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True tales of a TV travel personality.

Confessor: Bryan Herb of the Travel Channel's Vacation Challenge Location: Chicago Favorite industry film: National Lampoon's European Vacation Pet Peeve: "The amount of time it takes to film an episode!"

So how does someone score the dream job of being on a reality travel show? Well, I have long had this dream of being a Queer Eye Travel Expert for the Straight Traveler. The Travel Channel heard about me and decided to consider me for a new show, Vacation Challenge. They wanted to make sure I could plan something for straight people, and I was like, duh, yeah.

What's the difference between how straight people travel and how gays travel? All my gay friends at cocktail parties talk about traveling. At straight cocktail parties, they seem to talk about their kids a lot. Gay people want to travel as insiders. When my partner, Joel, and I travel, we like to meet local gays--it's like a private brotherhood of sorts, and there's something comforting in that. Gay people are more pioneering as travelers because we are exploring an uncharted path all the time--our lives are uncharted.

What's the hardest thing about being on a reality TV show? On the show, we have to compete with other travel planners for who can make the best vacation for a couple or a family. I have to find out who these people are and what makes them tick, similar to when I plan trips for the customers of my company [Zoom Vacations]. But TV is not as glamorous as it looks. My very first shoot was on one of the hottest days in Chicago, and we filmed at a family's home with no air conditioning. They had to stop every 30 seconds because there were beads of sweat coming down the woman's face, and the kids were crying after 12 hours under hot lights. The woman and I kept passing a tray of ice under the table to put our feet in.
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Title Annotation:ORIENTATION; Bryan Herb; Travel Channel's Vacation Challenge host
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:1U3IL
Date:Apr 26, 2005
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