#341: Wanderlust for Espionage

You'll never guess what the CIA covertly funded this time.

Do you remember what it was like to travel before the internet?

If you find yourself answering “no” or asking “there was a before the internet?” then this one’s for you – 

Long before people relied on geo-tagged Instagram posts (which, by the way, is a cardinal sin of using the internet – if you find an incredible spot off the beaten path don’t share it, save it), people would travel based on word of mouth.

Eventually, those tips and tricks, the must-sees and the must-dos, the customs and traditions of the regions you were exploring – they all made their way into travel guides that flourished when they made their way into the hands of vagabonds filled with wanderlust.

A couple well-known travel guides probably come to mind but today, our focus is on Fodor’s, because as it turns out, the man was a spy.

Eugene Fodor created his first travel guide in 1936 and it ended up being in high demand. As World War II subsided, the popularity of Fodor’s only grew with Europe reopening to travel.

In the 1950s, the CIA began leveraging artists, musicians, writers, and journalists for propaganda purposes or information gathering, making the role of a travel writer an ideal cover for undercover agents operating in enemy territories.

And this is where Fodor's Guide to Espionage picks things up.

You’re dropped into the story of Eugene Fodor, the 60s era CIA operative who, as far as anyone from that era was concerned, was the world’s first and greatest travel writer.

Real life events serve as an inspiration for the dramatic retelling of what it was like to travel the world with the hope of opening it up to people’s minds and desires to explore the world.

Whether you're a travel buff, a fan of detective stories, or just hooked on podcasts that are entertainingly out of the ordinary, Fodor's Guide to Espionage should be the next stop on your journey.

Have a listen and share what you think 👇 below.
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