Thursday, July 31, 2008

India Nearly Defeated Me

Even though I was toting around liter bottles of water, I still managed to get dehydrated. I had left at 8am, with my driver who I'd rented for 8 hours. First I went to The Baby Taj, then the back side of the Taj, where I met those little threshing girls pictured below. Then I went to Agra Fort and explored, then, after 2pm the Taj Mahal was free. I met a group of Indian guys who absolutely loved me and saw the Taj up close as fast as I could. Then it was back to my hostel, I got my bag and went to the train station to head to Jaipur. I had been sweating horrendously all day. When I arrived in Jaipur I was shown to my tiny room with no AC. I asked the man who owned the hostel for a bottle of water and he didn't have any. So I went to sleep the best I could on a 1 inch thick mattress, woke up late and walked to a grocery store to get some water. By that time it was already too late. The thing about getting massively dehydrated is that there is no easy fix. Once it happens it's too late and it takes 24 hours to repair the damage. In Jaipur I went to the City Palace, which was a huge let down. There was very little there and it just seemed like a shopping mall for silks and little paintings. I kept feeling like I was going to faint so I left. Then I got on the train for Delhi. I wasn't able to upgrade my ticket for various reasons so I sat in lower class, non-AC. There was a dying woman, throwing up, sprawled out across my seat so I had to beg people to let me squeeze in on their bench. India is good for this, people are actually very accommodating in these situations. 2 hours into the 5 hour journey, I had a fever and a raging headache and body ache. I drank 4 liters of cold bottled water and barely made it to my hotel in Delhi at 11pm. I wasn't sure if I was going to even be able to make my flight to Bhutan the next day, I was shivering and sweating and thought that I might have to go to the hospital. But after a lot of prayer, no food for 2 days, bottle after bottle of water and some rest, I'm feeling about 60% and I'm about to board my flight for Bhutan.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh Yeah, The Contract

Massive lapse in judgement. The videos I posted from Day 3 to Day 7, yeah, I didn't have the rights to post any footage that mixed the characters and places from the show I was working on, so those episodes of Around The World in 30 Days have been removed.

I'll pick back up with Day 8 or so and move on. More videos soon.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Episode 5 - The Great Rift Valley Overlook

I'm a little behind after the mission trip/reality show that I was filming last week, but I'm catching up quickly. More videos to come soon.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Lion Ate My Camera

Ok, here's the deal, the lion was walking at me as I was putting my camera on the road! I feel so safe behind the lens that I barely took Christopher seriously as he was screaming at me to get back in the Jeep.

I have a feeling he wouldn't have been so gentle with me.

Day 3 - Kenya

We arrive in Nairobi, grab breakfast and then hop in a puddle-jumper prop-plane and fly South to The Masai Mara to go on safari.

Episode 2 - Layover in LONDON

Wagamamas is a delicious and decently priced noodle bar in London. It's the first place I head when I'm in the city.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Episode 1

This is just to get the ball rolling. They get so much better from this point.

It is taking a really long time to upload these, I'm very sorry for the delay, but there're more on the way!

Internet in Kenya is BAD

The videos are being made! I've been shooting and editing every day and the series is GOOD. Of course, you would never know that because I haven't been able to post anything. Hopefully, all that is changing as we speak, although very slowly, because the connection is terrible.

In other good news, I decided to start using an Ipod friendly m4v codec, so now you can put the entire series on your Ipod. It will be available for Quicktime download by clicking on the banner below.

Greetings from Kenya!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mistake #1

I was planning on cutting a little airport montage for episode #1, but I put all of my cables in my checked bag, so I can't download the videos off my camera. I am an idiot.

Dallas to Chicago to London, 8 hour layover, overnight at Heathrow and on to Nairobi.

Here starts a long uncomfortable day.

It Has Begun

I guess it's official, I made the first video. Although, this was actually shot on Wednesday, it is officially episode zero. I depart for Kenya today.

This is going to be hard work.

P.S. If you watch them on Youtube, they are actually high quality. The one that's embedded here looks terrible.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Around the World in 30 Days on Itunes

(sorry if it's not working, I'll try and get that sorted out)

To subscribe to my Youtube page, my main video hosting site, go to my Youtube page and click subscribe.

For the HD stuff go to my Vimeo page.

Click this to subscribe to this very blog in Google Reader.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interview in Star Telegram on Friday

As some of you might have seen in the comments the other day, the Fort Worth Star Telegram was interested in hearing the story of what I'll be doing on my upcoming trip around the world. I had a phone interview with a reporter named Maira (Hi Maira!), on Monday and she was gracious enough to put up with twenty minutes of my ramblings. I had just pulled an all-nighter when I talked to her, so I was a bit out of it, I have no idea which parts they are going to use. Hopefully I don't come across as pretentious as I felt. It will be in a special section in this Friday's paper, complete with photographs!

Basically what I said was this: I'm a professional filmmaker who has taken a foray into video podcasting, specifically travel vlogging. I'm about to leave the country to do a project called Around the World in 30 Days, where I will do a new video blog every single day as I circumnavigate the globe in search of truth, adventure, and unique cultural experiences. I will be doing live updates on this very blog, which I will be calling (e before i) for simplicity sake.

