What do you do and why?

I am the Founder and CEO of The Lost Geographer, a platform to promote geographic and cultural literacy. It initially started out as just a blog detailing some cultural differences, but then grew into something much bigger. In addition to a weekly podcast, articles, and city guides, we also create personalized travel experiences for our clients and cater to their interests. More importantly, we make sure these experiences are authentic so that people get a better understanding of a culture. I started the platform because geography, culture, and travel are major passions of mine, and I wanted to share them with the world.

What change would you like to enact in the world?

I started The Lost Geographer because I saw a major gap in peoples’ understanding of the world around them. More importantly, I (and many others) have witnessed the harm that this lack of understanding was causing to humanity. Furthermore, I was unhappy with the way these gaps were being addressed. Telling people to be politically correct or mandating sensitivity training seemed counterproductive to me as it often left people resentful.

Personally, I’ve always been curious about the world around me. Due to my curiosity, I’ve learned so much, grown personally, and met some amazing people of all backgrounds. My take on this is that if you inspire curiosity among people and tell them that this understanding will benefit them on an individual level, they’ll be more naturally inclined to become more geographically and culturally literate. So the change that I would like to enact is to facilitate this understanding by providing the proper educational materials and creating authentic travel experiences.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

When I was 22, I decided that for a summer in college, I wouldn’t take summer classes or get a job/internship like all of my friends. Instead, I saved up money and moved to Germany for the summer by myself. In addition, this was not with a study abroad program or anything similar. It was just me, and I started my career as an online entrepreneur there.

Why did you join IVY?

I joined IVY for several reasons. The first was that I was brand new to Chicago and really wanted to meet and network with like-minded people. In addition, when I looked at the events, I saw that they catered to so many different hobbies, interests, and passions. I thought it’d be a great way to explore all of those further and meet new people while doing so. The concept was so appealing to me, and over a year later I can still say it was the right decision.

What has been your most memorable IVY Experience?

Honestly, I’d say it was my first one. It was a talk on emotional intelligence, and going into it, I had no idea what to expect and was honestly a little nervous. I was so impressed by how friendly everyone was and that the community managers made sure nobody was left out. What made it more interesting was the fact that everybody must have had a shared interest in that topic if they had come, so it’s another point over which people could bond.