One of my favorite themes is “Discovering Worlds I Know Nothing About…”
One of my favorite ways of doing that is by listening to podcasts. I am more of a words person than a music person, so I listen to programs from various public radio stations when I walk every morning.
“The Moth” is true stories, told live, without notes, from 8-15 minutes long. Some of them make me laugh. Some make me cry. Some worlds I know nothing about:
“This American Life” is an hour-long program built around a single theme. The topics are utterly random, again taking me into some worlds about which I know absolutely nothing. Recent episodes include “Switched at Birth,” “Babysitting,” and “Notes on Camp.”
The subscriptions to all of these podcasts are free and they will load into your iTunes account or your smartphone weekly.
Just for fun, my favorite “News” podcast is “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” which turns the week’s news into a quiz show with several comedians answering the questions. Don’t listen if you are easily offended, because Republicans and Democrats, Jews, Evangelicals and Muslims are fair game. Hilarious!
Selected Shorts is fiction, one, two, three or four short stories in a one-hour podcast. I like being surprised by the randomness of the choices: Modern writers that are unknown to me, as well as Dorothy Parker, O’Henry and John Updike.
This podcast is concerned with language, why we talk and write like we do. Why do different parts of the country call the same thing “pot luck,” “pitch in” or “covered dish”? How do you spell ya’ll/y’all? The two hosts are not uptight grammarians, though they know grammar, but they enjoy the nuances of language from region to region and they pay attention to how language changes. A fifty-minute program weekly.
A real travel podcast is hosted by Rick Steves, and he will guide you to the famous and to out-of-the-way places in our world.
I have a few more podcasts in my rotation, but this will get you going. Happy Travels!