Twelve Travel Questions with Mike Shubic

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Name: Mike Shubic (Mike’s Road Trip)
Home Base: Scottsdale, AZ
Last Trip: Around the world in 5 weeks as part of the 2015 Hangzhou Global Tour
Next Trip: Czech Republic
Website: www.MikesRoadTrip.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MikesRoadTrip
Twitter: @MikesRoadTrip

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

iPad with lots of movies, music and books. Camera/video gear. Computer.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

Other than time, I’ve yet to find one. Even Ambien doesn’t work all that well for me.

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

Check the wi-fi. Then I go explore my surroundings.

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

So many wonderful places for good food! Here are several few people might suspect…in the US: Santa Fe, NM, Charlottesville, VA, Walla Walla, WA and Plattsburg, NY. Abroad: Prague, Czech Republic, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Athens, Greece and Hangzhou, China. Worst: Every place has bad food; you just have to seek out the best. Social media really helps flesh out mediocrity.

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

I don’t know that there is a single place; travel in general has changed my outlook. I really like to find those remote places that few others have travel…to be one with nature. I really enjoy the awe-inspiring sights in the Southwestern part of the US. Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona have some amazing road trip destinations. For road tripping, the west is the best if you ask me.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

I love travel quotes…so many to choose from. Here’s a good road trip related one from Charles Kuralt: “Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.” This one is good too: “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

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

I am such a music fan! I’d say Don McLean’s “American Pie” sure makes me want to do a road trip. For those long flights I enjoy mellow music, such as Enigma, Loreena Mckennitt, or something from Hotel Costas.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

I sat next to a national pinball champion on an airplane once. This guy was over 7’ tall, in the middle seat…of coach no less. This tall, but still relatively youthful individual and I struck up a conversation that lasted a very long time. An hour into the conversation I said, “So, do ya make a living playing pinball?” He chuckled and said, “Not really, I’m retired.” “Is that right?” I said. “So, what did you retire from?” “From the NBA…I played basketball for 9 years, then I was an announcer for 10 years.” Midway through the flight I got up to go to the bathroom. Toward the back of the plane was the last remaining seat. I came back to my seat and informed this guy that I would sit back there so he could stretch out a bit. He was very appreciative and said that he’d like to invite me to a party if I would be returning before said date. He said it was just a casual guy’s party to play some pinball, drink some beer and eat some pizza. A few days later I received an email with the address of his home, which was on an affluent island near Seattle.

When I arrived at his house a couple weeks later, I couldn’t believe it…it was an estate. Here this guy had been traveling in coach and was clearly rich! I was one of the first to arrive. My host introduced the few who had arrived to his family, and then we left the main floor of the home to a game room in the basement. I was quite impressed; the room must have had 20 pinball machines in it. As our host was explaining some of the machines, more people began to show up. Soon, there were some 50 guys in attendance, each from a different walk of life. One guy was an executive at Microsoft, another was a school teacher, and another I met was our host’s gardener. I noticed other rooms full of pinball machines. There were literally more pinball machines than guys in attendance. When the pizzas arrived, our host invited us all to another building on the property. This structure must have been 3000sf without a pinball machine in sight; instead, it was every other type of arcade game you could imagine. Those of us who were first timers to the home, were blown away. If that were not enough, I later discovered an upstairs where our host had an amazing entertainment theater, along with all the items you would expect at a movie theater…popcorn machine, soda fountains, beer taps and so much more. After leaving the party I thought to myself, “What an amazingly cool dude! And, what a great story this is!” :-)

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

I believe videos give the prospective traveler a glimpse at a destination with a dash of helpful information in order to make a more informed decision as to whether it’s a destination, attraction or lodging entity that suits their needs and desires.

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

To be helpful, informative and perhaps inspire travel. I find travel to be nourishment for the soul…it has been my greatest educator and I hope to instill that into others.

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

Watch lots of videos from videographers who are better than you. There are so many elements to making a great travel video, from the storytelling, footage, audio to the editing. It takes a lot of practice. Don’t be afraid to try new things, get creative…find your niche.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Don’t sweet the little stuff; it’s all part of the overall experience (just like the story I told above…that came from a canceled, then delayed flight). Travel delays, etc. can lead to the best stories and often lead to experiences you’d not ordinarily have.

Watch travel videos by Mike Shubic here.

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