Robert G. Rose to Speak at Boston Globe Travel Show 2018

RAW TRAVEL TV’S ROBERT G. ROSE TO APPEAR AT BOSTON GLOBE TRAVEL SHOW

Travel Producer & Host to Speak at 2018 New England Area Travel Fest

NEW YORK, NY: January 24th, 2018 – AIM Tell-A-Vision® Group (AIM TV), the producers of the internationally syndicated television series Raw Travel®, announced today that Robert G. Rose, the Executive Producer and Host of the series will once again be a featured speaker at the upcoming Boston Globe Travel Show. The show is scheduled to take place February 9th-11th, 2018 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

For the third consecutive year, Rose will be a featured speaker at the event’s Cultural Stage on Saturday, February 10th where he’ll be covering “Traveling with Heart”, a presentation on how giving back when traveling can enhance one’s travels. Then on Sunday, February 11th Rose will focus on how travelers can create more authentic travel experiences with “Don’t Call Me a Tourist”. Before, after and in between presentations, Rose will be on location mingling with fans, travelers and exhibitors at the event.

“The Boston Globe Travel Show is one of my favorite travel shows in the entire country.  New England travelers are savvy, and I love meeting them and partaking in some New England hospitality. Every year I get as much inspiration from them as I’m hopefully able to give back and it’s an honor to be participating again this year,” Rose said.

The Boston Globe Travel Show offers consumers the chance to meet one-on-one with travel companies and experts, plan unique vacations and experience fun activities. Visit www.BostonGlobeTravelShow.com for more information and speaker schedules.

Raw Travel is currently in its 5th season and can be seen on local broadcast affiliates (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc.) in over 167 U.S. cities as well as several international territories including Asia (Nat Geo People), Europe (Fox Iberia), India (Amazon), Africa and more, as well as on major international airlines. The series airs locally on weekends in Boston on WCVB ABC 5, in Manchester, New Hampshire on WMUR ABC 9 and in nearby Providence, Rhode Island on WNAC Fox 64, CW 64.2 and MYRI 12.2.

Visit www.RawTravel.tv for more info, www.RawTravel.tv/wheretowatch for times and local listings in all 167 U.S. cities and www.RawTravelTrailer.com for a short trailer for this season.

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GUEST BLOG: Are We Doing Enough to Protect Our Wildlife?

GUEST BLOG:

Written By Christine Kinori 

Photos Courtesy of:  Frederic -el- Mariach

Photo by Frederic -el- Mariach

Ask any tourist coming to Africa what they really want to see, I bet 90% will tell you they are beyond excited to see the wildlife . The problem is most of these animals are in danger because of poaching. Last year alone, Africa lost 20,000 elephants to poaching. South Africa lost 1,054 rhinos in 2016. It sure does beg the question,  what is Africa doing to protect its majestic wildlife? Is it enough?

Even though it is illegal for these wildlife trade, poaching is still a big threat to Africa’s wildlife. According to  African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), the mountain gorilla and the black rhino are critically endangered. Statistics show that the black rhino population has dropped 97.6% since 1960. Rhinos are mostly killed for their horns. The horns are alleged to cure an assortment of illness such as cancer, impotence, blood disorder, fever, and hangovers. According to AWF, a pound of rhino horn is sold at $30,000 which is $8,000 more expensive than a pound of gold.

South Africa is home to about 79 %of  the world’s black rhino. Most of them live in Kruger National Park. Almost two-thirds of the 1,054 South African rhinos killed last year was from the Kruger Park. This has forced the park to amp their security.  The efforts are beginning to bear fruits since there has been a decline in rhino poaching in South Africa. Unfortunately, poachers have now turned to the neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Botswana has also been putting efforts to move the black rhinos to a safer location. The animals are fitted with radio transmitters and are regularly tracked. The International Rhino Fund (IRF)  has been a huge part of the black rhinos conservation in Africa. It partnered with South Africa by giving grants to build and equip three new guard post in areas where it was previously difficult for staff to operate because of a lack of accommodations and has provided a secure digital communications system for the Reserve. It also partnered with Botswana and wilderness safaris to secure and translocate black rhinos from South Africa.

