Discovering Wanderlust: Getting To Know The World And Yourself With Eric Weiner
Travelling can be scary. You could get lost with no sense of direction of where you are and no one to talk to. It would be a nightmare. But there are some people who simply enjoy the wanderlust of being in the unknown. They are the overly curious people that just want to know more about the world around them. Journey with your host, Tony Martignetti and his guest, the public speaker and renowned author, Eric Weiner. Eric is a New York Times bestselling author of books such as Geography of Bliss and Geography of Genius, among others. Tag along in his journey of discovering himself and the world around him and what inspired him to become who he is today.
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Discovering Wanderlust: Getting To Know The World And Yourself With Eric Weiner
It is my honor to introduce my guest, Eric Weiner. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Geography of Genius, the critically acclaimed Man Seeks God, and The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers, a brilliant book. A former foreign correspondent for NPR, he has reported from more than three dozen countries. His work has appeared in The New Republic, The Atlantic, The National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, The Anthology and Best American Travel Writing. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, daughter and a menagerie of animals.
I want to welcome you to the show, Eric.
Thank you, Tony. I am delighted to be here.
Your books are amazing. I loved the way that you dig into these topics that are on top of mind for so many people but you do it in a way that is immersed in these locations. It's beautiful the way you bring that all to life. I'm so thrilled to bring you here and also dive into what brought you to do the work that you do.
Knowing that you don’t know is the beginning of discovery.
First of all, thank you for the compliment. I do appreciate that. Writing is a lonely business, as you know. You toil in solitude, you flame your book into the world and you hope it resonates with some people. It does with readers like yourself. It's cool. It's not a miracle because it starts as this germ of an idea in your head, makes its way to the page and out there into the world so thank you. You want to talk about what makes me do or what I do, what exactly would you like to know?
Let me clarify that for you. What we do in the show is help people to tell their stories of what ignited their gifts into the world through what's called flashpoints. Usually, people start someplace along their journey. It could be as early as childhood or a moment that happened later in their career that brought them into doing the work they do. What got you excited about travel? What got you thinking about writing?
I have two flashpoints. Can I have more than one flashpoint?
You can have as many as you like.
I can have a whole firework display of flashpoints. Two flashpoints come to mind. One is when I was five years old. I’m living in Towson, Maryland. To be honest, we are in an unhappy household. My parents, a few months after this happened, would get divorced. I suspect something was going on in my five-year-old mind but at that time, all I knew is I wanted to explore. I set off to go for this walk and to run away from home. I was going to run away from home and go out like Marco Polo exploring. I’ve got pretty far for a five-year-old. I’ve got 1 or 2 miles from our house. I would have made it to wherever I was trying to go if the Baltimore County Police had not put sudden into my expedition. I'm thinking, "Marco Polo did not have to put up with this crap." The cops brought me back. It's easy to say, "You are running away from something." As they said, I was a family that was about to undergo a divorce.
The clarity there was something I'm happy to spend at the time walking. None of that was on my mind. I was curious about what was around the next corner. You can be both running from something and running to something. That's what I was doing. Ever since that moment if not before, I have had this deep and persistent wondrous wanting to know what's around the next corner. I wanted to see the world. I wanted to get out there and experience the world and speed up by a couple of decades. I graduated from college with a pretty much worthless degree in English Literature. A somewhat stunted sense of morality of being a 21-year-old. That desire to see the world perfectly in someone else's time. I became a journalist. Being a little flippant about it but it's true that particularly as a foreign correspondent, which I was for more than a decade, you are not just a tourist or you are experiencing the world and you are reporting on it. I did that for 10, 11 years for NPR, which was the peak of my journalism career. I lived in New Delhi in India, Tokyo and Jerusalem. I traveled to many more countries.
I don't think this is from the Bible, I'm not sure but there are lines about letting go of things not meant for you. The hardest thing I think is to let go of something good that is almost the right thing for you, but not quite the right thing. Letting go of that flaming hot torch that's burning in your hand, that's easy to let go of. Letting go of the baseball bat with razor blades on it, that's easy. When you are letting go of a bouquet but it's not quite the right flowers, that is what I'm saying, it's hard.
