Geology tours with James Cresswell ‚Äď Founder of GeoWorld Travel ūü¶ē

Do you believe time traveling is possible? No? I challenge that!

Rocks and fossils tell the million and billion year old stories of Earth and landscapes. But you don't speak "Rock-ish"? Not a problem!

Geologists are rock- and landscape translators. When you go on a tour with a geologist, they'll explain to you the scenery in front of you and translate what the rocks say in words you understand.

James Cresswell, owner and founder of GeoWorld Travel, is such a geologist, adept at telling the stories of rocks and landscapes so that you, the traveler, understands. GeoWorld Travel is a tour operator specializing in geology trips.

In today's podcast episode, you'll find out:

  • Who James is and why he established GeoWorld Travel
  • What parts of the world James traveled prior to founding GeoWorld Travel
  • What destinations James offers
  • How long his geo trips are
  • What travelers gain from booking a tour with James
  • Why learning about the geology of a destination is enriching
  • Why traveling is important
  • How James deals with feeling guilty about operating a travel company
  • How grasping geologic time has influenced James's¬†outlook on life and his decisions

How to access this episode:

 

 

"Well, I don't really have a favorite type of rock. I like many rocks, and I think the rocks that I like is any rock that tells me a story, any rock that lets me become a time traveler. Any piece of rock, you know, that's a piece of evidence that allows me to see what happened in the past. So it could be a rock that contains fossils. It could be a rock that contains fragments of a meteor impact. It could be a rock that contains glacial deposits showing there was an ice age. It could be a volcanic ash telling me that there was a volcanic eruption. So anything that lets me travel back in time and know what happened to our planet rather than a particular type of rock."

 

Daniela:

Wow. I'm still blown away by this answer. No one could ever have a more perfect reply to this question: "What are your favorite rocks?" My answer seems boring compared to that. But first things first:

Hey, listener, and welcome back to the Science of Travel Podcast. And if you're new welcome I'm Daniela and I'm happy you found your way here.

The Science of Travel Podcast

The Science of Travel Podcasts combines geosciences, traveling, environmental awareness and life as an earthling. We'll talk about our beautiful planet Earth as a whole, and specifically about landscape formation and earth surface processes, spectacular travel destinations and other topics as they relate to nature and living a good life in general.

James Cresswell

Today you're hearing from James Creswell. James is a geologist from Wales with a passion for geology and traveling. James is the director and founder of GeoWorld Travel, where he offers geologic tours to geologically highly interesting destinations. James holds a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Bristol and they master's degree in oceanography from the University of Southampton.

He's traveled to over 100 countries and spent a decade as a geology guide on expedition cruise ships. Today James will introduce himself and his company. In future episodes. He'll be introducing each of his travel destinations. So do stick around, subscribe to my newsletter and never miss an episode with James. Now, give it up for James.

Welcome on the show James. I'm very excited to have you, and let's just start with a few ice breaker questions. Very hard one: What did you have for breakfast?

James:

Oh gosh, that's a hard question. Well, I've just had some pieces of toast with honey on, and it's actually a honey produced by local bees that fly all around our area from a farm just a few hundred meters up the road.

Daniela:

Oh, well, that must taste so good then. Oh, awesome. I had some oatmeal with bananas and raisins, so that's also good.

James:

Sounds healthy!

Daniela:

Well, yours too, right? Honey is antiviral. Second icebreaker question: since we are talking about the geology, I think it's a good thing to start with

What's your favorite type of rock?

James:

Time traveling with rocks

Well, I don't really have a favorite type of rock. I like many rocks, and I think the rocks that I like is any rock that tells me a story, any rock that lets me become a time traveler. Any piece of rock, you know, that's a piece of evidence that allows me to see what happened in the past. So it could be a rock that contains fossils. It could be a rock that contains fragments of a meteor impact. It could be a rock that contains glacial deposits showing there was an ice age. It could be a volcanic ash telling me that there was a volcanic eruption. So anything that lets me travel back in time and know what happened to our planet rather than a particular type of rock.

Daniela:

Wow, what an amazing answer. I was just thinking if somebody asked me this question, I would probably say limestone or garnet mica schist, because these are just beautiful. And the story of limestone and metamorphic rocks are amazing, but your answer just sums it all up. It's perfect.

