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One of the many happy by products of  my travels for Punktology, the documentary on the worldwide influence of punk, is a little project that turned into a big project called “Raw Travel”.

The idea was to create a more authentic travel show, one without a celebrity chef or host staying in 5 star hotels and visiting other celebrity friends in remote locales.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a travel show fanatic and watch them any chance I can, even if so many seem to all revolve around food, which is just PART of a culture.

Colombia - In the Amazon

But there seemed to be a void, a disconnect between the travel I was experiencing and what I was seeing on television. First of all, most travelers I met weren’t staying in fancy hotels (mainly because they were real travelers not working with a big TV sized travel budget) and because they loved to travel so much, they wanted to stretch their dollars to do more of it, so they had to be a little more realistic about not only where to stay but where to dine and what to do. The frequent unintended result of this type of more frugal, budget traveling was an often more fulfilling and authentic experience

Colombia - Giving back in San Basilio de Palenque

They also seemed to have different expectations from traveling. Some wanted to give back, either to the environment or to humanity in general.

Others, seemed resolved to live their life in as non-traditional a manner as possible, challenging the expectations of modern society. Others were on sabbatical or a gap year and still others were breaking away from their work and normal routine for a short, but intense period of time.

People travel for many different reasons, but all passionate travelers seemed to share a common bond of a love of adventure, learning from other cultures and as a result of their travels, more responsible and empathetic living. I’ve tried to figure out what actually separates a traveler from a tourist. Maybe it’s that a traveler is involved where as a tourist is observing.

Trinidad - East Indian Culture

Whatever the differences, we resolved to try and create a more authentic travel show that incorporated a bit more of what we saw as an important but overlooked segment of the travel show category; real, independent travelers going to sometimes off the beaten path destinations and having authentic travel experiences.

We sought to produce a show that incorporated an eco-friendly message that included ways to travel and live in a more sustainable manner. A show that would ask people to look outwardly to see how others experience the world and then look inwardly and compare that to their lives.

A show that hopefully would encourage those that have the most freedom to travel but are the least worldly of travelers (U.S. citizens) to get a passport, get rid of the fear and get out of the U.S. and meet the neighbors, even if they speak a different language; maybe especially if they speak another language. Language barriers aside, travel has a way of humbling you if you need humbling, making you more confident if you need more confidence or maybe it just seems that way, but to me, travel makes me a better person.

Salta, Argentina - The crew gets doused with flour during Carnival

And alas, we wanted a show with a subtle but consistent subtext that would showcase the underground, punk aesthetic and way of life the world over, understanding that most people who would watch would not be punk fans, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some connection to a punk attitude.

I’m not sure if we were successful, but we did get 4 pretty good 1 hour episodes in the can, produced independently (of course), with limited resources (AKA cash) and each episode I believe better than the one before. It was a labor of love, built from the ground up with the idea to do nothing but our very best in showcasing a way of living, of traveling that has changed my life and I believe can change others’ lives as well.

Making new friends in Ecuador

The shows are not perfect and there is much I want to improve moving forward. But I think/hope they are entertaining, enlightening and attractive for the right audience and hopefully, a network.

Below is a short little demo we produced (a little over 8 minutes) that tries to encapsulate what the show is about.

I hope you enjoy it no matter where you live or where your travels may take you.

 

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