Monthly Archives: November 2013

Kick the Grind Starring in Skype Rerouted

skype rerouted

We’re delighted to see a familiar face from Tripfilms starring in an interactive online game by Skype called Skype Rerouted. Two weeks ago travel vlogger Mike Corey (Kick the Grind) got dropped off in Istanbul and given the challenge to solve clues in order to find his way from one destination to the next. You can help him solve his last clues and make it home for Thanksgiving by following along on Skype, Facebook, and Twitter with the tag #skypererouted. Find out more about the game and watch recaps here: http://www.skypererouted.com/

Congrats Mike! Good luck!

Tripfilms HD Travel Guides Available on the App Store

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At Tripfilms, we’re always thinking about new ways to bring travel videos to travelers to help them with travel planning and travel inspiration. Our HD Travel Guides bring Tripfilms videos to the iPad. These HD Travel Guide apps include standard and HD versions of the videos, as well as an interactive map featuring links to videos of specific locations. The best part? They’re free!

You can now download Tripfilms HD Travel Guides for the following destinations:AustriaNew York CityGermanySt. LuciaParisBangkok, and Curação. Or, sample destinations from all over the world with the Best of Tripfilms app. Download apps from your favorite destinations today and watch travel videos to your heart’s content!

Twelve Travel Questions with Eight Miles from Home

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Name: Jmayel & Sacha El-haj (Eight Miles from Home)
Home Base: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Last Trip: Mae Salong, North Thailand
Next Trip: Sailing the Mergui Islands in Myanmar on a beautiful yacht
Website: www.8milesfromhome.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/8milesfromhome
Twitter: @8milesfromhome

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

Canon SLR cameras, a 24-year-old mascot soft toy seal, and a very heavy backpack with all our equipment in it.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag?

Staying awake on the plane, or sleeping on the plane depending on which way around the world we are traveling.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place?

Find a taxi :-) Get to our hotel and take pictures and video of the room before we put our bags down! Otherwise the room looks all messy in our videos 😉

4. What place has the best food? The worst food?

The street markets of Pai in North Thailand have some great stall food. We love to walk to each vendor and try to buy a small sample of everything that takes our fancy.

The worst food would have to be China, we went to all kinds of different restaurants, cheap, local, expensive or otherwise and everything was really bad. That was eight years ago though, maybe things have changed since then :-) 

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life?

Delhi India. It was the first destination on our first voyage around the world and oh my god, we got hit hard with culture shock. We were too afraid to leave the hotel for a whole day so when we got hungry we ate chewing gums that we had brought from England. 😀 It was a steep learning/adjustment curve but the travel bug soon kicked in after that and since then one country is never enough for too long.

6. What is your favorite travel quote?

Ask not what life has in store for you, but what you have in store for life.

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7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

Cinematic music always inspires us to travel. We make cinematic travel videos so when we hear a beautiful score by Hans Zimmer or Two Steps from Hell it really makes us want to get out there with our cameras and film our next adventure.

8. What is your craziest true travel story?

The one time when we were going through a bit of a financial struggle in Australia. A shady man came to Jmayel and offered him $100 AUD to buy his urine. No questions were asked, a pot was provided and urine was delivered for cash. We never saw that man again.

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

I honestly think that a travel video can make or break a destination. It depends on how it is filmed. I find that some videographers can butcher a beautiful landscape or scene by using the wrong exposure settings or uncomfortable movements. On the flip side, I usually find that Documentary filmmakers really know how to compose a scene in exactly the right way to capture its appeal. Travel videos show travelers much more than a photo or article ever could and because of that, the filmmakers’ perspective is a strong influencing factor.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

To show that absolutely anything can be beautiful if you know what to look for. We like to promote lesser-known areas and invite new visitors to follow in our footsteps. There are so many great things to see in the world within a few miles of you wherever you are. You just need to believe that, and then you can see it. Our goal is to show others exactly that.

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Buy a tripod :-) Then watch other filmmakers to see what inspires you the most. After that it is up to you to put your own stamp of creativity onto your work and create something unique and special. Most importantly, if you are passionate about what you do, it will show in your work and eventually you will get noticed.

