The end of the year has us all holding up a mirror to the last twelve months. Although 2017 was a tumultuous one and it’s easy to feel like we’re not doing enough, it’s beneficial to contemplate what we’ve put out into the world. I don’t look to quotes often, but this one by Haruki Murakami feels relevant: “The longer you spend in the dark, the harder it becomes to return to the world aboveground where the light is.”
This year, She Explores had so many heartening conversations over Skype and in person. When I searched our analytics for the five most-listened-to episodes (by downloads) over the course of the year, I wasn’t too surprised. They were both reflective of the year at large and the ways the She Explores Podcast has grown. We spoke of mental health and long treks and words of encouragement along our not-so-straight paths.
Thank you to the listeners and to each and every voice we’ve had on the show. May our voices grow louder in the new year.
– Gale Straub, Host of She Explores
To reflect and re-listen, here are our top five most-listened-to She Explores Podcast episodes of 2017:
The outdoors can make a powerful impression on our mental health, easing the symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as lessening the impact of situational factors in our lives.
It also features listener responses about their experiences with anxiety and depression and the ways they’ve found healing through outdoor activities as simple as walks in nature and as challenging as canyoneering for the first time.
Ever feel like you need permission to try something new?
Amanda Machado, author of the Vox essay “The Strangeness of Being a Latina who Loves Hiking” brings up the astute point that we so often look around us for permission to take a risk. Her advice? Take the risk, with or without external approval.
Because it’s OK to not have it all figured out. We interview Erin Sullivan, the writer behind “Erin Outdoors” about finding your path (in the outdoors and otherwise) through vulnerability, saying no, and self-awareness.
We talk with Rahawa Haile, an Eritrean-American writer living in Oakland, CA, about her northbound thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2016.
As one of the few black women to thru hike in 2016, Rahawa talks about how her experience is different than the “typical” hiker, and how the Appalachian trail isn’t a great equalizer.
She also discusses the small beauties she found along the trail: be it snow on a branch or the kindness of the hiking community.
Also find Rahawa’s must-read essay “How Black Books Lit My Way Along the Appalachian Trail” on Buzzfeed.
The smallest moments can have real impact on our lives. We reflect on those moments in the outdoors, in the workplace, and in our personal lives.
In this episode, we hear from a solo sailor approaching fifty years old, an adventure photographer on a mission to learn how to surf, an entrepreneur letting go after a loss, and a cancer survivor celebrating with a hike – among others.
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