Big news, everyone: I've decided to start a podcast. Yes, you will be able to hear my weirdly low voice and manly laugh on the reg. While I listen to podcasts literally every day (see my post on the subject), I've yet to delve into the foray of broadcasting myself. But if there's one thing I know, it's that I love to travel. And I know a lot of people who have lived overseas and love airplanes as much as I do. So it would be a waste not to milk those friendships for all they're worth, right?
That's why I created "Pop Cartography" — it's an opportunity to pick my friends' brains and meet them at that crossover between their cultural experiences and mine. I learned so much from the people I grew up with, and I want to share their wisdom. My goal is for the show to be really laid-back, conversational and (most importantly) funny, so don't immediately knock it if you think "podcast" is a dirty word.
My pilot episode is with best friend/all-around cool gal/Swedish goddess/professional jam maker Elin Engkvist Wyller. I've known Elin since we were tikes, when she regularly wore culottes and her favourite purple "Lion King" t-shirt, which featured Nala and Simba in a heart on the front. I usually wore my pink Barbie shorts or Osh Kosh B'Gosh short overalls — shorteralls?
I know a lot of friends said the phrase "BFF" and wore friendship bracelets, but Elin and I did weird stuff like writing and then performing a song about "The Pearl" for 9th grade English class. We once watched "Stick It" and got so inspired we immediately started doing sit-ups in her front yard so everyone could see how gymnastical we were. During our senior retreat in high school, we created a game called "There Are No Rules," where we literally just ran around screaming, "THERE ARE NO RULES!"
On a road trip to Yellowstone during college, we sang a two-hour rendition of "Hush, Little Darling, Don't You Cry," where we made up our own words. It was, for some reason, hilar. Elin was the Maid of Honour in my wedding. She's one of the most patient, confident and wise people I know. Needless to say, I'm so glad Elin agreed to be my VERY FIRST GUEST. We had SO MUCH FUN RECORDING. I hope it shows (lol because it's a show — get it?)
And as you will hear us discuss in the episode, Elin is connected with "Pop Cartography"'s theme song, too. She, our other best friend, Julia, and I were on our aforementioned road trip (which we also talk about during the episode) when we kind of crashed one of our classmates from PNG's older brother's wedding. We wanted to visit Evan, the groom's younger brother, so we were allowed to come to the wedding if we helped set up, wash dishes, etc. The wedding was outdoors in the woods in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, and it was the most beautiful, free-spirited weddings I've ever been to. The morning of, we went out and picked wildflowers and put them in mason jars. There were cloth pendants and Christmas lights strung through the trees, and a lot of people were barefoot, including the bride and groom.
A band called Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk came all the way from Canada to play at the reception. At one point, they declared a dance competition. Julia, who was wearing a medical boot at the time, won a Lauren Mann CD.
During our subsequent road trip out to Yellowstone, we must have listened to that album over 50 times — so much so that I can't listen to it now without thinking of that magical trip with my two best buds. And since this podcast is about friends and travel, what better than to have a Lauren Mann song? The song I'm speaking of is called "How it Goes," and it's from that album Julia won, called "Over Land and Sea."
The band has been so awesome and has very graciously allowed me to use their song, so do them a favour and give them a listen! You can download the album from NoiseTrade (don't forget to donate!) or find other music from their website. Lauren Mann also has an awesome subscription service starting at $6/mo, where they produce exclusive content that's only available for that month (I do it, and it's great!). You can find out more about that special project here.
My hope is that "Pop Cartography" will be as much fun to listen to as it's been to dream up and that it will help dispel ignorance and promote healthy conversation beyond cultural boundaries. I will try to be as sensitive as possible regarding different countries, ethnicities, races, etc., but I apologize in advance for the mistakes I will probably make as a human being.
So, without further ado, head on over to my newly minted Podcast page and listen to the pilot episode, and find us on iTunes. Be sure to leave a review, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and tell ALL of your friends!