Please note this is currently an auto transcript and as such some spellings and words may be inaccurate.
IDENT FRAN: This podcast is part of the Tremula Network, adventure and outdoor podcasts off the beaten track. To find out more, head to tremula.network or find us on socials.
[MUSIC starts - ON THE OUTSIDE theme - Bassbeat by Alex Norton: "Funky and upbeat, jangling guitars, a fat bassline and a full horn section create the perfect soundtrack to a late summer block party."]
ANESU: 00:08 Hi everyone and welcome to On the Outside Podcast. This is a very special episode as it's been about two years since the very first episode. So we've swapped around the rolls and Fran is actually going to be on the other side. I'm Anesu the social media and marketing assistant and welcome to a very special episode of On the Outside Podcast from Tremula Network. And we're just going to have a bit of a reflection and chat to Fran about how it all got started. Do you want to introduce yourself to people who may already know you or not?
FRAN: 00:44 Yeah, I suppose it is worth doing an introduction actually because quite often I am the panel leader but don't necessarily do an introduction myself. So I am Francesca Turauskis I am the producer of On the Outside, but I also am a hiker and I like to do trail running, being outdoors in general and got into the outdoors or got into outdoors diversity partly through talking about my own experience of having epilepsy whilst doing all of the outdoor things. So it's something I talk about occasionally when I'm on the panel, but not something that I necessarily do in detail as much anymore.
ANESU: 01:26 Thank you so much for that and I suppose that's a great place to start. You touched on it a little bit, but yeah, how did on the outside come about and what inspired you to put it together and what was the process there?
FRAN: 01:38 So one of the reasons that I felt like on the outside was needed was because I was working on my own or my OG podcast Seizure Adventure, which was all about people of epilepsy doing adventure sports. And from that I was guessing on quite a lot of other people's podcasts, I was doing interviews and talking about my own experiences and things like my epilepsy diagnosis and I essentially got bored of myself talking about the same thing over and over and I was telling my story quite a lot. I was talking about things that were quite difficult to talk about at times, like having an epilepsy diagnosis and having seizures. And I realised that other people who are advocates within their own spaces were probably having similar emotions talking about things quite a lot. And some of the people that I wanted to speak to, I knew their story and I'd heard it a couple of different times in different ways. So I wanted to get beyond the Genesis stories and start talking about things that we we're just really interested in and passionate about essentially.
ANESU: 02:53 Oh that's so nice. And look how far it's come two years down the line. Do you remember what your very first episode was?
FRAN: 03:01 I do. I remember the very first episode. I remember that I was really nervous and I think the panel won't mind me saying that some of them were quite nervous as well. There was a lot of conversation that went on before that first recording. But we spoke about water safety and in particular talking about things like the sewage being dumped into our seas at the time I think Southern Water had just been fined the biggest fine ever for doing that over multiple years. I'd love to say look how far we've come since that first episode, but as I'm sure we all know, that is still in the news at the moment. I have since moved down to the coast myself and I'm now live by the sea and I'm seeing even more how often the sewage gets dumped into our oceans because of the amount of times that I can't go swimming out there. So yeah, that's one of the main takeaways. But we did a few other things as well on that episode. So that first episode was a really interesting conversation and it was a lovely mix on the panel. So we had Neil Russell, Oge Ejizu and Eden Elgeti, so they each brought different stories and it was a great chat. Still sticks in my mind.
ANESU: 04:24 Oh that sounds so lovely. And you sort of mentioned water. We actually had a listener when we asked our listeners what one of their favourite episodes were or one of the me most memorable ones. I think it's a slightly different episode to the one you've just mentioned, but they said that a recent favourite is Omie's episode and chatting about water safety and swimming.
