Where do you call home, and what’s your insider secret for someone who is a visitor there?
Currently I live in LA. I think my insider secret would be to seek out the old Hollywood spots. I feel by doing this you get to experience Hollywood in its heyday. Embrace your inner tourist! I recommend the diner style restaurant in the lower level of the Beverly Hills Hotel – apparently Marilyn used to have late night cheeseburgers and milkshakes there – so I did too! If burgers and shakes aren’t your thing, rent a bike in Culver City and you can ride the aqueduct path from Ballona Creek all the way to the beach without ever touching the road. No traffic – a Los Angeleno’s dream!
What’s the easiest way to start a conversation in a foreign land?
Find someone at a local coffee or tea shop – somewhere relaxed. That way, most people aren’t engaged in something else. And if you are sitting in a coffee shop generally you/they have the time to talk to someone. Have an idea of what you want to see while you’re there and then ask what their favorite (fill in the blank ) is. Then let the local/original advice flow.
What do you worry about now when heading off on a travel adventure?
My inner worry-wart always scopes out where my embassy is (which, by the way, I’ve never needed to use); and will my luggage be overweight. I still over-pack to this day.
What’s on your travel bucket list?
I still have a large list of places I want to go to. The biggies are New Zealand and Ireland. I have such a fanaticism for fantasy novels. I’d love to explore the lands and castles where those beloved characters roamed.
Must-have personal item you take travelling (aside from the obvious necessities like passports)?
Q-tips – I can never have enough of them – they’re beyond handy. Whether it’s helping your camera-man get that elusive speck off the lens or volcanic ash out of your eye, they are just brilliant. And bug spray – did you know it can double as hair spray?!
Best/worst sleeping arrangement you’ve encountered?
Best sleeping arrangement – in between takes! I am often so jet lagged that sometimes I sneak in a snooze while they are setting up a shot! Seriously though, I had one of the best sleeps ever in an eco-lodge in El Salvador after devouring a coco-rubbed steak.
Worst sleeping arrangement – in between takes! (just kidding). I think when my producer, Lisa, and I were at the base of a volcano in Peru. I woke up with a sheet of ice on my back.
How do you choose a good travel companion when you’re not travelling with a film crew?
For me I like to travel with someone who can go with the flow and be spontaneous. And like life, you need to be able to soak up the journey. Be present. It’ll all pass you by otherwise, while you’re trying to get to the summit. Also, someone who doesn’t mind if I pass out on the plane and drool on them. That’s crucial.
One life lesson learned while travelling that’s stayed with you?
With beautiful moments, be ‘greedy’. There are so many of them if you’re just ‘greedy’ enough to stop and experience them. I will never forget on my first episode of Globe Trekker, we were filming white water rafting and the crew had gone to meet us downriver. It was just the director, river guide and I in the raft. My director turned around to me and said, “The rest doesn’t belong to you, soak it up now, Bri. This won’t happen again for the rest of the shoot.”
What show would you like to make an X years later (sequel) of?
I would love to make a remake of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but if we’re sticking to Globe Trekker, I would like to remake one of Zay’s episodes. I’ve always wanted to go to Antarctica. Or one of Ian’s episodes where he technically went into space. Yep, experiencing zero gravity would be the bees knees.
What are your current pet projects?
My most recent endeavor is blogging! I’ve just started a blog called Beauty and the Funny Bone on Tumblr. It is also linked to my website, briannabarnes.com. Please check it out and follow me on my crazy adventures! Also stay connected on Twitter and Instagram.
We are constantly asked how to get a job like yours: what’s your advice for anyone who wants to become a presenter/producer/content creator within the travel realm?
My advice is to spice up your travel chops. You don’t have to be international; be and get interested. Know your stuff, so when the opportunity presents itself you’ll be ready. How do I get this opportunity you say? The internet! Search them out relentlessly. Put your fears in the bin. The worst that can be said to you is ‘no’, which you’d already be saying to yourself if you don’t try.
Best tips for female solo travelers?
Don’t be afraid to trust your gut. I’d rather be thought of as rude, than remain ‘polite’ and end up in a hairy situation. Also, I don’t think this is solely for female travelers, but when you’re bouncing around from one accommodation to another, don’t forget to grab your hotel or hostel’s business card before you walk out the door. That way if your phone dies, you still know how to get home safe.
Describe yourself in a Tweet (140 characters): Fun, adventurous, bizarre, open, inquisitive, skim milk, kooky, determined, loyal, curious, sparkly, sensitive but fashionable, brave, true