The Top Listener-Recommended Women on the Road Episodes of 2018
From host Laura Hughes
Banner Image by Abbi Hearne
“I often joke that I’m the first one to say “I’m excited” about new experiences and endeavors—but I’m excited for the future of Women On The Road. And it’s because of all of you. So thank you.”
This is how I closed out last year’s round up of Women on the Road’s 3 Must-Listen Episodes in 2017, and in reading it back as 2018 draws to a close I was nearly brought to tears of joy and overwhelming gratitude. The truth is that we never really know how something will grow. We just see the potential and put as much heart as we can muster into it with the hopes that we’ll be around to see it bloom.
This year has felt like one big, beautiful bloom unfolding among us all.
The Women on the Road community has grown so much in this past year. We transitioned the show to something weekly and consistent. We developed more ways to connect online with the Women On The Road Podcast Facebook group and @womenontheroad on Instagram. We held our first-ever live event in Taos, New Mexico. And, most importantly: we opened up the door to more stories, perspectives, and helping to further the conversation around what road travel looks like.
My voice might have a presence in each episode of Women on the Road, but if you’re reading this, you help comprise the heart of what it is we do and why we exist. So, it only felt right to ask listeners through our Facebook group what their favorite episodes of 2018 were. We narrowed it to a top 10, and I added a few additional suggestions of interviews especially near to my heart.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for an incredible year. Here’s to 2019—to growth we can’t yet see, places we haven’t yet been, and connections that haven’t yet made.
Laura Hughes, Host of Women on the Road
If you’re looking for practical tips, a fresh perspective, or to hear a few words of wisdom gleaned from time spent out on the road, this episode if for you.
This episode was hailed from new and experienced travelers alike as a useful resource! We really enjoyed rounding up 10 different voices from previous episodes to offer up their advice for 5 highly common questions we hear in the road travel community.
E38: In the Wake of Grief
In the last two years, Lauren and her long-time partner Trent bought a house, planned their kitchen remodel, saved up for their honeymoon, and got married. But then suddenly and unexpectedly, Trent died. Just two months into their marriage, Lauren was alone.
Lauren carried herself with grace, strength, and vulnerability in this episode. It was an honor to interview her in the first place, and an even greater honor to hear her story told with such clarity and heart.
As an adventure wedding photographer, Abbi Hearne eats, sleeps, and breathes destinations.
It’s not just a part of her livelihood—it’s a passion of hers to find these special places. From practical tips to the challenges she’s overcome in building her dream business, Abbi’s stories and advice bring both reality and heart to what it’s like being a destination-focused, passion-driven, traveling female entrepreneur.
Abbi’s interest in business, travel, photography, and land conservation make this an incredibly rich interview—full of tips, stories, and connects the dots to how Abbi got to where she is today.
For solo traveler Martha Hudson, creating custom bikinis out of her converted school bus became one way to host a conversation around body positivity and show the world that bodies of all types deserve to have swimwear they feel comfortable and confident in. From the importance of letting go, to how Martha views her own self love practice, tune in to feel a little more confident in your skin.
Martha’s episode came at just the right time this year—because it’s always the right time to reflect on how to give ourselves a little more love.
Noami is passionate about sustainable living and has been dedicating her life to helping to make eco-friendly habits and choices more accessible to everyone, whether you’re on the road or living a more stationary lifestyle. But there are so many ways to model positive change in this world, and while cutting down on single use plastic or turning off the faucet to brush your teeth are certainly important, the way we relate to one another is something else Noami sees room for positive change in.
Noami’s interview with us was one of the highlights of our year, so it was great to hear that the community felt the same. Her passion for sustainability is backed with loads of accessible tips, and her love for others will inspire you to smile in the face of adversity.
Professional makers have their own unique business challenges when it comes to road travel—from storage, to crafting the good themselves, to shipping and more—and Madison is a knowledgeable, honest voice to address them on this episode. From practical tips to hearing what inspires her and more, this episode is dedicated to all the makers out there who dream of travel.
Madison is a lady boss our entire team admires! Her organization, creativity, and ability to form connections with others shines through in her interview, and is likely to inspire you to get your own projects off the ground (and onto the road).
