Out There wins national gold medal

Exciting news!

Out There has won a major national award from Public Radio News Directors, Inc., or PRNDI, a nationwide association of public radio journalists.

PRNDI's annual awards honor the best audio stories of the year — kind of like the Oscars for public radio — and we're thrilled to announce that our episode "Selfless Acts" won first place in the independent podcast division.

The episode was written and produced by Out There Host Willow Belden and edited by Becky Jensen.

This is Out There's fourth PRNDI award.

Last year, our episode “The Instinct to Kill” took first place in the independent podcast division; in 2017, the episode "High on Failure" also received a gold medal; and in 2016, we took second place for "Failure in Success."

It's an honor to be recognized by the most respected voices in public radio. And as always, it's an absolute delight to be making the show for all of you, our listeners.

Support award-winning storytelling

Out There host Willow Belden wrote and produced “Selfless Acts".

Out There host Willow Belden wrote and produced “Selfless Acts".

Listeners frequently compare Out There to shows like This American Life — shows with big teams, substantial budgets, and the support of a radio station or network.

The recognition we’ve received from PRNDI affirms that our stories are on par with those produced by much bigger operations. But unlike those shows, Out There is produced independently and operates on a shoestring budget.

Out There is a full-time job for Host Willow Belden and a substantial time commitment for other team members, yet we earned less than $1.50/hour from the show last year. We love making this podcast, but we also need to support ourselves.

Your contribution in any amount makes it possible to keep bringing you the stories you love.

Be an Out There ambassador!

Out There ambassador Stacia Bennett is a former teacher, now in nursing school. And yes, she is wearing a dinosaur dress. (Photo courtesy Stacia Bennett)

Out There ambassador Stacia Bennett is a former teacher, now in nursing school. And yes, she is wearing a dinosaur dress. (Photo courtesy Stacia Bennett)

Are you an avid Out There listener?

Do you take pleasure in going outside, reflecting on life, and sharing your stories on social media? Do you bring an underrepresented perspective to the outdoor community?

(“Underrepresented” can refer to ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, geography, etc. Simply put, it's any voice that you feel needs more representation in the outdoor community).

If this sounds like you, we want you to apply to be one of our ambassadors!

We’re looking for a few listeners to become official ambassadors for the show.

You'll join our current ambassadors @nonbinarynomads and @adventurelikeagirl in showcasing and promoting the podcast, posting about the outdoors and bigger life questions, and engaging listeners in new and creative ways.

The goal of the ambassador program is to broaden our listenership, foster a sense of community amongst our audience, and spark vibrant discussions within that community. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you and be clear about how we want this to happen. We want you because of your voice, your enthusiasm and your ability to reach new listeners.

What’s it like?

We asked our current ambassadors to weigh in on their experiences; here’s what they had to say…

We’re looking for ambassadors who can commit to:

  1. sharing Out There-related content on social media and/or other outlets (eg. blogs) at least once a week

  2. engaging in periodic in-person outreach activities

  3. attending monthly team meetings (via video chat)

You don’t have to be a known quantity or already a recognized ambassador. You don’t have to be a sponsored athlete. Out There strives to be a welcoming place for individuals of all stripes, and we're looking for ambassadors with a wide array of voices, backgrounds, experiences and ideas.

Please note, this is a volunteer opportunity but also a way to advance your online presence, hone your communications skills and build an online portfolio. We also have swag for you!

Preference will be given to candidates with at least 1,000 followers on social media.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE MAY 30, 2019.

Out There ambassador Jaye Groves is an avid backpacker. (Photo courtesy Max Crooks and Jaye Groves)

Out There ambassador Jaye Groves is an avid backpacker. (Photo courtesy Max Crooks and Jaye Groves)

 

Can you spare $2 for Out There?

This kitten has nothing to do with anything, but it’s pretty cute. (Photo courtesy of the Internet)

This kitten has nothing to do with anything, but it’s pretty cute. (Photo courtesy of the Internet)

I have a confession to make.

For a long time, I was kind of cautious about Out There. I wasn't sure I could make the show a success, so I held onto a part-time day job to hedge my bets.

Finally, last spring, I quit the day job. I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and truly commit to Out There.

For the past year, I’ve been working on the podcast full time, and I’ve been pouring everything into it. I want to make it the best show it can be, and I want it to grow and thrive and become a beloved household name.

I also want to be a good boss to the people who work with me. I want to treat them well, and compensate them for their time.

But the reality is that I don’t have the money to do that. Last year, I made less than $1.50 an hour from the show. And none of my colleagues fared any better.

We’ve made that work for a while, but it can’t work forever. We absolutely love making the show, but we also need to pay the rent and put food on the table.


My goal for the coming year is to raise enough money to pay myself and my team at least minimum wage.

Minimum wage is still … minimum wage. But it would be such a big step up from where we are right now.

So, if you’re in a position to help us out, we’re asking that you make a financial contribution to the show.

We have a goal of raising $3,000 a month on Patreon, which is a crowd-funding platform that lets you make monthly contributions to creative endeavors you care about.

You can pledge any amount – even if it’s just a dollar or two a month. Those little contributions really do add up, and we appreciate and value every single one.

This photo also has nothing to do with anything. But…puppies. (Photo courtesy of the Internet)

This photo also has nothing to do with anything. But…puppies. (Photo courtesy of the Internet)

We have several exciting new rewards to offer you as a thankyou for your support.

For example...

  • For a pledge of $20 per month (or more), you'll get to join our brand new Postcard Club, where you'll receive a handwritten postcard from me a couple of times a year.

  • At our highest pledge level, we’ll thank you by highlighting a nonprofit of your choice on the show. That way, you get to support Out There and give some love to a cause you care about.

 

If you're already a patron…

First off, THANK YOU. You’re the best.

Secondly, if you’d like to take advantage of the new rewards, here’s how to change the amount of your pledge. (It's super easy).

Let’s get to know each other!

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Dearest listeners,

Thank you so much for tuning in to us! We have grown a lot since we last ran an audience survey in early 2017. And since we exist for and because of YOU, we would love to get to know you a little better.

So we put together this spiffy new survey.

If you complete the survey, you will:

  • Have our undying gratitude

  • Get a discount code for 30% off your next purchase of Out There merchandise

  • Be entered into a drawing to win: 1) a pair of Smith sunglasses, 2) an Out There goodie pack (including your choice of an Out There hoodie or T-shirt, stickers, and a mug), and 3) a Hydroflask tumbler

If you have any questions about the survey, please email Willow at willow@outtherepodcast.com.

