GETTING PERCY-nal: My answers to some FAQs

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Why do you like traveling so much?
Well, for many reasons… I grew up in a cold, rainy place and I think I have some kind of seasonal rain disorder because after about a month of cold, grey rain I just can’t stand it anymore. So, for that reason alone, I like to get out of Dodge!Then there’s also that aspect of “Myth Busting” that I enjoy. People tend to label destinations as good or bad, often based on all of the false information or exaggerated rumors floating around. I like to see for myself and then, through my reports on the way things really are, I like to get busy shedding the light on the places that get a bad rap when they really don’t deserve it.

What kind of traveler are you?
I find I’m just as comfortable in a 2 star as a 7 star. So, I’m not sure what that makes me. A bit of a chameleon traveler, I guess? I try to blend into whatever situation I am in… Although, I’ve never been much for roughing it in the woods… I really enjoy my showers, even cold ones. Although, I have slept a night in an igloo!

What’s the favorite place you’ve visited?
I get asked that a lot and of course it’s all very subjective. Much has to do with the mood I’m in when I get asked. But, to make it simpler, I recently came up with a standard short answer…and that would be The Seychelles. It’s hands down one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

What’s the strangest place you’ve ever visited?

Timbuktu just because it’s such an iconic name in and of itself. There’s not much there of course, except a ton of “I’ve been to Timbuktu” T-shirt shops…

What’s the quirkiest event you’ve reported about?

Probably has to be the Fire throwers  of Nejapa in El Salvador, but I did visit the first Condom Factory in the world in Erfurt Germany and it is certainly a close second!!  Those Germans are sure good at manufacturing almost everything.

Favorite reports?
My interview with CANCER (the person, or at least the actor playing  the character of “cancer”) and my interview with Bailey Jr., the 1600 pound “pet bison”!! Coincidentally, I filmed both of these exceptional stories in Alberta, Canada!  

What’s the most EXTREME adventure you’ve ever had?
Jumping off Canaima Falls in Venezuela on a hang glider with a guy who didn’t really have a lot of experience. I think we were the last people permitted to do this because the Government just deemed it insane after we did it. I think they made a good decision.


What’s the worst travel experience you’ve ever had?

From my experience…Moscow is consistently one of my worst experiences — rude people, horrible service, ridiculously over priced everything… and last time I was there, they had the record heat wave and out of control fires smoking out the city. It’s just never a good time for me there!

If someone offered you a private jet to go anywhere in the world at this very moment, where’d you go?

Seychelles!! With refueling stops in London and a little side trip to Madagascar!

What FIVE places would you say everyone must visit at least once in a lifetime?

Seychelles, Madagascar, Iguazu Falls, Guatemala (Peten region, with the Mayan ruins), Tanzania

Any words of encouragement for your followers?

Get packing!!! The world awaits!

My Trilogy of Indiana Jones-ish Discoveries & Adventures in Guatemala

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Guatemala is one of my favorite countries. From volcanoes and beautiful cities such as Antigua to mysteries and adventure, it has it all!!

In an attempt to get to know this fascinating country a bit better, I searched out some local experts, and they helped me  dig deeper into Guatemala’s incredible history.

Here’s a TRILOGY OF VIDEOS I’ve produced as a result:

Uncovering the World’s Most Valuable Gem: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-555314

Unearthing a new building buried in the jungle: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-584728

Unveiling the mystery of the Mayan’s disappearance: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-585260

And here’s my guide to Guatemala.

Can you pronounce YAXHA?

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The Ancient Mayan World is as captivating as it is puzzling. Across Central America, the remains of  this sophisticated culture can be seen all around, with more being uncovered daily. Yet, its fairly sudden disappearance remains a largely unsolved mystery…

And Guatemala is a Mayan treasure land, with thousands of sites  registered and thousands more still buried in the jungles, yet to be  uncovered.

During a recent trip to Guatemala, I went on a Mayan site tour with Dieter Richter, a Mayan Monument Conservator (in the Peten region).
Dieter, a trained architect who has specialized in the preservation  of Mayan constructions, works tirelessly with his archaeologist and  anthropologist colleagues to uncover and preserve Guatemala’s countless  Mayan treasures.

Together, we toured the incredible site of Yaxha, so that I could learn a bit more about how he and his colleagues are unearthing the Mayan world and solving its countless mysteries.

PS – You truly will be surprised how YAXHA is pronounced!

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-585260

Fingers Crossed that my “Mayan adventures” make it into CNN’s upcoming Indiana Jones homage

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http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-584728

Indiana Jones for a Day in Guatemala

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Famed archaeology professor Indiana Jones is more than simply a  character. Last year, Time Magazine named him the #2 fictional character of all time!

First conceived by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg as a classic action hero, Indiana Jones has grown into a  world-wide brand. A brand that signifies ultimate adventure. Since first  appearing in Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, this khaki wearing, fudora wearing legend has become the face of theme parks in LA and Tokyo as well as novels, merchandise gallore and several sequels. And this year marks the  30th anniversary of Indiana Jone’s first legendary adventure on the big  screen.

Most young boys, and even most men, dream of calling themselves the ultimate adventurer — and I’ll admit I’m one of those dreamers! While I may not have had to battle with dark forces (like in the movies) on my recent archaeology quest in Guatemala, I did help uncover some outstanding treasures and got a little glimpse into the life of an archaeologist adventurer! In fact, the day I arrived at La Blanca, the site featured in this video, a new discovery had just been made. So, I got in on the action and climbed right into the  excavation dugout with the archaeologists at work…and what we found even solved some of the larger Mayan site’s mysteries!

My adventures start here: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-584728


My Guatemala Guide

Ever wished you could get a lesson in bargaining?

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Around the world — virtually everywhere outside of North America — negotiable rather than fixed prices are almost always the norm…at markets, and even some stores. These vendors/salesmen are actually shocked when you simply accept a first price! Come along with me to a great street-side market in Guatemala as I show you how to “make a deal, market style”…But next time you are out shopping at a store for big ticket items like a cars or plasma tv, you can also try sneaking in a few of these market tricks to encourage the commission-based salesperson to “sweeten the deal” for you!

My CNN iReport lesson in bargaining:
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-534723

MY GUATEMALA GUIDE

The world’s most valuable gem is…

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Want to know what it is?

You’ll have to watch the report!
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-555314

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