12. What is your best travel tip?

Document the things that you do when you travel, keep a diary, a blog, a photo library or video. It might not seem that important at the time, but you’ll regret it afterwards when your memories begin to fade.

Twelve Travel Questions with The Expeditioner

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Name: Matt Stabile (The Expeditioner)
Home Base: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Last Trip: Maui
Next Trip: Not sure, but Brazil, Croatia and Australia are in the running
Websitewww.theexpeditioner.com
Facebookwww.facebook.com/TheExpeditioner
Twitter: @TheExpeditioner

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

I always take my DSLR camera, an extra battery and an extra SD card (you can tell where my priorities lie). Everything else is optional, including clothes.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag?

I firmly believe in shocking my body into the new time zone as quickly as possible. Going to sleep and waking at the local times is essential (so no going to sleep early). I also drink plenty of water avoid excess alcohol during my first few days. Okay, well at least the water part.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place?

I walk incessantly around whenever I get someplace, both to get a feel for the area, as well as due to my own excitement of being there.

4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

I love the street food throughout Latin America, but I have to admit the fish tacos I just had in Maui could quite possibly be eaten by me every day for the rest of my life. The food in any airport is pretty universally bad, no matter where you are in the world.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life? 

Traveling in India changes the lives of anyone that has visited there. It’s something about the people, the culture, the religion and the unfamiliarity of it all—in a good way—that makes it hard for anyone not to be affected positively.

6. What is your favorite travel quote?

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

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7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

I love traditional African music, and whenever I hear it, it has the oddly transformative effect on me that makes me want to ditch wherever I am and hit the road.

8. What is your craziest true travel story?

I caught malaria in Africa. It happens to plenty of people around the world (unfortunately more so to children in Sub-Sahara Africa), but it still seems crazy to me and to the people I tell that to.

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

Any time that you can tell a story can have a powerful effect on people, whether it be through words, music or images. What’s great about travel videos is that they are a combination of all three, which make them unique, and oftentimes a much more powerful vessel for telling your story.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos?

World peace, empathy and universal compassion. Oh yeah, also landing my own globally syndicated travel series starring myself as the host. 

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

I would suggest, like anything else, watching other people’s videos and stealing (and learning) from them what you like about their videos, whether it be the way they tell their story, the shots they use, the music they incorporate or the editing techniques they use.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Stay as open-minded, positive and un-structured as possible. Your best experiences will come from things you hadn’t planned on doing, on people you may never have met or talked to during the regular course of your life, and allowing adventures to happen, even if you weren’t expecting them to. Over-planning, timidness and negativity will destroy the chances of any of these things happening.

Twelve Travel Questions with Nomadic Frames

Morgan Van photo by Shoot Booth

Photo by Shoot Booth

Name: Morgan Paar and Vân Nguyen (Nomadic Frames )
Home Base: New York City
Last Trip: Mexico
Next Trip: Panama/Costa Rica
Website: www.NomadicFrames.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NomadicFrames
Twitter: @NomadicFrames

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

Our cameras (two Canon 5D Mark III), iPhones, rain gear.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag?

We don’t have any secret snake oil when it comes to jet lag. We just try to adjust to the local time as best we can. We often try to sleep on the plane to adjust to our arrival time.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

Vân: Go out into the town for a beer.

Morgan: I once went straight to a bar upon touching down in Edinburgh, Scotland. I had very little money and nowhere to stay that weekend and I wondered if buying beer was the smartest move. While at the bar, we meet a super nice young woman who said, “I’ll go stay with my boyfriend for the weekend. Here are the keys to my apartment and the address. Make yourself at home and just put the keys through the mail slot when you leave Sunday night.”

4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

Vân: Vietnam has my favorite food. Everything was fresh and delicious—from seafood to street food to exotic fruits everywhere. I loved the beer in the Czech Republic but got really tired of eating meat and potatoes everyday. Fresh fruit and vegetables seemed almost non-existent.

Morgan: No food comes close to Taiwanese food for me. Hands down the best. The Filipino island of Palawan was tough as I’m a vegetarian and they ate mostly seafood. I ate a lot of eggs and rice on that month long bicycle trip.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life?

Morgan: My life changed a few times in different ways during my four months in India. To see the masses of people who were sleeping on the streets of New Delhi every night made me appreciate all that I have.