This job was close to being what was right for me in terms of creative expression and everything else going on but it wasn't quite right because of the negativity bias in journalism, to be honest, which is baked in. There's a cynical expression that journalists use, "If it bleeds, it leads." The idea is that good news is not news, generally. You have the feel-good story at the end of the newscast or whatever. I always had a background home of melancholia, low-grade depression, whatever you want to call it. I think being a foreign correspondent, once the initial thrill world was off that this depression was getting worse because I was immersing myself in wars, Winter Afghanistan, Iraq, other places and seeing in a way, humanity at its worst. humans doing their worst to other humans. I had an epiphany one day that I thought, “Instead of traveling around the world and finding the most miserable people, what if I spend a year traveling to the happiest places, looking for the happiest people and what lessons they could teach us.”
I presented the idea to the NPR correspondent who said at the time something like, "What have you been smoking?" This was before smoking and such things were illegal. I couldn't get rid of the idea. I listened to an interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who said for him, “Creativity is an idea that gets a hold of you and won't let go." That's what it was for me. This idea wouldn't let it go and so I wrote a book proposal which led to the book, The Geography of Bliss. I discovered a couple of things. I discovered that I enjoy focusing on the positive elements of humanity and diving into a topic in a deeper way than is possible. Even an in-depth NPR reporting, you still might spend a few days, maybe a week working on the story but here, I could spend a year or more on it. It was very gratifying.
What I hear about that is now, it is on your terms. It's like, you can go in on something that you are passionate deeply about you choose.
With a greater degree of honesty, that was dishonest in my reporting, but for whoever, it was incomplete. I would go off on assignment to Kabul. I did it many times. I have spent a couple of weeks there and produce these stories. Friends back home would say, "I heard your reports on NPR from Kabul. Great stuff. What is it like there?" I wanted to write the books and stories where there was no gap between what I experienced and what I report. The kinds of stories that journalists tend to only tell each other at the bar at night after they filed their story. I wanted to be opinionated. It's loosening a bit but there’s still certainly the belief in journalism that you don't put your thoughts, feelings and attitudes into a story, just the facts, etc. Writing the book, The Geography of Bliss and the books I have written since is liberating and that I can say, “I like Kabul. I don't like London. I like this person that I met or I don't like them,” but to bring my full self to the work and not leave certain percentage behind.
I almost want to pause here and ask a few questions about what you discovered about the people in all the locations that you went to because there are so many cultures that you have been exposed to. What did you discover about people in general?
Before I get to answer that one, I always like to question a little roundabout way. I have talked about my approach as a cultural connoisseur. A connoisseur of foreign cultures in a positive way. You were talking about not cultural appropriation but cultural appreciation. There's a fine line sometimes. I think there's a difference. I'm a cultural appreciator. First off, the underlying idea and thesis of my whole approach to all the books I have written are that place matters. By place, I mean not just the physical place, like I’m in Boston, I'm in Silver Spring, Maryland, and there are different topographies, the lay of the land and you've got bodies of water. We've got different bodies of water but we have cultures. Even between Boston and Washington DC, there are different cultures, then you go to different countries, the culture is like a goldfish in a fishbowl.
The water in the fishbowl is their culture but they are not aware that there's a culture there. They just think this is the way things are. It's not thinking that they should add the fish to the fishbowl, and then you flop in another fishbowl and it’s like, "This is different." You put them back in the first fishbowl when they experienced that as if for the first time. My approach is that we are all swimming in this sequel and cultured but not aware of it. You are affected by the culture of being an American, Bostonian or Tony, which probably has its own subculture and the culture of Tony. That's my belief. When I go to these places, I treat people as both individuals because we are all individuals yet, also as manifestations of these cultural traits, which they may not even be aware of.
This is the tricky part. You don't think about what it is to be an American because you are unless there's a crisis. To go to India and ask someone that simple question, it's a good question. What does it mean to be an Indie? What does it mean to be a French person? They will usually go, "I don't normally think about that." What do we all have in common? What makes us French? What makes us Indian? Also, they get people to talk about the positive aspects of their life. It’s trickier than getting them to talk about the negative. If you ask someone if they are happy and they say, “No,” and you ask, “Why,” and they have a litany of problems, without money or the kids are paying their neck, if you ask if they are happy and they say, "Yes," and your follow-up question is, “Why,” they usually get a blank, “I’m just am.”
Put 100% effort into whatever you’re doing but be 0% invested in the results.
