Video lecture from Wales, and other Rolf news

Back in September I traveled to rural Wales for the excellent DO Lectures series, which features talks and presentations by cutting-edge experts from a wide variety of disciplines — from mountaineers to sustainable architects to graphic designers. I spoke on vagabonding and the ethic of long-term travel, and video from that lecture is now available online. My talk is in keeping with similar presentations I’ve done for my Vagabonding and Marco Polo Didn’t Go There books — only this time (in keeping with the spirit of the gathering) I challenged the audience to make “do” oriented goals for their lives. One of these “do” goals was to see time as your truest form of wealth in life — to live out your days in an extraordinary way. My second challenge was to be where you are now — to live a life that is less mediated and more informed by the people and places that surround you. The entire lecture can be viewed online here.

Here’s what else I’ve been up to lately:

  • bestLpMy travel tale “Something Approaching Enlightenment” appears in the anthology Best of Lonely Planet Travel Writing, which debuted in bookstores last month. Other authors appearing in the book include Pico Iyer, Simon Winchester, Tim Cahill, Jan Morris, Jason Elliot, William Dalrymple, and Tony Wheeler.
  • Back in August I was interviewed by Rick Steves for his weekly radio show on National Public Radio. My segment was entitled “The Misadventures of Rolf Potts,” and we delved into the idiosyncrasies of travel writing in light of my newest book, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There. To listen to this radio segment in Windows Media, click here.
  • Last week I returned from a whirlwind 10-day trip to Europe and the East Coast. The highlight of the journey was receiving the “autore oltre frontiera” Chatwin Prize for travel writing at a beautiful ceremony at the Teatro Modena in Genoa, Italy. I’ll comment on that experience in greater detail once video and photos become available. After Italy I traveled to New York for a travel discussion with Matt Gross at the College of Staten Island, as well as a raucous and entertaining reading at New Jersey’s Raconteur Bookshop. I topped off my journey with a trip to Boston, where I participated in a travel forum with Tony Wheeler, Pauline Frommer, and Jeff Greenwald as part of the 75th anniversary of the youth-hostel movement in the United States. The following day I joined Wheeler and Greenwald on a fascinating pilgrimage to various Jack Kerouac sites in Lowell, Massachusetts (see photo below) — and Jeff wrote a great little blog entry about our experience there.
  • banrrI recently learned that my 2008 Believer essay about Kansas publisher Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, “The Henry Ford of Literature,” was listed as “Notable Non-Required Reading” in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009, which is edited by Dave Eggers and Jesse Nathan. Main selections in this book include essays by Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, and Nick Flynn.
  • In case you missed it, my 5-part series about a Star Trek cruise to Bermuda wrapped up just over a week ago. The series, which takes a look at the Trekkie phenomenon through the lens of travel anthropology, also includes a teaser video from the cruise. Various online outlets tracked the series as it played out on World Hum, including the New York TimesIn-Transit blog.

Above: Rolf at Kerouac Park in Lowell, Mass. with Shopping for Buddhas author Jeff Greenwald and Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler.

Posted by | Comments (4)  | November 30, 2009
Category: Rolf's News and Updates

4 Responses to “Video lecture from Wales, and other Rolf news”

  1. David Turnbull Says:

    Really awesome presentation. 🙂

  2. Says:

    You’ve been busy. Great presentation on Vagabonding. Perhaps more people will have the courage to give Vagabonding a try.

  3. tommy pesavento Says:

    long-time reader and fan – too bad we couldnt’ve met up – i just moved out of LOWELL last week! Kerouac’s presence is strong indeed. Glad to see u were able to make le voyage to Lowell… could inspire more visitors. i was actually listening to an audio CD of Jack reading “On the Road” when I came across this blog post. Spooky! 🙂

  4. » A few Rolf moments from 2009 :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog Says:

    […] Boston). For more detailed descriptions of my 2009 adventures, check out my prior blog updates from November, October, June, or March. [Photo by Keith […]