If you want to achieve success in any area of your life, you must be geographically and culturally literate. Seem far fetched? Think again. No matter how independent you are or claim to be, your success in your life is determined largely by the people that are in your life. The power of relationships in helping individuals reach their goals has been heralded for as long as man can remember, be it in their careers, businesses, relationships, health, wealth, and fulfillment.
Despite its more serious implications that were mentioned above, becoming geographically and culturally literate is quite fun! Here at The Lost Geographer, we have plenty of tools to aid you on your journey to geographic and cultural literacy. We show you how fun and rewarding it is to go on this journey.
Through The Lost Geographer Podcast, you can learn about different countries in the world through the eyes of a native (therefore avoiding media bias), learn about traveling and how to make the most of it, and learn about different issues facing the world today.
In our Country Snapshots, you can learn everything you need to know about a country in under two minutes. Pretty cool, right?
Finally, we offer travel tips and guides in our store, where you can learn how to minimize your financial investment in the ultimate form of learning geographic and cultural literacy, travel, and how to maximize your experiences while traveling.
Hello there, and welcome to The Lost Geographer!
My name is Rohith Amruthur, and I am the founder of The Lost Geographer. Ever since I was a child, I was always fascinated by geography and learning about other cultures. I would sit for hours and read maps and atlases, and even draw my own sometimes. While I looked at and read these maps, I became naturally curious as to what life was like in these places. More specifically, I wanted to know why these borders existed, what cultures were like were within these borders, and how all of this came to be.
Being born and raised in one of the most diverse areas of the United States, I had the fortune of having the influence of many different cultures in my upbringing and childhood, with my own family having international origins. I was also lucky to have been able to travel to so many different places in the world. I’ve been to plenty of states within the USA, as well as other countries such as India, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands, the Bahamas, Canada (including Québec), Austria, and Poland.
My passion for geography as a child left me quite gifted with the subject, and I consistently participated in the National Geographic Bee contest in elementary and middle schools. When I was 12, I finished fifth in my state (could’ve been first if I hadn’t confused Macchu Picchu with Chichen Itza and said it was in Mexico…).
My knowledge of geography and culture, which I call geographic and cultural literacy, gave me quite a few benefits. I’ve been able to get along well with people of different backgrounds due to my understanding of their cultures. If I didn’t know about their culture, they would see my genuine curiosity and would teach me about it.
I knew about the world and understand my place in it. I have created deep, lasting, and fulfilling relationships with people of other backgrounds. In addition, I am well-informed about the world and really understand what’s going on. This means I’m able to look past the negative, biased, and often untrue media portrayals that plague our eyes, ears, and minds. Finally, the amount of opportunities that opened up from my geographic and cultural literacy were phenomenal. These ranged anywhere from job opportunities to incredible adventures.
Unfortunately, I noticed that many of my peers lacked this geographic and cultural literacy that has given me so many benefits throughout my entire life. These were otherwise intelligent people who were missing out on so much because society didn’t emphasize geographic and cultural literacy. If it did, it was more from a “tolerate diversity and be culturally sensitive” frame of mind, which is highly counterproductive. Geographic and cultural literacy comes from a place of genuine curiosity, not forced political correctness.
To clarify, although I have noticed this phenomenon quite prevalently in the United States, I am by no means saying that it is limited to the borders of the United States. People like to often stereotype Americans as lacking knowledge in this area. Being an American myself, I can safely say that this statement has some truth. However, as I mentioned before, I am quite well-traveled, and I have seen geographic and cultural illiteracy in other countries.
Another potential confusion that I want to address is that it hasn’t been a walk in the park for me either. I’ve put myself our there in situations where I really had to test my abilities in understanding geography, culture, and travel. Between academic years, I took a summer vacation to Germany by myself, not part of a program or internship. I gained so much in the way of general knowledge and it helped me grow so much and, although it was tough in the beginning, I was able to develop some very close friendships with people I met there. In addition, being a college student, I had to be resourceful with what little money I had. This is how I discovered that traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. What I’m trying to convey is that, although I’ve been blessed with incredible experiences throughout my life, I am also on this journey toward geographic and cultural literacy with you.
My mission with The Lost Geographer is to help people develop the curiosity that I have had for my entire life that has been so fruitful in my endeavors. I want to show others that the rest of the world is, well…really cool! Learning about it shouldn’t be a chore, it should be fun and interesting. Especially when you can travel. That’s why The Lost Geographer’s goal is to promote geographic and cultural literacy through travel.
On the education side, I’ve created the Country Snapshots. These are meant so that you can learn most of the important information about any country in the world in under 2 minutes or less. I get it, sitting and reading the CIA World Factbook can be quite an unappealing task to some (I love it though). I also started the podcast, where people from different countries talk about their countries to get a native perspective, bypassing media bias. Travelers also come to share their stories, and I talk about different issues relating to geographic and cultural literacy.
When it comes to travel, people have this notion that traveling is expensive and stressful. In addition, when many travel, they do so with the comforts of home (staying in fancy hotels, eating in 5-star restaurants, not leaving the tourist areas, etc.). As a well-traveled person, I can tell you that traveling DOES NOT HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE OR STRESSFUL. In addition, I have plenty of experience in not being a typical tourist, and getting truly memorable experiences out of my travel. I share all of this on this site as well if you check out my articles.
So that was quite a long description about me, but I wanted to show you all why I believe that I deserve the authority to run this sort of platform. In addition, I wanted to explain to you why I started this and how you can benefit, as well as let you know all I have to offer through this site. So what are you waiting for? This site (and the whole world!) is here for your exploring.