Why aren't travel guides enough for travel preparation? What can EarthyMe and EarthyUniversity do for you? How can you benefit from listening and reading the content shared on this small corner of the internet? Is this worth your precious, limited time on this blue marble?
Not-so-subtle-hint: YES YES YES, it is, a thousand times YES!!
I'll explain to you why in this episode. Sit back, go for a walk, enjoy, stay and subscribe to the newsletter for complete benefit.
Oh and - thanks for being here - I appreciate you very much (truly, madly, deeply).
Hey you 😊 Welcome back to the Science of Travel Podcast. And if you’re new, welcome! I’m Daniela and I’m so happy you found your way here! In this podcast/blog we usually talk about Earth and the geology of landscapes and travel destinations.
Today I want to introduce to you my websites and tell you why I do what I do and give you an idea of what to expect from me in the future. You might or might not know that I created and own two websites: EarthyMe and EarthyUniversity.
So much in today’s world is digital. And we forget that behind the photographs on Instagram or Facebook, the messages, the emails, the voice messages, the podcasts, the blog posts, there are real people, with real emotions creating real content for their audience. And because what I do and why I do what I do is closely linked to the way I am, I want to give a little glimpse into my personality first. I figured out for myself that when I'm being very authentic, when I'm my most authentic self, I tend to attract the right people for my business and my personal life.
Let’s cut to the chase: I'm an Earth Scientist, but I don't limit myself to that. I’m also a business administration graduate, I’m a friend, a sister, a daughter, I guess I’m becoming some sort of a teacher, I struggle with insecurities at times, I try to stay true to my values, live with integrity and authenticity, but I fail sometimes, or even regularly, I’m by no means perfect, far from it, I’m deep, I’m sensitive yet stronger than many think, I’m intuitive yet rational; simply put: I’m human.
What you and I have in common
I’m just like you.
I have the same desires and needs as you.
There’s a great song by Jason Mraz called “Look for the good”. In the song Jason says:
Everyone needs sunshine, everyone needs rain
Everyone is carryin' around some kind of pain
I see who you are, you're just like me
I see you're searching for a purpose, guided by a dream
I see who you are, I'm just like you
I love that, because it’s so true. We tend to believe we are so different, but in reality we're so much alike.
You’re human. I’m human. That’s what fundamentally connects us.
And as a human being, I have multiple facets to my personality, multiple passions and interests. I'm interested in most sciences, geology, other geosciences, traveling, nature, plants, animals, cultures, languages, psychology, philosophy, and even spirituality. The content I create revolves around traveling and Earth Science but incorporates all of the other topics as well. Because I believe they belong together. I love knowledge, meaning and connection. I derive meaning from virtually everything. I don't like superficiality.
I was fortunate enough to have come up with an idea that allows me to combine all my passions. And the result are EarthyMe and EarthyUniversity.
Let me start by explaining what EarthyMe means to me personally: Basically, this website is my place to share with you my love and passion for all life, our planet and beyond.
And, most importantly, I love landscapes. I love beautiful, jaw-dropping, mind-boggling landscapes. But I also love the boring landscapes, or what others perceive as boring. I think the Great Plains are immensely interesting. I love all sorts of landscapes. Rugged mountains, pristine beaches, blue water, green pasture and forests, dry shrubland, deserts and rain forests. I can see the beauty and magnificence in all of them.
During my travels I'd often wondered how this valley or mountain or rock formation or lake formed or why this island exists. And I had wished there was a resource that explained these formation processes to me in simple terms.
I've visited beautiful places in the past, such as Scotland, Hawai'i and Vietnam, but I hadn't learned a lot about their incredible geology.
Why travel guides, books and magazines are not sufficient
I used travel guides, but I often found they're not as thorough and detailed as I want them to be. They're great for a broad understanding and overview of the place as it relates to general geography, geology and they provide great advice on restaurants, bars, accommodation and activities. Unfortunately, I never found them to be detailed enough in regards to landscape formation and the geosciences.
