Podcasts – An Essential Traveler’s Companion
For those of you who have never heard of podcasting – it is NOT:
An alien life form that has come to take over Earth
A new type of fly fishing technique
A new type of vegetable from the pea family
A new type of reality TV show
A new way to cast a movie
It is simply an audio recording of someone sharing information about something. Think of it as a weekly or daily radio show…and it’s free.
Why do I care about podcasts? Because they are a fabulous long term traveler’s companion! Even though this last year has been full of amazing experiences, it’s also been full of a large amount of waiting. Imagine yourself on a 6 hour local bus ride through Morocco. Imagine waiting in an airport in Jo’berg for a delayed flight for a 4 hours. Imagine an overnight train in Vietnam. Imagine sitting in the smelly, hot Indian Embassy in Rome for hours waiting for them to call your number. Imagine a ferry ride in Croatia or an 11 hour car ride in Egypt. Having something to listen to besides music or the person next to you is a wonderful solution to these common travel situations. Podcasts are typically educational and they connect you with the rest of the world. This is how I came across the Amateur Traveler Podcast www.amateurtraveler.com I was searching on the internet for podcasts about travel and I found this gem. A 40 min. weekly show about travel news, travel locations, and online resources…perfect! Before I went to a country I would often go through the archives of the show to see if they had any info relating to that country that I could listen to. I simply downloaded these episodes/shows to my ipod and could listen to them any time picking up information about places to go, things to eat, and tips that the guidebooks don’t tell you.
I have learned Italian, Arabic, and Hindi from podcasts (ok – not fluently, but enough to get me through hello, thank you, and how are you). I have learned about world, technology and entertainment news. I have learned all about digital photography through a podcast – The Digital Photography Show Podcast. I have learned grammar through podcasts – Grammar Girl Podcast. Ok – I know that many of you are wishing that I paid more attention to the Grammar podcat! I even listened to a complete recorded lecture from UC Berkley on American History 101 from the Civil War to Present – it was just like being in college all over again minus the exams and the kegs. It’s such wonderful entertainment that I normally feel guilty that it’s free…I feel like I should be paying for such a service.
After listening to some of my favorite podcasts regularly during my travels, I decided to do something that I never normally do….I decided to become a full-fledged groupie and actually contact some of the hosts from my favorite podcasts to just tell them that I enjoy their show and that they are keeping me entertained and educated while on the road. That’s how I ended up being a guest on one of my favorite podcasts – the Amateur Traveler. I emailed the host, Chris Christensen about my experiences listening to his show during my long term adventure, and sure enough – he bit.
I was a bit hesitant at first at the thought of going on a show and talking about travel. However, one thing I have come to realize is that I know a lot…and that’s not an easy thing to put down in words…in fact, I kind of cringe when I type it. However – deep down, I know that this extended travel has actually educated me tremendously about the travel industry in general. So when he suggested that I come on the show and talk about my travel as a solo female traveler – I thought – why not?! I’m not going to lie…I was pretty excited about this…as if I was back in college and Bon Jovi had asked me to personally join him on stage.
How do I go about getting one of these fabulous free podcasts you ask?
There are a few ways to download podcasts to your computer or your ipod (or similar music player) The easiest way is to go to Itunes Music Store (if you have it) and then click on the Podcast section on the left hand side – start to browse through the massive selection of podcasts that you can download to your ipod. You can also go to Itunes and simply search on a specific podcast and you should find it. Don’t have an ipod – no problem – then you can normally go directly to the podcast’s website instead and listen to the show – just do a Google search on the show’s name and podcast – you’ll start to get some hits. You can also simply browse around the Podcast Network website and see what they have to offer.
If you want to listen to my interview…and of course you do…simply click on this link!
Amateur Traveler Podcast – Episode #107 – Solo Travel As A Woman
Now – I’ve armed you with one of my big travel secrets…how I am able to waste large amounts of time without losing my mind…go forth, podcast, and enjoy! Oh yeah…don’t forget to listen to me on the Amateur Traveler Episode #107– I feel like such a star! And please, please, please drop me a comment and let me know what you think!