37 episodes

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

Armchair Explorer Aaron Millar

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 47 Ratings

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

    Walking the Yangtze: 4,000-miles Along China's Longest River with Extreme Adventurer Ash Dykes

    Walking the Yangtze: 4,000-miles Along China's Longest River with Extreme Adventurer Ash Dykes

    Follow extreme adventurer Ash Dykes on a world first trek along the entire 4,000-mile length of the Yangtze River in China. Travelling from the Tibetan Plateau in the far northwest of the country, through 11 provinces to the river’s estuary near Shanghai in the south he will face innumerable challenges: dodging aggressive Tibetan bears, fighting off wild Tibetan Mastiffs, he was stalked by wolves, arrested and nearly hit by landslides.

    But through his journey he also explored a side to China that few travellers have seen before, from thundering white-water gorges and spectacular V-shaped valleys to tropical forests and paddy fields teeming with colour.

    He also became a Chinese celebrity. Much to his surprise, the further he walked the more the Chinese people walked with too. Internet superstars live-streamed beside him to millions of followers, he was celebrated in the Chinese media, welcomed in by locals, taught Chinese opera, kung-fu, meditation and even asked to join a photoshoot with movie star Jackie Huang.

    It took him 352 days and eight million steps to complete. It was a world-record, the first time anyone had walked the entire length of China’s great river, and the experience taught him much. He learned about motivation, about discipline, about the power of visualization – skills and wisdom that can be applied to all aspects of life. But more than anything he learned that you can make impossible things happen if you have the courage to ignore the naysayers, prepare for the struggle as well as the successes, and don’t let anything stand in your way. 

    Highlights:
    ·      Hear the incredible story of Ash Dyke’s world-recording breaking 4,000-mile trek along the entire length of the Yangtze River
    ·      Find out how Ash survived being stalked by a pack of wolves and fought off wild Tibetan Mastiffs
    ·      Listen to the best worst food story you’ve ever heard. Spoiler alert: it involves huge worms
    ·      Be inspired by the lessons and wisdom Ash learned on his journey: how he uses visualization to achieve success, how to stay motivated and achieve your goals.

    If you enjoy this adventure, please connect with Ash – he’s a true modern-day explorer and you can you follow along with his crazy adventures. He’s a lot of fun to travel with. Instagram: @ash_dykes / Facebook: @ashdykesofficial / Twitter: @ashdykes / You Tube: @ashdykes. His website is www.ashdykes.com and his book is Mission Possible: a Decade of Living Dangerously reveals the spirit, planning, and sheer determination that goes into his world record-breaking adventures. It’s an awesome read. 
    Thank you to Juggernaut Wines for sponsoring this episode! We’ve got a special deal for listeners of this show. You can get four bottles – two cabernet sauvignons and two pinot noirs delivered direct to your home for only 1 cent in shipping costs. One cent! Just head over to www.juggernautwines.com and type in the code ARMCHAIR21. Drinking their wine is a great way to support the show … how cool is that?!
    Check out Armchair Explorer (www.armchair-explorer.com) for background videos, photos and more on each episode. And please hit that follow button to support the show! Follow @armchairexplorerpodcast across Instagram and Facebook
     
     
     
     

    • 38 min
    Walking with Nomads: 2,800-miles Across the Entire Length of Morocco with Explorer Alice Morrison

    Walking with Nomads: 2,800-miles Across the Entire Length of Morocco with Explorer Alice Morrison

    Follow explorer Alice Morrison on a world-first 2,800-mile trek across the entire length of Morocco. Starting in the city of Ouarzazate, at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, we will walk with her from the lush valleys of the Draa River across the barren windswept dunes of the Western Sahara to the tallest peaks of the High Atlas Mountains. We will discover lost cities, tombs of giants, singing sands and dinosaur footprints. We will learn about the lives of the nomadic Sahrawis, the people of the desert, and the Amazigh, the original inhabitants of Morocco. This is more than a long walk, this is a journey through the culture and history of one of the most fascinating and beautiful countries on Earth.

