Twelve Travel Questions with Mike Corey

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Name: Mike Corey
Home Base: Fredericton, Canada
Last Trip: Spain
Next Trip: Germany
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.

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