FRAN: 04:44 So obviously if you haven't listened to that episode, do go back and listen to it. It's really interesting. That is one of the ones that I think comes up quite a lot for people's favourite episode. But it was really nice because Arge wanted to speak to OMI and have a little bit more information about swimming and learning to swim and swim safety and that kind of thing. And that actually came out of the very first episode because Agai didn't know how to swim when we were first recording and she wanted to speak to OMI about II's work, basically helping people to swim and teaching people and teaching people that are adults as well, which is obviously slightly different to teaching children. And so I thought it would be really nice rather than me just doing a conversation to actually get them together on a phone call as well. And it was lovely for people that keep up with our panellists as well. You will know that Agate has been learning to swim and is now a swimmer has been doing that over the past few months as well, which is so lovely to see.
ANESU: 05:55 Oh that's so lovely. And yeah, I think the panellists really make on the outside what it is. How have you gone about building that panel?
FRAN: 06:04 Yeah, it's really interesting because I think, I like to think that the panel and particularly the panellists have come on quite a lot, we have quite a good rapport and we have a lot of fun with it. But I didn't know very many people from the panel before the podcast. In fact, I'm trying to think who I did know before the podcast. Very, yeah, very few. They were people that I just reached out to essentially or had somebody else put me in contact with them. And I really didn't want these conversations to just be a echo chamber of people that I knew all of us speaking as if it were a, well I was going to say as if it were a conversation that's already started that doesn't make sense because that kind of is what it is. But I didn't just want these conversations to be a bunch of friends and me speaking to my friends.
07:04 So I actively reached out to people that were working in different spaces. And I have to say that that was quite nerve wracking initially because it, it's spaces that I'm work in myself, particularly when it comes to things like race disability to a certain extent is something I'm very unfamiliar with. Lots of conversations, which are not my comfort zone as it were. But that was the whole point of the podcast was to open up these conversations and I'm essentially trying to be the person that asked the awkward conversations and occasionally looks a bit silly I think to try and get these conversations a little bit more open.
ANESU: 07:50 Thanks for sharing that And it leads us perfectly onto one of the other questions in which we asked our listeners was about the key learnings you've got from the podcast and throughout this journey,
FRAN: 08:03 Some of the key learnings that I've got are, to be honest, I think it is a lot about intersectionality in terms of there are so many different ways that people experience the outdoors and so many different ways in which people find that there are barriers to doing that in the way that they would like to. But a lot of the solutions can be quite similar. But one of the things in particular is about community communication, but also simple aspects like physical access to spaces through things like public transport and good quality paths and this kind of thing. So much stuff just comes up in different conversations that there are solutions there that we all know about by now or at least people that come on the show know about by now. So hopefully we'll start getting towards those solutions being implemented a little bit more.
ANESU: 09:09 Yeah, and I think one of the beautiful things about On the Outside podcast is the variety of different spaces in which you bring people in. And I think I initially found out about the podcast through the episode about tops off policies and climbing. And so that was something that got circulated a lot within the climbing community and I was like, oh, what is this podcast? And since then I've been able to get such interesting insights about things like cycling and running and just adventure. And I think it's great how it's just not limited by one sort of discipline, which I think is a great strength of the podcast. That wasn't really a question. Sorry. That was probably my own answer.
FRAN: 09:49 That's really nice. And you can't actually see me on the video call cause we are just doing this as audio, but that actually makes me feel really nice to hear because like you say, I invite people on not just based on the diversity areas but based on the sports that they do. And quite often they are sports that I don't have a foothold in, which I suppose that's a metaphor with climbing in particular. They are sports, which I don't necessarily know very much about. So knowing that these conversations are being circulated within different sporting spaces is really nice because sometimes I feel like a bit of a bit uncomfortable being a voice within those space spaces rather. So yeah, it's really nice to know that the conversations are being heard there as well. Thank you.
ANESU: 10:45 And I suppose what made you decide on a podcast as your medium or form to share these views? I suppose there's a variety of different ways in which you could bring these people together and share these thoughts, but why podcasting? Because you do a lot around podcasts within your other work as well.
