Far From Home

Far From Home

farfromhomepodcast.org
A culture and travel podcast hosted by Scott Gurian that looks for fascinating stories in faraway places


The Island No One Owns
Jul 29 • 29 min
If you want to build a house on the Caribbean island of Barbuda, you can just put up a fence wherever you want, and have it. You don’t pay for it. You don’t sign for anything. You just have to be Barbudan. Barbudans have held their pink sand paradise “in…
Green Book
Jul 21 • 22 min
From the 1930s to the 1960s, Black motorists driving across the United States and Canada often brought along a copy of The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, which was a sort of AAA guide that told them which gas stations, hotels, restaurants, and other…
Double Your Bubble, Double Your Fun
Jul 9 • 13 min
If you were forced to quarantine as a result of COVID-19 and could only hang out with members of one other household, who would you choose? On the latest episode of Far From Home, writer and filmmaker Mike Hickey tells me how a government experiment that…
Traveling While Black
Jun 22 • 33 min
In light of the recent protests for racial justice across the United States and around the world, I chat with two African American friends about what it’s like to travel as a Black person, both in their own country and abroad. The stories they tell are…
Pandemic Diary (with On Spec)
May 23 • 40 min
As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, I speak with Istanbul-based author and journalist Fariba Nawa about what the situation is like where she lives in Turkey. Then I play a recent episode of her podcast, On Spec, where she tells the story of…
Finding the Helpers (with The Bittersweet Life)
Apr 21 • 43 min
As the world is consumed by COVID-19, I check in with author and American expat Tiffany Parks, who lives on the outskirts of Rome, to get a sense of what things are like in Italy right now. Then, in my quest to find positive stories to share in this…
No Place Like Home
Mar 25 • 13 min
With a global pandemic, canceled flights, and closed borders, many travelers suddenly found themselves trapped in foreign countries, trying to figure out how to get home, even if they thought they were taking all the necessary precautions. I share the…
Touring North Korea with The Radio Vagabond (bonus episode)
Mar 2 • 38 min
While Far From Home is on a break between seasons, I’m popping into your feed from time to time to share segments from other shows I’ve enjoyed that I think all of you might like as well. Today I’m featuring an episode from The Radio Vagabond podcast,…
Revisiting Iran
Feb 6 • 19 min
In light of the recent political developments that briefly brought the US and Iran to the brink of war, I’m re-releasing an excerpt of a story I produced for the first season of Far From Home. It’s about the time a few years ago when I drove through Iran…
Junkanoo
Dec 23, 2019 • 6 min
The historical accounts are a bit fuzzy, but the way the story is commonly told, Caribbean slaves in the 18th century gained a day of freedom two times a year, on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year’s Day. They made costumes and played music…
Mother Russia
Nov 30, 2019 • 34 min
While driving across Russia on my way home from the Mongol Rally (the story I documented on the first season of this podcast), I had several conversations and interactions with people in Russia and Kazakhstan that surprised and even baffled me. So on this…
Meet Your Maker
Nov 14, 2019 • 36 min
This week’s episode is a bit different from what I normally do on the show. I’ve been getting a lot of questions and comments from listeners recently, so I thought I’d spend some time today answering some of them and sharing a bit of the feedback I’ve…
Haiti: Ten Years Later
Nov 5, 2019 • 42 min
This upcoming January marks the tenth anniversary of the massive earthquake in Haiti. It came on a Tuesday afternoon, 12 days into the new year, and destroyed or severely damaged a quarter of a million homes, killing more than 100,000 people. Eight months…
Balloon Hats
Oct 17, 2019 • 25 min
When he was growing up in Southern California, Addi Somekh wasn’t quite sure what to do with his life. But he knew from a young age that he wanted to “spread warmth” and make other people happy. On this week’s episode, the unusual story of how Addi’s…
Before It’s Too Late
Oct 3, 2019 • 22 min
I feel like several of the trips I’ve taken in recent years have been to places people have urged me to go while I still can, or at least before things change. On today’s show, I visit Cambodia, which is one such place that’s changed dramatically, where…
Ayahuasca - bonus episode
Sep 28, 2019 • 16 min
As a follow-up to my last episode, I present the story of my friend Dennis, who also tried ayahuasca in Peru and seemed to be immune to its effects. Select music in this episode was licensed from composer Anthony Kozar under a Creative Commons…
Ayahuasca
Sep 23, 2019 • 30 min
In the previous episode of Far From Home, I visited Lima, Peru, where I met a traditional medicine man name Lucho. This time, I accompany him to a healing ceremony where he uses a hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca. I also speak with an anthropologist…
Medicine Man
Sep 5, 2019 • 28 min
Lucho is a traditional medicine man who describes himself as a “curandero,” or someone who heals. Using medicinal herbs, archeological relics, and hallucinogenic plants (as well as some special powers), he claims to have rid himself of diabetes and his…