The same applies to travel magazines or blogs. I appreciate them because of their beautiful imagery, photography, storytelling character and as a source of inspiration.
But I sometimes wish they contained just a little more in-depth knowledge about my favorite topics: the formation processes of landscapes.
This is how I personally connect best with destinations.
For others it's culture, it's the language, it's the people. But to me it's the landscapes.
Hence, during trips in the past, I lacked knowledge about these beautiful destinations and their landscapes.
As a result, I didn't only feel I had a superficial travel experience. But I didn't feel a deeper connection at all.
Meaningful travel experiences are created by fully immersing and connecting ourselves with the place of our desire. Knowledge about these places is the ultimate building block of forming these strong bonds that result in lasting, transformative, sustainable, meaningful experiences.
Otherwise, it's a superficial experience. And I don't like superficial.
Why I started EarthyMe and EarthyU in the first place
When I studied business administration with specialization in tourism, I simultaneously worked at the second largest tour operator in Germany at the time. Quickly I learned that creating travel packages and enabling people to visit faraway countries felt too shallow for me. Sending people off to resorts where they barely come in touch with the local population, learn about and see the natural beauty, resources and landscapes their destination has to offer did not fulfill me. I always felt there was something missing.
I knew I needed to change something, so I decided to study something new, something I always had a passion for but never thought I could actually succeed in.
I now study Earth Sciences, also known as geosciences. We study the Earth, its formation and all other processes happening inside and on its surface. Biology, physics and chemistry are other sciences that heavily influence our field of study.
At some point I had the delusional idea that I could create a website and start a blog and an online business. Soon, this podcast followed.
I realized I want to create online travel courses about travel destinations to make knowledge about them easily accessible and digestible to non-scientists. Because I believe this knowledge is crucial for building a connection, creating meaningful travel experiences, cultivating deeper relationships with and making better decisions for destinations. This way, I'm connecting travel, Earth Science and preservation/conservation.
This is what I want EarthyMe and EarthyU to be for YOU
A resource you can come back to any time you wonder how a certain landscape was formed and shaped and why it exists. You can come to EarthyMe and EarthyUniversity anytime you travel somewhere and want to learn more about the nature and geology of the place.
I want to make geology accessible to you, so that you can understand the world better and, hence, make better decisions for it.
I hope to inspire you to develop a deeper connection to Earth, to feel a love and passion for our home you've perhaps never felt before.
What you can find at EarthyMe and EarthyU
At EarthyMe you'll find information about travel destinations and specific landscapes, but also general information and facts about Earth.
I firmly believe that traveling and caring about the environment are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, as travelers we have the opportunity to experience nature's beauty and excellence firsthand.
We see new landscapes and plants and animals. We learn and connect.
Traveling is a great way to grow as a person and to get to know and appreciate the world we live in.
But we have to do it the right, sustainable way.
Then, traveling and caring about the planet are in sync.
I want to the time of mass tourism, over-crowded beaches, ticking off bucket list goals and destroyed nature in travel destinations to be over. I'm done with that. I don’t care about the influencers anymore. I don’t care about how many countries they visited. I don’t care about the seemingly picture-perfect lives they share.
What I care about is how deeply they connect with nature and how responsibly and ethically they travel; what they represent, what they stand for; how good their heart is; whether they try to be better people; how they handle being a role model to so many young people.
My goal, my why, with EarthyMe and all the content I share along they way is to create unity, a greater awareness for our exceptional planet and to connect people with the natural world by providing detailed knowledge about Earth and nature.
What EarthyMe means
It doesn't really matter where we come from, what nationality we're proud of, what color our skin is or what language we speak. All these things cause separation. What creates unity is authenticity, acceptance and integrity.
We all live on this beautiful planet together, at the same time. We are all inhabitants of Earth - you and me (Earth-Y-Me).
So let's embrace and value each other's differences and similarities and let's use our individual strengths to connect and protect and care for our world, and each other.
