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Out There

Award-winning podcast that explores big questions through intimate stories outdoors.
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Now displaying: Page 3
Sep 9, 2021

Becky Jensen had given herself the perfect present for her 50th birthday: a two-week solo backpacking trip. But when she emerged from the trail, she learned that a wildfire had started near her home in northern Colorado. Her house might already be gone.

On this episode, Becky shares her story. She takes us from the tranquility of the San Juan mountains to a cramped basement where she waited out her evacuation, and explores how you find serenity when a natural disaster threatens everything you’ve built.


Refer friends, win rewards! Get your personal referral link here.

Aug 26, 2021

After a demoralizing hiking trip in college, Ava Ahmadbeigi gave up on nature. She had never been outdoorsy, and now she knew she didn't belong.

But that hiking trip kept haunting her. On this episode, Ava tells her story. She takes us from a cramped apartment in NYC to a mountain in the Adirondacks, as she seeks to find her place — both in her own body, and in the world outside her walls.


Click here to read the transcript for this episode.


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SUPPORT OUT THERE: Become a patron

Aug 12, 2021

A career in the arts is tough. Creative professionals are notoriously overworked and underpaid. Even if you “make it,” it’s easy for your passion to turn into just another stressful job.

On this episode, we bring you a story about photographer and skateboarder Khaleeq Alfred, who has been learning how to walk the line between following his dreams and paying the bills. It's a story about getting the compensation you deserve without sacrificing your artistic integrity, and about finding balance between happiness and the hustle.

You can read the episode transcript here.

Support Out There by becoming a patron today!

Jul 29, 2021

On this episode, we talk with Sarah Maslin Nir, author of the book Horse Crazy.

Horse Crazy is part memoir and part cultural exploration. It’s a love letter to an animal. It’s a story about the struggle to belong. And it’s a deep dive into the fascinating things that horses — and the humans connected to them — can teach us about ourselves and our society.

SUPPORT OUT THERE: Become a patron

Jul 15, 2021

Many of us assume that self care is inherently selfish — that we either focus on ourselves, or we help others.

But what if that’s a false dichotomy? This story explores how self care can end up being good for the greater community.

The story follows a woman named Linda Mohammad, also known as the Bucket List Traveler, who set out to visit all the national parks in the United States. When she started the project, she was just trying to get in shape and unplug from her hectic life. But the experience snowballed into something much bigger, and much more beautiful, than that.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: Click here to read the transcript as you listen.

PITCH US A STORY: Story pitches for our upcoming season, "Things I Thought I Knew," are due July 30, 2021. Click here to see our pitch guidelines.

HEAR OUR AWARD-WINNING EPISODE: Our episode "A Series of Unlikely Events" won a silver medal in PMJA's annual awards. Listen now.

SUPPORT OUT THERE: Help us pay for the beautiful stories you hear on the show.

Jul 1, 2021

My mother always told me I shouldn’t take “no” for an answer. If you don’t get what you want, she said, keep pushing. Growing up, I took that advice to heart: whatever the task at hand, I charged forward with dogged determination. But in 2018, a bicycle accident changed my outlook on what it means to back down, and I started standing up for myself in a new way.

 

SUPPORT OUT THERE: Become a patron on Patreon

Jun 17, 2021

How Harriet Tubman could change your perspective on who belongs outdoors

You probably learned about Harriet Tubman in school growing up — how she led slaves to freedom on the underground railroad. But she was a lot more than an activist and freedom fighter. She was a daughter, wife, entrepreneur — and a talented outdoorswoman.

On this episode, we explore Tubman’s relationship with nature; we unpack how that history shapes the way Black Americans engage with the outdoors today; and we show how a closer look at Tubman could offer new perspectives on who belongs outdoors.

FOR FURTHER LISTENING:

Jun 3, 2021

When Paul Barach embarked on his first thru-hike, he was expecting a life-changing experience. The Shikoku Pilgrimage, which traverses Japan’s most rural island and takes visitors past 88 Buddhist temples, promised to be a spiritual and meditative journey, as well as an epic adventure.

But the reality wasn’t so nice.

On this episode, Paul tells the story of what happens when the adventure of a lifetime doesn't turn out the way you'd hoped. How do you make peace with the worst parts of hiking, when those parts never end?

May 20, 2021

Climbing a mountain can be a lot like coming out.

