Rob: Hello, I’m Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m joined today by Finn. Hello Finn.
Finn: Hello Rob.
Rob: In this programme we’re talking about exploration – that's a journey to a place to learn something new about it. It's a sort of educational trip.
Finn: Yes, you may have heard about famous explorers – the people who made these journeys and learned new and amazing things – like Captain Cook or Christopher Columbus.
Rob: Yes, Columbus was the Italian explorer who explored the Americas over 500 years ago. There are many other people who travelled around the world
seeking out – or looking for – new land, people, plants and animals. But now in the 21st century, do you think there’s any more of the world left to discover?
Finn: Ah, well, that's a question we'll be 'exploring' today and we'll also discover some exploration-related vocabulary. But first Rob, I'm sure you have a question for me?
Rob: Of course, yes. My question is about a modern-day explorer from the UK. He's called Ed Stafford. In 2011 he became the first person to do what? Was
a) circumnavigate – or go all the way round – the world in a canoe
b) ski down Mount Everest
c) walk the length of the Amazon River
Finn: I'm going to say a) the first person to go round the world in a canoe.
Rob: OK, well, we’ll find out if you are right or wrong later on. So let’s talk more about exploration. There are many reasons why people have wanted to explore.
Finn: Yes. Sometimes it was to find new natural resources – things like oil, rubber or gold. Sometimes people wanted to find new land to occupy and build on; and sometimes people have just been inquisitive – or interested – in finding out what somewhere is like. That sounds a bit like you Rob?
Rob: Well, I do enjoy travel and adventure – and although I've explored places that are new to me – I haven't yet found an undiscovered river or island.
Finn: Well, I hope you do. With satellite technology and modern transport, maybe every corner of planet Earth has already been discovered and there’s nothing left to find, I wonder?
Rob: Well, that's not something that the travel journalist, Christina Lamb, would agree with. She's seen a lot of the world but says there's still more to be
discovered. Let's hear from her now. What phrase does she use to describe somewhere that hasn't been found yet?
Christina Lamb, travel journalist There still are a few places in the world that are unexplored. I've travelled quite a lot in the Amazon and there, there really are still places where maps don't have anything on them and it says uncharted territory, which I think is the most exciting thing you can see on a map.
Rob: So there are still a few places to explore – places that are not on a map! Christina Lamb called them 'uncharted territory'.
Finn: 'Uncharted' means a place that is completely new – and 'territory' is another word for an area of land. So, uncharted territory – imagine discovering
somewhere like that!
Rob: It would be amazing – but sometimes people are already living in these places – these are the tribes – or groups of people – who have never had
contact with the outside world.
Finn: Well, even if every tribe, every lost city, every piece of land had already been discovered, a travel writer called Colin Thurbron claims we can still re-explore and discover new things. So, what things keep changing which mean we should never stop exploring?
Colin Thurbron, author What there's always a role for, is for reinterpreting a culture – going back there for every generation. Not just because the culture has changed but the judgements and priorities of every generation of traveller has changed too.
Rob: OK, so he talks about culture – that's the way of life for a particular group of people. Cultures change, but also our views change too: he says our
judgements and priorities change – that means we keep seeing things differently.
Finn: So you mean we see things in a new way every time we go back and look at them. In that case, maybe we will never stop exploring our planet.
Rob: Yes, there's always something new to discover in the world and even beyond it – people are already venturing into space, the universe – where next?
Finn: Yes, absolutely. But I think I still need to explore my own city first – there's a lot more to discover in London before I head off to Mars!
Rob: Maybe you just haven't got any wanderlust – that's the desire to travel – unlike explorer Ed Stafford. Earlier I asked you what he became the first person to do in 2011?
Finn: I said a) go round the world in a canoe. I guess I'm wrong.
Rob: You're wrong. Nice try! He was actually the first person to walk the length of the Amazon River. Your challenge now Finn is to remind us of some of the
vocabulary that we've explored today.
Finn: In a canoe? Of course. Well, we had…
Rob: Well, that brings us to the end of today's 6 Minute English. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s programme. Please join us again soon.