Germany wins World Cup!

Germany wins World Cup!

Germany are crowned World Cup Champions of  2014′s after a stunning goal delivered by Mario Götze in extra time, taking his team to a fourth World Cup title since the tournament began in 1930! After a nail-biting 90 minutes, the game drifted into extra time while 74,738 football fans inside the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, watched in anticipation for one side to score the winning goal.

After a few close chances by Argentina, it was Germany who took the winning title to become the first European team to win the trophy in South America.

To celebrate (and because us folks at Globe Trekker are massive football fans) we are giving you the chance to watch our top German titles completely free.  #DeutschlandistWeltmeister

Globe Trekker : Germany featuring Justine Shapiro

Globe Trekker – Germany 2 featuring Megan McCormick and Justine Shapiro

Berlin Shopping Guide

Exploring Russia’s Ice Trains with Zay Harding

Exploring Russia's Ice Trains with Zay Harding

It’s the second leg of our Tough Trains series – we’ve tackled Bolivia with Zay Harding, travelling from Brazil’s Pantanal to the Pacific coast of Chile bringing you snapshots from some of the most beautiful terrain in South America taking in the local Llamas, the majesty of the Andes and more.

Our next stop is Russia’s Ice Trains!

Russia’s trains travel along 85,500km of track, crossing 11 time zones.  In the cold and often brutal Russian winters, these trains persist against the freezing weather, travelling into Siberia and beyond.  We travel from the capital city of Moscow and head north to Stalin’s cruellest and most ambitious project – the Rail-Road of Death – before ending on the world’s most northern railway.  With average temperatures around -20/-30 degrees and ice at every turn, there’s nothing easy about Russian trains.

Check out Zay’s Globe Trekker photo diary taken on the road while filming Russia’s Ice Trains:

@globetrekker A quick stopover in #Moscow and I'm off to #Siberia. Should be there in 3 hours.

@globetrekker A quick stopover in #Moscow and I’m off to #Siberia. Should be there in 3 hours.


Looking over Russia's famous Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest train line in the world! #globetrekker #TSR #tyumen #siberia #russia #prettyamazing

Looking over Russia’s famous Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest train line in the world! #globetrekker #TSR #tyumen #siberia #russia #prettyamazing


Simple shot from out my window. I feel like I'm in an #AnselAdams picture. #GloriousDay #tyumen #siberia #russia #globetrekker

Simple shot from out my window. I feel like I’m in an #AnselAdams picture. #GloriousDay #tyumen #siberia #russia #globetrekker


Walkway up to the beautiful #TobolskKremlin and #StSophiaAssumptionCathedral #tobolsk #siberia #globetrekker #russia #friggincold

Walkway up to the beautiful #TobolskKremlin and #StSophiaAssumptionCathedral #tobolsk #siberia #globetrekker #russia #friggincold



@globetrekker #Tobolsk is the historical capital of #Siberia, built at the confluence of 2 rivers that stay frozen NINE months of the year! I saw MAC-TRUCKS driving across the ice today! #crazycold

@globetrekker #Tobolsk is the historical capital of #Siberia, built at the confluence of 2 rivers that stay frozen NINE months of the year! I saw MAC-TRUCKS driving across the ice today! #crazycold



Saw these cute homemade Siberian Cat dolls sitting in a cafe window. Almost thought they were real! #catsofinstagram #siberia #russia #craftycats

Saw these cute homemade Siberian Cat dolls sitting in a cafe window. Almost thought they were real! #catsofinstagram #siberia #russia #craftycats


It just started snowing! I swear I feel like I'm in a winter wonderland dream here!

It just started snowing! I swear I feel like I’m in a winter wonderland dream here!


