The Indie Travel Podcast

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

I am so happy to be sharing this with our Wandering Educators! One of our Editors, Craig Martin (actually, he is doing double duty as both our New Zealand Editor and ESL Editor), has an incredible venture that he and his wife, Linda, have produced. It is a great travel site called Indie Travel Podcast, and shares a unique view of traveling the world (and meeting so many cool people along the way).  Indie Travel Podcast has, of course, podcasts, but also video, travel articles, resources, reviews, and more. The first time that I discovered the site, I looked up to see that two hours had passed! Yes, it is THAT good. Exploring the world through Craig and Linda's eyes makes traveling NOW seem not only desirable, but accessible to all.

I was lucky enough to sit down and talk with Craig about their site. Here's what he had to say...



WE:  Please tell us about your site,

CM: The Indie Travel Podcast aims to give great travel advice for independent travellers. It's run by myself and my wife Linda and we've been online since the end of 2006. The spine of the site is our weekly audio podcast -- imagine it like internet radio on demand -- where Linda and I speak about our recent travels and the things we've learned. We also do reviews and interview other travellers and locals we meet along the way.

Each week we also publish articles by other travellers; I love having a platform to showcase other people's writing and photography. We get people sending in video too and each Monday publish a short clip with information or on-location tips from where we are...or our listeners are. It really is beginning to feel



WE:  What was the genesis of the site?

CM: After spending almost a year travelling around Europe we realised we were learning all sorts of things that we had never seen in any travel magazine or book. Working, Backpacking, surviving hostels and foreign language miscommunications...It was crazy and fun. We wanted to put everything together in a central place and -- being a geek -- I wanted to play with podcasting. It seemed like a great way to self-publish, gather some more website development and editing skills plus we hoped to meet other independent travellers and share ideas too. We bought the domain and experimented with recording. Finally we started with five minute segments in 2007 but people wanted more! We now do a 15 - 20 minute audio show each week as well as video and written articles written by other travellers around the world. Right now we have people writing from Nepal, America, Egypt and Australia.



WE:  What is an indie traveler?

CM: "Indie" is independent. For some people that's backpacking or roughing it outside on a diet of cheese and beer. For some it's travelling in luxury but avoiding tours and guidebook recommendations. There's no limits on who'll find the site useful but if you've never booked your own transport or you rely on tour guides to explore a place there's a lot there for you. If you're stuck in "corporate America" or believe travelling is too expensive for you, then we might just be your cultural salvation.



WE:  You've got articles, podcasts, and guests - what are some of the things that people are talking about now, on your site?

CM: In October, flying was a hot topic; especially following our review of Chris Guillebeau's ebook on discount airfare. We also did a two- episode feature on ESOL qualifications for travellers and finding short term work overseas. Both of these were really popular and they're themes we keep returning to. It's this practical application of ideas that draws people to the show. Stories are fine but they don't help people to step out the front door and immerse themselves in alien cultures. And that's what we're after.



WE:  I am sure that you get a lot of queries about just *going* - that it is too difficult to travel, make these life changes, etc. What advice do you have for people, when they ask this?

CM: It's not difficult to travel; it's not expensive. In fact it's often cheaper and less stressful than living in most cities. There can be a lot of work involved in transitioning and we have some advice on the site regarding that. We're also really interested in the effects of coming home again: reverse culture shock. We're more than happy to answer direct and specific questions when we feel we can. In fact, we often have several emails each week on various travel topics. I'm in the process of writing a book, Travelling Europe, which will be full of practical advice on planning and enjoying long-term travel there. Look for more information on our site.



WE:  What are some of the challenges you've experienced with putting together podcasts? Is it different from publishing a standard travel blog?

CM: Technical aspects aside, podcasting is certainly more time-consuming than writing; especially as a full-time traveller. Along with the normal research and scripting, there's recording, post-production, show notes to write and and images to find. Our iTunes-enhanced version includes photos which people can follow on their ipods. It all takes time. Looking through podcasting forums you'll see amazing home studio setups which are so impractical for someone living out of a backpack. It's taken us a long time to find equipment we're happy with and, along the way, we've ended up recording in some strange places. Calling Mark Smith, the Man in Seat 61, from a Tallinn hostel laundry springs to mind. As does recording in a dorm toilet in Switzerland. Many people only access the shows through iTunes; they never come to the site. That's fine but it does make it hard to draw people into interaction. Not that there's any obligation to do so, but we do appreciate it. So we're making the site more full-featured and improving our mailing list offerings too. One of our colleagues in Austria once told us her daughter loved Linda's accent. We couldn't remember being introduced and we were quite befuddled until we realised she had listened to the show. That's a problem most bloggers don't have to worry about!



WE:  Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

CM: We're always looking for ways to connect with people on the show. People who are travelling all over the world. When you have something to add -- an idea, some video, even a whole article -- get in touch and we'll see what we can do together.



WE: Thanks so much, Craig! I love your site - especially the video podcasts. Thank you for this great interview! It is fun to learn the story behind such a successful venture.




Comments (1)

  • irishfireside

    11 years 8 months ago

    Thanks for the interview.

    Indie Travel Podcast is a regular on my iPod and their site is bookmarked on my computer. Linda and Craig's tips are always helpful and who can resist a good Kiwi accent, right?

    Corey Taratuta, Ireland Editor

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