52 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
    • 4.7 • 107 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

    Crossed Off the Map: Bolivia from the Andes to the Amazon with Travel Writer Shafik Meghji

    Crossed Off the Map: Bolivia from the Andes to the Amazon with Travel Writer Shafik Meghji

    Follow travel writer Shafik Meghji from the Andes to the Amazon on a journey across one of Latin America’s most spectacular countries – Bolivia. 

    We’re  going to travel from the stark white plains of the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world, to the most biodiverse place in the entire amazon rainforest, we’re going to discover a lost city and a mountain that eats men … but we’re also going to do what all good explorers do and dig deeper.

    While traveling up and down to every corner of the country, Shafik realized there was a bigger story to be told – not just about Bolivia, but about us too. Everywhere he went he found a contrast between the ancient and the modern – the unchanging and the acceleration of the new. Bolivia, he realized, lived on the cusp of the past and the future, that knife edge dynamic of push and pull that shapes our world. And the more he traveled, the more he realized that we live on that cusp too.

    This is a story for travelers, and it will take you to some of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring places on the planet.  But it's also a story for explorers who like to dig down, ask questions and discover the deeper threads of history and society that define a country and our world today.

    Who’s the guest?
    Shafik Menghji is an award-winning travel writer, author, broadcaster and photographer. His book of this journey is called ‘Crossed off the Map: Travels in Bolivia’. It’s an incredibly well researched and written book and an essential read for anyone visiting or dreaming about a trip to Bolivia. You can find it here or go to www.shafikmeghji.com to find out more. You can also connect with Shafik on Twitter and Instagram @shafikmeghji … Go and hang out, he’s an awesome bloke to travel with.

    Buy me a Pint!
    If you're enjoying the show please consider showing your support by buying me a pint! The show is free, but it takes many hours to produce, almost all of which is done by one person, little old me. The sponsors cover costs, but not my time. If you like what you hear and think that two episodes a month is worth the price of a single frosty beverage then please go to www.patreon.com/armchairexplorerpodcast.

    From just $5 per month you will get you ad free episodes, exclusive episodes not available anywhere else and lots more. Buy me a pint! ... the next round will be on me.

    Thank you Sponsors!
    Today’s episode is brought to you by Wondrium. Imagine Netflix, but for your brain – a huge audio and video encyclopedia for anything that you might want to learn or are curious to find out about – and you can download it all right to your phone. Go to www.wondrium.com/armchair to get a free no strings attached trial and 20% off the annual price if you like what you hear. 
    Let's Hang out
    Follow @armchairexplorerpodcast on Instagram and Facebook or head over to www.armchair-explorer.com to find more background information on this episode 
     
     
     
     
     
     

    • 45 min
    No Guidebook, No Google, No Clue: Togo, Wallis & Kyrgyzstan with Best-Selling Travel Author Brian Thacker

    No Guidebook, No Google, No Clue: Togo, Wallis & Kyrgyzstan with Best-Selling Travel Author Brian Thacker

    Follow best-selling travel author Brian Thacker on a unique, mad-cap adventure to three of the remotest countries on Earth. Inspired by the intrepid spirit of explorers of old, Brian decided to tear up the guidebook, switch off the phone and turn up to a country knowing absolutely nothing about it in advance.

    He picked three countries at random: the east African country of Togo, the South Pacific islands of Wallis & Futuna and the Central Asian mountains of Kyrgyzstan.  He boarded the plane with absolutely no clue of the language, culture, where to stay or what to see. He was simply rolling the dice and letting the universe decide what kind of trip he would have. 

    Like his heroes of the golden age of exploration, when much of the world was still undiscovered and no one knew what wonders awaited beyond the horizon, Brian was taking a step into the unknown.