Mountain gorillas are the second critically endangered species. Statistics show that less than 900 mountain gorillas remain in Africa. There has been a recent upsurge in trafficking of infant gorillas. According to AWF, one infant goes for more than $40,000. They are mostly found in Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC.

Although mountain gorillas are not poached for their meat, they are constantly being maimed, ensnared or killed by traps meant for other animals. They also get killed for their heads, hands, and feet. The infants are sold to researchers, zoos, and people who want to make them pets.

Photo by Frederic -el- Mariach

Mountain gorillas may just be the next species to get the dinosaur fate if not protected. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been working tirelessly to save the species. It is currently spearheading campaigns to stifle the severe threats to the mountain gorillas. They have tried to stir up the “save the gorillas” conversation through various mediums and there have been a lot of positive feedback and response.

Nations, where gorillas live (Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo), came together in partnership with local people and international conservation organizations to put up strong conservation strategies and measures that would aid in protection and conservation of gorillas. This led to a legally binding contract known as the gorilla agreement where 10 nations agreed and come up with solutions to curb down threats and conserve gorillas through policies like -:

Protection of gorilla habitats through effective trans-boundary management. Gorilla national parks were gazetted and turned into eco-tourism destinations and had the ranger based monitoring systems put in to monitor the gorillas by the park rangers and guides.

Supporting local communities living near gorilla national parks through development projects and alternative resources. Ending poaching and illegal trade of gorillas or their products.

Gorilla tourism in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is continuously attracting tourists who come for gorilla trekking in Africa. In return, foreign exchange is earned through the sale of gorilla permits and it is the money used in conserving the gorillas. The revenue has helped a lot with community development projects such as sustainable agriculture and water projects thus improving the living standards of the people.

The iconic  African elephant is also vulnerable. Did you know that about 35,000 were killed in 2016 alone? The elephants are poached mostly for their Ivory. A pound of the elephant Ivory is sold at $1,000. According to AWF, 70% of the ivory goes to China. I am personally attached to elephants, I think they are a huge part of our majestic African pride. They’re legendary, to say the least.

Photo by Frederic -el- Mariach

The  World Wildlife Fund has partnered with most African countries to ensure improved elephant protection. They have provided equipment and training to anti-poaching teams; promoting the creation of new protected regions and enhancing the management of existing protected regions; developing community-based wildlife management schemes that contribute to elephant conservation whilst providing benefits to the community; and determining population sizes.

It has also helped to mitigate the human-elephant conflict. It has trained wildlife managers and local communities to utilize effective tools, and refining current methods based on what works best in specific situations. It is also keen on monitoring the illegal trade products by conducting surveys to update data on domestic Ivory markets.

As much as there are measures such as the “save the elephant “campaigns and the annual march to create awareness against elephant poaching, I still don’t think it is enough. The elephant conservation act passed in 1988 has done nothing much. We can mitigate the human-elephant conflict further. Secure more habitats by increased protection and management. Train more guards and harsher punishments for the poachers.

The grevy zebra is also highly endangered. African Wildlife Foundation estimates approximately 2,000 remaining. It is mostly hunted for its gorgeous hide and as game meat. Their numbers have dropped so significantly that they can now only be found in Kenya and some parts of Ethiopia. In 2012, the Kenyan and Ethiopian governments joined forces to help protect the endangered zebras.  Programs such as the grevy zebra Trust have put in a lot of effort to curb the dangers faced by the species.

They have started by engaging local communities in the protection and monitoring of the grevy zebras. The project has not only been successful but has also helped to create job opportunities especially for the women who monitor and record the movement of the grevy zebras. It has also created community awareness and herders are now letting the zebras share the limited grazing resources with their livestock. Kenya wildlife service has also been monitoring the movement of the zebras. Conservation rangeland such as the Lewa wildlife conservancy has given 11% of the grevy zebras a home in a bid to protect them from the predators.