Happy people, I discovered, don't spend a lot of time analyzing their happiness. They are too busy being happy. That's one thing I discovered. You asked about these people in these places. Their countries that tend to analyze happiness and dissect it are not necessarily the happiest. In the US, we have a cottage industry of self-help books, books about happiness and the science of happiness but we are not in the top ten countries to the happiest in the world. In other countries like Thailand, the Thai have an expression. "You think too much." They believe that excessive thinking is a sign of mental illness.
I had to go on with a completely open mind. I'm open to the idea that everything I think is provisional. Everything I think about happiness must involve money. People respond to my openness that I'm not coming there with an agenda or to bad mouth their country or whitewash it. I listen. When I was a journalist, I talked about doing interviews, "I'm going to go interview this person." An interview is very transactional. I'm looking for someone for them. They are looking for something for me. Now, I'm saying, “I'm talking to people.” You are not interviewing me. We are having a conversation. There's a shift in attitude. I develop my skills as a deep listener. It has been said that listening is an act of love. I think there's great truth to that. I learned how to love by listening.
I love what I'm hearing here because this is an element of how we need to approach the way we deal with life, the way we travel and the way we operate in the world with that lens of we are bumping into other people. We are having conversations. We should be open to hearing what they have to say and not judge and free.
I don't want anything from them per se. In the business world where I don't spend a lot of time and imagine a lot of relationships become transactional. A transactional relationship, whatever it's being transacted, almost doesn't matter, the dynamic is then giving and receiving, not this open-ended nature conversation. Socrates, who was the original converser, would go around ancient Athens, he did not have a transactional approach. He was curious to talk about big subjects like what's courage. He would go up to a general and say, "You are Mr. General, you must know what courage is." They would have a conversation but Socrates would keep pressing him, "You say this but what about this?" It soon became clear to Socrates that the general has no idea what courage is and the poet didn't know what beauty was.
Socrates comes to the interesting conclusion that, "At least I know that I don't know." That is the beginning of all discovery. It’s knowing that you don't know. This kind of ignorance I'm speaking of is necessary for any creative endeavor or any discovery because if you think you know it all, that's another way of saying you are shut down to new ideas and new ways of thinking. The first step is what has been called a fully conscious ignorance. You know what you don't know and you are receptive to seeing new ways of being. My all-time favorite quote about travel is from the writer Henry Miller. He said that "One's destination is never a place but a new way of looking at things." That is my approach to travel and to life. I'm going to try to know and see more. I wouldn't it be a know-it-all and see-it-all. It's a subtle distinction but it's a different orientation. Knowledge is something you possess. It becomes another possession. Wisdom, which I read about in my book is, "Something you see, is something you do." It has more to do with vision than the accumulation of facts and information.
It's funny because I start thinking about it in a similar vein, there's a beginner's mind. It's embracing the situation from a beginner's mind not being attached to this is the way that it should be. It's like I'm navigating and open-minded.
It’s very similar. I found all these are incredible to overlap between any ancient Greeks in 300 BC and the Buddhists thinking. The beginner's mind is right as in Buddhist ideas but Buddhism has already been around for 300 years when Socrates said, "At least I know that I don't know." That's interesting. I will say that it's hard because partly for cultural reasons. We are taught, especially in this country, to be results-oriented. The beginner's mind is not a results-oriented approach to life. You are not looking for results. One of my favorite little nuggets of wisdom comes from the Bhagavad Gita, which is a Hindu spiritual poem. It's essentially Lord Krishna saying to Arjun and I'm paraphrasing here basically, "I will put 100% effort into whatever you are doing but have 0% invested in the results. Not claim them." That's hard to do. If we invest our energy and our talents into something, we almost but not quite automatically, we want to know the results. We want there to be the result. It doesn't work that way. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we have far less control over external events now than we thought we did.
I want to take you back because I'm thinking about how this Western world, the Eastern world. When you decided to become a journalist and to follow this path you have been on, you did find that there was a lot of resistance or people who told you in your life, "You are crazy What are you doing? This is a crazy path?"
Becoming a journalist, not necessarily but leaving a prestigious job at a prestigious organization like NPR, some people thought that was a bit nut. My reports were heard by millions of people. I reach on aggregate terms fewer people with my books but I reached them more deeply. That's what matters to me. I think more about this as I get older and I also use the phrase as they get older more often than I used to, you will start using it. It’s this notion of letting go of things not meant for you that we only have so much time and that time becomes less and less. Do you want to do that project just because it will burnish your CV? Do you want to do that because it will look good or it will impress your friends? Letting go of things that are not meant for you. If your hands are full with all this shiny stuff that's not meant for you or not what you should be doing, you can't grasp what is meant for you.
