Start here: The best of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast to 2019

My “second child”, The Thoughtful Travel Podcast, is zeroing in on a quarter of a million downloads – which seems so extraordinary to think that thousands of people each week download and listen to me droning on (and my wonderful guests telling amazing stories!).

Every day, I can see on the download stats that new people discover the podcast (mostly on Spotify, actually) and often go back to the very first episode and listen all the way through from there. (Which is a lesson in itself to future podcasters: make sure your first couple of episodes aren’t too awful, or swap them out later if they are! For the record, my original ones are still there – I cringe a little because I sure sound a bit more uptight than I do in later episodes, but my guests were great!).

But for everyone who just wants to dip and listen to a few particularly episodes, rather than go all the back to number one, I asked in the Thoughtful Travellers Facebook group to find out which episodes my listeners enjoyed so much that they still remember them later. This is the result!

Funny episodes of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

A funny story I tell from my guests over and over is the particularly good one Matt Eakin told in the episode about Border Crossings. He had a rather unique experience entering Bangladesh. I’m not going to tell you what it was, you’ll have to have a listen yourself!

All the episodes about things going wrong are reliably popular – and it’s not just Schadenfreude, I think it’s because we all know that the times when things have gone wrong in our own travel histories often make the best stories – and the episode about Fun Tales of Getting Lost was another that listeners remember. I particularly like that Erin, who told a tale about getting lost in a small Latvian town which coincidentally I’d also been to, has since become an in-real-life-friend – we spoke so much about her new home of Copenhagen that it got stuck in my head and a couple of years later the opportunity arose to spend some time in Denmark, including meeting up with Erin.

The life-changing episodes of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

I am a real believer in the idea of travel often being life-changing. I’ve experienced it often myself – whether small or big changes – and it’s one of the reasons I really think it’s important that people grab every chance they can to put themselves out of their comfort zone and travel.

One of the episodes about this one features quite a sad story, and an inspiring one too. In fact, listener Michelle put it like this:

Both stories from the guests were so powerful – Dean’s story makes me cry every time I hear it, and Seng’s story about his work/career change and trips to India resonates so deeply. Such a beautiful episode that I love to re-visit from time to time!

Michelle’s talking about Episode 133, The Big Trips That Changed Everything – and I agree with her, it’s one of my very favourite episodes too.

Another episode that features life-changing travel tales includes one of my favourite stories, and many listeners have told me the same thing – from Natascha Mirosch, who had a delightful stay on a Greek Island and brought home a particularly life-changing souvenir.

The most downloaded episodes of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

I’m rather pleased that at the moment, the most downloaded episode ever is on a topic I think it’s very important to talk more about: solo travel. There are so many special benefits and bonuses that come from travelling on your own, so I’m thrilled that lots of people want to listen to an episode about it.

And the second-most downloaded episode includes an interview that has always made me laugh! The topic is Travel Research and Planning – an important thing, for sure – but it includes an interview with two friends of mine, Narelle and Shauna, who I especially chose for that topic because I knew that they had an obsession with spreadsheeting their travel plans and that they would happily start detailed planning of a trip TWO YEARS before they left!

Don’t forget, you can find all of these episodes on any podcast app – Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and the current most popular, Spotify. Happy listening!

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