Favorite Podcasts for Road Trippin’

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“Journalists have linked this online podcasting boom to the ubiquity of smartphones, time spent in transit, and online music services. Others attribute it to the brain-stimulating and addictive effects of audio learning, or the multitasking potential of listening. The beauty is in the overlap.”

Jeff Desjardins, Editor-in-Chief of Visual Capitalist

Since we have spent more time on the road v planes in 2020, thought I would post some of my favorite podcasts. They sure do help pass the time away on the road or on a long, solo hike. Or in my fellow Americans’ case, to distract ourselves from the circus of our current presidential election. UGH.

I have a tendency to lean towards crime related stories, so keep this in mind as you read through my list. Some of them are kind of disturbing….Also, if you click on the title, it should take you to the podcast itself. Hope you find a couple of nuggets in here.

Most importantly, please share your favorites in the comments – always looking for good stuff as I am sure others are as well.

  1. Dirty John
    • A couple of girlfriends and I listened to this on a road-trip through the interior of Mexico. It’s a goodie if you are female in the dating world. It’s essentially about a woman who is having troubles finding true-love until she gets on a dating site and meets “DIRTY” John. At some points during the podcast, you want to strangle this lady for her ‘dumbness’, but the story makes for some entertaining listening. Turns out a friend of ours went to high-school with one of the kids. Small world.
  2. The Dropout
    • I am completely obsessed with this story! It’s about Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced Theranos founder who lied to the world about her company’s capabilities. She claimed her blood testing techniques could identify serious medical conditions with just a tiny drop of blood. Somehow she managed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to start her ops and recruit an all-star Board of Directors including Henry Kissinger. Crazy story, crazy woman, famous people, what more do you need?
  3. Dolly Parton’s America
    • What can I say about Dolly Parton? One of my all-time favorite humans on the planet. The podcast chronicles her career and what makes her so appealing to all walks of life. SHE.IS.A.GEM. Great story teller and songwriter, gifted singer, generous soul, the list goes on….
  4. S Town
    • This podcast was produced by the same people who produced “Serial” below in #5. This guy (John McLemore) who lived in a small Alabama town, contacts the producers of Serial (Brian Reed) to try and generate interest in a murder in this town. After a about a year of exchanging emails and several months of phone conversation with John, Brian travels to Alabama to investigate further. In the end, it’s discovered a murder didn’t take place, however, Brian strikes up a friendship with John and the rest is history. John is a colorful, quirky character who doesn’t exactly fit into the conservative, southern half of the United States. The story is about this investigation and the life and death of flamboyant John in the deep south.
  5. Serial Season 1
    • Serial has been around for a LONG time (2015). The first time I listened to this was on a road trip in Iceland about 5 years ago. It is a CLASSIC. This investigative story takes place in Baltimore, Maryland and is about the murder of an 18 year old, female high-school student. An anonymous source calls authorities and implicates her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Masud Syed as a suspect. OMG, this is sooo good. I can tell you, nothing is cut and dry here and many theories are explored. I for one thought he was GUILTY, but I can say other friends of mine adamantly believe he is innocent! All of this makes for some interesting conversations and debates.
  6. 30 for 30
    • Thank goodness for Sean’s love of sports else I may have never found this one! 30 for 30 Podcasts are produced by ESPN Films and ESPN Audio and feature stories from the world of sports. If you have ever seen the short documentary films and loved them, this podcast won’t disappoint. We recently listened to Heavy Medals about Bela and Martha Karolyi – how they got started and rose to fame in the world of gymnastics. SO GOOD. As expected, creepy at times.
  7. Dateline
    • I am a nut for true-crime stories – have been since the 70’s. Sometimes I feel as though I should have been a detective – wonder how different life would be had I chosen that path? For those of you who don’t know, Dateline is an American TV series that focuses on true crime mysteries and how they are solved (or not). The podcast is just another take on this. Love me some Keith Morrison ALL day long. Words of advice people, new, out-of-the-blue insurance policies and extra-marital affairs are dead giveaways for GUILT!
  8. Forgotten (Women of Juarez)
    • This particular podcast had a HUGE impact on me. I binged listened to this on the way to Grand Junction, CO this past summer. I was living in TX at the time the story broke that hundreds of women were disappearing in Juarez, Mexico in the 90’s. Juarez is a border town outside of El Paso, TX. I remember feeling such pain and emotion for these women and their families. Several articles have been written about the events, but this podcast put it all together for me through discussions with many of the investigative reporters and interviews with some of the parents. It’s a heart-wrenching story and one I will never forget. It’s full of theories regarding who was responsible and frustrating amounts of police corruption on both sides of the border. Intense but amazing journalism.
  9. Cover-Up Chappaquiddick
    • Americans have been obsessed by the Kennedy family for seemingly forever. This particular podcast is centered around a fatal car crash involving Ted Kennedy and a young, female political aide in 1969. As People magazine put it, “Why did Kennedy, the youngest son of America’s most powerful political dynasty, wait ten hours after he escaped the wreckage to report Kopechne’s death? And why does her death haunt those who knew her to this day?” If that’s not enough to entice a download, I don’t know what will!
  10. Illegal Tender – I Can’t Get Enough: Aubrey McClendon’s life, death and fallen empire
    • This podcast is suuuuper interesting to me as many of my clients are in the oil and gas business. Chesapeake Energy was one such client. Aubrey McClendon happened to be the CEO of Chesapeake at the time. Aubrey was a larger than life character who was loved by sooo many, but also lived a life full of excess. He also built a multi-billion $$$ business on what could be considered unethical practices and was coincidentally under federal investigation at the time of his death. This podcast is about the rise and fall of a once powerful, beloved force in the oil and gas world.

I have downloaded a whole slew of new podcasts, but have not yet listened – something to look forward to.

Happy listening!

….i choose this….



  1. I loved S Town, but couldn’t stick with Dolly Parton’s America. The others are new to me so I’ll check them out.

    Have you listened to The Allusionist with Helen Zaltzman? It’s about language and is delightfully droll. I also listened to the first season or so of Ear Hustle which is about life inside San Quentin. Completely fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your list of podcasts has entertained me on many of my thousands of miles in the last 6 months! All winners. Just listened to all of “Nice White Parents” on today’s wicked long drive. About the role of white parents (good and bad) in integrating NYC public schools. I thought it was very thought-provoking!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have gotten smitten with podcast while living in Paris and commuting to/from work every day in public transportation. Now that I don’t live in Paris anymore and commute very differently, I only listen to podcasts when I’m home cooking or when the sound is good enough to listen to in my car.
    Anyway, most of those I listen to today are in French so it might not be very relevant to share them here (feminism, cooking, travels, etc.).

    Nevertheless, some I listen to in English (to keep practizing) and I highly recommend “Love Your Enthusiasm” hosted by Britt Skrabanek (you already know that) 😉
    While I took a sign language interpreting training to/from English, we were recommended “Freakonomics” and “My Dad wrote a porno” but I haven’t really taken time to listen to many episodes. The former is more down-to-earth economics, the latter is obviously much more frivolous and funny.

    I take notes of your recommendations too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Found this past post of yours, Pam, and I popped in because I have recently been a big podcast fan – have been driving Older Daughter to her college campus (I am loathe for her to take public transport for now) so I have 1/2 hour on the return a couple times a day to listen to fun things …. like Song Exploder and Ted Radio Hour.

    Liked by 1 person

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