And don't worry — we won't sell your info to anyone!

Cheers,
— Willow and Alex

From thriving to surviving, without losing hope

The beach near Tess Ley’s home in Melbourne, Australia (Photo courtesy Tess Ley)

The beach near Tess Ley’s home in Melbourne, Australia (Photo courtesy Tess Ley)

By Tess Ley

We had an epic holiday period planned for the 2018/2019 break.

We were going to have a party for 400 people, to thank them for supporting us through my cancer journey. Two days later was my husband’s family Christmas function, with over 50 people. The next day, Christmas: say no more. And boxing day? Jetting over to New Zealand for a two-week camper van trip through the South Island with our one- and four-year old to relive our honeymoon. Hiking, horse-riding, kayaking, swimming with dolphins.

Like I said, it was meant to be an epic four weeks of love, fun and celebration.

But, two weeks out, we found out I have 35 cancerous spots throughout my brain, four spinal lesions and… well, let’s just say that travelling and hiking remote NZ was not highly recommended by my doctors.

On top of that, our four-year-old was diagnosed in hospital with a rare (and transient) condition that would likely leave him bed-bound for two to six weeks.

So, there go those amazing plans of ours.

In the swiftness of a doctor’s consultation or two, we went from the idea of thriving through the holidays to simply hoping to survive the holidays.

It’s a phenomenon that every adventurer knows well: how to shift gears when something fucks up on a grand scale.

Whether the weather turns and we can’t visit family across the country, or a sudden illness or injury precludes us from the hike we were planning, shifting gears is something adventurers do with great grace. The resilience we have learnt from years on the trail or in the saddle or in kayaks or however you choose to adventure, comes to the fore, and we actively make the best decisions we can in the circumstance.

Some days we’re left trying to choose which flavour of shit-sandwich we want to eat, and the options aren’t particularly pleasant. But most days, there will be something magical there. Some alignment of the moons that we’d previously discounted, and now are able to take advantage of.

A few days ago, exhausted from full-brain radiation, we ended up at the beach at the end of our street. We sat, with the grains of sand sifting between my toes and the sounds of the water lapping the shore. It wasn’t remote or romantic; dogs and kids and adults were everywhere, there was the smell of artificial sunscreen in the air and there was litter in the sand. BUT: It was still grounding. I could still put my hands in the earth, and feel the water at my feet. My boys still found rocks and shells and jelly fish to explore. The sun was on my back, and the wind was in my soon-to-fall-out-hair and while it wasn’t how I had pictured that day, it was still perfect.

This moment in nature brought me back to myself, reminding me that life is always here, living away, ebbing and flowing like the tide, no matter your intentions or agenda. I felt that this was more than survival, something closer to thriving.

It’s not always easy finding those silver linings. But if you have the power to create a village around you — whether it is family, friends, online kindred spirits, animals, or the very sky itself — there is often a way to make your situation shine. To know that the wild is for all of us, that it has so very much wisdom to offer us and an open invitation to thrive with it, wherever we are.

So how do we move from the “thriving” we wanted into “surviving,” without losing our hope, joy, and momentum?

For me, this time, it’s embracing that at least I’ll be losing all my hair in the midst of summer (arguably the best time to lose it, I suppose). It is embracing that by foregoing New Zealand, we are able to spend time at the beach with family and friends. And it is appreciating that my initial prognosis was that I wouldn’t see this holiday period at all. So as awful as brain cancer is, it means I'm still alive.

I hope you all can get out into whatever wild you can today and take some time for peace for yourselves.


Some days we’re left trying to choose which flavour of shit-sandwich we want to eat, and the options aren’t particularly pleasant. But most days, there will be something magical there. Some alignment of the moons that we’d previously discounted, and now are able to take advantage of.




Tess Ley and her son (Photo courtesy Tess Ley)

Tess Ley and her son (Photo courtesy Tess Ley)





It wasn’t remote or romantic; dogs and kids and adults were everywhere, there was the smell of artificial sunscreen in the air and there was litter in the sand. BUT ... the sun was on my back, and the wind was in my soon-to-fall-out-hair and while it wasn’t how I had pictured that day, it was still perfect.
 

Tess Ley is one of Out There’s ambassadors. She lives in Australia and is an adventurer, mother, and full-time cancer patient. She’s spent the last two years working to balance her time in hospitals with her time in nature. Follow her on Instagram here.

 
 
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Into the Blue

If you enjoyed Tess’s piece, you’ll probably also love this story, about leaving behind a career that’s sucking the joy out of life.

 

2018 is a wrap. How is Out There REALLY doing?

Why we’re only earning $1.50/hour and other (more uplifting) thoughts

“How’s the podcast doing?” Everyone asks this, and it’s one of the hardest questions to answer.

On the creative side, it’s been an exciting year:

  • Willow quit her day job this spring and has been focusing on Out There full-time since then

  • We launched a new advice segment, which, though ultimately not quite the right fit for the show, was a huge learning experience

  • We selected our first cohort of Out There ambassadors, and brought on board a new team member — Laura Johnston — to head up the ambassador program

  • We started producing the show fortnightly, instead of just twice a month

  • We won a prestigious national award for our 2017 story “The Instinct to Kill

  • We hosted our first ever storytelling workshop

But then there are the numbers questions, which are more nuanced. So we wanted to give you a peek behind the scenes at how things are really going for us.

OutThere_logo-variations-13.png

Out There by the numbers in 2018

The good news: Out There covered its third party costs AND had a little money to spare, for the first time ever!

The bad news: We still have a ways to go before we can make a profit after paying our staff what they deserve.

But we are big believers in celebrating every little victory.

Where our money came from in 2018

2018 Revenue Breakdown 2.png
 

The most exciting part of the numbers for us is how much difference your financial contributions make to the overall financial position of the show. We would LOVE to be a listener-supported show to the greatest possible extent, and rely less and less on ad revenue, which is a less reliable source of income for us.

A huge thank you to everyone who has given their financial support to the show in 2018. Every dollar makes such a big difference to us.

Expenses

As for where the money goes? Well, a lot of different places, it turns out.

 
 
2018 Expense Breakdown FINAL.png
 

Story costs include: Freelancer payments, travel expenses for reporting trips, etc.

Tech/IT costs include: Website, audio hosting, cloud backup, editing software, etc.

Admin costs include: Office supplies, postage, etc.

