Introducing Women on the Road, the Podcast
By Laura Hughes
A note from Gale Straub, founder of She-Explores.com and host of She Explores:
When Laura Hughes reached out to me about wanting to start a podcast as an extension of our 75+ written Women on the Road (WOTR) interviews, I was taken by Laura’s outgoing nature and genuine passion for a lifestyle she had decided to live but had not quite yet started living. There’s a lot of beautiful content on the internet about life “on the road”, but I’ve always believed there’s something especially lovely about seeing it through a feminine lens. Starting on Friday, July 14, we’ll get to hear that perspective through our headphones.
If you read Laura’s essay below, you’ll find out why I wholeheartedly believe Laura is the person to amplify those voices.
Curiosity, Fear, or Both: Laura Hughes on Hosting the Women on the Road Podcast
It’s no secret, but I’ll let you in on it anyway: I’ve never hosted a podcast before. The technology, the story-telling, or really using my voice in this way are all things I’ve been learning along the way to building Women On The Road into a podcast, with much support from She Explores. When the opportunity first came to be and this podcast series was in its infancy, I told myself the reason I wanted to host it was because I like creative projects and I am obsessed with sinking my teeth into new experiences. But if I’m being real (and I intend to be), there’s a lot more to it than that.
Almost three years ago, I was sitting in my apartment in Seattle, freaking out inside. My boyfriend was at a car dealership checking out vans (one of which would later become the “adventuremobile” we drive and live in today), and while I was excited about the prospect of living on the road, all I could hear was a voice in my head asking, “can you even do that?” Emphasis on the word you. As in, “Laura, are you possibly capable of doing this?” It was doubt calling, and I was getting sucked in before we even decided a van was the right move for us. So like any twenty-something, I turned to social media, looking up #vanlife for the first time on Instagram and getting lost in each 1×1 image. I saw handmade houses trucking down dirt road after dirt road. I saw reflections in lakes and through rear view mirrors. But the most resonant reflections I saw were tiny, flickering reflections of myself in the spirit of the other women in those photos. They were strong, beautiful, real people, and they each had their own way of making life on the road their own: visual validation that what I wanted to do could be done.
But the most resonant reflections I saw were tiny, flickering reflections of myself in the spirit of the other women in those photos.
In some ways, I’d like to say none of that happened– that I was confident every step of the way to living on the road full-time. But that wouldn’t be true. And had I never searched from the comfort of my phone that day, I might never have found Gale Straub, who was living full-time in a converted Sprinter with her boyfriend at the time and interviewing women for an online interview series called “Women On The Road”. I admired those women and the She Explores community Gale was building, reading every interview and thinking about the way the road and I could perhaps befriend one another– dreaming about being a woman on the road one day myself. So whether out of curiosity, fear, or both, I’m thankful I found this community: the community that made van life as a female seem possible in the first place.
In hosting the Women On The Road podcast, I am honored to give back to all those female travelers who have stories to tell, and all those adventurous spirits out there who are ready to listen. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the many women on the road a little better, learning from them, and hopefully inspiring other women out there to say ‘yes’ to the kind of adventurous living they’ve been dreaming about. I’m excited to share pieces of my own journey as well, though the idea of being vulnerable enough to share my reflections and growth without one nice package to wrap it up in is sometimes a bit scary. But in the same way I hopped into our van and hit the road some months ago, I’m ignoring the doubt and just going for it. If there’s anything I’ve learned through trying something new, it’s that whether it’s guided by curiosity, fear, or both– you’ll never regret trying.
So hello, nice to meet you, and I hope you enjoy the ride.
WOTR podcast logo designed by Dani Opal.