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Religion & Spirituality
Society & Culture
Places & Travel

The Observer Effect

Updated 5 days ago

Religion & Spirituality
Society & Culture
Places & Travel
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These are strangers' travel stories. Each time I ask how travel has changed them and hope listening like this evaporates borders.

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These are strangers' travel stories. Each time I ask how travel has changed them and hope listening like this evaporates borders.

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iTunes Ratings

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Average Ratings
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Cover image of The Observer Effect

The Observer Effect

Latest release on May 20, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 5 days ago

Rank #1: Episode 47: It All Stems from Naivety—Damascus, Where Binta Met an Old Man

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Binta took her very first trip alone at a very young age.  Looking back, she wonders if maybe she might have been too trusting.  We asked why she's traveling alone still ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders.  Special thanks to the musician, Dana Boulé. Join the Observer Effect Kiva Team→ at Kiva.org "All my days I've longed to travel the right road and to take my own errant path." —Sigrid Undset

Apr 24 2017

25mins

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Rank #2: 128 Belonging—Mostar, Where Anja Is Writing a Bible

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Anja left Bosnia as a toddler and lives there now to reconnect with her roots. I asked if she has found herself in her journeys ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician Dana Boulé.

Consider donating to Westin's Fund (westinsfund.org).

Learn more about Youth Power (https://www.youth-power.org/).

“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.”
—Audre Lorde

Feb 27 2020

48mins

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Rank #3: 125 The Fourth Cup—Nazareth, Where Odna Is Being Investigated

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Odna was summoned by the police in Nazareth and questioned about her Facebook activity. They said they were secretly listening to her conversations as well. I asked what her name means ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders.

Consider donating to Westin's Fund (http://www.westinsfund.org/).

"I have been a stranger here in my own land."
Sophocles

Feb 05 2020

47mins

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Rank #4: 51 The Summing Up—Burma, Where Seph Met Mr. Book

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Part 2 of our special 50th Episode celebration!  

We look back at some of the stories that resonated this year and what their sum could mean.  At the end I tell the story of the man in Burma who made me hope listening like this evaporates borders.  Special thanks to the musician, Dana Boulé.  And a very special thanks to Dave for stepping in to host again this week.

Join the Observer Effect Kiva Team→ at Kiva.org

"Where we are is who we are."
—Fernando Pessoa

May 27 2017

43mins

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Rank #5: 117 The Other Side—L'Abri, Where Ryan Demilitarized

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Ryan needed a place to decompress after serving in the military, so he went to L’Abri, a communal living center in the English countryside. I asked what exactly it was that reversed his political stance ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician Dana Boulé.

Donate to westinsfund.org to help cover the costs of families who have miscarriages.

“So hadde I spoken with hem everichon
That I was of hir felawshipe anon.”
—Chaucer

Feb 20 2019

1hr 8mins

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Rank #6: 52 Super Loneliness—Galápagos, Where Jaey Surfed

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Jaey is in the process of moving from Seoul to Barcelona by way of South America.  We met in a blustery corner of Chile, where he told three beautiful stories from his trip.  I asked why he's not allowed into the most famous soccer stadium in Buenos Aires ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders.  Special thanks to the musician, Dana Boulé.

Join the Observer Effect Kiva Team→ at Kiva.org

"We are for the most part lonely when we go abroad."
—Henry David Thoreau

Jun 05 2017

32mins

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Rank #7: 127 The Beauty of Sorrow—Zipolite, Where Indra Drowned

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Indra broke up with his girlfriend in Turkey just months into traveling the world together and set off the series of events that brought him to South Korea. He almost died in Mexico. I asked whether he’s going to write all these experiences ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician Dana Boulé.

Consider donating to Westin's Fund, an organization that covers the medical costs of families who lose children to stillbirth and miscarriage: http://www.westinsfund.org/

“The longest absence is less perilous to love than the terrible trials of incessant proximity.”
—Edna St. Vincent Millay

Feb 20 2020

59mins

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Rank #8: 126 Vipassana—Tel Aviv, Where Meytal Wants to See

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Meytal felt uncomfortable just following the typical path of a young Israeli, school, the army, job, and so she found another path that took her to India—and eventually, back to Israel. I asked whether people here comment on her Yemeni roots ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician Dana Boule.

Consider donating to Westin's Fund (http://www.westinsfund.org/).

"If you want to study yourself—look into the hearts of other people."
—Friedrich von Schiller

Feb 12 2020

23mins

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Rank #9: 118 The Last Grain of Rice—Mosul, Where Mikey Saw a Face

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Mikey spent years as a helicopter pilot before becoming to a storyteller. You can see his filmmaking at MikeyKay.com. I asked how he approaches interviewing—in other words how he deals with “the observer effect” ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician Dana Boulé.

Visit www.MikeyKay.com to see his films.

Donate to Westinsfund.org.

"Your thought kindled a fire beside you that showed a path."
Abu l-'Ala al-Ma'arri

Feb 27 2019

21mins

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Rank #10: 119 Seven Words—Maine, Where Rocinante Glowed

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John Steinbeck packed up his dog and a few belongings into a camper he christened Rocinante and set out on the road late in life to discover America. I asked the head archivist at the National Steinbeck Center why ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician Dana Boulé.

