’BACK­PACK­ING IN­SPIRED MY HIT SHOW’

‘The Amaz­ing Race’ co-cre­ator on how her trav­els sparked the TV show, now in its 31st sea­son

Sunday Times - - Travel -

HOW OF­TEN DO YOU TRAVEL?

I travel quite a bit both for work and for fun. For work I travel about 60 days a year and I try to fit in a few va­ca­tions here and there dur­ing the year, mix­ing it up be­tween beaches and snow.

DE­SCRIBE THE FIRST HOL­I­DAY YOU RE­MEM­BER AS A CHILD.

A road trip from New York to Vir­ginia with my par­ents and my sis­ter to visit Colo­nial Wil­liams­burg. It’s a liv­ing-his­tory mu­seum that takes you back to when Amer­ica was born. You get to step back in time and see how life was in the 18th cen­tury.

AND YOUR FIRST TRIP ABROAD.

In 1990. I had just grad­u­ated from univer­sity and went back­pack­ing with my room­mate through Europe. I re­mem­ber the rush of ex­cite­ment when we landed in Spain. We had many fun ad­ven­tures on the trains, stay­ing in hos­tels and mak­ing friends along the way. It changed the way I viewed the world. Ev­ery­thing I had read about and seen in pho­to­graphs came to life and started a life­long love of travel. It was the in­spi­ra­tion for The Amaz­ing Race.

WHAT IS THE MOST DIF­FI­CULT, RE­MOTE OR AD­VEN­TUR­OUS DES­TI­NA­TION YOU HAVE EVER BEEN TO?

The Sa­hara desert in Tu­nisia. We filmed the first sea­son of the show there and one of our teams got lost in the desert. This was be­fore cell­phones worked glob­ally and we re­lied on satel­lite phones. We went out with our se­cu­rity team to look for them. Luck­ily they found their own way to the next lo­ca­tion. It was nerve-wrack­ing.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CITY?

New York City. I am a lit­tle bi­ased be­cause I was born there, but even af­ter trav­el­ling to more than 85 coun­tries, I still love the en­ergy and the abun­dance of things to do.

DO YOU PRE­FER ROUGHING IT OR LUX­URY WHEN TRAV­EL­LING?

I like a lit­tle bit of both. Some­times the lo­ca­tion de­fines the set-up. If I want lux­ury, there is a gor­geous bou­tique ho­tel on the wa­ter in Lake Como called Tre­mezzo. We rented a van and drove up the coast of Cal­i­for­nia and camped on a beach called El Cap­i­tan, just north of Santa Bar­bara. We switched off all the elec­tron­ics and en­joyed a roar­ing fire on the beach at sun­set.

YOUR BEST PIECE OF TRAVEL AD­VICE?

Pack light and leave room in your suit­case to pick up lo­cal trea­sures. Al­ways be friendly to every­one and you will be treated the same.

WHAT EL­E­MENTS MAKE UP YOUR PER­FECT HOL­I­DAY?

Be­ing with loved ones, shar­ing great food, new ad­ven­tures, meet­ing new friends and cre­at­ing new mem­o­ries.

NAME ONE PLACE YOU RE­ALLY WANT TO SEE SOME DAY.

ELISE DOGANIERI Pic­ture: 123rf.com/bloodua

TRAIN IN SPAIN The fu­nic­u­lar rail­way on Montserrat moun­tain, near the city of Barcelona, in Cat­alo­nia, Spain.

Pic­ture: 123rf.com/jo­jjik

LAP OF LUX­URY A colour­ful evening on Lake Como, Italy.

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