    But Alice didn’t do it just any old way. Mirroring journeys taken by traders and nomads across Morocco for centuries, she decided to travel in a traditional caravan of six camels, led by her two Amazigh companions and camelteers Brahim and Addi. And despite not being very keen on the animals to start with, she ended up falling head-over-heels for them – particularly a very naughty one called Hamish. Yes, that’s right – somewhere in Morocco right now, there is a camel called Hamish. 

    This is a story about history and archeology, it’s a story about endurance and moments of sublime beauty. But mostly it’s a story about a deep exploration of a place and its people. Alice relied on the kindness and hospitality of local communities throughout and because she speaks fluent Arabic she was able to get an intimate insight into their lives that most outsiders would never see.

    It’s also one hell of an adventure. Alice is known as ‘Indiana Jones for Girls’. This is a story that even Indy himself would have been proud of.
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    If you enjoy this episode please connect with Alice, you’re going to have a lot of fun following her adventures. Her Instagram and Twitter is @aliceoutthere1. Her Facebook is @alicehuntermorrisonadventures and her You Tube channel is alicemorrison.

    She has three books out, the latest of which is called Adventures in Morocco – she’s a great writer and covers loads more than we could fit into this episode. Finally, because I know you love podcasts, please check out hers – it’s called Alice in Wanderland and it’s one of my favourites.
    --
    Thank you to Juggernaut Wines for sponsoring this episode! We’ve got a special deal for listeners of this show. You can get four bottles – two cabernet sauvignons and two pinot noir delivered direct to your home for only 1 cent in shipping costs. One cent! Just head over to www.juggernautwines.com and type in the code ARMCHAIR21. Drinking their wine is a great way to support the show … how cool is that?!
    --
    Check out Armchair Explorer (www.armchair-explorer.com) for background videos, photos and more on each episode. And please hit that follow button to support the show!

    Follow @armchairexplorerpodcast across Instagram 

    • 45 min
    The Lost Tribe of the Kogi with BBC Documentary Filmmaker Alan Ereira

    The Lost Tribe of the Kogi with BBC Documentary Filmmaker Alan Ereira

    In 1990, the Kogi people of Colombia came out of 500 years of isolation to give the world a message. They call themselves the Elder Brothers, the protectors of an ancient wisdom, which we, the Younger Brother, have forgotten. Hidden from the modern world, their culture, way of life and beliefs has remained unchanged since the time of the Incas. They emerged only for a brief moment, inviting one film maker in to help them pass on their warning. This is a story about the making of that film. It is a story about one of the most unique tribes on the planet. It is an invitation into the lost world of the Kogi.


    If you enjoy this episode, please consider donating to the Tairona Trust. This charitable organisation has been set up to help protect the Kogi and spread their message to the wider world. Recent projects include connecting Kogi elders with western scientists to restore damaged areas of forest in their homeland. It’s one of the few projects which seeks to unify indigenous wisdom with modern ecology and if we can prove it successful will provide a model for other indigenous cultures around the world. Please go to http://www.taironatrust.org to find out more. Instagram: @taironatrust / Facebook: @taironatrustheritage / Twitter: @taironatrust

    Thank you also to Room Steals (www.roomsteals.com) for sponsoring this episode. This is the ultimate hotel hack and if you love travel you are going to want to check this out. Room Steals is a subscription service that offers you wholesale prices of more than 600,000 hotel rooms around the world. On average you will save 30% off of what the major online booking sites will charge you and their Google Chrome extension lets you check out the prices before you buy. The subscription costs $95 per year, but you're going to save loads more than that. Head over to Room Steals (www.roomsteals.com) and type in the coupon code 'armchair' for 20% off the listed price. 

    Check out Armchair Explorer (www.armchair-explorer.com) for background videos, photos and more on each episode. And please hit that follow button to support the show!

    Follow @armchairexplorerpodcast across Instagram and Facebook
     
     
     
     
     

    • 49 min
    Rowing Solo Across the Atlantic While Recovering from Brain Surgery with World Record Holder Kiko Matthews

    Rowing Solo Across the Atlantic While Recovering from Brain Surgery with World Record Holder Kiko Matthews

    Follow world record holder Kiko Matthews on a solo row across the Atlantic Ocean: 3,000 nautical miles in 49 Days 7 hours and 15 minutes.   200 women have  completed this challenge, that's it. Only 18 have done it solo. Kiko is the fastest ... and before she started training she hadn't even set foot in a row boat before.