Merch costs include: Getting t-shirts, stickers, etc. made

 

A quick note on ‘staff compensation’: although it looks like it makes up a decent chunk of the pie, we want to stress that we are by no means paying anyone what they deserve for the time they put into the show.

A reality check for the Out There team (and some motivation for 2019)

As we mentioned above, we still have some way to go before we are truly making a profit.

And as for how much WE — Willow and Alex — currently bring home for producing, editing and hosting the show, as well as strategizing about and executing our marketing and business development efforts...well...we’ll let this chart speak for itself:

 
2018 Staff Compensation 3.png
 

As you can see, we each took home peanuts for the number of hours we put in; our wages equated to about $1.50/hour.

Of course we never expected to get rich off Out There in 2018 (nor probably ever), and we are thrilled to have created a show we love that allows us to take home anything at all.

But if we are to continue to make Out There, we need to eventually bring in, you know, a living wage (shock horror!).

Needless to say, this is front and center for us in 2019. We hope that, by sharing this, you will better understand our efforts to grow and bring in new advertisers, and will be patient as we interrupt stories to run their ads and ask YOU for financial contributions.


2018 was a year to try NEW things

Experimenting with new ideas was front and center for Out There in 2018. Safe to say, some of those ideas worked better than others. But in all things — and particularly in this podcasting landscape where everyone is figuring out how to grow and connect with audiences, and make sustainably profitable shows — we are learning. And we are starting 2019 with a million new and better ideas.

 
 
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Dear Nature Segment

One of our goals for 2018 was to experiment with new and different content. Given that we heard so often from listeners that the show had helped them as they navigated tough times in their own lives, we decided to produce a new advice segment for the show: Dear Nature. It was getting away from our storytelling roots, but we saw the success of shows like Dear Sugars and thought it might be a good fit for our audience.

We found two wonderful advice columnists, Becky Jensen and Angus Chen, and started producing the segment monthly.

After six months, we ran an audience survey to ascertain how you all felt about the segment. We received some really wonderful feedback, but overall it wasn’t the resounding endorsement we had hoped for. About 40 percent of respondents loved the segment, but the rest felt ambivalent or actively disliked it.

Many of you said you preferred the original Out There stories, and urged us to make more of those, rather than focusing on advice. That feedback gave us valuable insight into why you all love listening to the show, and will inform our future thinking around new segments.

We are so glad we gave it a shot. We got to work with two wonderful human beings. We got to engage with you all about the show and deepen our understanding about what you seek from it. Once again we were reminded how incredibly special it is to have an audience who gives their feedback freely and generously, and why we place so much trust in what you have to say.


 
 

Out There Facebook Group

Your feedback led us to conclude that the Dear Nature segment wasn’t exactly the right thing to continue with at this time. But a lot of listeners expressed a strong desire for advice, saying they wanted the ability to share stories and discuss questions big and small.

So through our new Facebook group we set out to create a forum where we at Out There, and the producers who tell the stories on the show, can join listeners in conversation, as we seek to better understand ourselves and the world around us.

Through the group, we are creating an online community for Out There listeners and producers — a  place for you to connect with us and with each other; a place where you can ask questions, whether about weekend hiking plans or potential career changes; a place where you can engage in discussion, and swap stories and advice.

Who knows? Maybe the group will lead to the creation of an entirely new kind of segment for the podcast in time. In the meanwhile, we are glad for another way to connect with you all.

If you haven’t done so already, you can join the group here.

 

Ambassador Program

 
Stacia Bennett

Stacia Bennett

Max Crooks (Left) & Jaye Groves (Right)

Max Crooks (Left) & Jaye Groves (Right)

Tess Ley

Tess Ley

Alex Moritz-Hanson

Alex Moritz-Hanson

 

One thing a lot of podcasts (particularly indies like us) struggle with is how to grow and reach new listeners. Research continues to show that one of the most common ways people find out about shows is word of mouth, along with recommendations from sources they trust (like blogs, websites, magazines etc.).

With that in mind, we set out in late 2018 to try something new in this space. Over the last couple of months, we have put together an ambassador program, designed to help spread the word about Out There to new audiences and spark vibrant conversations among our current audience.

We were overwhelmed with excellent applications from listeners keen to be ambassadors for the show. And we were proud to announce our first cohort of ambassadors: Stacia Bennett, Max Crooks and Jaye Groves, Tess Ley and Alexandra Moritz-Hanson. They all embody the Out There ethos: they ask big questions about themselves and the world around them; they find strength, inspiration and healing in nature; and they harness their experience of the world outside to tell stories that make us think.

Huge thanks to Laura Johnston, who approached us with the idea for the ambassador program and has been instrumental in driving it forward. And thanks to each of our wonderful ambassadors. You can follow them on social media by going to our ambassador page.

Stay tuned for more news from the program, plus future calls for ambassador applications. The easiest way to stay in the loop is to sign up for our email newsletter, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram (@outtherepodcast).

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Our First Storytelling Workshop

In October, we ran our first ever live event — a workshop in Laramie, Wyoming, about how to tell compelling stories about the outdoors!

The workshop, which was a collaborative effort with the University of Wyoming Art Museum, drew participants from across the country, from Utah to New Jersey. It was a delightful chance to share tips and tricks that we’ve learned through our years of storytelling.

We hope to run similar events in other locations in the future.

 

 

Some wins for the show

 
 
Out There Host Willow Belden with our 2017 PRNDI award

Out There Host Willow Belden with our 2017 PRNDI award

We took home gold

For the third year in a row, Out There took home a PRNDI award — kind of like the Oscars for public radio — winning first place in the independent podcast division for our episode "The Instinct to Kill". It is such an honor to be continually recognized by the most respected voices in public radio.

Thanks to YOU, we got a much-needed equipment upgrade

This fall, we realized that it was time for an equipment upgrade if we wanted to keep making a show with the highest production values. But we don’t currently have a budget big enough for much new equipment, and so we put the call out to listeners, appealing for anything people could give towards a wish list of new items.

We were completely blown away by the generosity of our listeners. Thanks to you, we were able to get all the items on our list, and we can’t wait to bring you audio in 2019 with a great-sounding new microphone and some beautiful new music.


2019 will be the year of…

pride march.jpg

Becoming more diverse

The outdoors industry is notoriously white, male and affluent. And the podcasting industry isn’t always much better at giving space for diverse voices.

Part of our mission is to make the concept of ‘the outdoors’ more accessible to all. But we haven’t been outstanding in doing that to date.