The lions are also high on the list of Africa’s vulnerable species. The lions are already extinct in 26 African countries. A few years back, the African lion gained the endangered species act. This is good news and a step towards the right direction considering that lions have vanished from 90 % of their historic range. This just goes to show that if conservation measures are not carried out then the range can drastically drop. Most lions are killed due to human-lion conflict or for their mane and teeth.

Lots of conservation funds are trying to eliminate the human-lion conflict through community education and the establishment of wildlife protection corridors. The Maasai steppe predator movement in Tanzania has been one of these successful programs. Most African countries have started conservation trust and funds in an effort to protect the king of the jungle. The United States of America has also been proactive in protecting the African lions. The government has given both financial grants and sent experts to Africa to support the conservation programs in different African countries.

Most countries such as South Africa have stiffened their poaching penalties. In Kenya, a poacher not only faces a stiff penalty but can face jail time too. All this said I don’t think the African government is doing enough to protect our wildlife. I  believe the poachers should get life imprisonment.

Photo by Frederic -el- Mariach

I don’t think we as Africans are doing enough to save our animals. I don’t think we have raised our voices loud enough. I don’t think we have marched long enough. I am not sure we truly understand or appreciate our wildlife enough to stand up for them. I am petrified that the next generation will only see most of this animals in pictures and archives in museums. We can not continue to protect the poachers, it is time to oust them.

I want our children to hear a lion roar in the jungle. I want our children to see how majestic and iconic our elephants’ tusks are. I want the next generation to see how beautiful the grevy zebras are. I want them to see the rhino as it lazily grazes. Don’t you think it would be wonderful if they got to see how the mother gorilla carries her infant on its back?

It is about time we all as Africans come together to protect our treasure. Our wildlife is one of the best natural treasures that we are lucky to have. The lion can’t roar anymore. The elephant is no longer strong enough to trumpet.It is up to us to blow the trumpet, it is up to us to roar to their safety. What are you doing to protect our wildlife today?

Robert Rose to Appear at Minneapolis Travel Show

RAW TRAVEL TV HOST ROBERT ROSE TO APPEAR AT MINNEAPOLIS TRAVEL SHOW

 – Travel Producer & Host to speak at Star Tribune Vacation & Travel Experience 2017 –

NEW YORK, NY: October 18th, 2017 – AIM Tell-A-Vision® Group (AIM TV), the producers of the internationally syndicated television series Raw Travel®, announced today that Robert G. Rose, the Executive Producer and Host of the series will be a featured speaker at the upcoming StarTribune Vacation & Travel Experience on October 28th and 29th, 2017.

Rose kicks off the event at the main stage on Saturday, October 28th at 10 AM with “Traveling with Heart”, a presentation on how giving back when traveling can enhance travels. Then on Sunday, October 29th at 11 AM, Rose will focus on how travelers can create more authentic travel experiences with “Don’t Call Me a Tourist”. In between speaking presentations, Rose will be on location mingling with travelers and exhibitors at the event.

“This is my first time visiting Minnesota with Raw Travel but I’ve interacted with viewers and fans via social media. Their Midwestern values of hospitality, respect and tolerance and their sense of discovery seem to align with Raw Travel’s mission of sustainable, respectful travel,” said Rose. “I’m looking forward to mingling with like-minded souls and perhaps inspiring a few to experiment with alternative forms of travel,” Rose continued.

“We are honored to welcome Robert Rose to Minneapolis, and believe his ideas on how people can travel with more meaning and purpose is a great fit with our audience,” said Steve Yaeger, chief marketing officer for Star Tribune, host and producer of the event, “We know Twin Cities travel enthusiasts will enjoy hearing about his experiences.”

The Star Tribune Vacation & Travel Experience will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center Oct. 28–29, 2017. The new consumer event will offer consumers the chance to meet one-on-one with travel experts, plan unique vacations and experience fun activities including seminars, a zip line, the American Craft Beer Pavilion and more. For more information visit www.StarTribuneTravel.com.

Raw Travel is currently in its 5th season and can be seen on local broadcast affiliates (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc.) in over 168 U.S. cities as well as several international territories including Asia (Nat Geo People), Europe (Fox Iberia), India (Amazon), Africa and more, as well as on major international airlines. The series airs locally in Minneapolis on Fox-owned WFTC Fox 9+, Sundays at 12 Midnight, and on sister station KMSP Fox 9 at various times on the weekends.

