When Seattleite Katy Sewall headed to Rome in 2013 for an extended stay, she and lifelong friend Tiffany Parks—who had already been living in Rome for a decade—decided to create a podcast about the experience. The “BitterSweet Life” audio broadcast, with new episodes every Monday, is a natural for Sewall, who spent nine years at KUOW-FM as a producer for Steve Scher’s Weekday program. Although Sewall is now back in Seattle, the two friends continue to examine the experience of living abroad.
Image by Christina Mallet
Podcast host and Town Hall program director, Katy Sewall
Seattle Magazine: How did you decide you wanted to create a podcast about living life as an expat?
Katy Sewall: I knew I wanted to get into podcasting in some way, and while I was there, I had the time to experiment.
SM: How would you describe your show?
KS: It’s really about curiosity and exploration and how much you change as a person if you take a giant risk to move somewhere where you’re slightly uncomfortable, as well as when you try to come home and people don’t understand what you’ve been through. It’s really just about the human rollercoaster of life.
SM: How has the podcast changed since you’ve returned to Seattle?
KS: It’s changed from being totally toward expats to being about both people who have done it and those who haven’t. There are people who have never lived abroad who listen to it all the time.
SM: What do you hope listeners will get out of your podcasts?
KS: You might end up dreaming a little bit bigger. I also hope you think about goals. Hopefully, there’s some universal touchpoint where you recognize yourself in what we are talking about. And I really hope you take away a curiosity about the world. My entire career, my whole goal has been to just tweak how people see the world in a tiny way.