Happy people don't spend a lot of time analyzing their happiness. They're just too busy being happy.
Increasingly, I'm concluding that a lot of life is not achieving the process of letting go of the stuff not meant for you. It's tricky when that stuff not meant for you rewards you. Being a workaholic is something that is rewarded in many ways in our culture. You put in the hours at the office. You get promoted, you make more money, people think highly of you but yet, it can be very destructive. Those are the hardest things to let go of, not the stuff that's like, "No, I don't want to do that." Like, "That would make me look good." It's not what you should be doing with your time. That's where I'm at now.
It's funny how a time you come to this place you say like, "What is the legacy that I'm creating? What is the thing that I'm creating with my life with the time that I have?" It is where the letting goes start to come into sharp focus. It's like, "I'm doing all these things. What is it serving me and the people around me?"
What unique contribution are you making to the world? What are you doing that others can't do or won’t do? For me, it's writing these books. For someone else, it might be volunteering somewhere. It could be an IT job. Maybe an IT job for a nonprofit and helping them out. It could be any number of things. I once interviewed this doctor who would go into a volunteer with his vacation time in Honduras or countries and Central America helping out for a week or two there. They were like, “You are a doctor back home. Why do you do that during your spare time?" He said, "I would like to be useful." I think we, humans, want to be needed and useful. I have always wondered why? As you get older, there's that phrase that you can help out a young buck coming up. A twenty-year-old writer or podcaster comes to me versus, “Tony, how can I be a famous podcaster and make millions like you?” It might help that twenty-year-old kid.
If you are very cynical about it, you say, "That's because that kid might turn out to be the next Joe Rogan or whatever. He's going to help me out." I don't think that's it. I think people, as they get older, help out the young bucks and up-and-coming bucks because they want to be useful and needed. There's something deeply human and satisfying about being useful. When you were using your skills for whatever reason, you have more than other people to be useful like the carpenter, who's a great carpenter and helps out in a homeless shelter. He's using his skills to be useful. That homeless shelter would not want me to be their carpenter because they would be better off being homeless instead of living under my roof. After all, I cannot put together two pieces of plywood. If they want to learn how to write, work on their writing skills or work in developing their resume for a job, I could do that. We want to be useful using what God has given us.
There's something about this that I want to take into the realm of genius because I think there's an element of uncovering your genius and finding what you are good at. I know with Geography of Genius, that book was powerful in the sense that you found where does this comes from, where you find these pockets of brilliance and uncovering the genius in each person.
It is an intersection of a person in place that makes a genius. I believe that. That does not have to take anything away from the person. Leonardo da Vinci was not around in sixteenth-century Florence but in 21st century Boston, he would not be laying under da Vinci. We’ve got a few colleges there in Boston. He would go to one of the colleges there and say, "I have done these drawings. I like to study here.” “We have a wonderful fine arts program.” “I have also done some aeronautical engineering." "Maybe you consider our engineering department." "I have also done military strategy." "What about this department?" "I want to do it at all." They would be like, "We have a counseling department. You can talk to them and sort things out. When you know what you want to do, you come back to us."
The point is being a Renaissance man or woman like Leonardo da Vinci was possible because it was during the Renaissance. This is one of my big bugaboos. I’m sorry if I’m going off of this specialization. It is the enemy of genius. All the geniuses I looked at, in some ways, were interdisciplinary. Einstein was a physicist but he also played the violin. He played it very well. When he was stuck with his Science and Physics equation, he was going to go and play his violin, then the ideas would come to him. Every genius I write about and I know of is a person in default. They have other interests and they are not just diversions.
Einstein's violin playing was the diversion in the sense that allowed him to think in new ways. It got him out of the rut. It wasn't just a hobby and he was passionate about it. All geniuses are interdisciplinary in that way that they have other interests, whether it's playing the violin or sing before he’s interested in ancient archeology. It gives them new lenses through, which to look at their own chosen field. They still have their field but they've got these other glasses they can put on and see things differently.
I love that analogy of the lenses to see the world through. There's also an element of doing that but also making sure they focus on and execute on the work. I'm sure you know a fair amount of people in the world who have all these interests and then they don't execute on anything.