Visit www.RawTravel.tv for more info, www.RawTravel.tv/wheretowatch for local listings in all 168 U.S. cities and www.RawTravelTrailer.com for a short trailer.

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ABOUT RAW TRAVEL TV

Raw Travel is the most watched authentic travel show on U.S. commercial television and is an adventure travel & lifestyle series showcasing socially and environmentally aware, independent travel. The series weaves together themes of eco-tourism, volun-tourism (giving back) with underground music and authentic culture in a unique way. Each weekend the show is seen in over 165 U.S. cities and in several international territories (Asia, Africa, Europe, etc.). It can be found on several major airlines and soon in Over the Top (digital) platforms as well.  It is produced and distributed by AIM Tell-A-Vision Group.

ABOUT AIM TELL-A-VISION GROUP

AIM Tell-A-Vision (AIM TV) is an independent content and distribution company founded by media entrepreneur Robert G. Rose. Since 2000, AIM TV has been producing and distributing positive, compelling content that reflects a mission of presenting “Media That Matters”. Visit www.AIMTVGroup.com for more information.

 

ABOUT STAR TRIBUNE MEDIA COMPANY 

Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017, Star Tribune Media Company LLC is a locally owned, award-winning media company serving Minnesota and the upper Midwest. With the fifth-largest Sunday and seventh-largest daily circulation newspaper in the U.S., the most-visited local website, a range of home-delivered advertising solutions, and a popular arts/entertainment publication and mobile app, Star Tribune reaches more consumers than any other Minnesota media brand. For more information, visit www.startribunecompany.com.

 

GUEST ARTICLE – Getting Away Clean: How to Prepare for a Sober Vacation

Editors Note: This is a special guest article courtesy of  Michelle Peterson from RecoveryPride.org who is solely responsible for its content. 

Courtesy of Pixabay

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Getting away clean: How to prepare for a sober vacation

It’s hard to say when drinking became synonymous with vacations. For years, beer companies have shown their products being swigged amid sand and surf. Cruise lines are all about consumption. And what golf or fishing junket would be complete without a well-stocked liquor cabinet? If you’re newly sober, it may seem nearly impossible to escape the imagery of vacation as one long party. But there are many ways to have a great time without a drink in hand. It just takes some well-thought-out preparation.

Be smart about your destination 

Therapists recommend avoiding places where temptation abounds. That same approach can easily apply to planning your vacation destination. Of course, you’d avoid a trip to wine country, or to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, but you can plan a fantastic getaway in places where drinking and other risky activities aren’t accepted. National parks don’t allow alcohol on the premises, so consider a camping and hiking trip if you’re the outdoors type. If you’re a dog owner, spending time in the great outdoors is an excellent way to bond with man’s best friend. And remember that people take service dogs on vacation all the time

Sobriety on tour

 A relatively new and innovative vacation trend has gained considerable momentum in recent years. “Sober tours” allow you to join others who are also recovering from substance abuse in a wide range of activities, including safaris, cruises, sports, and much more. There are many websites dedicated to sober vacation packages, including several that arrange foreign travel tours for people in recovery.

Plan to stay active

 Physical and social activities are great ways to round out your itinerary. As you plan your vacation, allow time for a walk in the woods, a dip in the pool, or a little beach volleyball. If you’re headed to an urban area, check out a museum, take in an art exhibit, or soak up some local flavor at a street fair. The point is that going on vacation puts an entire spectrum of new experiences within your grasp: take advantage of as many as you can!

Strategize against stress

 Even the most enjoyable vacations come with a little stress. Stress is a common trigger for relapses. If you’re in recovery, it’s well worth the time to adopt a coping strategy for when those travel headaches arise. If you’ll be flying, think through how you’ll deal with the situation if your neighbor orders a vodka tonic from the beverage service, or if the kid behind you decides to give your seat a swift kick. Deep-breathing and meditative exercises can help you relax and refocus your mind on other things.

