Around The World On TV. I have had an odd and uncanny ability to get on TV. But only after I have departed the US. In fact, the camera is not too fond of me in my own homeland. I will take you back many years ago … to the fourth grade. The local TV station had recruited our class to be involved in a Valentine Day feel-good TV segment. Each one of my classmates would make a Valentine’s Day card for their hero. My classmates and I gripped our oversized cards and spoke for a moment about our hero. I chose Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Later that evening, my parents and I huddled around the TV to watch my gap-toothed smile in action. Classmate after classmate heralded their hero. And then the segment came to an end. I did not make the cut. My footage had been discarded in the trash heap. The producer had deemed I was not worthy of my 15 minutes of fame.
Despite my initial set back at TV cameos, I have made up for it in recent years with multiple appearances. With the caveat that I need to be overseas.
I had come to Yerevan to volunteer for four months in 2004 at an orphanage. As a thank you to the kids who I had befriended, I hosted a festival … from cotton candy to horse rides. And in fact, I came back to the orphanage multiple times over he years to host the same festival.
Well, this is low hanging fruit for media. A feel good story. I was interviewed on TV and radio several times over the years. I was even recognized on the streets of Yerevan every now and then.
Well, I did not attain TV status in China for any special accomplishment. It was simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I with a bunch of other tourists were quarantined for five days (you can read all about it here) under the suspicion of having H1N1. Eventually we were released and had become local curiosities in Tibet as the media followed us as we made our way to Lhasa.
Here is the group being interviewed at a monastery.
This one isn’t too interesting, just happenstance. I had taken the gondola up to TelefériQo, Quito’s highpoint overlooking the city. I noticed an attractive reporter in front of camera. I watched for several moments and was eventually recruited to appear on camera to share my views of Quito as a tourist.
I and my group were local celebrities across India for two weeks. Six teams had driven Indian rickshaws across 2000 km on the subcontinent in a competitive rally. The organizers had recruited the media to highlight the event. So during our trip, TV stations and newspapers made our acquaintance interviewing the crazy foreigners driving rickshaws across India. Read more about my adventure here.
This was another odd one of being in the right place at the right time. I was standing in front of the Sumo Stadium in Tokyo. And the place was swarming with media due to some sort of controversy within the sport. The head of the federation sprinted out of the stadium, refusing all questions as the media trailed him, until he escaped in his chauffeured car. The throngs of media were left in need of activity. A reporter and camera crew approached me and began filming. They wanted my opinion on the Sumo controversy. By luck, I had read a WSJ article on the situation, so I was actually able to make a somewhat coherent statement.
This one can be filed under Russia or Kazakhstan. I was at the Russian Cosmodrome at Baikonur to witness a Russian space launch. The base is in the middle of Kazakhstan but is leased by the Russians until 2050. Foreigners need to seek permission from Russia to visit this area.
During my visit to Baikonur, we spent time visiting many sites including a museum. The Russian Cosmodrome has their own TV/media division who happened to be filming while I was visiting. The reporter grabbed me to interview me about my experience for a couple of moments. You can see me around the 1:45 mark.
I spend a lot of time in Bangkok, the Big Mango, and am often networking within the travel industry. I host a travel meetup on a regular basis that was visited by TV host Fah Daengdej of The Passion, a travel TV program. After meeting Fah, a couple of months later I was featured on the The Passion in an in depth interview. A very cool experience. You can read the full story here.
So, we will see where I end up next time Around The World On TV.