When I was growing up there was one person in my group of friends that was always the best to hang out with. She was always coming up with crazy plans, and able to convince everyone to go along with whatever she had dreamed up. Everyone knew, whatever she was up to, it was going to be fun. Sadly my friend grew up, had four children, and settled down to a fairly normal mother.
My friend Jeff Wagg, though, has never grown up. I learned early on, that whatever Jeff was up to, it was sure to be fun. Jeff never heard “Curiosity killed the cat”. At the very least I am sure he continues the axiom with “And satisfaction brought it back”. Jeff is known, when out for a drive, to suddenly say “I wonder what’s down that road?” Jeff doesn’t just wonder though, he actually turns the car to find out. Once when I was lucky enough a passenger in his car, he did this and we found a wonderful, huge, majestic wind farm.
Jeff grew up traveling. His parents are still rarely home. They loved going on cruises so much they even started a company to help others share their passion. Jeff has led many cruises, including to the Galapagos (where he plans to go again soon), Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean, and a recent one to Istanbul, Ephesus, Israel and Greece.
I have only been on three cruises he has led, and I don’t think I would go on a cruise that wasn’t organized by Jeff. Jeff plans exciting and interesting things each trip. It’s not just your-run-of -the -mill visiting ports with Jeff. You get the feeling that Jeff only organizes cruises because he doesn’t want to go on his crazy adventures alone. He loves to be surrounded by friends that he can share his curiosity and passion for life with. For this purpose, he’s set up a company called Skeptours, that plans trips based on curiosity-themed destinations, with mini Skepticamps activitiesor speakers on board.
He’s also enough of an expert traveling that he’s seen it all. I’ve had a suitcase with a broken zipper, food poisoning, and lost glasses. Jeff knows how to take care of anything that comes up. That makes traveling with him worry free.
But Jeff does more than cruises. He does land-based adventures. His newest innovation is the College of Curiosity, held May 26 (Memorial Day Weekend) in St. Louis. While Jeff comes from a skeptic background, he has the brain of young child constantly thinking “Oh that is cool? How does that work? How can I learn more?” Jeff truly likes learning new things. He also has a passion for passing on what he’s learned. An example would be a recent cruise to the Caribbean. It wasn’t about just resting in the sunshine. It was a lot about pirates. Pirates are cool. Jeff made sure we all had a fun pirate adventure when we were on St. Thomas, and touring the old Spanish forts in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As I said, Jeff likes to have fun, but even more so he likes to share fun.
The College of Curiosity (video link) is rather hard to explain. This event will be held at the City Museum of St. Louis. It’s an interactive adventure that involves your mind. This isn’t a typical museum, with bits of bones and old pottery behind glass walls. This is a museum where you can go through an underwater tunnel through an aquarium, watch a 100-year-old shoelace making machine, wander through a collection or architecture, or listen to a 1924- Wurlitzer pipe organ.
In addition to the museum, the College will feature speakers for the group, including”
- Mentalist Jonny Zavant
- Skeptologist Brian Dunning
- Mathemagician Ethan Brown
- Jennifer Newport, MD
- Alien Expert Kitty Mervine (ME!!)
- Radio Astronomer Dr. Nicole “Noisy Astronomer” Gugliucci
- and Instigator Jeff Wagg
It will be a day of adventure, that will start the night before and extend well into the Saturday night. Attendees will be learning new things, from people that are not only passionate about what they do, but passionate about sharing with others. There is going to be a lot of “Wow, I did not know that” and “That is so cool!” I am excited to attend just based on the venue!
As always with any event planned by Jeff, the College will be an adventure, with a focus on fun. I encourage anyone to consider attending anything planned by Jeff Wagg. He has upcoming cruises, the College, and some land-based adventures. If you are shy, that’s OK, as Jeff has a way of making everyone feel included and comfortable. He also seems to know almost magically how everyone in the group is doing. He’s the ultimate host, making sure each guest has a good time, but within their own comfort zone. You can get out there on the floor and dance, or just sit back and watch. But with Jeff around, more than likely you will feel like getting out there to dance.
I’m going to be presenting at the College in May, and I want to encourage people to consider coming to meet not only me, the other speakers and all the other guests, but to meet Jeff Wagg. If you don’t know him, you are missing out on making a friend that is just like that childhood friend with those crazy ideas.
Note: Any errors about trips or dates are the fault of the author, not Jeff! He doesn’t know we are writing this.
- Travel Guest Post: Dreaming of a Warm Paradise (jetsetera.net)
- Love for Sail on NCL (johnpondworld.com)