FRAN: 11:03 Yeah, I do a lot around podcasts. Anybody who has ever spoken to me in person will know how much I speak about podcasts. I like to speak about podcasts, I speak on podcasts, I write about podcasts, I do everything. But for me it does go back to my original podcast, seizure Adventure, that was about speaking to other people with epilepsy, doing adventure sports and adventure travel. And initially it was a blog. I was just doing blogs and sending Q and as out and that kind of thing. And it suddenly occurred to me that I was writing a blog, but I don't read blogs, which seemed a bit silly. You would never say to somebody write a book without having read a book. But I do listen to podcasts quite a lot and that is partly because I travel quite a lot, but I don't drive to place it. That doesn't make sense. You can listen to podcasts in cars, let's not tell people you can't listen to podcasts in cars.
12:09 One of the reasons that I started getting into podcasts was because I was doing quite a lot of travelling and I was actually commuting between Bristol and London, but that's a whole nother story and I get really travel sick when I'm kind of doing longer journeys like that. So I couldn't sit and read and I started listening to podcasts because of that. And I just love the fact that podcasts have long form conversations, they have in-depth conversations, but also it is a medium that you can very easily find niche shows. And I sometimes say that on the outside is a niche within a niche, within a niche because podcasting is still quite a niche. Media, outdoor sport is still quite niche in sport. And then we're having very niche conversations within that as well. So it really does feel like podcasting feels like the best way to actually have these conversations in a way that everybody can access them because you do have panel shows that talk about this kind of stuff sometimes at outdoor events like Kendall and other film festivals and other outdoors festivals, but how many people actually go to attend those versus how many people do the sports.
13:31 So having a podcast is having those panel shows in such an accessible way. And I just love them. I love podcasts
ANESU: 13:42 As a medium as well. I think the community has grown and I think more and more people are listening to podcasts nowadays and rely on them for as a source of information and news and perspective.
FRAN: 13:54 And I will say the stats back that up as well. It is still a growing medium.
ANESU: 14:01 And I suppose you mentioned Kendall Mountain Festival and one of our listeners said that was one of their favourite episodes was Annie's Kendall Mountain Festival interviews from 2022. It'd be great if you could touch a bit on that and maybe even discuss how within the past two years you've seen the outdoor world change and if it has changed, how it's changed and your thoughts and feelings on that.
FRAN: 14:26 Yeah, so I'll take it as a couple of different stages of that question there. So the Kendall Mountain Festival episode that Annie did, firstly, there is a whole story there in terms of actually getting some microphones up to her. I tried to post some microphones and I sent them to the wrong address and they ended up in Dublin. If you want to hear that story, get in touch with me. But that is some of the things that can go wrong when producing a podcast remotely. But I couldn't make it to Kendall Mountain Festival last year and Annie was going up and she was hoping to do some things for her own blog outside our way. And so I just kind of asked her, oh, if I can get some press room time, could you possibly do some recordings for on the outside as well? And she very kindly did that for me and I just asked her to tag on a few questions for people about how they found Kendall, particularly if they were there for the first time.
15:28 And I think it's really interesting. I thought it was a really important conversation to have because Kendall Festival is quite well known. It is one of the ones that I had wanted to go to for years and years and years, but never really felt comfortable. So again, just opening up that space a little bit and letting people hear other people's experiences of the festival, I thought was quite important. I am hoping to do that with more outdoors festivals and outdoors events. We'll see how much that works over the next year or so. But in terms of how I've seen the outdoors change, it's really difficult for me to judge to a certain extent because I wouldn't say that I was part of the outdoors community or three years ago I was doing quite a lot of stuff solo, I was doing lots of hikes and that kind of thing.
16:30 But really on the outside is the reason that I'm in the outdoors as a community and that that's from the folks on the podcast and in particular Soraya who does all the Elements, network, all the elements, network has so many different communities within it that it's just really nice to be able to keep up to date with what other people are doing. So in terms of how it's changed, I don't really know what it was like before cause I didn't feel like I was part of it, but certainly it's changed because I'm there. So maybe that's a difference.
