Having just returned from one amazing adventure, I have never felt more privileged to be living on such a wonderful planet. Memories of my American experience will remain with me forever, and just in case you want to visit some of my favourite days, below on the right hand side is a list of my 'best bits'. This year sees another very busy year for me as I start a motivational speaking programme around the country, film for a brand new series, and work on writing my first book. In September, I leave Norfolk to study Physical Geography at the Royal Holloway, University of London. I'm really looking forward to it all, and you can follow my every move on this site. Since it's launch, Geography with Dan has received over 50,000 views. Please do come back and see what I'm getting up to.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Royal Geographical Society Gap Year Scholarship Celebration Day

I know it's a cliché, but hasn't this year flown by? This time last year I was chilling (rather literally) in Alaska, full of expectation and anticipation for the many months of solitary travel ahead. Walking the Golden Gate Bridge was only a dream; I could only imagine ascending the CN Tower. And yet, it feels like yesterday that I was avoiding grizzlies and savouring moose burgers.

Yesterday, I was honoured to attend the 'Royal Geographical Society Gap Year Scholarship Celebration Day' and caught up with so many of my fellow scholars. It was a day packed to the brim with recollections and reminiscing, with each scholar allocated ten minutes to present his or her individual experience, and I was transfixed at the sheer diversity of narratives that emerged. From sitting and listening intently to the tales of hope and courage, I was genuinely inspired.

Travelling broadens the mind, as the saying goes, but I think it also deepens it. After all, a few months of solitary travel makes you engage with your own mind. It questions your own principals and beliefs. It stirs emotions and brings back memories. It forces you to connect with your own soul, and there's no doubt that my American experience did that for me; in fact it still does.

Yesterday, Gap Year Scholars and I celebrated what has probably been the best twelve months of our lives, but that doesn't signal the end. The legacy lives on. There's not a day that I don't think about America, and that's the most brilliant aspect of all. It's been almost ten months since I returned, and yet part of me is still there, wandering the blocks, hiking the mountains, surveying the beauty. My soul is still cruising the highways on the Greyhound; it's still mingling around hostel kitchens.

I've said it so many times before, and I will say it again. Never have I felt more privileged to be existing on such a fantastic planet.

Friday, 30 August 2013

One Year Ago...

It is exactly a year since the biggest adventure of my life began. Although it only seems like a couple of months ago, on August 30th 2012 I have fond memories of weaving my way through protocol and procedure at the airport, and of course bidding a farewell to my parents, as I headed to Alaska.


The Scholarship Trip uplifted me, and has motivated me for the years ahead, and I am very much looking forward to starting my University degree in less than a month. Starting from today, Geography with Dan will feature a small 'Dan Looks Back' feature where I will be reviewing what I did in America on that specific day, one year ago.

Monday, 19 August 2013

BRAND NEW SERIES: 'Kos- Programme 3

In the final episode of Daniel's latest series, join him as he explores the beaches that surround this idyllic island, and takes a swim across a bay to partake in an ancient tradition.
 
 

Monday, 12 August 2013

BRAND NEW SERIES: 'Kos'- Programme 2

Join Daniel in his BRAND NEW SERIES as he explores the idyllic island of Kos. This week, he goes mountain climbing and walks on volcano craters to discover its ancient geological history.

Monday, 5 August 2013

BRAND NEW SERIES- 'Kos'- with Daniel Evans

Daniel returns to the screen in a BRAND NEW SERIES tonight. In this, the first episode, join him as he explores 'Kos' in the heart of the Mediterranean.
 
 

 
 
 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Dan's New Series- OUT IN AUGUST!

Daniel's BRAND NEW online documentary series on 'Kos' will be released next month on his YouTube channel, TvGeog and you will also be able to watch it right here on Geography with Dan.

The three-part series will start on Monday 5th August, with the second and third instalment being released on the 12th and 19th respectively.


The series comes as Geography with Dan hits 50,000 views and there will be some exciting developments to come next month to mark this special occasion.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

BRAND NEW SERIES...OUT SOON!