James:

Well, they're two very nice examples you picked, which both are beautiful. Both do have great stories so they could easily be [unintelligible] I liked very much.

Daniela:

Well, I love your answer though.

James:

Thank you.

Daniela:

Thank you! When you were at university, so you studied a B.Sc. geosciences right?

James:

Yes, geology, yes. At Bristol University.

Daniela:

And the master's was oceanography. If I recal correctly?

James:

Yes at Southampton University.

Daniela:

Okay.

What was your best field trip experience (at university)?

James:

Isle of Skye

Well, the field trip experience that really stands out is ‚Äď I'm not sure if it was my best because it was good and bad, it was quite arduous ‚Äď but we had to do a mapping project. So we spent six weeks on the Isle of Skye with my¬†undergraduate project and it was in all weathers, it rained a lot. There were a lot of midges. Beautiful place, but it was actually a hard project, but it was, you know, it was a really special place to be. And also we did some field work in Devon and the Lake District. And we did a field trip to Cyprus. But probably the most memorable, actually, is what I did on my master's degree.

Oceanographic Research Vessel in the Arctic

On my master's degree in oceanography I actually joined an oceanographic research vessel in mid-winter between Iceland and Greenland. And we were on a ship for six weeks. And for three of those weeks, it was too rough to do any work. And at one point we had 18 meter high waves. So it was actually really quite extreme and quite an adventure.

And that was the first time I actually spent an extended period of time on a ship, which is something I went on to do a lot in later life.

Daniela:

Wow. Did you get seasick at all?

James:

Um, I can get seasick, but if the motion is really extreme, I find actually that doesn't make you seasick because a ship would actually do what we call hove to.

So, it's using the full engine power just to maintain position against the waves. And it was a very predictable up and down motion. In a smaller swell where the ship is proceeding forward and the swell is coming from the side and the ship has a corkscrew motion, even though it's not moving very much, that can make me sick. So I will take seasick medication in those cases.

Daniela:

Well, so you had some great field trip experiences. I mean, Cyprus is reserved, in our studies, for the master's. During the bachelor's degree we only spent the field trips within Germany. Germany has great geology, but ‚Äď I mean the Isle of Skye I've been there, like for a day or two, and I absolutely fell in love the second we entered the island. It was absolutely beautiful.

James:

Mapping project on the Isle of Skye

So much. You've got the Paleogene volcanoes. You've got the best mid Jurassic dinosaur footprints. It's just so much there.

Extracurricular field trip to Cyprus

But actually when we went to Cyprus it wasn't actually organized by the university. It was the students themselves, had a sort of like social club, and it was an optional, extra field trip that we did, which wasn't actually part of our study programs, but it was a great place to go to do some additional field trip just for fun and experience.

Voluntary work in Hawai'i

And actually also, while I was there at university in the summer holidays, I did some voluntary work and actually went to the voluntary work in the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, which was amazing to see erupting lava. I was actually doing biological work, removing species of non-native plant, but you've got the geology all around.

Community work in Greenland

And then in another summer I went to Greenland. And I spent the summer doing community work with Inuit people, living with Inuit families, going out hunting with them, and really seeing what it's like to be part of Inuit culture, which again, had a very profound effect on me and I think led on to me later on having a career in the polar regions.

Daniela:

Yes. So that's a great transition. Tell us about what happened after you graduated and your experience with the polar expeditions and how you ended up running the tour operator company you're working right now.

James:

Wildlife + science documentaries, BBC Blue Planet series and Discovery Channel

Well, straight after university, I actually worked in the television industry. So I worked on various wildlife and science documentaries about geology and wildlife at the BBC and Discovery Channel. And then I had a little bit of time working as a photographer locally here in Wales. And then I took off for a gap year.

Gap year East Africa

I'd actually had a gap year before university. I'd traveled around East Africa.

Gap year in South America + voyage to Antarctica

This time I traveled around South America. And while I was traveling around South America, I managed to secure a place on a last minute, a cheap last minute deal, on a voyage going to Antarctica. And I loved it so much. I asked all the people on the ship how I could get a job doing this.

