National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin uses knowledge as his secret defense against danger

Published September 14, 2022

5 min read

There’s a certain whip-wielding, fedora-wearing archeologist that one imagines when thinking of those who embark on quests to discover lost temples, hidden tombs, and ancient relics.

However, there is a real example of someone like this: National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin. He is a man who has witnessed many incredible things during his travels around the world. His journeys as a scientist, explorer and adventurer have taken him to areas of the globe that many of us only dream of visiting.

His fieldwork and research have taken him to Mongolia, where he explored the Valley of the Khans while trying to locate Genghis Khan’s final resting place.

He has trekked through the jungles of Guatemala in a hunt for the treasures of ancient Mayan kings, exploring the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. This expedition helped map more than 2,100 square kilometers of the Maya Biosphere Reserve and revealed hundreds of previously unknown structures.

Lin’s fascination with the ancient world has also taken him to Israel, where he delved below the ground to explore centuries-old caves that were once home to the secretive Knights Templar.

His adventures have not been limited to land, either. He has braved the frigid waters and busy commercial shipping lanes of the English Channel to study the submerged prehistoric settlement of Bouldnor Cliff.

Being ‘adventurous’ doesn’t equate to being unsafe

As you can see, Lin is someone who has not shied away from danger throughout his vaunted career.

You might assume that a ‘carpe diem’ and reckless attitude is what carries Lin through his amazing journeys, but that is far from the truth. He also uses a far more measured and calculated approach to help mitigate risks and ensure that he always comes back safely. His secret weapon is knowledge about potential dangers and training about proper safety procedures.

Danger isn’t something that Lin blindly runs toward. Instead, he takes the time to meticulously prepare for every expedition. He has taught himself what to do when faced with an emergency. This preparation is what allows him to go on his adventures with a great deal of confidence.

Since he sometimes visits locales that are prone to natural disasters, Lin prepares properly. The types of supplies he brings are different, depending on what disasters have been known to hit the area. For example, if he’s visiting a place that is at risk of being hit by typhoons, he would ensure that he had equipment like heavy duty raincoats, waterproof flashlights, emergency rations, and first aid kits. Then, if a typhoon hits, he would know to make his chosen shelter safer by securing loose outdoor items, preparing sandbags and protecting windows, and hunkering down in a safe spot that is not too close to windows and doors.

After the worst is over and he can head outside, he would then know to stay away from damaged buildings, avoid potential flood and electrocution hazards, and to avoid trying to drink from contaminated water sources. Knowledge like this is invaluable, considering that approximately 1.4 billion people have been affected by natural disasters since 2005.

Lin takes safety so seriously because he believes that life is precious. Since you only get one, it’s important to make the most out of it while also staying safe. Even though some journeys come with a certain degree of risk, there are ways to give yourself a better chance of survival if the unthinkable happens.

“Ours is the only planet, as far as we know it, that harbors life. Your life, fragile life, emerging from only under the most perfect conditions,” said Lin. “Making your existence and mine, in this moment on our planet, truly significant. Cherish life, live life, love life, experience life. Because you can, because that’s what you’re here for.”

While Albert faces more dangerous situations than the average person, that doesn’t mean that we should take safety any less seriously than he does. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way and, fortunately, anyone can understand core safety concepts. Want to learn more? Visit Safe Steps now.

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