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“If you put Harrison Ford, Sting, and Andy Chapman in a room together in Kansas in 1981, the girls of Kansas would have trampled the actor and the rock star in an effort to get closer to the charismatic young soccer player.” – Rolf Potts In this essay episode of Deviate, Rolf talks about the iconically 1980s sports phenomenon known as Major League …
 
“Baseball history needs to be looked at again. The statistics don’t make sense unless you understand the story that went behind those numbers.” – Phil S. Dixon In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Phil talk about the racial integration of Major League baseball in 1947, and the decades of high-level black baseball that came before it (4:00); how bas…
 
“Asking questions about travel, and exploring ways philosophy has changed travel, can help us think more deeply about our journeys.” – Emily Thomas In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Emily discuss the relationship between philosophy and travel (2:00); speculative fiction as a form of travel writing, and the relationship between feminism and trave…
 
“How do we become who we are in the world? We ask the world to teach us.” – Pam Houston In this episode of Deviate, Pam discusses her interactions with writing students (2:30); living an non-traditional life (16:30); developing a notion of home (25:00); and how Pam’s life on the ranch affects her writing (34:00). The episode concludes with Rolf rea…
 
“In COVID times it’s harder to get on a plane and go hiking in, say, Austria or Italy. So we said, ‘why not do a 20-mile hike out of our back door?’” –Kristen Bush In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Kiki sit in a Kansas town known as “Little Sweden” and talk about the joys and challenges of having walked 22 miles there the day before (3:00); the …
 
“The boundaries of life are responsible for the beauty of life.” – Pico Iyer In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Pico discuss the people we become when we travel (4:00); what led Pico to travel (10:00); travel in the age of technology (20:00); finding the remarkable in the unremarkable (32:00); ping pong as a metaphor for life (40:00); the importa…
 
“I learned so quickly that children change everything about travel.” –Bruce Kirkby In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Bruce discuss how Bruce got his travel-writing career started, and why he ended up traveling to a Tibetan Indian monastery with his young family (3:00); what it is like to travel overland with young kids in tow, from Canada to Ind…
 
“Riding trains offered a great chance to chat with people we’d never cross paths with in our lives normally.” –Monisha Rajesh In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Monisha discuss how her interest in train-travel dates back to a series of journeys she took around India (2:00); her more recent experience of taking the Trans-Mongolian train across Rus…
 
“The best experiences in life can be had for the price of showing up.” –Rolf Potts In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Kiki take a road-trip to Colorado (with Salvie the cat yowling in his pet-carrier) and discuss how Rolf’s 2010 essay “5 Travel Lessons You Can Use at Home” can apply to home-life during a time of pandemic, including the notion tha…
 
“A lot of people seek out spiritual travel-sites without any ties to a specific religion: When they’re in Israel and they’ll go to the Western Wall and feel so spiritual there; a month later they’re in Thailand and they’ll go to a Buddhist retreat. They just glom on for a minute and play pretend.” – Ari Shaffir Note: Rolf is giving away copies of b…
 
“Earnest, hard-won failure can teach you as much as anything.” – Rolf Potts Note: For information on the Paris-based Travel Memoir classes Rolf is offering to Deviate listeners in 2021, inquire at deviate@rolfpotts.com, or via the online forms at the Paris Writing Workshops website. In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Jeremy discuss breaking into …
 
This episode of Deviate explores the benefits of minimalism (3:00); changing ones life philosophy and getting rid of bad habits (11:00); pragmatic approaches to personal finance and avoiding debt (20:00); living off the grid and life tips (29:00); and finding a life purpose (42:00). Deviate is brought to you by Tortuga Backpacks, which set the stan…
 
“The perception that most Americans have about the original Thanksgiving is very much a Hallmark-card stereotype, where the native people and the colonists came together and broke bread and sang ‘Kumbaya.’ In truth, there was a great deal of trepidation on both sides.” – Paula Peters Full video episode In this episode of Deviate, Rolf presents an a…
 
“Savoring is attending to the moment.” – Stephanie Rosenbloom In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Stephanie discuss solitude versus loneliness (3:00); the joy of eating alone (14:00); the art of being a flaneur and savoring experiences (22:00); the joy of going to museums alone (32:00); the relationship between anticipation, experience, and retros…
 
“Getting in touch with reality is literally the essence of spiritual life.” – Rolf Potts In this episode of Deviate, Rolf remixes his interview from the Far Out Podcast, by Julie-Roxane and Alasdair. They discuss “Time Wealth,” and vagabonding as a philosophy for life (3:00); sifting through mediated information, versus getting local information on…
 
“That sort of fearlessness, and the assumption that the world is a good place – I like holding onto that idea to this day.” – Pam Mandel In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Pam discuss the good that can come out of bad travel, and how Pam became a person who spent a lot of her teen years outside of the US (2:30); how Pam came to travel to Israel a…
 
“Beliefs are contagious. The stories we tell take on their own logic and become real, in a way. As travelers in another culture part of your role is to try and understand what narrative ecosystem you’re a part of.” – Frank Bures In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Frank discuss “culture shock,” and the origins of Frank’s book (2:00); narrative eco…
 
“Nostalgia isn’t rational, and just like Warrant’s 1990 song “Cherry Pie” reminds me of 1989 more than the recorded sound of my own voice from 1989, watching the movie Dazed and Confused for the first time literally made me long for a time in life that was less happy than the time I was living in when I saw it.” — Rolf Potts In this essay episode o…
 
“There are the actual facts of what was happening in popular culture in the 1980s — and then there was this tantalizing notion that music played backwards was going to seed our minds with evil. Which was scary, but also kind of cool to a certain kid-like way of thinking.” — Rolf Potts In this rebroadcast episode of Deviate Rolf delves into the idea…
 
“Face the fear, and go for it.” – Cory Lee In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Cory discuss what challenges disabled travelers contend with, and how Cory got started as a traveler with spinal muscular atrophy (2:30); good destinations for travelers with mobility issues, and what challenges present themselves on the ground for travelers with disabi…
 
“Embrace your travel mistakes. You can’t ‘fail’ at travel; you can only learn from travel.” –Rolf Potts In this episode of Deviate, which excerpts a keynote talk from TravelCon, Rolf talks a bit about his background of growing up in Kansas and dreaming about travel, his earliest vagabonding travels, and his first forays into travel writing (3:30); …
 
“Sometimes we do things for ourselves in the name of adventure, without thinking about how this affects other people.” – Suzanne Roberts In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Suzanne discuss what it means to be a bad traveler, and the ethical quandaries that come with being a tourist (3:00); examples from Suzanne’s book about her interacting from a …
 
“There is this arrogant assumption that the things we don’t know or understand must be bad, because if they were good, we would already know about them or understand them.” –Derek Sandhaus In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Derek discuss the culture and traditions of baijiu liquor in China (4:00); Derek’s introduction to China and baijiu, and how…
 
“​So many hate-filled​ things—whether on social media​ or just people talking—are based on stereotypes that are not accurate​. Too many people ​simply ​don’t ​interact with people who are different from ​them.” —Joe Rodriguez In this episode of Deviate, childhood friends Rolf, Kaye, Tony, and Joe discuss the racially specific nicknames people gave …
 
“The more we try to seize happiness, the more it slips from our grasp. Happiness is a by-product, never an objective. It’s an unexpected windfall from a life lived well.” –Eric Weiner In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Eric discuss why practicing (rather than just studying) philosophy is important (2:00); which philosophies make the most sense du…
 
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