On this week’s Radio Headspace, we’ll be talking to two people taking on challenges so beyond our normal human experience that they are entirely without precedent. And yet somehow at their core there is something in their stories that we can all relate to.

We talk to Jamie Ramsay who joins us from the side of the road in Mexico, where he is several thousand kilometers into an 18,500 km solo run from Vancouver to Buenos Aires – a route that, as far as he knows, no one has attempted to run ever before, and will take well over a year to complete.

When Jamie was passing through California last year he stopped by the Headspace office, and we’ve been following his journey ever since. What he’s found out so far about people, the planet, and the universal power of a smile applies to all of us, whatever physical or mental journey we’re taking on this year.

And then I’ll be talking to Kellie Gerardi in New York. Kellie is a candidate for 2024’s proposed Mars One mission – aiming to found the first human settlement on Mars, and create a new territory for humans in the universe. As current technology stands, there is no way of returning from Mars, so this would be a one way mission. Despite that, when the mission opened for candidates in 2013 over 200 000 people from all over the world applied. That number has now been whittled down to less than 700. Kellie is one of them.

As much as this seems like an extreme dream, Kellie points out that as humans throughout history, we’ve survived and thrived through all kinds of conditions, and that when explorers were first attempting to reach Everest’s summit in the 1920s, less was probably known about the conditions they would encounter than is currently known about the surface of Mars, so why not boldly go where no human has been before and continue learning?

As always, if you want to join the conversation you can always email us radio@headspace.com or talk to us on twitter @headspace.