@globetrekker With special permission, after a 26 hour train ride north into the Arctic, I have arrived at one of Russia's biggest gas fields. It is WAY colder than it looks here! #toughtrains #russia #crazycold

@globetrekker With special permission, after a 26 hour train ride north into the Arctic, I have arrived at one of Russia’s biggest gas fields. It is WAY colder than it looks here! #toughtrains #russia #crazycold


Back in the 1960's this was the very site that the first exploratory drilling hole struck an OCEAN of GAS!!! Still today, 90% of Russia's gas supply comes from this finding. #globetrekker #toughtrains #gasfields #russia

Back in the 1960′s this was the very site that the first exploratory drilling hole struck an OCEAN of GAS!!! Still today, 90% of Russia’s gas supply comes from this finding. #globetrekker #toughtrains #gasfields #russia


Snow plow trains run 24/7 so passenger trains such as this one can run regardless the extreme weather. BTW, it's -20 C (-4 F). No problem! #globetrekker #toughtrains #russia #crazycold

Snow plow trains run 24/7 so passenger trains such as this one can run regardless the extreme weather. BTW, it’s -20 C (-4 F). No problem! #globetrekker #toughtrains #russia #crazycold


Globe Trekker is in Japan!

Globe Trekker is in Japan!

We have just finished filming another brand new Globe Trekker episode and this time we are in Central Japan with Megan McCormick.

We have explored Kyoto, Osaka, Iga-Ueno, followed Samurai Warriors in battle, trained with Ninjas at a famous fighting school, learned how to play traditional Japanese drums, transformed into a Geisha and have been transported into the future with sci-fi cars and robots!

Here are some snaps from our trip!

In Nagoya, home of Toyota, which has teams of engineers dreaming up new inventions.  Company planners believe that one-person vehicles are the wave of the future.  This is the i-Unit, one of Toyota’s latest inventions.



In Osaka, one of Japan’s many very crowded cities, in a Cat Café.  There are quite a lot of these in the city (and elsewhere in Japan) designed to satisfy the ‘pet needs’ of the many Japanese people who live in apartment blocks where it is forbidden for residents to keep pets (so that they don’t annoy or disturb the neighbours – Japan being a society where people are always worrying about what other people think, putting society before self).



In Kyoto, at the Toei Movie Studio Theme Park, is the cheapest place in Kyoto where you can get dressed up as a Geisha




Megan enters a Ninja contest near Iga-Ueno (in Koga) in which people can indulge the popular Japanese fantasy of being a Ninja for the day.  Around 100 contestants took part.  Some take it seriously, but most are in it just for a bit of Sunday afternoon fun!



Sado island is the home of the world-famous traditional Japanese drumming group Kodo.  The former schoolhouse in Iwakubi houses 20 or so apprentices who spend two years living and practising in the hope of being accepted into the group at the end of two years training.


The Venice Carnival: Ten Experiences Not to Be Missed

The Venice Carnival: Ten Experiences Not to Be Missed

To one side of you stands a cloaked man, cheering jovially, to the other a woman resplendent in sequins and satins and feathers, dancing to the beat of the music; and beyond – thousands of similarly masked revellers. Where are you? Venice, of course, at its most vibrant and theatrical and romantic of world carnivals.  Author and seasoned reveller – Hannah Fielding shares her top ten Carnival experiences to add to your ‘must do’ list.

Top Tips for Venice Carnival

  1. Book tickets for one of the many Carnival balls – with themes from burlesque to masquerade to enchantment, there’s a party to suit all tastes.
  2. Visit Ca’ Macana, the shop of the best mask maker in Venice. All masks are handmade, and the artistry is exquisite. Buy for yourself one of the classic Carnival masks, such as the Colombina or the Bauta.
  3. Sample a Carnival speciality from one of the street vendors whose wares perfume the air such to make your stomach rumble. The cakes are divine, especially the warm and sweet frittelle Veneziane filled with zabaione cream.
  4. Watch a local beauty pageant winner zip-wire from the Campanile bell tower in the traditional Volo dell’Angelo (Flight of the Angel).
  5. Visit the Arsenale to take in a historical show, live music concerts, street artist performances and, it’s promised, ‘dancing fountains’!
  6. Head to St Mark’s Square to see the parade for the daily Best Masked Costume Competition (enter yourself, if you’re so inclined; the theme is ‘La Natura Fantastica’).
  7. Drink in the romantic atmosphere in St Mark’s Square as you watch sultry tango dancers perform on the Gran Teatro stage.
  8. Brush up on your art history with a free guided tour and talk at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection art museum. This year’s Carnival exhibition is ‘The Empire of Light’.
  9. Embrace the last vestiges of winter with ice-skating in the Campo San Polo. Costume optional!
  10. Join the throngs alongside the Grand Canal for the closing event of the Carnival: a water-borne procession of costumed Venetians on decorated boats and classic gondolas. Be sure to take a camera – this is one spectacle you’ll want to record. (more…)