That’s a metaphor filmmaker Devin Fei-Fan Tau explores in his new documentary Who’s On Top. The film follows four LGBTQ climbers who set out to summit Mt. Hood. It explores their connection to nature and their efforts to challenge stereotypes about gender and sexuality — and it offers an inside view into the literal and metaphorical mountains they face.

Devin joins us on this episode to talk about it.

WATCH THE FILM: Apple TV | Vimeo

SUPPORT OUT THERE: Patreon | Venmo | Other

May 6, 2021

As more people get vaccinated and the world starts opening up again, many of us are reflecting on the unprecedented isolation we’ve experienced over the past year. Extreme isolation was new for many of us, and we’re looking forward to getting back to normal.

But not everyone can escape their aloneness.

This is the story of a runner named Luanne Burke, who has been dealing with deep isolation for decades and will continue to experience it, even after much of the world returns to a “new normal.”

SUPPORT OUT THERE: Patreon | Venmo | Credit Card

Apr 22, 2021

In the wake of natural disasters, those affected are faced with a tough decision: do you leave and go somewhere safer, or stay put and try to rebuild your life?

How do you navigate that choice? And for those who decide to stay: what seals the deal? Why do we remain in disaster-prone areas, after losing so much?

This episode takes us to an island in North Carolina and tells the story of one man who finds himself firmly rooted to place, despite growing environmental threats.


FOR FURTHER LISTENING: Check out our playlist "After the Storm," which explores why we live where we live, as the climate warms.


SUPPORT OUT THERE: Patreon | Venmo | Credit Card/PayPal

Apr 8, 2021

In 2015, Australian journalist James Bennett moved to India, to take up a long-coveted role as a foreign correspondent.

James was an outdoorsy type: he liked to cycle, surf, camp, and fish. So he knew the move to India's crowded capital city was going to be hard. What he didn’t realize was how the experience would change his perspective on speaking up about your problems.

On this episode, he shares his story. It’s a story that first ran several years ago, but which feels surprisingly relevant again now.

Support Out There: Patreon | Venmo | Credit Card

Mar 29, 2021

On this bonus episode, we introduce you to a new podcast we think you'll love. It's called the Atlas Obscura Podcast, and it takes you on an audio journey to discover new, strange, and wondrous places from all over the world.

This particular episode is about Pyramiden​, an abandoned Soviet mining town, frozen both in time and in ice.

Thanks to its Arctic climate, scientists predict that it will resist decay longer than any other human settlement in modern history.

Mar 25, 2021

Explorer Christopher Venter lost his eyesight very suddenly, at age 40.

He was an avid traveler, and at first, he couldn’t imagine going on with life, if he couldn’t see. But eventually, he regained the will to live and the courage to explore the world.

On this episode, he takes us on a journey from Sicily to Southern France and shows us the world as he experiences it — with his other four senses.

The story comes to us from the Armchair Explorer Podcast, a show on which the world’s greatest adventurers tell their best stories from the road. At the end of the episode, we talk with Armchair Explorer host Aaron Millar about his show, and his desire to cure our “wonder deficit,” one story at a time.

For Further Reading: You can find Christopher Venter's books here.

Support Out There: Patreon | Venmo | Credit Card

Mar 18, 2021

On this bonus episode, we take you behind the scenes at Out There and tell you about a challenge that we’re facing as a podcast.

It’s a challenge endemic to the professional world, and we need your help in rising to it. (Don't worry: we'll make it easy to get involved).

Contribute to the Out There Internship Fund: Venmo | Credit Card

Mar 11, 2021

If there’s anything universal that most long-distance hikers dislike, it’s road walking. Asphalt is hot, tough on joints and tiring.

But the edges of roads can offer as many lessons as any alpine ridgeline.

On this episode, Kitty Galloway tells the story of something that happened on a highway in Idaho, which shifted her worldview.

It’s a story about confronting the narrative that women are vulnerable — victims in the making. And it’s about strength, fear, and learning to accept that two opposing truths can be valid at the same time.

For Further Listening: If you enjoy this story, check out the episode "Acceptance."

Support Out There: Patreon | Venmo | Credit Card

Feb 25, 2021

Growing up, Heather Kitching was enamored with rural life. She dreamed of living in the countryside, riding horses, wearing cowboy boots, and listening to country music. 

But when she got a little older, she learned something about herself that threw a wrench into that dream. She realized that if she was going to be her true self, she’d need to leave behind the place she loved.

