Posts Tagged ‘travel show’

Excuse me while I do the happy “I Met Phil Keoghan, Host of The Amazing Race” dance!

Phil Keoghan

This is why I love travel shows — meeting travel legends!

In 2012, my hubby and I met the charming Samantha Brown, and last weekend at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show, we met the friendly and funny Phil Keoghan, host of my favorite show, The Amazing Race, and author of inspirational book, No Opportunity Wasted.

No Opportunity  Wasted

In a packed auditorium, Phil discussed his passion for life and philosophy behind No Opportunity Wasted.

In his book he states:

No Opportunity Wasted is about learning how to live while you still have the chance;  about letting go of the handrails;  taking off your tie (and making taking off a lot more, while you’re at it);  and swerving off that predictable road you’ve been following for years – onto a strange and bumpy path that just might, with a bit of luck, get you lost.  It is about taking the time to enjoy experiences you’ve denied yourself.  But it is also about sharing experiences with other people you know.  And connecting with people you don’t know…beginning with yourself.”

He speaks from experience.  After a near death experience when he was 19, Phil has lived life to the fullest and has filled his life with new and exciting experiences including:

  •  Drinking cobra’s blood
  • Having dinner prepared by a 5-star chef cooked over molten lava on top of a volcano in Sicily
  • Cycling across the United States
  • Renewing his wedding vows underwater with a scuba diving priest
  • Having a mold of his rear created (& using it as a salad bowl)… and
  • Attending a friend’s wedding at a nudist colony

Nude weddingHe truly lives by his mantra, “No Opportunity Wasted.”

He also discussed life as The Amazing Race host and how it can be as stressful as being a contestant in the race!

One time he was running late and actually passed the contestants just minutes away from the pit stop!   He also said that between the sleep deprivation and waiting for teams at the pit stops for hours on end, it’s not as glamorous as some might think.  And he oftentimes finds himself washing his hair on the side of the road…no beauty crew…he’s it!

Phil on a luggage carouselSleep deprivation turned Phil into human luggage
on a carousel in Hong Kong.

After a very enjoyable presentation, he headed over to his booth where he met his fans and handed out his No Opportunity Wasted energy & trail bars (which, by the way, are delicious!)

Energy & Trail Bars

We didn’t have to wait long in line before meeting him.  My husband shook Phil’s hand first, & Phil chuckled and said, “They make you wear these things?” as he pointed to the required travel show wristband my husband was wearing.

I then shook his hand, & in a very animated, enthusiastic way (maybe a little too enthusiastic!) said, “It’s such a pleasure to meet you Phil!”

Phil Keoghan

Pointing to my 2004 hard cover edition of his book No Opportunity Wasted, he commented, “Wow, this is an oldie!  This could break a chicken’s beak!”  We all laughed, & I said, “I’m old school.” (Or something like that…who knows, I could have said, “I’m a fool” for all I know!  LOL!

I then told Phil what an inspiration he was & how his adventurous spirit is something I would like to replicate in my life, and he said, “Well there’s no reason why you can’t!”

As he signed the book, there was silence.  I totally blanked & forgot the questions I wanted to ask & the humorous stories I wanted to share, but my hubby kept the conversation going.  I don’t remember what he said.  I just kept looking at Phil in disbelief and hoping he wouldn’t disappear in a poof of smoke.  Before I knew it, we were getting in photo taking position.

I mentioned earlier to my hubby that a funny “eyebrow” photo would be a great keepsake.  If you watch The Amazing Race, then you know of his animated eyebrow-raising when something peculiar or funny happens.

Phil happily obliged when my hubby requested an “eyebrow” photo.

 Eyebrows!Phil’s definitely got the eyebrow action down.
(My hubby’s got some skills too!)

We thanked him again, exited the booth & looked at our photo.  I quickly noticed that something was missing…SMILES!

With puppy dog eyes at my hubby I begged that we go back & get one more photo where we’re actually smiling.

The line had grown significantly, & we had just seen Phil just seconds before, so we decided to ask the booth attendants if we could sneak in & get one more photo.  They happily obliged, but one man near the front of the line quipped, “Hey, you have to get in line!  Get in the back of the line!”  We explained to him that we just saw Phil & had indeed waited in line too, but we just wanted to take one more photo with him, & it shouldn’t take more than two seconds.

Before he could squawk again, the kind attendants let us through, & we laughed telling Phil we need a smiling photo.  Then I jokingly said, “Actually, I just want to put my arm around you one more time!”  He laughed, & we got our photo…all smiles!

 Hanging with Phil KeoghanAll smiles!  Thanks for exceeding my expectations Phil!

The attendant wanted to get one more photo of us & asked my hubby to take his glasses off.   Phil jumped in and jokingly said, “Geez man, glasses on, glasses off…what do you want from them?!”  But we told him that we were content with the photo, thanked him once again & exited the booth.

We then returned to the travel show fun where we entered contests, spoke to interesting people, filled our bags with brochures, pamphlets, pens and treats, spun prize wheels and won two big bucket of Danish cookies, one hat & one bottle opener,  got some ideas for future travel, and we even got interviewed for the Los Angeles Times website! 

Travel show loot!Travel show goodies!

I’m not sure if they’ll use our footage, but they asked us questions like “What brought you to the travel show?”, “Did you win any prizes?”, “What would you tell someone who was thinking about going to day two of the travel show?” and the easiest question, “What was your favorite part of the travel show?”  The words “PHIL KEOGHAN OF THE AMAZING RACE!” couldn’t get out of my mouth fast enough! lol!

