61 episodes

80 Days is a podcast dedicated to exploring little-known countries, territories settlements and cities around the world. We're part history podcast, part geography podcast and part ramble.
Each episode, we'll land in a new locale and spend some time discussing the history, geography, culture, sport, religion, industry, pastimes and music of our new location.

More details on www.80dayspodcast.com, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @80dayspodcast | Support us on www.patreon.com/80dayspodcast

80 Days: An Exploration Podcast Luke Kelly, Joe Byrne, Mark Boyle

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 138 Ratings

80 Days is a podcast dedicated to exploring little-known countries, territories settlements and cities around the world. We're part history podcast, part geography podcast and part ramble.
Each episode, we'll land in a new locale and spend some time discussing the history, geography, culture, sport, religion, industry, pastimes and music of our new location.

More details on www.80dayspodcast.com, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @80dayspodcast | Support us on www.patreon.com/80dayspodcast

    Kalmykia (S5.10)

    Kalmykia (S5.10)

    Full shownotes at www.80dayspodcast.com/kalmykia | Support: www.patreon.com/80dayspodcast

    In this episode of 80 Days: An Exploration Podcast, thanks to our backers on Patreon, we’ll be talking about Kalmykia, a republic and country of Russia located directly north of the North Caucasus in Eastern Europe, between Ukraine and Kazakhstan, only around 200 miles or 350km north of Georgia. The Kalmyks, of Mongol origin, migrated to the Caspian region in the 17th century from Central Asia. They were mainly nomadic cattle breeders. Kalmykiya was established in 1920 as an autonomous oblast (region); in 1936 it became a republic, which was abolished in 1944 when the Kalmyks were exiled for alleged collaboration with the Germans during WW2. 

    The territory of Kalmykia is unique in that it has been the home in successive periods to many major world religions and ideologies. Prehistoric paganism and shamanism gave way to Judaism amongst some of the Khazars (who included Muslims and Christians in equal or greater numbers as well). This was succeeded by Islam with the Alans while the Mongol hordes brought Tengriism, and the later Nogais were Muslims, before their replacement by the present-day Buddhist Oirats/Kalmyks. It now stands as the only Buddhist region in Europe. 

    The republic covers an area of around 76,000 square kilometres (or almost 30,000 square miles), making it a similar size to Panama, Czechia or the US state of South Carolina. With a population of about 275,000 residents Kalmykia ranks among the smallest of Russia’s federal districts in terms of population. 

    The Kalmyks benefit from their relatively high levels of education and strong international connections. Overseas communities are found today in many parts of Europe and in the United States. The head of the religious establishment in Kalmykia itself was born in Philadelphia before being recognized by the Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of a Buddhist saint. 

    The capital and largest city of the republic is Elista, which has gained a reputation for, of all things, international chess. And for you Star Wars fans, the Ewok language was based on Kalmyk, because George Lucas thought it sounded so odd.

    Your hosts, as always, are Luke Kelly @thelukejkelly in Ireland, Mark Boyle @markboyle86 in the UK, and Joe Byrne @anbeirneach in Ireland . (Theme music by Thomas O'Boyle @thatthomasfella)

    Hawaii (S5.09)

    Hawaii (S5.09)

    Full shownotes at www.80dayspodcast.com/hawaii | Support: www.patreon.com/80dayspodcast

    In this episode of 80 Days: An Exploration Podcast, Hawaii, and specifically the Big Island of Hawaii. Which is also called Hawaii.

    Hawaii is the southeasternmost of the Hawaiian Islands, which make up the US state of Hawaii. The island makes up 63% of the archipelago's landmass, but only 13% of its total population. The island is the third largest island in Polynesia, behind the two main islands of New Zealand. With a total area of around 10,000 km2 (or 4,000 square miles), Hawaii is similar in size to the islands of Puerto Rico or Cyprus, or our old friend Gambia.

    With a rich history and culture, Hawaii and its sister islands flourished as ancient societies, developing unique religions and customs, that is until the arrival of one Captain James Cook. In 1779 the famous explorer made his second and final landing here, and would not make it off the island alive. By the end of the century, the islands came under the protection of the British Crown, and missionaries soon followed, changing island life forever. The 1800s brought modern developments and the consolidation of the Kingdom of Hawaii,but ended in the annexation of the territory by the United States, a controversial episode to this day. In 1959, Hawaii becomes the 50th State, now famous for tourism, spam and pineapples. Hawaii Island, also known simply as The Big Island, is today home to around 185,000 people, and due to ongoing volcanic activity, Hawaii is the only US state that is still growing.

    Your hosts, as always, are Luke Kelly @thelukejkelly in Ireland, Mark Boyle @markboyle86 in the UK, and Joe Byrne @anbeirneach in Ireland . (Theme music by Thomas O'Boyle @thatthomasfella)

    Jersey (S5.08)

    Jersey (S5.08)

    Full shownotes at www.80dayspodcast.com/jersey | Support: www.patreon.com/80dayspodcast

    In this episode of 80 Days: An Exploration Podcast,we’ll be talking about the Bailiwick of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands lying just off the coast of Northern France. Jersey is a Crown Dependency so is not actually a part of the UK, just like the Isle of Man, which we covered in Season 1. Today, Jersey has a population of just under 100,000, and a total land area of around 120 km2 or 45 sq mi, making it a similar size to the US island of Nantucket, or slightly smaller than our old friend Liechtenstein.
    While most residents speak English and identify as British, the proximity of Jersey and the other Channel islands to France has heavily influenced their culture and their history, and French is an official second language. Jersey also has its own local language, based on French, called Jèrriais. The island was documented by the Romans, known to them as Caesarea, and was part of the Duchy of Normany until the early 13th Century, when it was reorganized and became a territory in its own right. By the end of the 15th century, Jersey was granted its own governor. An individual, now called the Lieutenant Governor, is today the personal representative of the Queen on the island. Jersey was the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Nazis during WW2, and was one of the last places in Europe to be liberated.
    Jersey has one of the highest numbers of cars per person in the world, and because of the historical popularity of Jersey wool, knitted sweaters came to be called jerseys, after the island, with the term first recorded in 1837. And yes, this island is the namesake of the US state of New Jersey. It’s been calculated that Jersey would fit 189 times into New Jersey - 95 times if the tide is out.