If meditation isn’t working, you might need to reach out for some support. There are a number of apps that can put you in touch with local support groups, along with the times and locations of support meetings. Be sure to have the number of your sponsor handy in case you need to speak to someone right away.

Travel with the right crowd

This may seem like obvious advice, but it’s important to vacation with people who understand your needs and are willing to support you. Your ability to maintain sobriety depends on a number of factors, which is why counselors advise associating with people who don’t use drugs or alcohol. That goes double for vacation time when people are most likely to let their hair down and do some serious indulging.

Getting away from it all needn’t involve drugs or alcohol. If you lay the groundwork for a sober vacation ahead of time, you can expect to enjoy a memorable trip you’ll always remember.

 

 

RAW TRAVEL’S HISTORIC SEASON 5 DEBUTS THIS WEEKEND!

RAW TRAVEL’S HISTORIC SEASON 5 DEBUTS THIS WEEKEND!

Five-Year Celebration Kicks Off for Authentic Adventure Travel Series 

NEW YORK, NY:  September 27th, 2017 – AIM Tell-A-Vision® Group (AIM TV) announced today that its syndicated television series Raw Travel® will debut its 5th season this weekend (Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st) in a record-setting 168 cities. With a still growing affiliate list that represents 107 Million homes and 94% of all U.S. TV households, the 2017-18 season debut represents the 5th straight year of distribution and audience growth, an extraordinary accomplishment for an independent show, or any show for that matter, in today’s fragmented media environment.

Season 5 will include a celebration of Raw Travel’s 5th anniversary and production of its historic 100th episode. The season-long celebration includes giveaways to loyal viewers ranging from travel gear, clothing, trip giveaways to an opportunity to “Win Rob’s Job” and be a travel guest-host for a day.

Since debuting in 2013, Raw Travel has attracted young viewers to broadcast TV, while maintaining or growing traditional demographics from lead-in programs in markets across the country. The show was ranked #1 or #2 in key demographics and time-slots for several affiliates in major markets in Season 4.

Capitalizing on young viewers’ appetite for authentic travel content, Raw Travel will begin releasing its extensive archive online for the first time ever, allowing fans who’ve recently discovered the show to look back and enjoy old episodes from earlier seasons.

In addition to TV outlets in Europe, Asia, and Africa, several commercial airlines have begun licensing the series, helping to spread the Raw Travel movement of socially conscious, authentic adventure travel.

“Raw Travel has far exceeded my initial goal of ‘try not to embarrass yourself TOO much’ when we first began. While that’s an admittedly low bar, there’s no way I could have predicted this kind of growth,” states Robert G. Rose, Executive Producer, and Host. “I’m humbled and grateful we’re able to continue our mission of inspiring travel to viewers all over the world,” Rose continued.

Season 5 kicks off with a road trip down Peru’s southern coast that includes a heartwarming segment in which Raw Travel viewers made donations to buy school supplies for an impoverished, rural school in Peru. Other highlights include a journey to the French Caribbean Guadeloupe Islands, a European River Cruise through Spain and Portugal, a surreal journey to Iceland’s Golden Circle, the Azores, the Marquesas Islands and more. Domestically the series will feature an RV Road Trip through The Great Smoky Mountains helping boost the area’s tourism economy after the devastating 2016 fire, as well as Eclectic H-Town (Houston), where viewers can help Houstonians recover from Hurricane Harvey.

In a continuing effort to showcase the real and less glamorous side of travel rarely shown on TV, Season 5 will also feature an episode entitled When Travel Goes Wrong, a unique, behind the scenes look at the trials and tribulations of producing a travel show and simple, everyday travel.

A short trailer from the show’s 5 seasons is at www.RawTravelTrailer.com while www.RawTravel.tv and www.RawTravel.tv/wheretowatch  offer more info and listing of cities, affiliates and time slots in the U.S.