Contrary to our intentions, this has become a show mostly about white people, white people’s problems, and white people’s reality. And while we’re at it, mostly straight, upper middle class white people.

Basically, we’ve been talking the talk about wanting to be inclusive, but not walking the walk.

We intend for 2019 to be the year that we actively do something to fix this. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we release more details around these goals.

Getting to know our current audience

We conducted a survey in early 2017, which gave us valuable insight into who YOU are: how you found out about the show, why you listen and what you think could be improved.

We have seen many new listeners join us since we ran that survey, and so it is time for us to run an updated survey to make sure we still have a good understanding of who you are and what you want.

Keep a look out for this over the next couple of months! We would LOVE your participation.

Expanding the team

We are currently seeking an ad coordinator, someone to be responsible for selling ad space on the show and maximizing the revenue we bring in from ad sales. Take a look at the job description here. If this sounds like something you, or someone you know, would be interested in, get your skates on and send us your resume plus a cover letter by January 4!  

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More international collaboration

Our Marketing and Business Director, Alex Eggerking, is moving back to Australia and having a baby this spring. So while team meetings might become more logistically difficult (we’ll have an 18-hour time difference to contend with), we are excited to add a truly international dimension to the show.


Special thanks

We want to thank each and every one of you for listening to the show in 2018 and supporting us in all the myriad ways that you do.

We want to call out special thanks to:

  • Laura Johnston for heading up our ambassador program with such curiosity, enthusiasm and warmth.

  • Our ambassadors — Stacia Bennett, Max Crooks and Jaye Groves, Tess Ley and Alexandra Moritz-Hanson.

  • Erika Burns for marketing support early in the year.

  • Everyone who has supported the show financially — both our monthly supporters and our occasional contributors. If you would like to support the show, you can do so via Patreon or make a one time contribution via PayPal.

  • Everyone who bought something off our wish list, or contributed money for us to purchase items — your generosity really did blow us away.


With love and warmest wishes to you all for a happy and healthy 2019,

— Willow and Alex

 
 

We’re hiring an advertising coordinator!

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Job Description

General

Out There, the award-winning outdoor-themed podcast, is looking for an enthusiastic person to join the team on a freelance basis to drive and manage the process of selling Out There’s ad inventory to potential advertisers. The role will involve a good understanding of Out There’s brand, audience and mission, and an ability to translate these to identify leads and close deals with brands who will be a good fit for the show.

This is a commission-based role, so there is certainly money on the table. Beyond financial reward, you will also join a fun, collaborative, supportive team with a keen interest in seeing you grow and succeed in this role.

 
 


Responsibilities

Drive and manage the process of coordinating ad sales on Out There episodes. This will involve:

  • Managing Out There’s advertising calendar

  • Identifying new leads

  • Outreach and pitching Out There’s ad inventory to new and existing leads

  • Fielding and managing inbound advertising requests from brands and agents

  • Negotiating and closing advertising orders

  • Making sure production team has copy/talking points to script the ads

  • Assisting with invoicing


Remuneration

15% revenue commission on every ad spot sold


Requirements for the role

This is a freelance contract role, with time expectation of approximately 10 hours per week

Must be based in North America


Experience and skills

  • Excellent communication and organizational skills, and attention to detail

  • Proactive and enthusiastic

  • Proficient with Excel and Google Sheets

  • Preferably 2+ years of sales, marketing, and/or advertising experience

  • We would ideally love someone who has experience working with outdoor brands

To apply, send a resume + cover letter to both Willow Belden (willow@outtherepodcast.com) and Alex Eggerking (alex@outtherepodcast.com) with the subject line ‘Advertising Coordinator Role’ by end of January 4, 2019.




Our holiday wish list

Holiday Wish List 2018 for website.png

Want to help make our dreams come true?

Somehow, the holidays are upon us already (!) — time to start thinking of festive celebrations, cozy sweaters and ... gifts.

Our little podcast doesn’t yet have a budget for new equipment; we just don’t bring in enough revenue for that. But there are various pieces of audio gear that would really help us make the stories we bring you sound even better and more professional.

That’s where we are hoping you come in this holiday season.

We’ve put together a holiday wish list, with items ranging from $7 to $300, and we’re hoping you’ll consider helping us out. You can purchase an item outright, or contribute any amount to a general fund, which we’ll use to buy remaining items on the list.

We hope you have a safe, fun and relaxing time leading up to the holidays this year!

— Willow and Alex

Become an Out There Ambassador!

Laura Johnston, head of Out There’s ambassador program, finishes a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail at Mt. Katahdin. (Photo courtesy Laura Johnston)

Laura Johnston, head of Out There’s ambassador program, finishes a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail at Mt. Katahdin. (Photo courtesy Laura Johnston)

Do you love the outdoors? Do you love sharing your adventures on social media? Are you excited about encouraging people to get outside, tell their stories, and reflect on life in the process?

If you this sounds like you, we want you to apply to be an Out There Ambassador!

We’re looking for two or three current listeners to become official brand ambassadors, who will help showcase upcoming social media campaigns, encourage people to get outside, and engage listeners in new and creative ways. The goal is to broaden our listenership, foster a sense of community amongst our audience, and spark vibrant discussions within that community. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you and be clear about how we want this to happen. We want you because of your voice, your enthusiasm and your ability to reach new listeners.

You don’t have to be a known quantity or already an ambassador. You don’t have to be a sponsored athlete. We want a variety of people, with different voices, backgrounds, and ideas.

Please note, this is a volunteer opportunity but also a way to advance your online presence, your communications skills and an online portfolio. We also have swag for you. And maybe most excitingly, it’s a chance to hear your own voice on the show!

We’re looking for ambassadors who can commit to sharing Out There-related content on social media and/or other outlets at least once a week, for three months. Preference will be given to individuals with 1,000 followers or more on social media.  

 

Applications are due Nov. 8, 2018.

 
 

Want to hear more before you apply?

 
There’s nothing better than being among your tribe, but also bringing more people into what you know is a great space and a great community.
— Laura Johnston
 

Out There’s newest team member, Laura Johnston, is leading our ambassador program.

Laura has thru-hiked both the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, served as a “trail correspondent” for a podcast called Sounds of the Trail, and has done conservation work around the globe.

The ambassador program was her idea, stemming from a similar program she participated in while hiking the PCT.

In our interview with her, she talks about her decision to take a leap and chase a dream (thru-hiking the AT) — and about the beautiful and unexpected side effects of documenting your journey while pursuing your passion.

 
 
 

Learn how to tell YOUR story!

