Name: Spencer and Kylie Turley (Rural Movement)
Home Base: Los Angeles, CA
Last Trip: Ensenada, Mexico
Next Trip: Nicaragua
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
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.
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.