Would you consider travelling somewhere with no wi-fi or GPS? Or no mobile phone signal at all? How about living there? In the first episode of series four of our podcast series, The Rough Guide to Everywhere, we explore the sleepy mountain village of Green Bank, USA. This small, intriguing town in West Virginia is unlike any other: mobile phones, digital cameras and even microwaves are all banned.

Wondering why? Green Bank is home to the National Radio Free Quiet Zone, where scientists monitor the goings-on in space via huge, white telescopes. With vast stretches of open land and low light pollution levels, Green Bank is the perfect base for this kind of activity – but the monitoring programme requires minimal radio wave levels – so most electromagnetic and radio broadcast equipment is banned. Needless to say, the pace of life in Green Bank can be… slow.

Rough Guides Podcast: Episode 1

In this episode, Aimee White speaks to two of Green Bank’s residents, Bob Sheets and Diane Schlou, about what life in the slow lane is really like and why people choose to relocate to a communications black hole.

Aimee also speaks to Andrew Phelps and Paul Krantzler, two photographers who visited Green Bank, who share their experiences, including having to use cigarette lighters as torches and the sheer level of quietness in town. Which led us to thinking – with social media now such a large part of showing off our latest trip or inspiring our next one, photographs stored online and GPS map-tracking devices navigating our way from A to B, could we survive a trip without our phones? Could you?

Subscribe to The Rough Guide to Everywhere on iTunesSoundcloud or Spotify. The second episode on the series will be out on the 20th May.

We’d love to hear from you!  Get in touch via Twitter using #roughguidespod, and please do rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Thanks to Bob Sheets, Diane Schou, Andrew Phelps and Paul Krantzler for taking the time to talk to us; and to our producers Alannah Chance and Femi Oriogun-Williams of Reduced Listening (reducedlistening.co.uk).

Book your trip with Rough Guides

Tailor-made travel planned by local experts

At Rough Guides, we understand that experienced travellers want to get truly off-the-beaten-track. That’s why we’ve partnered with local experts to help you plan and book tailor-made trips that are packed with personality and stimulating adventure - at all levels of comfort. If you love planning, but find arranging the logistics exhausting, you’re in the right place.

Learn Morechevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs