Josh Gates, the popular host of Travel Channel’s Expedition Unknown, was just like he is on his show — easygoing and ready for anything — during a speaking engagement at the AAA Great Vacations Travel Expo on Feb. 4 in the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
A few early technical glitches didn’t deter Gates from talking about travel and fielding questions from a standing-room audience that circled the filled seats at the stage. Gates started his hour-long talk with his worst vacation ever.
To summarize, Gates and his best friend went down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but had done no research. They underestimated the distance, and the one-day drive turned into a couple days’ drive. They stayed in a squalid hotel, and during the night, thieves attempted to steal their rented Volkswagen Beetle. Chasing them away, Gates fell in the muck.
They did make it to Cabo, charged an expensive room on Gates’ credit card, and spent exactly four hours in the ocean. Then they had to leave due to a tropical storm. They drove straight through, stopping only to have the car tipped, to remove the flood water that go in.
Oh, and they got pulled over by Mexican police, too.
Gates said that trip shows what can happen when you don’t do any research beforehand. However, it was also filled with adventure, and he said any trip should have some adventure — in other words, getting out of one’s comfort zone.
He said that couples should travel a week together before deciding whether to marry. He also recommended what he called the 80/20 rule — for every five days you’re on a trip, one of those days should be unplanned.