Shopping for Buddhas | Jeff Greenwald | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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April 25, 2008
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Talks at Google
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Shopping for Buddhas | Jeff Greenwald | Talks at Google

TL;DR

Jeff Greenwald shares his journey as a travel writer, highlighting the transformative power of travel and the need for cultural understanding.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Jeff Greenwald's first travel assignment launch his career as a travel writer?

Jeff Greenwald's first travel assignment, covering the launch of Apollo 17, provided him with a transformative experience and ignited his passion for travel and storytelling. The awe-inspiring event set him on the path to becoming a travel writer.

Q: What was Jeff Greenwald's mother's reaction to traveling to India for the first time?

Contrary to Jeff's worries, his mother thoroughly enjoyed her trip to India. She embraced the cultural differences, adapted to the vegetarian diet, and even went off on her own adventure, demonstrating her ability to feel at home in different parts of the world.

Q: How did Jeff Greenwald's meeting with Arthur C. Clarke influence his career choice?

Jeff Greenwald was deeply inspired by "2001: A Space Odyssey," which Clarke co-wrote. He became a devoted reader of Clarke's books and eventually wrote him a five-page letter filled with ideas. Although Clarke couldn't read his story due to legal reasons, he provided the encouragement Greenwald needed to pursue his writing career.

Q: What was the significance of Jeff Greenwald's trip around the world without taking any airplanes?

Greenwald's trip, chronicled in the book "The Size of the World," highlighted the transformative power of travel and the impact of information technology on the world. It also marked his foray into blogging, making him one of the early pioneers in the field.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Jeff Greenwald recounts his early travel experiences, including a disastrous trip to Europe as a young adult and covering the launch of Apollo 17 for his college newspaper.

  • He shares a heartwarming story about traveling to India with his mother for her 75th birthday, highlighting the transformative power of travel and the unexpected ways it can bring people together.

  • Greenwald discusses his influences as a travel writer, such as movies like "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Lawrence of Arabia," and his meeting with Arthur C. Clarke, which inspired him to become a writer.

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