Real World Classroom

At a minimum, I would like to think that my grasp of world geography has received a nice shot in the arm as a result of our expedition. I can not even begin to estimate the number of hours I have spent over the last two years studying maps, guidebooks, and web pages as we planned and continued to plan our route around the world. That, in addition to navigating over 65,000 overland miles through nearly 70 countries and often learning the hard way whether or not we had done our homework has certainly increased my overall knowledge of world geography in more ways than I can imagine.

It is not just book work and some trial and error buttressing my geographic knowledge. In addition to burying my face in books and maps, I have received countless crash courses in the geographic and political histories of the countries we have driven through from local residents eager to share a piece of their country and their culture with us. The practical, hands-on geography lessons I have learned on the expedition are nothing short of priceless. After all, there is no better way to learn that Tsetserleg is the capital of the Arkhangai aimag in western Mongolia than by asking nomadic herders how to get there after you have been driving around in circles for 150 kilometers while on the verge of running out of fuel in the middle of the nowhere.


With all of this newfound geographic knowledge, I always wondered how it would measure up with other’s knowledge of the world and its vast and diverse places. I like to think I could go on Jeopardy! and do pretty well in the geography, cities of the world and other related categories although I am pretty sure my Jeopardy! fantasy would end in embarrassing fashion once those categories were exhausted or if they failed to come up in the first place. Curiosity about my geographic edification and just how good of an education I have received on the World by Road led me to find this interesting little travel IQ test. Of course, measuring IQ can be a pretty subjective practice and in the end, what IQ really means is up for debate but nonetheless, it is a fun little widget to see just how well versed you are in countries, cities and other significant locations around the world. After advancing through all 12 stages of the Travelpod IQ Challenge, I learned that my travel IQ is 138. Not too shabby. According to Terman’s breakdown of IQ ranges, I failed to break through the genius threshold which was a bit of a let down, but my score does fall into the range of very superior intelligence. I guess I can live with that. Besides, travel geniuses might know where the Karakum Desert is but I do not think too many of them can actually say they have driven across it in their own vehicle. To see how good your knowledge of the world is, take the challenge below and then compare your score with the following Terman IQ categories.

IQ Range Classification

140 and over Genius or near genius
120-140 Very superior intelligence
110-120 Superior intelligence
90-110 Normal or average intelligence
80-90 Dullness
70-80 Borderline deficiency
Below 70 Definite feeble-mindedness

This Traveler IQ challenge compares your geographical knowledge against the World’s Original Travel Blog‘s other 3,843,132 travelers who have taken this challenge as of Friday, March 27, 2009 at 07:59PM GMT. (TravelPod is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network)