How I Survive Two Seven Hour Drives Each Week

I am currently one of the many people making the transition to a life in San Francisco. (I’m joining my fiance in the City after several years of long distance dating.) However I’m still employed in Oregon, in a small town, teaching technology skills to students in rural areas. I’ve committed to finishing out the school year before fully diving into all that San Francisco has to offer. So until June, I make the 500 mile drive (each way) about twice a week, between San Francisco, California and Oakland, Oregon. If you’ve never heard of Oakland, Oregon, you’re not alone.

At first, I made killer playlists to accompany me on the long drive and have relied heavily on Pandora and Sirius XM Radio. While I do enjoy my customized show tunes stations on Pandora, shout out to ‘Thoroughly Modern Milly Radio’ on Pandora, listening to the same songs for 5+ hours quickly grew tiresome. I then turned to podcasts to liven up the drive. Serial was an obvious choice and I am a huge fan, but I need more than a new episode every other week to sustain me as I drive through the Siskiyou’s. Thankfully I have stumbled upon several entertaining, intriguing and share worthy podcasts that have made my most recent drive, last night, actually enjoyable. I’m sure there are dozens of other excellent podcasts worthy of downloading, and I’m always open to suggestions, but for the time being the podcasts listed below are in heavy rotation on my weekly road trips.

  • History Goes Bump — Launched in October 2014, this podcast is described as “Ghost Tours for the Theater of the Mind”. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s not all spook and superstition, their podcasts are full of fascinating historical facts, folklore and stories passed on by eyewitnesses. I always learn something new with each episode. Their archive boasts over 100 episodes which is ideal for someone like me who has almost a dozen more road trips on the horizon this Spring.
  • History Chicks — The title is pretty self explanatory; the stories of various historical women told by two hilarious and intelligent women. With over 50 podcasts under their belts, THC offer podcasts that go into significant detail on each subject and offer fantastic “Minicasts’ for the time crunched.
  • Pantsuit Politics — Hands down my FAVORITE political podcast! Hosted by a lady on the right and a lady on the left, these articulate women discuss all things politics, especially how it relates to women. Their discussions are refreshingly reasonable, respectable and shockingly agreeable. I wish I was friends with these badass mommas IRL.
  • Call Your Girlfriend — Created by the combined brilliance of TechLadyMafia founder Aminatou Sow and TLM member Ann Friedman, which is reason enough to check it out. Their candid, witty and always on point remarks never fail to entertain, not to mention educate.
  • Too Embarrassed to Ask —Hosted by Recode’s Kara Swisher and Senior Editor of the Verge Lauren Goode, this podcast aims to breakdown all of the tech questions you were too shy to ask. I do listen to Kara’s main podcast Recode Decode, however I prefer TETA. I find it’s more approachable and addresses more of the everyday technological questions and issues.
  • Ratchet and The Geek — Hosted by the wonderful Scott Hanselman and incredible Luvvie, this podcast lives at the ‘intersection of pop culture, social media and technology’. Unfortunately the most recent episode was taped in early 2015, I’m hoping these two will bring it back very soon. Their collective points of view are unique, smart and always entertaining.