Another Brick in the Wall
Aug 22, 2019 • 27 min
In 1998, political leaders in Northern Ireland signed a peace agreement they hoped would end the Troubles, a 30 year period of armed conflict between Catholic nationalists and Protestant loyalists. Decades later, the situation has improved, but cities…
Learning to Throat Sing
Aug 13, 2019 • 22 min
Throat singing is one of the world’s oldest forms of music. It’s practiced by indigenous groups in several parts of the world, including South Africa and the Canadian Arctic. But mostly when people talk about throat singing, they’re referring to the style…
The Largest Fish Market in the World
Jul 25, 2019 • 28 min
For more than 80 years, Tokyo, Japan’s Tsukiji fish market had a reputation for supplying some of the freshest and best quality seafood anywhere. But over the decades, it had become overcrowded, unsanitary, and unsafe. After years of planning, the city…
Visiting Chernobyl
Jul 11, 2019 • 36 min
If you’ve seen or heard about the recent HBO dramatic miniseries about Chernobyl, you might have wondered what it’s really like there today. I take a trip to the abandoned villages surrounding the reactor to find out for myself. Read more about my visit…
Far From Home: Season 2 trailer
Jun 18, 2019 • 1 min
People often say it’s a small world, but there are giant parts of the planet that most people never think about and billions of stories they’ve never heard. On Far From Home, award-winning public radio journalist Scott Gurian visits some of those places,…
24: Looking Back
Apr 30, 2019 • 39 min
I look back at our 11,000 mi. journey and discuss what it was like returning to everyday life.
23: The Finish Line!
Mar 20, 2019 • 36 min
After 53 days and 11,000 miles on the road, we finally near the finish line of our journey!
22: The Longest Day Ever
Dec 24, 2018 • 25 min
A combination of bad decisions and really bad luck lead to a complicated rescue and a really long day!
21: A Costly Mistake
Oct 1, 2018 • 30 min
After our cars get stranded in Mongolia, we contact the embassy and wait for help to arrive.
20: The Going Gets Tough
Jul 31, 2018 • 31 min
We finally arrive in Mongolia and see that its notoriously bad roads live up to their reputation!
19: One Surprise After Another
Jun 11, 2018 • 31 min
Borat jokes aside, Kazakhstan turns out to be fascinating, friendly, and full of surprises.
18: Wrong Way
May 2, 2018 • 25 min
After being told our car is on its last legs, we face several new challenges: climbing to the top of a 15k ft. mountain pass and getting horribly lost.
17: Stranded
Apr 3, 2018 • 30 min
After camping at 13,000 feet, our car refuses to start, and we get stranded in the most remote place we’ve been.
16: The Roads Get Rougher
Mar 5, 2018 • 29 min
We drive along the Afghan border on one of the most spectacular and potentially dangerous roads in the world
15: Whatever It Takes
Jan 31, 2018 • 33 min
While we wait for our car to be repaired in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, we encounter an endless list of unexpected challenges.
14: From Bad to Worse
Dec 18, 2017 • 25 min
After towing our broken down car to Bukhara, Uzbekistan, we finally get a proper diagnosis of what’s wrong with it.
13: Should We Stay or Should We Go?
Nov 10, 2017 • 31 min
After our car breaks down in Turkmenistan, we run into trouble trying to get it fixed
12: Breaking Down
Aug 23, 2017 • 23 min
A mechanic in eastern Turkmenistan repairs the hole in our radiator, but our car still won’t start.
11a: Bonus Episode – Voices From the Door to Hell
Jul 27, 2017 • 5 min
A bonus episode of conversations with other rally teams at Turkmenistan’s Door to Hell.
11: Just Plain Weird
Jul 9, 2017 • 36 min
We visit Turkmenistan, a profoundly odd country where we feel like we’re being watched.
10: Culture Clash
May 20, 2017 • 34 min
We visit Iran’s holiest mosque and break down again while driving across the desert.
09: An Eye-opening Experience
Apr 14, 2017 • 28 min
As American tourists, we’re pleasantly surprised by how welcome we feel in Iran.
08: Not What We Expected
Mar 22, 2017 • 25 min
Our road trip continues across Turkey, and we’re surprised by what we see.
07: The Real Rally Begins
Feb 27, 2017 • 29 min
The roads get rougher and our journey becomes more interesting in Eastern Europe.
06: Mad Dash Across Europe
Jan 26, 2017 • 27 min
We overcome our fears and throw our plans out the window as we drive across Europe.
05: Hitting the Road
Dec 21, 2016 • 27 min
After a year of planning, we go to southern England to embark upon our journey.
04a: For a Good Cause
Sep 15, 2016 • 12 min
I travel to Haiti to introduce you to the charity we’ll be supporting on our trip.
04: Final Preparations Before the Big Day
Aug 18, 2016 • 31 min
We make final preparations before setting out on our 11,000 mile journey.
03: What Will We Eat?
Jul 13, 2016 • 21 min
We figure out what two pescatarians will eat in the meat-loving countries of Central Asia.
02: What Kind of Car Do You Drive to Mongolia?
Jun 19, 2016 • 29 min
We make the most important decision of our entire trip: what kind of car to drive.
01a: Bonus Episode
Jun 9, 2016 • 10 min
A bonus episode featuring me being interviewed on The Backgrounder podcast.
01: Getting Started
Jun 2, 2016 • 28 min
The story of how this whole crazy adventure came about.
Far From Home: Season 1 Trailer
Mar 10, 2016 • 1 min
A new podcast documenting an 11,000 mile road trip I took last summer.