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Unfolding Maps

This travel podcast travels the unbeaten path. Unfolding Maps talks to adventurers of all dimensions about their expeditions and the experiences that shaped them. Join the host, Erik Lorenz, in his conversations with globetrotters, who are best-selling...

This travel podcast travels the unbeaten path. Unfolding Maps talks to adventurers of all dimensions about their expeditions and the experiences that shaped them. Join the host, Erik Lorenz, in his conversations with glo
Latest Episode1/18/2023

#32: A Life of Crime, Redemption and Hollywood – a Journey from Gangster to Movie Star with Danny Trejo

This time at Unfolding Maps - not a climber, not a cyclist, not a desert photographer, but: Hollywood's most famous and beloved villain! Danny Trejo was shot, stabbed, decapitated, blown up, hanged, flattened by an elevator and lost his life in some even less appetizing ways that I'd rather leave unmentioned here. He's been the record holder as the world's most killed actor for years now - and he's steadily extending his lead. Danny has starred in over 400 films: blockbusters like Machete, Desperado, Heat, From Dusk till dawn, Con Air and Spy Kids, as well as countless B-movies and series like Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy and Modern Family. He has the status of a legend in Hollywood. He owns a chain of taco restaurants, his own beer and coffee brands, cafes and donut stores. In L.A., where he was born and lives, he is so popular that there is even an official Danny Trejo Day here. But those successes aren't why we have invited him to Unfolding Maps. Occasionally, we take the liberty of broadening our show's range of topics a bit by not just talking to people who have gotten to know the world through special journeys and expeditions, but to people whose LIFE journey is a very special one. And that definitely applies to Danny Trejo. Because he does not only PLAY the bad guy over and over again, but he WAS that bad guy: He spent his early years on a criminal career full of crime and drug addiction, and he served time in all of California's prisons for years. Eventually, he battled his demons, and upon his release, earned unexpected fame in Hollywood as a bad-boy actor with a heart of gold. Meanwhile, he has worked for decades not only as an actor but also as a drug counselor. In Los Angeles, he is as well known for his work in addiction and rehabilitation as he is for his acting. In the neighborhood of his childhood and youth, which he once terrorized with armed robberies and sheer violence, murals of his face now adorn the facades of entire buildings because people are so proud that he is one of them. It is the ultimate journey from gangster to movie star, a story about a man who changes himself and his destiny. Danny, who is now 78 years old, talks about all of this openly in his autobiography "Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood” – and in this episode of Unfolding Maps.
1/18/2023

#32: A Life of Crime, Redemption and Hollywood – a Journey from Gangster to Movie Star with Danny Trejo

This time at Unfolding Maps - not a climber, not a cyclist, not a desert photographer, but: Hollywood's most famous and beloved villain! Danny Trejo was shot, stabbed, decapitated, blown up, hanged, flattened by an elevator and lost his life in some even less appetizing ways that I'd rather leave unmentioned here. He's been the record holder as the world's most killed actor for years now - and he's steadily extending his lead. Danny has starred in over 400 films: blockbusters like Machete, Desperado, Heat, From Dusk till dawn, Con Air and Spy Kids, as well as countless B-movies and series like Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy and Modern Family. He has the status of a legend in Hollywood. He owns a chain of taco restaurants, his own beer and coffee brands, cafes and donut stores. In L.A., where he was born and lives, he is so popular that there is even an official Danny Trejo Day here. But those successes aren't why we have invited him to Unfolding Maps. Occasionally, we take the liberty of broadening our show's range of topics a bit by not just talking to people who have gotten to know the world through special journeys and expeditions, but to people whose LIFE journey is a very special one. And that definitely applies to Danny Trejo. Because he does not only PLAY the bad guy over and over again, but he WAS that bad guy: He spent his early years on a criminal career full of crime and drug addiction, and he served time in all of California's prisons for years. Eventually, he battled his demons, and upon his release, earned unexpected fame in Hollywood as a bad-boy actor with a heart of gold. Meanwhile, he has worked for decades not only as an actor but also as a drug counselor. In Los Angeles, he is as well known for his work in addiction and rehabilitation as he is for his acting. In the neighborhood of his childhood and youth, which he once terrorized with armed robberies and sheer violence, murals of his face now adorn the facades of entire buildings because people are so proud that he is one of them. It is the ultimate journey from gangster to movie star, a story about a man who changes himself and his destiny. Danny, who is now 78 years old, talks about all of this openly in his autobiography "Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood” – and in this episode of Unfolding Maps.
6/1/2022