 

 ABOUT RAW TRAVEL TV

Raw Travel is the most watched authentic travel show on U.S. commercial television and is an adventure travel & lifestyle series showcasing socially and environmentally aware, independent travel. The series weaves together themes of eco-tourism, voluntourism (giving back) with underground music and authentic culture in a unique way. Each weekend the show is seen in over 165 U.S. cities and in several international territories (Asia, Africa, Europe, etc.). It can be found on several major airlines and soon in Over the Top (digital) platforms as well.  It is produced and distributed by AIM Tell-A-Vision Group.

ABOUT AIM TELL-A-VISION GROUP

AIM Tell-A-Vision (AIM TV) is an independent content and distribution company founded by media entrepreneur Robert G. Rose. Since 2000, AIM TV has been producing and distributing positive, compelling content that reflects a mission of presenting “Media That Matters”. Visit www.AIMTVGroup.com for more information.

Crazy Horse Prediction Coming True at Pine Ridge

Mother Nature got you down? Yeah, she seems kind of angry.

Well, here is something uplifting. In 2016 we visited the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota, located in the poorest county in the USA where the avg. male life expectancy is 48. Let that sink in.

The famous Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief Crazy Horse predicted that the 7th generation would lead a resurgent comeback for his people. They are here and It is now happening with Lakota youth at the Red Cloud School (where 95% of graduates are accepted into college) leading the way.

Here is a link to a short, but inspiring photo essay. https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/08/a-reservation-restored/535656/#disqus_thread

“Raw Travel” Season 5 “Firm Go” in Record Number of U.S. Cities

“RAW TRAVEL” IS A FIRM GO FOR SEASON 5 IN 160+ CITIES & 93% OF THE U.S.A.

– Nation’s Leading Travel Show Bucks TV Trend With 5 Years of Rapid Growth –

 NEW YORK, NY: JULY 18th, 2017 AIM Tell-A-Vision® Group (AIM TV) announced today that their syndicated television series “Raw Travel®” is a firm go for its 5th season of production and syndication this fall. Season 5 will debut in late September and early October in a record number of U.S. cities representing over 165 DMAs in over 105 million and 93% of U.S. TV homes.

Once again, Raw Travel has added several new cities to its affiliate lineup as the syndicated travel show saw its 4th season achieve record audience growth with double digit audience increases.  In the most recent May ratings period, Raw Travel averaged over 850,000 weekly viewers, extending its lead as the “most watched authentic travel show on U.S. commercial television” for three seasons straight.

Continuing a trend begun in Season One, Raw Travel attracted younger viewers away from mobile and cable, over to broadcast TV, while maintaining or growing older demographics from lead-in programs in markets across the country. In numerous large markets, Raw Travel was ranked #1 or #2 in key young demos and time-slots and ranked as one of the top drawing weekend shows for several affiliates.

“Five years is a milestone most TV series never achieve. To still have so much momentum at this stage, is truly remarkable for an independently produced and distributed show” says Executive Producer and Host, Robert G. Rose. “I’m gratified and thankful for the support we’ve received from our affiliates and business associates, but especially from our growing legion of viewers, now from all corners of the globe. Episode number 100, here we come,” Rose continues.

In addition to its domestic growth, Raw Travel continues to expand its international footprint on major networks in territories in Asia (National Geographic People, Amazon, etc.), Europe (Fox, RTL, etc.) and Africa. Raw Travel was also added to several In Flight Entertainment (IFE) offerings on airlines such as Air Canada, Virgin America, Aer Lingus, Finnair and more.

For Season 5, the producers plan to celebrate their milestone season and 100th episode by offering viewers an opportunity to win free trips, clothing, travel gear and more.  In what is being dubbed as a “Season 5 Thank You Giveaway,” Raw Travel hopes to thank and reward their growing throng of loyal viewers.

Raw Travel is an adventure travel & lifestyle series showcasing the wave of socially and environmentally aware, independent travel. The series weaves together themes of eco-tourism, volun-tourism (giving back) with underground music and authentic culture in a way unique to television.

Visit http://www.RawTravel.tv and www.RawTravelTrailer.com  for more information.