Working on expeditions ships to Antarctica

And they said, well, you've worked on an oceanographic survey vessel in the Arctic. You worked on the BBC's Blue Planet series. I think you are just the type of person and we're looking for. They told me who to write to. And I got a job. And my initial job was to make a, it was to be the videographer and to make souvenir DVDs for the passengers.

Geological guide on expeditions ships to Antarctica

But because geology was such an important part of all these voyages, my geological experience quickly led on to me becoming the geological guide on the ships. And I did at least 40 separate trips to Antarctica, including to the east part of Antarctica to the [McMurdo] Dry Valleys. But most of it is in the Antarctic peninsula which is the more common place that tourists visit.

Geological guide on expeditions ships to the Arctic

At least 40 trips again in the Arctic as well. Throughout the Canadian Arctic both coasts of Greenland, around Svalbard, the Russian Arctic.

Visits to the geographic North Pole

In fact, I even went to the geographic north pole six times on a Russian nuclear powered icebreaker.

Geology guide on ships in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean

And then I started doing work on ships in other parts of the world. So I was the geological guide on ships cruising the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic, which led to me go to some of the remotest islands on earth, like Pitcairn Islands and Tristan da Cunha Island and also volcanoes in the Caribbean. So all of that was just a fantastic, using my geology, traveling the world.

Settling and the beginnings of GeoWorld Travel

But then my personal circumstances changed. I became a father and I didn't want to be away for extended periods of time. And I thought, well, let's use this travel experience and this knowledge I have of the world to create my own travel company, which will allow me to go away on short trips but actually be spending the majority of time back here.

So 10 years ago I created GeoWorld Travel. And here we are, you know, 10 years gone and one pandemic passed and, you know, it is growing and I'm doing very well.

Daniela:

That's amazing. Congratulations. Also, I told you before I find it absolutely impressive what you've built. Can you tell us who runs this company with you?

James:

Well, in terms of leading the tours and designing our trips I basically do it all on my own. And the first five years was everything on my own. But then when I met my wife Abby, she then started helping me on the administration side.

So she helps me with the finances, emailing participants, booking hotels, but it's still me really leading the trips. But having said that, I've recently started making contact with other geologists. And I have a geologist who I lead a trip jointly with in Namibia, and she now leads the trip in Namibia on her own. And coming up this year I'm going to have a geologist joining me on my England and Wales trip, my Iceland trip to drive a second vehicle. So we have more people. And I'm going to do a Switzerland trip with another geologist and next year a Nepal trip with another geologist. So, as time goes on, I'm getting other geologists involved who are going to lead some trips as well as the trips I lead.

And we'll probably get an administrative person to help in the office as well later on this year.

Daniela:

Oh great. Sounds like it's going really well for you. You're expanding!

James:

Yeah, I think so. You know, obviously it's hard, it was hard in the pandemic, but all the tours this year now are fully booked. It's looking really exciting and promising.

Daniela:

Absolutely. You've already listed some destinations you lead trips to. What are some others or your most popular ones?

James:

I don't really have a most popular because as I designed all the tours, I think that they're all good.

Daniela:

laughs. Yeah, of course!

James:

Geology tours to Scotland, Namibia, England, Wales, Iceland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Morocco, USA, Nepal, Greenland, Oman

I wouldn't have designed one I thought it was less good. But this year we're going to be taking a tour on England and Wales, which includes in the the region right around my house. We're going to do tours to Scotland, tour to Namibia tour to Switzerland, tour to Iceland, tour to Italy, tour to Germany and tour to Morocco. And then in 2023, we'll be doing a lot of those same destinations, but additionally, a tour in the USA, a tour in Nepal and a tour in Greenland.

Daniela:

Wow. So do you have other tour guides as well? Geology experts or will you guide those?

James:

Tour and geology guide

I will guide or joint guide all of those tours apart from Namibia. Namibia is the only tour I won't go on, but I have joint-guided it before. Nicole, she's a geologist  who lives in Namibia. And she actually has her own geological tour business anyway, so she was doing geological tours in Namibia before we met. We got in touch and did a joint tour together. And now I sent people out to her.

So the other tours it's either just me on my own or another geologist joining me.