    Your hosts, as always, are Luke Kelly @thelukejkelly in Ireland, Mark Boyle @markboyle86 in the UK, and Joe Byrne @anbeirneach in Ireland . (Theme music by Thomas O'Boyle @thatthomasfella)

    Quebec City (S5.07)

    Quebec City (S5.07)

    Full shownotes at www.80dayspodcast.com/quebec | Support: www.patreon.com/80dayspodcast

    Merch store: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/eightydayspodcast?ref_id=25321

    In this episode of 80 Days: An Exploration Podcast, we’ll be talking about the only walled city north of Mexico on the American Continent - Quebec City. The capital city of Canada’s Quebec province, the city is located on the St Lawrence River, around 500 kilometres from the Eastern coast of Canada, and around 700km northeast of New York City. Founded in July 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer, Quebec City originated as Stadacona, a Iroqious Native American settlement, before the arrival of Europeans. A base for the French exploration and colonisation of what would become New France, Quebec remains a hub of French-Canadian culture and history, with French serving as the primary language, as throughout the wider province of Quebec. In 1775, American troops led by Benedict Arnold attempted to invade and take over Quebec City in the Battle of Quebec to “liberate” the region from the British. The siege was unsuccessful, however, and Quebec did not become the 14th colony; instead, it remained under British rule until Canada became its own country in 1867. Today, the city is home to just over half a million residents, making it the eleventh-largest city in Canada, similar in urban population to Albuquerque, New Mexico or Dublin, Ireland. The city’s curious name was taken from the native term for “where the river narrows'' after its location on the banks of the St Lawrence River.

    Your hosts, as always, are Luke Kelly @thelukejkelly in Ireland, Mark Boyle @markboyle86 in the UK, and Joe Byrne @anbeirneach in Ireland . (Theme music by Thomas O'Boyle @thatthomasfella)

    Bougainville (S5.06)

    Bougainville (S5.06)

    Full shownotes at www.80dayspodcast.com/bougainville | Support: www.patreon.com/80dayspodcast

    Merch store: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/eightydayspodcast?ref_id=25321

    In this episode of 80 Days: An Exploration Podcast, we’ll be talking about Bougainville, the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, which is part of Papua New Guinea. Located 1,000 kilometers east of the mainland national capital of Port Moresby, Bougainville is the most remote of Papua New Guinea's 19 provinces. Bougainville is the largest island in the Solomon Islands archipelago, lying around 1500km or 1000 miles off the northeast coast of Australia, in the Solomon Sea. Most of the islands in this archipelago (which are primarily concentrated in the southern and eastern portions of it) are part of the politically independent Solomon Islands. At around 3,500 square miles or just under 9,000 square km, Bougainville is comparable in size to Hawaii’s largest island, Puerto Rico or Cyprus. Residents speak Tok Pisim, a pidgin language spoken widely in this region, in addition to 20 different indigenous languages, depending on where they are from, and the region currently has a population of around 250,000.  Inhabited by humans for at least 29,000 years, Bougainville was first discovered by Europeans in 1616, and was named for the French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville, one of the first people to circumnavigate the globe. The German Empire annexed present-day Bougainville in 1886, before the islands were occupied in 1914 by Australia during World War 1. Taken by Japan in 1942, the islands were fought over by both sides during the latter years of World War 2, and have retained a secessionist streak since the mid 1960s. However, tensions between different factors remain unresolved to this day, and while officially the island is today an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea, many still push for independence, particularly following a bloody 10-year civil war which concluded in 1997. A referendum in 2019 voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence, but the exact implementation of that still remains to be seen.

    Your hosts, as always, are Luke Kelly @thelukejkelly in Ireland, Mark Boyle @markboyle86 in the UK, and Joe Byrne @anbeirneach in Ireland . (Theme music by Thomas O'Boyle @thatthomasfella)

    Minisode: Christmas Traditions Around the World

    Minisode: Christmas Traditions Around the World

    Full shownotes at www.80dayspodcast.com/christmas-traditions | Support: www.patreon.com/80dayspodcast

    Merch store: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/eightydayspodcast?ref_id=25321

    In this festive episode of 80 Days: An Exploration Podcast, we'll be taking a look at some Christmas traditions from around the world that we've discovered. We're also joined by a special guest or two, as you'll hear early on in the podcast. Hopefully this episode provides some distraction from the world at large, and brings a bit of festive cheer. Merry Christmas from all of us at 80 Days.

    Your hosts, as always, are Luke Kelly @thelukejkelly in Ireland, Mark Boyle @markboyle86 in the UK, and Joe Byrne @anbeirneach in Ireland . (Theme music by Thomas O'Boyle @thatthomasfella)

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
138 Ratings

138 Ratings

wethdghcc be ,

5 Star podcast

Can you guys please post a new one I am hooked

willymo22 ,

Great!

This was a great find! I hope they keep
It going!

middle usa ,

Fascinating

It is great to learn about so many new places. The show always finds interesting things to talk about as they look at parts of the world that aren’t necessarily on the front page of the news.

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