Daniel returns to the screens in August in a Brand New Series about one of the Greek Islands, Kos. It's a series which sees him mountain climbing, and trekking over volcanoes, plus discovering the beaches and settlements.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A Message to all 'Bandana' listeners

It is with deep regret to inform you all that there will not be any more editions of Bandana. Over the last couple of weeks, my own personal life has experienced a few changes, and I have not been able to devote the usual hours to the show. There have also been a couple of transmission errors which are beyond my control.

I have had a lot of fun broadcasting for you on Sunday Evenings, and have been overwhelmed at the international nature of the response. This show wouldn't have been such a success without the support you gave me, and I thank you all for listening and sharing it amongst your friends.

This isn't the end of my broadcasting, though. In August, a brand new online documentary series will be released here on Geography with Dan, and I hope to make a return to radio in the foreseeable future. You can listen to all of the shows by clicking on this link
Until then, may I wish you all the best, and thanks once again.
Dan

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Filming for BRAND NEW 'THREE PART' SERIES- next week in Kos, Greece.

Daniel will be leaving the country for the first time since his American Trip tomorrow morning. He's heading to Kos, Greece to shoot for his brand new three-part series, launching later in the year.

Daniel is also very busy currently, presenting a series on Bristol for a production company, Immix Media. (Pictured Above)

 

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sunday, 12 May 2013

BANDANA

To listen to the latest programme, broadcast on Sunday 12th May, please click on the link to Dan's Radio Page
 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Keep Calm and Explore with Dan- PART 5- London

In the concluding episode of the series, Dan explores London, and discovers even a capital city has time and space for natural beauty.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

BANDANA- 28th April 2013

Daniel presented his weekly Sunday night radio show, Bandana, between 7 and 10 this Sunday evening! To listen again, click the link below...
 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

40,000 VIEWS!

My thanks to everyone who continually supports the 'Geography with Dan' blogsite. Tonight, overall views have just topped 40,000!

Please do keep checking back as the site is regularly updated and if you have an idea for the blog, please contact me: daniel.evans994@yahoo.co.uk


Monday, 22 April 2013

Keep Calm and Explore with Dan- PART 4- Southampton

This week, join Dan as he visits Southampton, and discovers the natural beauty of the city.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Monday, 15 April 2013

KEEP CALM AND EXPLORE WITH DAN: Programme 3 - Oxford

In this, the third programme in the series, Dan travels to Oxford, and explores the natural beauty in the city. From flooded meadows, to wild deer, he explains that even if you live in a city, it's never too late to Keep Calm and Explore.
 
 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

BANDANA: 14th April 2013

Missed Dan's Radio Show? Dan is on 'Bandana' every Sunday evening from 7pm till 10pm! Here's this week's show!

 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Geographical Association Annual Conference: 2013- Derby- 'Quality' Geography, What Does it Look Like? By David Gardner

In these times of meeting targets and achieving objectives, I often feel that the essence of 'quality' is lost, or perhaps, overshadowed. I had just emerged from Dr Rita Gardner's extremely motivational speech regarding Geography as this all encompassing, relevant and applicable subject. (You can read a summary of it in the next post below). I was transfixed at her passion, yet realised that inside the classroom, so often that's not the case. So frequently have I heard teachers comment about the looming presence of school inspections, and how it inadvertently disrupts learning. To put it short, students are not reaping the delights that come with such a subject and are forever being handed internal assessments. Where's the quality in that?

So often the quality of a lesson relies on the quality of the teacher, as David Gardner outlined in this conference lecture. The teacher must have "clear vision" with a "character and purpose" and they should install high expectations in each of their students. They should continually ask themselves: "What are trying to achieve?" and "How do we organise learning?" I agree, to a degree, but have always found that a student who manages their own learning will so often do well in the future. They have the initiative to ask questions to supplement their studies. They have the eagerness; the zeal for Geography.

David Gardner continued to shine the spotlight on those aspects which don't offer quality. Teaching 'just to cover the content' being one of them. I, myself, have found that teachers regularly complain that there is seldom any time to explore around a topic and instead, students have to skid across the surface of a subject, and hop to the next one. As Rita Gardner put it, there needs to be more quantitative skills introduced into the lessons, like map work; students should be active learners. How often is it that a class is expected to rely on a textbook? Yes, Waugh might offer an integrated approach, but that isn't necessarily the approach to 'quality' learning.