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ABOUT RAW TRAVEL TV

Raw Travel is the most watched authentic travel show on U.S. commercial television and is a soft adventure travel & lifestyle series showcasing the wave of socially and environmentally aware, independent travel. The series weaves together themes of eco-tourism, voluntourism (giving back) with underground music and authentic culture in a unique way. Each weekend the show is seen in over 160 U.S. cities, by over 850,000 viewers, and in several international territories (Asia, Africa, Europe, etc.). It can be found on several major airlines and soon in Over the Top (digital) platforms as well.

ABOUT AIM TELL-A-VISION GROUP

AIM Tell-A-Vision (AIM TV) is an independent content and distribution company founded by media entrepreneur Robert G. Rose. AIM TV aspires to produce and distribute positive, compelling content that reflects its mission of presenting Media That Matters. Visit www.AIMTVGroup.com for more information.

 

 

Happy Independence Day USA

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY USA: – I’m thankful for the unfettered opportunity to present our truthful travel and world experiences directly to our audience, free of government (or corporate) censorship, interference or fear of reprisal.
 
This simple but powerful right is still not enjoyed by too many in the world. May we always remember it, and not take it for granted and/or abuse it by presenting exaggerated, inflated, misleading or manipulated information to support a pre-judged position for the sake of money, power or influence.
 
May we always recognize, that each of us, by our very nature of being human, see things through a prism of beliefs and attitudes already embedded by our unique education, experiences, upbringing and exposure to information.
 
May we always seek to continue to evolve and grow based on new information and knowledge that travel brings and understand that we are all “works in progress” and deserve each other’s honest but respectful dialogue, regardless of whether we agree with someone at any given moment in time.
 
May I judge less and love more and understand that life is a short but powerful gift that should not be squandered.
 
Travel safe (but not TOO safe) out there and Happy Independence Day everyone!
Rob

When Travel Goes Wrong – Azores the Trip That Wasn’t

We were all fired up about our trip to Portugal’s Azores Islands to film over the Memorial Weekend Holiday.

Weeks of planning had taken place and the Visit Azores folks had everything set for us and put together an excellent itinerary. This was going to be a great couple of episodes, but first, we had to get there.

Azores Air flies direct to the Azores once per day out of Boston Logan Airport at 9:05PM. Our flight was scheduled weeks in advance and was to leave on Thursday.

I had lunch with our Providence affiliate, WNAC Fox 64 and MyRI 64.2, so I decided to drive up from NYC via a rental car from Avis/Budget which has an office near where I live in Manhattan.

I booked a flight for the film crew on Delta Airlines leaving from JFK in NYC at 3pm and arriving in Boston Logan a little after 4 PM. Our plan was that I would meet them there around 5 PM after my lunch and a couple of afternoon meetings in Boston.

I was worried that the crew would be exhausted waiting around Boston Logan before catching our fight out hours later as we were to begin filming immediately on arrival to the Azores the following day shortly after  6:30 AM, so we’d all be sleep deprived.

Turns out, my worries were misplaced.

I began getting texts from the crew around 2 PM that Delta Airlines was postponing the flight. I began to get worried because I know things can go south quickly when this begins to happen. It was a rainy, dreary day but a little light rain shouldn’t be enough to cancel flights, especially a shuttle flight from NYC to Boston which are pretty much every hour on the hour. I’ve made that same commute many times myself.

After receiving notification that the flight was going to be really late getting into Boston Logan, I decided to pull over at a rest area about 70 miles and 1.5 hours outside of Boston Logan to make some calls.

I alerted our travel hosts at Visit Azores and called Azores Air to see what our options were.

They indicated the crew should be at the gate no later than 8PM. Delta’s new ETA for the crew’s flight into Boston Logan was now 7 PM (or at least as best as my crew could decipher from the reportedly un-helpful gate agent at JFK’s Delta terminal).

At that point, I could have booked the crew on the following evening’s flight on Azores Air out of Boston as the ticket agent told me there were exactly 3 seats available. But those 3 seats would go fast and the Azores ticket office was scheduled to close soon.

I decided against it assuming Delta would make the flight happen. Bad decision.

Flat tire…

To complicate matters, after visiting the restroom at the Rest Area, I discovered my rental car had a flat tire and, surprise, surprise…the car did not come with a spare tire.