ANESU: 17:12 I suppose you're pretty established in it now. Do you have any advice for anyone who's maybe going on hikes and doing a lot of silly things and would like to get more involved?
FRAN: 17:25 Yeah, I would say check out the affiliate groups and community groups because there much as there is a podcast for everything, I think there is now a community group for most things within the outdoors. And as we hear from the little mini episodes, the most recent mini episode of aga, there's new groups coming up all the time to fill gaps. So I would say all the elements, again, it has a resources page where you can find community groups. So if you are still kind of listening to these kind of shows but not quite venturing out, definitely reach out to community groups because I think they're great, essentially a really good way of just encouraging people and giving people confidence to get out there.
ANESU: 18:18 Yeah, that's great. And I think, I suppose if you can't find the group you need, you can always create it and start it because there's, like you said, there's so many new ones coming out. I suppose, oh, before I move on, actually, I haven't asked you, I think it's a bit asking someone to choose their Favourite child, butWhat are some maybe standout episodes as opposed to favourite episodes?
FRAN: 18:42 So some standout episodes there. Do you know what the episode on money was so important? I think, and it's one of the things which I constantly am referring back to, there are a lot of conversations happening in both content creation spaces, art spaces, outdoor spaces, activist spaces about where the money goes and who is keeping the money and who is getting the money. So I think that that conversation was a good conversation starter and I'd really like to thank Matt Bar for putting the blog post out that started it in the first place. It has been a conversation which had been happening almost privately between a lot of people that were talking about it and understood each other when they were talking about it. But having that episode that I can point people towards and hopefully other people can point organisers towards if they're ever asked to do anything for free, I think is one of the most important conversations.
19:51 In terms of the conversations that I really enjoyed, I mean there's quite a few, but the topless climbing one was quite a lot of fun. We had quite a lot of fun with that. And also the second episode, the second episode was such a wide range of very serious talk about racism and then having fun with some kind of stories about why the pentathlon is how it is. So I really like that in terms of the mix of stories. But yeah, there's so many just different conversations and so many people that have managed to speak to the video that we put out on Instagram with all of the faces of people that have been on the show. It really did make me realise we've had such a wide range of people and I've been in so lucky to be involved in so many of those conversations. Yeah,
ANESU: 20:54 Yeah, it's so powerful even putting that together because I think it's just nice to see all the parts of what makes it is and yeah, I can imagine that must have felt amazing. But those all sound like really good episodes. I've listened to a few of them, but I still have so many to go through, which
FRAN: 21:13 Yeah, quite a lot. So the fir 30th episode. 30th episode now.
ANESU: 21:20 And so the classic question, what's next? I suppose it's hard for you to see because you're so involved in it and yeah, what is next maybe for not just the podcast, but for the outdoor world and the podcast and maybe even for you personally?
FRAN: 21:39 Yeah, so obviously since I started on the outside in terms of podcasts and the work that I've been doing with that, I have launched the TREM Network, which is a load of small podcasts, independent podcasts, talking about different things within outdoors and adventure travel and nature in this kind of area and really trying to uplift the different voices within that space. We fairly recently launched the Outdoors Podcast Club as part of that, and that's been really fun to be able to try and help other podcasters get their stories out and get new interviews out and this kind of thing. So in terms of the work in general that I really want to do and see in the outdoor space, I would really just like to keep pushing for making sure that podcasts can be a force of good within the outdoor space and aren't just becoming old echo chambers for the same voices that you constantly hear.
22:48 So really pushing for that side of things. And on the outside in particular, I'm really hoping that I can get to a stage where it is a bit more sustainable in terms of doing more panels as it takes quite a lot of work to do some of the episodes and pull panels together and get four people on a phone call and this kind of thing. There's so much that I think needs talking about and lots of conversations that I've had to just put to the back burner because there isn't the capacity to make them just yet. But yeah, so many conversations. I want to talk about things like littering and kind of like trawling thing. I want to go into that in more detail. And I want to talk about name places, so different sports that we haven't really had on so much. So things like paddle boarding and water sports in particular is something I really need to get on and have plans to do. But yeah, so much that needs talking about that I want to talk about and hopefully we'll get to a space where we can do it more regularly as well.