#31: A World in Crisis (and what to do about it) – with Jared Diamond

What can we learn from the tribes in the rainforest of New Guinea? What are the greatest dangers facing humanity and the earth today, and how can they be overcome? These are some of the many questions we address in this conversation with a leading scientist that has been voted one of the world's top ten intellectuals by various British and American magazines and who researches and writes on just about everything that makes up human existence – think "universal genius": Jared Diamond.He studied physiology at Harvard and Cambridge and became a leading expert on the gallbladder. He is also an ornithologist, anthropologist, sociologist, evolutionary biologist, ecologist, and environmental historian with expertise in archaeology, genetics, and human disease epidemiology. He is also a professor of geography in Los Angeles.And then he is also one of the most successful authors of popular science nonfiction. His works have been translated into some forty languages, and for the world bestseller "Guns, Germs, and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies" he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. His other books include "Collapse. How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed", "The World until Yesterday" and his most recent work "Upheaval – How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change".For all that, Jared Diamond is not only a master of lab work and literature research, but he is and has been on the road himself all over the world (over thirty times in New Guinea alone), he is fluent in over a dozen languages ... So: more than enough material for a wide-ranging conversation about a unique scientific career – and about the world we live in.
11/10/2021

#28: Euphoria and Terror – Crossing Antarctica with Felicity Aston MBE

“I just think back to that first time I got a proper look at Antarctica: There was something about the simplicity and the beauty and the perfectness of it all that made me want to scoop it all up and somehow contain it in me.” That's a quote from our guest, Polar explorer, Antarctic scientist, author, speaker and expedition leader Felicity Aston MBE. And that is exactly what she did: She preserved Antarctica (and the polar regions) within herself. She spent a continuous period of two and a half years (including two consecutive winters) at Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula. These first experiences in Antarctica then led to numerous expeditions to remote places around the world (but particularly to the Polar Regions): She led record-breaking international teams to the North and South Poles, worked on a nuclear-powered icebreaker at the North Pole, led the first British Women’s crossing of Greenland, skied along a frozen river in Siberia, traversed the winter ice of Lake Baikal, raced in the Canadian Arctic, drove 35,000km across Eurasia to the coldest inhabited place in the world … and in 2012 she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica. It was a journey of 1744 km that took her 59 days to complete. With this, she set a world record. And she was not only the first woman to master this tour, but also the first person – male or female – to do so alone and with her own muscle power. Felicity reports on her experiences in four books and regularly produces articles for various publications in the UK and abroad. She has been elected Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society in London and The Explorers Club in New York, and received many more awards.In this episode, she talks about the challenges she had to face during her Antarctic crossing – and the beauty of it all!
7/17/2021

#27: Extreme Adventures, extreme Life – with Mike Horn

"One of the most amazing things about Mike Horn's life is that it still hasn't come to an end." This sentence sums up the life of this episode’s guest quite well: Mike Horn is introduced again and again as one of the world's most important explorers and adventurers of our time. What he has achieved and demonstrated in terms of endurance, determination and courage is pretty much unparalleled. He was the first person to swim solo and unsupported across the Amazon River from its source to its river mouth – six and a half thousand kilometers that he covered on a hydrospeed. He circumnavigated the globe at the equator without any motorized assistance. He was the first person ever to cross Antarctica at its widest point and undertook the very first winter trek to the North Pole – weeks in the eternal ice, in permanent darkness. He also sailed around the world more than a dozen times and climbed some of the highest peaks on Earth without artificial oxygen. Since 2015, Mike has taken on the role of survival expert for three French TV channels, where he shares his knowledge of survival with the participants of the shows. A single interview is not nearly enough to do justice to even a fraction of his world-renowned endeavors. Nor do we attempt to do so. Instead, we dig into some of the lessons he's learned from his expeditions, discussing, for example, what he sees as the power of inspiration and where he finds the value in failure.