cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Miss Browns Passport

She has quite a few stampsThe Travel Channel. They Travel, you sit and pay the cable bill. Is it a cruel joke? Do we find the punchline of "enjoy the world from the comfort of your couch" unjust in mockery? Who wouldn't rather be out there doing the travel themselves? Exactly. However, we cannot travel all the time. The wretched truth is that many of us cannot travel at all, and a book, a blog, a photo, a show is no replacement for a pressence. But it's a start.

For some, the medias are inspirations to get out there and travel soi-meme, while for some they are reminders of being there, for others tools for planning the next months voyage, and yet even for others a secret peek at an exotic land that otherwise would never have been dreamed. We travel when we can, we prioritize travel over other luxuries, but when we can't be out there getting sick off of pickled Portuguese bar-beans, missing night trains in Prague, and performing animal sounds in cheese shops, we turn to the words and experiences of others to give us thrills, smiles, slaps, and wonder.

You are all aware of my very public adoration of the vagabond writer Anthony Bourdain, his books, cookbooks, novels, blog, dead Food Network show (A Cooks Tour), and current Travel Channel Show (No Reservations), but there is another traveler on the tele--Samantha Brown, and she travels...well everywhere.

Passport to (insert destination here) is a hit series on the Travel Channel; previous editions include passport to Latin America and Passport to Europe, and now Passport to Great Weekends (in the US, Canada, and Mexico). Now the show is not food-centered like Anthony's, it is a more rounded "guide" similar to Rick Steves show...though you don't find yourself in a drowsy comotose stuper at the end of the hour that is often a result of a Steves viewing (sorry Rick).

Sams Passport to Lisbon sent my mind realing with anticipation before my own trip to the city--I recall thinking as i slid just short of falling on my face, she was right, the stones are deathly! As a preperatory guide, the show is quite useful.

The new show Passport to Great Weekends explores destinations all across the US, Canada, and Mexico as well, weekend vacations. Not big trips, but destinations more local than say Timbuktu. The show emphasizes the idea of travel as travel---that travel is anywhere that you do not live. The next town over, an hours drive north, a new side of the city, anywhere you have not seen, have not yet discovered is travel. You can follow her travels airing on the Travel Channel (new episodes thursdays at 10:00 eastern standard time) or at the Samantha Brown Blog.

Orlando, Austin, San Fransisco, Myrtle Beach, New Hampshire, las Vegas, DC, (hell she just had a panda on her lap in China)--Samantha is entertaining, (appropriate to watch with the kids) and helpful if one of her many locations also happens to be a future destination of yours as well.

We put travel above a lot of other luxuries--but when we cannot, we explore through the travles of others knowing that someday we will go too.

à bientôt


Christy said...

Excellent post! You are a true traveller. I imagine your wanderlust is what the explorers of this world have. Your focus though, I'm glad to say, concerns food. Now it is my belief that nothing else bind people together in the same way that food does. Seriously. Enter into a conversation with a cousin or an old friend you haven't seen in ages over lunch/dinner. Food's in front of you, and what do you talk about after the eminent awkward silence imposed itself? Food, of course.

I miss travelling, and the edible experiences that travelling brings. This September I am going off for a good and much deserved two-weeks. But until then, I'll have you and Anthony Bourdain.

Katie said...

I used to watch Samantha a lot when she had a show called Great Hotels. I haven't in a while but I will have to check out her Passport show. Thanks for the review!

Anthony Bourdain's show is one of my favorites, too.

home travel said...

As a home based travel agent in the travel agent business, I am glad to hear of such travel stories such as the travel channel, which is good!