About this project
What's This Really All About Basil?
How many of us dream of travel? Traveling around the entirety of this world and seeing all that we have heard of. All the places that you have ever dreamt of, experiencing them one by one and checking them off like daily chores easily completed. Gulliver shouldn't be the only one who discovered new things should he? We are here to help show you the world, and to show you how easy it is to do it.
There are so many different travel shows these days:
- Andrew Zimmerman eating the uniquely bizarre (and regularly unappetizing)
- Anthony Bourdain doing everything we wish we could, eating better than we dream, and being more badass than most.
- Dasani Jones playing the sports of the world, both internationally known, and tribal indigenous.
- Playboy playmates or Celebrities partying in different booze fest locations across the globe
Each is offering up something different, but they are niches, focused on only singular aspects of traveling-we want to show you more. The new generation, the up and coming, we are the ones who are going to be handed the reigns of this nation, and take over its future; yet how are we supposed to steer us in the right direction without an understanding of the rest of the world? It's the exposure to foreign cultures, and moments you have within them that help better create an understanding on how the world works, and what it needs to have harmony.
How often do you go to a place and get bathed in its culture? Escaping the clutches of the "resorts" and "All Inclusives", no compounds, no same 5 restaurants, no same 7 bars, no all you can eat. Instead, save your money; meet the warmth of people who inhabit the place, experience the locals' secrets and favorite hang outs, try street food/dives/beach bars/home cooked meals/restaurants, and learn from the difference in way of life and view of culture. It is these experiences that make us a more culturally aware person and give us a better understanding of the world that we so modestly inhabit. We want to help be the informers, the individuals who share the rest of the world with those of us who might not have seen it yet, or even be aware it exists. This is the travel that we want to share-the backpacker's life; the life that depends on the road and the bag, the warmth and affordability of hostels/BNBs, and the unique people who you meet and learn from along the way.
So What's The Pilot/Show?
Glad you asked! We're going down to the Honduran Islands for 3 weeks and going to explore this secret paradise, and share some of its magic. We're going to film our entire trip, from take off to return flight and show the true backpacking experience. The three of us will travel across the three major islands of Honduras (with maybe a few small islands thrown in there as well, you never know. The three islands
- Roatan: The largest of the three islands located directly between Utila and Guanaja, Roatan is probably the most well known of the islands to the general public. It has managed to maintain its rustic backdoor quality, bliss in seclusion originality even with the influx of more modern "resort" style vacationing. West End, West Bay, Coxen Hole, French Harbor, and Camp Bay are the major regions of Roatan each offering a slightly different take on the lifestyle. Mangroves invade the entirety of Roatan and are beautiful to be explored. This is the "most modern" and probably the party town of the Honduran Islands. This is where we'll stay in a small hostel near the heart of the commerce, and basically just explore the streets-we'll wander, drink, eat, laugh, talk, love, and experience what life on Roatan really is.
- Utila: One of the most beautiful underwater paradises of the Caribbean. Thanks to its remaining affordability both for diving and living, Utila is known as a backpacker's island, attracting like mindeds from across the globe to explore it's beauty. This is where you learn to dive with the best, and get to experience some of the most breathtaking underwater scenes we can imagine. All with the people who have lived the lives we can only dream of. Here we will be spending our time with the Utila Dive Centre where we're going to be certified as open water divers, and head out in search of the mystical Whale Shark who is regularly seen here during the month of May. They're excited to be having us, and have already helped set up some "fun dives" to help us capture something really special. This is also where we'll get to meet a cavalcade of like mindeds, ex pats, and divers who have cast off the shackles of the modern world and dedicate themselves to experience and growth.
- Guanaja: The least visited, and least touched by tourism, Guanaja is something different than Roatan, and Utila. Bonacca, the "city" of Guanaja has no streets, so of course no cars or motorcycles. Paths and sidewalks are the main source of travel, or through it's gorgeous canals. 90% of Guanaja is a forested reserve, so hiking, waterfalls, camping..all good. We'll be staying at a small cottage on the beach towards the west end of Guanaja. This is where we'll get to really experience the serenity that is untouched paradise, or paradise kept secret; we hope to explore the vast reserves and just take a few days for moments of reflection and a more simple way of life.
We want this to be the first of many journeys to come, until we've touched as many places as we can, and as many places as you all want to come along to. The idea is to really show you what all is out there, but not exclude the pieces that make them so special or how much we can learn from them.
