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A map, outlining my upcoming 125th Anniversary Expedition with National Geographic, aboard a private jet. Over the next 24 days I will be visiting National Geographic Explorers in 10 different countries around the globe. (Map used with permission from National Geographic Expeditions).

The Expedition of a Lifetime

I just can’t keep it a secret this time–no way, no how.

My next assignment is just too big, too spectacular, and too special to leave you all guessing along the way about where I might end up in the world.

And so, just this once, I am publishing my travel plans in advance (uh, don’t get used to it).

Just yesterday, I went behind-the-scenes at National Geographic in Washington, DC to highlight our 125th Anniversary this year.  This morning, woke up in London, on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean, ready to embark on this expedition of a lifetime.

How can I employ such a superlative as this, especially after the last few years of my life in which I chased penguins in Antarctica and kissed pandas in China? Because this time, I am not merely traveling to a single destination or even around the world. This time, I am traveling with National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary Expedition, an adventure that will take me across three continents and ten countries in twenty-four days. Hold on tight!

We begin here in London, the cultural capital of the world, boarding a private jet in the morning and flying to . . . Oman. Then Nepal, then Bhutan, then the Rock Islands of Palau, then on to beautiful Laos and out across the Indian Ocean to the sapphire isles of the Maldives. Then we jump down into Africa, seeking out the big cats of Botswana before heading north to the gorillas of Rwanda. We finish up in the booming city of Barcelona before returning to London.

Running through that list of countries and destinations still fills me with the same giddy excitement I felt as a child in summer, because of that entire bold list of rare places, I have only ever traveled to two (Botswana and the Maldives). Everything else on our itinerary will be an utterly new place for me, and every good traveler knows that nothing beats that first wide-eyed experience of a place.

This expedition is one-of-a-kind not only for the incredible destinations, but for the explorers and experts that we are traveling with along the way–folks like Derek and Beverly Joubert, Sylvia Earle, Mireya Mayor, and Wade Davis; and National Geographic photographers Michael Melford and Tim Laman. This is not a vacation, but the best university on Earth, with all of us together, learning and wandering the world with the same curiosity and enthusiasm that gave birth to the National Geographic Society 125 years ago.

It’s gonna be awesome, guys. Once again, I sincerely hope that you follow along on Twitter, on YouTube, on this blog, and on my new extraordinary real-time digital map! I hope that you send me your questions, that you add lots of comments and share every exciting minute with me on this expedition of a lifetime.


This trip is one of the many ways to travel with National Geographic Expeditions. To learn more about all of our travel programs, click here.