Out There



Out There is a podcast that explores big questions through intimate stories in the great outdoors.


  • How to Belong

    19/09/2019 Duration: 22min

    Wendy Villalta has spent most of her life trying to fit in. Her biological parents are immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador, but at age 10, she was put into foster care and was later adopted by a white, Jewish family. So it’s no no surprise that her sense of identity took a while to solidify. Most of us have had moments in our lives, when we felt we don’t belong. But what happens when you finally figure it out, only to realize that society doesn’t agree with you? How important is external validation? Victoria Marin brings us the story.

  • Too Poor to Dream?

    05/09/2019 Duration: 32min

    Many people talk about the outdoors as an inexpensive place to play — a place where you don’t need money to have fun. But how true is that? This episode comes to us from a woman named Charlsie Shaver, who yearns to build a life outdoors, but hasn't yet managed to do so. Her story explores what it means to dream, and what it takes to make a change in your life.

  • Nature Saved My Life

    22/08/2019 Duration: 40min

    On this episode, we introduce you to the newest cohort of Out There ambassadors, listeners who help spread the word about the podcast. They come from wildly different backgrounds, but each feels that nature has rescued them in some way — that it's reshaped their lives. On this episode, they share their stories: stories of bravery, of healing, of defying cultural expectations — and of finding your way in the world, with a little help from mother nature.

  • In the Long Run

    08/08/2019 Duration: 31min

    We live in a society that honors persistence. We celebrate people who tough it out and finish what they start. But how do you know when you've taken it too far? Where is the line between a healthy amount of perseverance, and blind stubbornness? Today's story is about learning when to drop out — both in a race, and in a relationship.

  • Conservation Refugees

    25/07/2019 Duration: 30min

    A lot of conservation efforts focus on the negative impacts people have on the environment. Humans are seen as an invasive species, and their presence is assumed to upset the natural balance. But what if it’s not so clearcut? On this episode, we explore what happens when conservation efforts end up having side effects that are, at best, questionable. My guest is Michael Benanav, author of the book Himalaya Bound, which follows a group of nomads in India who are desperately clinging to an ancient way of life. The Van Gujjars live in perfect harmony with nature, playing a vital role in their own ecosystem. But they’re under threat — ironically, due to conservation efforts.

  • Just for Me

    11/07/2019 Duration: 23min

    My mother always told me I shouldn’t take “no” for an answer. If you don’t get what you want, she said, try again. Keep asking. Stick to your guns. Growing up, I took that advice to heart: whatever the task at hand, I pushed forward with dogged determination. But in 2018, a traumatic accident left me suddenly powerless to complete even the simplest of tasks. In the aftermath of that experience, my outlook on what it means to back down was turned on its head, and I started standing up for myself in a new way. On this episode, I share that story.

  • What You Can Find in Glaciers

    27/06/2019 Duration: 45min

    On this episode, we bring you a guest story from the podcast Outlandish, a show that focuses on stories from our public lands. The story is about a remarkable discovery that happened in the wilderness of Canada. It takes us behind the scenes on the hunt of a lifetime, and looks at the fascinating things we can learn about our past by exploring the places where glaciers have melted away. In addition to the story, we bring you an interview with Liz Townley, the mastermind behind Outlandish. We talk with her about her show, and about the broader effort to get more Americans involved in shaping the future of our national forests.

  • My Own Way

    13/06/2019 Duration: 16min

    Carolyn McDonald adores trees. She even spends time pondering what trees would say if they could talk. But she’s not the typical outdoorsy type; the very idea of camping gives her the shivers. On this episode, Carolyn shares her story. She takes us from rural North Carolina to the streets of Paris, and explores what it’s like to love nature in a manner that defies society’s expectations.

  • Pleasure in Pain

    30/05/2019 Duration: 30min

    Most of us want to speed through the hard times; we want to get to a place where life feels smooth and easy. But what if the line between good times and bad isn’t so clear? What if hardship can actually be enjoyable? On this episode, Heather Daya Rideout takes us from the beaches of Thailand to the mountains of Maine, and tells of a an encounter with strangers on the Appalachian Trail that completely changed her perspective on pleasure and pain.

  • That's Just Not Me

    16/05/2019 Duration: 34min

    Growing up, Adrienne Lindholm was dead set against having children. She didn’t like kids, and she felt that parenthood would force her to give up the things she loved most in life. But as time went on, her husband became more and more determined to start a family. Eventually, she was faced with an ultimatum: have kids, or lose her relationship. Adrienne wrote a memoir called It Happened Like This, which chronicles her life in Alaska and her dilemma surrounding motherhood. She joins us on this episode to talk about it.

