Our Favorite Podcasts
Among the thousands of hours of music that we listen to each year, there comes a time when we need to step aside and aurally stimulate our minds in another way. When we’re fully engaged in working on website stuff, or even when we’re simply cruising down the road, we’re often playing a podcast to accompany our experiences.
Podcasts are great because they’re generally free, super easy to listen to, and nourishing to the mind. In case you don’t already know, a podcast is similar to talk radio insofar as that it usually has someone speaking, a few accompanying sound effects, and a particular theme. You can find everything from storytelling to comedy, and educational to inspirational.
We thought that it would be useful to include some of our favorite podcasts to inspire others and to keep tabs on what we’re currently listening to.
Stuff You Should Know, often abbreviated as SYSK, is an award-winning informational podcast published by the HowStuffWorks website and hosted by Josh Clark and Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant, both writers at HowStuffWorks. It is one of the most popular podcasts in the world, consistently ranked in the Top 10 list on iTunes. The chemistry between Josh and Chuck is not only a pleasure to listen to, but is also instrumental in listening to them cover everything from Attila the Hun, diabetes, the Berlin Wall, and wine.
Pondercast is a collaborative effort set up on the creative musings of past CBC Radio 2 broadcaster Lori Brown, and the dynamic contemplative soundscapes of Joshua Van Tassel. Pondercast is a show that focuses on a little bit of everything, but with a deep meditative mood erring on the side of thoughts about life and death, finding presence in nature, altered states of being, insomnia, curiosity, and more. Pondercast is best listened to while laying in bed, or while out on a stroll. Lori Brown truly has a knack for drawing you out to the furthest reaches of rumination, and her voice is the siren song guiding you along the way.
Unexplained is a bi-weekly podcast about real life spooky stories that have never quite been fully explained. As humans, we have a pathological desire to see that every mystery is resolved, every story has a meaning, and every occurrence fits within the finite realm of how we see the world. Richard MacLean Smith dances on the border of scientific explanation and paranormal conundrum. His episodes range from strange disappearances, parallel universes, poltergeists, murder mysteries, and UFO sightings, among other things. If you’re a fan of the odd unsolved riddle, or even an enthusiast of history, you’ll love this thrilling podcast.
If you’re familiar with “The 4-Hour Workweek,” the handbook for many digital nomads on how to create wealth independence, you’ll love the podcast hosted by its author, Tim Ferriss. While Ferriss has inspired thousands to develop previously unimaginable lifestyles of full time living, his podcast focuses on long form interviews with world-class performers in the areas of investing, sports, business, art and health. The Tim Ferriss Show is hardly a get-rich-quick scheme podcast, instead it revolves around distilling and deconstructing the tactics, tools, and routines of some of the most influential people the world has to offer.
Location Indie could be hailed as two separate but intertwining concepts: an entire community, and a podcast. Originally, Location Indie started as a website designed to bring the skill sets of various digital nomads around the world. At some point along the way, however, founders Jason and Trav wanted to create a podcast geared toward exploring a real and honest look at some of the finer points of remote work and travel. Episodes are usually arranged into half-hour blocks and cover everything from how to ditch the 9 to 5 job, to hot business trends, and even the nitty gritty of what it’s like to travel with a toddler.
Tanis is a wildly entertaining detective podcast undertaken by the host, Nic Silver. Set in the Pacific Northwest, this podcast will have you questioning what is real and what is not, as the storyline flows through a meandering ravine in an attempt to discover what and where the mysterious entity known as Tanis is. As you follow along the path of Silver’s circumstantial discoveries, you’ll find that the lines of science and fiction start to blur. The nature of truth, conspiracy, and information are constantly called into question in each episode, just as you venture further into the deep and foggy woods of investigation to unearth the otherworldly.
The Local Nomads are probably one of our favorite travel couples. We’ve found that their story has held many similarities to our own, and in some ways has been somewhat of a guide on where we can go and how we could do it. Adam and Gabby don’t necessarily tell you about all the different ways to become location independent, or find financial freedom, but instead they share in-depth stories from their journey. The couple came from tiresome and hapless jobs in New York. Along the way, they’ve worked seasonal jobs in Alaska, and at the Grand Canyon, taught English in South Korea, and sat down for many meals of pho in Vietnam.
On Being is an hour-long radio show on national public radio, as well as a podcast featuring long form interviews of highly prominent people, such as: Yo-Yo Ma, Maya Angelou, Desmond Tutu, Thich Nhat Hanh, Paulo Coelho, Brené Brown, and the 14th Dalai Lama. Hosted by Krista Tippett, each episode examines what it calls the animating questions at the center of human life: “What does it mean to be human, how do we want to live, and who will we be to each other?” Tippett has a rich background as an American journalist, diplomat, and entrepreneur, and she finds wonderfully angular and thought-provoking questions to ask her guests.
The End of the World is hosted by one of the brainiacs from the Stuff You Should Know podcast, Josh Clark. The podcast is a mini-series focusing on the existential risks that humanity will face over the next 200 years. The concepts that are quickly becoming realities, like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and seemingly haphazard physics experiments all pose great threats to the future and continuity of the human species. Clark truly puts his skills as a researcher and critical thinker on display, as he lays each existential risk out before you so that they don’t seem like far-off and convoluted concepts. Be warned: this podcast will make you feel vulnerable.