On July 1, 2020, a world traveler who was grounded by an international pandemic made the business and personal decision to launch the podcast he wanted to listen to.
One year later, he’s celebrating the one-year anniversary of his podcast.
Learn more about years, anniversaries, and the Everything Everywhere Daily podcast on the one-year anniversary episode of Everything Everywhere Daily.
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This episode might seem sort of disjointed, but everything has to do with the theme of this podcast’s one-year anniversary.
With that being said, let’s start with the idea of what a year is.
The definition of a year is simple enough. It is the time it takes for a planet to complete one orbit around its star.
Different planets have years of different lengths. A year on Mercury only takes 88 days. A year on Neptune takes about 165 Earth years.
Believe it or not, there is more than one way to measure a year on Earth.
Humans have traditionally measured a year from solstice to solstice. What they were measuring wasn’t the Earth going around the sun, because many early humans had no clue that the Earth was going around the sun. They were just measuring the length of daylight and the position of the sun in the sky. This is also sometimes called a tropical year.
This tropical year is what we base our calendars on and I think most people intuitively understand it. The official definition of a tropical year is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds.
However, a tropical year actually doesn’t quite meet the definition of a year that I just mentioned. It isn’t measuring the Earth making one full orbit around the sun. It’s measuring the sun’s position in the sky, which is not quite the same thing.
If you remember back to my episode on Milankovitch Cycles, which I literally just republished yesterday, there is something called axial procession. That is the wobble in the tilt of the Earth’s axis.
If we measure the Earth’s orbit not based on where the sun is in the sky, but rather where the Earth is against the background of the stars, it is called a sidereal year.
A sidereal year is approximately 20 minutes shorter than a tropical year. When we measure the time it takes for other planets to orbit the sun, we are always using sidereal years.
There is also another definition called an anomalistic year. This measures the time it takes the Earth to go from its extreme points in its orbit. Because the Earth doesn’t orbit the sun in a perfect circle, it is the time it takes between its closest or farther point.
This too isn’t the same as a tropical or sidereal year, because the closest and furthest points in the orbit are moving around the sun in a process called precession. Again, I’ll refer you to the Milankovitch Cycle episode.
An anomalistic year is a bit under 5 minutes longer than a tropical year.
OK, so we’ve tackled the concept of a year.
Next, we need to address the concept of anniversaries.
The word anniversary comes from Latin and the word anniversarius and it is made from the words annus, which means year, and versus, which means turning.
So, if you ever want to be that person, if someone says they are celebrating a 6 month anniversary or a 6 week anniversary, you can smugly tell them that, that is impossible because an anniversary literally means an annual celebration.
Weddings and birthdays are the anniversaries that are most commonly celebrated. In the case of weddings, there are traditional gifts which are given.
There are different lists out there for what gifts are supposed to be given based on what year anniversary is being celebrated.
The supposed modern gift for a one-year anniversary is a clock. I supposed an ultra-modern gift would be an atomic clock.
This whole idea of having different gifts for every year of an anniversary is a rather new invention. It only goes back to 1937, and, surprise, it was created by the American National Retail Jeweler Association.
So, we’ve covered what a year is, and what an anniversary is. Now, we’ll finish the topic by discussing this podcast.
The idea for this show actually goes back a few years. The initial idea was a weekly or biweekly show that went super in-depth on a single topic. Similar topics to what I do now, but fewer, much longer shows. I had created a list of episode ideas and I began doing research.
I found myself with enough material for something like a 2 or 3-hour show. A show that long is difficult to create, difficult to produce, and most importantly difficult to keep someone’s attention.
I had already paid for the artwork and theme music, but I decided to put the project aside and just focused on my travel website, and doing travel photography.
When the pandemic hit, it hit me really hard because I had all my eggs in the basket of the travel industry. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that the entire travel and tourism industry could just disappear.
Yet, that is exactly what happened. People stopped traveling. Travel companies stopped all advertising and marketing campaigns. People even stopped researching or thinking about travel. Moreover, I had some high-level contacts at companies, and talking to them, I realized just how bad this was going to get.
As it so often happens, you don’t change what you are doing unless you are placed in a position where you are forced to change.
The pandemic gave me the opportunity to rethink everything I was doing, and what I was going to do going forward.
I thought about why I enjoyed traveling so much. It wasn’t traveling per se. I didn’t particularly care about hotels and airlines. I never wrote about most of the things which are the subject of most travel content. I really traveled to learn. That is why most of my travels were centered around visiting historical sites.
I realized that traveling wasn’t the end in and of itself, it was the means for me to explore and learn about new things.
I went back to the idea of the podcast I had and I revisited the idea. The idea of a 2-hour show might work for Dan Carlin, but it probably was going to be difficult to launch a show like that.
I figured maybe I could do a 180 and instead of doing a really long show, which other people are already doing, I could instead do a shorter form show, and release it more frequently.
Moreover, I figured I’d be uniquely suited to do such a show. I have had a pretty broad education, and I’m extensively read about far too many subjects. On top of all that, I’ve spent 15 years traveling around the world picking up information and stories everywhere I went.
I pitched the idea of a daily show to some of my friends with successful podcasts. They all pretty much said the exact same thing: it sounds like a great idea, but it sounds like an incredible amount of work.
Well, I wasn’t doing anything else, so the work didn’t scare me.
I sat down and created a list of 100 show ideas, and I just got to work.
I published the first show on July 1 just because it marks the midpoint of the calendar year so it made it easy to track analytics.
Since then, it’s been difficult to get out shows some days. I have published enough episodes now that I can post a past show if I can’t get a show out on a particular day, but I try to avoid doing that more than a few times a month.
I currently have a list of 416 show ideas and the list grows faster than I can produce shows, which I suppose is a good thing.
As for the show, I guess it’s done OK for its first year. I’ve had a ? of a million total downloads in the first year.
From the statistics I’ve seen, I can safely say that the show is in the top 5% of all podcasts, but determining the size of the entire podcast sector is more of a black art than a science.
Tomorrow, I’ll be back at recording and getting to work at year two.
The associate producer of Everything Everywhere Daily is Thor Thomson.
Instead of doing an entire question and answer show, I figured I’d just answer questions at the end of the show as they come in, just as I read podcast reviews.
Today’s question comes from 10-year-old Enid who is a fan of the show. Her father sent me her question which is “What is a normal day for you?”
Well, Enid, since I started doing the podcast, my days have become really weird. Because I need to get a show out every day, I find myself staying up later and later every night. I now usually go to bed at around 4 or 5 in the morning. The last thing I do before I go to bed is record and post the podcast. I am literally writing this at 4:30 in the morning.
Because I go to bed so later, I also get up really late.
I try to go swimming every day at the local YMCA and I also try going for a walk for about 30 minutes a day.
Writing and researching a show will usually take me about 3-6 hours, depending on the show subject and how distracted I am while writing it.
I’m going to try and get my sleep schedule back to normal if for no other reason than I’m not getting as much sleep as I should.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com or you can send me a direct message on Twitter or Instagram.