Archibald Geikie once wrote a book called The Teaching of Geography and although there's no one correct method, he made one of the most crucial points. The irreplaceable ingredient is "personal zest". Every student has to have the zest for learning about the planet he or she belongs to. They have to relish the excitement that the subject offers; they have to savour every last droplet of excitement that Geography inevitably provides. If not, well, it turns into a laborious few hours at the desk. And by today's standards of Geography teaching, no wonder they chew gum and text away. David Gardner strongly believes that students should enter a classroom with a sense of anticipation. He believes the learning should be compelling.

So how do you make learning compelling? Well, I think it comes back to what Rita Gardner was saying in the previous lecture; you have to engage through their own terms. You could have the most wise and academic of learning objectives, but if they don't bubble the adrenaline, they're next to pointless. It's very often the case that teachers find themselves under the pressure of meeting targets. But maybe they should instead focus on the very core of the issue: the question of quality. If a student doesn't exit the classroom feeling inspired, can you honestly say that you've achieved your targets?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Geographical Association Annual Conference: 2013- Derby- Geography's Impacts on the Wider World by Dr. Rita Gardner

Let me put down on record, this was one of the best lectures I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. The enthusiasm that was injected into the audience through mere words was sensational. Flames of inspiration were burning, and a motivational warmth diffused through the hall. It was simply brilliant.

Dr Rita Gardner's enthusiasm for Geography isn't a result of being the Director of the Royal Geographical Society, but it's how she landed the position in the first place. Her lecture at this conference delved into the wider aspects of Geography; she explained just why it is essential for all leagues of contemporary society. From Geo spatial technology such as GPS and GIS, to the issues all around us, she made it exceedingly clear that Geography serves not just the classroom, but also the workplace and the wider society.

It was Bill Clinton who said "Geographic information is critical.." to promote the economy. That still rings true today, perhaps even more so. Insurance companies use geographical information to base their quotes. (Living right next to the Broads, I have personal experience of this!)

Unfortunately, despite the need for Geography in our society, and although we feed off it like aphids sip sap, there is this notion that Geography jobs are not plentiful. However, Rita strongly countered this argument with the latest survey by Hista, who has placed Geography graduates as the second lowest when it comes to graduate unemployment. So there are jobs out there; some of which use Geography but aren't necessarily called a 'Geography job'.

I think it's the diversity of skills that Geography offers that makes it so applicable. Having said this, Rita pointed out that quantitative skills are perhaps modern society's weakness. Map-reading has been substituted for Google or SatNav. Contour lines are redundant after an oppressive launch of these Smart Phones that can tell one the local area's gradient, the local amenities, the local this and the local that. (They might even be serving tea soon.) There's no doubt about the weakness in some of the vital skills, but at least there are strong forces defending the subject. Lord Patten, for instance, who is the Chairman of the BBC, who once said delightfully: "I believe passionately in the importance of Geography."

Rita went onto talking about the role of the Royal Geographical Society and how she and her team are forever trying to promote Geography, especially to the younger audience. One of her most pertinent points came here. That it is important to engage them through their terms, not ours. If they prefer to learn Geography through an App, or maybe through the latest Top 40, then so be it. I thought this was a moment of genius, especially because I, for one, have been trying to promote Geography for many years now.

I asked a question at the end: should it be a necessity to inspire Geography to young people by using other young people. I have been trying to inspire hundreds, perhaps thousands, over the last few years. I just wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. Apparently, I am. "Young people are our future," Rita spoke. And you could tell she was speaking from the heart. What a lovely lady.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Geographical Association Annual Conference: 2013- Derby- Presidential Lecture from Bob Digby

For the next two weeks, Geography with Dan will be focusing on just a handful of the extremely enriching lectures I enjoyed last weekend in Derby, at the annual G.A. conference. What better way to begin than the Presidential Lecture given by present President, Bob Digby?

