travel tv

Find Your Calling

[trip style = benevolent] {video is below}

Three weeks ago I did the opposite of what 99.9% of travelers do in Mexico {read: sip salt-rimmed margs on the beach}---I revisited a place that completely changed the course of my life.

When I was 15, I had the opportunity to visit San Felipe {a little town at the top of the Baja} on my spring break to help build a clinic. The project was significant because the fishing town is isolated and only reachable via a a three-hour, straight-as-an-arrow highway from Mexicali. Without a proper clinic in town, people were dying on the side of the road while trying to reach Mexicali for acute care.

Along with a team of teens from Vancouver, BC, I chiseled concrete, dug trenches and painted to help give the residents something everyone should have access to, but many in the world do not, basic medical care.

I went down with the idea that I'd help the 'poor people' in Mexico. After all, they lived differently than me: in houses constructed with plywood scraps, built on sand, and surrounded by fences constructed of barbed wire and prickly cactus. I could NOT have been more misinformed. I have the locals of San Felipe to thank for changing what I care about, how I spend my time and how I spend my money. To them, I am FOREVER grateful.

Expedia recently got wind of my story, so I went back to San Felipe with a camera team. It is my HIGHEST honor to have revisited the place that disrupted my worldview and changed my course. The just-launched two-minute video is part of Expedia's new campaign: Find Yours.

Eighteen years ago, I found my calling---something I do quietly behind the scenes, but is probably one of the most important parts of my life---find yours.

Can't view this video?

ps - stay tuned, behind-the-scenes photos of San Felipe to come on Friday! And, one other video has been made about Dave & Deb finding their harmony, check it out!

Travel TV :: A Pilot About Pilots

ABC's Pan Am Pilot for fall 2011A pilot about pilots?

Aside from The Amazing Race, the major networks haven't engaged much with travel-related TV during primetime. That's all about to change.

How Exciting is this? Playing on the retro travel trend, ABC has ordered a pilot {no pun intended} called Pan Am, that will potentially air this fall {update, it just got picked up and will air at 10pm on Sundays}. It's basically Mad Men meets the golden age of travel. Back in the day, I'm told stewardesses flight attendants were celebrities, trendsetters and jetsetters in their own right. The show lives up this lifestyle and centers around: "Maggie, who is leading a double life. When not all dolled up on her flights, she is living as a bohemian beatnik in New York's Greenwich Village. Kate is secretly an undercover CIA agent. Her gorgeous sister, Laura, is new to the stewardess world, having just ditched her fiancé at the altar." {via Jaunted}

The Scoop Though the show's status is still in the pilot stage, I don't suspect it will be relegated to the ABC TV dungeon given the big names that are rumored to be on-board {no pun intended}:

  • Film actress Christina Ricci will take a lead role as Maggie
  • Nancy Hult Ganis, executive producer, will auto pilot {no pun intended} the show's direction given her role as a flight attendant on the airline for 7 years
  • Jonah Lotan has landed {no pun intended} the role of Dean, the recently promoted captain of the Pan Am luxury plane, the Majestic.
  • Scrubs star Michael Mosley will also play an aviator-wearing pilot
  • Australia actress Margot Robbie will be a sexy stewardess

Pan Am Started in 1927, Pam Am grew to one of the largest airlines in the world, with a famed logo'ed skyscraper position on New York City's Park Avenue. In 1991, the airline declared bankruptcy. Sadly, I never had the chance to fly Pan Am, but I hear it was the airline in the 60's and 70's. Check out this amazing Pan Am video from 1958, promoting the wonders of the new 707 plane, and innovative over-seat lighting...

PS  - Speaking of travel and TV, tell me you've seen this Richard Simmons Air New Zealand safety video? He is the gift that keeps on giving. I don't think he's aged in 20 years.

Related Shows That Make You Want To Go

[photo by Dreamworks, from Catch Me If You Can movie]

Travel TV :: Amazing Race Season 16

[trip style = adventure]

I can't believe the Amazing Race is in Season 16.  Looking back, it's hard to believe season 1 premiered a week before the Sept 11th Terrorist Attacks.  Timing was not on its side.  Due to multiple circumstances, season 1 ratings lacked, but CBS made the right call bringing the show back for a second season.  Luckily, it struck a chord and gained loyal viewers who a) brought the show to season 16, and b) put it in the ranks of CBS' top-rated shows.

Other than Departures, the Amazing Race is my fave travel show.  Sometimes I can't handle the drama between characters--remember "Lake, like the Ocean"--but understand that it's a necessary evil of primetime, 'reality.'

Additional Ways to Connect with The Amazing Race Now TV isn't the only way you can connect with the show, they are on twitter @AmazingRace_CBS, on Facebook and online featuring additional content like: The Elimination Station. When teams lose a leg of the race, they are flown to a destination (this season it's Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) where they live in community until the race completes. With the emotions, interactions and disappointments that come out at the Elimination Station, this online segment could be a reality show all to itself.