Daniela:

Geology trip to Oman, an extraordinary destination

All right. And in March you're off to Oman, right?

James:

Yeah, in just 10 days time, I'm off to Oman in the Middle East. And that's a really extraordinary destination, the very best place in the world to observe ophiolitic rocks.

Ophiolitic rocks and snowball Earth in Oman

So we're talking about rocks that were part of the ocean crust and the mantle that have been obducted onto the surface of the Earth. But it's not only the ophiolites. There are other wonderful stories there such as snowball earth, where you see glacial deposits with tropical dolomites immediately on top of them.

You see Ediacaran age fossils, for example and there's a whole wealth of wonderful stuff in Oman. So off there in 10 days.

Daniela:

Absolutely.¬†Great. Your Instagram pictures actually introduced me to Oman because Oman wasn't something I had learned a lot about in university and I just got into Oman looking at your pictures. And then I found another Instagram account from a geologist living in Oman and you and he sharing these amazing pictures of reefs and ophiolite ‚Äď it's amazing.

So we're talking about all these geology terms right now. And some people will probably have a lot of question marks in their heads.

How much geology background do your tour participants need to have?

James:

Well I'd say they don't need to have any at all. But what they do need to have is an interest because the tour is about geology. If they're interested in history, well, while there is some history, you know, the tour is about geology. So they have to have a fascination and an interest. But they don't need to have any technical, educational training because I pride myself in being able to explain geology to people who've got no background in it, but additionally, be able to speak at a higher level to people who have a good background in it.

Daniela:

That's a great combination.

James:

Yeah, people who are professional geologists will be the minority, maybe only 10 % of customers. The majority of customers will be people who have come to geology in later life, or maybe they studied it, but did a career in something different. Or maybe they, say, being a medical doctor and they've always kind of liked geology, but never had any formal training in it but are interested to sort of learn about it. And as a more informal way that the holiday gives you.

Daniela:

Absolutely. So is this a concern your customers approach you with before they book a trip?

James:

Occasionally I get asked that question and I get asked the question about if there's things we should read before. But generally not. Generally people aren't too concerned about it. But some people ask that question.

Daniela:

Okay. I mean, if they look for geology trips on Google or find you, then they probably already know what to expect and can assess themselves quite well. I think.

James:

Yeah. I think so.

Daniela:

So can you tell us a little bit how you structure the itineraries and how long the trips take.

How long are the trips?

James:

Typically the trips are a week to 10 days long. And of course that could easily be longer because there's often so much to see. But due to my family commitments, I personally don't want to be away from home for longer than that. I want to come home, to spend family time. So I try to make the trips fit into that window. 

Because they're not so long, they actually do tend to be quite full. We tend to see a lot of things in a day, rather than just a few things and seeing it very slowly. We tend to make the trips quite full and I encourage people to, if you want some relaxing time, or we have a little bit of relaxing time on the trip, but if you want some relaxing time, stay after the trip, stay on for a few days in the country and have a bit more of a relaxing holiday then.

Cause on the tour we actually do most days see lots of things and what we get on with it. But then my Namibia, my Nepal tours, they are a bit longer. They are 15 and 16 days. Some of the trips I'm going to lead in the Antarctic are longer as well.

Daniela:

Of course, that makes sense. I mean, it's a little farther, so it's sensible to spend more time there.

James:

And also those itineraries are not produced by me. When I'm doing the polar trips, I'm taking people onto a ship, which the itineraries were made by someone else. And I'm bringing my small group onto the larger ship. So I haven't created that itinerary. So I have to go with what's being offered.

Daniela:

Yes. So you function as an agency for polar expeditions rathern than the tour operator.

James:

Yeah. So how the polar stuff works. As I told you, I spent 10 years of my life working as the geological guide on the polar trips. Now what I'm doing is once a year, I will go onto one of these ships with a GeoWorld Travel group. And my whole role is to look after my group. I don't work for the ship anymore. I'm, you know, with my group of customers and I will give them additional geological discussions and information, than what the general ship does. So I pick out some really, really great geological itineraries and take a group on there.

