Podcasts, while a popular mode of entertainment and a great way to pass the time, open worlds of possibility and allow us to connect to others’ journeys and expand our own perspective of the world around us. And while nothing quite compares to exploring this amazing and vast planet in real life, many outstanding podcasts are available that bring you into these spaces through environmental, travel, or adventure lenses.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite podcasts that focus on travel and the outdoors. With a seemingly never-ending list of podcasts to choose from, these are some of the top ones to scratch that exploratory yearning!
You may have heard of this one as it has been deemed one of the best podcasts that focuses on diversity and equity in the outdoor space. Hosted by Sarah Shimazaki, Outside Voices is driven by the idea that the outdoors belongs to all of us and how we should begin to embrace our connection to nature through our unique stories. There are currently 20 episodes that have been published, and they all highlight participation and acceptance in outdoor excursions of people who aren't commonly represented- such as women, Indigenous and People of Color (POC), those with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. If you’re looking for a refreshing take that truly celebrates and amplifies experts in underrepresented communities, go listen. You won’t regret it.
Gale Straub is the creative force behind She Explores, a podcast at the forefront of spotlighting women in the outdoors. Plenty of episodes will catch your attention, with over 200 episodes ranging from equity and inclusion in environmental field work to navigating solo hiking trips. The platform that She Explores has created lends itself to a community where women are empowered to explore these spaces and reconnect not only with nature but with themselves. The dynamic, stylistic, and entertaining stories women share about their journeys are captivating and make you feel that you are a part of a larger, encouraging group. It is refreshing when listening to these episodes to know that you aren’t alone in having questions, fears, excitement, and apprehensions surrounding travel and outdoor excursions.
SHE HIT REFRESH
Have you ever wanted to drop everything, jump in a car (or plane…or boat), and just go? If so, then She Hit Refresh is the podcast you’re looking for! With an accompanying online community platform, She Hit Refresh, co-founded by Cepee Tabibian and Annette Villarreal, aims to educate, empower, and inspire women over 30 who want to break free from the rut of routine and begin a life of adventure and travel. What’s great about this podcast is that it goes beyond just discussing destinations and hotspots. Each episode features experienced guests who explain how to find your purpose and passion while taking the leap to embark on this travel-focused lifestyle. The advice, tips, and resources shared help listeners take tangible steps towards a life of travel. The unique, personable way each episode is presented, paired with valuable information, is just the boost you need to hit refresh and go.
GIRL GOTTA HIKE
This one is for all of you hikers! Girl Gotta Hike encourages women of all ages to “get away from the grind and connect with the ground.” Founder Melissa “Click!” Goodwin celebrates and helps connect women who desire to explore but find it difficult to do so in a non-stop/ hustle culture world. Especially those that live in urban settings and may not have exposure to the great outdoors. Through interviews with female trailblazers, episodes highlight the challenges women face and commemorate the strength it takes to overcome those obstacles and the mental and physical benefits of hiking. The podcast also serves as an awesome resource for information about hiking gear, trail safety, and navigation logistics for both the novice and expert alike. In addition to the podcast, the Girl Gotta Hike community offers guided hikes and backpacking trips in and around New York City!
INTO THE WOODS WITH HOLLY WORTON
For those looking to dive deeper into your personal relationship with nature and embark on a stronger mindfulness journey, Into the Woods with Holly Worton is well worth a listen. While the original episodes didn’t focus strongly on outdoors and wellness, it has transformed into a nourishing podcast that explores personal growth through travel and outdoor adventures. The rich focus on the transformative power of nature and getting outdoors to connect deeper with yourself through finding out who you are, where you’re going in life, and how you can create the life you want is incredibly therapeutic. Topics such as managing exploration while dealing with illness, balancing the desire for adventure with rest, and connecting with the land help listeners reflect on their own journey into the woods- not only physically but emotionally. With the shared stories and allowance for genuine reflection, this podcast will have you contemplating life and working towards new goals.
So, if you’re the type of person who daydreams about exploration and hopes to gain some insight to support future outdoor endeavors (or someone who vicariously lives through others' experiences while commuting to work- no judgment!), hopefully, this list provides some good listening to help you live your best outdoor life.