The Los Angeles Times Travel Show 2013Los Angeles Times Travel Show

After a few more laps down the rows of travel booths, I realized that I never saw what Phil wrote in my book, so I quickly dug it out of the bag, flipped open the book & smiled when I saw this:

Team #1!

 Although we may never be contestants on The Amazing Race or hear Phil say “You are Team # 1!,” it’s nice to know that in his book, we are.  😉


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It’s hard to believe that winter is quickly approaching. 

The Christmas commercials are in full swing, the holiday decor is flooding the stores and houses are lighting up the streets with pretty twinkling lights.  I always love this time of year, but after the stockings are taken down from the fireplaces and all the New Year’s resolutions have begun (or ended), there’s another winter event that makes my heart skip a beat…

The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show!

For those of you who have been following my blog, you know how much I love travel.  This travel extravaganza takes me to my happy place.  I might as well be  salivating in front of a cookie jar overflowing with every heavenly temptation imaginable!  But instead of cookies, I’m salivating over aisles and aisles of travel delicacies including:

  • Hundreds of travel booths advertising dreamy destinations
  • Tour packages & discounts
  • Mingling with travel enthusiasts
  • Zip lining experience
  • Rock wall experience
  • Scuba pool experience
  • Cultural demonstrations
  • Travel workshops
  • Photography workshops
  • Travel writing workshops
  • Prizes & giveaways

…and then there’s my favorite…


This is the real reason why I love coming to these expos year after year.  A few shows prior, I had the pleasure of meeting Rick Steves and California’s Gold’s Huell Howser…and I was pleasantly surprised at how gracious and genuine they both were.  They took time to chat, answer questions, take photos and answer travel questions.

So when I discovered that my travel idol, Samantha Brown, was going to be there last year, I was beyond thrilled!

Travel Channel's Sweetheart, Samantha Brown

Travel Channel’s Sweetheart, Samantha Brown

Samantha (who goes by “Sam”) is the Travel Channel’s sweetheart and my favorite personality on TV!  I’ve had the privilege of watching Sam’s globetrotting adventures for several years on her “Passport” and “Weekend” shows.  Her genuine enthusiasm for travel and fun-loving, bubbly personality are just a few of the reasons why she has so many adoring fans!  When I need to escape, be inspired, plan trips or just laugh, it’s Samantha Brown to the rescue!

So yes, she has the job of my dreams, and I should be very envious of her, but how can I when she is so sweet, charming, personable, approachable, funny, engaging and down to earth?  And she is all of that…and more…in person!  So if anyone is going to have my dream job, I’m honestly glad it’s her!

In a standing room only crowd in the main stage, Sam gave a presentation called “A Comedy of Travel Errors: My Globalization of Mishaps”.  She discussed some humorous anecdotes on the road including those pesky plastic-wrapped hotel soaps  packaged so tightly that they are nearly impossible to open…and after being on the road and shooting all day, the last thing she wants is to battle her way through soap packaging!

Sam's pet peeves are those pesky tightly wrapped hotel soaps!

Sam’s pet peeves: Those pesky tightly wrapped hotel soaps!

Would you believe she even broke her nose in a hotel?  Being in different hotels every night can make navigating the rooms difficult…especially in the dark.  In the middle of the night, Sam searched for the bathroom, but instead of walking into the bathroom, she literally walked into a wall!  Ouch!  Talk about work hazard!

Travel & reviewing hotels all around the world...not a bad gig!

Thanks to  Sam for reviewing all those hotels!

Her presentation was followed by a Q&A session where the audience got to ask her questions.

There was one question that I was dying to ask her ever since I started watching her travel shows.   So I walked to the middle of the room where the line formed and awaited my turn until the microphone suddenly appeared before me.

“Hi Samantha!  Do you need a personal assistant?  I will gladly unwrap those pesky soaps for you!”

With laughter she said, “Oh you will, will you?  See me after the show then!”

After her presentation, she made her way to the Taiwan booth where she did her meet and greet with hundreds of adoring fans.

After waiting for about 40 minutes, my husband and I finally got to meet Sam.  She was sooo sweet and friendly and gave me a big hug.  Sam said that she enjoyed my question, and I honestly don’t remember how I responded to her.  I think I laughed…I don’t know!  When I asked if she would mind taking a photo with me, she said, “Of course!”  She mentioned that while on the road, she uses the same camera I do (the Canon PowerShot S95)…and again, I don’t remember what I said…lol!
My husband then took our photo.

Me and Samantha Brown!

Me and Samantha Brown!

In those moments, I discovered that Sam was just as awesome in person as I perceived her to be on TV, but this next request just took her to the top of  my “Coolest People Ever” list!

“Sam, how about we take a funny photo?”

“Sure!  How shall we pose?”

Sam's reaction after inquiring if I could be her!

Sam’s reaction after inquiring if I could be her personal assistant…lol!

Yes, that was a BIG BLISS moment for me!  🙂   You may not see it in the photo, but I’m doing a happy dance!  It’s not every day that your travel idol does a “silly” with you.

She then autographed a photo for us and had my husband join in for one more photo:

Me, my hubby & Sam  :)

Me, my hubby & Sam 🙂

It was a day I will never forget.

If you’re reading this Sam, thank you for being wonderful you!

And a big congratulations on your two little bundles of joy arriving in January!

Travel with Heart!

Travel with Heart!

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