Monthly Archives: January 2014

Twelve Travel Questions with Alexandra Baackes

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Name: Alexandra Baackes
Home Base: Wherever my backpack lies
Last Trip: Ecuador
Next Trip: Panama—Actually, it’s my current trip as I’m writing this from Panama City!
Websitewww.alexinwanderland.com
Instagram@alexinwanderland
Twitter@wanderlandalex

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

My laptop, so I can work; my SteriPen, so I can drink tap water anywhere I go; and a guidebook, so I can read up on local history and hotspots.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag?  

When you find it, tell me. Jet lag tends to knock me sideways on occasion though I do always follow the recommendations to exercise, adapt to local time as strictly as possible upon landing, and to avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water.

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

If it’s anywhere in Southeast Asia, get a massage. It’s the best way to melt away all the travel stress.

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

While it’s not a very original answer, Thailand has both my heart and my stomach. I just can’t get enough Massaman curry! The Philippines will always be the country I almost starved in—someone once described the national cuisine as “burnt meat fat” and I believe they were more or less on target.

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

I can’t think of a trip that hasn’t in some way made me smarter, stronger, or more compassionate to the world. However, my experience at Burning Man opened my eyes in all those ways and more.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

“Pilgrims are poets who create by taking journeys,” by Richard Niebuhr. I love to think of travel as an art.

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

Ever since I did a student exchange in Costa Rica, reggaeton has had a special place in my heart. Listening to it always makes me want to hop a flight just to shimmy away at a bar anywhere in Latin America.

8. What is your craziest true travel story?

In Laos my travel companions and I had a rental motorcycle stolen by a band of ladyboys. That alone would have made the cut, but days later one of those companions was cycling around the outskirts of Vientiane, found the bike, and proceeded to steal it back while an aggressive ladyboy chased him down the streets. I have no need to ever write fiction if my real life continues on in this manner.

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

I think videos are the best way to convey the energy of a destination, and can really inspire people to get out and travel. I am planning a trip to the 2014 Tomorrowland festival based solely on the after-movies I’ve watched from previous years!

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

When I think back on a trip a highlight reel often plays in my mind, accompanied by a song that I strongly associate with the destination. I try to move that highlight reel from my mind to my screen.

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

Shoot plenty of what we call B-Roll—it may not be your primary focus, but these shots give a more rounded-out sense of the story. You can never have too much footage.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Don’t let fear hold you back. Remember that the good judgement that serves you at home will also keep you safe on the road, and the majority of people in the world want to help you, not hurt you.

Watch travel videos by Alexandra Baackes here.

Twelve Travel Questions with Mike Corey

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Name: Mike Corey
Home Base: Fredericton, Canada
Last Trip: Spain
Next Trip: Germany
Website: http://kickthegrind.tv
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kickthegrindtv
Twitter: @kickthegrind

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

  •  A large hooded sweatshirt. Basically a travel multi-tool. It’s a towel, it’s bottle padding, a pillow, a blanket, and an amorphous disguise for after hours walks.
  • Fizzing Vitamin C tablets for water. Take one a day for a few days after a long haul. I haven’t had a cold since.
  • A passport photocopy and extra photos. Also, digital versions saved into an Evernote document.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

No napping, none at all. Stay up until it’s bedtime at your destination. Get in the sun if it’s still up, and have a nice big stretch before bed.

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

Depends on where I’m at. In Europe I usually go find an espresso. They do it right over there.

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

Best Food: Philippines
Worst Food: Philippines
Try Sisig or Dinuguan before you find out what they are. Trust me, the best.

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

Visiting Old town Dhaka, Bangladesh during Ramadan, when the poorest of the poor come into the city. First impression was terrible, second impression was life changing. They were the most welcoming and happy people I have ever met, even with nothing. It makes you question whether you need possessions at all to be happy.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

“Only the curious have, if they live, a tale worth telling at all.” – Alistair Reid

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

Music by Emancipator, Tycho, and Tor.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

An elderly Asian woman once showed me Polaroids of naked young men in the Hong Kong Airport. I’ve slept with wild dogs in the Australian Outback, swam with pigs in the Bahamas, had flesh eating disease in Honduras… There have been a few.

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

Travel video making is interesting in a certain way. The video you create is your own experience, a narrow slice of what makes a place what it is. Even if you spend a year there, you’ll still be biased to activities, foods, and people you enjoy. Another person can have a completely different experience. Then there’s the element of editing, which has a huge impact on the feelings you want to broadcast. The more I create videos, the more I realize the openness and power of this medium. Videos created with heart, with emotion, with careful creation, I believe can permanently determine someone’s perception of a country. For the average traveller, I think seeing videos like this are like a shot of motivation straight to the jugular. It drives you to pursue a travel lifestyle outside of travel life. It makes you plan that next trip because you want that feeling again.

