally driving into a swamp and getting their Toyota Four-Runner stuck in the mud in Peru.
- On She Goes — Aminatou Sow is a world-class traveler (and host of another excellent podcast, Call your Girlfriend). As the daughter of Guinean diplomats, Sow traversed the globe growing up. Now as an adult, she travels a lot for work. And for fun. So it makes sense that she would host a travel podcast for women of color (but really, the tips and stories are great for all people!). Sow tackles business travel, tourism and geopolitical displacement among other topics. And she brings some fancy friends like Roxane Gay and Thao Nguyen along for the ride.
- Outside Podcast — Since the late 1970s, Outside magazine has been sharing tales of adventure, derring-do and survival in the outdoors. Its long-form narratives are some of the best nonfiction you’ll read and many literary lights like Sebastian Junger and John Krakauer got their starts with the publication. So it makes sense that now they would also have a podcast highlighting literary storytelling all about the outdoors.
- Very attractive listener recommendations: The Accessible Stall and Home: Stories From L.A.
Do you have a podcast recommendation you’d like to share with us? We want to hear it! Give us a ring on the Pod Line at (202) 885-POD1 and leave a message. Then we’ll put you on the radio and all your friends will hear you and be proud.
Thanks for reading! ‘Til next time…keep listening, America.
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