Sunshine and Power Cuts: Living Off the Grid

Sunshine and Power Cuts: Living Off the Grid

I love finding podcasts that discuss things I know nothing about because that’s one of the biggest strengths of the medium: everything, including thousands of things you’ve never thought of, has a podcast. Talking to Heather Welch about her podcast Sunshine & PowerCuts reminded me of just how diverse podcasting is and I’m excited to tell you all about it!

I know, the title may not tell you much about what the show actually discusses, but a bit of Heather’s story may help clarify a bit. Heather has been living off the grid in rural New Zealand since 2011. That may seem easy to brush over, but she explained that “it’s not as easy or simple as you might think! None of [her] system is automated, so [she] manually [has] to adjust for whatever the weather is.” Heather runs her home off of solar energy and has had to learn a lot about nature in order to make off-the-grid living possible and even enjoyable, and she wanted a place to share her story as well as a creative outlet. While she was considering writing a book about her experiences Heather began searching for podcasts that matched her interests and along the way decided to start one, calling it Sunshine & PowerCuts.

Now, while off-the-grid living is a big part of Heather’s podcast, there is also a heavy emphasis on well-being, something she has had to learn a lot about on her journey. “It’s a little different because there are two types of episodes that alternate; Sunshine ones that share the learnings I’ve gained from relying on nature to power my home, and the PowerCut ones are the personal journal, the insights into what off-grid life has been like.” Heather sees a deep connection between listening to nature (a necessity in off-the-grid life) and learning to take care of oneself and powering one’s life. Of course, Heather said the show is “brought to you by a New Zealand accent” and “often described by others as being about mindfulness and wellbeing, and really relaxing on a stressful day.” Alongside learning how to live without powerlines, Heather has had to learn a lot about podcasting.

Obviously, “not having power and internet has sometimes been an issue,” Heather said. But also there’s time management and learning how to “capture good audio and craft the episodes with the information and examples in a concise and meaningful way.” There are also all the benefits of podcasting: “I enjoy doing the research into the themes I cover for the Sunshine Episodes… I also enjoy the social media aspect because it gives me an opportunity to visually share the nature connections I have and experience that empower me,” Heather said. Improving the show quality over time has been a really rewarding process and Heather is grateful her listeners have stuck with her to watch the show grow.

Those listeners are also one of Heather’s favorite parts of the show. “I have had the opportunity to hear from and connect with a wide range of people who may not necessarily have been looking for a podcast like mine, or on mindfulness but they came across it and have stuck around,” she said, and she’s excited to grow with them as the show continues. Connecting on social media and through the discord channels Heather has set up, the Sunshine & PowerCuts community is always growing. Heather is looking forward to that growth and to her second Sunshine Summit “where I connect with other content creators to recognize and share their experiences with making all sorts of different connections on their journeys” in both March and August. So, if you’re looking for community, curious about living off the grid, love nature, or are looking to improve your wellbeing, listen to Sunshine & PowerCuts and be sure to leave a rating and review to let Heather know what you think!

Chasing Pods is a Podchaser blog series dedicated to letting our readers know about podcasts they may not have heard of or provide a sneak peek into the making of their favorite podcast. We talk to podcast creators about their journey into podcasting, the creation of their shows, the ups and downs of the work, and what they’re looking forward to for their podcast

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