Greetings from South Korea, where I’m filming a TV show with National Geographic Channel
Over the next three weeks, I will get to know the “real” Korea by taking the road less traveled, meeting locals, photographing everything I see and reacting to whatever dramatic curveballs the producers throw my way.
Filming alongside me will be Jesse Day: a Canadian-born rapper and actor who calls Korea home.
But first, this is the story of how I got here…
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How Did I Get this Job?
It all started last fall, when I was hired by Samsung to present my work at Photokina: the world’s largest photo trade show.
While there, I became friends with Dahee, who works for National Geographic Channel Korea.
After getting to know each other, she told me about a program she might be filming in 2013 and asked if I wanted to be involved.
“Of course, I said. “Whatever it is, count me in.”
I half expected to never hear from her again.
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Four Months Later, I Received a Message
There I was, working in my home office in Chiang Mai, Thailand, when Facebook made the “new message” sound. Waiting behind the little red “1” was a chat from Dahee:
Just wanted to check if you still want to visit Korea in 2013.
Without a map, 2 bloggers travel around 2-3 different provinces of Korea by bicycle. It will be an adventurous and authentic local journey.
Over the next few weeks, little bits of new information trickled in. Filming might start in April; I would be staring in the show alone; bike riding might be eliminated…
However, specific details, including filming dates, a time-frame and who would produce the show, were still something of a mystery.
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The Waiting Game
Complicating matters was the fact that my wife, Carrie, and I had planned to leave Chiang Mai by late February.
We had a ticket to the Philippines together, then she was heading to India while I (in theory) went to Korea.
Well, after a month in the Philippines, I still had no confirmation on our start date. So, when Carrie left for India, I bought myself the cheapest plane ticket I could find.
$31 and a two hour flight later, I was in Taiwan.
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Taiwan Was Amazing!
For the next month, I had one of the most authentic and unforgettable experiences of my life.
I rode the train everywhere, stayed in hostels, attended a music festival, explored cities, hiked mountains, photographed architecture and had a never-ending string of incredible local experiences.
Meanwhile, like a 1950s teen waiting for a phone call, I also spent that month as close to my e-mail as possible. Finally, in mid-April, I was told that filming would begin on June 11th.
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I’d Love to See My Wife Now
While waiting until June was no problem, it meant I wouldn’t see my dear wife for another three months.
Nuts to that!
One international Skype call later, we had changed our plans and were going to meet up in Turkey.
That turned out to be the best idea ever!
One glorious month of travel and relaxation later, we said yet another airport goodbye and went our separate ways.
Carrie’s itinerary involved France, London, Alaska and Portland.
Mine included visiting friends and family in New York City before coming to Korea to finally film the program.
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Be sure to follow me on
photos and stories from Korea.
As I spend these next three weeks filming Get Lost in Korea, I will be frequently updating this Web site and my social media.
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Thank You All For Your Continued Support
Words can not describe how proud and excited I am to be working with National Geographic Channel to make this program.
It really is the opportunity of a lifetime and I want to thank everyone who made it possible. I couldn’t imagine being where I am today without the continued support and love of my dear family and friends.
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Some Early Photos From Seoul, Korea
I will end this first post from Korea with a photo essay of the last 24 hours of my life. These include leaving New York City, getting to Seoul and my first day exploring.
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GET LOST IN KOREA
In 2013, I was hired by National Geographic to film a TV show in South Korea … following my adventures as a travel blogger and photographic storyteller.
The single-episode show offered a mix of humor, tradition, adventure and stunning imagery; as I teamed up with Jesse Day: a Canadian entertainer who lives in Seoul and raps in Korean.
Here are the highlights from filming Get Lost in Korea …
EXPLORE SOMEWHERE NEW