    But that's not the most remarkable thing about this story. Eight months before she was due to set out Kiko was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease a rare, and often fatal, form of brain cancer. The doctors found a tumour on her pituitary gland at the base of her brain. It was life or death. Most of us would have given up at that point. Not Kiko. She received emergency brain surgery and just a few weeks later got straight back to training.


    This is a story of an incredible adventure: She faced huge storms, rogue waves that nearly capsized the boat. She paddled with whales, dolphins and sharks. She saw the ocean light up like stars with phosphorescence and felt what it meant to be truly alone and humbled, in the vastness of the ocean.


    But it's also a story about courage, about mental strength and resilience and her story will inspire you to face your own challenge, to follow your own dream, row your own ocean, whatever that may be.


    If you enjoy this episode, please connect with Kiko she has a book out about her experience – Kiko: How to break the Atlantic rowing record after brain surgery. Find it at Kiko: How to Break the Atlantic Rowing Record after Brain Surgery  and connect with her on social media at @kikomatthews – that’s with two Ts so watch out – and her website is kikomatthews.co.uk


    Thank you also to Room Steals (www.roomsteals.com) for sponsoring this episode. This is the ultimate hotel hack and if you love travel you are going to want to check this out. Room Steals is a subscription service that offers you wholesale prices of more than 600,000 hotel rooms around the world. On average you will save 30% off of what the major online booking sites will charge you and their Google Chrome extension lets you check out the prices before you buy. The subscription costs $95 per year, but you're going to save loads more than that. Head over to Room Steals (www.roomsteals.com) and type in the coupon code 'armchair' for 20% off the listed price. 

    Check out Armchair Explorer (www.armchair-explorer.com) for background videos, photos and more on each episode. And please hit that follow button to support the show!

    Follow @armchairexplorerpodcast across Instagram and Facebook
     

    • 41 min
    Diving the Titanic with Deep Sea Explorer Rory Golden

    Diving the Titanic with Deep Sea Explorer Rory Golden

    Follow deep sea explorer Rory Golden to the world’s most famous shipwreck: Titanic. Located 12,600-feet below sea level, in the middle of the North Atlantic, only a handful of people have ever seen her with their own eyes. Descending in a tiny Mir submersible, in a cockpit the size of a small port-a-loo, with enough pressure outside the port windows to crush him in an instant should anything go wrong, this is a once-in-a-lifetime journey into history and the dark depths of the sea. 

    The Titanic is the world’s most famous shipwreck. It was the largest and safest vessel ever built, or so they thought. Four days into its maiden voyage, on a calm night, it struck an iceberg ripping a 300-foot whole in its hull. Panic ensued. There weren’t enough lifeboats. There was no one to save them. Of the 2,200 people on board, 1500 perished. 

    It took only three hours for the greatest ship ever built to sink and for more than 50 years it lay undiscovered there, at the bottom of the ocean. Rory’s mission was to recover historical artefacts from the wreck – they found leather bags with clothes still neatly folded within, a bottle of perfume still unopened, the ship’s wheel last touched by the Captain before he walked calmly to his death in the dark sea. Through Rory’s journey we learn not just the history of the Titanic, but the individual personal stories of heroism and tragedy that he rescued from the bottom of the sea.

    It’s an incredible adventure. But it’s also a ground-breaking piece of exploration. We know more about the surface of Mars than we do the bottom of the sea. 70% of our planet is ocean, yet only 5% of the ocean depths have been explored. There are creatures down there that no one knows even exist – strange bioluminescent beings living in a world of darkness and extreme pressure, creatures that are as alien to us as any little green man that may or may not one day appear from the sky. The oceans are our planet’s last frontier of exploration. Join him now as we descend into the deep to dive the world’s most famous, and dangerous, wreck. Join him to dive the Titanic. 