A Conversation With Globe Trekker Presenter Megan McCormick

A Conversation With Globe Trekker Presenter Megan McCormick

Whenever I need a little escape but can’t get out of town, I fire up an episode or two of “Globe Trekker” so I can live vicariously through the adventures of travellers like Megan McCormick. Since she started hosting the show in 1997, she’s taken viewers to the Greek Islands, Ghana and the Ivory Coast, Micronesia, India, the Silk Road and a host of other exotic locales.

“Globe Trekker,” shown in the U.S. on PBS, is my favourite travel show because it focuses on real travellers experiencing slices of local cultures, not sightseeing. McCormick is my kind of traveller. Her enthusiasm for the places she visits is infectious and you can’t help but conclude that she’d be a fun person to travel with. She got the travel bug in college and has found a way to make a living out of her wanderlust.

McCormick has lived in three U.S. states plus Argentina, Japan, Spain and the U.K., but says she’s now settling down in New York. We spoke to her this week about her favourite places, how she balances family life with her nomadic lifestyle and how she landed her dream job.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Ohio but I was mostly raised in Florida. I first came to New York when I was 12 and I remember feeling this tremendous sigh of relief because I didn’t really fit in in Florida. I was this gawky, ballet-dancing geek who never went in the sun.

Megan-McCormick-in-PortugalWere you a traveler growing up?

I grew up with a giant map of the world and a subscription to National Geographic. That was my mom’s influence. She had this wonderful wanderlust but we didn’t have the resources to travel very much. I studied abroad in France and after I graduated (with a degree from Boston University in philosophy and political science), I taught English in Japan through the JET program. And that was my first foray into traveling independently.

That was in the mid-’90s after I graduated from college. Then I stayed in Asia and backpacked around the region for almost a year and then I moved to New York. I saved a lot of money teaching in Japan and my dad said I should save that money and come home, but I didn’t do that dad, I didn’t! It’s been very hard for me to grow up and settle down.

Do you have a family?

I do. I’m married with kids now so that’s changed a lot. I have an 8-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son.
My daughter traveled with me when she was really little and I just kept doing the show. My husband is in television as well, so we would alternate jobs to keep traveling. Then about two years ago, we alighted in Brooklyn and decided to put down roots here for a little while.

What does that mean?

I don’t know. It means we’ve stopped being peripatetic and moving from place to place. When “Globe Trekker” sent me to a location, especially in the early years, I was so excited; I would just stay. The crew would move on after we finished taping but I would stay. I was consistently away. In 2001, I was based in Barcelona and I thought I was missing too many moments in people’s lives, so I moved back to New York. Then I was in Argentina in 2008 for three years.


Wait a minute. I’m lost. Now you’re in Argentina? Your resume might be even more of a mess than mine.

I more or less backpacked most of the year until 2004 when my daughter was born, but I kept traveling for the first few years. In 2008, we went on vacation to Argentina for six weeks, but decided to stay. We ended up staying (in Mendoza) for three years but that wasn’t really the plan. That’s the beauty of working for yourself.

So how did you transition from backpacker to “Globe Trekker” host?

I had just moved back to New York and I was applying to grad schools for East Asian studies. I was a production assistant for “The News with Brian Williams.” I had some high level duties such as photocopying, ordering supplies and sending faxes. The whole time I was scheming to get out of there. I had a friend who was an actor and he saw this ad in an actor’s magazine announcing an audition for someone who loved to travel.

I’d never been on camera and had never been an actress, so instead of sending a headshot, I sent a collage of photos, kind of like an 8th grade book report. And I wrote a poetic, it’s-the-journey-that-matters kind of thing on the back of it. The director said she had never received a collage before and gave me an audition.

The first audition was great, but on the second one everything went wrong. We were wandering around Chinatown. A cat peed on me. I knocked over a fruit bin. I stumbled across a guy who was painting and he shouted at me like a crazy person and said I was stealing his soul.

