One Step Beyond

1/7/2021

Ep. 18: Not the Samos It Ever Was

Ep. 18
One Step Beyond launches 2021 with a two parter about two people who refused to let the pandemic of 2020 prevent them making planned life changes. In part 1, Adam Fletcher - yes, he is a relation - talks about his volunteer work with asylum seekers on the Greek island of Samos, and why it has inspired him to hang up his career as a touring musician, including lucrative work in a touring Abba tribute band, and go back to college to become a doctor. In an interview conducted from the Island of Samos on New Year's Eve, Adam talks about the conditions faced by the refugees on the island, many of whom have been living in squalor for years now, the work of various charities and NGOs, and why he feels blessed and privileged to have the opportunity to spend time with them, and to embark on a fresh career.Some of the articles mentioned in this Episode:https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/world/europe/greece-samos-migrants.htmlhttps://www.rescue.org/video/finding-courage-continue-greeces-refugee-campshttps://www.rescue.org/country/greece#what-caused-the-crisis-in-greecehttps://www.instagram.com/p/CJHGmJwjj38/The short monthly Soundcloud podcast hosted by Medequaliteam. Also:https://observers.france24.com/en/20200918-blocked-camp-samos-refugees-demand-legal-justicehttps://theconversation.com/samos-grim-winter-leads-to-protests-by-refugees-living-in-limbo-on-greek-island-110116https://www.pressenza.com/2019/12/children-alone-amongst-6-000-refugees-on-samos/https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/on-a-greek-island-that-welcomed-migrants-residents-and-refugees-feel-abandonedA list of NGOs and charities typically operating on the island of Samos, as supplied by Adam Fletcher:Action for EducationAvocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France)The Flying Seagulls ProjectGlocal RootsHelp Refugees / Choose LoveIndigo VolunteersMed’Equaliteam(this is the NGO Adam currently volunteers for)Movement on the GroundPrecious Plastic SamosProject ArmoniaProject TENRefugee4RefugeesRefugee Law Clinic BerlinSamos VolunteersStill I RiseVerein FAIRThe One Step Beyond Supporter page (i.e. the tip jar):https://supporter.acast.com/onestepbeyondFor questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net
12/24/2020

Ep. 17: It's a Wonderful Life... On the Road

Ep. 17
In May 2016, halfway through my 3-person family's year-long backpacking trip around the world, we met the Norths - Phil, Amanda, Sophie and Nate - in Chiang Mai, Thailand. They had left their former Alaska hometown of Kenai behind for good in the fall of 2013. and would not resettle in the States until 2017. On this episode of One Step Beyond, I catch up with the the Norths - in their new hometown of Bellingham, Washington - for the first time in four and a half years. Sophie is now 17, Nate 15, and along with their parents, they talk candidly about their experiences, what they learned about the world at large and about themselves as a family, why they believe in 'slow travel', how they kept costs down, and why they think everyone should have the opportunity to travel internationally. For any family thinking of embarking on a long-term travel project, this is an empowering and encouraging story. Unlike other interesting people featured on this show, the Norths have nothing to promote. There is no social media to link to! However, if you would like to read more about the work that Phil North does in his environmental role with the Tulalip tribe residents in Washington State:https://www.heraldnet.com/news/for-tribes-climate-change-fight-is-about-saving-culture/The other podcasts referenced on this episode are:All The Sh*t I've Learned Abroad, Episode 76: WorldTowningThe Runners World UK: When Joe Strummer Ran The London MarathonBaggage Claim: Travel Stories No One Tells. For questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net
12/11/2020

Ep. 16: Travel in the Age of Covid

Long term international travel has proven nigh impossible in 2020, and will be well into 2021 as well. But what if you live on the road, what if you are already somewhere else on the planet when lockdown happens. Does it all stop? And if it does stop, where do you find yourself and can you survive there? And if it doesn’t stop, what does that mean, and how is it to travel in the age of covid? What are the challenges, the pitfalls, and hopefully the rewards? I talk with Trevor Warman, the Nomadic Backpacker, who has has spent the bulk of the last 20 years on the road, living from country to country, bus journey to bus journey, hostel to hostel. This would be an interesting story in normal times, but it’s even more interesting in 2020, because Trevor has had to stay just one step ahead of potential national pandemics. From several months locked down in Kenya, to forced quarantine in North Macedonia, to a surprise resurfacing on yet another continent, it has made for a year both extremely static and very very mobile, and difficult from start to finish. Over the course of two interviews, Trevor shared with me the perils and pitfalls of being a nomad during a global pandemic. And so, while One Step Beyond is here to tell and share positive stories, it’s also good to have areality check. The world is not all unicorns and rainbows. You can find the Nomadic Backpacker's blog and other travel adventures at www.nomadicbacker.com and on social media, at Twitter and YouTube as Nomadic Backpacker. The New York Times story about Istanbul is at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/08/travel/istanbul-tourists-curfew.htm Plus: I talk about my recent road marathon. Yes, a proper road race - in 2020! The debut Upstate Classic was organized by the Albany Running Exchange and you can hear CEO & Founder Josh Merlis talk about how they put on a major event in a pandemic on the Runpacers podcast, Episode 255. For questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.net Join One Step Beyond on social media at: Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcast Facebook is One Step Beyond with Tony Fletcher Twitter is OneStepBeyondP1 And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net
11/12/2020

Ep. 15: Who was Diogenes and why should we care?