    But, unlike those legends of adventure, Brian’s just an ordinary bloke. He wouldn’t be risking his life searching for lost tribes in the Amazon or crossing deadly deserts, he was just traveling, like all of us do, in search of good times, new experiences and the pure joy of exploring this amazing planet. Brian’s story inspires all of us that we needn’t be extreme adventurers to be real explorers, we just need to tear up the guidebook, turn off your phone and step into the unknown.

    We’re traveling with …
    Brian’s book of this story if called ‘Where’s Wallis: Travels Without a Guidebook’, you can find out more about that and all Brian’s other books at www.brianthacker.tv.  Go and check that out, he’s a lot of fun to travel with.

    Join the Community
    If you're enjoying the show, please consider showing your support by buying me a pint! If you like what you hear and think that two episodes a month is worth the price of a frosty beverage, then please go to www.patreon.com/armchairexplorerpodcast. … you’ll get ad-free episodes, access to our explorer’s community and exclusive content not available anywhere else. Buy me a pint! ... the next round will be on me.

    Thank you Sponsors!
    Today’s episode is sponsored by Wondrium. Wondrium is like Netflix for your brain, an enormous encyclopedia of mind-blowing audio and video content designed for curious people just like us. I love it and I think you will too. Go to www.wondrium.com/armchair to get a 14-day free trail with access to thousands of hours of audio and video content, from travel guides and documentaries to courses taught by the world’s greatest professors. All for free, no strings attached. Check it out!

    Let's Hang out
    Follow @armchairexplorerpodcast on Instagram and Facebook or head over to www.armchair-explorer.com to find more background information on this episode 

    • 40 min
    BONUS EPISODE! Wanderlust: Off the Page - the Unparalleled Beauty of Easter Island

    BONUS EPISODE! Wanderlust: Off the Page - the Unparalleled Beauty of Easter Island

    In this special bonus episode I share a new podcast I am producing and co-presenting. It's called Wanderlust: Off the Page, which is the audio addition to one of my favorite travel magazine on the planet. Wanderlust is all about intrepid destinations, authentic cultural experiences and taking the road less traveled ...  which I know you guys love too.

    This new show is designed to help you discover the most fulfilling travel experiences on the planet! From culture and history to nature and wildlife, we're going to be taking you behind the scenes of the magazine to go deeper into our favorite destinations and meet the travel writers, experts, and personalities who will bring our stories to life.

    Hosted by founding editor Lyn Hughes and special features editor Rosie Fitzgerald, this episode explores the unparalleled beauty of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. 

    Award winning travel writer Shafik Meghji discusses with Aaron Millar the flourishing indigenous culture, the story of how the island was settled, and the experience of exploring such a remote place. 

    Check it out, I know you're going to love it!

    Subscribe to the show on the links below

    APPLE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/wanderlust-off-the-page/id1585628173

    SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/show/3UhYDK0IAi9OYj7DY8jrYr

    • 41 min
    Bicycling with Butterflies: a 10,000-mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration with Travel Author Sara Dykman

    Bicycling with Butterflies: a 10,000-mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration with Travel Author Sara Dykman

    Join travel author and naturalist Sara Dykman on a 10,000 mile journey following on the wings of one of the most remarkable migrations in the animal kingdom.

    Every spring tens of millions of monarch butterflies travel from their winter hibernation grounds in the Transvolcanic Mountains of Mexico north across the United States and into Canada. It’s a journey of between 2,000 and 3,000 miles. For a creature that weighs half a gram, and measures about four inches, that’s a preposterous distance. The comparative length trip for a 150lb human being would be more than 300 million miles – or roughly 700 round trips to the moon.

    But even more baffling is the fact that the butterfly that departs from Mexico will die before returning home. And so will its offspring. It will be left to the fourth generation, the great granddaughter of that original butterfly, to begin the journey anew next spring. How millions of monarchs find their way across a continent to the same specific 12 mountains every year, having never been there before, and with no guide, is still one of the great mysteries of the natural world.

