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The Great Escape Pod

The Great Escape Pod

By Expats In Van
Join Expats Mark, Owen & Ryan as they chat about life in a foreign land.
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"A bit of my own Tzatziki"
After many attempts, Ry has finally tempted his expat bud Greg onto the pod! After working as a chef in a Michelin star restaurant in Bath, UK, Greg explains why moving abroad gave a him a much needed reset on his work-life balance. He also chats about his online virtual cook-along show he hosted during lockdown, and tells the thrilling tale of how he and his fiancé Jess (friend of the pod) got their adorable new pup Skye after in intriguing trip across the border in Alberta!
June 04, 2022
"I said OK my last option is Canada...but I don't know much about Canada."
After a long period of 'post-production', we can finally treat our lovely listeners to our special guest Yann! Having grown up in Mexico City, but spending much of his youth at French immersion school, writer/director Yann has a mixture of cultures that have shaped him as an artist. He tells us why he chose Vancouver to pursue his passion as a filmmaker, and why Canada might not be the final stop on his creative life path.
March 16, 2022
"I wasn't just coming for a jolly, I wanted to come back a few rungs higher than when I arrived."
The Great Escape Pod kicks off 2022 with long time listener and first time guest Sam! Hailing from Poole, just outside of Bournemouth, UK, Sam came to Canada with his girlfriend without much of a plan outside their 2-week Airbnb booking. That being said, he was still keen to progress his film career in Vancouver (a.k.a North Hollywood), and now finds himself working as a VFX co-ordinator on top-tier shows like 'The Mandalorian.'
February 05, 2022
"The Border Officer emptied my bag everywhere!"
After a long and arduous courting process (and Ryan's initial rejection), The Great Escape Pod finally welcomes our good friend Tony! He tells Mark, Owen & Ry about a particularly spicy border patrol interrogation when he became a permanent resident, and how he's managed to shoot up the construction ranks since swapping Norwich for Vancouver over 4 years ago. 
November 05, 2021
“Everyday we were waking up to Kumbaya prayer circles.”
Ry's friend Katie joins the boys in the latest episode of The Great Escape Pod. Having an Australian passport thanks to her Australian mother, Katie's move down under from the UK was smoother than it is for most expats. As a professional historian, Katie and the lads dig deep into colonialism, what it means to be an expat living and travelling abroad, as well as her recent trip to visit ancient aboriginal lands in the outback.
August 18, 2021
"I quite like living where you can smell the horseshit"
In this episode, the boys are joined by Owen's long time friend Andy! They talk all things from trading the Humber Bridge to the Sydney Harbour, international medical research and becoming a YouTube star! Be sure to check out his YouTube channel Paper Round for debunking fake medical news.
June 10, 2021
"In my room I have a Coronation St street sign and a mug!"
In this unique episode, Mark, Ry & Owen chat to someone who made the opposite expat journey to themselves. Vancouver born Erica left Canada for the UK 3 years ago, and she tells the boys all about what made her make the switch (her love of Corrie played a part). She also shares her take on British cuisine, and tries to answer the big question...where is better to live, Canada, or the UK?
May 14, 2021
"I was on-site both times my school burned down...but it wasn't me!"
Season 2 of 'The Great Escape Pod' get's off to a flyer with special guest Fraser, who zooms in all the way from New Zealand. Growing up in Ripon, North Yorkshire, (the same hometown as Ry) Fraser takes on Owen's intense Ripon Trivia Quiz, and tells us how he's adapted to life on the opposite side of the world.
March 17, 2021
"He sent a blood-filled bakewell tart to the BBC execs!"
Mark, Owen & Ryan wrap up the end of season 1 in the second part of their two-parter. Listen in as Ryan becomes a radio DJ for the best part of two minutes and the lads catch up with friends and guests from all around the globe!
February 15, 2021
"After your 7th mint infusion tea's not the same buzz!
Mark finally returns from his service with the French Foreign Legion to pod with Ryan and Owen. They look back on 2020, and check in with some of the awesome guests that have helped make the first year of the Great Escape Pod so great. Hang on until the end for some major gossip!
January 26, 2021
The other thing about hammocks is, you need trees!
Ryan and Owen are joined by Hartlepool power couple Sarah and Josh. Listen as they talk all about their lives in Hartlepool, Australia, Canada and London. They delve deep into mountain biking, Harry Potter and camping!
December 10, 2020
What would happen if you put milk in a kettle?!
