There’s never a dull moment when Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is in the room and when he presented at the travel industry’s most anticipated event, Travel DAZE, it was a rollercoaster ride of entertainment, laughs and plenty of clever observations.
Before Dr Karl even burst onto the stage, he was greeted by our hilarious MC Chris Taylor from The Chaser, who reminisced on their time at Triple J together – joking that if you ran into Dr Karl in the hallways you weren’t getting any work done that day.
Dr Karl kicked off his talk with footage of the wildlife he saw on his recent journey to Antarctica and then dazzled the audience with an optical illusion in a metaphor about anticipation.
Anticipation, according to Dr Karl, is a crucial aspect of travel, and so too is a little bit of anxiety; particularly as people return to travel after so long.
It’s when the anxiety eclipses the anticipation that we may find ourselves in trouble.
To remedy this, Dr Karl suggests travel agents do more to promote excitement in the leadup to a client’s trip, while still providing clear and simple advice on risks and restrictions.
He spliced his analysis of anticipation with jokes about ‘scientific papers’ and ridiculing fringe scientific beliefs proposed by some American politicians.
He also proposed his conspiracy theory about Melissa Caddick, and how he reckons she was associated with gangs and lives in witness protection – all of course with the classic Dr Karl joviality and a throwaway “I’ve got no proof,” line at the end.
The good doctor also revealed his cure for jet lag and the secret to getting a good sleep on a long international flight using melatonin (unfortunately, his life hack only works if you forgo alcohol).
Driving the discussion were Dr Karl’s four messages of good hope, unpacking some of the most complex issues we face today:
- We can stop, and reverse, rising carbon dioxide levels, and climate change (discussing the Airbus Zero and how the fossil fuel industry manifests itself in the travel industry, the little to no tax that fossil fuel companies pay and that McDonalds employs more people than the fossil fuel industry).
- We are living in the most peaceful time in history (illustrating his point with a discussion of how many people died in wars over time as a percentage of the human population. It wasn’t very travel related but it was quite interesting. He also managed to slip in a humble brag about having Genghis Khan DNA).
- Each generation is smarter than the previous generation (touching on the hard truth that most people are smarter than their parents, Dr Karl revealed that every generation is on average 9 points higher than the previous generation).
- We can “fix” COVID-19 (believe it or not, it involved chickens).
The talk was followed by a quick Q&A, but considering the boisterous nature of Dr Karl and his chaotic yet very informative talk, the questions centred more on the nature of his funky shirts than travel.
If you missed this year’s Travel DAZE, then keep an eye out for next year’s event for plenty of fantastic speakers.