It was a disaster but they called and said, “If you can leave in ten days, you’ll have one show and it’s in India.” This was in 1997. I think I’ve done 30-35 shows since then.

Do you know how many countries you’ve been to?

I should know that. My husband and I have a competition to see who’s been to more countries.

Who won?

He’s slightly ahead. He had some hard-to-get-to ones, which was very annoying. He did this great trip from Morocco to Mauritania, down to Nigeria. But I’ve done shows on six continents.

How long do you spend in-country when you’re filming?

We used to shoot for nearly three and a half weeks. But times have changed and budgets have changed. Travel has gotten easier. Now, depending on location, it might be two to three weeks.

And you take your family with you?

My daughter traveled with me until she was older. I’ve only done a few shows since my son was born. My husband would watch the kids while I was working but now he has a grown up job, so the kids stay here. Now that my daughter is in school the nomadic lifestyle is a little more challenging but I still go away every summer. I can’t stay still in the summer.

Megan Diving in MicronesiaOn the show, you stay in a mix of places. Sometimes it’s a $5 per night hostel, other times you’re in a really nice place, right?

It depends on the location. Generally we try to find unique places to stay that are affordable for most people. And those are usually the places that have the most character.

Tell me about one of the dodgier places you’ve stayed in?

A bed is a bed as long as there is nothing crawling in the mattress. I travel with a silk sleeping bag liner, just in case. But I did stay in a very strange, concrete hostel in the middle of nowhere in Inner Mongolia. The bathroom was outside and I went to find it in the middle of the night and I had to dodge two sheep and the bathroom was a hole in the ground over some pigs. There were pigs underneath; there were pigs! That was not a pleasant experience at all.

What are the countries you’re most passionate about?

I love Lebanon so much. And I’m also a big fan of Colombia.

What places do you recommend in Colombia?

I love cities, so I would check out Bogota and Cartagena. And from there, I would go to Santa Marta and then inland up into the mountains. If you like hiking, there is a five- or six-day hike into La Ciudad Perdida, the Lost City. You’re into the jungle and there are indigenous people there who are incredible. And then there’s a beautiful island called Providencia, just off the coast with great beaches.

When you get bad weather do you wait it out or keep shooting?

Sometimes we wait 5-6 days for it to stop raining; other times, we work around it. Ian Wright was in Ireland recently and he said it rained 24 hours a day for days, but they just kept going though. I was in Myanmar for the show about three weeks ago. It’s an amazing country that’s in transition. The people are so lovely. We were there for Burmese New Year. They celebrate by shutting down the country for five days. They have a water festival, where they spray people with water or dump buckets of water on people. You have to have rain gear on because you’re going to get wet.

How many hours a day is the camera trained on you when you’re traveling?

It’s not a reality show so the camera isn’t on me all day long. But we film from sun up to sun down.

Have they ever asked you to wear something or do something that was a little too hokey?

Yes! I would say the entire South-eastern United States program. I think I wore more embarrassing outfits there than everywhere else but it was fun. I was decked out in an antebellum gown walking down some stairs, a Civil War dress, and I was in a cotillion dress dancing with a 16-year-old.

What’s on the horizon for you?

I’m going to Hokkaido in Japan for “Globe Trekker” and I also tried to make my own program, “Sea Nation.” We had a 12-part series where we gave up our normal lives in New York to live on a boat sailing around the Caribbean. It was incredible! We went to 25 different islands and met people from all walks of life. It was 2008, right at the beginning of the economic downturn, and we explored the idea – what can make you happy besides all the things we think will make us happy.

Megan-ChinaYou did this with your kids?

With my daughter, she was 4 at the time. She loved it! My son wasn’t born yet. We were at sea for about four months.

The show was on the Discovery Channel in Asia and a few places in Europe but it never found a home in the U.S. It’s with a sales agent now, so maybe something will happen with it. But there are 11 episodes available online or you can buy the DVD.

Do you consider your job a dream job?