But additionally, I also have a second website called PolarWorld Travel where I can, where I'm a booking agent, and I can place people on any polar cruise, and use my experience to advise them on what would be a good cruise to go on. So they may want to go to the polar region at a different time or a different trip to the one that I'm personally going to be on. And I can place them on one of those voyages.

Daniela:

Yeah, that's great! Let's go back to the geology topic and you teaching geology on your trips.

Why do you think learning about the geology of the travel destination you take your travelers to is worthwhile and what does it do with the traveler, once they learned about the geology of the place?

James:

Great question. Geology, of course, is the ultimate explanation of why a destination looks the way it does. So knowing about the geology not only explains kind of the obvious physical features, like why is there a mountain range here, why is there a cave here, why is there a canyon here. But actually it also explains the pattern of human habitation. So, you know, why are there towns here and things, but it could be because it was mining. Uh, it also explains the wildlife habitats. So it gives that real grounding and foundation, so understanding to it. 

The effect of geology on travelers

And what I find is what effect it has on the travelers, is they really get to understand what they're looking at. So for example, I have a tour in the USA where we go to the Grand Canyon. I have a tour in Iceland where we go around Iceland and then at quite a lot of our stops there'll be many other tourists there taking photographs of the beautiful landscape, but how many of them actually understand what they're taking a picture of?

They're taking a picture of it because it looks pretty. But we ‚Äď also think it looks pretty, we think it looks amazingly beautiful ‚Äď but we understand why it looks like that. We understand the geological processes that have led to it looking like that. And I think if you have that, it gives you so much more, to really understand why it looks like that. So, so that's, uh, that's the effect it has on our travelers.

Daniela:

Amazing. It's like you can read my mind because this is exactly what I say, what I think and why I have this podcast, because I want to have the travelers think about what they see and not just take a picture and leave. It's this superficiality that's bothering me. And I love that you counteract this with your teaching.

James:

Well thank you. And I think we both think the same on that.

Daniela:

Yes, absolutely. I think so, too. Can you summarize a takeaway message that you want to convey to your travelers? If they, they probably won't remember every single detail from the tours and how this landscape formed in detail. But what is the takeaway message that you want to leave them with?

James:

Apart from obviously good memories, wou know, I want them to take away new knowledge and new understanding with them. We want to entertain the customers, educate them, but also challenge them a bit.

There's nothing like a really great geological discussion to sort of get people thinking about why the landscape is around us. And we're already talking about it and saying our ideas and the actual, a strapline of my websites is GeoWorld Travel ‚Äď Scenery Explained. And really, I hope the trips do just that, you know, it leaves the scenery explained and people know exactly why it's like that. And that's what I want them to take away with them.

Daniela:

That's great. And probably also that the next time they will travel somewhere, maybe not with you, that they will start to think how did this form, right?

James:

Yeah. Yeah. Definitely, you know, and be thoughtful about where they go.

Daniela:

Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

You teach geology, but what has geology taught you?

James:

Geological time + seizing the moment

One thing that geology has taught me is the enormity of geological time. You know, when we're talking about billions of years, this is something that's very hard for the human mind to understand. And when you do understand that, it's a bit sobering and actually you realize how short humans have been on this planet and actually how short our own lives are. In fact how very short they are. That really makes me realize it's very important to seize the moment, to live for the moment, to spend your life doing worthwhile things and great things and it, I think it's the reason why I have done an untypical life. I've had a life of adventure and travel because I realize how short life is. And I don't want to waste it, perhaps doing the sensible thing that I don't really enjoy to do. So that. Just realizing how big time is and how short our time is and not to waste it.

Daniela:

That's such a great message.

James:

And another thing though as well is also when we look through a geological record, we realize how much the planet has changed in the past: with cycles of ice ages and interglacials, episodes like snowball earth, and the Cretaceous when the dinosaurs lived, sea levels, would've been a hundred meters higher than they are today, average temperature 20 degrees higher.

Earth is able to radically change + humans are capable of making huge alterations to the planet

And the point I'm making is it makes us realize that the planet is capable of radically altering. And humans must realize that they are capable of making huge alterations to the planet systems and therefore it's really important that we do treat the environment with utmost respect, because the planet can seriously change and we're capable of seriously changing it. So that's another message I take from geoscience.

