Six Podcasts to Listen to on Your Next Trip

Flights, layovers and long drives are the perfect opportunities to reflect and absorb new ideas. And what better way to do that than to listen to a podcast? With that in mind, we asked broadcasting power couple Emily Condon (This American Life, Serial) and Jonathan Goldstein (WireTap, Heavyweight) to tell us about their favourite podcasts.

1. Love Me

This Canadian show dives deep into the messiness of human connections through real testimonials on everything from love to stalking to grief. “It’s full of emotional, first-person stories that are beautifully produced,” says Goldstein. The episode “To My Heart,” featuring a Guantanamo Bay detainee, is one that they both particularly enjoyed. “He was so young when he was captured that he’d never really experienced love, and it’s all about how he imagines it,” describes Condon. “It’s fascinating.”

2. S-Town

“It doesn’t need me to sing its praises because it’s one of the most successful podcasts of all time, but it really lives up to the hype,” says Goldstein. Made by the people behind Serial, this podcast is a literary real-life murder mystery centred on a small Alabama town. “It’s one of the weirdest mass-consumed pieces of art-slash-entertainment that I can think of,” says Condon. “You really enter a different world.”

3. The Anthropocene Reviewed

Condon’s favourite podcast these days is this strange series by young-adult author John Green. “In each 20-minute episode, he muses about two different and unrelated topics,” explains Condon. “My favourite episode ever is called ‘Googling Strangers and Kentucky Bluegrass,’ in which he reflects on the act of Googling strangers, and then reviews Kentucky bluegrass (a type of grass). It’s super-informative – you’ll learn about the history of Kentucky bluegrass and the environmental impact of lawns, and then he’ll talk about memories from childhood. All in 20 minutes. It’s astonishing.”

4. Canadaland

“This podcast is something I always continue to listen to, even though I’m not that interested in Canadian politics or media,” says Goldstein. Since moving to the United States after his marriage to Condon, he has kept up with Canadian news partly through this podcast created and hosted by journalist Jesse Brown. “He’s a real iconoclastic, muckraker type and a good interviewer. The show always sucks me into subjects that I wouldn’t inherently be interested in.”

5. Someone Else’s Movie

Another favourite of Goldstein’s is this Canadian gem in which the host, Norm Wilner, interviews entertainment-industry professionals about their favourite film by someone else. “Often, the reason I like a podcast is because it feels like I’m eavesdropping on a conversation between people that are really smart. It’s like listening to an interesting professor talk about a movie you love.”

6. Where Should We Begin?

This podcast by famous psychotherapist Esther Perel is a favourite for both. “Each episode is essentially an edited therapy session. No matter which episode you’re listening to, you’ll always find something to relate to and advice you can take to heart,” says Condon. “There are three seasons out now that feature couples and families. The fourth season is on the way and it deals with work relationships. I’m so excited about that one.”