On this episode, she shares her story. It's a story that first ran a few years ago, but it's just as good now as it was then.

For Further Listening: If you enjoy this story, check out the episode "Out of the Shadows."

Better outside: What has gotten better since being moved outdoors due to the pandemic? Leave us a voice message, and we might use it on the show!

Support Out There: Patreon | Venmo | Credit Card

Feb 11, 2021

Have you found yourself at odds with family members or close friends over diverging values? The past year has dredged up tensions over many issues — from racial justice, to proper pandemic behavior, to a highly politicized presidential election.

How do we nurture our relationships with loved ones, when the values that are central to our being are challenged?

On this episode, Stephanie Maltarich tells the story of a trip she took with her father in rural Ohio. The week they spent together outdoors highlighted the deep divides that existed in their politics and values, but their conversations around the campfire also laid some groundwork for reconciling with those divides.

 

If you enjoy this story...check out an episode called "The Truths We Hold."

Pandemic silver linings: what has gotten better since being moved outside? Leave us a voice message, and we might play it on the show!

Support Out There: Patreon | Venmo | Credit Card

Jan 28, 2021

When Tara Karineh and her husband embarked on a thru-hike with their three-year-old daughter, Acacia, they weren’t sure she’d be able to finish the trail.

Acacia regularly went hiking with her parents, but a multi-day backpacking trip took things to a different level.

On this episode, Tara tells the story of their attempt of the Trans-Catalina Trail, exploring what it takes for a small child to accomplish something big.

If you enjoy this story, check out the episode "Fractured Self," which explores coming to terms with your new identity after becoming a parent.

Support Out There

Jan 14, 2021

When Kelsie Wilkins moved to New York City, she quickly became overwhelmed. She was surrounded by more people than she had ever been around in her life, yet she felt an acute sense of isolation. She had never felt so alone in a crowd.

But eventually she did something that helped her belong. It began with a walk, and ended with a sense of connection.

On this episode, Kelsie shares her story.

 

If you enjoy this story, check out the episode "Before It's Too Late."

 

Help us keep making meaningful stories! Support Out There on Venmo, make a gift via Credit Card or PayPal, or become a monthly supporter on Patreon.

Dec 31, 2020

On this episode: A story about a cyclist in NYC, which explores how to get what you want — the friendly way.

Plus, a vision for an outdoor utopia. In a perfect world, what would the outdoors look like? We hear from outdoor leaders and listeners about their version of perfection in nature.

Support Out There

Dec 24, 2020

This year has been a time of profound isolation, and many of us are alone for the holidays.

But, hard as it may feel, being alone is not always bad.

This episode takes place in the desert in Utah back in 2015, and it explores how something sad and lonely can turn out to be an emotional victory.

Support Out There

Dec 17, 2020

Grand adventures often change us. They help us process complicated emotions and work through our problems.

But what if the forward progress is temporary? What if all the good vibes end, when you return to the “real world”?

On this episode, Paul Barach shares the story of his Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike, and explores the difficult process of going home to a life that looks bleak and broken.

If you like this story, check out "The Tools to Thrive." It's a story about a thru-hike on the Camino de Santiago, and it explores whether nature is actually necessary for an emotional reset.

Support Out There

Dec 10, 2020

Fresh out of college, Brendan Leonard was an alcoholic.

He got sober, but drinking had been his favorite thing. It was what defined him. After alcohol was taken away from him, he didn't know who he was anymore.

On this episode, he joins us to talk about the difficult process of creating a new life for himself. For Brendan, that new life came about through rock climbing. And it happened completely by accident.

Get featured on our New Years Episode!

Click here to send us a message describing your outdoor utopia. How do you feel in it? How is it different from now?

If you submit your voice memo by Dec. 16, we might air some or all of it on the show!

Support Out There

Become a monthly patron

Make a one-time gift on Venmo

Dec 3, 2020

When we pass people on the trail, we often exchange quick greetings, recognizing our fellow hikers and showing that we are no threat.

But sometimes — whether intentionally or not — the words we share with strangers in the wilderness end up being hurtful, or invasive. Sometimes, these exchanges exacerbate wounds created by a lifetime of discrimination.

On this episode, Barbara Jensen shares their experience as a gender-neutral hiker, and invites us to consider adopting a new trail etiquette.

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