Katie and I started the podcast about four years ago, after we’d been in Finland for a few months. It was originally intended to be an audio letter to our friends in the United States, they they could hear our voices and know that we were doing okay. In fact, for a while the name of the podcast was “Proof of Life”. It was inspired by the tapes that Katie’s father, a United States Marine, would record and send home to the family when he was stationed in faraway places.
The other reason we did it was because, at that time, we both had hectic schedules. It was a luxury to be able to sit down and have a cup of coffee and a conversation. There were literally weeks when the only time we sat down to talk about non-essential household things was when we were doing the podcast.
Over time things have leveled out a lot. Currently, we both work from home. Katie’s only gone one or two days a week, not six. There’s no need to schedule time to chat about how things are going and what’s on our mind. The people that we originally thought would listen to the podcast, don’t. We’ve mostly been making this for strangers, which changed the dynamic a lot and, frankly, is kind of weird sometimes.
No Podcast Today
There are two types of episodes that people listen to. I’ve looked over the numbers. The first are the episodes about Finland. Finns want to hear what we think. The other type are what I call the “explainers”, where we try to make sense of American culture and politics. There are only a handful of people that listen to episodes about anything else. You know what I hate talking about? American culture and politics. You know what I’m uncomfortable talking about? Finland, because I don’t was to sound like an ignorant, ugly American.
It’s a good thing that we don’t care whether anyone is actually listening or not. We do the podcast for fun. It’s not monetized. We don’t get ad revenue, there are no sponsors, nothing is being sold. But if we don’t care if anyone is listening, why bother doing it?
On Saturday morning, when we normally record, we just didn’t feel like it. We decided we’d rather have our coffee in the living room and watch cartoons. Neither of us felt a burning sense of loss. Does that mean we’re done? We don’t know. Next week we might have a topic we’re burning to share our thoughts on. I do think it’s over in terms of being a regular weekly thing.