Owen and Ryan are this week joined by Vishal, a close friend of Ryan's. Listen as the boys deep dive into Vish's experiences as an Indian in both BC and the UK, Christopher Nolan and some top tips on how to make a cup of tea!
December 02, 2020
"Imagine reading through What's on TV and thinking, that's my night over!"
Ryan and Owen, are joined by Joe, their good friend and football teammate. Listen in as he talks Beef Monster Munch, brushes them up on the history of Portsmouth and talks in depth about the film industry in BC!
November 23, 2020
He switched girlfriends just as we switched countries!
Mark, Owen and Ry are joined by long-term expat and photographer Mark in this week's episode. Originally from Maidstone in Kent, Mark took the gamble to move to Canada 15 years ago, along with his wife and 2 children. He share his turbulent tale about adjusting to life in Vancouver, and how it could have been very different if not for a timely intervention from his 14-year-old son, a year into their family adventure!
November 06, 2020
"They paid people to move up North?"
Mark, Owen and Ry welcome their longest serving ex-pat onto the pod with Emma! Raised in Britain, but having spent most her life here in Canada, Emma is quick to point out many changes she has seen between the two nations and also in herself across that whole time, as she talks crisps, dialect and also her coming out experience. The expat panel also cover your questions on the East coast and West coast rivalry, and differences between the two.
October 09, 2020
Raising Private Ryan (Parent Pod Special) - Ian & Janet Galloway
Mark and Owen join Ry as he signs himself up for the 'worst therapy session of his life' by inviting his beloved parents Janet & Ian on the Great Escape Pod! They share all the tales of Ryan's intriguing childhood, as he was brought up on the military bases of Germany and Northern Ireland. They also face off in a classic Mr & Mrs showdown, and Janet educates us all on exactly what a 'Bluey' is!
August 16, 2020
"If I was single I wouldn't eat crisps..."
Mark, Owen and Ry welcome the first ever couple onto The Great Escape Pod with Sam and Charlie! 4 years into their marriage, and 2 years into their life in Canada, the pair share their tales of ups and downs when swapping the UK for Canada as newlyweds.  The expat panel also cover your questions on why it's surprisingly hard to be understood in another country that also has English as a first language.
July 18, 2020
"I was totally unqualified to operate the rollercoaster."
Mark, Ry and Owen make their first ever international podcast as they catch up with Scotsman Tommy, all the way from Wellington, NZ! A former housemate of Mark's, Tommy has lived as an expat in Australia, Canada, and now New Zealand. An immensely sociable Glaswegian, he shares his wisdom on how to start afresh in a new country, and quickly settle into life with friends new and old. He also explains why you should think again before you board a rollercoaster in the North of Canada!
July 03, 2020
"Dip Dab is a gateway drug."
The Great Escape Pod goes full Yorkshire this week as Mark, Ry & Owen welcome yet another Yorkshireman to the pod with special expat guest Kieran! Hailing from Doncaster, Kieran recounts his epic van travels across Canada, including exploding engines, road accidents flying green liquid! He also reveals how he ended up in Vancouver after leaving his high flying job in London, to start again in New Zealand.
June 06, 2020
"The French do good things with chicken."
The Great Escape Pod gets even more multicultural this week as the lads welcome on British French expat guest Seb! He chats about his globe trotting adventures in Brazil, a cross continent bicycle trip from the UK to Africa, and how he finally ended up in Canada on a francophile visa.
May 18, 2020
A Blue Peter badge is tantamount to a knighthood!
Special expat guest Jess joins the lads on this week's Great Escape Pod. She flexes hard about her granddad's golden Blue Peter badge (much more impressive than Mark's granddad inventing Monopoly).
May 07, 2020
"At Mexican parties, you have to kiss everyone."
The Great Escape Pod is graced by it's first ever Mexican guest, as filmmaker and scriptwriter Josefina joins Mark, Owen and Ry to chat about her recent move to Canada. She talks about how to navigate social gatherings in Mexico (it involves much kissing) and takes on Mark in Owen's epic film quiz. Will Mark be beaten yet again?
April 22, 2020
"I hadn't had a bowel movement in over a week!"
In the most Northern episode of the Great Escape Pod yet, Mark, Owen and Ry are joined by special expat guest Kyle, from Newcastle upon Tyne. He chats about getting bitten by the travel bug  after a trip to Kavos, Greece, and recalls an eventful hospital stay in Vancouver, which involved a 'jet wash' and hitting the emergency 'red button'. 
April 13, 2020
“He yelled at me in Arabic, then gave me a baby goat to hold.”