That's the tricky question. Leonardo da Vinci, we are talking about Emmy, he abandoned a lot of projects in mid-history. You have to execute on something if you want to be in the history books but you don't have to follow through on everything. There was a scientist, Linus Pauling, who was a two-time Nobel Prize winner. One of the few two-time Nobel Prize winners in two different fields. He was asked when he was older by a young student, "Dr. Pauling, what's your secret to success? How do you have so many good ideas?" He said, "It's easy. I come up with lots of ideas and I throw away the bad ones." There are great truth and wisdom to that. It has been said that a world-class poet writes more bad poetry than an amateur poet. They also write more good poetry but they do more but they have the discerning eye to recognize what is worth pursuing. There is truth to that annoying Silicon Valley expression, "Fail fast, fail often." The idea is that you recognize, which seeds are most likely to grow but you plant lots of seeds. You have to be free enough to think about these crazy ideas. I would say the challenge any writer faces is not being an editor before it's time to edit. Not editing yourself as you are writing. You need to vomit on the page, get it out, clean up the mess later and figure out what's worth pursuing.
I love these little bombs of insights here. This is what we want to know because there's a fair amount of people who will be listening that only think of themselves like, "Can I do that? Can I write? Can I create something like that?" Knowing those insights will be so helpful for them. I want to jump into a question that has been burning for me. Have there been situations in your travels that you have thought to yourself like, "My life is in danger," that you want to share?
I was in East Timor, which at the time was part of Indonesia but it was breaking free becoming an independent nation, which should have been all along, reclaiming its independence. We are talking about an island in the Indonesian archipelago. A group of journalists was staying in this corner hotel. It was a glorified dormitory. We were all staying in one place. The Indonesian military didn't want East Timor to break free. They wanted to stay part of Indonesia and they stirred up trouble by Arming these militias. They were roaming the island before independence was about to happen. People are harassing journalists. This group of militias started to storm this little dormitory where the journalists were. People were getting pieces of furniture and putting them up against the wall.
I didn't know it at that time but a Dutch journalist, the day before, had been killed on the island. It’s a short distance away. I was scared at that moment. I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse. This ability to get very calm in a moment of crisis. I was telling my wife that I'm good at the big crises and she's good at the small ones, and most of life is small crises but when something big happens, I get very calm and almost meditative. I calm down and like, "We have to do this." I'm also recording the NPR story to get the sound so I can use it later. It's the coping strategy. Invariably, what happens is once the danger has passed, I freak out after the fact. That's what happened here. I think at that time, I also realized I don't want to keep doing this. I kept thinking, “Is it worth it if I were to be killed here.” At that time, it seemed like a big story. This was pre 9/11 by a few months only. It's a footnote in history. I don't want to die for a footnote. I think that's when I began planning my exit from daily journalism problems.
First of all, I want to thank you for sharing that. I can feel like I was there and the way you tell your story is powerful. I can see now that this is what journalists do day in and day out. It's not for the faint of heart for sure to be in that line of work.
There is a certain adrenaline rush from it. It can be addictive. I have friends and colleagues like that who can't give up covering wars. I did that part of the job. I want to say I enjoyed it and there's an immediacy to it. An immediate relevance like violence in a way rates itself. It's dramatic. Not to take anything away from war correspondence but it's built-in drama. Writing about these subtler ideas like happiness, creative genius, spiritual fulfillment and philosophical wisdom. These are subtler ideas without the automatic drama but it's where I have always felt most at home. Again, letting go of things not meant for you. Being a war correspondent was not meant for me. It just wasn't.
As we are getting near to the end of the hour, I do want to ask if you could share a few things that you have learned about yourself and the things that, through your journey, you want to share with people that you haven't already. You shared so many great insights through your stories already but is there anything that you want to share that you have learned about yourself in the process of getting to this place you are in now?
I have written these books about leading a richer, more fulfilling life but to be honest, I don't always live up to it. I often will have neurotic moments like everyone else, probably more than everyone else. I will be running around like a chicken with his head cut off and tell, "I don't know what to do about that joke at the grocery store or whatever, which is on page 242, Socrates Express, you wrote it." I always found wiser on the page they have in person but that's okay. I have encountered these historical figures who were very wise but they were flawed beings. They had extramarital affairs. They drank too much. People say, "What can we learn from them?" I think that's a mistake. We all have these moments of wisdom where we know something is true. I have learned increasingly to trust my inner voice about something. We live in a strange time where there is not enough expertise and too much expertise.