If someone is organizing an opportunity for me to travel and paying me a small amount of money, I will never, ever complain about that. It’s been such a gift. Even the worst days, the day when they made a left instead of a right and we had to stay in the car in a desert for 14 hours, you still get funny stories. I can’t argue with anyone who says it’s a dream job

by Dave Seminara
(Original article appeared in

Ukraine: A Martyrs Shrine in London

Ukraine: A Martyrs Shrine in London

statue-of-st-volodymyr---Ukraine---SmallWest London has a sizeable Ukrainian expatriate community . The statue of St. Volodomyr, who founded the country in the 10th century, has long been a focus for expressions of Ukrainian nationalism for expats in the British Capital. Now, with the recent and tragic killings in Kiev, it has become a ‘martyrs shrine’ with floral  tributes to those that lost  their lives growing by the day.

Ukraine, straddling Europe to the west and Russia to the east has long had a confused identity to outsiders. Witness the conflicting allegiances now being played out on the Crimean Peninsula.

One hundred and fifty years ago the peninsula was the centre of another conflict, the Crimean War, a baffling conflict, this time between Russia and Turkey, then the Ottoman Empire. The war eventually drew in outsiders, Britain and France.

The Crimea is no stranger to East West Tensions. For several centuries it was part of the Ottoman Empire.  But by the mid 19th century The Ottoman empire was in decline.  Under the pretext of exercising its right to protect all Orthodox Christians under Ottoman rule, Russia occupied the Ottoman provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia in 1853.  The Turks, counting on the support of Great Britain and France, rejected the Tsar’s offer and declared war on Russia in October, 1853.

To find out more about the Ottomans, read our study guide by notable historian Julian Davidson.
Watch our  Globe Trekker Ukraine episode below:

Globe Trekker Goes to Switzerland!

Globe Trekker Goes to Switzerland!

Chocolates, watches, cheese, famous physicists and beautiful Alpine scenery.  It can only mean one thing!  We are back on the road again and this time we are filming another brand new Globe Trekker episode with Brianna Barnes in…Switzerland!

We’ve got heaps of stories for you fans, from the Alpine Beard festival, the crazy Reideralp cow-pat festival, St Bernard dogs, all-year skiing in Zermatt, Alpine hikes, underground mountain vaults, rare timepieces and the theory of relativity – all packed into one exciting episode.  Not forgetting those quirky things that make the Swiss so memorable.  For instance, did you know owning a gnome is illegal in Zurich and if you try to mow your lawn after 10pm you could face jail time?

So keep you’re eyes peeled for more updates from the Globe Trekker team on the road!


Going up in the cable car over the Swiss Alps with Brianna Barnes Photo: Simon Buck

The View from the Cable Car.

The View from the Cable Car Photo: Simon Buck


The Winners of this year's Alpine Beard Festival

The winners of this year’s Alpine Beard Festival 2013

The competition was pretty fierce this year!

The competition was pretty fierce this year!


Hanging out with Charlie Chaplin


On top of the world at Interlaeken

The pretty town of Gruyere - home to the famous cheese.

The pretty town of Gruyère – home to the famous cheese.


The Swiss are crazy about timepieces. They even made a floral one!

Cern, Switzerland.  Being a physicist for the day

Cern, Switzerland. Being a physicist for the day


Daisy…Daisy…how does your garden grow…?

...By throwing shit all over the mountain.  Quite literally at the Reideralp Cow Pat Festival!

…By throwing shit all over the mountain. Quite literally at the Reideralp Cow Pat Festival! Photo: Simon Buck

You can still ski in the Swiss Alps in summertime - lucky Mountain rescue are still on hand to offer assistance!

You can still ski in the Swiss Alps in summertime – luckily, the Swiss Mountain Rescue team are still on hand to offer assistance!

The Mighty Matterhorn

The Mighty Matterhorn

On the Thomas Cook hiking trail

On the Thomas Cook hiking trail

Found a few Mountain Goats

Found a few Mountain Goats…

Found a couple more!

…Found a couple more!

hiking must have been pretty uncomfortable in the Victorian Days.  This si how Thomas Cook would have looked taking his group around the Alps!

Hiking must have been pretty uncomfortable in the Victorian Days. This is how Thomas Cook would have looked taking his group around the Alps!

filming inside a Swiss Bank in Zurich

Filming inside a Swiss Bank vault in Zurich

He who holds the keys to the bank vault....

He who holds the keys to the bank vault….

Holly Morris: Why stay in Chernobyl? Because it’s home.

