PODCAST: ARMCHAIR EXPLORER
Adventure storytelling set to music and cinematic effects… straight to the heart of the action
Our first featured podcast is the awesome Armchair Explorer Podcast with Aaron Millar. Aaron creates an immersive experience which draws the listener into the world of the adventurer…
Tell us more about The Armchair Explorer Podcast and what inspired you to begin it?
Every episode of the Armchair Explorer, one of the world’s greatest adventurers comes on and tells their best story from the road. Everything is cut documentary style, and set to music and cinematic effects to create an immersive storytelling experience unlike anything else out there in the travel/adventure genre. I created it because it’s the show I really wanted to listen to and couldn’t find anywhere else. I was bored of the long-winded interview format of most other travel podcasts and wanted to do something that really transported people to the places we discuss. Most of all, I created it because I wanted to inspire people to connect more deeply with the outdoors, with adventure, with other cultures and with this incredible planet of ours. Even with themselves too – I think travel can do that. It can help us see the world, and our place in it, differently. At the end of the show I always say “When we look for the wonder of the world, the wonder of the world becomes a part of who we are” – that’s what it’s all about.
What has been your greatest adventure to date?
I’ve been so lucky to be a professional travel writer for the last 10 years+, so lots of amazing adventures. Some highlights include: spending a week living with the Navajo in the backcountry of Monument Valley, trekking the Kumano Kodo an ancient Japanese pilgrimage path through the Kai Mountains of Japan, and doing a 100-mile pub crawl along the South Downs Way in England (where I originally come from): 17 pubs, 7 hangovers, 6 days and 100 miles of beautiful hiking. Doesn’t get much better than that!
What has been the toughest challenge you’ve ever taken on?
I think one of the scariest things I’ve done is Cliff Camping, and I tell that story in the first episode of the podcast. I don’t want to spoil it, so please check it out if you’re interested – but let’s just say it starts with me dangling hundreds of feet above the ground, on a sheer cliff face, in the rocky mountains. And that’s where I spent the night. It was terrifying – we had lightning strikes, insane rappels, all sorts of crazy things happened. But when the dawn breaks over the valley in the morning, it’s one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen.
Where is your favourite place on earth?
Patagonia, in southern Chile is hard to beat for the sheer scale and drama of the landscapes. I spent 3 weeks driving down the Route of Parks, a new 1000-mile road trip that links together some of the wildest places on Earth and was completely blown by it all. There aren’t many places let in the world that feel that pristine and untouched.
Do you prefer to adventure solo or as part of a team?
A lot of the travel and adventure I do for my job as a travel writer is solo. I love it. It helps me connect more deeply with a destination and people. But sometimes it can get lonely. As my kids are getting older, I travel with them and my wife a lot too and that’s probably my favorite way to explore these days. It’s a little less hardcore, of course, but seeing the world together is so special.
Do you currently have any adventures planned you can tell us about?
I had some big trips planned – off-road jeep camping around Death Valley, High Sierras and Yosemite in California, south of France and Spain … but obviously everything’s been put on hold for the time being. Instead, I’m exploring my home state, doing a lot of camping and hiking. Taking the kids up their first 14er (mountain over 14,000 feet) next week. Sometimes it’s great to explore your home turf in more detail and the current ban on travel has really opened my eyes to how much beauty and amazing wilderness is right on my doorstep that I hadn’t even checked out before.
What does adventure mean to you?
I call myself a ‘Wonderist’ – a collector of wonder. Adventure to me means connecting more deeply with the wilderness, and the outdoors. It means exploring beautiful places and trying to find peak moments of transcendence and awe. And it means sharing those experiences to inspire others to do the same. I say this at the end of the podcast too – “Dare to be truly alive” – that’s what adventure means to me. It means living life to the full, being grateful for it, being present.
You can catch up with the Armchair Explorer podcast on all of these platforms. Don’t forget to leave a review!
Adventure… means exploring beautiful places and trying to find peak moments of transcendence and awe.
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Armchair Explorer Podcast
with Aaron Millar
The Armchair Explorer podcast is adventure storytelling set to music and cinematic effects. Each episode one of the world’s greatest adventurers tells their best story from the road. No long-winded interviews, just straight to the heart of the action.
Host Aaron Millar is an award-winning travel writer, journalist and author. He contributes regularly to The Times of London, National Geographic Traveller (UK), and many other national and international publications. He has presented travel documentaries for National Geographic TV, written two books for London publisher Icon – 50 Greatest Wonders of the World & 50 Greatest National Parks of the World – and is the 2014 and 2017 British Guild of Travel Writers Travel Writer of the Year.
Aaron grew up in Brighton, England but is currently hiding out in the Rocky Mountains of Louisville, Colorado. He hates rom-coms, shellfish and gin; he loves sci-fi, sushi and tequila.