Vân: Even though I was born in Vietnam (I left at the age of 6), I was a bit in shock when I first went back as an adult in 1999. The weather was so hot and humid, the crowds were overwhelming and seeing the remnants of the war such as people missing limbs was really intense. It made me really realize that I have so many opportunities available to me that my cousins in Vietnam don’t have.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

Vân: “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

Morgan: “The journey is the destination.” – not sure if this quote originated from photojournalist Dan Eldon, but I heard it from him first.

7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

Thievery Corporation is the first band that comes to mind. The film Latcho Drom by Tony Gatlif is an amazing document about Roma (Gypsy) music and the people who make it from India to Spain. Ravi Shankar transports us to India, Ali Farka Toure teleports us to West Africa, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan makes us want to pack bags for South Asia. Ry Cooder has done some inspiring music all over the world as well.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

Morgan: We were filming drum-frame builders in the bush two hours north of Accra, Ghana. All were super friendly except the biggest guy who thought we were making lots of money with this video while only buying them lunch and beers. He got really, really angry, raised his machete over his head and threatened us. The two Accra drum sellers who brought us there talked him down but I thought we were going to die that day.

Morgan Drum Builders Ghana

Vân: We had just embarked on a two hour camel trek to a Berber camp in the Sahara desert on the Morocco/Algeria boarder. A lightning storm quickly blew in just as we set out. Sitting high on the camel’s back easily made us the tallest objects as we submitted the many mountainous sand dunes. As the sand whipped us from every direction, I though for sure I would get struck by lightning. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Van Morocco Berber Camp

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

First, they inspire. A good travel video gets us excited to visit a place and meet its people. As soon as we buy a plane ticket, we immediately download whatever Anthony Bourdain has produced from that country. From his videos, we not only learn about local food but also about customs, social norms, geography, travel challenges and so much more. If a photo is worth a thousand words, video – with audio – is worth a million words.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

The Nomadic Frames motto is: “The world is our passion. We travel. We record. We create stories.” Our goal is to inspire others to travel. We also want to show that people and places around the world are wonderful in their own way yet also similar to our experiences. We also want to show that travel is not only beautiful but also rewarding. In other words, travel is important and worth the costs.

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

To quote a shoe: “Just do it.”

#1. Watch travel video. #2. Don’t hesitate, go out and shot and edit and learn from your mistakes. #3. A camera is just a tool. There is no ‘best camera.’ Get what you can afford and learn to use it. The story is more important than the tools.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Learn from the locals. Don’t just go to museums and eat at McDonalds. Travel is about living culture and the locals are the holders of most of what is valuable. Immerse yourself.

Inaugural Vloggers Summit: Smashing Success!

Vloggers United!

This past Saturday marked the first ever mini Vloggers Summit at the World Center Hotel here in NYC. Myself and 10 other vloggers came together to share their tips and successes in order to help take each other, and the travel vlogger industry, to the next level. The turnout was impressive, the conversation was impactful and big ideas were generated.

Listening Hard or Hardly listening?

Listening Hard or Hardly listening?

Since traveling is in our nature, many didn’t hesitate to fly in from around the globe. We had Gariné Tcholakian from Toronto, Juliana Broste & Ryan Van Duzer from Colorado, Gareth Leonard from upstate New York and the rest came in from boroughs throughout NYC. We even had a slew of vloggers virtually attending via a Google Hangout. *Sidenote: sadly, Kate from Travels with Kate & Nate from World Wide Nate were held up at the airport given the Friday, November 1st terrifying shooting (Kate was in the terminal!).

Divas from History

Divas from History

Back at the summit, did I mention that costumes were mandatory? Being Halloween weekend and since vloggers tend to be an outgoing bunch, we all decided it was mandatory to attend in costume. This might sound more like play than work, but it actually was a focused afternoon, even if Frida Kahlo & Lady Gaga were interjecting past experiences.

Don't mess with Frida

Don’t mess with Frida

Our main goals were to determine how we measure our ROI/ROE when working with brands & PR firms. The question of how to value ourselves is always tough–but the sentiment in the room was that we are undervaluing ourselves. We also discussed tips for reaching new audiences and the potential of collaborations with each other and other brands. Personally, I felt the creative energy in the room was high and a lot of ideas were sparked for me and the other attendees. I am confident that creating this cohesive group will only serve to make us a stronger individually, which will have an impact on the industry as a whole. The ball has been set in motion by this summit! Thanks to all that attended and be on the lookout for more from the attendees listed below.

