Jason Reid: Emmy-nominated adventure film-maker

Emmy-nominated adventure film-maker Jason Reid gives us his take on the world of travel

5 mins

Seattle-born Jason Reid is an avid cyclist, traveller and a leading light in independent adventure cinema. His film Man Zou is making its UK debut at the Adventure Travel Film Festival this weekend. Jason takes time out from his busy schedule to give us his views on the world of travel.

Mountain/desert/ocean/jungle which are you?


First travel experience?

Camping with my parents.

Favourite journey?

Beijing to Shanghai on a bicycle.

Top 5 places worldwide?

Seattle; New York; Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California; China; Czech Republic.

Special place to stay?

Camping in the snow on the side of a mountain.

Three items you always pack?

Music, headlamp, multi-purpose tool.

Passport stamp you're proudest of?


Passport stamp you'd most like to have?


Guilty travel pleasure?


Window or aisle?

Contrary to what Austin wrote... I'll take the aisle because of the extra legroom, although if I somehow get upgraded to First Class – window all day.

Who is your ideal travelling companion?

Someone who knows how to have a good time, rolls with the punches as they come, and is flexible enough to change their course and stray from the path when adventure comes calling.

Best meal on the road? And worst?

I would answer China for both. We ate some delicious meals that I would consider some of the best food I've ever tasted, but we also experienced some strange delicacies that quite frequently triggered my gag reflex including blood tofu, donkey, dog and many other unknown dishes.

Most surprising place? Most disappointing?

Most surprising place... Poland – I loved my time in Kraków. Most disappointing place... Florida.

Where do you NOT want to go?


Who/what inspired you to travel?  

If anyone deserves credit, it's my parents. No matter what, EVERY year we would go on two long family vacations (usually one road trip) and we frequently camped and travelled on weekends throughout the year. 

Any travel heroes? 

Lewis and Clark, and the settlers of the Pacific North West; Austin Vince; and all of the people out there doing amazing adventures, seeing the world and living the dream. 

What do you listen to on the road?

I always have an iPod or two along with a WIDE variety of music to accompany my journey. 

Does any song take you back to a particular time or place? 

The Willie Nelson version of 'Georgia on my Mind'. I had just bought the first generation iPod and was on a road trip around the perimeter of the United States; the moment we crossed into Georgia, this song randomly came on shuffle. It was one of those magic road trip moments.

What do you read?

F Scott Fitzgerald.

Is there a person you met while travelling who reaffirmed your faith in humanity?

Once you are on the ground in a different place, I'd say most people you meet and interact with reaffirm your faith in humanity. 

Anyone who made you lose it?

I remember the drivers in Virginia being particularly frustrating.

What's the most impressive / useful phrase you know in a foreign language?

My most effective way of communicating is smiling and laughing a lot, while using a combination of pointing to phrases in a dictionary. And trying to pronounce words I have no business trying to pronounce. But somehow it always works out for the best.

What is your worst habit as a traveller?

I sometimes have difficultly disconnecting from technology.

Snowbound in a tent in Antarctica, how would you entertain your companions?

Music... As long as the batteries and back-up batteries last. After that, I would just create the music myself, and perhaps talk the others into forming a barbershop quartet.

When and where in your travels have you been happiest?

Bicycling across the Czech Republic.

What smell most says 'travel' to you?

When you land in Hawaii after leaving rainy Seattle and get off the plane, inhaling the warm tropical, floral smells of paradise.

Given a choice, which era would you travel in?

Probably now because of technology and certain advancements in travel. But for some reason the 20s seem like they would've been a good time.

If you could combine three cities to make your perfect metropolis, which would they be?

New York, Seattle and San Francisco (with a splash of Portland and Kraków for good measure).

The Adventure Travel Film Festival is taking place 3-5 June 2011. Weekend tickets cost £55, which includes camping

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