Of All the Stories in the World, the Best are those between the Pages of a Passport

Three years ago, I was sitting on an uninspired carpet on my living room floor in Portland, OR and was planning my trip to Latin America. I was living in a sterol apartment with a partner who didn’t understand me, a job that was exhausting my passions, and a parasitic feeling of having no direction, which would leave me crying on that irksome carpet. I had always used travel to run away from my problems and knew I needed to leave.

So I as was sitting on my plasticy couch and I started off at the uninterested walls of my apartment, I thought about how could I document what was about to happen, and I had been listening to podcasts non-stop at my baking job and thought “maybe I could start one?”

I was extremely lonely in Portland and felt uptight, not able to catch the West Coast chill. So I would escape into the world of podcasts because it was people who were sharing stories about things I was interested in and felt like I had commonalities with.

While I was bouncing from unsatisfying job to the next, I always found myself sneaking in a podcast or two while at work, to escape my unsettling reality. I loved the feeling of being transported somewhere else, being simultaneously inspired by stories and intellectually stimulated, and be able to pause and rewind when what was said to me was too beautiful or honest to keep listening. And above all, I just loved voices.

I was someone who has always had a creative drive, an energy that would wake me in the middle of the night and needed to MAKE something. But I loved talking about a wide breadth of topics and wanted something that overlapped with storytelling and deep topics, and at that point blogging was the only way to do that.

I started feeling embarrassed by how many blog ideas I started and stopped thinking THIS will be my next great project, and weeks later I would be staring at stuck staring at an incomplete website with half-finished thoughts and basic stock photos, unmotivated to clean any of it up. It felt like when I would “journal” as a kid. I had a tower of beautiful journals in my bedroom that I would impulsively buy and all of them contained two entries- one entry detailing my excitement over my new journal and all the things that happened that day and the second one six months later….. At the age of 8, I knew I had no inspiration for the written word because I didn’t have the understanding that the written word wasn’t for me.

Because here I stand, years older, with one full season of a PODCAST completed.

Once I had the idea, I was jazzed about recording conversations and found myself hunting for interesting individuals whom I could convince to be on my podcast. At the beginning of my journey, my iPad cracked and became precarious to work with but it didn’t stop me from trying to record as much as I could. And although I had no sound engineering experience, no software experience, or recording experience, it didn’t stop me from teaching myself.

I never woke up any morning thinking I HAVE to do this; my need to work on it is what got me out of bed.  I remember coming back from traveling and working at my dad’s nursery listening to podcasts and felt an anxious, nauseating pain in my chest because the voices on the other side of my earbuds were doing what I wanted to do, what I needed to do.

It took me too long to realize that the human voice was what captivated me. To me, one of the simplest pleasures about traveling is getting to hear all the different voices and accents that the human voice can take on. I love hearing one’s personality, idiosyncrasies, and ability to peek into who people are through their diction, syntax, and accent, and I promised myself to have as many diverse voices on my podcast as possible.

For me, it is an ineffable pleasure to craft an audio experience, transport, and influence people with more than your words but your voice and the stories you have to share, which I have found is my most powerful tool.

I wanted to curate an intimate experience for my listeners and make them feel like I was beside them while they are walking their dogs, cooking, or on a long commute and help guide them through whatever hesitations and excuses they give themselves to not travel.

With podcasting, I found my ideal medium and am able to finally unite storytelling learning in a way that resonates with me- and I wouldn’t have been able to find that if I didn’t go off and travel. I gave myself time to experiment with something new, to dive into untapped potential, and deviate from the limitations my environment had on me.

I am my truest self when I am telling stories with my voice and I thank you all for the support and encouragement.

Don’t worry, the story’s not over….this is just the beginning.

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