Not enough expertise because when it comes to a pandemic, you should listen to the epidemiologist. Too much expertise because when it comes to something with literature art, you should listen to your own inner voice about what you like, what you don't like and what you appreciate. It's learning to trust your instincts about life and about what to do and not always reaching for the expert to tell you. That's something I'm still learning.
Those are some powerful insights that you shared. One of the takeaways from this is that you write the books that you need the most to hear, too.
I write it for myself. I don't believe what people say, writing advice and giving the readers what they want is terrible advice. You write for yourself but you write for your best self. Being a human, I'm hoping that writing for myself, others are going to find value in that as well.
One last question, which is very different than the rest. What are 1 or 2 books that have had an impact on you and why?
One of my all-time favorite books is a travel book, it’s not a travel book. A novel, it’s not a novel. It's a conundrum. It's called Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, the late Italian writer. It's an odd book. It's 57 imaginary cities described in very short chapters, as short as just one page. It may be up to three pages. Imagine that these 57 cities were the Laws of Physics. It turned upside down where people experience time differently or they experience memory differently. Each one is written like a beautiful poem and it gets you thinking about the place in a very expensive way. It's hard to describe. It's a book, even though it's less than 200 pages. It's a thin little book but it's a kind of book you don't read in one sitting. You take it in little small doses. I read every piece of poetry to inspire me and to get me thinking about places. I would highly recommend Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino.
Another, not a book but a travel writer who inspired me. She passed away and she wrote so many books I couldn't even point to. One, in particular, was Jan Morris, a Welsh writer. She helped me learn that I can have an opinion about places. She would generalize about places but she did it well. It's okay to generalize, just do it well. Do your homework and have what my editor calls earn your epiphanies. She wrote about cities, mainly. That's when I realized that cities have a heart and a soul in a way that countries don't. They are too diffuse. I have tried to focus it on cities. She wrote about cities as if they were people with their own personalities and in these opinionated ways. Anything by Jan Morris. She wrote 40 plus books and they are all brilliant. In the 1970s, Rolling Stone sent her around the world to write about places and she did terrific stuff.
First of all, I'm blown away. I'm going to put them on my list. Jan, I'm going to have a harder time finding her stuff, but the Invisible Cities is definitely on my list. It's right up my alley. I'm thrilled about that. Thank you so much for sharing that. I’ve got to thank you for bringing yourself to this space. This is amazing. I'm so honored and grateful.
Thank you for what you do. I know it's hard to get up every day, interview someone new and make it compelling. You are doing something by doing this show and you are reaching people.
Thank you. I can't do it without you.
Let's do this again.
Before we wrap up, I want to give people a chance to know where they can find you and if there's anything that you want to mention about things that are happening in your world.
You can find out a lot about me from my website, EricWeinerBooks.com. About my books, you can subscribe to my Newsletter. It's once a month. You are not going to drown in it. It's called the Atlas of Ideas. It's my ideas on travel and life delivered to your inbox once a month. I do teach writing. I teach a couple of workshops every year. I will be teaching one with my former NPR colleague and friend, Jacki Lyden, In Flagstaff, Arizona called Colton House Workshop. I am planning a trip to Bhutan in the Himalayan Kingdom, which will be a writing and wellness workshop. It's on the calendar for October 2021, health situation permitting. If we can't do it, then we will do it soon after. All of this is on my website. Go to the Writing Workshops tab. Tony, come with me to Bhutan. We will have a great time.
I will be there. Thank you so much. Thanks to our readers for coming on the journey. It has been such an amazing hour.
- Eric Weiner
- The Geography of Genius
- Man Seeks God
- The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers
- The Geography of Bliss
- Invisible Cities
- Atlas of Ideas – Eric Weiner’s Newsletter
- Colton House Workshop
- Writing Workshops
About Eric Weiner
Eric Weiner is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, and speaker. His books include The Geography of Bliss and The Geography of Genius, as well as the spiritual memoir Man Seeks God and, his latest title, The Socrates Express. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Eric is a former foreign correspondent for NPR, and reporter for The New York Times. He is a regular contributor to The Washington Post, BBC Travel, and AFAR, among other publications. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
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