What I Learned From Applying to be a Travel Show Host

Being a travel show host is pretty much my dream job. I love travel, adventure and learning about other cultures. So last fall when I saw a Facebook post saying that one of my all-time favorite travel shows, Globe Trekker was accepting applications, I was excited and decided right away I’d give it a shot.

They asked for three things in the application – a resume, a cover letter and an audition video. Obviously the video was going to be the most involved part of the process. Like so many other challenges I’ve taken on, it quickly turned out to be more complicated than originally anticipated.

Photo Credit: pilotguides.com

My idea for the video was to act as if I was the host of a travel show called, “Road Trip America” doing a series on crazy college traditions at US colleges. We’d be making a stop at the school I work at, George Fox University, to showcase the school’s oldest tradition, the Bruin Brawl. The school’s incredibly talented videographer had agreed to help. We had worked out a script together and were actually going to shoot it in partnership with the school’s student government and use the video to help educate students about the tradition and reinvigorate interest in it. It was perfect. I could use the video for my audition and it could also serve a need at the university.

Then suddenly, the project came off the rails. Priorities changed in the marketing office and the videographer would have to focus on other assignments. I was disappointed and tempted to give up. But I didn’t want this project to be like so many others in the past that started with great energy and excitement only to fizzle out eventually.

Luckily, my friend Tashawna had a GoPro and graciously agreed to help me and the project was back on track. Finally in August, almost a year after I originally saw the Facebook post, the video was complete and I shipped it off to the Globe Trekker studios in London.

I haven’t heard anything back and there’s a good chance I never will. I always knew it was an exceedingly long shot. Obviously that would be incredible but I’ve realized this process was about so much more.

It was about taking a risk. The Globe Trekker post came at a time when I was in a bit of a rut and felt as if I was going through the motions in my daily routine. It created the opportunity to try something a bit risky and put myself out there. I could look like an idiot. My friends and family could wonder, “who does that guy think he is?” The risk or fear wasn’t as much about being told “no” by Globe Trekker, but more about what others might think. So taking this risk has been empowering and built confidence. It has also served as a catalyst for taking other risks, like starting this blog.

It was about pushing through barriers, not letting perfectionism get in the way and accomplishing a goal. In the past I might have given up when I ran into a road block thinking it was too much work. Or I might have let my desire for perfection or fear of what people would think about stop me. The vice-president of my division at work has this saying, “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be awesome.” My audition video definitely isn’t perfect, but I think it is really awesome, if nothing else because of the hard work that went into it and the barriers that had to be pushed through to get it done. It’s incredibly gratifying to have accomplished a challenging goal I set out for myself.

It was about encouraging others. This might be the most rewarding part of the process. Like I mentioned, I often care too much about what people think and can let that keep me from trying new things. It really isn’t about what I did or how the audition turned out, but I hope some have been inspired to take a risk of their own.

No matter what comes of my Globe Trekker application in the end, I’m grateful for the process and being able to say that I accomplished this goal I set for myself. Here is a link to view my audition video if you’d like check it out: https://vimeo.com/128110065. By the way, the part where I trip and fall down at the end was a total accident and maybe the best part of all.