Travel Journalism and Global Change – a Talk by Thomas Schmidt, an Award-winning Travel WriterBack
One backpack, one journal, one reader, seventy countries, Mr. Thomas Schmidt shared with CIE students how his wanderlust brought him to travel journalism, and how a self-published booklet initially for his curious grandmother spun into a series of award-winning travel books. CIE students of diverse backgrounds – some aspiring writers, some soon-to-be travel journalists, and some simply bitten by travel bugs – treated themselves to the engaging and inspiring talk given by Mr. Schmidt on 26 March, 2015. In response to the invitation of the Global Perspectives Team, Mr. Schmidt very generously shared the motivation behind his creation, recounted his journey from a seasoned traveller to a travel journalist, and examined the contribution of travel journalism in global understanding and change.
Mr. Schmidt’s profile is most impressive. Being an architect by trade, Mr. Schmidt is also a writer, illustrator, musician, stand-up comedian, and publisher. He was also invited to speak at TEDx on future travelling trends. Later he turned his extensive travelling experience and sketches of his journeys around the world into the award-winning “Bumbling Traveller Adventure” series, aiming at promoting environmental and cultural awareness through exciting adventures.
When asked about the final push for him to write and publish the later much successful “Bumbling Traveller Adventure” books, Mr. Schmidt said it was just an impulse for him to “do a thing that felt right at that moment”. He encouraged all CIE students who are interested in creative writing and journalism to “act on their impulse” and put their ideas into words.
Mr. Schmidt’s “Bumbling Traveller Adventure” series – “Bumbling Through Borneo”, “Bumbling Through Sumatra”, and “Bumbling Through Hong Kong” – have garnered a lot of international awards, including but not limited to Moonbeam Children’s Books Award, Independent Publishers Book Awards and AIA Hong Kong Citation. He is also a licensed US architect, a LEED® Accredited Professional, a founding member of the Hong Kong Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and a member of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI).