BNT editor Ian MacKenzie shares his favourite photos from 3 weeks on the crew of “Word Travels” – a documentary series following the adventures of real-life travel writers Robin Esrock and Julia Dimon.

FOR MANY, BEING A travel writer is the proverbial “dream job.” After all, it sounds so romantic: getting paid to travel the world and write about it.

The reality, as revealed by the show Word Travels (now in its third season), is far different. Travel writing is hard work. You dig for stories. You deal with flights, buses, trains, and traffic. You pitch editors, more often denied than accepted. But luckily, this actuality is what makes travel writing so entertaining.

I joined the crew of Word Travels to see for myself how a show about travel writing is put together. The goal? Visit three countries: Georgia, Italy, and Portugal.

Here are my favourite shots from the shoot, offering a glimpse seldom seen by others, and a peek behind the curtain.


1.Tbilisi, Georgia. Robin learns the basics of medieval Georgian swordplay. Sean Cable (director of photography) crouches below, always committed to capturing the best angle.


2.Tibilisi, Georgia. Julia and Paul Vance (sound recordist) take a break from shooting and join a sing-a-long with Georgian metal heads.


3.Countryside, Georgia. Never one to miss an opportunity to fist pump in a massive green field, BNT editor Ian MacKenzie is snapped by Robin. (Photo: Peter Steel)


4.Tibilisi, Georgia. Robin is always ready to use any elements in the scene to tell the story to camera. (Photo: Peter Steel)


5. Lambourghini Plant, Italy. Julia reflects from the floor of the Lambourghini assembly plant, where staggeringly powerful (and expensive) cars are produced.


6. Modena, Italy. Robin and Julia eagerly await their taste of traditional balsamic vinegar, fermented up to 25 years.


7. Modena, Italy. Shooting a travel show isn't always easy, as this shot reveals. Robin suggests another scene to director Peter Steel, while Julia looks on.


8.Modena, Italy. When ordering a plate of food, be careful what you wish for. Robin shows his astonishment at the amount of meat (which he'll never eat anyway, as he doesn't eat pork).


9. Rome, Italy. Julia takes a stab at gladiator training with her instructor Alex.


10. Terceira, Portugal. Paul Vance (sound recordist) scours the crowd and matadors at a bullfight for the perfect shot.


11. Terceira, Portugal. Robin and Ian try not to look afraid before watching the locals in a traditional bull run in the streets. (Photo: Deb Wainwright)


12. Terceira, Portugal. Unfortunately, Paul's sound equipment became tangled in the feet of a charging bull. A tug of war ensued, with the boom mic (and not Paul) taking the brunt of the attack.


13. Terceira, Portugal. The weather doesn't always cooperate with a shoot. Robin eyes the rain and wonders when the sun will return.


14. Lisbon, Portugal. Sean Cable is always eager to experiment, including hopping a Segway to enhance a tracking shot.


15. Lisbon, Portugal. Robin describes his experience while on a "blind tour" with Lisbon Walker. The tour aims to use other senses to explore the city.


16. Lisbon, Portugal.High above the city, Robin sits in a window while Sean Cable experiments shooting during "golden hour" - the time just before afternoon becomes dusk. (Photo: Peter Steel)


17. Terceira, Portugal. Robin and Julia share a smile, in the ruins of an old fort. Clearly, they realize they have the best job in the world.