Roadside Assistance was called but the folks they arranged to tow the car were 1.5-2 hours from being able to assist me, so now I was in danger of missing the flight as well. David, the very nice telephone agent at Roadside Assistance, advised me to abandon the car and get an uber to the airport if I could.

No Spare?

I set about arranging for uber pick up and was in luck as one happened to be in my area. Uber driver Keith swung by to pick me up and we were on our way, albeit in heavy traffic.

Minutes later I get a call from the crew informing me that the JFK flight had just been officially cancelled. Delta gate agents then suddenly became helpful and booked the crew on a flight out of LGA to Boston that would get in around 7:30 PM, it would now be really, really tight but we could still make it. The Domestic Terminal was a 15 minute walk / run from the International Terminal I was told.

I instructed the guys to sit up front as much as possible. They already only had carry on luggage/gear.

But flying out of LGA is especially nightmarish these days, with construction going on. I was afraid the crew’s taxi wouldn’t make it on time with car traffic a mess there.

They actually did, but it didn’t matter because as soon as they arrived the LGA Delta Flight to Boston Logan began getting delayed, and eventually cancelled.

Unfortunately for us, all this happened too late, the 3 seats were no longer available and the ticket office for Azores Airlines was closed.

When I arrived to the airport (1.5 hours and $96 poorer from the Uber ride), I promptly checked in and received a call from my Azores Tourism contact, who, was working into the wee hours of the night there to try to accommodate us and save our trip.  I felt so guilty.

She suggest I fly in (it’s not like I could just turn around and go home as I’m now in Boston, live in NYC and had abandoned my transportation due to the flat tire/no spare scanrio) and then we either try to get the crew on the next flight in the following couple of days, or I could scramble and try hire a local crew there. Either way, hopefully,  I would still be able to shoot something.

Taxi back to the gate

Alas, after the Azores Airlines flight at was on the taxi way at around 9:30 or 10PM, we received word from the Captain that the flight had been cancelled due to a technical problem with the plane.

After waiting what seemed like hours for my checked luggage, I did a quick online search only to realize there were no hotels to be had in Boston as this was Harvard Graduation week. I had not graduated from Harvard, but even dumb little old me could figure out this was not my time to visit the Azores.

I could hang out in the Boston Airport for more than 24 hours and hope to catch the next flight to the Azores or take a train home (I was already exhausted having been awake since 6AM and it was now 12:30 AM the next day).

I ended up sleeping (or trying too among the bright lights and constant airport announcements of “if you see something, say something” and “Lexus the official car company of Boston Logan” or some non-sense announcements)  at the Boston Logan Airport before taking the 5:05 AM train to NYC.

The Amtrak train home was by far the most pleasant part of the journey.

A lot of sweat equity and money was wasted on a trip that never materialized thanks to  bumbling, fumbling travel corporations that dropped the ball and just plain old lady luck.

I also share the blame because obviously, in retrospect, I should have never relied on airplane travel or even car travel, I should have just trained it. But with Amtrak’s own woes of late, that carries it’s own risk.

Train Ride Back Home

Is there a boat service up to Boston that anyone is aware of?

I’ve included  some photos and a short video of the entire experience. I hope you can enjoy it because I sure didn’t.

P.S. Be on the look out for this and more misadventures in Season 5 when we premiere “When Travel Goes Wrong” in February 2018 and here’s hoping the Azores trip gets rescheduled. Stay Tuned.

 

6/10/17 POST SCRIPT: 

Avis / Budget Bills Me for Roadside Assistance

Today I received this bill from Avis/Budget Rental Car for $182.04 for the Roadside Assistance and Towing.

Remember they didn’t provide a spare tire in my car rental and advised me to call RA and take an Uber to the airport as a result. So let’s see

(1) Original 1 Way Car Rental Cost NYC to Boston = $115

(2) Uber to Boston Airport = $75

(3) Roadside Asst. Cost = $182…

so my $115 Car Rental Tab is now $372.04 for a trip. Ouch. Talk about adding insult to injury.

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