Mickela Mallozzi – Bare FeetTM @TravelBareFeet http://TravelBareFeet.com

Matt Stabile – The Expeditioner @TheExpeditioner http://www.theexpeditioner.com/

Ryan Van Duzer – Duzer TV @Duzer http://duzertv.com/

Courtney Scott – Travelocity @CourtScott http://courtneyscott.tv

Amanda Rogers – The Local Way @the_local_way http://www.thelocalway.tv/

Kelley Ferro – Tripfilms & Get Lost with Kelley Ferro @KelleyFerro http://www.kelleyferro.com/

Gareth Leonard – Tourist 2 Townie @Tourist2Townie http://www.tourist2townie.com/

Juliana Broste – Traveling Jules @TravelingJules http://www.travelingjules.com/

Gariné Tcholakian – Global Tourist TV @GlobalTouristTV http://www.damngoodreporter.com/

Patricia Serrano – Fresh Traveler @FreshTraveler http://freshtraveler.com/

Monica McCarthy @MissMMcCarthy http://www.showandtellstories.com/

 Virtual Attendees

Jade Broadus – Vagabond 3 (Los Angeles) @Vagabond3Live http://vagabond3.com/

Kiersten Rich – The Blonde Abroad (Los Angeles) @TheBlondeAbroad http://theblondeabroad.com/

Mike Corey – Kick the Grind (Toronto) @KickTheGrind http://www.kickthegrind.tv/

Kate Thomas – Travel With Kate (Los Angeles) @KateLThomas http://travelwithkate.com/

Cailin O’Neil – Travel Yourself (Halifax) @CailinOneil http://www.travelyourself.ca/

 

Tripfilms Presents at the Travel Blogger Destination Italy

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50,000 travel professionals descended on Rimini, a beachside, Italian town for the 50th annual  TTG Incontri–a 3 day travel market and conference featuring tourism boards, tour operators and travel professionals from around the world. TTG has been one of the leading travel fairs for the past 50 years, but this year was different. This October, TTG added Travel Blogger Destination Italy, a blogger & vlogger conference with the purpose of uniting travel industry leaders with travel media experts.

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Travel Blogger Destination Italy (TBDI) showcased 3 full days of panelists from all over the world– leading travel writers, professional travel photographers, viral video creators and travel media innovators. I was honored to be invited to share my tips & experience regarding video. Day One I listened 6 panels with great speakers like Josh Johnson and Katja Presnal, ranging from storytelling to creating a digital strategy. Day Two I moderated a panel on successful case studies, where 5 other travel blogger/vloggers shared one of their greatest campaigns. I was very interested to hear about the reach of a press trip to Visit Finland and was stunned to hear about the run & gun behind the scenes of the filmmaker, Rick Mereki, creator of the travel series Eat, Move, and Learn all of which went viral last summer.IMG_2593

The conference ended on Day 3, hopefully a high note. Eric Warren from the Matador Network and I, presented our 1.5 hour training session on video. We discussed the importance of video and how it can benefit your blog or your brand. We also detailed best practices & tips for shoot, editing,hosting and being a ‘one man band.’ The audience seemed to enjoy our case studies, where Eric talked about his favorite video campaigns with Matador and I relayed the structure & takeaways from my most recent video series for Saint Lucia.

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In between panels, we were free to explore the massive international fair, and I had great conversations with tourism boards all over the world. Several tourism boards sponsored the TBDI and graciously hosted us for two fun evenings filled with regional Italian food, wine & music. I was glad I got to try piadina, which is from the Emilia Romagna region–these tasty sandwiches were delicious!

IMG_2504Overall, the Travel Blogger Destination Italy was a highly impactful conference for me. I found the group of attendees to each have such unique stories & strong skills, that I learned just as much from my conversations with them as from listening to the panelists. I also think that locating the conference AT the TTG Incontri fair is a smart way for influential travel media to meet & learn with destinations & brands that could hire them. The feedback from the conference has been overwhelmingly positive and it’s going to go from 120 attendees to 400 next year. See you in Rimini in 2014!

