My Favorite TED Travel Videos: Are you ready to get inspired?

I love TED Talks. They inspire me and challenge my point of view and  they make me think about stuff I had never thought about before. So I decided to make a list and put together my most inspiring TED Travel Videos for you. Are you ready to get inspired?

Where is Home? by Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer’s TED Talk on Where is home, is by far my favorite TED Travel Video. He talks about how the simple question “Where are you from?” has turned into a quite complicated one for many of us. 220 Million people do not live in the nation of their birth, but have emigrated, fled or traveled to other countries. We are influenced by the cultural identity of our foreign partner, or parents, friends or coworkers and even if we never left our home, we become at home in those places as well, through them. Iyers talks about how home has turned from a physical place to something that we associate with a feeling or a person, rather than a place, or in his own words: “Home is no longer the place where you were born, but the place where you become yourself”.  And while out times force us to move from one place to the next, from one goal to the next, from one thing to the next, we need to stay still to discover the path we want to take. 

I recently became a US citizen and I have pondered the question of where I feel at home for a very long time. I have lived abroad for 10 years. Yet when I think of home, I think of Germany. But I also think of my husband and my family. I think of a warm and fuzzy feeling. What comes to your mind, when you think of home? 

For more tolerance, we need more … tourism? by Aziz Abu Sarah

Can tourism promote peace? Aziz Abu Sarah, who grew up in Palestine, believes that by visiting other countries, interacting with the locals, and learning how similar they actually are to us, we can no longer hate them. The more we travel, the more open we become. The more we learn about the differences of other cultures, the more we see the similarities. The more we connect with people during our travels, the harder it is to build walls that separate us. 

Open Road, Open Life by Andrew Evens

National Geographic explorer Andrew Evens takes 40 buses from Washington DC to fulfill his childhood dream of traveling to Antarctica. He distinguishes between Travel and Tourism and how the unexpected and inconvenient turn us into true travelers, as it leads to a unique rather than a predefined experience of a country. The adventures he experiences bring him closer to the countries he travels through and the people he encounters. Evens encourages us to go out and explore, even if it is risky and uncertain how it will turn out. He warns that “Technology and efficiency is killing our sense of wonder” and we risk losing our wonder, our exhilarating life story, because we want to control it. “Travel is one of greatest human freedoms” because it forces us to let go and trust, rather than cling to a fake sense of certainty and fear. 

Why I’m Rowing Across the Pacific by Roz Savage

After 11 years as a Management Consultant Roz Savage knew this wasn’t the life she wanted to live anymore. For too long, she had lived according to the rules that she thought she needed to follow. One day, she had enough and jumped in a boat and rowed 3000 miles from La Gomera to Antigua. She shares the lessons she learned during her trip and how she was able to discover her own strengths and capabilities during this trip. Another important point that Savage discovered as she discovered herself, was that she needed to create her own happiness, rather than waiting passively for happiness to come to her. 

The Value of Travel by Rick Steves

This TED Travel Video by Rick Steves is a true gem. Steves has traveled about 1/3 of his adult life, connecting to different cultures and nature all over the world as he explored and discovered his way around the globe. Travel uproots your believe system and challenges the things you accepted as basic truths. Steves challenges not only his believe system, but also fear. Fear is for people who don’t get out very much. He gives great examples how travel opens our minds and gives us an opportunity to learn about the story from a different angle, gain better understanding and maybe even find appreciation of what we had thought before. He is excited to learn from other countries and cultures, their different approaches to the same or similar problems and is inspired by the practical ways of handling them.  

Learn to travel — travel to learn by Robin Esrock

Robin Esrock shares his story, how an accident was his wakeup call to travel around the world, something he had been dreaming about ever since he had returned from his backpacking adventure in his early 20s. In the beginning of his adventure, as all of a sudden he has the freedom to do whatever he wants, he feels paralyzed and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choice and opportunity, but then realizes how each decision is the right choice and “wherever you are, is where you’re supposed to be”. As he travels and explores countries and discovers that people are generally good and want to help you. They are proud to show you their corner of the world. 


A Glimpse of Life on the Road by Kitra Cahana

Cahana, a TED Fellow and Photojournalist documented the life of today’s Hobo’s and Vagabonds all over the United States. As she followed these wanderous souls on their journey that never ends, in a world that not many ever get to see, she discovers their hopes, their dreams, yet also the hardship and discrimination that they face each and every day. Why do they choose a life on the road? What turns them off the path of a conventional life and choose a life living off of the crumbs of society? 

Why Bother Leaving the House & To the South Pole and Back by Ben Saunders

These are two of my favorite Ted Travel Videos: Ben Saunders is a Polar Explorer that has quite a few adventures on his back already. He crossed the Arctic on skis all by himself, a feat that has never been accomplished before. Saunders also followed the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton on his Nimrod Expedition and Robert Falcon Scott on the Terra Expedition, both of which were unsuccessful, and walked to the South Pole and back to the coast of Antarctica. Or as Business Insider put it so eloquently: “Two Explorers just completed a Polar Expedition that Killed everyone last time it was attempted”. He answers the question, whether it is still worth going outside, when everything already has been discovered, every mountain already has been climbed and every corner explored. 

TED Travel Videos: Why Bother Leaving the House

TED Travel Videos: To the South Pole and Back

These are my favorite TED Travel Videos, full of inspiration and dreams, hopes and truths that I wanted to share with you. Do you have any favorite TED talks that inspired you?

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TED Talks: 9 TED Travel Videos