English vocabulary about adventure and overcoming challenges – Podcast

Vocabulary about adventure and overcoming challenges in the new episode of our podcast: Learn English with Everest.

Everest Podcast - Vocabulary about adventure and overcoming challenges
Amy O’Dwyer, presenter of Learn English with Everest Podcast

English vocabulary about adventure and overcoming challenges – Podcast

Podcast: Episode 1 of our new season of podcasts

Welcome to Everest’s new podcast series where we can experience together a little of the highs and lows and ins and outs of life. In these podcasts, we will listen to real stories from real people, hear about interesting topics from Ireland and around the globe, and get some advice, tips and ideas for ways to change how we live.

Each episode comprises three parts and our accompanying blog posts here will provide you with the scripts and a glossary for each episode. 

While listening to this week’s episode, listen out for vocabulary about adventure and overcoming challenges. We have highlighted this vocabulary below.

Episode 1 – Challenges

In our first episode, we will be talking about life challenges. We will hear a personal story, listen to an account of the challenges faced by a famous writer, and get to grips with a challenge you might find yourself facing in your efforts to learn English in Ireland.

Script from today’s episode

Life is full of challenges. Some of these we face on a daily basis. While others make a bigger impact. Whether it’s setting up your own business, learning to swim, moving to a new country, getting the courage to perform in front of a crowd, or scaling a mountain, these moments can shape your life. 

On this episode, we are talking challenges. 



Four years ago, almost to the day, I accepted a challenge. A friend of mine was putting together a small team of people to do something that none of us had done before. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Without thinking too much about it, I jumped at the chance. Who doesn’t love a new adventure? In less than a year’s time, I would be packing up, and heading across the world to start a trek through the foothills of the Himalayas, to Everest Base Camp.


The adventure begins in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and known as the City of a thousand temples. The team are tired after the journey, yet giddy with excitement for what lies ahead. From here we take a flight to Lukla, the starting point of the trek. In a plane just big enough to hold 12 of us, we navigate the narrow valleys and land at the world’s most dangerous airport, which boasts a runway of a tiny 527 metres. From here we start walking. You won’t see any traffic anymore, except for yaks, donkeys, locals carrying triple their weight in produce, and lots of fellow trekkers, porters and guides.


It is hard to describe the ever changing landscape as we climb higher, the temperature drops, the smells, the air quality. But one thing is for sure, we have left Ireland behind. We pass imposing gorges, with rivers gushing through them, we cross rope bridges, we pass temples, we walk, and we keep walking, we go up, we go down, and we start to acclimatise. We mostly stay in tea houses along the way, and nothing is more welcomed than some harty grub after a day’s walking. You walk on average 7-8 hours per day.


I’m making it sound easy, but as you climb higher, there is an ever increasing risk of altitude sickness, this affects your sleep, your appetite, your energy and ultimately your breathing. 

By the time we will reach Base Camp, our lung capacity will have dropped by 70%, two of our team will have turned back due to altitude sickness, and a further two will be helicoptered out after reaching Base Camp. This leaves just five of us on our descent, throw in a chest infection, and impending tonsillitis, you can see the challenges were far from over, and we were still walking! 


It took 7 days to ascend, with 2 days of rest, and  three to get back down. And once our feet were firmly back in Kathmandu we were able to celebrate. What an achievement. I had reached my highest point to date, 5545 metres.



There are so many challenges that you face when moving to a new country, especially when you are trying to learn a new language. Ireland is famed for the friendliness of its people, and their kindness, but what you might find difficult, is understanding us!


Most of the time, students arriving in Ireland will come with a basic knowledge of English. Maybe you studied it at school, or watched a few English language films. However when you land, the reality is a bit different. The accent is not what you expected, and there are phrases you have never heard before.  

But don’t panic. Keep calm. You got this. Here are a few tips to help you get that accent on your ear:

Watch Irish TV Shows and Films: Try to watch them without the subtitles, or at least with subtitles in English first, this will give you two separate routes to understanding – both visual and auditory. And if you watch them over and over, you get more familiar with the accent and understand the phrases. Win. Win.

