Name: Ron Stern a.k.a. “The Global Gumshoe”
Home Base: Fort Collins, CO
Last Trip: Saskatchewan, Canada
Next Trip: Prince Edward Island/Nova Scotia, Canada
Website: Globalgumshoe.com and Originalglobalgumshoe.
1. What are three things you take on every trip?
1. Camera Gear (obviously)
2. SCOTTEVEST Jacket
3. IMODIUM® A-D
2. What is your best remedy for jet lag?
Taking a nap when I get to my location seems to work but I only allow an hour for that.
3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place?
Take a shower. Then see #2 above.
4. What place has the best food? The worst food?
One of the best was a restaurant in Helsinki called Olo, a one-starred Michelin restaurant overlooking South Harbor that a great culinary experience. They brought about 12 courses of Nordic cuisine prepared by Chef Pekka Teravais who designs his dishes for maximum taste using a combination of fresh, local ingredients and precision in terms of cooking times and temperatures. The result, coupled with a beautiful presentation, wine pairing and a team approach to service was an unforgettable Finnish experience.
I also wrote a story and did a video about Manhattan, Kansas that had quite a variety of independently-owned eateries that were amazing.
The worst? Well, I have had quite a few of those as well. One that comes to mind was a sidewalk bistro in Paris. I had their steak and frites one day and it was pretty good. So, I went back the second day and ordered the same thing with the steak being cooked “well.” They brought it out and I think they must have skipped the step where you put it in the oven as it was totally raw. The server insisted that it was “well done.” I paid my check, got the heck out of there and got a street crepe. Such are the culinary perils of travel.
5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life?
I think that would be Jordan. Not exactly life-changing but it did make history come alive. Seeing the massive sandstone tombs in Petra, the ruins of Jerash and Bethany Beyond the Jordan were quite impressive.
6. What is your favorite travel quote?
“A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles so he can be photographed standing in front of his car.” – Emile Ganest
7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?
Movie soundtracks. These change and I currently am liking this one by Nobuo Uematsu: Terra’s Theme – Final Fantasy VI
8. What is your craziest true travel story?
I was with a group of journalists heading to some remote resort in Costa Rica. This was at night and neither the local guide or bus driver seemed to know exactly how to get there. It was night and we were driving on a rough dirt road with huge potholes for what must have been five hours. Add to all that a torrential rain storm on this heavily-forested jungle route and, well, let’s just say people weren’t happy.
When we finally arrived they didn’t have enough rooms and people were sleeping anywhere they could find space.
But the next day, the sun came out and events of the previous day were easily forgotten.
9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?
I think people, including me, who are visually-minded want to be able to see where they will be visiting. Sometimes, the simplest videos can make an impression vs. a high production value production.
10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos?
I used to produce full 22-minute travel shows with a three-person film crew. These were a lot of work and very time-consuming. Now, I shoot everything myself and try to keep things simple. I produce 3-5 minute video montages that uses stills, video clips, music and graphics. People seem to really like these because they give you a flavor, so to speak, of the destination.
11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?
All of the DSLRs now have a video function. It is usually just a matter of flipping a switch and buying a tripod. After you experiment with putting one together you will see that they aren’t hard to produce and quite satisfying.
12. What is your best travel tip?
The old Boy Scout Motto: Be prepared.
Watch travel videos by The Global Gumshoe here.