Thomas Moran (English/American, 1837-1926), Green River, Wyoming, 1879, watercolor and pencil on paper, 45 x 9 inches, gift of John D. Fryxell, 2009.3.2

Thomas Moran (English/American, 1837-1926), Green River, Wyoming, 1879, watercolor and pencil on paper, 45 x 9 inches, gift of John D. Fryxell, 2009.3.2

We all have stories to tell. But it’s often tough to make them interesting to people outside your immediate circle of friends and family. That’s where we come in. Out There and the University of Wyoming Art Museum are hosting a one-day storytelling workshop to help you develop tales of the outdoors that are fun and engaging.

The workshop will be led by Out There host Willow Belden, and will include hands-on activities facilitated by the museum’s curator of education Katie Christensen. We’ll use the museum’s current exhibitions to fuel your creativity, and by the end of the day, you’ll have the tools you need to captivate diverse audiences and keep them spellbound — even if they have no interest in the outdoors.

No experience necessary; just come prepared for fun!

Lunch will be provided.

What do you think of Dear Nature?

Calling all listeners of our advice segment...

We're deciding the fate of Out There's advice segment, Dear Nature, and we'd love your input.

Filling out the survey below will only take about a minute, and by doing so, you will: 

  1. help us determine the future of Dear Nature
  2. be entered into a drawing for some sweet Out There swag
  3. have our eternal gratitude

Thanks, guys!

How to help your kids love the outdoors

Last month on our advice segment, Dear Nature, we offered suggestions for how to get children to fall in love with nature. But we wanted to know what's worked for YOU as well.

So we put the question out on social media: How do you successfully go adventuring with kids? What’s the key to instilling a love of the outdoors? What do you wish you had known as a new parent?

Your responses were wonderful — thoughtful, diverse, and fun. Here are some of our favorites.

The infectious glee of a toddler (Maggie Guseman) in the sun (Photo by Emily Guseman)

The infectious glee of a toddler (Maggie Guseman) in the sun (Photo by Emily Guseman)

 
When we introduced our kids to hiking, we played scavenger hunts so they would not get bored. ... I would research wildlife/vegetation in the area we would be visiting and printed out small lists along with extra lines for them to fill in miscellaneous things they found.
— Lisa Mills
 
 
We embrace the outdoors as anything from our backyard, neighborhood, local park, to forests and beyond. We try to take time to smell the flowers, admire insects, and point out brilliant colors. Getting to what I used to think of as the outdoors is so stressful and hard ... it’s really not possible every week. But we have a compost pile, flowers, and yard that has its own wonders for littles.
— Sora Kim
 
 
Amanda Thimmayya celebrates her daughter Juniper's second birthday (Photo courtesy Amanda Thimmayya)

Amanda Thimmayya celebrates her daughter Juniper's second birthday (Photo courtesy Amanda Thimmayya)

Adjust your expectations. It’s not about mileage and destinations, it’s about getting out.
— Emily Hill Guseman
I think it’s important to have really positive experiences the first few times kids get out. … My dad would take me fishing, but only to places where he knew I’d catch lots of fish. He didn’t let me get too discouraged or bored.
— Tracey “I don’t have kids, but I was a kid once” Johnson
It’s good to have other adults give [your kids] lessons. They behave better and listen more.
— Tanna Nagy
 
 
Remember, your anxiety as a parent about what *could* go wrong is probably the biggest barrier to getting out there and having a good time. ... Be mindful, be safe, but whether it’s attempting a backpack with an infant, walking just a little further or climbing just a little higher, challenge yourself to push a little outside your comfort zone. It’s worth it.
— Kathryn Clarke
 
 
Two years ago, I challenged myself to hike 100 miles in one summer. I told [my kids] I was going to give myself a fun vacation if I met my goal. They loved the idea. So, I challenged them to hike 30 miles with me and they could have the same reward. They did it and got the prize.
— Caroline Darwin
 
 
If your kids don’t seem to like an activity, that may change as they get used to it, as they age, and as you get better at planning/executing it with them. You may (will) have numerous bad days where nothing goes as planned, and you will conclude that the children just won’t do it again (or you can’t deal again). That is so not true. Kids change, you learn, you/they get better at it, and the trajectory of enjoyment over time is often positive. … We are also NEVER above some short-term bribery. Nothing motivates like their favorite snack (we use candy, and it works).
— Jason Alexander
I think the key is to be enthusiastic and relaxed about switching things up when you travel with kids. They may not be up for every adventure every day, but if they see their parents loving life, they are sure to follow in those footsteps.
— Katherine Mogg
Noticing the little things (Photo courtesy Emily Guseman)

Noticing the little things (Photo courtesy Emily Guseman)

 
 
One thing we didn’t do as well as I had hoped is to just make it a part of your life from the start. When a kid grows up going out for a hike or camping or skiing every few days or every weekend, even when they’re a baby and don’t have any input, that’s the expectation that’s set. It’s harder to pull a kid away from the house one weekend a month when they spend the other three weekends playing inside and that’s what they expect to do.
— Evan O'Toole
 
 
Jill and Eric Woltkamp's daughter takes a break from skiing (Photo courtesy Jill WOltkamp)

Jill and Eric Woltkamp's daughter takes a break from skiing (Photo courtesy Jill WOltkamp)

I am not a parent, but I take a lot of other people’s children outdoors. Making time for you and your children to enjoy the outdoors separate from each other can be really beneficial for both. Send your kids to camp or just a few hours of lessons. As a ski instructor, I had lots of students who hated skiing turn around to loving it. I’m not special, but I don’t come with the emotions from previous experiences or frustrations from everyday life.
— Cynthia Dywan
When raising our kids, I tried hard to spend lots of time outside, but when they hit the independent teen years, it did not seem to stick. This past winter, though, my then 19-year-old son and his girlfriend went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to winter camp and hike across a bit of Lake Superior to Grand Island. Feels good that it seems to have rubbed off a bit!
— Tony Pitts
 
 
Just. Keep. Going. Outside.
— Melissa Matz
 

Looking for more inspiration?

