By Mehdy Ghannad
The thrill of opportunity spilled over into the early part of my second week in New York City when I met with the tourism boards of Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore. These trips across the Pacific will round out and secure a complete season for The Hostel Life in 2013. During my meeting with the Japanese representatives we discussed a few possible locations and topics to feature. Sapporo was suggested, which is conveniently where one of my beers of choice is produced—talk about good luck! I also couldn’t go to Japan without taking a tour of a Sake brewery and to learn how to make sushi. In the fusion of culinary creation and art, I’ll definitely be putting my skills to the test with this one (or at least making the chef coat look good)! My highest hope for the country, however, is to secure a trip to Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands where human bone fragments of the Paleolithic era were unearthed.
As for Singapore and the Philippines: we are in the preliminary process of planning those itineraries and production schedules, but I am confident that adding these locations will compliment the much needed Far East locations to ensure a comprehensive 2013 season.
I have also received my new messenger and backpack from Ethnotek who we’ve recently teamed up with. My favorite thing about this company is that they are pro artisans who don’t sacrifice global responsibility in production for style. The interchangeable fabric patterns that attach to the front panel of the bags are handmade in various locations throughout the world like Guatemala, Ghana, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam, so with one bag you can achieve a myriad of looks. How awesome is that? And, when you purchase from Ethnotek you’re contributing to cultural preservation. Because the weavings are authentic, you’re helping to support a traditional custom that is currently facing extinction with the rise of machinery and factory production. So, let’s help get them on the map!
They will be doing a huge kickstarter push for the month of October to continue production of these amazing socially responsible bags. Be on the lookout for announcements on our social media sites on how you can help the cause, and keep them in mind for yourself and the travelers in your life as the holidays approach! Also, any money that is raised beyond what’s needed for their production efforts to continue will be used to help support a The Hostel Life trip to Vietnam to get an inside look at the village where some of the magic happens.
Finally this coming week is filled with contract reviews of further distribution of The Hostel Life, with contracts received from AOL TV, Converg TV (which will have global distribution), and a big meeting with one of the largest talent firms in the country that is interested in securing further distribution of The Hostel Life on TV.
With everything happening, there is a lot to be excited about. For now though I’m just trying to stay productive and live by this week's motivational quote – “It's not the critic that counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or whether the doer of deeds could have done them better...The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and often comes up short again and again. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause. And who, if at best in the end, knows the triumph of higher treatment and high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his soul shall never be with those cold and timid ones, who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt