From discovering the music of West Africa to debunking stereotypes in the American Deep South, these travel podcasts will take you out of your living room or morning commute and into other worlds.
A podcast with a simple but effective concept: asking audio-makers to turn on their microphones and “stand silently in fields (or things that could be broadly interpreted as fields)”. The results are evocative recordings bringing the outdoors, inside. Recent episodes have taken listeners to a cloud forest in Ethiopia to hear the dawn chorus of colobus monkeys, London Fields under social distancing and a bird’s nest in Iceland’s Seyðisfjörður.
“Portland is the town the US watches,” states local Proud Mary cafe owner, Nolan Hirte, in the first episode of Portland, Unpacked – just one of the many colourful characters featured in this original travel podcast launched in early 2020. Hosted by well-known Australian actor, commentator and DJ, Faustina Agolley, the series of six episodes reveals the layers that make up Oregon’s largest city, unpacking its vibrant food, music, coffee and design culture.
As its name suggests, this podcast takes listeners around the world – to everywhere that African music has gone – to sample its sounds. From ’70s Brazilian soul to heavy metal in Botswana, let Cameroon-born host Georges Collinet expand your music knowledge and transport you to places you’d have never guessed African rhythms have reached and influenced.
The New Paris
Hosted by the author of the book by the same name, Linsey Tramulta, and fashion journalist Alice Cavanaugh, this podcast exposes the new, innovative aspects of a city traditionally labelled as resistant to change. Each episode focuses on a certain topic or theme – such as dating, climate change, feminism and cinema – and interviews locals and experts in these fields to take a closer look at the people and ideas that are changing the fabric of the storied French capital.
The Bitter Southerner
This spin-off from the eponymous magazine by the same name, which aims to counter the stereotypes of the American Deep South, sees host Chuck Reece paint a very different picture of the region. The no-holds-barred guide tells stories of culture, history, cuisine, language and innovation, from investigating if blues is dead to asking why the Southern accent is equated with unintelligence.