On this Episode, I go for a "bush wack'" hike up Rusk Mountain in the Catskills to disengage from the American elections. Guiding me on the climb through the snow is Ken Posner, whose minimalist approach to outdoor activities takes inspiration from the Greek vagabond-philosopher Diogenes. Ken frequently sets off on marathons, hikes, climbs and other adventures without food, water, navigational tools of any kind, and often – as on his 24-hour ‘Diogenes Challenge’ through nine Catskills peaks this last summer – without shoes. On our climb, Ken has me lead us up the trail-less, heavily wooded mountain to find the canister at its true summit, using only the knowledge I came with and my instincts. Along the way we discuss the drawbacks of relying on technology, the dangers of the modern athletic diet, the various ‘stressers’ we can healthily put ourselves under to improve our overall well-being, and such people as Wim Hof, John Muir, Henry Thoreau. And Ken enlightens me as to why Diogenes was the founder of both Cynicism and Stoicism. Ken has some major accomplishments to his own name. In 2013, he achieved what was then the Fastest Known Time (9 days) for Running The Long Path through New York, and wrote a book of that name about the experience. The following year, he set a still-standing FKT for the Badwater Double, a 146-mile, near 15,000-ft climb from the lowest point in the Continental US to the highest point, at the top of Mount Whitney – and back again, covering the 292 miles in under 4 days. This episode is intended to encourage all of us to leave not only our worries behind when we get outdoors, but to leave technology behind as far as possible, and return to our natural state - one that, as ever, is capable of much more than we typically credit. You can find Ken Posner at https://thelongbrownpath.com His blog post on Diogenes: https://thelongbrownpath.com/tag/diogenes-of-sinope/ His blog post on the Diogenes Challenge: https://thelongbrownpath.com/2020/06/21/the-diogenes-challenge/ His account of running the Badwater Double and lessons learned: https://marathonandbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/18.6_EditorsChoice.pdf One of his blog posts on barefoot running & hiking, with comments towards the end on "natural running" and the risks of overreliance on technology: https://thelongbrownpath.com/2020/01/25/5000-miles-barefoot/ His book Running The Long Path: https://www.amazon.com/Running-Long-Path-Discovery-Excelsior-ebook/dp/B01M01B96Y Ken also recommends: Best book for beginners on barefoot running - Barefoot Running Step by Step by Ken Bob Saxton: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00504TLYC/Waterlogged by Tim Noakes -- great research on the myths of dehydration and the risk of overhydration: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0081U6WWG/ For questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.net Join One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcast Facebook is One Step Beyond with Tony Fletcher Twitter is OneStepBeyondP1 And your host can be found here: tonyfletcher.net
10/30/2020

Ep. 14: Walking the length of India

Ep. 14
"If you’re not interested in culture or community, then don’t walk through a country. And if you don’t want to fall in love with humanity, then don’t go to India." (Note: Spotify listeners will notice an out-of-sync narration during parts of this episode. Please listen on another platform if you care and apologies to all listeners for allowing an episode to go out with an editing error!)In 2017, the 70th Anniversary of India’s Independence from Great Britain, self-styled British expeditioner Olie Hunter Smart set off to walk, solo and unsupported, the entire length of India and to make a movie about his journey: The Road To Independence. During the course of his 2800 miles/4500km from the Himalaya Mountains of northern Ledakh to the southern sea tip of Kanyakamuri, Olie also re-traced the 240-mile journey of Mahatma Gandhi’s 1930 Salt March protest, and he ended his trip where Gandhi’s ashes were scattered in the ocean. Carrying his film equipment on his back, enduring physical and emotional hardships across the course of a seven and a half month expedition, Hunter Smart interviewed dozens of people along the way, from former Freedom Fighters who remember the battle for Independence, to Gandhi’s great grandson who reminds us that non-violence means to not violate.I talked with Olie about his amazing walk through incredible India, how he made a film without prior experience, and about how someone with a relatively normal background takes on expeditions like this – and his previous grand adventure, the Amazon River Run where he traced the Amazon 4500 miles from the Peruvian mountains to the Brazilian Atlantic Ocean.Includes clips from the movie, The Road To Independence.I also draw parallels between Olie’s journey south through India and Scott Jurek’s FKT running North on the Appalachian Trail.You can watch The Road To Independence on Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/r/2UWE/ejlhQXFwUVEnter promo code OSB50 at checkout for a 50% discount.Read more about Olie Hunter Smart’s expeditions at his web site, oliehuntersmart.comYou can follow Olie at Instagram, Facebook and Twitter also at oliehuntersmart.comPodcasts mentioned in this episode:The Pursuit Zone - Adventure Travel Ep 204Call To Adventure Episode 7Unraveling Traveling Episode 8Plant Strong Episode 12Without Compromise Oct 23Also,The Pain Cave Ep 70 with Tony FletcherFor questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net All links can be found athttps://shows.acast.com/onestepbeyond/episodes/ep-14-walking-india-top-to-bottom
10/8/2020

