Darley Newman has been traveling the world for over a decade, using many adventurous means, ranging from horseback to surf board to skis. She hosts and produces “Travels with Darley” and “Equitrekking,” seen on PBS, Amazon Prime, AOL, MSN and on networks in over 85 countries. Recognized in Forbes for her “PBS Travel Empire“, she consistently innovates as a media entrepreneur, storyteller and adventurer.
Jonathan Lowe) Many people would consider a travel show on PBS and Create TV the ideal job. You get to experience new cultures and ideas, food, all kinds of hotels, and more. Not everyone knows what happens behind the scenes with bookings, transfers, editing, writing, etc. What was your attraction to this, after working in other venues and shows, and what might readers most be surprised to hear about what you do?
Darley Newman) I worked on a variety of shows before I started my own series, including 48 Hours on CBS and the documentary series FRONTLINE. I love that with my own series, both Equitrekking and Travels with Darley, I get to do a diverse array of creative work, including hosting, writing, producing and even editing. I especially enjoy travel, so traveling the world for my career has been a dream. As an entrepreneur, you always have to juggle lots of different tasks and I find that exciting and fulfilling. People may be surprised to learn that I’ve personally edited over 70 half hours of our series or that I’ve not only surfed in Ireland, but been charged by an elephant while I was horseback riding in Botswana, Africa.
JL) Can you name a few places you most enjoyed visiting, and why?
DN) Some of my favorite destinations have been France, Hong Kong and Botswana. All so different, but they all have great food, nature escapes, fascinating history and culture, and engaging locals who have guided me off the regular tourist path to discover authentic adventures that I enjoy sharing with our fans and friends. I love the food in Hong Kong, the cheese and wine in France and the amazing untouched nature and variety of wildlife in Botswana. We travel to film both in the USA and internationally for my series, which makes for lots of varied adventures and people.
JL) The George Clooney movie “Up in the Air” described traveling light, both physically and emotionally. What do you put–or not put–in your baggage, and how might your travel differ from other travel journalists?
DN) It’s hard to travel light when we’re filming, because we have a lot of gear. When I personally travel, I’m great at traveling light. I like to pack lots of layers, comfortable shoes and the essentials, like sunglasses, sunscreen and hats. Can you tell, I need sun protection? As a female traveler and travel host, I make sure to step out of my own comfort zone to show travelers of a variety of walks of life different adventures they can enjoy, no matter their age or skill level. I hear from lots of women who have been inspired to travel to new places and try adventures like mountain biking and horseback riding, after being inspired by Equitrekking and Travels with Darley.
JL) That is inspiring. Mountain biking and love of horses, too. Have you written articles, in addition to scripts, and do you have any favorite travel books or movies?
DN) I write our TV show scripts, video short scripts and also have written a travel book about Equitrekking published by Chronicle Books and lots of articles for CNN, True West, Equitrekking and beyond. I love to write and share stories. I also like reading travel books and watching movies. I’ve been inspired by the movie “The Way” with Martin Sheen to hike the Camino del Santiago and really like the movies Lost in Translation, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Eat Pray Love.
JL) Your show is on Amazon Prime, which also produces many other TV series in all genres. How has technology changed travel, and what’s next for you?
DN) Technology has changed both travel and filmmaking in so many great ways. I definitely use my smart phone on the road. It’s helpful when mapping locations, finding restaurants on the fly or for google translate. I’ve had full conversations in Japan with google translate, which was handy. With social media, I’ve connected with lots of other great travelers and new friends and discovered new places to go through their dynamic photos and videos. I’m looking forward to seeing what technology comes next!