Bob isn't a sportsman as such, but he has a burning passion for sporting events, in particular the Olympics and the lecture he gave this year at the conference really exhibited that love. From the very opening sentence, he shuttled a hundred or so of us in the audience back to last summer's grand display of sportsmanship and positive competitiveness; a memorable summer that Rio can aspire to in 2016. But Bob's essential question rang throughout the presentation: was it just a summer to remember?

London's Olympics has been dubbed the 'Sustainable Games' and has, in some way, imprinted a legacy over the words: Great Britain. In some ways, Great Britain has never been so great; so inspirational. London's diversity has become augmented, it has sent out a motivational message that sport is an ingredient to a positive well being, and the games themselves were one of the 'sustainable' games on record. Of course, the word 'sustainable' lingers out there in a cloud of ambiguity.

So very often progress and achievement can only be measured by firstly observing what was in place before, and Bob gave a very informative briefing on East London. He drew on the fact that the London Olympic Park planners had taken inspiration from previous games, referring to the concept of 'Green Games' that we adopted from Sydney. It's clear that one of the pivotal Olympic environmental principals was this notion of 'remediation' and Bob punctuated what almost had been a non-stop celebration, by turning to Athens. The Athens' Olympic Legacy is one of negativeness; the park has been labelled a "wasteland", but where on the league does it sit with Beijing? Beijing created the arresting site of the 'Bird's Nest' stadium which has seen very little action apart from tourism since 2008. (Of course, if you're not an avid reader in Olympic Legacy or regularly take trips to Beijing, you probably wouldn't have known that!)

It's significant- perhaps more significant than ever after Athens and Beijing- that the London Legacy perpetuates. Already afoot are plans to transform every venue into a public leisure venue. The Copper Box will be turned into a public leisure facility, the Velodrome will be converted to a BMX/Mountain Biking track and the Aquatic Centre will be revised to become community swimming baths. (Those who have the inclination, I have no doubts that Tom Daley's locker will be an on-site exhibit with hourly tours and one of his towels will be there hanging behind a glass cabinet in the foyer!) And the Olympic Stadium? Well, it's diary isn't exactly bare. Already, the turf and track has been reserved for the World Athletic Championships and Live Nation. Whether the 2015 Premiership Matches, World Rugby and 20/20 Cricket will secure the stadium, is a controversial and much-heated debate.

Bob ventured far beyond the success and legacy of the amenities, and touched upon the re branding of East London. 2800 more social housing units have been built, and economic opportunity will continue to thrive largely thanks to a multiplier effect. The question remains: will East London be the new Silicon Valley? With 3000 jobs and Facebook moving in, it's almost certain that the stereotypical image of East London will be cast aside and replaced by a fresh one of innovation.

Sydney's Olympics is one that Bob remembers very well. But has it been deemed an all round success? (I know I have readers from this pocket of the planet, so I should speak carefully here!) If there were any shortenings, it would be the political secrecy that transpired from the games. It has been pointed out that the economics of the event overshadowed the social issues. It scored 5/10 overall, which is something to chew over I think. There are obviously parameters that weren't considered when scoring the success, and of course, it is very difficult to quantify something which itself is qualitative. Bob calculated a score of 8.4/10 for London 2012, which inspired an audience with a sense of achievement in Derby at the conference, and I think I speak on their behalf too when I say I have never been more proud to be living in England, and to be studying in London later this year.

Finally, Bob issued what could be an extremely interesting discussion point. The Olympics undoubtedly installed a sense of national pride back into the country and it simultaneously hosted a games which has furthered globalisation. But 'national pride' and 'globalisation' conflict with one another. Whichever side of the pitch you stand on that one, (pun very much intended there) I think we are altogether united in agreeing that London 2012 wasn't just a Summer to remember. It has sparked a wave of opportunities both socially and economically and will forever be known as the Legacy Games.

Monday, 8 April 2013

KEEP CALM AND EXPLORE WITH DAN- Programme 2

In this, the second programme in his latest series, Daniel Evans explores the natural beauty of Cambridge.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

BANDANA- 7th April 2013

If you missed Daniel's weekly Sunday evening show, here's a link to it!
 