Listen to local radio:  Soon the radio announcer will become clearer, and get easier to understand, or why not follow Irish youtubers? No matter what they are talking about, listen out for new vocab and phrases.

Listen to podcasts: If you are listening to this, well you are already on the right track! While you are out for a walk why not tune in to an Irish podcast. Listening to audio with an Irish accent, especially those with transcripts, can really enhance your listening skills.

Finally chat away to your neighbours, the man in the local shop, and get practicing!

Need a few phrases to help you out?

What’s the Craic? – This is a direct translation from the Irish language and means fun. We use it to ask you how you are, or what’s happening? 

Grand, Delighted or Class – Grand is probably used the most out of all three of those words. It means fine.  Delighted is used in a similar way to ‘love to’, for example ‘I would be delighted to go to the concert’,  and you use class when something is amazing, ‘that was class’.

Gas – When something is hilarious or funny or just fun – it is gas.

Wrecked – You will hear Irish people say this when they are referring to how tired they are.

Yoke – This is another word for something you don’t know the name of or what to call it, like thingamajig; or that thing, Irish folk will call it a yoke.

Your man/your one – This is not related to your actual man, or your husband or boyfriend. But rather refers to ‘some guy’.

 No Bother – This saying is similar to the way some countries would say ‘no worries’. It means something is no trouble at all.

come here to me –  When Irish people say “come’ere” they just mean listen, no need to actually “come here”. 

Hopefully all of these will all help you overcome the challenges of understanding english in Ireland!



We are often faced with rejection. Maybe you didn’t get the job you were hoping for, maybe you didn’t get the promotion at work, or the part in the school show, or picked for the sports team. But it is how you face this rejection that can be the making of you. 

Today, muggles of all ages can’t imagine a world without the magic of Harry Potter but, once upon a time, J.K. Rowling wasn’t so sure. 

She was faced with lots of adversity and overcame lots of challenges on her way to becoming a multi award winning  author. 

Soon after she first had the idea for Harry Potter, her mother passed away and she found it hard to write while she was grieving. For a change of scenery she then took a job teaching English in Portugal and set a goal for herself: The first Harry Potter book will be complete by the time she returns from Portugal.

Things however  did not go as planned. During this time, her marriage ended and she was now faced with raising a baby daughter alone, and so came back to England. She had no job, no book, and a baby to support. This is when she says she hit rock bottom. She struggled with depression during this time, but nevertheless she followed her dream and started writing again.

When she finally finished the first three chapters, she sent the manuscript off to a publisher – but it was rejected. She then sent it to another, who also passed on the project. Her manuscript was sent to 12 different publishers before Bloomsbury took a chance on Harry Potter, and the rest, as they say, is history.

After 20 years, and 500 million books sold all over the world in 80 languages, the books still have the power to transport us to a whole new world and will continue to do so for generations to come.

Glossary – vocabulary about adventure and overcoming challenges

This glossary accompanies Episode 1 of the podcast series and will provide short definitions of words and terms you heard or read which may be new or unfamiliar to you. By studying this vocabulary about adventure and overcoming challenges you will be able to understand this podcast episode and to talk about your own great plans for travel and adventure.



  • Highs and lows – the good times and the bad times
  • Ins and outs – the small details
  • Get to grips with – understand or deal with something

Story One:

  • daily basis – a term that means ‘every day’
  • scaling a mountain – climbing a mountain
  • a once in a lifetime opportunity – an experience unlikely to occur more than once in a person’s life
  •  jumped at the chance – to immediately accept an offer
  • heading across the world – travelling across the world
  • giddy with excitement – so happy or excited you find it hard to think or act normally
  • what lies ahead – a term that means ‘in the future’
  • imposing – impressive in appearance, causes admiration
  • Gushing rivers – flowing rivers
  • far from over – still so much more to be done

Story Two:

  • over and over – repeatedly
  • Win. Win. – Good for everyone involved
  • on the right track – following a course that is likely to result in success

Story Three:

  • be the making of you – if something is the making of a person it is the reason that they become successful or better than they used to be.
  • passed away – to die
  • hit rock bottom – a time or event in life that causes a person to reach their lowest possible point and it feels like things cannot get any worse.
  • passed on the project – phrase that means they did not take the project on

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