Let me know what you think about the article, thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Santogold is So Rad

Musically speaking, I'm in love.

In other news, I think I'm going to buy a big gold chain and start wearing neon again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Got My Pants Back

There is a documentary film on an artist called Rockwell Kent (that my TCU professor Greg Mansur shot). Kent was a traveler and adventurist and during the McCarthy trials, the U.S. government took away his passport so that he couldn't leave the country. There is a clip in the film of Kent standing on his front porch saying, "my passport is like my pants and I want my pants back!"

In order to obtain a visa for India, I had to mail my passport in almost a month ago. I often just carry my passport with me on trips to the grocery store, you know just in case. And not having it these last couple of weeks has made me nervous.

Well, I'm proud to announce that I've got my pants back!It feels good to have visas.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lonely Planet TV, Keeps Out The Riff-Raff

For the last 2 years I have been scouring Youtube trying to find some decent travel vlogs to watch. I've found a few, but there are just so many videos on Youtube, it is nearly impossible to search efficiently. Then, recently, I stumbled across the video section on Lonely Planet's website, I even created a username and uploaded a few of my travel videos. Then, 2 months later I logged back in and discovered that my videos had been viewed a few thousand times. So yesterday I uploaded my Cyprus video as well. Then today I got an email from a Lonely Planet representative. It turns out that they pay users $500 every once in a while when they decide to feature a user submitted video. They didn't want to buy any of my videos per se, but they were interested to see where I was about to travel and to possibly commission me to make a video for $750. Considering I was already going to be shooting videos the whole way through, I jumped at the offer.

The great thing about is that they only accept travel videos, so you can get on the site, do a search for the place you want to go and watch a fellow traveler's experience. Since Lonely Planet is a highly respected travel-trade, the user-submitted videos are usually pretty high-quality. I will be honored to make videos for them.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Changes Will Be Made

I'm here to pre-announce that changes will be made. Big changes, that some of you will not like. But, these changes will be good for all of us. Even if, at first, they don't seem that way at all.

How Do I Get To Delhi?

If I were leaving India with the group, I'd be heading back to the states from Vishakhpatnam on July 28th. Instead, I'm flying from Delhi to Bhutan on July 31st. That's all great, but how do I get from Vishakhpatnam to Delhi? It's half way across the country! By rail it takes 3 days, so that's out. There are only a few flights left and they are climbing toward $400, so I'm having a bit of a crisis. On top of all that, it turns out that the Taj Mahal is not right outside of Delhi, it's actually in Agra, 124 miles South. I also hear that there are things to see in Jaipur, making a perfect route ending in Delhi if I can just get there, but that is proving DIFFICULT.

This is such an adventure!

I purchased my ticket to Delhi!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Time To Take Things Seriously

Originally, I started writing here to keep my mind in shape, you see, I consider myself a writer first and foremost, before anything else. If you were to look back through the archives of this blog (not that you ever would), you would even find many short stories that I posted here just as an exercise. But the time has come to take this whole blogging thing a little more seriously, specifically, the video blogging thing. My plan is to get a dedicated domain name, you know, "something".com and set up my video blog again so that it is subscribable through Itunes. I'd also like for my Youtube name to match whatever my main website is, so that it will be less confusing. Then I'm going to make a serious run for travel-video blog stardom.

When I get on Youtube, it is nearly impossible to find what I'm looking for. The Lone Filmmaker and Overlander are pretty good, but there is just nobody backpacking the globe, shooting, editing and telling a coherent story while on the road. At least not that I've found. So I'm going to fill that role.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


People often say, when hearing of my travels or plans to travel, "I'm so jealous!" To which I always want to, well, I'm not going to say what I want to say, I'm just going to say, you really shouldn't say that. Yes, yes, I know it's just a common expression, but a lot of the things we just do, "are things we just do and they don't have much meaning behind them." But they DO! I just try to be happy for people when they are getting to do what they want to do. And if I'm not happy about it, I either try to tell them that I don't agree with what they are doing, or just keep my mouth shut.

The other day at lunch my uncle said to me (totally unrelated to my travels), "you know Tony (that's what my family calls me), people just find it really hard to be happy for other people's success." I found that to be quite poignant. But get this:

My traveling is not because of my success. I just travel because seeing new things and feeling adventurous makes me feel happy (and broadens my mind).

Now, here is my point:

If you've ever told me that you are jealous of my travels, please don't feel bad. I urge you not to say that to people, but I'm not condemning you for it. Here is what I want to show you, the downside to my travels.

I'm not a rich man, not by any stretch. In fact, I've had to live at my parent's house for the last year because I can't afford rent. Are you jealous of that? The price listed above is how much it is costing me to visit Bhutan for 3 nights. That price does not include hotels, transportation, entertainment or food. I'm completely overextended already, so that cost is going on my credit card. But you know what? It's worth it. Now you know the cost.

You know I love you, but please, just be happy that I'm happy.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Two Things That Concern Me Right Now

Negative Population Growth in first world countries, and poor urban planning in American cities (looking for a good link).