    But the journey of the monarchs is getting harder and harder every year. Agriculture and human domestication of the land is reducing their habitat and food sources along the way to barely enough to survive. In undertaking this epic bike ride Sara will also be raising awareness of their plight as she unravels the mystery of this incredible journey.

    But this is also a story about us. Through her journey Sara discovered the wonder of the microsopic world all around us, an entire universe in the dirt and fluttering above our heads. Her adventure also reminds us to stop, slow down and notice these small wonders because the more we do so the more amazing our world becomes.

    Buy the Book
    Sara’s book is called bicycling with butterflies. It’s a fascinating read and well worth a look. You can also connect with her at www.beyondabook.org or @beyondabook on facebook. To find out more about the monarch butterfly migration, why it’s under threat and what you can do to help head to www.monarchwatch.org  and www.monarchjointventure.org

    Support the Show
    If you enjoy this show, then please consider showing your support by becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/armchairexplorerpodcast … the sponsorship covers the cost of production, but not my time. If you love the outdoors and the pure joy of exploring this amazing planet, then please consider helping to spread that message to as many people as possible. Thank you for whatever you can do it means the world to me.

    Follow on Social
    Follow @armchairexplorerpodcast on instagram and facebook or head over to www.armchair-explorer.com to find more background information on this episode

    Free Stuff!
    Thank you to wondrium for supporting the show! Go to www.wondrium.com/armchair to get a 22-day free trail, no strings attached, check out as much of their thousands of hours of streaming audio and video as you want. It’s like netflix for your brain, you’re going to love it. 

    • 46 min
    Wild: An Elemental Journey through Earth, Ice, Fire and Air with Nature Writer Jay Griffiths

    Wild: An Elemental Journey through Earth, Ice, Fire and Air with Nature Writer Jay Griffiths

    “There is something in us,” legendary nature writer Jay Griffiths writes, “that detests the tepid world of net curtains … the chloroform world where human nature is well schooled, tamed from childhood on, where the radiators are permanently on mild and the windows are permanently closed.”

    Lost with her life and desperate to escape the confines of the modern world, jay set out on a journey to explore the world’s wildest places. She would explore ice, earth, water, fire and air. It would take seven years and all her savings. She would sing with cannibals in the highlands of West Papua, drink ayahuasca with shamans in the amazon. She explored the frozen arctic with Innuits and the fire desert with the aboriginals of the Australia. 

    Through her travels jay learned the wisdom of the indigenous people that call these elements home. She discovered how they shaped their culture and beliefs, and in time how they shaped her too. She was seeking wildness. She was following her ‘feral angel’, listening to its call to take flight and reconnect with the wildness inside her.

    This is an incredible adventure, but it’s also a fountain of near forgotten wisdom and a call to all us to listen to that ‘urgent demand in the blood’ that urges us to take flight too. It is up to us, she says, to find what it is in the in the world that matches that wildness in yourself and to become that. 

    This is a story for anyone that’s ever crawled up the walls, stared out the window and dreamed of escape. This is a call to the wild. 
    Highlights include:
    ·       Take ayahuasca with shamans in the Amazon
    ·       Walk naked and alone into the frozen wilderness of the Arctic
    ·       Trek the highlands with the freedom fighters of West Papua, one of the most remote and least-visited places on earth
    ·       Have dinner with cannibals 
    ·       Find out how to apply the wisdom of the wild in our own life
    Jay’s book of this adventure is called ‘Wild: an Elemental Journey’. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of nature writing I have ever read and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Her latest book ‘Why Rebel?’ is awesome too. Search them up wherever you get your books – you won’t be disappointed!

    Join the Community
    If you're enjoying the show please consider showing your support by buying me a pint! The show is free but each episode takes about 40hrs to produce. The sponsors cover my costs, but not my time. If you like what you hear and think that two episodes a month is worth the price of a frosty beverage then please go to www.patreon.com/armchairexplorerpodcast.

    From just $5 per month you will get you ad free episodes and access to our explorers community with exclusive travel discount vouchers delivered right to your inbox each month. Buy me a pint! ... the next round will be on me.

