The best podcasts for holiday travel take you to new places you've never been. Bruce Mars/Pexels
The best podcasts for holiday travel take you to new places you've never been. (Bruce Mars/Pexels)

7 Podcasts to Get You Through Holiday Travel This Year

7 Podcasts to Get You Through Holiday Travel This Year

Wondering about the best podcasts for trips, long drives or (let’s face it) airport delays?

With the holidays fast approaching, chances are you'll find yourself hitting the road or sky, and in need of binge-worthy audio to entertain you. Never fear: below, we’ve collected seven of the most immersive, compelling and (sorry) transporting podcast episodes to recently come out of KQED.

Cue up these picks on your podcast platform of choice—or scroll to the end to download the Spotify playlist—and you’ll never be bored while stuck in traffic or delayed at the airport.

Secret Tunnels Under San Francisco? 
From Bay Curious

Every episode of Bay Curious is sparked by audience curiosity about local conundrums--and they’ve received a lot of questions about whether there’s a network of mystery tunnels under San Francisco. This dark-and-dirty episode takes listeners to a place it's likely they will never actually visit; a very real labyrinth that sprawls deep underground—AKA the city's vast sewer system.

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Listen to the episode to explore this underworld with the Bay Curious team. Between lethal gases, fast-flowing rivers of sewage and the risk of getting lost in the darkness, you’ll probably be glad to take this tour virtually via your headphones, rather than IRL.

(Also available on NPR One, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts)

 

Blind Beekeeper Relies on Sound to Keep Her Hives Happy
From The California Report Magazine

“I didn't think I could be a good beekeeper without being able to see.” This special episode from The California Report Magazine’s weekly podcast immerses the listener in the world of Aerial: a Bay area nurse who lost her sight after using tampered eyedrops. Navigating her new reality, she found purpose and meaning in the hobby she’d enjoyed since she was a teen: beekeeping.

Listen as Aerial explains how she knows whether her swarm—she calls them “her girls”—are happy, and how to hear their “waggle dance” (the movement bees make to tell others where to find pollen). After experiencing this episode, you’ll never hear bees again the same way.

(Also available on NPR One, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts)

 

Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness on Turning Red States Pink
From The Cooler

The most engrossing podcast interviews are the ones where you feel you've been teleported into the room with the people in question—and this 2018 interview with the infamously personable Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness on KQED’s pop culture podcast The Cooler is no exception.

In a conversation that ranges from raucous to heartfelt and intimate, Van Ness talks to hosts Emmanuel Hapsis, Jamedra Brown-Fleischman and Carly Severn about growing up gay in a small town, dealing with online trolls, the healing power of figure skating and a particularly controversial moment from Queer Eye’s second season.

(Also available on NPR One, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts)

 

Joy
from Truth Be Told 

Is it OK to feel joy when it feels like the world is burning? In the first episode of KQED’s advice show made by people of color for people of color, host Tonya Mosley brings us to her hometown of Detroit, Michigan—the “epicenter of pleasure in the midst of turmoil,” as she calls it. Mosley sits down with her grandmother Ernestine Mosley and New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Maree Brown for some hard questions, deep laughs, and much-needed affirmations about why it’s not only OK to feel joy, but it’s absolutely necessary.

And stay tuned: Truth Be Told returns for a second season in early 2020!

(Also available on NPR One, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts)

 

‘We’re Still Here’
From The Bay

In this episode of The Bay, KQED reporter Alice Woelfle follows along with Native people from across the West Coast in a ceremonial canoe journey around Alcatraz Island. First, we hear the building of a tule boat, then the sound of paddle hitting the water as members of different tribes, territories, communities and families embark on their paddle around the island before returning to shore to be greeted by Ohlone elders.

The paddle commemorated the 50-year anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz, a movement which lasted 19 months and brought widespread visibility for American Indian civil rights.

(Also available on NPR One, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts)

 

Oakland’s Rollerskating Country Singer
From Rightnowish

Where do country singing and roller skating collide? On a small cul-de-sac on the southern side of Lake Merritt in Oakland, according to musician Miko Marks.

“As soon as I put these skates on, I feel like I’m a kid again,” Marks says in this episode of Rightnowish, KQED’s new arts and culture podcast hosted by Pendarvis Harshaw. After nearly a decade of touring the nation as a country singer, Marks’s love for roller skating completely transformed her sense of play—and her music. Put on your skates (and your headphones!) and listen to the full episode to hear more about Marks’s new sound and new take on life with wheels.

(Also available on NPR One, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts)

 

Childhood as ‘Resume-Building’: Why Play Needs A Comeback
From MindShift

Remember when you were a kid and there was a designated time just for playing? Free play—the kind of play where kids independently choose the activities and the rules—may be a thing of the past, according to this MindShift episode. “We’re just seeing an out-of-balance life for kids,” says Scott Bedley, a fourth grade teacher, about the pressure for students to succeed academically from a very young age. “There is a learning value behind play if you just allow it to happen.”

Head back to the classroom with the MindShift team to explore what play looks like today, and why it’s in need of a major comeback.

(Also available on NPR One, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts)

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