EarthyMe is somewhat of the root of the growing EarthyMe tree and the branches are:
- Science of Travel Podcast
- Stories of Earth newsletter
What is EarthyUniversity?
EarthyUniversity is the heart of my projects. It's a platform for online travel courses and is designed to be a resource of hope, inspiration and knowledge for anybody who loves to travel and who cares about the world.
Born from a love for nature, a fascination for geology and Earth, EarthyU's courses will reveal to you the hidden, novel side of your travel destination.
EarthyU makes insights about Earth and nature gained through Earth Science more accessible, transparent and relatable to non-scientists and puts this knowledge in the context of our everyday lives, travel and the protection of the environment.
EarthyUniversity combines 3 key topics. You can imagine a Venn-Diagram with three circles and the three circles overlap in the middle. EarthyUniversity sits at the heart of these sections, where all three circles intersect.
The Three Circles
- Earth Science
- Protection and preservation and conservation
Let me explain what each circle means:
As humans, we love to explore and discover new places and worlds. It's inherent. However, traveling causes environmental pollution (air, ocean, land) and the masses of tourists in some countries destroy precious land, hotels need vast amounts of limited resources such as water, cause high volumes of wastewater and trash, to name only a few things. Some tourists lack respect and true interest in their travel destination. While traveling poses serious threats to nature and cultures, it provides enormous opportunities for travelers to broaden their horizons, learn to appreciate and embrace differences in cultures and personalities, and to start to realize that everything is connected.
Earth Science provides insights into the exogenic and endogenic processes that build and form the Earth's surfaces and landscapes. Understanding the workings of nature and where the resources our lives depend on come from, such as water and air, will lead to a greater environmental awareness and, hence, a desire to protect and preserve our planet. This includes understanding the landscapes of travel destinations as well.
Protection and preservation
To protect and to preserve ecosystems and the environment we live in is a major responsibility that comes with being human. Using the knowledge Earth Science provides, we can learn to appreciate, value, and, thus, develop a desire to protect and preserve the limited resources available to us and protect all forms of life we share our own existence with.
Add EarthyUniversity to your itinerary
EarthyU is located in the center and represents the intersection of all three key factors: travel, Earth Science, preservation/conservation. The online classes taught at EarthyU are tailored to specific travel destinations and designed to give the student a deeper understanding of the Earth's processes in the particular travel destination and will guide them to a greater awareness and appreciation for the nature and environment they are visiting as travelers.
The online classes provided by EarthyUniversity are created to be accessible and comprehensible for everybody. You don't need to be a scientist, you don't need to have a science degree, or a college degree or similar to be able to enroll for these classes.
Final note, please read
Before I finish, there's something else I want to say:
We are so lucky to live on this planet we call Earth. We are only a blink of an eye in its history. Earth existed long before us and it will exist long after we're gone.
But its existence is also finite.
As is your life.
It is my vision to make your life, the lives of the people you touch and the lives of all organisms a little better. It is my vision to keep our Earth healthy and in balance by educating people about it.
My way of achieving this is by explaining to you how landscapes formed on the Earth's surface – but every time we look at the surface of something, we also need to dig deeper to understand why things are the way they are, we need to (literally) look at each layer. I hope that by going a little further, deeper, into geology, into geosciences, you'll start to gain a perspective of life you've never experienced before. One that will leave you in awe and inspire you to care for our planet just a little more.
Understanding the geology of a place will connect you to it in a way you've never experienced before and that has the power to transform the way you see the world – potentially forever.
Education, knowledge and insights are a big step towards preservation, as they lead us to making better decisions for everyone.
If you liked this episode and what I do and stand for, subscribe to the Stories of Earth newsletter to stay in the loop. It’s the first place I share anything new! Sign up below!
Be kind and love nature, 🌱
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 e-letter. 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 Letter.
Photo: Spiekeroog, North Sea, Germany | by Daniela Dägele