  • Before It's Too Late

    02/05/2019 Duration: 30min

    Shannon Prince comes from a family with a rich relationship to the natural world. Her Cherokee ancestors were skilled at using plants to heal the deepest of wounds, and Shannon grew up with the understanding that nature could — quite literally — save you. But her family’s eco-literacy had been stripped away over the generations, and by the time Shannon came along, there wasn’t much left to teach her. Yearning to rediscover forgotten knowledge, Shannon traveled across the world, to a place where ancient traditions were more intact than her own. On this episode, she shares her story. It’s a story that takes us from Houston, Texas, to the remote meadows of Outer Mongolia. And it explores the surprising things that can happen to us on a personal level, when we attempt to preserve a way of life that’s slowly being stripped away.

  • Noise for the Soul

    18/04/2019 Duration: 29min

    We often hear about people escaping to nature as an antidote to stress. Quiet places can help us find inner peace, we’re told. But what if it isn’t so simple for everyone? What if some people need busier urban environments — and not just for the career opportunities, or the lifestyle — but in order to feel at peace? This episode draws us into one woman’s realization that living in a big city — a place that assaults your senses every time you walk outside — a place where the concept of ‘outside’ is about as far removed from nature as it gets — might be just what her soul has been searching for all along. Alex Eggerking tells her story.

  • Controlling Chaos

    04/04/2019 Duration: 29min

    This episode is about control: control of wildfires, and control of your own life. My guests are Alex Jablonski and Kahlil Hudson, producers the film Wildland. We talk about the deeply personal forces that draw people to wildland firefighting; about the mental highs that come with the job; and about the surprising bonds that form between people who seem to have nothing in common. Finally, we discuss how controlling nature can help you gain control over your own life, too.

  • Single in Your Thirties

    21/03/2019 Duration: 20min

    Most of us want a life partner. But what if your soulmate never materializes? On this episode, writer and photographer Mara Kuhn shares a story about being single well past the age when most of your peers are paired off. It’s a story that takes us from the deep south to the highest peak in Colorado, and it explores why being single might actually make you happier.

  • In the Name of Love

    07/03/2019 Duration: 23min

    We hear it again and again: relationships require compromise. But what happens when you realize you’ve been letting your own identity slip away, for the benefit of a relationship? Today’s story, by Dani Harris, is about young love and a cross-country road trip, and it shows just how hard it can be to stand up for yourself when you care deeply about another person.

  • The Truths We Hold

    21/02/2019 Duration: 51min

    This is a story about our beliefs — about things we’re brought up to know to be true. Beliefs so strong and powerful that they shape the identity, culture, and attitudes of an entire nation. We all have these kinds of beliefs — things we’ve been taught our entire lives. But what causes us to begin to question them? On this episode, we have a guest story from Kerning Cultures, a podcast dissecting the complex narratives of the Middle East. It’s a story about what happens when we’re faced with a truth that contradicts our own.

  • Becoming a Secular Pilgrim

    07/02/2019 Duration: 36min

    Beth Jusino was neither outdoorsy nor religious, but, craving a break from her hectic life, she set her sights on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route through Europe. Her book Walking to the End of the World chronicles the trip, and she joins us to talk about it. Beth’s story is a testament to the beautiful things that can happen when you stop saying, “I could never do that.” And it’s a reminder that disentangling ourselves from our responsibilities and compulsions can help us thrive.

  • Seeing the Forest through the Trees

    24/01/2019 Duration: 34min

    Overachievement. The word conjures up specific kinds of feats: high grades, promotions, success in the traditional sense. Things that are unambiguously good. But what happens when you realize the quest to achieve has been holding you back? On this episode, producer Noam Osband shares the story of something surprising that happened while he was researching his PhD dissertation. His story that takes us from the hills of Arkansas to the forests of Canada, and introduces us to the world of migrant workers whose job it is to plant the trees that feed our timber industry. It’s a story that questions our desire to get ahead, and shows what happens when you're willing to take your gaze away from your goal.

  • Meet the Ambassadors

    18/01/2019 Duration: 21min

    Post-partum depression. Anxiety over gender identity. Anorexia. Struggles with weight. A cancer diagnosis during pregnancy. The first cohort of Out There ambassadors have very real challenges to talk about, despite some of the gorgeous photos they’re posting on social media. Our ambassadors are listeners who are volunteering their time to help spark discussions amongst the Out There community, and introduce the show to new listeners. Today, we let each of them tell you a little about themselves. They talk about their hopes, their dreams, their struggles — all the very real things they’re dealing with as they navigate this crazy world we live in. Their stories are raw and vulnerable and sad and beautiful, and — fair warning — you’ll likely be in tears by the end of the episode.

  • Well-Meaning But Clueless White People

    10/01/2019 Duration: 19min

    Part of our mission at Out There is to make the concept of ‘the outdoors’ more accessible to all. But so far, we don’t have a great track record. Contrary to our intentions, this has become a show mostly about white people — and while we’re at it, mostly straight, upper middle class white people. On this episode, Host Willow Belden and Business Development Director Alex Eggerking sit down for an honest conversation about how we got here, and what we hope to change in the future.

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