Daniela:

That's beautiful. Yes. I think the word respect, is really what earth can teach us. Not only with nature, but also with each other. Yeah, beautiful.

On your website, you have these two options where people can browse your trips. They can search or browse by destination and by geological feature, which I think is very brilliant.

So my question would be, what is your favorite geological feature? Do you enjoy volcanoes the most, or reefs? It's probably a hard question.

What is your favorite geologcal feature?

James:

Fossils

I think it has to be fossils. Yeah, fossils. I always had a fascination in fossils since I was a small child, like many children do I think. And it's, and it's the reason why I studied geology in the first place.

You know, the wonderment of opening up a rock and seeing that fossil that hasn't seen the air, you know, for millions of years. You are the first person to ever to've seen it. But additionally what's amazing about fossils is what they have taught us about evolution and how evolution has happened which therefore helps us understand our own origins.

I just love fossils and as well as all the things that they teach us, of course, they can be very beautiful objects in their own right. Just as lovely things to have. I really do like fossils.

Daniela:

Yes. And the first stratigraphic table or chart was made with fossils because they were the first indicators for geologic time.

James:

Time traveling with fossils

Yeea, exactly. Geological time and evolution, they tell us so much. And just to think what was alive in the past, wasn't necessarily what's alive today. You know, there has been, you know, the so many weird and wonderful things on this planet and that's just so, so exciting. And imagining that is going back to this idea of time travel, you know, knowing what things were in the past. And that's what amazes me.

Daniela:

Yes. Ah, I recently finished a book that's called Timefulness. Have you heard of this book?

James:

I have. And I've read this as well. Oh, I've read it as well. I read it the last few months, so I read it, yes.

 

Hey it‚Äôs me, chiming in to tell you about Timefulness. No this is not an ad, just me not wanting you to feel excluded if you¬†haven't heard about this book, this brilliant book. Timefulness ‚Äď How thinking like a geologist can help save the world is a book by Marcia Bjornerud, a professor of geology and environmental studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. The book is about deep time, the geological time scale, and how time-literacy, honoring the past and being able to include the future into considerations and decisions can give humans the necessary perspective to create a more sustainable future. And now back to James.

 

Daniela:

Yes. What she says is absolutely mind-blowing, because it's so true. I think she has a great ability to connect geology with emotion. That was an absolutely fascinating book to read.

James:

And I think also, yeah, and she probably is influencing me when I was saying how geology just helped me understand about what we can do to our planet, how it can change. I mean, she talks about that a lot in the book.

Daniela:

Yes, a lot!

James:

So I read that and thought, yes, you know, you're dead right there.

Daniela:

Yes, I highlighted so much. In almost every page has some highlighter. That's great.

So James, as geoscientists, we tend to be especially conscious of our environment and traveling nowadays is connected with environmental pollution, with air travel.

How do you counteract, or inspire, sustainable traveling or how do you counteract your CO2 footprint and how do you inspire sustainable traveling?

James:

Well, yes. It's a very, very good point. And it's something I'm very much aware of. You know, I spent a lot of time working in the polar regions where we can see the climate changing in front of our eyes.

Why traveling is important despite climate change

And we would tell ourselves on the polar trips that, of course, we've got quite a big carbon footprint by being here, but we're mitigating it because we're telling people about the environment. And I used to give climate change talks on these ships. But now I'm running my own travel company. You know, it's something that made me feel a bit guilty, you know, and taking people to places and there is a, is a carbon footprint, but travel is of course important. It's as important for us to learn about other cultures. It stops, it helps humans understand each other. It's important to understand how our planet works. There's so many positives that come from it. So there must be a way to try and travel in a more sustainable way.

Carbon offsetting the trips

What I thought was that the best thing I could do is a carbon offset, my trips. And initially I was quite skeptical about the whole carbon offsetting idea. But I came across a UK company called Carbon Footprint and I had some discussions with, with our director and their company has a range of different projects, including projects which meets what's called the "gold standard", which is an independent internationally recognized benchmark for carbon offsetting, which has been created by various NGOs, including the World Wildlife fund where projects have clear social environmental benefits.

