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People often ask us why we left to go travel, and the truth is…there is no one reason. It was complicated, but most likely a mixture of wanting a sense of adventure, not being happy and a feeling that something was missing.
All this time later, and we have a sense of direction and purpose – and I believe I have a few podcasts to thank for that!
Let me explain. From the minute I explored the podcasts section of iTunes, I was hooked. I started downloading them by the dozen, more than I could listen to every hour for the rest of my life. I love that the format is so accessible; they are free for listeners and relatively easy for podcasters to produce. Plus, podcasts are personal, portable and perfect for travelers. Podcasts are like a kickback to the golden years of radio – except that rather than gathering around the big clunky box with the family, suddenly I was able to listen to a podcast during times otherwise spent idly waiting on long bus rides, bumpy boat trips, layovers in airports.
Podcasts allow me to escape, to cheer up, to wind down, but most importantly, I realized that listening to podcasts has allowed me to dream.At first, Dani treated my obsession with podcasts as if they were ‘the other woman’ and shocked at how much time I was spending with my new crush. Over time, however, we started listening to them together, using our Belkin RockStar headphone splitter (mandatory gear for traveling couples). Traveling through Laos, we once listened together to four podcasts by Pat Flynn (see below) during a 3.5 hour ride in the back of a pick-up truck from Nong Khiew to Luang Prabang.
Just last month, Dani finally ordered her very own sleek iPod Touch and downloaded iTunes. Now she’s finding even more podcasts and sharing them with me, like one of her favorites: NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.
Laughter is the best medicine
Some of my podcasts are for pure entertainment purposes only. Some might teach me a thing or two about life, of course, but no matter if we have had a challenging day or feeling a little lonely on the road, these podcasts lift my spirits, make me laugh and make me think.
Hollywood Babble-On, with Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman – crass boy/potty humor that I love not feeling bad about laughing along with.
This American Life – a weekly public radio show hosted by Ira Glass and possibly the best podcast of all.
New Music discovery
NPR All Songs Considered – it’s hard to stay current with music on the road, so I find it easier just to stay way ahead, instead, and the All Songs Considered folks have their fingers on the pulse of what is about to pop in all genres of music.
electro-swing.com – With one click of the ‘subscribe’ button on a whim, I discovered an entire genre of music that has turned out to be the kind of music I always wished people would make but had never heard.
Health and Wellness podcasts
I have made no secret about my struggle with maintaining my health on the road, and these two podcasts have helped me immensely with understanding health and wellness.
The Jillian Michaels Podcast – I instantly fell for Jillian’s super-educated, scientific, and no-nonsense content all wrapped up in a sarcastic dislike of the self-help genre in general.
Underground Wellness – I am not ‘Paleo’, but Sean Croxton’s podcast is so incredibly educational about macro-ideas like the state of our food down to the intricate workings of micro-nutrients in our bodies.
When I started listening to podcasts about working online, something inside me changed forever.
For the first time, this trip did not seem like an extended round-the-world adventure. It became about creating a legitimate lifestyle, and I discovered that there are thousands of people out there who are living a similar dream. Through listening to their stories, I could finally visualize the possibilities on how to bottle this happiness and continue our lives along this path for as long as we both want it.
Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn – this is the best podcast I have ever found about making money online. Pat is honest, genuine, and entirely transparent as to how he pulls in between $40,000- $60,000 a month online.
The Suitcase Entrepreneur with Natalie Sisson – One of the few great female voices in the online business space, Natalie – herself a successful digital nomad – interviews dozens of other entrepreneurs who are able to maintain a life of travel while growing a successful business. So inspiring.
What about the travel podcasts, then?
You may have noticed that travel podcasts are noticeably absent from my list of favorites – something you probably wouldn’t expect from a travel blogger. That’s not for lack of trying. I have downloaded every podcast out there about travel at some point. I am no expert, just a big podcast geek, but as far as I can tell, there is no travel podcast out there that inspires or entertains on par with my other favorites. No one who I want to spend an hour a week listening to.
So, I wonder: Do you know of a travel podcast that is savvy, well-produced, entertaining and inspiring? What travel podcasts would you recommend? More importantly what are your favorite podcasts in general? Would love your tips in the comments below!
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Would you like to get to know us better, keep up with where we are and what our lives are really like on the road? We are finally launching our official GlobetrotterGirls.com newsletter, and you’ll get more access to Dani and I. We will tell personal stories that don’t make it onto the blog, link to our TripAdvisor reviews and Foursquare check-ins so you know what we really think about the places we visit around the world, answer reader questions and occasionally give away some pretty serious travel goodies, like the one this week!
To thank you for being one of our first readers to sign-up, we have teamed up with Courtyard by Marriott to give away a $300 gift card to one of you! Courtyard has refreshed 500 of their lobbies around the United States this year and we love what they’ve done! These new lobbies have bistros with Starbucks and places to work with plenty of outlets to plug in, plus great ideas for finding out more about local attractions in each destination. Check out our dedicated page for more info the new revamped Courtyard hotels and just why we love it so much!
All you have to do to win the $300 Courtyard Gift Card is sign up for the newsletter here or in the sign-up box on top of this post by 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time on August 14, 2012. The winner will be selected by using random.org and announced on August 15, 2012, in the first edition of our newsletter!
We can’t wait to go Beyond the Blog with you – stay tuned!