Special expat guest Scott joins the Mark, Ry & Owen to chat about his globetrotting shenanigans. An adventure sports instructor, Scott’s taught outdoor adventures in France, Dubai, Canada, and the exotic climbs on Norfolk, England. But which place is the most fun to live in?
April 02, 2020
“I've been in self isolation for 26 years!"
The Great Escape Pod might be in quarantine like the rest of the world, but that doesn't mean we won't stop bringing you awesome expat content! In this episode, Mark, Ry and Owen chat to Laura, a Vancouver nurse working during the COVID-19 pandemic. She tells us what its like on the frontline, and gives advice on how to stay safe. Meanwhile the lads chat about how they're keeping their spirits high whilst working from home! Be sure to give us a follow on social media @greatescapepod , and join in the expat chat by sending us an email at:
March 26, 2020
“You’ve probably got great taste in music and you’re polite!”
On this week's Great Escape Pod, the lads chat to special expat guest Sophie, who swapped the U.K. for Canada back when she was just 12! Who does high school better? Which country has a better sense of humour? And why is it better to smoke behind the bike sheds in Canada than in England? Join in the expat chat by sending your voice clips into The Great Escape Pod by following the link below! Or send us an email at:
March 20, 2020
"He was sat on the porch, dressed as me!"
The Great Escape pod returns with special Expat Guest Stefan! He chats with Mark, Owen and Ry about juggling jobs in Canada and the U.K, shares some hilariously awkward Facebook marketplace transaction tales, reveals some disturbing truths about living in the same flat as Mark. Want to join in the expat chat? Send your voice clips into The Great Escape Pod by following the link below! Or send us an email at:
March 10, 2020
“I don’t think my brain can even process sarcasm.”
The Great Escape Pod mixes up the format this week, inviting their first ever Canadian guest onto the show! BC born and bred, Italian-Canadian Cierrah talks about growing up in a country surrounded by expats. Ry and Owen also test her knowledge of the U.K, and we discover whether or not sarcasm exists in Canada. Want to join in the expat chat? Send your voice clips into The Great Escape Pod by following the link below!
February 22, 2020
“The ski instructor snapped my pole in half!”
The Yorkshire expats are SUPER happy to welcome back special guest Sally this week. She chats about the roller coaster ride of gaining Canadian Permanent Residency, encounters with Richard the Raccoon and the ins and outs of bear spray. Want to join in the expat chat? Send your voice clips into The Great Escape Pod by following the link below!
February 14, 2020
"NOONE has a floppy crumpet!"
Mark, Owen and Ry welcome Expat Special Guest Alex onto the Great Escape Pod to chat crumpets, the reality of settling in a new country, and whether UK Theme Parks are better than their North American counterparts. Want to join in the expat chat? Send your voice clips into The Great Escape Pod by following the link below! Or if you prefer getting in touch via email, send your expat stories to: Finally, for updates on new episodes and more, be sure to follow the pod on Facebook and Instagram @greatescapepod
February 10, 2020
"And then they brought out the sniffer dog."
This week we're SUPER happy to be joined by expat special guest Sally. She joins Mark, Owen & Ry to chat about driving abroad, and getting into all sorts of bother when crossing the US border.
January 29, 2020
"My Granddad's cousin invented Monopoly"
Mark, Owen & Ryan are joined by long awaited expat guest Julian, who helps them get to the bottom of Mark's rather outlandish claim to board game fame.
January 23, 2020
“Can you ever trust a cheese hater?"
Mark, Owen & Ryan are joined by their first ever special expat guest as they chat snakes, visa vibes, and whether beer is better in 'Home or Away'. Also, hop on the Escape Pod Promo train with Ryan on instagram @greatescapepod
January 15, 2020
Resolution, Reflection & Prediction
Mark, Owen & Ryan are back with tales of trips to the UK, and they take a look ahead at what could be a much ‘heavier’ year in 2020.
January 11, 2020
Xmas Special - "I loved meeting elves in the woods"
Enjoy our Christmas Special of 'The Great Escape Pod!'. In this cracker of an episode, expats Mark, Owen and Ryan discuss peculiar christmas traditions from around the globe, as well as a few of their own Xmas expat tales.
December 22, 2019
"He watched me cook in his pants."
Welcome the first ever episode of 'The Great Escape Pod!'. Join the Expat roundtable of Mark Masterton, Owen Ramirez and Ryan Galloway, who chew the fat on what it is to live abroad in Vancouver, Canada. In this debut episode, the lads introduce themselves, and discuss the strange living arrangements they encountered after moving abroad.
December 20, 2019