Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Robert Rose
Occupation: Producer & Host of Raw Travel TV
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Residence: New York City
College: Middle Tennessee State University
College major: Mass Communications
Short bio: Robert G. Rose is a successful media entrepreneur, producer and host of Raw Travel TV®. After flirting with travel for years, in 2008 Rose sold his successful startup media company and had the opportunity to live and travel abroad full time. This experience cemented his love of travel and produced life-changing moments that inspired Rose to share his experiences by developing a show that would focus on authentic travel in a socially aware context.
This idea became reality in 2013 when Raw Travel premiered. Today the show airs each weekend in over 135 cities representing over 90% of US homes as well as internationally on four different continents. Recently the show was able to lay claim to being the most watched authentic travel show on US commercial television, broadcast or cable.
Raw Travel’s rapid rise lies in its DIY (Do It Yourself) approach to both filmmaking and travel. With a relentless mission of showcasing less publicized destinations and doing good while having fun, the show combines themes such as eco-tourism, voluntourism (giving back), underground music, and subcultures. When not working on Raw Travel, Rose reads voraciously, volunteers, blogs, and runs his digital record label, Punk Outlaw Records.
How often do you fly? Too much and yet not enough. Depends on the time of year but I have probably been on 40-50 or so flights this year.
How many countries have you been to? I kind of lost count but it’s getting close to 50.
How many continents have you been to? 4 so far.
Earliest travel memory: When I was growing up, my family would forsake my small, landlocked Tennessee hometown and head down to the beach in Florida during the dog days of summer. The smell of the ocean, the feel of the sand and the sound of waves crashing had a powerful and lasting impact. To this day, when I daydream of getting away from it all, there’s a beach in the picture. Now beaches aren’t typically great television content but they sure are great getaways.
Favorite American city: My current home: New York City. It’s the only truly international city in the United States. Some days I feel like I’m in another country. Most days actually.
Favorite international city: Not so easy. I love them all for very different reasons, but if pressed, I have to say Medellín, Colombia, where I lived for a few months and made a plethora of friends that I remain in touch with to this day. Can’t wait to get back there actually, I’m overdue. I also love Budapest, Hungary and Belgrade, Serbia.
Least favorite country: That’s tough. I’ve found redeeming qualities in almost every destination I’ve been to. But if southern Honduras were a country, I’d have to say that’s my least favorite. But northern and other parts of Honduras I absolutely loved.
I have no desire to go to: Back to Belize. It’s overrated and expensive for what you can get for a fraction of the price next door, yet, for some strange reasons, many Americans love it.
Friendliest people in the world: Thankfully there are Lots of friendly folks out there, but the paisas of Medellin are super friendly. In the US I think Utah, New Orleans and St. Louis take the cake.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: That’s easy. The United States of America. Specifically any port of call in New York City. I think they may have gotten better over the years but I used to complain to them a lot because I was literally embarrassed at how gruff and rude they treated visitors from other countries. The need for security is no excuse for rude behavior towards guests.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Antigua, Guatemala and Cartagena, Colombia.
Favorite airline: My new favorite is Norwegian Airlines.
Favorite aircraft type: Anything big with middle aisles for long international hauls.
Aisle or window: Aisle all the way baby!
Favorite airport lounge: Wherever the Wi-Fi is free.
Favorite U.S. airport: New favorite is Salt Lake City. You didn’t ask but least favorite, LAX (Los Angeles), Atlanta, Houston Hobby (rude TSA I remember you), and of course good old Laguardia in NYC.
Favorite international airport: I have fond memories of Bogotá. The food is actually authentic, good and not overpriced (relatively speaking of course).
Favorite ho I like boutique hotels with an interesting story. Recently stayed at the historic Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming. Will remember that for the rest of my life.
Favorite cruise line: MSC Cruises solely because they have advertised with Raw Travel TV (I’ve never been on a cruise…hint, hint).
Favorite travel credit card: Good question. I’m still looking but definitely not HSBC. Worst card (and in my opinion bank) ever.
Favorite island: Kuna Islands off the coast of Panama. It’s an archipelago and part of the Kuna Indian reservation and you get an island all to yourself. Only accessible by boat and not for the 5-star traveler, but a great experience.
Favorite beach: Buzios in Brazil and Vichayito in Peru.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Snake Village, Hanoi, Vietnam (yes eating freshly killed cobra is not politically or 100% ecologically correct but it’s a great once-in-a-lifetime experience). Also Indochine in NYC.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: La Flama Taqueria in west Los Angeles.
Favorite bar: The bar at Indochine in New York City.
Favorite fruit: It’s a tie between fresh mango and fresh pineapple in Latin America.
Favorite food: Sushi.
Least favorite food: Irish pub or Jewish deli.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Any local (non-US) beer.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Motorcycle Diaries.
Favorite travel show(s): Globe Trekker and Raw Travel of course!
Favorite travel book(s): “Black Earth”—not exactly a travel book but nothing prepped me more for my trip to Russia. An amazing book.
Right now I am reading: “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” (we just filmed at the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Sioux Reservation for an upcoming episode).
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: 1) Budget Travel, 2) AFAR and 3) anything from Lonely Planet.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides Hundredbacklinks.com, of course! TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet (mostly when doing research).
5 things you bring on a plane: Earphones, one good book (trade it in when finished), New York Post if available or if not a good magazine, laptop, iPhone with White Noise app.
What do you always seem to forget? That damned inflatable neck pillow for long international flights and ear plugs!
What do you like least about travel? In the US: the general rudeness of 1) TSA, 2) most rental car companies and 3) US airlines (in that order). International: some (not all) corrupt bureaucrats & tourism bureaus.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Local candy.
Favorite travel app(s): Kayak or TripAdvisor.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I was in Ecuador looking for the Malecón (Spanish roughly translated means “boardwalk by the water”) but in my poor Spanish I kept asking “donde está el Marecon” instead of, “donde está el Malecón.” Marecon is a terrible homosexual slur. I finally figured out why I was getting such strange, embarrassed and a couple of outraged looks.
Worst travel moment: Being sick abroad is not fun. Had a very sick crew member in Burgos, Bulgaria by the Black Sea. It was not fun visiting that emergency room. Scary times.
What’s your dream destination? Kazakhstan and taking the Siberian Express.
Favorite travel charity: I love them all but Project Pearls in Manila, Philippines and Adopt a Native Elder in Salt Lake City are my most recent “love affairs.”
Best travel tip: Share your love of travel. I encourage people to travel internationally but assuming your readers are already converts so I’d say share, share, share…don’t be shy about your wonderful experiences. Let others know why/how you love travel. And if you’re volunteering, don’t be modest. Tell people about your experience and inspire others. I’m not a travel expert, I’m a travel enthusiasts and I want everyone I meet to understand and have their own life-changing travel experience. Travel is not a competition or a “bucket list,” it’s a wonderful privilege and gift. It should be shared.
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