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5 essential travel podcasts to take on your next adventure

Written by Gav Murphy

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One of my favourite parts of travelling is the actual travelling bit. Jumping in a plane, a car or a rickety old bus, staring out the window and drinking in new surroundings.

Sometimes, though, I tend to wreck lovely, picturesque views with thoughts from my idiot brain. I’ll be staring at a sunset and thinking about that time I was 10 and wore my Dad’s Tina Turner t-shirt to school because I thought she was cool.

It’s during times like these – during hours of travelling – I need to switch my brain off. The best way I’ve found of doing this is with travel podcasts.

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I’ve recently got very into travel podcasts. There are some absolute bangers out there that can introduce you to new adventures – and let you in on some interesting little travel secrets.

So here are 5 of the best I’ve found, must-haves for the plane journey out on your next Flash Pack trip.

5. Travel Tales Podcast

What is it?  

Hosted by comedian Mike Siegel, Travel Tales is your more traditional “one man chatting” travel podcast. And, although that format is getting a little bit tired, Siegel’s love of travel and the wide variety of interesting people on the show make it one of the best travel podcasts out there. It could be a magician who’s visited both the North and South poles. Or a comedian who performs for troops in the Middle East. There are so many bonkers, hilarious and terrifying stories to sift through and Siegel is a master at getting them out of his guests.

Best Place to Start

Monster Party in Japan

I’m a huge Japan nerd but even I found out loads I didn’t know about travelling in the country thanks to this episode with comedian, writer and podcaster Matt Weinhold.

4. Zero to Travel

Jump started the day on a nice morning mountain walk with my honey @adorthe

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What is it?  

The Zero to Travel podcast is more functional. I’ve come across it several times after researching very specific travel information like looking for info on visas and getting tips on budget travel. Host Jason Moore speaks a lot about “location independence” and, when you hear all about that, if you ever had any worries about travelling solo, they’ll soon disappear.

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Location Independence Mini-Series

This is a 5 part mini-series where Jason speaks to 10 different people who’ve all managed to forego the comforts of home in favour of travelling and working all over the world. It’s one of the best advice-filled travel podcasts I’ve listened to.

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3. How are you? Where are you?

What is it?

This is an awesome hidden gem which charts the journey of Baden Campbell and his wife Shelley who got sick of living in London and decided to cycle home. That might not sound that interesting – except for the fact their home was almost 16,000km away in New Zealand. Their journey took 390 days and you find out just what a massive adventure like this does to people. They record travel podcasts all over the place and you really get a sense of their surroundings, thanks to their insisting on having recording equipment with them at pretty much all times.

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Episode 16: Cuba

You should probably start at the beginning – but the Cuba episode is super interesting. Baden manages to make a solo cycle adventure sound like the most exciting thing on a bike you’ll ever hear.

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2. Van Sounds

travel podcasts

Fil Corbitt is a writer, producer, musician and all-round interesting artist-person. His travel podcasts are beautiful little tracks that pull in atmospheric music while they tell you stories about travel culture. The guests Corbitt manages to find are compelling nomads and feel like they couldn’t possibly exist because you’d probably pass them on the street. Luckily, though, Corbitt does not. In proper ‘This American Life style, you end up absolutely fascinated by communities and cultures you didn’t even know existed at the beginning of the episodes.

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December 7th, 2017: Picon (hit this link, we couldn’t embed the individual episode)

An insanely extensive history of The Picon Punch, Nevada’s unofficial state drink. I’ve never been so captivated by an alcoholic drink. But the way Corbitt mixes in his guests with music and stories makes for the perfect accompaniment to bus window sunsets.

1. The Dirtbag Diaries

Tyler Dunning In a field full of fireweed, Glacier National Park. Have you heard his story, The Amazement Meter, yet? Chronic depression and the deaths of a few friends launched Tyler on a mission to visit all of the National Parks. He constructed an identity around the project, started writing a book and making a short film about his journey. But part way through the endeavor, he lost interest, and was again left with the question — ‘Now what?’ Listen at the link in our bio. Thanks to @tylerdunning for sharing these personal pictures. 1. Glacier National Park, returning last summer especially to see the flowers. 2. Yosemite 3. Kenai Fjords National Park 4. Fjordlands National Park, New Zealand 5. Identifying wildflowers with his nephew 6. Haleakala 7. Tyler’s book, cover art by @switmer777 @patagonia @kuatracks @vasenbrewing

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There’s a voice that starts all The Dirtbag Diaries I’ve listened to so far. It’s rough and grizzly and makes you instantly want to hear more from whoever it is. Turns out it’s actually an ad (lols) – but Dirtbag Diaries does such an awesome job of producing its shows, that it can make someone selling you a jumper sound great.

The podcast itself is less about information and more about giving you a stunning snapshot of different travellers’ lives and stories.

Writer and artist Fitz Cahall, “presents stories from unclimbed cliff faces, wind-swept ridges and the people who call the mountains their home.” What you might not know yet is how utterly obsessed you’ll become with this show when you start.

I don’t know how Cahall and his producers do it, but they’ve managed to sift through the billions of people on earth and found some absolute gems.

There are longer travel podcasts that explore quite broad topics or feelings but some of the best episodes come in the form of The Shorts where people are encouraged to send in their own stories. This means you get an even more fascinating spectrum of short, absorbing tales that are often hilarious and sometimes terrifying.

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The Fear is Real

An exploration of ‘fear’, how to overcome it and how it affects us. This is all told through guest Kat Cannell, who embarked on a 350-mile solo horse trip through the mountains of Idaho and Montana. It’s mightily inspiring stuff.

And there you have it. Those are just a few of my favourite travel podcasts I love to stare out bus windows with. It’s not strange, really. And if you have any recommendations of your own, absolutely let me know about them in the comments below. Enjoy your travels!

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Adventures with plenty of podcast listening opportunities…

Get on down in the deep south of USA

Getting to the USA is a fair old trek for most of us, which means plenty of hours spent travelling. Hook yourself up to a travel podcast, admire the clouds and before you know it you’ll be in New Orleans listening to live jazz. You’ll also take a VIP Elvis tour around Graceland and tuck into smoked BBQ meats in Memphis, but we’ll leave all of that just here.

Trek over to Vietnam & Cambodia

Not only are Vietnam and Cambodia two countries both quite far away but, once you’re there, there’s a fair bit of travelling to be done too. Fun travelling, might we add. You’ll take an overnight train to Sapa, to visit emerald-green valleys and rice paddies – perfect podcast listening time. You’ll also kayak beautiful Halong Bay, take Vietnamese cooking classes, see Angkor Wat at sunrise and stay in some stupidly awesome hotels. Like the sound of that? Here you go.

Escape to mind-blowing Bali

Bali isn’t the easiest place to get to and you’ll probably need to take a connecting flight. But that’s okay – you’ve got your podcasts. Then, once your adventure begins, there’s plenty of beach chilling opportunities ahead. Whip out your headphones and snatch a few hours in the sun, on a blissfully relaxing white beach, with your travel podcasts at the ready. You’ll probably need it, having climbed to the summit of Mt. Batur, trekked Ubud’s lush valleys and snorkelled a coral reef around a WW2 shipwreck. Ready to check out Bali? Let’s go.


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