Facebook Live is something we have really embraced at Dreams Abroad. After our first event with Travel With Guy’s Guy Guyton, we followed up by talking with Adam Rogers. Adam is a former UN professional and published author. The conversation was an international affair with US-based Dreams Abroad founder and director Leesa Truesdell speaking with Adam from his holiday home in Zermatt, Switzerland as birds chirped in the background.
Zermatt is in the Alps. It is where Adam likes to escape. This Swiss retreat is his get-out clause. It’s also the Z in Dreams Abroad’s The A-Z of Skiing in Switzerland, the comprehensive guide of Swiss ski resorts.
Adam Rogers on Connecting with a Country
In Switzerland, Adam likes to eat at altitude. He lovingly described lunching at 12,000 feet with a view of the Matterhorn. This fits in with his ethos of fully immersing yourself in a country. The first dimension or pillar is seeing the sights. Sure, go take a selfie of yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower.
However, if you truly want to get under the skin of a culture, you need to meet the people. It’s one thing to get up close and personal with the Pyramids. It’s another to spend time with the descendants of the people who built them. That’s the second pillar.
The third is connecting with nature. Hug a tree. Listen to the wind. Places possess a certain vibration. By tuning into that, we do it instinctively. It’s an unconscious relationship that is truly timeless.
In 2020, Adam published Taking Action Online for the Environment, Social Justice, and Sustainable Development. It’s a title he discussed in some detail with Leesa in a previous interview. In their latest conversation, Adam warmed to its central message of using social media as a force for good. Although he was honest about the digital divide that exists between developed and developing countries, Adam was optimistic about the sheer numbers of people online. He enthused about them connecting across boundaries, connecting across borders.
Adam urged us not to merely let the likes of Netflix entertain us. We can be more proactive. Sure, we can switch off to action movies and romantic comedies. But we can also switch on to documentaries. Netflix is a tool that can educate us. As is TikTok which is increasingly being used by more and more generations.
Leesa is a lifelong volunteer. Adam is too. He urges those with important skill sets to help out. Maybe you can assist an NGO in Africa to build a website. Perhaps you can offer to translate. There are midwives volunteering to bring vulnerable children into the world safely.
Adam answered questions sent in by Dreams Abroad members. Ajay Pfister inquired about openings at the UN. Adam recalled receiving a discouraging reply to a letter he sent as an undergraduate. Later, he was headhunted. Adam urged Ajay and others like him to be determined. This would get them noticed in the long term.
We couldn’t let Adam go without talking about food. He advises wherever possible to get an invite to a private home as you lift barriers when you do that. Eat with your hands. Break bread. That’s how you truly form new bonds. It’s all about connecting.
by Dreams Abroad