Here are some books that fellow outdoorsy parents recommend

 

A Sense of Wonder, Rachel Carson

Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

How to Raise a Wild Child, Scott Sampson

Crow Boy, Taro Yashima

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss


Online resources you might find helpful and inspiring

Hike It Baby is an organization dedicated to getting families together and out into nature with birth to school age kids. With over 300 branches, they are a great resource to connect you with others for hikes and outdoor activities in your local area.
FacebookTwitter, Instagram: @hikeitbaby

Family Adventure Project: Stuart and Kirstie are a husband and wife team who share an adventurous spirit, a passion for independent travel and three growing children. Their multi-award winning blog, The Family Adventure Project, is part of a long term experiment in doing adventurous things together as a family.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @familyadventureproject

Backwoods Mama runs a blog on getting outdoors with children. It is filled with helpful advice and tips for parents looking to get outside more often with their own kids, based on her own experiences of hiking, biking, camping, rock climbing and skiing as a family around the western provinces of Canada, the west coast of the US and further abroad.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @thebackwoodsmama

Adventure Mamas is a nonprofit organization that supports women’s health and wellness through adventure. They run expeditions, community events, and workshops focused on wellness. Their blog also has plenty of great content to help moms lead active and adventurous lives both with their kids AND for their own sakes. 
Facebook, Instagram: @adventuremamas


 
The more risks you allow children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves.
— Roald Dahl
 

We're planning a storytelling workshop!

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We're dreaming up our first ever live event, and we'd love your thoughts!

We know you have loads of stories from your adventurous lives. Have you ever thought about developing some of these stories, and perhaps sharing them outside your circle of friends and family?

We want to help you! We're working on developing a series of storytelling workshops. But first, we'd love to know a bit more about what YOU might want out of these. 

Fill out the quick survey below to let us know your thoughts. Your input will help us design fun, engaging events that are meaningful to you!

Know someone else who might be interested? Pass this along to them, too!

 

 
 

Gold Medals are pretty rad

Out There Host Willow Belden displays the show's latest PRNDI award.

Out There Host Willow Belden displays the show's latest PRNDI award.

Exciting news, folks! Out There has won a major national award from Public Radio News Directors, Inc., or PRNDI, an association of public radio reporters, producers, and editors from across the country.

PRNDI's annual awards honor the best audio stories of the year — kind of like the Oscars for public radio — and we're thrilled to announce that our episode "The Instinct to Kill" won first place in the independent podcast division.

"The Instinct to Kill" is about producer Sam Anderson's first experience hunting. When he set out with his father to kill a deer, Sam had no idea whether he'd actually be able to pull the trigger. His story explores what makes a person a hunter — and what that says about us.

This is Out There's third PRNDI award. Last year, our episode "High on Failure" took first place in the independent podcast division, and the year before, we took second for "Failure in Success."

It's an honor to be recognized by the most respected voices in public radio. And as always, it's an absolute delight to be making the show for all of you, our listeners.

Meet your new favorite advice columnists!

The Nature Fix is our new advice segment, where we use wisdom from the outdoors to tackle your most pressing personal questions.

Today, we want to introduce you to our wonderful advice columnists, Becky Jensen and Angus Chen.

 

Angus

Angus Chen

Angus Chen

Profession: Reporter and radio producer

Lives in: Brooklyn, NY

Favorite outdoor activities: Surfing and rock climbing

Oddball talent: Whistling and humming at the same time

Book or story that's made the biggest difference in your life: A Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff. "It made me want to be a writer."

Why you love surfing: "It's this feeling of ... absolute joy and happiness. Everything just disappears; there's nothing but the sound of the water, and the feeling of rushing across it, and this sensation of pure happiness. I had never really felt like that before, where I could just let go of ... everything in my life that was troubling me."

Words of wisdom from the first episode of The Nature Fix: "The things in your life are not in charge of you. You're really the one with the power to decide where they go and how much space they ought to occupy."

 

Becky

Becky Jensen

Becky Jensen

Profession: Writer

Lives in: Fort Collins, CO

Favorite outdoor activity: Hiking

Oddball talent: Making balloon animals

Book that's made the biggest difference in your life: Wild by Cheryl Strayed. "[It] really inspired me to go do this thing for myself that I wasn't giving myself permission to do."

One change you made in your personal life after thru-hiking the Colorado Trail: "I parent my kids differently now. I stopped doing everything for them; I asked them to take on more stuff - more responsibility. And then they totally blossomed. And because of that, my relationship with them blossomed."

Words of wisdom from the first episode of The Nature Fix: "The fear of missing out goes both ways. I bet that many of your peers -- the people you think are accomplishing these great things and leaving you behind career-wise -- are probably looking at your Instagram posts (the ones of you surfing and rock climbing) and they're saying, 'Now THAT guy is living it right.'"

 
 

Nature + Advice = The Nature Fix

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Last week, we launched a new segment on Out There, called The Nature Fix. It's like an advice column, but in podcast form. And it's powered by a healthy dose of Mother Nature.

Here at Out There, we strongly believe that nature has the power to help us make sense out of our lives - particularly those parts of our lives that are messy and scary and overwhelming. The Nature Fix is designed to harness that healing power of nature and help you navigate this crazy world we live in.

Each month, we'll use wisdom from the outdoors to address your most pressing personal questions and offer you down-to-earth life advice.

Our advice columnists are Becky Jensen and Angus Chen. Becky is a writer, hiker, and mom living in Fort Collins, Colorado. Angus is a radio reporter, surfer, and climber from Brooklyn, NY. They're both thoughtful, introspective, fun and engaging, and we couldn't be more excited to have them on board.

Want to ask a question?

If you'd like some advice from Angus and Becky, please get in touch! 

Two ways to do this:

  1. Send us a voice memo with your question. (Just record yourself asking the question and send us the audio file).
  2. If you don't feel comfortable sending a voice memo, email us your advice question in written form.

Either way, send your question to willow@outtherepodcast.com.

We can't wait to help you come up with solutions to whatever is bothering you!

Happy Birthday, Out There!

Out There Birthday 2018 horz.jpg

This little podcast really is growing up! 

In the past year, we've grown from a one-woman show to a team of three -- and we're adding on again! (Stay tuned for more about that very soon). We've doubled our production schedule and grown our listenership five-fold. And, thanks to exciting sponsorships and generous gifts from our wonderful listeners, we've brought in enough revenue to get ourselves into the black.

To celebrate, we're offering a 30 percent discount on all our merchandise today! We've got super soft t-shirts, cozy hoodies, slick decals and more. Just go here and enter the promo code "birthday2018" at checkout.

Also - we're doing a giveaway! Get three of your friends to subscribe to Out There, send us their names, and we'll enter you into a drawing for one of our new hoodies. (We've got three to give away).

Thank you all for all the love and support! We couldn't be doing what we're doing without you.

It's National Plan for Vacation Day!