So what I do is I calculate all the mileage we do on the trip or my flights and what I do, at least from my profit of the trips, because of course I am running these trips for profit, it's my job. From my profit of the trip I carbon offset the trip and our company pays that.

And then I say to the participants, we've done this, we encourage you also to carbon offset your flights. And this is how you can do it. So that's what we do.

Daniela:

Wow, great. Thank you though. That's really inspiring. But I think that even just by taking your travelers on trips and educating them, I think that already contributes to sustainable traveling, because you teach them that the environment is important and how it works. And I have the hope that by what you do, that you inspire them to live more sustainably ‚Äď even when not to traveling and also when traveling. But I do think that it helps. What do you think?

James:

Ambassdors for our planet

I think so. I think you can create ambassadors for our planet. People learn on the tours. I mean, some of my people on my geological tours, there're a small group of people who might have been inclined that way anyway.

But certainly when I worked on the cruise ships and you had bigger groups of people and you had people who've come on the trips for all sorts of different reasons. It's certainly what we were doing, opening their eyes, telling them about the environment, telling about climate, telling them about geology. I really like to think it was making a big difference ...

Daniela:

I think it does!

James:

... and especially on those polar trips where a lot of the participants were actually very wealthy and very wealthy people very often have big jobs, in charge of big companies and influencing them is actually very important because they are people who can really make some big changes.

Daniela:

That's interesting that you mention this because this is exactly what Heather told me as well.

James:

Yes.

Daniela:

Yes. Another question I wanted to ask is because you just mentioned that what you take away from geology is especially the geological time. And have you noticed that your travelers on your trips have these epiphanes too? Like, they suddenly realize how old Earth is and what happened before they even, before even humans existed. Do your travelers have these realizations?

James:

That's a very good question. I'm not sure. I mean, I think this is all quite individual. And I can't really answer that question. I don't necessarily have that exact question, because everyone has their own individual circumstances, but we've all got something in common that we're all fascinated by geology. So I suspect that they have, even if they haven't shared it with me.

Daniela:

Yes, absolutely. I mean, they could have had this realization, but just didn't share it, right, obviously. Okay. So let's wrap this up with:

Where can people find you if they want to go on a trip with you or follow you on Instagram?

James:

Website + social sedia accounts

Yeah, well, it's very easy. I've got a company called GeoWorld Travel, and if you just type that into Google, you'll find me. I mean, it's GeoWorldTravel.com. But if you type into Instagram, type into Facebook, Twitter, you'll find my accounts and you can just follow them very simply.

Contact James directly

The best way to contact me is via the website. We have a contact form and fill out the contact form and we respond to you by email normally in 24 hours.

Daniela:

Amazing. Thank you so much. And I will, of course, put the links in the show notes.

James:

Thank you Daniela!

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My friend, that's a wrap! Thank you for spending your time with James and me. Be sure to follow James on Instagram and check out his website and itineraries. James will be back on the show regularly and share about each of his travel destinations. Email is my favorite place to share new podcast episodes. Sign up for the STORIES OF EARTH E-LETTER via the link in the show notes. You’ll receive new podcast episodes in your inbox, updates on online courses, exclusive offers, personal life anecdotes and thoughts on Earth and life and being a human on this extraordinary planet that I just don’t share anywhere else.  

Bye, Daniela!

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Show notes

Connect with James

Contact James via contact form

GeoWorld Travel

PolarWorld Travel

James's personal website

GeoWorld Travel Instagram

PolarWorld Travel Instagram

Connect with Daniela (podcaster)

STORIES OF EARTH E-LETTER

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About the author

Daniela is convinced that by gaining deep insights into planet Earth and travel destinations you’ll create meaningful, grounding and memorable life and travel experiences. She explains fundamental geological processes that form and shape landscapes and combines these insights with philosophical and philanthropical views in her online courses, articles, podcast and newsletter. She holds two bachelor's degrees in geosciences (B.Sc.) and business administration with tourism (B.A.). She is the owner and founder of EarthyMe, EarthyUniversity and the Science of Travel blog and podcast and the STORIES OF EARTH newsletter.

 

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Image credits

Blog header and podcast thumbnail image: Photograph of wilderness in the Brecon Beacons Nationalpark in Wales by Carl Jorgensen via Unplash

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