Kayla’s Picks: Podcasts, Books, Websites, & Other Inspiration

We didn’t come up with the idea for El Perro Tambien in a vacuum. Since we both voraciously consume information, we decided it was a good idea to share some of the resources that inspired us for the trip.

This is a sampler of some of the best media that Kayla consumes that helped her plan and prepare for the trip. Be sure to check them out – and let them know that we sent you!

Andrew’s is coming soon.

Freelancer & Remote Work Sites

  • AngelList: it seems like there’s nowhere better to look for startup jobs. Find internships, part-time work, freelance gigs, full-time, or even co-founder positions with startups from around the world. This is actually where Andrew landed his current gig with The Growth Co!
  • HubStaff Talent: while Upwork and Freelancer.com are better-known names, HubStaff Talent seems to be a better place for skilled freelancers to find work. The other two sites are flooded with gigs that pay pennies on the dollar for your work, and rarely feel worth my time That said, Kayla and K9 of Mine connected on Upwork – so it’s good to try them all.

Podcasts

If you’ve talked to Kayla for more than about 30 seconds in the last 4 years, you know that she’s totally obsessed with podcasts. She listens while she bikes to work, while she walks the dog, while she cooks, while she’s in the shower, while she’s at the gym.

Here are just a few that are must-downloads before your big trip. Want more? Contact Kayla – this is just a sampling of her podcast diet.

  • Optimal Living Daily: a narrator simply reads blogs aloud to you that talk abut minimalism, mental fortitude, and generally just being the best you can be. It comes out every single day and the episodes average about 6-10 minutes.
  • Radio Ambulante: depending on your level of fluency, Radio Ambulante or Coffee Break Spanish is a must-have podcast. Radio Ambulante is very similar to This American Life, where narrators tell compelling stories about challenging issues – all in Spanish. Not for the beginning speaker, Radio Ambulante is inspirational and thought-provoking.
    • For the more beginning speaker, turn to a learning-focused podcast like Coffee Break Spanish.
  • Seeking Wisdom: if you’re hoping to put together any sort of following on the internet for any purpose, you’ll love Seeking Wisdom. They’re fast-paced, witty, and relatively informal while still delivering lots of actionable knowledge.
  • TED Talks Daily and/or TED Radio Hour: it’s hard to go wrong with TED Talks. Whether you like the 8-15 minute TED Talks Daily or the hour-long weekly compilation of TED Talks from the Radio Hour (or both), they’re a great source of fun and inspiration along your trip.
Podcasts for Fun

It’s ok to just pick out some fun, easy listening. These are Kayla’s favorites from 2017.

  • RABBITS: a mysterious and potentially deadly game, a missing best friend, and the dark internet come together in this masterful podcast. It’s so good, you almost forget it’s fiction.
  • Homecoming: a psychologist’s life is turned upside down as she works through helping war veterans with their PTSD through a controversial and scary treatment regime. The personalities and acting in this podcast are incredible.
  • More Perfect: the Supreme Court – that other branch of government that we never seem to talk about. You’ll love the masterful storytelling of monumental Supreme Court Cases from the makers of Radiolab.
  • Freakonomics Radio: explore different inconsistencies and interesting facets of economics, human behavior, politics, and more. This is a really fun conversation starter.
Podcasts for Staying Up-to-Date

If you’re not on an information diet like Andrew is, you might enjoy these two podcasts for staying in the loop while on the road. Kayla is a total news and politics junkie, but these are the two that she thinks are least political of her favorites.

  • Stay Tuned with Preet: former US Prosecutor Preet Bharara discusses timely topics with other national figures. Sharp, hard-hitting, and full of manageable legal-ese, this podcast keeps you up to date without inundating you with partisan politics (though Preet is definitively not a Drumpf guy).
  • The Daily from the New York Times: 17 to 25 minutes of yesterday’s news. Kayla’s morning walks with Barley almost always include The Daily, then TED Talks Daily, then Optimal Living Daily.

We said Kayla loves podcasts, didn’t we?


Books

A little secret here – Kayla doesn’t have a lot of time to sit down and read. Instead, she tackles a few audiobooks per month through Audible. Close enough to the same thing, right?

Here are the three books that were most influential for Kayla while planning El Perro Tambien.

  • The Four Hour Workweek: this is probably the #1 most influential book for Kayla for El Perro Tambien. It goes over the ever-important lifestyle design, how to negotiate working remotely, and creating a business that creates passive income. A must-read.
  • Mindset: for anyone who wants to be more confident, optimistic, and/or driven, this is a must-read classic. Learn all about how different branches of thinking affect outcomes in your life, and learn how to change your own mindset to be more successful.
  • The Power of Habit: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” That’s all the convincing you should need before buying this excellent book that details how and why to form better habits (and break unwanted ones). Kayla wrote more in-depth on this topic at her dog training blog here.

Websites, Web Pages, & Blogs

Since Kayla is going to be freelancing her way around the Americas, many of her choice websites revolve around preparing for and finding remote-friendly gigs.

  • Recession Proof Gradan excellent first introduction to the concept of cold emails, offering free work as a way to get your foot in the door, and finding a perfect fit. Great for helping you find remote-friendly gigs that will support you on the road.
  • Udemy: cheap courses on just about anything, available online on-demand? This is exactly what you need to help build up marketable skills that will help you land a job that you can do from anywhere.
  • Drive the Americaswhile it appears this site isn’t updated anymore, it’s a treasure trove of blogs from people who have done almost this exact trip. Many of them saved for years or sold their house to finance the trip, but their insights on border crossings and other travel “pro tips” are worth their weight in gold.
  • NomadListlooking for an easy-to-navigate site that will help you pick where to live along the way? NomadList is the place to start. You can search cities by location, safety for women, air quality, internet speed, and many other extremely valuable criteria. We use it nearly daily.

It should go without saying that Reddit (specifically r/vanlife and r/roadtrips) and Facebook are other great places to find and get help with planning a trip like this.

Couchsurfing.com and the US Department of State are other valuable resources. One provides free couches to sleep on, one helps plan vaccines and visas. You guess which is which.

Author: Kayla

Kayla is a biologist, writer, and web designer. She’s passionate about animal behavior, the science of habits, and anything outdoors.

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