    Thank you Sponsors!
    Today’s episode is sponsored by Wondrium. Wondrium is like Netflix for your brain, an enormous encyclopedia of mind-blowing audio and video content designed for curious people just like us. Go to www.wondrium.com/armchair to get a 22-day free trail with access to thousands of hours of audio and video content, all for free, no strings attached. Check it out!

    Let's Hang out
    Follow @armchairexplorerpodcast on Instagram and Facebook or head over to www.armchair-explorer.com to find more background information on this episode 

    • 44 min
    Hitchhiking to Pamplona with Comedian Andy Smart

    Hitchhiking to Pamplona with Comedian Andy Smart

    Between 1977 and 1982 comedian Andy Smart hitchhiked 72,000 miles across Europe – the equivalent of  crossing America coast-to-coast 24 times. This is the story of his greatest ride ever.

    At 20-years of age Andy sold everything he owned and left his home in Liverpool to move to London and pursue his dream of becoming a comedian. But before he did, he had one hitch, one last great adventure, left. It was the World Cup and England were playing France in Bilbao, Spain on his birthday. He planned to hitchhike through UK, down the length of France and into Spain to watch the game. 

    It wouldn’t be easy. He carried a hammock, a piece of tarpaulin and some string to sleep by the side of the road. He had a small backpack, hardly any money and barely more than a change of clothes. But as he stood on the East Lancs Road on the edge of Liverpool, thumb out waiting for his first lift he knew, somehow, that this was a pivotal moment, that his life would never be the same again. He was right, but he never could have anticipated what a wild ride it would be. 

    Highlights include:
    ·       Hear about one of the greatest hitchhiking adventures of all time
    ·       Catch a ride to the Council of the Universe (well, sort of …)
    ·       Take part in an insanely violent game of medieval soccer 
    ·       Run for your life in the festival of San Fermino

    Join the Community
    If you're enjoying the show please consider showing your support by buying me a pint! The show is free but each episode takes about 40hrs to produce. The sponsors cover my costs, but not my time. If you like what you hear and think that two episodes a month is worth the price of a frosty beverage then please go to www.patreon.com/armchairexplorerpodcast.

    From just $5 per month you will get you ad free episodes and access to our explorers community with exclusive travel discount vouchers delivered right to your inbox each month. Buy me a pint! ... the next round will be on me.

    Thank you Sponsors!
    Today’s episode is sponsored by Wondrium. Wondrium is like Netflix for your brain, an enormous encyclopedia of mind-blowing audio and video content designed for curious people just like us. I love it and i think you will too. Go to www.wondrium.com/armchair to get a 22-day free trail with access to thousands of hours of audio and video content, from travel guides and documentaries to courses taught by the world’s greatest professors. All for free, no strings attached. Check it out!

    Let's Hang out
    Follow @armchairexplorerpodcast on Instagram and Facebook or head over to www.armchair-explorer.com to find more background information on this episode 
     

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
107 Ratings

107 Ratings

exciteddoggo ,

AwEsOmE

I love listening to these amazing adventures!! They inspire me to get outside, and am hanging on every word!!!

culturecultshow ,

One of my top podcasts!

Always hanging on waiting for the next! The story telling is great and I get to learn about so many amazing explorers and their trials. This show makes me want to go on my own adventure

venkab ,

Very interesting

Each episode is unique and very interesting. Usually about an arduous trip to a place not many would consider going to. Every guest on this show has done something admirable. And the host is an intelligent, thoughtful, knowledgeable person. Highly recommend this podcast. You’ll learn something in every episode.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Apple TV+ / Pineapple Street Studios
Crooked Media
Ben Hamm
iHeartPodcasts
This American Life
New York Times Opinion

You Might Also Like

Mason Gravley
Jason Moore
Condé Nast Traveller
Holly Rubenstein
Terra Incognita
Witness Docs & Atlas Obscura