33 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
    • 4.8 • 68 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

    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
    Open Your Mind: Experiencing Indigenous Jungle Medicine with BBC Travel Presenter Mike Corey

    Open Your Mind: Experiencing Indigenous Jungle Medicine with BBC Travel Presenter Mike Corey

    Follow BBC travel presenter and You Tube star Mike Corey into the depths of the Brazilian Amazon to experience Ayahuasca, Kambo and other mind-altering indigenous plant medicines.  

    This is not your average psychedelic tourist experience.  Mike travels to a traditional village in remote part of the jungle where foreigners have never been before. There, in the thatched roof long house, he gathers by the firelight with a group of elders as the shaman passes around eagle bones filled Rapé powder, burns holes in his skin to rub in poisonous frog venom and gives him shots of ayahuasca as they chant into the night. This is more than just travel. This is adventure of the brain as well as the body - and let’s just say (pun intended) it’s quite trip. 

    But Mike’s not looking for a simple high. Mike is on a war against fear. He wants us to challenge our preconceptions in the same way he challenges himself. He’d never done drugs before. And though nothing he took was illegal, he was scared to try. 

    That’s the point. Jungle medicine may seem strange to us, but in the Amazon it’s been practiced for thousands of years and traditional practitioners claim healing benefits that modern medicine cannot provide. To be a true explorer, Mike says, you must try new things, things you’re scared of, things that make you grow. He should know – he’s made a career out of doing the kind of crazy things that would send most sane people running. 

    So he set off into the jungle in search of answers, in search of authentic cultural understanding. He set off to conquer his fears. What he found was something inspiring, at times painful, but enlightening too and it altered his view of the world forever. 

    Highlights include:
    ·       Taking ayahuasca with a shaman in Peru
    ·       Experiencing two of the most intense indigenous ceremonies in the world: Rapé, a powder which is shot like a blow dart into your nose, and Kambo a frog venom which is burnt into your skin.
    ·       Travelling to a remote village deep in the jungle where tourists had never gone before.
    ·       Hearing about Mike’s other crazy adventures including hopping iron ore trains across the Sahara, taking part in an exploding hammer festival in Mexico and drinking blood straight from a cow with the Masai in Tanzania (for real)
    ·       Being inspired by Mike’s message of turning your fears into allies and how that can be a catalyst for personal growth
    ·       Learning about traditional plant medicine, which has been practiced in the Amazon for thousands of years.

    Who’s the Guest?
    Mike Corey is a BBC Travel Presenter and adventure travel filmmaker. His You Tube channel is Fearless and Far where he shares videos of his crazy adventures: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_DmOS_FBvO4H27U7X0OtRg
    You can also follow him on twitter, Instagram and facebook: @fearlessandfar … and his website is www.fearlessandfar.com

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

     Follow the show on Instagram & Facebook @armchairexplorerpodcast. www.armchair-explorer.com

    "Best travel podcasts 2020: Every episode is an immersive experience" - The Guardian
    "Armchair Explorer is ear candy for listeners” - Washington Post
     
     
     
     

    • 40 min
    Crossing Africa: a 7,500-mile trek from Cape Town to Cairo with Explorer Mario Rigby

    Crossing Africa: a 7,500-mile trek from Cape Town to Cairo with Explorer Mario Rigby

    Follow explorer Mario Rigby on a 7,500-mile trek across the entire length of the African continent. Travelling on foot from Cape Town to Cairo, through South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt, Mario sought to understand the lives of African people better, to learn from them, sleeping where they slept, eating where they ate, living side-by-side, step-by-step. 

    Born in the Turks & Caicos islands of the Caribbean, he also sought to learn about his roots and inspire other black men and women that though they may be shamefully under-represented in the outdoor and adventure industries, they too can be explorers. nnn

    But it was more than that too. At the age 30, Mario found himself lost. He was living in Canada, unhappy with his job, uncertain of his future, uncertain how he could make a difference, how he could live a life of meaning and purpose. 

    Then he remembered a hero from his childhood. Before T’Challa, otherwise known as the Black Panther, could become king he had to go on a journey, a ‘walkabout’ as he called it. He did this  to learn how to be a better leader, a better person, to learn how to contribute to society and humanity as a whole. As a child Mario dreamed of doing the same thing, but as an adult he knew it was just a fairy tale. But what if it wasn’t? What if he too could go on a walkabout to learn about Africa, and himself, to change his life and start a new path?