We Four Men:
So I've talked so much about "the four of us", yet haven't introduced a single one of us, what horrid manners. We are as follows:
Alex Wheatley Bell: Ah, typing about yourself, always feels a bit awkward doesn't it? Well, I've been acting for over 6 years now, and its been a mix of all mediums. My experience in hosting stems from my time working with MTV. I was a freelance correspondent for MTV for a little over two years, and worked several different events for the company interviewing both up and coming artists, but also the well known and established. When it comes to travel, I've been doing it since I was in diapers. My grandmother took my family to Anguilla, a small island in the BWI, when I couldn't even go to the bathroom on my own yet. From there, I guess the spark was just a bit ignited. After studying and living in Rome for 5 months, I spent my summer backpacking through Europe and all the way down to Morocco. I did over 12 countries and 40 different cities during that time, and I don't think I can recall a time in my life when I was happier. I cast off the shackles and went running through this world with adventure on my back, and lightening in my blood. I had no one with me, I had no real way to be in contact aside from the romance of hand written letters, I was truly alone in the world and thriving. When I came home, that little fire inside me never stopped burning. A year later I took a journey down to Costa Rica and ventured across every point in the country. It was actually while I was living/backpacking through Costa Rica that I met Kevin (you'll meet him below), and its there that we agreed that travel was something we needed to share. So why not combine my love for film and travel into one incredible/shareable experience? Feel free to check out some of my past projects:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4tIyv0hSNs (There Goes the Neighborhood Series)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQfzj-w9fw8&feature=youtu.be (Pt 2 of Pilot Episode for webseries "UFL")
Michael James Murray: Philadelphia based video producer, cinematographer, and photographer. Michael is one of the more fascinating people you will meet; talented both in film and music, he has a quiet character that tends to bring out the best in people. His experience in video production and photography is vast, most notably serving as a contract video producer on behalf of the United States Armed Forces. Fortunate for me, he was contracted on a 10 day, 4 country tour to film the experience of a comedian and the resulting morale boost to American troops in various parts of the world, including Greenland, Bahamas, Honduras and El Salvador. We have been friends for some time and when I began to put this project together, I knew I wanted him to help me bring it to life. His experience now as a travel videographer didn't hurt either. He currently resides in Philadelphia and is available for freelance and long-term contract assignments virtually anywhere. Check out some of his work:
Kevin Eich: I met Kevin while living in Costa Rica and knew we would be friends from youth to old age. His story shows the true strength of the human spirit, and just what our will is capable of when we find our happiness. Born bitter cold midwest, he did the Arizona State University thing, graduated, but still found himself unsatisfied with where he was and what he was doing. Between all the bureaucracy b.s., sensless laws, and numbing/dumbing of the population through commercialism he decided it was time to leave the U.S. (Inspiration to travel came from "Vagabonding" by Rolf Potts, and "Surfwise" the documentary). Kev wound up in Costa Rica with a couple of buddies, just living life, trying to find the "self" that he had lost in the hustle and bustle of the States. This was the time when we met, as he was working illegaly/under the table in a third world country for $2 an hour. He returned home, but it didn't take and he had to get back to a more "simple life".
He worked 16 hours a day 6-7 days a week for 10 months straight (at undesirable jobs, dishwasher, food runner, mover, bakery etc...) in order to make his way back down to the land of non-judgement. A friend and I bought into a pizzeria owned by a gringo, after 2 years, 3 different business partners, name change, and new business model the Pizzeria is finally coming together. In his travels since moving he has lived on an island only inhabitited by indigenous indians (off the coast of panama/colombia), surf world class waves throughout central america, woken up on a deserted beach to "Saguates" (homeless dogs) ripping each others throats out, partying with rockstars, living off $300 a month, diving cano island off the coast of Costa Rica, and meeting every walk of life from gangsters, gypsies, scam artists, drug dealers, vagabonders, farmers, envisionarys, business owners, homeless people etc...needless to say, he's good people, and the type you want on your side on the road.
Colin Kerrigan: Our beloved fallen soldier, Colin was originally going to be the second videographer on this project as well as a companion we were all excited to have coming along. Unfortunately Colin, being as talented as he is, was picked up by Philly.com for a full time staff position, as well as freelancing for Pitchfork. Needless to say, he just couldn't get away. He is tremendously bummed that he won't be able to come with, and we know we will miss him, but his spirit is accompanying us the entire way. He will still be involved in the post production, and definitely a member of the team, check out his work and support him!
Risks and challenges
While we all know adventure is thrilling, it also comes with a bit of risk, and that's something that I think all travelers take into account when they go out exploring the world. We are aware that there are many things that could go wrong, but we don't really have any desire in believing they will. That being said, a few things we may encounter:
-Not reaching our Kickstarter Goal
Resolution: This is our scariest risk/challenge we are currently facing. The only way we're going to be able to make this happen is if you all are willing to help us achieve this goal, but we're not going to be lazy about it. We have a Facebook promotional page built, and will be using as many outlets as possible to promote our project and spread the good word. If you believe in us enough to donate, share us with a friend as well, the more people we get involved (even with small donations) the better chances we have!
-Difficulty in filming in certain locations
Resolution: We will be respectful of anyone who isn't interested in being on camera, or comfortable with us sharing their location with the rest of the world. However, knowing our enthusiasm and energy, I do not imagine we'll encounter many issues with this. We have already contacted the locations at which we would be staying, and each one was not only excited to have us, but thrilled to be a part of this incredible adventure.
-Loss of Passport/Theft
Resolution: It is always devastating when you lose your passport, be it to theft, mistaken bag, fault of hotel/hostel, or your own idiot self. You've basically lost your identity, because there are generally (if any), very few people who know who you are in that foreign place. It's not the end of the world though, and I've learned this through personal experience. Kevin and I were both robbed blind while sleeping in a beautiful hostel right on the beach in Montezuma, Costa Rica. They came in while we were sleeping and cleaned us out, no joke...and our stuff was locked up (the porter was in on it, long story). We were a distance from what we called "home" in Costa Rica, and no identification. What happened? Well, I'm here aren't I? It just spun into another story! Ask me about it sometime, it's a fun one to tell...
Resolution: This one would be rough, which is why we are taking such extreme precautions to ensure this doesn't happen. Part of our funding,is to go into the proper purchase/rental of protective casing to ensure we are as covered as possible. If something does happen, we have researched a few places on Roatan where we would be able to get some repairs, but, that's also why we're bringing quite a few cameras.
These are our biggest issues that we could encounter, smaller stuff may occur as well, but many of those could happen to you wherever you are.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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