Brendan Francis Newnam travels the world in search of dinner dates with strangers in his new podcast ‘Not Lost’

Society & Culture May 14, 2022
Listen to ‘Not Lost’

If you’ve been missing the popular podcast from American Public Media “The Dinner Party Download,” well, join the club. When Brendan Francis Newnam’s popular podcast and long-term relationship ended, Brendan found that he had a lot of free time. So he embarked on his ultimate dream: travel to a new city and get invited to a stranger’s house for dinner.

Which is kind of a weird dream, but when it’s in podcast form we can’t complain! “Not Lost” is his new podcast where he and a friend embark on an ambitious adventure to snag an exclusive invite into a stranger’s home. Oh, and to see the world, meet new people who share this planet, and learn as much as they can about new cultures during their escape.

“Not Lost” is a new podcast from Pushkin Industries, the same podcasting studio that’s brought us classics like “Revisionist History,” “A Slight Change of Plans,” and “Against the Rules with Michael Lewis,” along with many more. In “Not Lost,” Brendan is traveling around the world to cities big and towns small to learn as much as he can about their history and their residents. Episodes are just 45 minutes long.

Like so many of us, when two huge aspects of Brendan’s life slipped through his fingers, he decided to make his escape. He hit the road with a good friend and some microphones and began recording the travel podcast he’d always wanted to make. Every week (on this podcast, not sure what his real timeline was), he and a new friend travel somewhere new, meet the locals, and see if they can snag that elusive dinner party invite.

From Montréal to Montana, Mexico City to New Orleans, Brendan tries to see if getting lost in a new city can make him feel a little less lost about everything else. He and his friends speak with plenty of tour guides and Uber drivers, meet priests, comedians, and masseuses, and find out all that they can about these new cities.

In the first episode of “Not Lost,” Brendan and his absolutely delightful friend Danielle travel to Montréal, where they learn about strange relationship between Francophone Canada and Anglophone Canada, visit Leonard Cohen’s house (which doesn’t have a rollercoaster encircling it like it would in America), and escape to a Nordic spa. They meet up with comedian, writer, and actress Tranna Wintour who brags about how affordable the city is (she pays 600 Canadian dollars a month. 600! Canadian!!) and how sexually charged it somehow always feels (you’ll have to listen to find out what she means by that).

“Not Lost” is an extremely easy listen, especially if you’re looking to scratch that travel itch. Every episode is filled with a colorful cast of characters who tell us what drew them to their city and what’s kept them there. It’s funny, vibrant, joyful, and not overly scripted; Brendan always seems to know how to pull the most interesting stories out of anyone he meets on the street.

Also, it turns out that getting invited to a stranger’s dinner party is much more difficult than you’d think. Brendan and co. get turned down a shocking amount of times, whether its because of a violently over-protective Chihuahua or the fact that this Canadian masseuse simply doesn’t want strangers in her home. Charming, unique, and definitely worth a listen, “Not Lost” is your next podcast obsession.

Listen to ‘Not Lost’

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