This summer, the two of us embarked on similar journeys of self discovery and illumination.
What, you might ask, did we find?
A deep, all-encompassing love for podcasts.
A word on the obsession from Katie:
Before this summer, I had dabbled in the podcast realm, but never truly listened to them as a part of my daily routine. Thanks to my 30 minute commute to and from work, I found a new passion to fill my time that made me feel like an enlightened grandmother. I found myself subscribing to many different weekly shows, ranging from NPR news stories to murder mysteries to fashion trend analysis.
My obsession is summarized well in one particular instance. One weekend, I drove seven hours from the North Carolina coast to visit my friends interning in D.C. When Sunday morning arrived, I found myself excited for the long trek back just so that I could resume binge-listening to Serial.
14+ hours of solo highway driving flew by painlessly- now what could be a more beneficial life hack than that?
1. People Fixing the World is a fun podcast about hopeful stories for you to share with others.
2. A dedicated fan of Betches, I couldn’t resist the site’s guilty pleasure Betch Slapped podcast.
3. The NPR Morning Edition (and basically anything on my prized NPR app) is a daily staple for me.
4. Malcolm Gladwell is a brilliant writer with a soothing, enchanting voice that tells powerful stories on his relatively new show, Revisionist History.
5. I feel like vintage shoppers Karen and Lisa are my friends, and I laugh out loud to their hilariously loud and spunky Pop Fashion show about fashion and beauty news.
6. Serial (Season One, duh) is the OG that started the podcast revolution in my life, for that I am eternally grateful.
7. Another NPR classic, Planet Money, breaks down economic and business-related topics in an engaging way that is easy to understand.
A word on the obsession from Gracie:
I have been an on-and-off podder (is that the proper term for podcast listener?) since high school. My AP English Teacher would send us podcasts (mainly This American Life) weekly and also made us produce our own as a class project. However, I would pinpoint my obsession with podcasts actually starting while studying abroad in Florence, Italy during the fall of 2016. The voices of Leandra Medine, Josh and Chuck, and Guy Raz accompanied me along every long walk and in my three hour studio art classes.
This summer ramped my podcast obsession up to a full-on addiction. If I was not (and still am not) listening to a podcast in my car, in my room, or on the plane, then I am probably not listening to anything at all. Like Katie, I found myself excited for long trips – like my 10 day bus trip across Israel, two international flights, a week long solo road trip across the East Coast, and a few other travels – because I was given a perfect opportunity to zone out and see what was up in Pod-Land.
1. Produced by Refinery29, Strong Opinions Loosely Held investigates feminist-based opinions and issues in modern pop culture.
2. Ever find yourself reading Wikipedia to learn more about a random topic? Stuff You Should Know is that in a humor-filled podcast, exploring everything from quinoa to the Hyperloop.
3. The New York Times podcast Still Processing (my absolute favorite), featuring culture writers Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, explores the pleasure and pathologies of modern America.
4. Stuff Mom Never Told You is the feminist, modern pop culture sister to Stuff You Should Know.
5. The first thing I do every morning is turn off my alarm and immediately turn on The Daily, an essential podcast to get the day’s top news and learn about what is going on in the world.
6. How I Built This tells the stories of how brands we know and love were built through interviews with the entrepreneurs.
7. Monocycle gives all Man Repeller readers a quick glimpse into the diary and daily thoughts of Leandra Medine. Expect to both laugh and cry with this one.