Ep 13: 'Still' Running

Ep. 13
Welcome to Episode 13 of One Step Beyond. This time around, we discuss ‘Still Running: The Art of Meditation in Motion,’ a new book by Vanessa Zuisei Goddard. I first met Zuisei in 2006, at the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, in the Catskills, where I was taught how to sit zazen - the form of meditation practiced there - by Zuisei herself. But Zuisei is also a runner, and for all that she has spent much of her life sitting zazen, she has never stopped moving. I would often see her running on the local roads and knew that that she held ‘running retreats’ at ZMM - and yet we never talked in detail about our shared love of this physical exercise.In 2019, after two decades at ZMM, Zuisei resumed lay life, moving to New York City to become a writer and teacher. And when ‘Still Running’ was published this summer by Shambhala – with a front cover endorsement by ultra-marathon legend Scott Jurek - I knew instinctively that I had to read it and bring her on this show.Zuisei’s wonderful little book is extra helpful because while it discusses Buddhism, each chapter ends with a physical practice that applies to anyone and everyone, of any domination and for almost any physical endeavor.For One Step Beyond, we spoke by phone, discussing life in a Buddhist monastery and beyond, and more specifically, the practices she describes in her book. You will hear me undertake and report back on some of these practices.We also discuss the tradition of extreme running within Buddhism, as evidenced in the isolated Gompa Monks of Tibet, and the Marathon Monks of Japan. This gives me a reason to dig out an LP of Tibetan Ritual Music that I had owned for 30 years and somehow never opened; perhaps it was just waiting for the perfect moment.You can find Still Running at all good book shops or through the publisher, Shambhala. If you order online, please consider supporting your local independent store in the process; you can do so in the US by using Bookshop.orgZuisei can be found at VanessaZuiseiGoddard.com, and on Instagram and Facebook as zuiseigoddardThe Zen Mountain Monastery, which has been offering online programs in 2020 during the pandemic, is at mro.org.The incidental music in this episode is:‘Offering to the Savior Gompo’ and ‘Invocation of Gompo from the LP Tibetan Ritual Music by Lamas and Monks, recorded in Sikkim in 1961 for the Lyrichord label.The 'Easy, Light, Smooth, Fast' mantra I cite is from Barefoot Ted as referenced in Born To Run. Barefoot Ted went on to make the Luna Sandals that we featured in Episode 11: Take a Step Outside Your... Shoes?For questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.netAll links can be found athttps://shows.acast.com/onestepbeyond/ep-13-silent-running
9/24/2020

Ep. 12: Letting Go and Hitting the Road

Ep. 12
Hey you… Welcome to Episode 12 of One Step Beyond, a fortnightly show about positively engaging with the world outside our door, with host Tony Fletcher.In 2016, Jess Gumkowski and her husband BJ – the ‘YogiTriathletes’ – sold or gave away almost everything they owned, and packed what was left (primarily their triathlon gear and their dog) into a Honda Fit with no fixed destination. 2016 was also the year that I hit the road, with my then wife and then 11-year old younger son, embarking on 10 and a half months of backpacking around the world, freed from the constraints of possessions and expectations, and living very much in the moment.In a wide-ranging interview, Jess and I talk about selling everything off, and then giving away what’s left – from photographs to jewelry to treasured race medals. We acknowledge the very real hurdles that may prevent others from feeling they have the power to make similarly transformative decisions with their lives, to which end Jess discusses the importance of meditation and a positive mindset. We both marvel at the kindness of strangers you meet on the road, and how some of the most minimal and uncomfortable moments are also some of the most rewarding. Jess also explains how she and ‘Beej’ are able to survive living, working and traveling together as both a personal and professional couple, and offers three take-aways for anyone who might be considering a similar adventure. You can find Jess and BJ at yogitriathlete.com, where you can follow links to their two podcasts, Awake Athlete and Yogitriathlete, their blog, their coaching activities, and Jess’s two vegan cookbooks: High Vibe Recipes for Athlete Appetite, and Pizza Night Done Right. The video in which Jess & BJ wave goodbye to their medals is here.Separately, I offer an update on the podcasts that keep me going through my mountain runs, and ponder at the news that my home area is currently the hottest real estate market in the country, the result of moneyed New Yorkers fleeing post-covid New York City.Other podcasts referenced in this episode:Barefoot Backpacker: Beer Around the WorldBig and White: How Covid Life Is Like Culture ShockAll The Shit I've Learned AbroadThe Traveler's Blueprint: Animals Using DrugsWashington Post article: Welcome to Woodstock 2020: Peace, love . . . and urban exiles fighting over real estateThe Cat's Tail Trail MarathonRadio KingstonA few corrections to my narration in this episode:Nepal did in fact open back up just as I was finishing this episode, with international flights resuming after six months. Also, the Cat's Tail Trail Marathon takes place on Saturday October 2, not Saturday October 3. And Still Running is published by Shambhala Books, not, as I pronounced it, Shabala. For questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media:InstagramFacebookTwitterAnd your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net