I'm star-strucked today. No, I'm not talking about meeting Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt in person but then, I might as well say these two are the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt of the backpacking crowd: Globetrekker TV's Megan McCormick and Ian Wright. They command an envious television audience - theirs is a job that pays them to travel. Here we all are in a typical rat race in the big city while these two and their ilk spawned by Executive Producer Ian Cross are sent all over the planet in search of adventure. What a dream job indeed!
I intended to spend only a half day today at the New York Times Travel Show as I have important errands to do for my upcoming trip next week. But when I saw this big poster of Ian Wright beckoning me to a seminar room at 3 p.m., I simply could not resist. Earlier, I was fascinated by the inputs of the father-daughter team of Arthur and Pauline Frommer as they divulged new travel deals that are not available in their books.
Meanwhile, in another seminar room, Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern was talking about his pleasant or unpleasant experiences with food from different cultures - I could imagine him telling the crowd about how he ate Balut in the Philippines - but I could not possibly be in two locations at once!
|with Ian Wright|
|with Megan McCormick|
After the Frommers, Megan McCormick took the stage with Ian Cross, Globetrekker TV's top honcho. As she talked about her adventures while shooting on location, I can see that she's basically what she is in the show. She's gregarious, candid and becomes as animated as Ian Wright himself.
When it was Ian's turn to speak, I was completely spellbound. Never mind if he's fond of saying yeah! over and over again. Here's the guy who I first saw when the show was still called Lonely Planet in the early 90's - and though surprised to find him a short guy - everything else about him and his adventures are towering. Ian's truly a natural comic even onstage, no wonder people find his TV episodes very engaging. He talked about how he got the job with Lonely Planet (and later Globetrekker TV) until Travel Channel got him to do a new show which will start airing later this month: America The Wright Way.
Both Ian and Megan haven't been to the Philippines but they're very much aware that Shelpa Mehta did an episode there many years back. Megan says she wants to go there someday - not necessarily to do a Globetrekker TV episode. Just for another kind of adventure, perhaps without cameras following her. Who knows, Ian might just be following suit?