National Geographic journalist talks about traveling abroad

By Andrea Weiner

Doug Lansky is bringing his world-travel adventures and advice to NMU in a “Get Lost” talk with Platform Personalities.

Lansky is a contributing writer for “National Geographic” and “The Huffington Post,“ award-winning travel writer, world-travel expert and has written books for Lonely Planet and Rough Guides. The event will occur at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25 in Jamrich 102.

Originally from Minnesota and a graduate of Colorado College, Lansky has been travelling abroad since 1992.
He chronicled his travels in his national humor column “Vagabond,” which is archived online at www.gorp.com. In the last 10 years, Lansky has been to more than 100 countries.

“I think it’s going to be interesting,” said Emily Stenson, a junior English major. “How many (people) can say they’ve travelled the world?”

Lansky created a website in 2009 called “The Titanic Awards.” This website allows the noteworthy writers and travelers to share their worst travel experiences. “The Titanic Awards” was created to fill the gap between expectation and reality, said Lansky in an interview with Frank Bures.

There are three ways to win: readers’ choice, special selection and official study. Lansky compiled various “Titanic Awards” into a book.

“(For) students who are thinking about travelling abroad, this event will help them take the next step,” said Rachel Harris, adviser for Platform Personalities.

According to Lansky’s biography for Keppler Speakers, Lansky sold carpets in Morocco during the summer of his junior year.

“The language barrier is a huge obstacle when travelling abroad,” said Harris. “He’s travelled so many countries he can’t possible know (all of the) languages. “Money is another obstacle. I’m hoping that he will have some tips.”

Lansky hosted an hour-long travel documentary for the Discovery Channel/Travel Channel called “Trailblazers.” In an interview with Rolf Potts, Lansky admitted that language could be a challenge. While filming in Japan, Lansky would have to interact with shop vendors.

But because he was filming, he would have to repeat an activity numerous times. This was a challenge since he was in a country that he didn’t speak the language and filming.

“Travelling abroad is something that if you do it, you’ll never regret it,” Harris said. “Students who attend this event will hopefully come out with a better view of the world.”

The event is free to NMU students with their student ID and $2 for the public. A Eurail pass will be raffled off at the event.

Eurail is a train pass for Europe that can include one country or 22 countries. The drawing will be at the end of the event.

Anyone who attends the event is eligible but must be present to win. Books by Doug Lansky will be sold prior to the event.

Some of his books are: “Last Trout in Venice,” “Up the Amazon Without a Paddle,” “Signspotting” and “There’s No Toilet Paper on the Road Less Travelled.”

Lansky is currently living in Stockholm with his wife and three children.