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

I think for most of us there trying to “make it” in travel video… We have videos we make, and the videos we’d like to make. I can maybe only speak for myself, but I feel we all start making videos from the heart, we want to turn a passion into a career, and we start to think about money. It’s not always easy to make work from the heart when you have a client. After a while of producing content that hovers somewhere in between both of your wants, you start to be given opportunities where you can flex those creative muscles and make videos that are truly yours. Your creativity, your message, your voice.

I only talk about this because I feel that I’m finally coming out the other side. I put blood, sweat, and years into what I do, and am excited on creating content that continues to challenge people, to inspire people, and to make them ask: “Wow, you can actually DO that?”

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

I often use this answer when asked this question: “It’s not hard to dance to your favorite song.” Create content you’re inspired by. If you’re making a video about drinking wine, when you’d rather be drinking rum strait from the bottle at 4 a.m. at a Thai beach party, your heart is not into the topic. Pursuing this lifestyle is too tough not to do exactly what you want to do.

I really don’t like to repeat answers, but that’s important. Here’s something that’s on my mind now: Am I a filmmaker at heart, or a creative at heart, who found his path through video?

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Tripfilms Exclusive Secret Tip: Go postcard window-shopping. Not for the postcards, but for ideas on what to shoot. Guaranteed you’ll find some beautiful scenes and angles of landmarks you can go investigate for yourself.

Watch travel videos by Kick the Grind here.

Twelve Travel Questions with Mindful Wanderlust

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Name: Giselle Correia and Cody Kuchirka (Mindful Wanderlust)
Home Base: Toronto, Ontario
Last Trip: Bhutan
Next Trip: Indonesia
Website: www.mindfulwanderlust.com
Facebook: Mindful Wanderlust
Twitter: @GiselleandCody

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

Besides the obvious like passports and money we always make sure to bring our iPods, computers and cameras.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

We have no remedy at all. Hahaha we try to sleep as much as we can but it never works. We just got home from Thailand and we are going on 5 days of waking up at 3 a.m. If anyone else has some good remedies please let us know :)

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

We hit the streets. Try and get a feel for the place by going to a restaurant, talking to the locals, taking photos. We usually do a little bit of research before we go to a new place. Because we are both Vegan we always check to see if there are Vegan-friendly restaurants in the area. That way it saves us time from going from restaurant to restaurant looking at menus.

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

We would both say Thailand. It is very easy being Vegan in Thailand with the Buddhist culture. We never have any problems finding delicious food. There are so many amazing options. Thai food, Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, and so much fresh fruit! We are very spoiled in Thailand.

Hands down the worst food was Laos. We thought it would be great with the French influence, but they use a lot of meat in everything. So for us it was a lot of french baguette and fried rice. After one month of that every day we were very excited to get back to Thailand. 

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

Cody: The first trip I ever took outside of North America was to Cuba and it changed everything for me. I saw how little everyone there had and how extremely happy they were. They had next to nothing but were always willing to offer the little bit that they did have. I returned home after that trip and saw everything that I had and realized that I didn’t need any of it to make me happy. A lot of people put so much of themselves into what they own where I am trying to escape that and have very little when it comes to possessions.

Giselle: I have to say Thailand drastically changed my outlook on life. It is where I started to see all animals as equal, and questioned Why would I love and want to protect some, and eat, and ignore the suffering of others? It has opened my eyes to a lot of injustice in this world, human and non-human, and made me want to expose it.

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6. What is your favourite travel quote? 

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru

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

We are both musicians and huge lovers of music so the list would be quite long. Some of the most inspirational travel music for us would be Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tycho, Do Make Say Think, of Monsters and Men, Recession Fighter….OK seriously this list could go on forever.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

We don’t really have any crazy travel stories but there was one time in India when Cody was approached by five or six teenagers. They started asking for his autograph and taking photos with him. “You are our favorite actor and welcome to our country.” Cody just went along with it sighing autographs and taking photos. We still have no idea who they thought he was…..any ideas?

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

Visuals are always more entertaining and you can easily get a understanding of what a place is like through videos, so they may help people to decide where they would, or wouldn’t like to go.

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

To educate others, and have a lot of fun doing it. We want to show people through our videos that the world is a beautiful, incredible place. Yes, it can be scary at times but we wouldn’t change what we do for anything in the world. We have learned so much about the people of the world and so much about ourselves as well.

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

DO IT!! Practice makes perfect, and don’t be too hard on yourself. But make sure that you enjoy your trip and don’t end up spending all of your time behind a lens.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Don’t judge. Take your time, and enjoy. The world is such a beautiful place and we think everyone needs to see how wonderful it is.

Watch travel videos by Mindful Wanderlust here.