 

Geographical Association Conference: 2013

Over the last couple of days, it's been truly a geographer's heaven. I've been enveloped in most probably the highest concentration of Geography the U.K experiences, and it only takes place on one weekend of a year. I'm referring to the annual Geographical Association Conference, hosted this year at Derby University. I spent a couple of days mingling with the likes of Dr Rita Gardner CBE (Director of the Royal Geographical Society) and Bob Digby (President of the Geographical Association.) It was an honour to experience a lecture by Terry Callaghan (Distinguished Research Professor and Nobel Peace Prize winner.) I learnt a great deal about the work that is currently taking place in and around the country, and indeed farther afield, and over the next two weeks, on Geography With Dan, I plan to share some of my findings with you. Keep returning over the next couple of weeks!

Monday, 1 April 2013

BRAND NEW SERIES- Keep Calm and Explore with Dan

In this, a brand new series, Dan explores the pockets of natural beauty in some of the country's most busiest cities, proving it's never too late to keep calm and explore.
 

Sunday, 31 March 2013

EASTER SPECIAL: A Trip to Easter Island

Geography with Dan once featured an article about Christmas Island; it gave my blog a certain festive feel during the season. And so, I continue the tradition this weekend, with a spotlight on its sister, 'Easter Island'.

As one more piece of chocolate slowly melts away and slides down the gullet, you're flicking through the holiday catalogues in search for a perfect summer location, but it's unlikely you'll find even a mention of Easter Island. After all, it's been described as "one of the most isolated places in the world". 2600 miles east of Polynesia, and 2300 miles west of Chile, it's a mere freckle in the Pacific, and only 63 square miles in area itself. It's geological history, it being a volcanic outcrop, makes it one of the remote pockets  on the planet.


Remote, yes, but not uninhabited. Settlers arrived around 400 AD, and colonists grew to about 7000. "They parcelled the island into small territories and ultimately turned on one another in the drawn-out paroxysms of societal and environmental collapse" as my National Geographic reports from March 1993. And yet, although they charred their mark upon the landscape, the island shaped their souls.
Make a visit today, and a fraction of this quintessential primitive lifestyle is still observable. Local knowledge and community culture has only enhanced as a result of the isolation from both occident and orient societies, and what's more, Easter Island evokes great speculation due to the impressiveness of its archaeological sites.

But why 'Easter' Island? Does it hold religious significance? Well, no. As you peel the foil off another egg on this Easter Sunday, consider that the Europeans founded this small island on this day in 1722. Recently, a wave of modernisation has taken place. A surge of amenities that have brought 640 hotels  and 530 motor vehicles. Telephones have been introduced as well as the fax machine. Having said this, the present day community of 2800 live in a concentrated region, in Honga Roa on the South West Coast. Since 1965, in particular, a large transformation has been introduced, induced somewhat by a young school-teacher's open letter of protest to the Chilean government about living conditions on the island. The protest led to the end of military rule, giving Easter Island the civil status it perhaps needed. Two years later, an air service made a base on the island and the tourist industry started to grow.


One of the sights many fly thousands of miles to espy upon are the 'Moai'. Artisans carved the Moai centuries ago from volcanic rock at a quarry  a mile away, using stone tools. These figures range between 4 and 33 feet and weigh up to 80 tons; they embellish the island's primal atmosphere, and give the island a sense of human resilience and ingenuity. Others suggest the contrary and some advise that Easter Island is a "cautionary parable"; a society destroying itself by wrecking it's environment.

Pulitzer Prize Winner,  Jared Diamond, presents this island as "the clearest example of a society that destroyed itself by over-exploiting its own resources and a worst-case scenario for what may lie ahead of us in our own future." She goes on to say that the "Moai accelerated its self destruction" calling them "power displays where people competed by building the biggest statues."

"Modern day islanders confront a fresh challenge: exploiting their cultural legacy without wrecking it."


In my own opinion, and I can't possibly speak from experience, but from understanding nonetheless, the lives of the islanders, both past and present, is a testament that there is still strength, despite the confines of the island. They sustain an ingenuity to exploit natural resources,  realising circumstances may indeed change. They are unique, in a way. For once, here's an island where inhabitants know who they are, where they live, and what their role is in society.