A New Trip for an American, Expressed

This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, November 30, 2010 was originally posted on November 30, 2010.

IT HAS ONLY BEEN SEVEN MONTHS since The Global Trip’s jaunt through Asia, which might not seem long, but when you live in the hustle and bustle of New York City, seven months can seem like an eternity, just like how microwaving popcorn for four minutes seems like an eternity when you stare at it.  As lively as the Big Apple can be, it certainly can drain you; such is the love/hate relationship with the self-proclaimed “Capital of the World”.  Also, that last TGT adventure mainly focused on city life in Asia — and some of the unique (and squirming) culinary treats they offer — so it really feels like eternity since I’ve been out in the wild, wide world (for you, the long-time TGT reader as well I’m sure).  Solution: this holiday season, it’s time to Chill Out in Chile, get outdoors and go au naturale in Patagonia and Easter Island.  And by that I don’t mean without any clothes; it can get pretty cold on those glaciers I’m told, and not everyone out there is well-informed about “shrinkage” (if you know what I mean).

CHANCES ARE YOU’VE ARRIVED AT THIS TRAVEL BLOG from the American Express site.  Welcome!  Now that you know this travel blog, don’t leave home without it!  And for you longtime readers that don’t know what I’m taking about, check it out (the first and third videos, specifically).  That’s right, I’m one of the latest spokespeople for the American Express Platinum Card, which puts me in the ranks of Martin Scorsese and favorite funny girl Tina Fey.  You may notice that in this commercial of “augmented reality” (as the producer puts it), I’m lugging around a bulky lighting kit and tripod on my journey — something that longtime Global Trip readers know I don’t normally carry when I’m out traveling the remote parts of the world.  I mean hey, that stuff can really bog you down when you’re trying to run with the bulls in Spain, defending yourself from corrupt Siberian cops, or in dire straits on the Everest trail.  Plus these days, it costs more to check in additional bags.  However, that’s not to say that I don’t lug cumbersome photo equipment around on my domestic business-related trips, particularly when I’m out shooting fast food as my other persona, The Fancy Fast Food Guy.  In fact, all my interim travel since the “Chinese Leftovers” trip has been all done with the American Express Business Platinum Card, as I’ve traveled to “exotic” Detroit, St. Louis, Memphis, Austin, Tuscon, Los Angeles, and even “exotic” New Jersey(!) to shoot regional fast food for the upcoming Fancy Fast Food satirical cookbook.  The $200 airline fee credit for incidental charges like extra baggage costs can really come in handy.  And as for the new Amex iPhone app?  Love. It.  Now if only there was a way being a Cardmember could help out in those incidental TSA security pat downs of my balls at the airport…

But enough with the gratuitous plugs for American Express.  If you’re new to this continual Global Trip travel blog, you have time to start from the beginning and catch up before I start live-blogging in a few weeks.  As you read from the first entry to the latest one posted, you’ll see my writing style evolve from a journal mainly targeted for family and friends, to an award-winning travel blog that USA Today once warned, “If this site doesn’t give someone the travel bug, nothing will.” 

A little background for you newcomers: what I try to strive to do with my travel blog is to make the world seem more accessible by making “exotic” travel relatable to the average person — you know, the person who usually watches overly-dramatic basic cable travel shows, which make the world seem like a place only for “travel experts.”  That’s not the case; you don’t have to be an Anthony Bourdain or Bear Grylls to have a worldly experience.  The remote parts of the world are accessible if you really have the will to be there, and you can do it on almost any budget.

In the meantime, you can read along and see what independent travel is like from my perspective — independent travel devoid of press trips.  Rather than write a basic daily chronicle of what I’ve done and how places made me feel like in other travel blogs, I try to recreate my experience through photos, the occasional history lesson learned, and above all, by making my travel stories character-driven through the people I meet on the road — locals and fellow travelers that eventually become “characters” in a long-running, travel serial that fans have dubbed, “The Trinidad Show.” (This blog has been around long enough that this is actually a take off of The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey, when he started to take on more serious roles than Ace Ventura, who literally talked out of his ass.  Remember that?)

Anyway, if you do in fact start reading from the beginning (or have done so already), you’ll also see my travel style evolve from a confused, lone backpacker, to a more confident flashpacker, to the American Express spokesperson you read before you — not that this will change anything on this travel blog.  (For those of you who consider me a sell-out, I say, you’re only a sell-out if a company pays you a buttload of money — which they didn’t — so there; nanny nanny poo-poo.)  In any case, welcome — or welcome back — and get ready for another vicarious ride!  This holiday season, when you want an escape from holiday madness, read along the daily entries as they come at you, starting real soon…



Making the American Express videos took over three long days shooting on a soundstage and on location in and around New York City, from a hotel at Columbus Circle, to a hot dog vendor on Fifth Avenue, to a store and side street in the West Village.  We also filmed in the regional Westchester County Airport, which the production completely took over one night with a full cast of extras and crew — including the commercials’ director Sam Fleischner, who also directed the acclaimed indie feature film Wah Do Dem, starring Sean Bones and Grammy Award®-winner Norah Jones.

Next entry: A Day Without Steven Slater

Previous entry: Going Backtracking

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Comments for “A New Trip for an American, Expressed”

  • TGBTGBTB is back and is better than Santa.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/30  at  02:30 PM

  • TGBTGBTB is better than Hanukkah Harry.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/30  at  03:42 PM

  • Please note the coordinates on the iPhone compass above. wink

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/30  at  03:43 PM

  • Although corporate sponsorship has it’s privileges, it’ll be a privilege following you on your travels in time for the holidays. Perhaps I’ll be inspired to write you another 12 Days. smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/30  at  06:48 PM

  • Off you go again! Are you gonna bring fast food back from Chile?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/01  at  12:49 AM

  • Steph: I wonder if they make filet-o-fish out of Chilean sea bass… wink

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/02  at  11:23 AM

  • Hi Erik, congrats for your blogs
    I,m a spanish blogreader who is copmleteley amazed with your stories.  I,m pretty much behind (actually I’m still in bombay with you back in 2004) but I´ll promiss to catch up soon!!
    I love your writing style,
    you even passed by my house… algeciras (spain) on your way from MOrocco… if I only knew by then… Well good luck in Chile, (and be careful there for 2010 hasn’t proved as a good year for chileans: earthquake, the miners, and the fire in a prison…)
    Un fuerte abrazo desde España, Paco.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/08  at  01:47 PM

  • strange how every time i check this site you’ve just set up a new adventure!  looking forward to the stories! 

    btw, any chance the climax to your blog can be a trip to outer space??

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/14  at  11:59 AM

  • make sure you indulge in what mendoza, argentina is known for (according to the mastrascusas)...and i don’t mean the malbec…but do that too.  wine tours??  sideways in s.america?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/15  at  09:58 PM

  • Now I hate you… Easter Island is on my list.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/20  at  04:25 PM

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This blog post is one of nineteen travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip: Chill Out in Chile," which chronicled a trip through the country of Chile, from the central and coastal cities of Santiago and Valparaiso (plus a quick jaunt to Argentina's nearby wine region of Mendoza), followed by a trek through southern Patagonia, and a journey to Easter Island.

Next entry:
A Day Without Steven Slater

Previous entry:
Going Backtracking


Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.

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The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad.
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