What It's Like To...
What It's Like To...

What It's Like To...

Elizabeth Pearson Garr



"What It's Like To..." lets you vicariously experience intriguing things you may never get the chance to do. You can learn what it's like to summit Mt. Everest, attend the Academy Awards, and be a professional baseball player. Each week on our podcast, an insightful, accomplished guest shares personal stories and witty anecdotes with host Elizabeth Pearson Garr.

Recent Episodes

What It's Like To Embrace Tiny Living
APR 17, 2024
What It's Like To Embrace Tiny Living

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Interest in "tiny living" is getting bigger.  But what is it, really--what are the benefits, and what do you sacrifice by "going small"?  Tiny house enthusiast Laura Lynch shares what inspired her to trade in her 2300-square-foot house for a home about one-fifth that size; the process of downsizing  ("do you own your stuff,  or does your stuff own you?"); and the wonderfully supportive "tiny" community (of people living in not just small homes, but also vans, schoolies, RVs, and more).  Laura also is a financial planner and helps others with the practical matters involved in transitioning their lifestyles.  Going tiny gave Laura the freedom and opportunities to follow her passions--which she never would have had if she'd been locked in to paying off her big house for years and years. Laura is the host of a podcast called "Less House, More Moola."

In this episode:

02:06--What is tiny living?
05:21--The benefits of having less space
07:46--The process of downsizing: why do I get value out of these things?
11:55--Reasons why people "go tiny": finances, sustainability, simplicity, lifestyle, the housing shortage
14:43--Luxury elements included some tiny homes
15:36--Legalization of building tiny homes
18:50--People of all ages are going tiny
21:12--Focus on your values: what is really important to you?
25:03--Traits common to most tiny living enthusiasts
26:41--What Laura misses from her big house; comparing living in her big house to her tiny house

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30 MIN
What It's Like To Summit Mt. Everest--Reprise
APR 3, 2024
What It's Like To Summit Mt. Everest--Reprise

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We're revisiting a popular episode from our archives this week! 

It's not easy to get to the top of the world.  It takes a lot of training and determination, a willingness to endure pain and suffering--and no small amount of luck.  Even the most prepared climber can confront a deadly avalanche or fatal turn in the weather.

Our guest, Jeff Gottfurcht, was the first person ever to summit the tallest mountain in the world--Mt. Everest--with rheumatoid arthritis.  Hear his incredible tales of ten years of training (including climbing all of the world's biggest mountains); what a climber eats, sleeps, and wears on Everest (you'll never believe Jeff's diet!); what happened on his summit ascent in a -20 degree windstorm; and what it's like to sit at the highest point on earth.

Jeff also shares the lessons that have shaped his life that he learned while he was "dancing with fate" on Mt. Everest.

Want to learn more about Jeff?

  • Check out his company's website: cyberdive.co

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36 MIN
What It's Like To Travel for a Living
MAR 20, 2024
What It's Like To Travel for a Living

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Lots of people say they “like to travel”... but most probably can’t claim they're “travel addicts.” Karen Gershowitz has earned that title by visiting more than 95 countries–many of them numerous times!  She’s worked her career around traveling, and is now a travel writer. She has also published two books about her travels. In this episode Karen shares tales from her adventures and gives tips all travelers can use to have authentic experiences--from taking public transportation, to eating at communal tables with locals, to the benefits of "getting lost."

In this episode:

01:50--How and why Karen found a career to support her travel habit

02:48--The genesis and growth of Karen's love of travel

04:47--Tips for finding your way in a new town (take public transportation, sit at communal tables)

08:37--The beauty of allowing yourself to get lost and pivoting when things go "wrong"

12:40--Karen's thoughts on planned itineraries vs. being spur of the moment

15:08--Plan your trip around what you love (food, sports, art, history, etc.)

17:39--Be curious about a place and about people

18:39--Test case: planning a trip for a fictitious traveler

24:39--Tips for traveling in non-English-speaking countries

26:30--Thoughts on traveling solo vs. with friends vs. with groups

27:55--Journaling while traveling

30:30--Places Karen would like to visit, and places she never wants to return 

34:42--Tips for dealing with jet lag

37:20--Becoming a travel writer (books and articles)

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42 MIN
What It's Like to be on the Reality Show "Naked and Afraid" Six Times
MAR 6, 2024
What It's Like to be on the Reality Show "Naked and Afraid" Six Times

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EJ Snyder has spent 206 days in very tough, uncompromising environments, having to create his own shelters, forage for food, and keep warm in the elements--all in the nude.  EJ--a.k.a. "Skull Crusher"--is an extreme survivalist, and has appeared six times on the reality television show "Naked and Afraid" (as well as other shows). So are reality shows really as challenging as they look? Do the crews ever help out struggling contestants?  EJ shares all the dirt (so to speak), and gives lots of practical tips about how we all can survive extreme situations. After all, even those of us who never plan to spend days or weeks in the bush may find ourselves in a hurricane or blizzard--or, as EJ likes to say, a "zombie apocalypse!"  

In this episode:

02:09--How EJ got into the Army, and how that led him to "Naked and Afraid"

04:41--Why naked?

06:19--EJ's major "concerns" in the wild, + the four pillars of survival

08:49--Are reality shows rigged? Are they really struggling as much as it appears?

12:28--Dealing with the camera crew

13:14--The beauty of vulnerability, even for "alpha males"

14:01--Story behind the nickname "Skull Crusher"

16:23--Why survival skills are important for everyone, not just adventurers

20:34--What really surprised EJ from doing "Naked and Afraid"

22:37--Losing weight--and what he ate--on the show

25:30--How to keep warm in the wild

28:19--Why we all need to know survival skills

32:18--How EJ's childhood affected who he became

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37 MIN
What It's Like To Be a Stuntman and a Strongman
FEB 21, 2024
What It's Like To Be a Stuntman and a Strongman

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Todd Jones has crashed into walls, been punched in the face, flown through the air,  tumbled down stairs, and fallen off high buildings, numerous times--willingly.  He is a professional stuntman for movies and television shows.  Todd also is a strongman: among other things, he holds a Guinness World Record for "hearting" horseshoes (bending steel with his hands).  Think all of this sounds almost impossible?  Todd says he's not superhuman--he has simply worked hard and not given up: the secret to his success is perseverance. 

In this episode:

01:56--How and why Todd transitioned from acting to stunt work
02:39--What he learned at "stunt school"--including getting set on fire
04:35--How to land correctly from a fall
06:28--Todd's first stunt gig
08:10--His role on "The Newsroom" that kick-started his career
10:53--A typical day on set
12:30--The two biggest stunts Todd has ever done on screen
17:29--The qualities needed to be a stunt person
21:08--What his family thinks watching him on screen
22:26--How Todd got started bending steel
25:29--The process of setting a Guinness World Record for "hearting" horseshoes
27:33--The power of perseverance: how and why Todd came to believe this so deeply
32:46--As you reach your goals, keep setting the bar higher: what else can I do?
33:24--How Todd stays in shape
34:38--The work schedule of a professional stunt person: "consistently inconsistent"

As promised in the episode, here is a link to the episode of "The Newsroom" in which Todd appeared with Jeff Daniels: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2052565/?ref_=nm_rvi_nm_i_1

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38 MIN