Is film producer Darin Dusan’s life story more interesting than yours? Probably. Darin has lived many lives since leaving small-town Iowa some 20 years ago. After relocating to San Francisco, he lived and worked in Bali for two years while dating a princess. Later, when an attempt at owning a cafe back in Iowa City proved unfulfilling, he landed a job in LA with Disney Studios’ film department. Somehow that led to five years in sub-Saharan Africa working for the Pediatric Aids Foundation, and finally to his current profession as an independent film producer working hand-in-hand with European governments. Darin was kind enough to sit down and share his Travel Tales of a life that so far, appears rather well-lived. And he’s a nice guy to boot. Oh, and he can also chat in Indonesian if you’d like to go that route. Thanks for the time and the Tales, Darin!
How did a nice San Diego girl end up a TV star in Croatia? We find out as we’re joined by TV host/producer Ashley Colburn, who saw her brother’s Croatia travel photos and decided that it would the perfect place to produce a travel program. Now Ashley’s numerous shows can be seen all over Europe and on the web. Ashley seized the opportunity to make travel her career, and it’s working out just fine – and she even gets to sign the occasional autograph on the streets of Zagreb! You can learn more about Ashley, see her photos, and find out where she’s headed next by visiting her website here. Thanks, Ashley!
Melanie Wynne Waldman may have three names but her travel website is all about two’s. Melanie started Travels with Two to urge couples to get out and see the world. She’s since split with her other half, but that doesn’t mean she’s stopped traveling. Far from it. Melanie has toured most of Central America and just returned from a food-centric trip to Taiwan, but her favorite place remains Africa. Melanie was good enough to sit down with us and share her Travel Tales, and we enjoyed meeting her as well! Safe travels, Melanie!
A lot of people say they’re going to chuck it all and move to a tropical island, but very few have the stones to do it. Jason McAnear possesses those stones. The ex-Marine left his career and cold weather back in Boise, ID, and moved to the Caribbean island of Roatan, Honduras. Six months later he sent for his girlfriend, Suz, and the two of them are working toward opening a scuba/snorkel business of their own. I met Jason and Suz at their night jobs behind the bar at the C-Level restaurant off of Roatan’s main street, and they took care of me all week. Jason was nice enough to sit down for an interview on my last morning in town, and couldn’t have been nicer. He describes the adjustment to island life: the slow pace, the local people, and oh yeah, the time he and Suz escaped gun-wielding attackers. That last one was merely a blip on the island radar he assured me, and you can hear it all here. You can find Jason on Facebook and watch his and Suz’s Youtube videos. Thanks, Jason! Save that reef for me!
Ahoy, Mates! All aboard The Rock Boat! What’s the Rock Boat, you say? It’s a floating 5-day rock festival with over 30 bands playing multiple stages throughout the day. My friend Graham Elwood (Travel Tales episode 1 guest), was the comic relief on the boat and had a spare cabin – which I promptly filled. I even did a comedy set on the boat, and so did a young man named Matt Bannister, who was working as a stage tech on the ship for Sixthman, the company that books the cruise. I managed to sneak Matt away in between bands to ask him all about the floating fan-fest that is the Rock Boat. To find out where Matt is doing comedy in the Atlanta area, go to his Twitter page. While you’re there, check out and follow Matt’s band – Sunset Love Affair. Matt can tell jokes before introducing his band, play in the band, and run the whole stage behind the scenes before and after the gig. Wow -a triple threat! Thanks for everything Matt – now get some rest!
Taryn Sammons is a small woman with a big title: Social Media and Media Relations Manager for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau in South Mississippi. Whew. Based in Biloxi, MS., Taryn’s main job is to promote Mississippi Gulf Coast tourism in the wake of two major disasters over the eight years- Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. In the shadow of those setbacks, the area shows strong signs of recovery. Just an hour outside New Orleans, Taryn flew me down as a guest alongside other travel writers to see what the area has to offer and to enjoy their various Mardi Gras celebrations. I ate my weight in seafood, visited neighboring towns, toured art galleries and old blues joints, and had a blast throwing Mardi Gras beads off a parade float at screaming bystanders. Fun was had by all and I learned a lot about an area of the country most people don’t think of when making travel plans. Big thanks to Taryn and everyone else who made my stay enjoyable. Just remember to call it “gaming” and not “gambling”! Learn all about the area and plan your trip at gulfcoast.org.
Brett Snyder has a thing for air travel. While most kids were building tree houses and playing Little League, Brett was collecting flight schedules and booking friends and family as an actual travel agent. After years of working in the airline industry after college, Brett started Crankyflier.com- an award-winning travel site featuring all things air travel. He was nice to enough to sit down with us to share his thoughts on modern day flying trends, his favorite and least-favorte airlines, why he actually likes separate baggage fees, and much more. A nice guy we can all learn from, check out his sites: www.crankyflier.com and www.crankyconcierge.com. Thanks, Brett!
Lindsay Taub and Lanee Lee met as travel writers on a press trip. They decided to join forces to create their own travel/lifestyle website, and Voyage Vixens was born! In just their first six months together, they’ve already been to Kenya, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Mexico, Utah, Washington State, and more. They love adventure, with a little bit of luxury thrown in. “Eat, Play, Love” is their motto, and hey, we like all those things here at Travel Tales! It was a pleasure meeting them, and we hope to see more of them on the road ahead. Thanks, Ladies!
