Leyla Alyanak: World Traveler, Founder of Women on the Road

This week, Renata talks to Leyla Alyanak. Leyla is a world traveler, a blogging pioneer, and the mind behind the website Women on the Road. Twenty years ago, Leyla left everything she knew to travel the world solo and make a living as a freelance reporter. Today, at sixty-four, she continues to explore the world and shares her adventures and learnings on her blog.

Leyla in one of her trips to Istanbul, Turkey. Photo courtesy of Leyla Alyanak

Naomi Wachira: Singer-Songwriter

This week, Renata talks Naomi Wachira, an Afro-folk singer-songwriter whose music speaks of hope and celebrates humanity. She has played to thousands of people in music festivals in Nairobi, and in 2013, she was voted Seattle Weekly’s best folk singer. In this episode, Naomi talks about the decisions she’s made and risks she’s taken to get where she is today.


Naomi and her daughter, Aiyana. Photo by Janell Kallander


Photo by Bryan Tucker

Monica Guzman: Co-Founder and Editor of The Evergrey

This week, Renata talks to Monica Guzman. Monica is a journalist and the co-founder and editor of the Evergrey, a daily newsletter that helps people in Seattle make the most of the city. Monica is a 2016 Neiman Fellow at Harvard University, and has written for multiple publications including GeekWire, The Daily Beast and The Seattle Times. She’s also an expert in community engagement – both online and off. If she’s not writing for the Evergrey, you’ll probably find her meeting with her readers in some coffee shop around the city.

Monica Guzman. Photo by Jason Preston

Larry Cheek: Boatbuilder, Writer, Teacher

This week, Renata talks to Larry Cheek, a writer who became fascinated with the abundance of water in the Seattle region and found a new passion: boatbuilding. Approaching his seventieth birthday, Larry is now building his fourth and biggest boat yet.

Boat “Nil Desperandum” at dock. Photo Courtesy of Larry Cheek

Written by Lawrence W. Cheek:

  • The Year of the Boat: Beauty, Imperfection, and the Art of Doing It Yourself, Sasquatch Books 2008
  • Mesa Verde: The Living Park, Mesa Verde Museum Association 2007
  • Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona, Rio Nuevo 2006
  • The Navajo Long Walk, Rio Nuevo 2004
  • Kokopelli, Rio Nuevo 2004
  • Vast and Intimate: Connecting With the Natural World, Arizona Highways 2002
  • Nature’s Extremes: Eight Seasons Shape a Southwestern Land, Arizona Highways 2000
  • Sedona: Official Guide to Red Rock Country, Arizona Highways 1999
  • David Muench’s Arizona, Arizona Highways 1998
  • Santa Fe (the Compass American Guide), Fodor’s 1995
  • Arizona (the Compass American Guide), Fodor’s 1994
  • Photographing Arizona, Arizona Highways 1994
  • A.D. 1250: Ancient Peoples of the Southwest, Arizona Highways 1994

Edited by Lawrence W. Cheek

  • Pugetopolis: A Mossback Takes on Growth Addicts, Weather Wimps, and the Myth of Seattle Nice, by Knute Berger (collection), Sasquatch Books 2009
  • Arizona Highways Photography Guide, Arizona Highways 2008
  • Seasons of the Coyote: Legend and Lore of an American Icon (anthology),      HarperCollins West 1994

Susie Lee: Artist, Entrepreneur and More

This week, Renata talks to Susie Lee. Susie is an artist, scientist, educator, entrepreneur, a karate black belt, and she recently became a mother. The dating app she created – called Siren – was awarded the GeekWire app of the year in 2015 and secured her company significant attention in the public eye. Among the events she spoke at, Susie was a presenter at the Grace Hopper conference and Tedx Rainier. In this interview, Susie talks about becoming an artist, creating and closing a company, and how motherhood is giving a new meaning to her art.

Photo by Jia Wertz