Top TED Talks About Travel

TED Talks About Travel

TED Talks are great ways to learn, listen, educate, inspire, and understand our world. 

If your music playlist is getting redundant on your morning commute, or you’ve listened to your favorite podcasts three times over, consider listening to TED talks about travel. 

Looking for an inspirational speech about sailing, stillness, or life on the road? Look no further than our list of the top TED talks about travel.

The surprising thing I learned sailing solo around the world 

Dame Ellen MacArthur

“When you’re a child, anything and everything is possible. The challenge so often is hanging onto that as we grow up,” Dame Ellen MacArthur begins her TED Talk.

She sailed around the world and speaks about the challenges, issues, and amazing sights she sees. “What we have out there is all we have. There is no more. And never in life had I ever translated that definition of ‘finite’ that I’d felt onboard to anything outside of sailing.” This speech is truly remarkable, inspiring, and heartwarming. 

For more tolerance, we need more…tourism? 

Aziz Abu Sarah

Aziz Abu Sarah wants the people of the world to be tourists..over and over again. This way, we can interact with other cultures in small ways, helping to eradicate ideas of hate or mistrust. We are all people, right?

“Yes, tourism is the best sustainable way to bring down those walls. And to create a sustainable way of connecting with each other and creating friendships,” he said. More tourism, please! 

The joy of surfing in ice cold water

Chris Burkard

Chris Burkard travels across the globe to remote, risky, and icy locations to capture surf images unlike any other.

“But even with swollen lips, sunken eyes, and cheeks flushed red, I have found that this place right here, is somewhere I can find great joy,” he said. He will inspire you to jump into ice-cold water, both figuratively and literally.

Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local 

Taiye Selasi

You might be someone who is a “multi-local,” – you find the feeling of “home” in many places, whether you were born in one place, raised somewhere else, or live in a completely different place.

Heritage and nationality may not answer this question for you either. Selasi digs deeper into this idea during her intuitive, heartwarming TED talk.

What does it mean to be a citizen of the world?

Hugh Evans

Hugh Evans believes in the “global citizen,” someone who “self identifies first and foremost not as a member of a state, a tribe, or a nation, but as a member of the human race. And someone who is prepared to act on that belief to tackle our world’s greatest challenges.”

Evans says that if we had more of these citizens, then the issues and challenges of our world today would be solvable. There are global citizens everywhere, we need to find and encourage them to step forward.

Hidden music rituals around the world 

Vincent Moon

Vincent Moon hopes that the world will see itself differently through music rituals that you don’t normally see or discuss in popular media.

Far away from Hollywood and MTV, are the music rituals, practices, and moments from cultures all over the world. He documents disappearing musical traditions with this camera.

Where is home?

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer calls the United States home, but he has three or four different “origins” or places where he comes from.

In this talk, he discusses the meaning of home, the joy of traveling and the serenity of standing still – no matter where you come from.

Why bother leaving the house?

Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders is a polar explorer, he was the youngest man to ski by himself to the North Pole in 2004.

His advice is to leave the house, get outdoors, and soak up all that life has to offer. “Real inspiration and growth come from adversity and challenge. From stepping away from what’s comfortable and familiar and stepping out into the unknown,”  he professes. We definitely recommend this inspiring, fun, TED Talk.

A glimpse of life on the road

Kitra Cahana 

Kitra Cahana is a photojournalist who has documented the lives of all kinds of nomads.

As a young girl, Cahana says she had, “a primal fear that I would fall prey to a life of routine and boredom.” As a photojournalist, she’s followed nomads across America and met people who have let go of material items, sacrificed privacy, and who face discriminatory laws, natural elements and conditions, and addiction.

An underwater art museum, teeming with life 

Jason deCaires Taylor

Jason deCaires Taylor is a sculptor with the incredible exhibition space of the ocean.

He creates humans and other shapes and sinks them into the sea, where animals and other forms of life make these pieces even more captivating. Taylor is determined to inspire the world to make a change. To inspire the world to take better care of the bright, beautiful, fragile sea.

Walk the Earth…my 17 year vow of silence 

John Francis

John Francis brings out his banjo for moments of this inspirational speech. He was silent for 17 years of his life, and when he first spoke, he didn’t recognize his voice.

While he was silent, he began listening, listening more than he ever has before. His strong message about environmental respect and responsibility is one that will stay with you forever.

My year reading a book from every country in the world 

Ann Morgan

Ann decided to read a book from every country in the world, when she asked herself, “what does my bookshelf say about me?”

She read a novel, short story collection, or memoir from about 196 countries. The issue with “reading the world” would be finding books published in English from other countries – but she did it. Check out the list of books here.

Our list of the best TED Talks about travel has us ready to book a flight, find an itinerary, or contact a tour guide. What do you think? Leave us a comment below! 

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