On the road and now on TV - Metro US

On the road and now on TV

I’ve hiked with silverback gorillas in Uganda, snorkelled with whale sharks in Mozambique, climbed to the top of The Great Wall, slept among lions and hyena in Tanzania, spear-fished in Zanzibar and snacked on silk worm, goat brain and six-inch scorpions.

I’ve done some pretty crazy things in my travel career but my biggest challenge lies ahead … I’m going to be on television.

The show is called Word Travels. It’s a 13-episode series that follows the real lives of two young Canadian travel writers — Vancouver-based writer Robin Esrock and me, your longtime travel junkie, Julia Dimon. Watch as we jet set around the world, under pressure, and under deadline. From taxi scams to language barriers, readers will discover this “dream job” comes with the occasional nightmare.

Word Travels will be filmed around the world over the next few months. It will then be broadcast on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) in early 2008.

So, I’m going to have my own TV show … how awesome is that! Fame here I come … but excitement quickly gives way to that queasy stomach feeling. Truth is, I can’t help but feel a bit nervous. Though I did dabble in child acting (my claim to fame was a bit part in Road To Avonlea), I’m a novice at being the “real me” in front of the camera. My life will soon be captured on tape and broadcast across Canada for millions to see.

I’m no Brooke Burke and this ain’t your typical travel show. Word Travels will show the warts-and-all reality behind real-life travel writing. We’re talking the good, the bad, the hungover and the cranky. Pretty scary stuff.

The adventures begin in South America, where our team of six travels through Colombia, Bolivia and Venezuela. From there, we hit parts of Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and New Zealand. Normally, I travel solo, but this time I’ll be backpacking with my co-host, a camera operator, director, sound guy and field producer.

As Robin and I gallivant across the globe on the hunt for the best story, the crew will be there to film our every move.

While filming, I’ll continue to write my weekly column for Metro. This diary-style confessional will follow life on the road in a real-life, reality TV show. From the quirky characters I meet, to the everyday challenges of travelling with a film crew, you can read all about it every Wednesday in Metro.

While I’m on the road, feel free to contact me at julia@thetraveljunkie.cawith any travel tips, questions or just to say a quick hello.

Stay tuned as I pack for the big trip, steady my nerves and prepare for my big television debut.

Julia Dimon is editor of The Travel Junkie, an online magazine for independent travellers. She can be reached at www.thetraveljunkie.ca.

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