Woman kayaks in Glacier National Park. (Photo by Mark Bosky)

Woman kayaks in Glacier National Park. (Photo by Mark Bosky)

If you could be anywhere, with anyone, doing anything -- what would it be?

OK, so maybe your wildest fantasies aren't entirely realistic. But in honor of National Plan For Vacation Day, why not set aside some time to dream a little?

Americans get an average of just 12 days off each year, and less than half of us actually use all of our vacation time. The result? Those employees who forfeit their vacation time are more stressed, more likely to burn out, and -- get this -- less likely to receive a pay raise or bonus. That's according to a 2017 survey conducted by GfK.

So do yourself a favor. Get out a piece of paper (a real piece of paper, not a word doc) and make a bucket list. (Bonus points if you use a colorful pen). Don't make it an impossible bucket list, but do include items you secretly yearn to do, even if they seem a little out of reach. 

Then, block out some time on your calendar this year to do at least one of the things on your list.

Finally, follow through. Make that chunk of time inviolable. Important things will inevitably come up. But that week you set aside? That's your time. It's your chance to explore, relax, recharge, and do whatever the hell you want to do.

Want some inspiration? Here are a few places we're putting on our bucket lists:

Willow's Dream Trips:

Glacier National Park, MOntana

Glacier National Park, MOntana

1) Alaska. I've always wanted to go to Alaska -- to kayak along the coastline, backpack through the mountains, feast on marvelous quantities of fresh fish in tiny seaside towns. Maybe one day -- when Out There is bringing in enough money that I can quit my day job -- I'll pack up my recording gear and drive north until I find a place that can be my base camp for a while. I'll explore the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, revel in a world made up of islands, and work from coffee shops or the backseat of my car.

2) Glacier National Park. Everyone says it's spectacular. Ideally, I'd love to walk there from Wyoming, following the northern part of the Continental Divide Trail. Challenges to overcome in pursuing this plan include blocking out two or three months of time (it'd be a long hike...), and coming to terms with the idea of backpacking solo in grizzly bear country.

3) On a more immediate time frame, I have three days in February blocked out to go to Leadville, Colorado. Leadville is the highest town in the U.S. (10,200 feet above sea level), and it's one of my all-time favorite places. My plan? Spend three days, by myself, cross-country skiing, writing, and sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace (because, of course there WILL be a fireplace).

Alex's Hopefully-Not-So-Bucket List:

zion national park, Utah

zion national park, Utah

1) Zion National Park. The red cliffs, canyons and rivers of Zion National Park look SO distinctive and unique to me. I've never seen anything like it in person and I have decided that 2018 is the year I am going to do it. Since I will have to schlep across to Utah from New York, I plan on taking at least five days with my husband to hike, camp, and be completely awestruck by this landscape that has been forming for hundreds of millions (hundreds of millions!) of years.

2) Fall in Maine and Vermont. We don't really get Fall in Australia. For one thing, we call it Autumn! And sure, there are a few trees whose leaves turn through yellow and red, and fall to the ground in time for Winter. But many of our tree varieties are non-deciduous, meaning a lot of green sticks around. So I would love to take a road trip through Maine and Vermont in Fall to see masses of trees turning all the glorious shades of a warm fireplace. And yes, this trip will of course involve many actual fireplaces, where you will find me curled up with a good book and a glass of mulled wine.

3) Iceland and the Northern Lights. OK, maybe this one is more of a bucket list item. The landscapes of Iceland I have seen in photos look other-worldly, saturated with colors that look almost too real, as though a filter has been applied (but it hasn't, #nofilter). Trekking through that breathtaking country to see the Northern Lights would be a lifetime dream for me. I may not get there in 2018, but I will get there one day!

Erika's Dream Trips:

northern lights

northern lights

1) Hawaii. Ever since I did my 2nd grade state project on Hawaii, I have wanted to go. The scenery, the music, the local culture, the  pineapples... My dream day would be waking up early to go on a hike in the mountains and then taking a nap on one of their perfect beaches in the afternoon! 

2) Finnish Lapland. My grandmother (Mummi in Finnish) grew up in Finland before moving to the U.S. to marry my grandfather.  She recently passed away and I think I would feel close to her by being in her home country again. We went to Helsinki together about 10 years ago, but I would love to go further north into Lapland to try out some cross country skiing and see the Northern Lights!

 

 

Need even more inspiration? These episodes will get you writing that bucket list

With My Toes in the Sand: This episode is about a woman named Susan Conrad, who kayaks the Inside Passage (all the way from Washington to Alaska) by herself. And it's about learning to stop running from your problems -- learning to be content with your life as it is, right here and right now.

When Nature Knows Best: It feels like received wisdom that tough, solo adventures are bound to spark personal change. Sometimes that change happens in ways you haven't planned. This episode is about what happens when you are forced to abandon your plans -- and about the quest to rekindle happiness. (Oh, and it's also about bikes. And Idaho.)

Better Than Fun:  Have you ever craved a vacation (and actually had time for one), but had no one to go with? That happened to Willow one Spring, and this is the story of what transpired -- how she turned a social failure into an emotional victory.

A note about the photos used in this post: where no attribution has been given, the photos have been licensed free for commercial use without attribution.

10 Podcast Episodes We Think You'll Love

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Well, we are well and truly into the holiday period. Perhaps you have a long drive ahead of you and need a break from that old Christmas CD you’ve heard a million times. Perhaps you need to plug in some headphones and take a break from the family for a precious half an hour of YOU time. Or perhaps you’re headed off on an adventure outdoors, and need to load up your playlist with new material (lucky you!). Whatever your situation, we figured that a lot of you might be in need of some good listening material around this time of year.

Here at Out There, we’ve done a lot of podcast listening during the year. And so we wanted to suggest some stories to accompany your holiday period. Here are some episodes we listened to in 2017 that really spoke to us in some way. We hope you load them up on your playlist and enjoy!

 

Note to Self, “Ghosting, Simmering, and Icing with Esther Perel”

Recommended by: Willow

I listened to this episode just as my last relationship was ending. It was a relationship that had shown so much promise. This guy was kind, generous, inquisitive, and willing to talk about feelings. He was curious about my work, eager to embrace my hobbies, and interested in everything from ultra-running to improv comedy.  Not only that, but for the first time, I’d felt the “slow burn” that’s supposed to be the hallmark of a solid partnership.

And yet, things weren’t going well. And I couldn’t put my finger on why.

Then I listened to this episode from Note to Self.