Twelve Travel Questions with Rural Movement

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Name: Spencer and Kylie Turley (Rural Movement)
Home Base: Los Angeles, CA
Last Trip: Ensenada, Mexico
Next Trip: Nicaragua
Website: www.spencerandkylie.blogspot.com
Instagram: @kylieturley
Twitter: @kylieturley

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

Besides our obvious film equipment, we always bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer (always a life saver), headphones, and a rainfly for inclement weather to protect our equipment.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

Sleep. If we don’t wanna miss out on something, we’ll sleep where we are (on the beach, on a bench, on the bus, in a chair… you get the idea).

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

Eat. We love to eat and try something new right off the bat, and while we eat we discuss our game plan.

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

Best food = Xiangtan, Hunan, China. We always find some food we like!

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

Cambodia. When we learned about the Khmer Rouge genocide it not only changed our life, but it changed our perspective and the direction we took in our education.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

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

“Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys & Jonathan Wilson

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8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

It was late at night, dark, and we got dropped off in the middle of nowhere (Jipijapa, to be exact). After several busses, we ended up walking the dark streets looking for the bus station we were promised in Jipijapa. Joke’s on us! There is no bus station. We were literally dumped in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. What are two foreigners supposed to do? We turned the corner and found ourselves in a bargain deal with an unmarked vehicle. He offered us a ride to Puerto Lopez, the next town we were headed to (about an hour away). After mixed emotions and feelings I decided may as well die in a car instead of the street.

Reluctantly and faithfully, we ended up in the car with a Ghostbuster logo on the back. I remember this because I thought it would be the last thing I saw. I was quite confident it would be the end of the Turleys. That perhaps this once, we wouldn’t make our destination safely. Here is why.

I sat there, wary and loaded with bags, and looked at Spencer and said, dare we trust this stranger? We literally felt like we had no other choice…. either die in this iffy town with NOWHERE to sleep (there were no hostels) or go with these strangers and trust they will do what they say they will do. I had a sinking gut feeling but we did it anyway.

The whole time I was smitten with absolute fear. Nobody in the car spoke to us. There were two men and a boy(outnumbered!). I sat in the back huddled to the rickety door with all its metal exposed, waiting to roll out and make my escape if it became absolutely necessary. I even thought in my head, well, at least my family will have some really cute footage of us to watch when we die (if they don’t take my camera). I was a bit upset with the whole situation, but Spence assured me it was going to be fine. Little did I know he too was plotting our escape the entire time in his head. He would demand me to run and hide in the bushes while he fought them off with a pocket knife… ummm… no way. I’d go down fighting!

The miles seemed endless, and time eternity. We winced in worry and tried to understand their rapid Spanish. I was pleading in prayer that we would be safe, that these men could be trusted, and that this was all just a blessing in disguise. I thought about how we trusted two random strangers in the middle of the night. How easy it would be for them to make us disappear! What fools we had been. Nobody would know where we went.

I prayed for a sign that we were indeed going where they said, because it was dark and the roads were EMPTY for miles. Minutes later I saw a sign that read “Puerto Lopez,” our destination. Then, as my muscles relaxed, the men started talking about vegetables and fruits and all the things they want to sell in their fruit stand that week. After words like aguacate, pepino, papa, y fresa repeated a million times I couldn’t imagine two farmers trying to butcher us.

The car slowed to a stop, and parked in a tiny little town with a single bulb hanging in front of a dark door. It was a hostel! We paid $5 for the gesture (and for not disappear-ing us), and hustled off. It was quite wonderful indeed, to be free. Like hitting the beach after nearly sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

Turns out the next day we found the guy who drove us. What a nice jolly ol’ man, and he owns an Internet cafe. The very cafe from which I write this message. HA! Life is funny. While I don’t recommend hopping in unmarked vehicles with several strangers in the middle of the night in a strange town, I will admit we were being watched over. Never again, I tell Spencer. Never again.

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

A lot of people are visual learners and can’t quite grasp what something will be like unless they see it. It helps to see it rather than read about it, so it becomes more of a reality. Videos have the power to make people feel like they’re present—it’s the same reason we love to watch movies. Moving pictures transport their viewers to another place and make you feel a part of it.

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

Get out there, explore, and document things as they happen naturally.

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

Shoot, shoot, shoot! The more you film the better you get—and always make sure to have fun while you’re doing it. If you make it stressful it begins to feel like a job or homework (which 99% of the time, isn’t fun). Be creative, be yourself and stay true to your own unique style.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Keep an open mind. Stuff happens and things go wrong, but if you roll with it you’re way more likely to enjoy yourself. Learn about where you’re going. Educate yourself about not just the places you will see, but the culture. Take an interest in the people and lifestyle of where you’ll be traveling and respect it.