A digital nomad’s guide to being a good global citizen | Zach Boyette | TEDxStanford

A digital nomad’s guide to being a good global citizen | Zach Boyette | TEDxStanford

Zachary's Journey as a Digital Nomad

  • Zachary, a former resident of Tennessee, embraced a nomadic lifestyle for six years, traveling the world and working remotely.
  • Inspired by books and his grandfather's stories, he joined Remote Year, a program that allowed him to live and work in different countries with a diverse group of people.
  • After Remote Year, Zachary founded his own remote company, Galactic Fed, but felt anxious about leaving his nomadic lifestyle to attend graduate school at Stanford.

Journey to Lake Tele

  • Seeking one last adventure, Zachary embarked on an epic quest to travel up the Congo River in search of Lake Tele, a remote lake in the world's largest Blackwater swamp.
  • Despite the potential dangers and challenges, he saw it as an opportunity to reconnect with his childhood dreams of exploration.
  • During his journey, he faced various obstacles, including weight loss, encounters with angry hippos, flooding rapids, and forest fires.

Encounter with Patu and Cultural Misunderstanding

  • Zachary met an 11-year-old boy named Patu, who dreamed of traveling the world and learning medicine to help his village.
  • He proposed an idea to Patu's father to send children abroad to learn online and bring money and teachers to the village, but the idea was rejected due to the fear of negative changes.
  • Zachary's attempt to connect with the locals caused anger and misunderstanding, leading to a prohibition from continuing his journey to the lake.
  • After expressing his regret and willingness to respect their customs, Zachary was forgiven and allowed to proceed.

Reaching Lake Tele and Personal Growth

  • On April 9th, 2022, Zachary became the first person from the southeastern United States to reach Lake Tele, the most remote lake in the world.
  • Through his journey, he learned the value of curiosity and the importance of understanding people in their own contexts to be a good global citizen.
  • He realized that he doesn't need to travel far to connect with different cultures and can do so in his own backyard.

Encouraging Global Citizenship

  • Zachary encourages others to embrace curiosity and explore their own communities to become global citizens.

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