Who Needs the Developed World?

Naked and Afraid | Beyond Where Roads Reach | Never Again to the United States

DIRECT LINK TO MP3 (76 minutes)

Cassandra “Cassie” DePecol (8:19), Charlotte Groarke (26:52), Niels Gerson Lohman (57:24).

Naked and Afraid, a television show on the Discovery Channel, takes survival of the fittest to a new level. The premise is for a man and woman to find themselves stranded and exposed to some of the worlds most extreme environments. The show organizers leave duos high and dry for three weeks, with no food, no water, no clothes, and only one tool of their choice.


Cassandra “Cassie” DePecol (pictured above) was watching the show on a Sunday night and decided to participate, as a new adventure. After a month-long selection process, she was on her way.

Now that the challenge is over and she is back in the United States, she shares her thoughts on how she has managed to live a more interesting and less conventional life. The hardest part, she says, is just getting up and doing it. She is eager to do so — to travel and explore — while she is free, young, and has the time.

Letters from Doig

Niels Gerson

Charlotte Groarke, is the grandmother of the host, Fergus Hodgson — originally from Ireland, but a long-time immigrant in Canada. In her first years there, she joined her husband on a remote Indian reservation in northern British Columbia, before settling after a few years in Calgary, Alberta, where she still resides.

The motivation for her traveling so far was her four young boys, including a set of triplets. Her husband was a teacher, and he was struggling to bring in enough to maintain the family. If he was willing to rough it, there were better-paying opportunities on the frontier of Canada.

He left one year ahead of her, and eventually she joined him in Rose Prairie, to the east of the Canadian Rockies. That time was difficult, she says, but you do what you have to survive, and they had little choice.

Now, almost 60 years later, she is sharing that life of an immigrant in no-mans-land of Canada — including how she gave birth there, without a doctor or even a midwife. Her book is Letters from Doig River school: To My Dear Ones in Ireland, 1955-1958.

Niels Gerson Lohman, is a traveling author, and in 2013 he found himself in a dustup when he sought to enter the United States. Such was his distaste with the treatment he received, he wrote about the experience and why he would never return.

The article, which went viral, describes his many hours of harassment, one of the worst experiences of his life — and he is not alone. After being rejected and disappointed, he says, the world is big, and he’ll be glad to go to different countries.

María Estrada About María Estrada

María Estrada, the Latin Dreamer, works as an assistant with The Stateless Man, while she studies business administration. Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she is originally from Guatemala and has integrated travel into her life. Follow @MariaEstradaS.

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