Next up in our “Featured Presenter Q &A Series“, we caught up with Edward Readicker-Henderson, a widely published vagabonding travel writer and contributing editor of National Geographic Traveler and ISLANDS magazines.
What drives you to do the work you do?
I don’t actually know how to do anything else. I have no other useful skills at all. Somehow, everything I’ve ever done has given me no choice but to do this.
What is one personal experience or relevant anecdote that informs your TEDx talk?
The editor of National Geographic Traveler called me up one day, checking on me after yet another medical disaster. Instead of talking about what had just happened, we talked about where I’d go next. “The travel keeps you alive,” he said. So the talk is my attempt to explain exactly how that’s true.
How are you or your topic connected to Maui or Hawaiʻi?
I first ended up in Maui because I needed to go to the bottom of Haleakala. It was an utterly insane thing at the time, I was so sick I could barely walk. And I came out of the volcano feeling better than I had in years, and I came out having learned exactly what I needed to learn. I grew up on an island in Alaska, so islands make sense to me. What surprised me, though, is how at home I felt inside Hawaii’s power.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t take things so seriously.
What advice would your younger self give to the older you?
Wait just a little longer.
What do the TED Talks mean to you? Do you have a favorite talk that speaks to you?
I think my favorite TED talk is Darden Smith in Austin. At their best, I think the talks show that you can never be entirely sure when something good has happened to you. The talks are a reminder to turn the experiences around and make sure you’ve really understood them right.
Edward Readicker-Henderson will be giving a presentation at TEDxMaui 2014, coming up on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Join us in the audience or become a supporter!