Holly Morris: Why stay in Chernobyl? Because it's home.

Chernobyl was the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident and, for the past 27 years, the area around the plant has been known as the Exclusion Zone. And yet, a community of about 200 people live there – almost all of them elderly women. These proud grandmas defied orders to relocate because their connection to their homeland and to their community are “forces that rival even radiation.”

Globe Trekker presenter Holly Morris tells the stories of these women, called the Babushkas of Chernobyl who live in  the radioactive Dead Zone surrounding Chernobyl’s Reactor No. 4. This is a community of elderly women, defiantly clinging to their ancestral homeland. While most of their neighbours have long since fled and their husbands have gradually died off, this stubborn sisterhood is hanging on — even, oddly, thriving — while trying to cultivate an existence on some of the most toxic acres on Earth. Holly first came across these resilient women while filming Globe Trekker Ukraine

Why they chose to live here after the disaster, defying the authorities and endangering their health, is a remarkable tale—about the pull of home, the healing power of shaping one’s destiny and the subjective nature of risk.

Inspired by the people they met in Chernobyl, especially those who have chosen to stay in the ‘Dead Zone’ despite the health warnings, Holly Morris and Director of the Ukraine show Anne Bogart have launched their campaign and brand new film venture and watch Holly explain more about the film in this fascinating Ted Talk:


National Geographic Celebrates 125 Years of Awe-Inspiring Photo-Journalism

National Geographic Celebrates 125 Years of Awe-Inspiring Photo-Journalism

Jaw-dropping, arresting, breathtaking.  Just some of the adjectives associated with National Geographic and to celebrate 125 years in the business of visual story-telling, National Geographic has delved deep into their archives and pulled out some truly stunning photographs - some of which are instantly recognisable and other which have had a profound impact on our history.

The National Geographic Society and was launched in October 1888 as a non-profit dedicated to funding science and exploration across the planet and in 125 years the iconic brand synonymous with dramatic, impactful imagery and outstanding journalism has grown to over 60 million readers worldwide, a popular TV channel, and a website which receives a monthly footfall of 27 million visitors!

National Geographic has always been a place for firsts.  Creating the first ever photo of the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere, creating the first underwater colour photographs, and now for the first time as part of their newly designed photo-sharing platform, the magazine is inviting  all photo enthusiasts to submit photos and participate in a digital assignment for the magazine. So what are you waiting for? Get over to Your Shot for your chance to be featured!

And for those armchair enthusiasts out there, visit the Magazine’s brand new photo-blog, “Proof,” which promises to be a provocative and eclectic look at the world of National Geographic photography.

Photography is a powerful tool and form of self-expression,” said Chris Johns, editor in chief of National Geographic magazine. “Sharing what you see and experience through the camera allows you to connect, move and inspire people around the world.

We at Globe Trekker HQ couldn’t agree more and wish 125 more years of brilliant photography from one of our favourite photographic trailblazers!

Zaynin Kanji

Globe Trekker eNews

 Globe Trekker eNews August 2014
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Globe Trekker now Available on Roku

Conquistadors, Aztecs & Revolutions

If you have a Roku device and are based in the US you can now access our brand new channel! GlobeTrekker.TV will enable subscribers to have instant access to view a large selection of Globe Trekker episodes for a small subscription fee of $3.99 per month.

GlobeTrekker.TV will also feature events, clips, behind the scenes footage and music from the series. There will be new episodes added every month so hop over to Roku and get started with Globe Trekker.TV here.

Check out our collection of Study Guides!

Check out our collection of Study Guides!

We have guides covering  History, Geology and Travel. They can help you prepare for your exams and we have Globe Trekker shows to go with all our guides making learning that much easier!.

Topics include the American Civil War, The Trans-Atlantic slave trades, slavery in America, an in-depth look at volcanoes and the world of primates, a short history of tea including the Boston Tea Party, the causes of World War 1 and many more.

Study Guides

Brand New DVD Releases – Click on each title for more information

Globe Trekker Switzerland

Globe Trekker Central Japan

World War 1: The Western Front

Planet Food:  The Story of Tea

We ship our DVDs to North America, shipping to: USA, Canada, Mexico & Puerto Rico

International – shipping to the rest of the world