    Highlights include:
    ·      Find out what it’s like to descend to 12,600-ft beneath the ocean in a tiny Mir Submersible 
    ·      See the Titanic through Rory’s eyes as he travels across the wreckage in search of historical artefacts to preserve
    ·      Hear the story of the Titanic, the greatest shipwreck of all time
    ·      Be inspired by the mysteries of the deep ocean, the final frontier of exploration on the planet


    Who’s the Guest?
    Rory Golden's dived all over the world, from the coasts of his home in Ireland to deep-sea off-shore rigs and some of the most iconic wrecks on the planet, including The Titanic. He is one of the most respected underwater explorers in the world and the on-board Titanic expert  for Ocean Gate Expeditions, a deep sea underwater adventure company which takes ordinary people to extraordinary depths, including the chance this year to dive the Titanic alongside Rory himself. For more information: https://oceangateexpeditions.com. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook @oceangateexped.

    Thank you to The Great Courses Plus for sponsoring this episode. Head over to www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/armchair to get a free month trail with unlimited streaming of 1000s of videos and audio … it’s a great way to support the show!

    The Armchair Explorer podcast is produced and hosted by award-winning travel writer Aaron Millar. Follow the show on Instagram & Facebook @armchairexplorerpodcast. www.armchair-explorer.com

    "Best travel podcasts 2020: Every episode is an immersive experience" - The Guardian
     

    • 37 min
    Bonus Episode! Out There Podcast: Conservation 2.0

    Bonus Episode! Out There Podcast: Conservation 2.0

    In this special bonus edition of the Armchair Explorer we are showcasing an episode from one of my favourite travel podcasts: Out There. The episode is called Conservation 2.0, and it's about a subject very close to every outdoor lover's heart: National Parks.

    The outdoors is a place for everyone. It’s where we all come from, it’s in our DNA, our blood, it is where we all belong. That’s why we have to think carefully about how we conserve and protect it, which is what this episode is all about. Many of Out There’s shows are first person stories, told directly by the individual … this one’s a little different in that it’s an interview with a really incredible nature writer called David Gessner about his book 'Leave it as it is: A Journey through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness'

    "Leave it as it is" was the rallying cry spoken by Roosevelt at the Grand Canyon, advocating for its preservation. Roosevelt's vision was for an expansion of the national park system and conservation in general. The idea of national parks is widely heralded as one of the greatest in  history, and one of the highest expressions of democracy on the planet – to preserve places of incredible awe and beauty that we all own and share equally. 

    But as amazing as National Parks are, they're not perfect. Much of the land that we preserve was acquired through the expulsion of the native people that had lived there for thousands of years. That’s a huge injustice of course, but it’s also an opportunity, because one way we can rectify that, in part, is by including indigenous practices, passed down for millennia, into the care and preservation of that land. By giving them a say in the preservation of their own heritage. 

    Let’s find a way to marry contempory environmental science with native environmental wisdom … that’s a new vision for conservation, a vision that might help carry us into the future, into the next epoch of our relationship with nature. It’s a development of Teddy Roosevelts original vision. It’s conservation 2.0.  

    So, if you like this episode please search up the Out There podcast on your favourite app and hit that subscribe button – or head over to www.outtherepodcast.com, where you'll find a playlist of their favourite episodes, which is a really great place to start. The social media is @outtherepodcast across Instagram and facebook – they post cool stuff and definitely recommend following them too. 

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
47 Ratings

47 Ratings

Lord Melchett ,

Just wish they were longer

Really love this podcast. Aaron is a great host and the range of inspiring adventurers that he has on the showis very impressive. On a side note, the accompanying background music during tense or moving parts of the episode is particularly well done. The only downside to the show in my opinion is how short the episodes are. Most of these adventures can't be covered in 30 or 40 minutes and you're left with a whole stream of questions as you're left wanting more detail. Please do some longer episodes Aaron or split them into part 1, part 2, part 3 etc. - I would love for you to have 3 or 4 hours with some of your guests and really delve into some of the places they went or the experiences they had rather than offering us just the briefest glimpse.

YasminaGuemar ,

Brilliantly authentic!

Incredible, proper travel stories.

EvieModxx ,

Favourite podcast

I don’t normally leave reviews but this podcast is brilliant! Some incredible stories from around the world. If you love travel and adventure then you’ll love this podcast.

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