Some people might see Brianna’s old campervan, Bertha, and think that it’s not worth the trouble—that the potential for breakdowns make it too risky to live in. Some people might see her incredibly active dog, Dagwood, and think that he’s too wild to give a home to. In fact, some people might think that the desert back roads aren’t the safest place to call home at all. But unlike most people, Brianna fell in love with all of the above.
When we released this episode, we received online comments exclaiming that this was the episode everyone had been waiting for—and Brianna’s interview certainly lived up to the acclaim. Her vulnerability, stories, and heart make this episode a must-listen.
For Brittany, this past season has been one full of trauma, change, transition, growth, and—as you’ll hear time and again in this episode—letting go. Because when we go through big changes, and especially when they’re unplanned, the key to moving forward is all in how well we can let go of the expectations that were, to make room for what comes next.
We called competitive river surfer Brittany Parker at a point in time that would be challenging for anyone—healing from a traumatic brain injury. Her insights on the recovery process and how this incident has transformed the way she looks at the future are something we can all learn from.
With over 10 years of professional experience as a traveling writer and photographer, Johnie has created a balance between producing quality work for her clients, living part-time in a converted Sprinter van, and traveling the world with friends and peers. From endearing anecdotes to pragmatic advice, Johnie’s perspective on work and travel are meant for anyone wanting to blend more of their outdoor adventure with what brings home a paycheck.
We so appreciate Johnie for taking the time to share what she’s learned in her career to date. One of the biggest themes we discuss in this episode is the nature of competition in the freelance writing space, and Johnie sharing her tips and insights is one way she models an attitude of abundance and creating a collaborative environment of creatives.
The question “Should I get a dog before hitting the road?” comes up often in this tight knit little community. But getting a dog is a big decision, and so is bringing one on the road with you. Fortunately, we know just the person to help with tips, answers, and insights when it comes to choosing, training, and traveling with dogs: Laura DeMaio Roy.
Laura’s hands-on experience with her two dogs (plus countless others that she’s helped to train professionally), in addition to her experience with road travel makes her the perfect voice to get us all thinking about what it takes to travel with dogs. Her giving nature and professional tips in this episode are invaluable for anyone who wants to get their dog on the road with them.
Additional Picks by Laura
Ramie Liddle has lived on the road on and off since her mid-twenties, but never did she have an adventure like her 14-month journey with Miss Norma, her 90-year-old mother-in-law. In 2015, Norma was diagnosed with terminal cancer two days after her husband passed away. Along with her husband Tim and their poodle Ringo, Ramie helped Miss Norma to live out her remaining year of life on the road instead of a doctor’s office.
When we initially reached out to Ramie, I wasn’t sure if she’d want to share the story of Miss Norma, mostly because it had been a couple years since her passing and both Ramie and her husband had been in the public eye in a big way during their travels. But Ramie’s take on reclaiming her space in the driver’s seat, what it meant to watch Miss Norma transform, and the passion she has for women travelers at any age brought tears to my eyes. – LH
Emily Hart is no stranger to solo travel. In fact, she’s on a quest to visit every National Park in the US, and she has some insightful thoughts on what it’s like to start traveling alone. Whether you travel alone regularly, or the thought of it fills you with dread—we’ve been there. And this episode is for you.
This episode is particularly special to me, not just for Emily’s incredible interview, but because of the timing in which we had the opportunity to talk. It was the night of Emily’s interview that I started traveling on my first solo multi-night road trip, and her insightful words were just what I needed to feel comfortable in the discomfort of traveling alone.
Karen Ramos has been making a pretty big impact in the outdoor community this year through the conversations she’s been starting in the realm of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in outdoor spaces. And most recently, she went on a pretty inspiring road trip that spawned #fakevanlife. Tune in for a fresh perspective on road travel told by someone who uses her voice to open up conversations where outdoors, travel, and DEI intersect.
Karen’s bold voice is needed within an the online #vanlife community, because there is still ample room to showcase a greater diversity of what #vanlife can be. I appreciated Karen’s interest in leading a conversation with me around what #fakevanlife represents, in addition to graciously holding space for my own questions about DEI in the road travel space.
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