Name: Adam Baker
Home Base: San José, Costa Rica
Last Trip: NYC
Next Trip: Buenos Aires
1. What are three things you take on every trip?
Firstly you never know where you might end up or at what time of day so I always have my LED divers torch—or flashlight as its called stateside! Second, the essential clothing: good breathable hiking pants, lightweight sweater, and rain/wind-resistant jacket. And for me good lightweight walking boots. This helps in the tropics! Third, a map. I love maps so wherever I am going I make sure to have a map of that area. Always good to have some idea where you are!
2. What is your best remedy for jet lag?
Have a shower upon arrival and then stay awake until the evening of the time zone you are in, that way you will get a good night’s sleep and be ready the next day.
3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place?
I get my bearings and check for landmarks near the place where I’m staying. This always makes getting around a lot easier. I look at a map and make sure I have read up on the area I am visiting. Then go explore!
4. What place has the best food? The worst food?
Living in Costa Rica I have had the good fortune to visit some of the best restaurants in the country and the capitol. Recently I made a short ‘travel vlog’ to highlight the Best Restaurants in San Jose. Outside of Costa Rica I am big fan of many flavours on one plate, so every time I am in Spain I love going out for tapas. The old town in the heart of Madrid is a must as well as the famous Calle Laurel in Logroño, La Rioja. For worst food, well recently I was walking around central London and was pretty hungry and ended up in a ‘typical tourist pub’ near Buckingham Palace. Classic error. Terrible food.
5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life?
I think every place you visit has the opportunity to have an effect on each individual. This is why we love travelling so much, because with each new experience we learn something new about ourselves and others. This is the wonder of each new culture and every new scenery. None the less my home town of Totnes in Devon was always a place I was ready to escape growing up, but the older I got the more I appreciated it every time I returned. I guess home is where the family is.
6. What is your favorite travel quote?
This is an easy one, as it relates to my two big loves, travel and film. The Lord of the Rings is for me the greatest story and film trilogies of all time. TLORT and travel are synonymous for me: ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step onto the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ This is the wonder of travel, the excitement into exploring the unknown firsthand with your own eyes. It’s a wide world after all.
7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?
In keeping with the The Lord of the Rings theme, the film score of the trilogy gets me every time. Especially The Shire theme. In having its roots in the Shires of the English countryside it always conjures up imagery of home and the pending excitement of a new adventure.
8. What is your craziest true travel story?
Well this is a tough one! Whenever I think about stories I always have three that pop into my head for different reasons…
1. Magical: Back in 2012 we went to do some diving in Utila, a small island near Roatan of the coast of Honduras. It was my first night dive and I was keen to jump into the pitch black water as I was feeling seasick. Being the first down, I descended into the darkness with nothing but my flashlight landing on a perfect patch of white sand. It was like landing on the moon in zero gravity. Once we were all down the divemaster asked us to switch off our flashlights. Once our eyes acclimatized to darkness we started to drift forwards and with every flick of our hands and arms blue, bioluminescent plankton would glow all around us. It was like floating through a scene in Avatar! Floating through stars doesn’t nearly do the experience justice!
2. Craziest: In 2013 when out on a diving/work trip to the Corn Islands off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua we faced a rather large storm when travelling between the two islands. We were on a flat, open-top wooden boat for 20 people. Solid wooden benches for seats. The normally 20-minute journey turned into 40 minutes of hell! We were crashing down waves of at least 15 feet trying to avoid smashing our faces on the wooden panel in front of us, whilst doing our best not to fall out. Not pleasant!
3. Amazing – Hiking over the Andes on the Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu. Reaching a height of around 4,600 meters this is easily the best, most scenic, most challenging way to get to the famous Inca City. Sleeping out under the stars with no light pollution was truly wonderful.
9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travellers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?
Having been making travel videos since 2011 I have seen the firsthand effect it can have. Bringing the truth to an area is something not even a photo can do these days. Everyone knows how pictures in tourism are manipulated so much these days. With small travel videos on small production it brings a reality to an area that can be seen for real. So the trust that’s created is powerful and helps travellers make the right decisions for their own travel experience.
10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos?
Firstly to bring Costa Rica and Central America to life, not just for those that are looking to travel here but for those who want to be entertained and informed. To highlight not only the best aspects of a country but to highlight the aspects that matter. In due course I hope our Costa Rica Travel Channel will be the leading source of travel info, news and entertainment for Costa Rica.
11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?
To simply start! With the access we now have to platforms such as YouTube and Tripfilms your videos can be seen by millions. All you need is a personality, a camera, a good mic and some basic storytelling and editing skills and a bit of creativity! With these ingredients anything really is possible. A great attitude will go a long way in the travel business as you get to meet so many new people all the time and you never know where the next video or trip will come from.
12. What is your best travel tip?
Be yourself everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. Be open-minded, approachable and outgoing and honestly treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated and go out into the world considering that this is your one and only life so live it well and see as much as you can. I try, every now and again to step back from the bubble of work and look at the bigger picture and I’m reminded of the good fortune I have to be doing this. This approach enables me to get the most out of each new place I visit. And finally, make sure that a trip to Costa Rica is right up there on your bucket list!
Watch travel videos by Adam Baker and Costa Rican Vacations here.