College Lecture Tour: How (and Why) To Travel Around The World

Link to video on Vimeo

Soon after college graduation, Andy Stoll set off on what would become a 4-year, 40-country trip around the world. In this lecture, Andy’s message to students is clear: the distance between who you are and who you want to become is shorter than you think. Andy’s stories and strategies will help students turn their life’s biggest dreams into a reality; whether that is to travel around the world, or something a little closer to home.

photo of Andy speaking in a large room


Andy Stoll delivers a 60-minute, high-energy, inspirational presentation that motivates students to explore the world with their eyes wide open.  The talk culminates in his 4-year, 40-country solo trip around the world, while drawing lessons learned from some of Andy’s early life experiences that led him to undertake this seemingly impossible journey.  Andy’s presentation is much more than just a travel slideshow, its an insightful, inspiring, entertaining and often hilarious look at what it takes to find our place in the world and make our biggest dreams come true–whether that is to travel around the world, or something a little closer to home.

The American Dream will always be there for you, but your own dreams, if you listen, are much, much bigger.

Today, students are faced with a myriad of choices as they make their way through college. Haunting questions like “what do I want to do with my life” cause unrelenting stress, as students try to make sense of the contradictions between their dreams and the advice of their family and friends, as they embark down what seems to be narrowing career paths. Andy’s talk is designed to help students gain a new perspective on the choices they have both in and after college to build a meaningful and fulfilling life, and every student will walk away with specific strategies to help them create the life that they’ve always imagined, but maybe never thought possible.

Live the life you’ve always imagined.


Andy Stoll was raised in the Midwest. Growing up he traveled extensively throughout the US, but never had the opportunity to leave his own country. Set on solving that problem, and with the desire to better understand how the world works, Andy decided after his college graduation that he would attempt a trip around the world. After three years of planning; saving money in a normal 9-to-5 job, Andy set off at the age of 26 on what would become a 4-year, 40-country solo, independent trip around the world.

“One of the best speakers I have heard  in my life.”
Julian K, University of Minnesota

Unlike many travelers, Andy went in search of experiences far off-the-beaten path that would give him a better first person understanding of how people really live in the world.

If you want to change the world, you better first have an understanding of how it works.

Andy Stoll

On his journey, among many other experiences, Andy handed out micro-loans in China; played a 19th Century British soldier in a Bollywood movie; worked in a dress factory in Bangkok for 60 cents an hour; helped a team perform cataract surgeries for poor villagers on the remote outlying islands of Fiji and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro with 10 Tanzanian street kids.

He shared beers with nomadic Tibetan herders; drank gluwein with German engineers; sipped vodka with Russian grandmas; and cooked apple pie on Armenian national television. He lived the life of a maize farmer in Zambia; a fisherman in China; a Buddhist monk in South Korea and a cowboy in the Australian Outback.

Andy previously served as student body president at the University of Iowa, ran an art house cinema; has worked in various roles in film and television; and founded and ran a number of social entrepreneurial endeavors.

“I have worked in universities for 10 yrs and have never seen a group of students as engaged with a speaker, as my students with Andy.”
Tara Edberg, The University of San Diego

Andy has been nationally recognized for his public service work by The Harry S. Truman Foundation, Rotary International and The American Institute of Public Service.

Andy is a sought after speaker on leadership, social entrepreneurship, creativity, community-building and travel.

Andy graduated with honors from The University of Iowa, where he studied business management (BBA), media production (BA) and entrepreneurship; and holds a masters degree (MA) in Media Cultures with highest distinction from the City University of Hong Kong.

Andy covered in colored powders and water, during celebrations of the Hindu Festival of Holi in India.


“There are only a few people I have ever met with Andy’s unique experiences, insights, and perspectives. That he possesses the gift of communicating these experiences and insights in an enthralling manner guarantees a must-go event.” Zakaria S, University of Michigan

“He [Andy] taught me that it is important to leave your comfort zone and take chances, it really can make a difference in your life.” Brittany M, junior

“Andy’s story has really been a major source of inspiration and simply gives me hope for my own future. Self-doubt and extreme nervousness still abound in my own mind as well, any source of confidence is quite welcome, especially one that blazed such a wide trail like Andy.” Brian L, University of Iowa

“I was captivated by Andy’s story. His ‘get out and do it’ attitude would motivate even the biggest home-body to set all comfort zones aside, and explore the world.”  Lucy H, Creighton

“Andy’s charisma cannot be explained in words.  You just have to experience that certain “je ne sais quoi” that will have you begging for more.” Lynsee M, University of Illinois

“Andy’s speech was the point where I went from dreaming and knowing I’d likely do it to actively pursuing it.” Ryan D, University of Iowa

“Andy’s speech to me was well worth its weight in gold.  He was able to put into words some of the things that I had thought before, but could never put a finger on.” Dominic L, sophomore

I found Andy so inspirational because the idea of having to follow a certain path for the rest of my life scares me and he is living proof that a plan isn’t necessary to live a perfectly successful and fulfilling life.  I absolutely want to try as many new things in my lifetime as possible and take advantage of all opportunities that present themselves and he showed me that this is possible.” Kristin M, junior

“I left in absolutely jubilance after listening to Andy Stoll.”  John R, senior

Andy made a very significant impact on my view on life.” Sean M, University of Iowa

“Most people in society follow a linear life the way society tells them to. After hearing Andy speak, I remember sitting on the bus going back to my dorm and thinking, I don’t want to be like everyone else in society and follow that line.  I want to create my own life and do things that I want to do.  That bus ride was an epiphany for me. It changed my life and I could feel the difference in my way of thinking about what I want to do later in my life.” Jessica R, freshman

A map of Andy’s 4-year trip around the world


Would you like to bring Andy to your campus to share his inspirational lecture?

Andy tours colleges and universities year-round and can also develop customized presentations for other educational, corporate or nonprofit audiences. For more info, references, booking info, and fees on the college market please contact The College Agency at 651-222-9669 or by clicking here.

Andy is represented on the college market by the fine folks at The College Agency and  is a member of The National Association of Campus Activities.

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