Twelve Travel Questions with Two for the Road

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Name: Nikki and Dusty Green (Two for the Road)
Home Base: Austin, TX
Last Trip: Crater Lake, OR
Next Trip: The End of the World
Website: www.twofortheroad.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/teamtwofortheroad
Twitter: @teamtwo4theroad

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

We pack all the essentials of course, but we’re always sure to take our cameras, laptops and plenty of rubber bands. Never know when you’ll need one, you know.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

Rest. Plain and simple. Even though a few hours’ rest is sometimes really, really hard to come by. Oh! And a spicy bloody mary. That always seems to make things right.

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

We always try to get the lay of the land. Usually we try to find a local hole-in-the-wall pub where we can grab a local brew, get on-line and do our research. Research. So much more effective when paired with a cold beer, don’t you think?

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

Best food? Austin. Hands down. Which – okay – may sound like a cop-out since we live there, but that doesn’t make it untrue. From barbecue to Mexican to Asian and everything in between. From a killer $100 steak at a fine chophouse to a killer $1.50 taco at a run-down trailer on the side of the road. Our town is home to phenomenal food without being stuck-up about it.

As far as the worst food? Never seen such a place, honestly. If you’re traveling and you can’t find something good to eat you’re: a) not trying hard enough or b) your standards are too high. Our standards are actually really, really low, so….

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

As odd as it may sound, that would have to be our old house outside of Amarillo, Texas. We both vividly remember the day we looked around that big house – and all the material stuff that we had packed into it – and realized that it was all essentially meaningless. So we sold it all, decided to live a life of travel, and have never looked back. Since then we’ve seen and experienced more of this world than most people can dream, and it’s given new meaning and direction to our lives. So yeah. Don’t worry about buying lots of stuff. It really is mostly just a bunch of crap you don’t need.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

It’s so widely used it’s almost cliché, but it’s still one of the best:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

Truer words have never been spoken.

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

Nik: Well, I’m from a really small town. And I love small towns. But whenever I hear songs about small towns it actually makes me want to travel more. I don’t know why really… maybe it has to do with the idea of making an escape and seeing the world. But it makes me feel really blessed, and inspired.

Dusty: I listen to just about anything and everything, from hip-hop to classical to everything in between. But I love music that tells a story… that transports you to a place and time, where you can almost see the landscape and the story in your mind. That inspires me to travel and to tell stories myself. Good stuff.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

There are lots, actually. But three things come to mind right off the bat:

  • A few days into our first extended visit to Costa Rica we got caught in the middle of a massive bar fight in Quepos that developed into a near riot. Guys literally smashing beer bottles over other guys’ heads and such. Then worrying about getting knifed on the way home because we had to walk through a dark, terrible neighborhood. Good memory.
  • Getting caught in an awful sandstorm, followed by a power outage, in Uyuni, Bolivia. Missed our train as a result and wound up stranded there for four more days. That was fun.
  • And getting accosted by half a dozen policemen with assault rifles at the bus station in San Miguel de Tucaman, Argentina. Dusty was walking through the station with his laptop open (looking for a wi-fi signal) and they all thought he was up to no good. They surrounded us and a tense interrogation followed. We talked our way out of it, but not before learning a very valuable lesson: there’s no free wi-fi at the bus station in Tucaman.

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

Without a doubt, a well done video can give you insight into a location and a culture better than anything out there. There are tons of great blogs and books and guides, photos, etc… but video really is the next best thing to actually being there. It gives you a sense of place like nothing else can, period. And that’s especially useful when you’re traveling somewhere you’ve never been.

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

To inform, educate, entertain and inspire. And along the way to try and capture the essence of our personal experiences in each place.

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

Just. Do. It. Most importantly though: don’t be intimidated by anyone, or by all the fancy-shmancy technical talk about cameras and accessories and frame rates and compression rates and such. Start small. Start with what you’re comfortable using. It really is as easy as pressing the record button on your phone or your camera, and using it to tell a story. Then do your research and learn as you go. Cruise Tripfilms and watch lots and lots of other travel videos. Pay attention to what you think works and what you think doesn’t work. Ask for help when you need it! And use all that to help you develop your own style. As you hone your skills you will find your groove, grasshopper. But you’ve gotta just do it!

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Be kind. Be humble. Be respectful. Be patient. Smile! Get off the beaten path. Push yourself. Scare yourself. Open your mind. And never take a moment for granted.

Okay… that’s like, ten tips. Sorry.

Bottom line: travel is a privilege that (unfortunately) so many people don’t ever get to really experience. So above all, be thankful. And be careful out there!

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