Armchair Explorer

Armchair Explorer

The world's greatest adventurers tell their best story from the road. Each episode is cut documentary style and set to music and cinematic effects to create an immersive storytelling experience. 'Best travel podcasts 2020'- The Guardian, 'Thrilling Stuff'-Sunday Times, 'Ear Candy for Listeners' - Washington Post

Episodes

December 7, 2022 40 min

"Did you even hear a single word I just said?"

This question, asked of writer Bruce Kirkby one morning by his ten year old son, catalyzed a life-changing journey. Bruce and his wife, Christine, decided to break the cycle of 21st-century distraction by relocating their family - complete with two young boys - to a remote Buddhist monastery in Ladakh, India for three months.  But before they would reach the monastery, they woul...

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“You stand at the edge of the boat - and you take a giant stride into the unknown.” 

Today we’re chatting with Pier Nirandara, a bestselling author, film producer, SCUBA diver and underwater photographer. She's dedicated her life to sharing the beauty and importance of this marine world about which we still know so little. With her work in photography, writing, and more, she's also helping to shape a new generation of divers...

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“The best way to travel? Dare to be lonely, lost, and bored.”

Today we’re joined by travel-writing legend Rolf Potts, best-selling author and pioneer of indie travel. Long before the era of contemporary van life and digital nomadism, Rolf’s first book, Vagabonding, inspired countless travelers to forgo expensive, overly planned travel in favor of affordable, spontaneous exploration. And with his new book, The Vagabond’s Way, he’s sh...

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“I jump off buildings and cliffs for fun. And I don’t recommend it to anyone.”

Dive into heart-pounding adventures with Jeb Corliss, one of the world’s most revered BASE jumpers and wingsuit pilots. In this episode, you’ll hear Jeb recount some of his most impactful stories, from the very first time he attempted BASE jumping to the incident that nearly put him off the sport for good. His energy and his vivid storytelling puts you ri...

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What does it take to really know a place? 

When Jordan Salama arrived in Colombia for the first time, he realized immediately that it was a country that was deeply misunderstood. For a place so often associated with violence, Jordan found himself in a country teeming with rugged beauty, welcoming communities, vibrant music, and astonishing art. 

Jordan wanted to dive deeper. To do so, he heeded the advice of locals, who told him that...

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What happens when adventuring goes suddenly, horribly wrong? 

For Jean Muenchrath, what began as a pleasant cross-country ski trip up the John Muir trail quickly spiralled into disaster - and what happened changed her life forever. Journey back in time with us to hear one of the most gripping survival stories that occurred over three decades ago in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Jean’s story stands as a testament to the p...

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Follow adventurer Arjun Bhogal on a five-year 16,000-mile trek across the entire world. This is an insane story, with more than one life or death situation. But it’s also an incredibly funny one.

Arjun began with his friend Kieran in 2012, with the idea of walking from Cardiff, Wales where they were at university to Cardiff New South Wales in Australia. They thought it would be a 3-year two-man journey, but it turned into a five-ye...

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Follow acclaimed travel writer Nick Hunt on a journey to walk Europe’s outlands – a piece of arctic tundra in Scotland, a primeval forest in Poland, a desert in Spain, the vast grasslands of the Hungarian steppe. These are outlandish places; wild, remote and untamed; places that shouldn’t exist, but they do.

Like portals in our imagination, these anomalies transport us to faraway regions of the planet. They show us secrets, hidden ...

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Follow travel writer Shafik Meghji from the Andes to the Amazon on a journey across one of Latin America’s most spectacular countries – Bolivia. 

We’re  going to travel from the stark white plains of the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world, to the most biodiverse place in the entire amazon rainforest, we’re going to discover a lost city and a mountain that eats men … but we’re also going to do what all good explorers...

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Follow best-selling travel author Brian Thacker on a unique, mad-cap adventure to three of the remotest countries on Earth. Inspired by the intrepid spirit of explorers of old, Brian decided to tear up the guidebook, switch off the phone and turn up to a country knowing absolutely nothing about it in advance.