Visit the National Steinbeck Center at www.steinbeck.org.

And learn more about their upcoming festival, In Search of America, on August 2 and 3—www.steinbeck.org/event/steinbeck-festival-2019.

Also, consider making a donation to Westinsfund.org to help cover the medical costs of families who lose children to miscarriage and stillbirth.

"The way is open."
—John Steinbeck

Jun 22 2019

46mins

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Rank #11: 121 A Listening Blue—Arles, Where Vincent Dreamed of Japan

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Vincent Van Gogh left the Netherlands to paint the South of France near the end of his life and created some of the most famous and lasting works in his short career there. I asked Marion Ley of the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles why ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician Dana Boulé.

"There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people."
—Vincent Van Gogh

Aug 19 2019

37mins

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Rank #12: 122 The Spirit of Dialogue—Egypt, Where Francis Tried to Stop the Crusades

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St. Francis of Assisi attached himself to a band of crusaders in the hopes that when he met the sultan in Egypt, his words could dissuade everyone from fighting. I asked a monk named Stephen who lives in Assisi whether he was successful ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician Dana Boulé.

Donate to http://westinsfund.org to help cover the medical costs of families who lose children to miscarriage and stillbirth.

"Grant that I may not so much seek to be understood as to understand."
—St. Francis of Assisi

Aug 24 2019

25mins

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Rank #13: 124 Beyond the Beyonds—Limerick, Where Frank Grew Up

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Frank McCourt wrote his beloved memoir, Angela’s Ashes, about a childhood spent in Ireland. Una Heaten turned the schoolhouse he attended into a museum honoring his book and his legacy. I traveled to Limerick to ask what it’s like to build a museum ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician Dana Boulé.

Consider donating to the WestinsFund.org.

Visit the Frank McCourt Museum: https://frankmccmuseum.wixsite.com/

"Telling stories is sure medicine."
—Primo Levi

Nov 13 2019

45mins

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Rank #14: 114 Absolute Silence—Auschwitz, Where Dominik Cried

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Dominik moved to Berlin to become a poet, which makes him uniquely suited to tell the story of a visit to Auschwitz. I asked why he thought the German capital would change him ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musicians, Dana Boulé.

Donate to Westin's Fund at http://www.westinsfund.org/

"May they be safe where it is told."
—Peig Sayers

Jan 28 2019

31mins

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Rank #15: 112 The Social Play—Ireland, Where Emma Dreams

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Emma once lived at a kibbutz in Israel. I asked what it takes to integrate in the Irish countryside ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musicians, Dana Boulé.

"Suppose you do find a premise in your wanderings."
—Lajos Egri

Dec 03 2018

25mins

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Rank #16: 108 The Sound of Rain—Chicago, Where Christopher Lived in a Van

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Christopher decided to simplify his life and move into a van. I asked a number of logistical questions ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musicians, Dana Boulé.

Follow Christopher on Instagram: CHIGUY79
https://www.instagram.com/chiguy79/?hl=en

Donate to Westin's Fund, a charity that relieves the financial burden of grieving families:
http://westinsfund.org

"Have the courage to digress."
—John McPhee

Oct 15 2018

33mins

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Rank #17: 105 Emergency Call—Fiji, Where William Was [Interrupted by Orchids]

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William makes props for the new Star Wars films at Pinewood Studios in London. We met on the Inca Trail in Peru. I asked how places like Machu Picchu and Sayaqmarka shape his work ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musicians, Dana Boulé and Grupo Sonkoy.

Follow The Observer Effect Podcast on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theobservereffect/

"On est seul aussi chez les hommes."
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Sep 24 2018

37mins

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Rank #18: 104 Fourteen Years—The U.S., Where Henry Immigrated Illegally

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Henry tried three times to cross the border into the U.S., a long journey from his home in Honduras. He has been a translator for Mission Lazarus since coming back. I asked why ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician, Dana Boulé.

Visit Missionlazarus.org.

"Blessed are those in whose hearts are roads."
—Psalm 84:5

Sep 17 2018

58mins

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Rank #19: 103 Burnout—Oaxaca, Where Meghan Recovered

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Meghan had an epiphany in Mexico. I asked whether it’s possible to bring her insight back into settled life ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician, Dana Boulé.

Consider donating to Westin's Fund, a charity that covers the costs for grieving parents related to miscarriages and stillbirths:

http://www.westinsfund.org/

"Les soins accordés au malade, l’accueil offert au proscrit, le pardon même ne valent que grâce au sourire qui éclaire la fête. Nous nous rejoignons dans le sourire au-dessus des langages, des castes, des partis. Nous sommes les fidèles d’une même Église, tel et ses coutumes, moi et les miennes."
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Sep 11 2018

23mins

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Rank #20: 102 One Twenty-Fifth of a Second—Yugoslavia, Where Wade Photographed War

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Wade Goddard established a museum for war photography that you must visit in Dubrovnik, Croatia, War Photo Limited. He came to Yugoslavia in the 90s. I asked what it was like to travel in a country that no longer exists ... and hope listening like this evaporates borders. Special thanks to the musician, Dana Boulé.

Visit War Photo Limited: www.warphotoltd.com.

"Is there a time for keeping your distance?"
—U2

Sep 03 2018

1hr 3mins

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