The episode helped me make sense out of my situation; it showed me that things were unraveling not because of incompatibility, but because my boyfriend and I had fundamentally different needs -- different ideas about the role a relationship should play in our lives.

It’s a fascinating listen, regardless of your current relationship status.

 

Invisibilia, “Bubble-hopping”

Recommended by: Alex

During 2017, as stories of divides across America abounded, I found myself wondering more and more about the lives of people who have totally different experiences of the world to me. And so I was fascinated by the exploration on NPR’s Invisibilia of different ways people have set out to escape the so-called “bubbles” of their own communities and online spaces. Particularly interesting was one guy’s mission to get out of his Silicon Valley bubble, and counteract his natural biases, by embracing randomness. He builds an algorithm that chooses public Facebook events at random, and the Invisibilia team join him in attending events hosted by total strangers.

 

Double X, “1800 Patriarchy Street Edition”

Recommended by: Erika

When all of the sexual harassment claims started coming out recently, instead of wallowing in sadness about the state of women in 2017, I tried to go positive by seeking out some stronger feminist voices in my life. I came across Double X, and it has helped me both process current events and widen my lens a little more. I appreciate the contributors’ intelligent and insightful, yet good-humored approach, particularly during this episode in which they answer listeners’ “is it sexist?” questions.

 

BBC, “As Many Leaves”

Recommended by: Willow

This isn’t a podcast, but it’s probably the most moving audio piece I have ever heard. Sally Herships’ first-person account of the dissolution of her marriage is honest, raw, vulnerable, and beautifully told. You really should listen; I can't recommend it enough.

 

Ear Hustle, “Unwritten”

Recommended by: Erika

Every episode of Ear Hustle covers a different topic related to life in prison. I really enjoyed the first season of this new show, so it was hard to choose just one to share. The chemistry between the host who is incarcerated, Earlonne Woods, and the host on the “outside,” Nigel Poor, is easy-going in a satisfying way. I found this episode thought-provoking in its exploration of the role of race in prison, and how you are expected to stick with your own race for your own safety. Despite some of the uncomfortable realities shared in this episode, there were still some heartening points. I loved when they talked about the group of what one of the hosts calls “L7s” who challenge the status quo by playing Dungeons & Dragons.

 

Love Me, “At a Loss for Words”

Recommended by: Willow

The beginning of this story has the most beautiful montage of untranslatable words about love. For example…

“Tiam (Farsi) - the twinkle in your eye when you first meet someone”

“Forelsket (Norwegian) - the indescribable euphoria as you begin to fall in love”

“Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese) - the act of tenderly running your fingers through the hair of somebody you love”

The episode as a whole is a delightful story about love, communication, and language.

 

On Being, “Rebecca Solnit: Falling Together”

Recommended by: Alex

On Being is my go-to podcast whenever I need some healing and some hope. Within moments of pressing play, I can’t help but be soothed by Krista Tippett’s thoughtful and empathic questioning style, and I am always inspired to think more deeply about the world.

The recent interview with Rebecca Solnit particularly struck a chord for me. I found the discussion on this episode about how we can approach the concept of hope in a different way -- not in the sense of adopting an optimistic attitude, but in the sense of learning to live with uncertainty, and feeling as though we can still choose to embrace compassion and engagement and generosity in the face of this uncertainty -- completely apt for the year that was 2017.

On a side note, if you like the sound of this episode, I would completely recommend listening to the episode Maya Kroth produced for Out There in 2017: The Same Humanity.

 

Kerning Cultures, “Not Just My Hijab”

Recommended by: Willow

Four women, and their relationship with their headscarves. This is a two-part series, and I particularly liked Part II. It’s a thought-provoking, nuanced look at an issue that we often see as black and white.

 

Answer Me This!, “Episode 353: bike on fire”

Recommended by: Erika

Some podcasts are for learning new things, some are for hearing a good story, and some are for pure, silly entertainment. Answer Me This! is a great podcast for that day when you just need a break from life and want to listen to a couple of cleverly goofy British friends answering totally random listener questions. Most of the time, you could simply Google the answer, but that is not the point of this podcast - it’s all about their hilarious commentary, anecdotes, and quirky jingles. This one covers questions ranging from whether resorts water down their liquor to how to ask your mom not to use the term “glory hole.”


The Broad Experience, “Episode 104: Starting Over”

Recommended by: Willow

This is a story about a Mormon woman who was raised to believe that having a career is selfish, and the only worthy goal in life is to raise a family. Eventually, that belief is turned on its head, and she finds herself trying to launch a career (and figure out basic life skills, like how to set up utilities in your name) when she’s in her 30s. She’s newly divorced, has $40 in her bank account, is now the breadwinner for her family -- and she’s faced with navigating hurdles that most of us learned much earlier in life.

Join our team!

Do you like giving advice? Enjoy pondering other people’s problems and helping them come up with creative solutions? Do you often find solace in nature?

We have the perfect gig for you!

Out There, is looking for an advice columnist to join our team. This is a new position, so there will be lots of room for you to shape it. But in general, here’s our vision:

  • Listeners will send us voice memos or emails laying out a problem/question in their life. You’ll pick the submissions that most interest you and come up with solutions to the problem(s) -- solutions that involve the outdoors in some way. Why the outdoors? Because Out There is a show that explores big questions through intimate stories in the outdoors. Nature has a remarkable capacity for healing us, and we want to harness that power to help listeners navigate life’s challenges. (Note: We’re not necessarily looking for aggressively outdoorsy suggestions. Many of our listeners live in cities and are by no means dirtbags. Your suggested fixes could be as simple as proposing something in a city park.)
  • You and Willow would then record a conversation talking through your suggestions (perhaps we’d loop in the asker of the question, as well).
  • Initially, we’d air advice episodes once a month - though we could start doing them more frequently down the road.
  • You can be located anywhere! Our team is scattered across the country, and we're used to collaborating remotely.
  • You do not need to have a background in audio (though of course that’s a plus). It’s more important that you’re thoughtful, articulate, and a good storyteller.
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Out There is an independent show on a miniscule budget (we aren’t paying ourselves anything yet), so we can’t pay as much as we would like ($100/episode at the moment). But this should only take up a few hours of your time each month. And we can promise to be fun, enthusiastic colleagues and to give you room to put your mark on an exciting enterprise. As we grow, we hope to be able to do more frequent advice episodes - and pay you more.

Interested? Send an email to Willow (willow@outthereshow.com). Tell us about yourself and explain why you want this gig.

Can’t wait to hear from you!