ANESU: 24:05 That sounds like a great vision for the future. And I think we should definitely talk more about the outdoor podcast club because it's so exciting and maybe what's already gone on. And I think you described the aim and the vision for it really well in your previous answer, but it's such a great initiative that you've begun. If you wanted to delve a bit more into what can people expect from that?
FRAN: 24:32 So the outdoor podcast club is specifically aimed at independent podcasts who are within outdoor space, nature, anything that's to do with kind of adventure sports and that kind of thing. And we do have a good mix of podcasts within the club at the moment and some of the sessions that we do. So every month I run a session that just gives some hints and tips as to good ways to do podcasting within that space and specifically with that focus on diversity inclusion. So some of the sessions that I've run so far are how to interview as an ally and good ways to actually approach people for interviews and make sure you're representing everyone. If you've got interview podcasts, we've talked about simple ways to improve the quality, so to make sure that more people are finding it easy to listen, can people hear you if they're travelling in a car and this kind of thing. And we've talked about things that are very specific to outdoors podcasters as well. So if you have an outdoors podcast, one of the sessions we talked about was the fact that you're going to have very active listeners. So that means that not only are they choosing you, but also they are very likely going to be out and about when they're listening to you and how does that change the way that you're possibly making your podcast? So there's slightly more niche conversations, but it has been really good to just have that community of podcasters. Yeah,
ANESU: 26:07 Yeah. And I think it's great how that's come about from all the work and experience you've gained through this podcast. It's sort of a nice evolution forward. Was there anything you wanted to add about what are your feelings and sentiments about it being two years? I can imagine the time flies, I dunno where time goes, but recently for me personally, it feels like it's been going. And as a last sort of final note, is there anything in particular that you like big reflections from reaching two years?
FRAN: 26:42 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Time has no meaning to me anymore. It does not feel like two years. It feels like only yesterday that I was starting to approach people with this crazy idea of, oh hey, can you come and talk to me about stuff? Pretty much everyone that I approached said yes, which was quite incredible. And yeah, two years on the one hand, it feels like it's gone really quickly, but being able to look back on the episodes that we've made and actually counting up thir 30 episodes. And in terms of the people that have listened, we've had hundreds of people listening to every episode, and I think we're so close to 10,000 downloads in total, which is quite an achievement for an Indeed Niche podcast. Not that it's about the numbers, but I sometimes imagine all of those people in a room together and it's a big audience.
27:48 So thank you. If you are listening to this, the thing that I would say in terms of future achievements is just I just want the conversations to be heard far and wide, essentially. So if you do find anything in the show useful or do share it, share it with friends and family, share it on social media and please do give the feedback because sometimes it can feel a little bit lonely doing all the edits and stuff like that. The conversations are great, and then I edit and then it goes out. But having you and UE doing the social media and having someone to bounce that off has been lovely. Yeah, just being able to bounce off of listeners as well would be really nice.
ANESU: 28:38 Oh, well thank you very much for that. And I just wanted to say thank you for putting the space and this platform and bringing everyone together. I think that's always one of the big things of communities getting it started. And I've really enjoyed the podcast and working alongside the podcast.
29:02 It was lovely talking to Fran today. You can find the links to some of the episodes we discussed in our newsletter. If you're not currently getting our newsletter, you can sign up to that on the outside podcast.co.uk/newsletter. And if you have any stories you would like us to share, please tag us on social media on the outside pod or send us an email on the outside pod gmail.com and we'll do our best to share as many as we can. We still would love to hear from you about the three questions we had for our two year anniversary, so do send those in anyway. And this episode of On the Outside was produced and posted by Nesty McCannon Bingo. That's me. On the Outside Artwork is created by Sophie Nolan. Music is Bass Beats by Alex Norton and you who've been our listener. Thank you very much for listening.