While many people talk of wanting to quit their jobs to travel the world, Justin Rosenfeld and his girlfriend Natalie did just that. A former production assistant in LA, Justin and his lady took off for SE Asia and Europe. When they came back to L.A., they packed up the car in the dead of winter and the two California natives drove across the USA. After another trip to SE Asia, Justin is back to share his Travel Tales. Justin is already planning his next trip, but if anyone’s hiring in the meantime, look him up! Thanks, Justin!
Australian filmmaker/cameraman Nick King joins us to share his Travel Tales! Nick recently shot a film project that took him from the North Pole all the way to Colombia. Frightening helicopter rides? Check. Scary border crossings? Check. Frozen camera lenses and batteries? double check. Nick also opens up about his travels in SE Asia and the US, and we even talk about his homeland and yes, Russell Crowe. Thanks again to Nick for a great chat. To see the trailer for Nick’s short film that played the Venice Film Festival, go to www.marla-film.com. Thanks, Nick!
Kiersten Rich got her business degree and took a job in the big city of Los Angeles. All was going to plan, but like so many of us, she heard the call of the open road. The San Diego native decided to quit her job, travel the world, and start her own travel blog- The Blonde Abroad. Kiersten often combines her adventures with charity, and in a short time she’s seen a lot: South America, the Middle East, and much of Europe, to name a few. She shares tales of running with the bulls in Pamplona, floating in the Dead Sea, and a truly horrifying hostel story. Thanks for sharing, Kiersten, and safe travels on your new path!
Travel writer and schoolteacher Melissa Curtin joins us to share some Travel Tales! Melissa left a steady teaching job in D.C. to come to California solo, and her independent spirit has carried her around the world on her own and as a correspondent for JohnnyJet.com. Her recent trips include Thailand, Mexico, and Colombia. With an itinerary like that, we’ll try to give her the benefit of the doubt that she’s not a drug mule for a cartel. Seriously though, this woman likes to travel, and it was great to meet her. If she wasn’t busy enough, she also has an education-themed T-shirt line- Wear2Learn, and edits Ask Miss A, a fashion-based charity site. Whew! Thanks for squeezing us in, Melissa!
Johnny Jet is living the dream. In the early days of dial-up internet in the ’90′s, Johnny started blogging about his travels before anyone knew what a blog was. In 2000, he started JohnnyJet.com to urge people to get out and see the world. Since then, he’s parlayed his travel knowledge into a mini-empire: talk show appearances, Travel Channel show, book, sponsors, you name it. Now Johnny gets paid to travel the world. He was kind enough to sit down for an interview and share his Tale of how an asthmatic kid from Connecticut got to the top of the travel heap. Johnny’s an inspiring guy- be sure to say hi when you see him on the plane. Thanks, Johnny!
We’re getting our Philippines on with TV producer Marla Bautista! Marla answers all my questions about her homeland, first of which is why the food leaves so much to be desired. She then goes on to talk about her numerous trips to Europe, our time together in Madrid, and her story of getting robbed in Barcelona. Marla’s got a million of ‘em! Thanks, Marla- let’s start planning our next trip!
We continue our conversation with London comedian Matt Kirshen. Matt talks about the differences in performing comedy overseas and in America, the British class system, and surviving a run-in with a gun-wielding drug addict in Bordeaux, France. Thanks again to Matt, and to find out where he’s playing next, go to his website at mattkirshen.com. Enjoy!
We head back to jolly old England this week with London-born-and-bred comedian Matt Kirshen. Matt shares tales of performing comedy throughout the UK and Europe, why Dubai gives him the creeps, and why RyanAir is the worst airline he’s ever seen. To see more of Matt and find out where he’s headed next go to his website at mattkirshen.com. I had a great time chatting with Matt, so much so that we talked enough for two episodes! Enjoy the first half!
Travel Tales is pleased to welcome longtime friend and A&E Network celebrity Tanya Memme. Tanya can be seen every week hosting “Sell This House- Extreme” – a job she’s had for 12 years that keeps her on the road constantly. When she’s not telling the good folks in America how to improve their homes for a quick sell, she’s traveling the world for her charity work and for pleasure. She’s recently made trips to Guatemala and Bali, and went on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. To see all things Tanya, go to her website at tanyamemme.com. For more info on the charity she works for, go to www.wellsofhope.com. Thanks, Tanya!
Recorded in London, I sat down with my friend and England native Vicky Taylor to hear her tell some Travel Tales. Among the topics covered: the London Olympics, her recent trip to the heart of the American South, and her ultimate nightmare bus trip in S. America. Vicky and I met in Buenos Aires three years ago and it was great to see her again. Big thanks to the internet for allowing staying in touch to be so simple. Thanks again for your hospitality Vicky! As you would say, I had a brilliant time!
Cheerio! Disney visual effects artist and former comedian Dara McGarry shares her Travel Tales of two years of living in London. Finding a flat, taking the Chunnel, and fighting exploding Scottish plumbing are among the many topics discussed. Dara was the perfect person to chat with before my upcoming trip to London. So enjoy a strong cup of Earl Grey, and enjoy some Travel Tales. Ta ta!
Half Canadian and half Mexican, Jessica Nahmias left her Toronto home often and early in life, and has since made her way around the world. From getting free dinners in Vietnam to chasing waterfalls in Argentina, the TV producer has seen a lot. (Just don’t ask her to explain the U.S. Electoral College!). She hopes to make travel her full-time gig. Join the club, sister! Thanks again Jessica, now let’s go on that Asian food field trip!