Episode 16: Orange is Optimism

Featuring Kit Whistler

Kit Whistler is probably the sweetest rebel you’ll ever meet.

When she first hit the road in 2010, it was in response to the physical stagnation she felt as a college student-- which resulted in a year of farmwork and backpacking around the States, and led her to discover parts of herself, and the land around her that she is now deeply connected to.

Later on, when traditional “adult life” off the road didn’t work, she hit the road again in 2012, this time with the expressed ambition to do nothing. To practice being idle. And in creating that space, Kit began the inner work many of us are afraid to do-- confront our fears and move forward in growth, learning that optimism is the most rebellious act we can take on as humans and finding ways to share that in any way she could. Her journey as a writer, a philosopher, and an optimist are all wrapped up in her travels on the road, and in this episode she shares pieces of her internal and external experiences.

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In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • The experience that first prompted Kit to travel in her camper, Sunshine

  • How to get started working with local farmers while traveling

  • Some of the benefits of WWOOFing and Kit’s experience

  • Kit shares what it was like to practice being idle for an entire year

  • What books have deepend Kit’s knowledge of and reflections on idleness

  • Approachable ways to get started in meditation or stillness

  • Some approaches to overcoming fear and self-judgement in your every day

  • Kit shares a surprising story about her first writing class in college

  • Some insights on what it’s like for Kit to share with a broad online community

  • What inspired “Orange is Optimism”, the book Kit and J.R. created

  • Why it’s crucial-- and radical-- to choose to be an optimist

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Photos (L&R) by J.R. Switchgrass

Photos (L&R) by J.R. Switchgrass

Kit and kale

Kit and kale

Kit and Sunshine warming by a campfire — photo by Laura Hughes

Kit and Sunshine warming by a campfire — photo by Laura Hughes

Kit ready for her interview — photo by Laura Hughes

Kit ready for her interview — photo by Laura Hughes

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Music for this episode is by Alexander, Josh Woodward, Jason Shaw.

WOTR podcast logo designed by Dani Opal.


Hailey Hirst