    The way was unclear. He had no guarantees and very little money. He was daunted by the prospect. But nonetheless he plucked up the courage, flew to Cape Town, and began his own walkabout. In doing so, he would inspires all of us that anything is possible. He would inspire us that dreams don’t have to be fairy tales. 

    Highlights include:
    ·      Hear the inspirational story of how Mario changed his life by setting out on a ‘walkabout’ in search of answers about himself and his place in the world
    ·      Find out how Mario became a Mozambique TV Star
    ·      Kayak with him nearly 400-miles across Lake Malawi, dodging crocodiles and hippos, camping out on remote villages, many of which had never seen a foreigner before
    ·      Walk among a troop of 1000 Gelada Baboons in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia
    ·      Cross the deserts of Sudan, meeting the women who would later spark the revolution to overthrow the government, and the child refugees who were inspired by his story to find their own courage too
    ·      Discover what Mario learned, the answers he came too and how the journey changed his life

    Go and connect with Mario right now, his social media is awesome! Instagram & Twitter @mariorigby / Facebook @mariorigbyofficial.
    He also posts really awesome You Tube videos from this adventure, and others: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnzaISaYOAlC1BcIUxAxifQ  … and his website is www.mariorigby.com

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

    Follow the show on Instagram & Facebook @armchairexplorerpodcast. www.armchair-explorer.com
    "Best travel podcasts 2020: Every episode is an immersive experience" - The Guardian
    "Armchair Explorer is ear candy for listeners” - Washington Post

    "Thrilling stuff" - Sunday Times
     

    • 48 min
    Voyage of the Finmen: Kayaking from Greenland to Scotland with Explorer George Bullard

    Voyage of the Finmen: Kayaking from Greenland to Scotland with Explorer George Bullard

    Follow world-record breaking explorer George Bullard on a world-first kayak from Greenland to Scotland across one of the most dangerous stretches of water on the planet. No one thought they could do it. Most people assumed they would die trying – and they nearly did, more than once. But, despite the odds, over six weeks, George and his expedition partner Ollie Hicks, crossed 1,200-miles of open ocean from the edge of the Greenland Ice Cap to Iceland, then on to the Faroe Islands, and from there to the north Scottish shore. Paddling through the night, sleeping out in the sinister dark of the polar ocean, battling storms, exhaustion and raging seas – this is the story of the most dangerous kayak expedition ever undertaken.

    But it’s more than that too. Three hundred years ago a mysterious figure in a strange shaped canoe washed up on the coast of Aberdeen, in northeast Scotland. He was alive, barely. No one knew who he was, where he came from, what language he spoke, and he died a few days later before anyone could find out. Since then, the myth of the ‘Finmen’ has continued to grow. The historical records describe his clothing as similar to what we now know as hailing from Inuit culture. But it seemed impossible. Did a Greenlandic fisherman cross the North Atlantic Ocean, 300 years ago, on nothing more than a seal-skin canoe? By undertaking this journey, George and Ollie set out to unearth the truth behind the mystery. If they could do it, perhaps the myth was true. Get ready for the Voyage of the Finmen.

    Highlights include:
    ·      Kayak across one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world, a section of the North Atlantic between Iceland and Scotland, known as the ‘Devil’s Dancefloor’ because of the size of the waves and storms
    ·      Paddle through the midnight sun from Greenland to Iceland, and then 450-miles around the crocodile teeth of the rugged fjords and soaring cliffs of North Icelandic coastline, camping out on wild beaches along the way
    ·      Listen to one of the craziest rescue and survival stories you will ever hear
    ·      Find out what happens when George and Ollie are hit by an enormous hurricane 60-miles off the Scottish coast
    ·      Be inspired by George’s love and enthusiasm for the outdoors and adventure. He is one of the UK’s most sought-after motivational speakers and will fire you up to embark on your next adventure wherever that may be