He picked three countries at random: the east African country of Togo, the South Pacific islands of Wallis & Futuna and ...

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In this special bonus episode I share a new podcast I am producing and co-presenting. It's called Wanderlust: Off the Page, which is the audio addition to one of my favorite travel magazine on the planet. Wanderlust is all about intrepid destinations, authentic cultural experiences and taking the road less traveled ...  which I know you guys love too.

This new show is designed to help you discover the most fulfilling travel expe...

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Join travel author and naturalist Sara Dykman on a 10,000 mile journey following on the wings of one of the most remarkable migrations in the animal kingdom.

Every spring tens of millions of monarch butterflies travel from their winter hibernation grounds in the Transvolcanic Mountains of Mexico north across the United States and into Canada. It’s a journey of between 2,000 and 3,000 miles. For a creature that weighs half a gram, a...

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“There is something in us,” legendary nature writer Jay Griffiths writes, “that detests the tepid world of net curtains … the chloroform world where human nature is well schooled, tamed from childhood on, where the radiators are permanently on mild and the windows are permanently closed.”

Lost with her life and desperate to escape the confines of the modern world, jay set out on a journey to explore the world’s wildest places. She w...

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Between 1977 and 1982 comedian Andy Smart hitchhiked 72,000 miles across Europe – the equivalent of  crossing America coast-to-coast 24 times. This is the story of his greatest ride ever.

At 20-years of age Andy sold everything he owned and left his home in Liverpool to move to London and pursue his dream of becoming a comedian. But before he did, he had one hitch, one last great adventure, left. It was the World Cup and England wer...

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Follow legendary mountaineer Rick Ridgeway on the most profound adventure of his life, a journey through the Himalayas in search of a lost friend.

In 1980, while climbing a remote peak in eastern Tibet, Rick and his three climbing partners were hit by a devastating avalanche. Rick survived but as he pulled himself out from under the snow, he saw his best friend Jonathan Wright lying on the ground not moving. He gave him mouth-to-mo...

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Follow travel author Robert Martineau on a 1,000-mile solo trek through West Africa. Travelling through Ghana, Togo and Benin, sleeping in villages or on the side of paths he will cross deserts, rainforests and mountains, he will encounter voodoo ceremonies and witches camps, and meet shamans, priests, herdsmen and kings. 

But this is more than just a long walk. This is a modern day pilgrimage, a young man’s journey in search of a n...

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Follow Captain Liz Clark on the Voyage of the Swell, a surfer’s journey in search of a life of exploration, adventure and the perfect wave. After college, instead of getting a job and starting a career, as her peers were, Liz bought a boat. 

She had always loved the ocean and felt a calling to follow her dreams, and try and make her passions her life, instead of just something crammed in between all the things she was supposed to do...

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Conrad Anker is renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest living mountaineers. Follow him to the Himalayan peaks of northern India to climb the ‘Shark’s Fin’ of Mt. Meru, a sheer 1,500-foot wall of blank granite, one the hardest, most dangerous and beautiful routes on the planet. 

For 30 years the best mountaineers in the world had attempted to climb Mt. Meru and for 30 years one-by-one they were spit off. It was thought ...

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Follow extreme bikepacker Cat Jaffee as she competes in the Silk Road Mountain Race - the toughest mountain bike race on the planet. 1,200-miles long, with over 115,000-feet elevation gain, athletes traverse the high mountain passes and remote valleys of Kyrgyzstan for 14 grueling days. Traveling completely unsupported, wild camping along the way, only a handful of riders attempt it and a fraction of those reach the end. 

But the ra...

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Follow travel author and adventurer Graydon Hazenburg on an epic bike journey from Islamabad, in Pakistan, all the way to Mount Kailash, in Tibet thousands of miles away. Travelling across four of the great mountain ranges in the world, the Pamir Mountains, the Hindu Kush, the Karakorum and the Himalayas, it would prove to be an incredibly difficult trip, cycling over some of the highest passes in the world across some of its worst...

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