Thursday, July 19, 2012

GUEST POST: The Travel Video Shoot That Went Awry

On Twitter (@naomiprioleau), I follow many travelers and reporters, but none stick out to me as much as Mario (@mariotravels). A tea junkie and travel addict, Mario lights up my timeline with tips and stories on travel, tea and  New York City. The host of 'On the Go with Mario,' lives by the show's tagline "Fueled by tea, driven by culture" and backs it up with his daily tweets about tea, culture and all things travel. So without further ado, read about the travel video shoot that unfortunately DIDN'T happen.

Nassau, Bahamas photo courtesy of Mario Nicholas
It had all the makings of a successful shoot. I had done the research, secured the flights and hotel accommodations, scheduled interviews and tours with a cultural ambassador from the Ministry of Tourism's People-to-People program and confirmed everything with my videographer to facilitate the seamless production of 'On The Go with Mario - Episode 6 - Nassau, Bahamas.'
I have always been a firm believer in, "If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail" but even with the extensive preparation that was carried out for this on-location shoot, the universe was not having it.
There I was, relaxing with a cup of tangerine-ginger tea at gate 5 exactly two hours before departure. Filled with excitement, I updated Twitter, Facebook and all other forms of social media to share the excitement with my viewers and supporters. I mean, I had been promoting this episode for weeks so quite naturally, everyone was sharing in the excitement. I messaged my videographer to let her know that I was waiting for her at the gate and she quickly responded that she was en route and would be there shortly.
It was almost 40 minutes before boarding when I received a phone call that would drop my jaw to the ground and send my blood pressure to the ceiling. I couldn't believe my ears.
My videographer called to tell me that she had been trying to check in and print her boarding pass when she realized that her passport had expired two days prior and was unable to fly internationally. Intially I thought, this must be some sort of colossal joke because surely everyone knows the expiration date of their passport. Moreover, everyone would ensure that they have valid travel documents before the day they're set to travel. Right? Well, I was wrong!
Once I was able to stabilize myself from the shock, we immediately started to think of possible solutions, but it was too little too late. It was a Saturday morning and she wouldn't have been able to apply for an emergency passport until Monday. Since it was only a short trip, I had to face the reality that she was not coming.
What am I going to do? How will I explain this to the cultural ambassador who was scheduled to meet and escort us around the island? What am I going to do for episode 6? These are just a few of the questions that ran through my frazzled mind as I made my way down the jet-bridge and onto my Delta flight to Nassau. It was both disappointing and embarrasing to say the least.
Statue of Christopher Columbus in front of a government house in
New Providence Island, Nassau, Bahamas.
courtesy of Mario Nicholas
 As soon as I was on the ground in the Bahamas, I met with fellow travel blogger, Fabian, of The Sandy Slipper online magazine to see if he had any suggestions for a stand-in videographer or tips on how to salvage the trip. During our chat he reminded me that the show must go on and that as I prepare to grow as a travel and culture reporter, it's important to remeber that things won't always go as planned.
With a sudden boost of motivation, I went through with my itinerary so stay tuned for a follow-up blog post on '10 Cultural Things To See and Do in Nassau, Bahamas.'
Note:  A new episode of On The Go with Mario will be available on July 31st. Don't forget to subscribe to the channel. 

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