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Twelve Travel Questions with James Alexander Adams

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Name: James Alexander Adams
Home Base: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Last Trip: Los Angeles
Next Trip: Florida Keys (December), Iceland (March/April)
Websites: jamesalexanderadams.squarespace.com, www.buildfilms.ca, www.flightpathmediahouse.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BuildFilms

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

The first thing that I am always sure to have is my camera. For the past few years that would have been a Canon 5D and 7D, although I just bought a Sony FS700 so that will the first thing I pack from here on out. The second I always bring is my laptop. I believe that traveling is about disconnecting from the habits of home life, and so I try not to check email or Facebook, however the laptop is essential because I tend to capture a lot of photos and videos while traveling and like to have everything captured, saved, and archived. The third thing is to always have a book to read. I tend not to read novels, choosing rather to read Lonely Planet or National Geographic. I find those types of books inspiring while traveling and they are great to pull out of my backpack while taking time-lapse shots, sitting on a bus, or relaxing at a hostel.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

I have never really had a problem with jet lag. I have an amazing ability to fall asleep on flights. There have been flights where I have fallen asleep before takeoff and woken up as the plane pulls up the gate. I can honestly say that I have often arrived after 24 hours of travel and felt fresh, ready for the time zone and able to go.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

When I get to a new place the first thing I do is try to meet some local people, whether it be at the front desk of a hotel, a cab driver, or basically anyone. I do this because no matter how much planning and research I do beforehand I always trust a local to direct me to amazing experiences.

4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

I rate the best food that I have had not purely on the cuisine itself but the experience of the meal and the journey to get there. One of the best meals I ever had was a bowl of pasta and cup of coffee after coming down from the top of Torres del Paine. I had pushed myself through a 25km day of hiking in order to make it to the top, while at the top the winds picked up and a snowstorm blew in. On the way down the park rangers had closed off access up the hill. Halfway down the mountain there is a Refugios that has a few beds and cooks some warm food. That meal after a long day tasted so amazing and was such a surreal moment, sitting there looking at the sun setting on the peaks of Torres del Paine.

The worst food I have ever had was definitely in Cuba, their food is often very bland and the meat is often very lean and not flavorful. Now that is not to say that they can’t cook. Cuba is just a very poor country that lacks a lot of resources.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life? 

The thing that changed my outlook on life was a job that I had for a wealthy fashion designer. The job was basically following him around the world filming appearances and things he did with his personal life. The job was extremely demanding, however I got to travel to some amazing places. The only problem was that we always visited the “touristy” places and stayed in North American hotels, with private cars, basically the works. What I learned was that was not the way I wanted to explore the world. I want to meet real local people and discover the way they lived their life. I want to arrive at a destination having had to put in some work, maybe get a little lost, and have to work through some language barriers.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha

wow so pretty

7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

M83, The Naked and Famous, Röyksopp, and Liquid Stranger.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

On the way to Fiji I was delayed 5 days because of a typhoon over the country. I managed to talk my way onto a flight that was heading back just to bring flight crews in to get more people out. I met one of the pilots in the hotel and managed to be one of 20 people on an entire 747 from LAX to Nadi.

Another time while walking down a side street in London during the Olympics I came across Bill Gates just walking down the street with his wife–really weird and random, but said hi, shook his hand, talked some Olympics, took some photos, and went on my way.

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

Travel videos are the best way to remember the experience of a trip. Photos are always good, but making a video of it allows you to experience the ups and downs of a trip all over again.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

The goals and philosophy of my videos are always changing and evolving. My goal for a long while was to only bridge the gap between my photos and videos. I was only trying to make videos look as pretty as my pictures. In the past little while my goal has been to focus more on telling a story and sharing an experience. Pretty videos and photos alone don’t really share what traveling somewhere really is about. I really want to start sharing the experiences that I have, the people, the highs and the lows, etc.

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Making a travel video is fun. There are a lot of things to learn, but the number one thing is to always have your camera handy, shoot everything no matter how mundane, and always be trying to make your next video better than the last.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Never plan out every last minute of your trip, leave room for some adventure, some spontaneity, and let the wind blow you in some unexpected directions.