I’ve been bitten by the travel bug…hard! Every plane ticket purchased and every passport book stamped has made me richer, better, and more inspired. From small, sleepy beach towns in Brazil and quiet quaint villages in Europe to bustling cities like Toronto and New York, I enjoy visiting new places and experiencing life beyond my backyard. Regardless of how I get to my final destination, I love to use my travel time to catch up on my favorite podcasts. Here are a few great ones to listen to and places to visit!
What are your favorite podcasts and destinations? Comment below!
Brazil// “Ladies Who Lunch.” Created and hosted by YouTube sensations Ingrid Nilsen and Cat Valdes, “Ladies Who Lunch” is probably my most favorite podcast on this list. While eating lunch, Nilsen and Valdes engage in less than “polite dinner conversation” and explore topics about sex, relationships, and more. I probably enjoy this series the most because both hosts are my age, examine issues that are so unbelievably relatable to what you and I experience daily, and are just raw, real, and honest. Take a listen to a few of my favorites “Being Honest With Yourself,” “Attacking Your Anxiety,” “Unveiling the Mask of Makeup,” and “Are You Racist?”
Honorable Mention: “Modern Love.” From the New York Times comes this beautiful, endearing, tragic, and sometimes funny podcast where celebrities narrate reader-submitted essays that examine love in all of its varying facets. “Groomzilla,” “A Millenial’s Guide to Kissing,” and “Screens Between Us” are lovely.
Why Brazil? Over the course of two life-changing weeks, I spent time in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Itaparica, and Praia do Forte challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone and do things I’d never done before. I practiced capoeira, learned to stand up paddle board, went zip lining, and attended a real football match. What was incredibly mesmerizing and awe-inspiring, besides the gorgeous people and delicious food, was the culture and seeing so many Brazilians who looked exactly like me yet had cultures entirely foreign from my own. Portuguese, samba, Candomblé–there is so much rich culture and history worth exploring that Brazil is easily my favorite destination spot on this list!
England// “This American Life.” Honestly, it was so difficult to narrow this down because anything by NPR is pretty much amazing, but Ira Glass’s “This American Life” is a classic! Every week, the series examines a different theme or topic and then the hosts tell stories related to that theme. Some stories are sad, hilarious, and so outrageous, you won’t believe they’re true. Take a listen to a few worthy ones: “Ask A Grown Up,” “Vague and Confused,” “Babysitting,” and “Notes on Camp.”
Honorable Mention: “The Librarian Is In.” For my readers, this humorous podcast is for you! Out of the New York Public Library comes this adorable series on books and culture. Hosted by two extroverted librarians, Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius share book recommendations you’ll surely want to run out and purchase for your next lengthy voyage. “Sixteen, Going on Seventeen” and “Hogwarts & Hollywood” are great starts.
Why England? William Shakespeare. Harry Potter. The Queen herself! So much awesomeness has come out of England, it’s difficult not to see the appeal. I spent two incredible weeks walking the streets of London (my thoughts and prayers are with London during this difficult time) and Oxford, indulging in so much tea and fish and chips, venturing into the cutest little bookstores, attending the BBC Proms, and spending hours and hours in the British Museum (my favorite museum ever)! Like Brazil, England is another place filled with so much history, you’ll return home with more knowledge and appreciation than ever before.
Canada// “Another Round.” Hosted by Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton, Buzzfeed’s “Another Round” is a ridiculously hilarious podcast where two dynamic ladies examine pop culture, race, politics, and more. If you’re fans of Kid Fury and Crissle’s weekly podcast “The Read,” then “Another Round” is right up your ally. Take a listen to “Members Only,”Incognegro with Jordan Peele,” “Immigrant Stories,” and “Practical Tactical Brilliants with Lin-Manuel Miranda.”
Honorable Mention: In an age where we’re increasingly bogged down by fake news and alternative facts, NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” is a super entertaining trivia quiz show where ordinary callers and celebrities alike test their knowledge on news and current events to determine what’s real and what’s fabricated. Jordan Peele, Stephen Colbert, Simone Biles, Bernie Sanders, and Kim Kardashian are a few of my favorite segments.
Why Canada? Why not!? Everything people say about Canadians is true. I’ve visited Toronto, Montreal, and Niagara Falls a few times, and have since considered moving to Toronto. Toronto reminds me of Chicago. It’s a bustling city, but it’s clean, diverse, and people are unbelievably friendly. There are great touristy spots like the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, and Bata Shoe Museum (loved) but it’s definitely worth it to go into various neighborhoods like Kensington Market and Elington West. Visiting Montreal is so opposite from Toronto, but in the best ways. It’s like being in an old European town without traveling overseas. The cobblestones and French-speakers transport visitors, and the french-Canadian food will leave you begging for more.