    Who’s the Guest?
    George Bullard is a world record-breaking explorer, endurance athlete and motivational speaker. To date he has covered more than 2,000 miles on foot in the polar regions (including the longest unsupported polar journey in history, at just age 19) and completed countless extraordinary expeditions around the world. George is passionate about encouraging others to climb their own Everest physically, mentally and emotionally @georgebullardexplorer / www.georgebullard.co.uk
    Looking for inspiration for your next trip? George’s adventure travel company www.igoadventures.com curates one-of-a-kind adventures with purpose, for those looking for exceptional experiences in nature. They are affordable, amazing and hand-crafted by one of the world’s greatest adventurers. 
    Thank you to Juggernaut Wines for sponsoring this episode. Harnessing the power of nature with every drop.  @juggernautwines / www.juggernautwines.com
    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
     Episode image (c) Emma Hall, courtesy of George Bullard
     

    • 56 min
    Listener Episode! A 300-mile Trek Through the Balkans with Teacher Adam Seldon

    Listener Episode! A 300-mile Trek Through the Balkans with Teacher Adam Seldon

    In this special listener episode, we follow teacher Adam Seldon on a 300-mile trek across the Balkans, one of Europe’s most mis-understood and rarely visited regions. Travelling from Sarajevo, in Bosnia, across Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece, Adam links together some of the region’s most spectacular scenery, national parks and long-distance trails. It’s a fantastic adventure. But what really sets it apart is why Adam is doing it.

    Standing on the cusp of adulthood, with his formal education just completed, Adam felt something was missing. Life had been too easy, he’d not faced enough challenge, enough risk or hardship. He wanted to learn by experience, not books. So, he set off on what’s called an Agoge, an ancient Spartan tradition in which young men were tasked with going into the wilderness on their own and overcoming a number of challenges before they could be considered a man. Adam wanted to do his own kind of modern day Agoge, to test himself in a way that he’d never experienced before. It was a personal journey of self-discovery and learning, but it was also a challenge to the misconceptions and unfair stereotypes of the Balkan region and its people. 

    He found beautiful landscapes and incredible hospitality, but he also found the scars of war. Two decades after a brutal civil war, and genocide, much of the region was still reconciling itself to its bloody past and through his journey Adam illuminates that history and its effects on the people to this day. Peppered with genuine inspiration, and insight throughout, this is an inspiring story of Adam’s determination to challenge himself, it’s a story about a rarely visited part of the world, but it’s also a story about you – how just like Adam you too can break the mould of modern life and set out on your own adventure, your own Agoge whatever that may be. 
    Highlights include:
    ·      Trekking through some of the last remaining untouched wilderness in Europe
    ·      Discovering a rarely visited region, including Albania’s spectacular Accursed Mountains and Bosnia’s Sutjeska National Park
    ·      Learning about the brutal civil war that rocked the region more than two decades ago, and whose scars are still evident today
    ·      Discover the ancient Spartan concept of an Agoge, a challenge undertaken on the cusp of adulthood
    ·      Be inspired to set out on your own Agoge, whatever that may be – whether trekking 300 miles through Europe’s forgotten region or just pushing yourself to find out about your true potential
    Adam Seldon’s book about this journey, A Balkan Journey: Walking Through Europe's Forgotten Region, is out now on Kindle. It’s a really quick read (about 80 pages), but full of fascinating history and intellectual insight. Follow him on Twitter - @adamjseldon and Instagram @adam.j.seldon

    The Armchair Explorer podcast is cut documentary style with music and cinematic effects to create an immersive storytelling experience unlike anything else out there in the travel sphere. Each episode one of the world’s greatest adventurers comes on and tells their best story from the road. Connect on Instagram and Facebook - @armchairexplorerpodcast.

    Thank you to Juggernaut Wines for sponsoring this episode. This is the adventurer’s wine of choice, harnessing the power of nature to infuse every drop with the gritty spirit of the wild Californian coast. Follow them on Instagram @juggernautwines www.juggernautwines.com
     
     
     

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

rg67777 ,

Great stories/interviews

Aaron's podcast combines great editing and production values with great guests. Check out all of these awesome stories from the comfort of your home or get motivated for an adventure.

pangkarra ,

Stories of Happiness

These stories fill me with happiness. What else could you want from a story? For me nothing.

FillerupFun ,

My new favorite

I just found this podcast and it is my new favorite podcast by far! I love the unique story-telling style (I am so bored with interview-style podcasts). Each episode makes me laugh, amazes me, and leaves me inspired to do more, whether that’s traveling or helping my community. Great professional quality and riveting stories! I only wish there were more episodes!

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