From Colombia to Ethiopia, Jordan to Macau, Word Travels follows the real-life drama as freelance travel writer Robin Esrock and METRO travel columnist Julia Dimon battle deadlines, jetlag, and culture shock in order to find the next great story. Filmed in 12 countries across six continents, Word Travels reveals the unseen truth of professional travel journalism the truth behind the byline.
S01:E01 - Bolivia - High on the Write Stuff
Travel writers, like all journalists, have different beats. Enjoying the "people" side of a story, Dimon investigates indigenous female wrestling, while Esrock hits the mountains to bike down the world's most dangerous road. Getting online to file and pitch stories may be a challenge, so it helps to be blessed by Andean priests on LakeTiticaca
S01:E02 - Ethiopia North - Agreeing to Disagree
African stories fill up notebooks in minutes, but before Esrock and Dimon can explore the 12th century rock churches in Lalibela, they have to deal with social issues, mechanical faults and each others ethical differences. Esrock tests his theory of the people chain following unlikely leads to a remarkable story while Dimons shopping savvy is tested to the limits as she bargains for a goat in Africas biggest outdoor market.
S01:E03 - Venezuela - Slugging it Out in the Jungle
In this episode, the journalists head deep into the Orinoco Delta for a lesson in jungle survival. While Esrock takes the plunge to swim with dolphins, abseil a canyon and catch a piranha dinner, Dimon goes where only few have been before in a hunt for the elusive moriche worm. For each, its a journey full of surprises.
S01:E04 - Jordan - Press Trip Cinderellas
Jordan is a country of contrasts, and so are the personalities of these writers. Dimon lifts the veil to discover the hip bars and malls of modern Amman, while Esrock channels his inner Indiana Jones and gallops into the ancient city of Petra. With posh hotels and five-star feasts in the desert, both relish the luxury of a sponsored press trip.
S01:E05 - Colombia - a Story Clear as Mud
The job of a travel writer is to inspire, and to break myths. Far from being a warzone, our writers are stunned by Colombias warmth and beauty, but a sellable story needs more edge. Julia looks into the art of buying emeralds, Robin visits the infamous bulletproof tailor of Bogota, and both head to Cartagena for a dip inside the crater of a chocolate mud volcano.
S01:E06 - Ethiopia South - Going Tribal
Robin and Julia brave an exhausting road trip to one of the worlds most culturally diverse regions inhabited by over 50 distinct tribes and cultures. Travelling through the Lower Omo Valley, what they discover both shocks and inspires them, as they grapple with their ethical responsibilities when promoting tourist activities.
S01:E07 - Dubai - File Under: Boomtown
Finding and experiencing stories is not always smooth sailing. In the worlds biggest boomtown, Robin decides to sandboard and snowboard on the same day, but the heat and glitz blow hot and cold. Meanwhile, Julias story falls through and her interview cancels, forcing a frantic rush before her looming deadline. In a city with the newest and biggest everything, its the history that saves the day.
S01:E08 - Latvia - My Job Is a Prison
Amongst stunning art-nouveau buildings and medieval cobblestone streets, Robin and Julia reveal their daily lives backpacking in a hostel. After looking into life backstage at one of the worlds oldest circuses, Robin probes stag parties while Julia decides to put herself through hell in one of the worlds most unusual hotels.
S01:E09 - Yukon - a Story Tough to Swallow
Its -30C in the Great White North, but travel writers rarely judge a day by the weather. Robin hangs out with huskies and learns about dogsledding from a Yukon legend, but Julias story is derailed by cancelled flights. Will she make it to Whitehorse to get her story? After braving the cold and the challenge of finding yet another last minute story, both taste the gnarly truth about the legendary Sour Toe Cocktail a drink served with a severed human toe!
S01:E10 - Lithuania - Digging Up Roots
Some stories are important to write, even when they dont want to be written. Researching the rise of genealogical travel, Robin traces his roots to a small town where his grandfather was born, and then died and that tragedy remains thick in the air. Julia looks into a quirky Soviet theme park, where the harsh history meets communist kitsch. Two unique experiences of the same country, and two very different stories to file under deadline.
S01:E11 - Thailand - Ive Got a Big Story Here
Reversing their traditional roles, Robin and Julia switch beats as they head to northern Thailand, investigating stories about peoplewho travel to learn. Julia looks into a Canadian-run Thai kickboxing school, taking a lesson in hard knocks, while Robin joins two very different cooking schools, succumbing to a chili eat-off. At a unique elephant reserve, both writers get their kicks in the world of voluntourism.
S01:E12 - Hong Kong & Macau - Underground and Over Edge
Its tough to find something new to peak the interest of editors. In Hong Kong, both writers decide to head underground to find the cutting edge, Julia with the new sport of parkour, Robin with a late night fixed-gear bike race. Robin finally meets one of his travel editors and gets an education in freelance writing, and together with Julia heads to Macau, the worlds biggest gambling center, to see just how much theyll risk to sell a story.
S01:E13 - New Zealand - Nothing to Fear but Reality Itself
Its the adrenaline capital of the world, so Robin swoops, shweebs, zorbs, agrojets and sledges his way to a double page spread. Julia explores the geo-thermal wonderland of Rotorua through the up-and-coming hobby of geo-caching. Fun and games aside, both consider how a life on the road impacts personal relationships, and how to keep a stable head when your world is constantly changing.
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