In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with my good friend Mike Corey, the BBC Travel Show host and break-dancing marine-biologist-turned-world-adventurer behind Fearless & Far, formerly known as Kick The Grind. We chat with Mike Corey about traveling far off the beaten path, the BBC travel show, the unique and bizarre festivals he visits around the world, his passion for helping others fight their fears, and much more. Check out his favorite destinations around the globe and find out where he’s off to next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
I was a curious kid who spent my time finding creatures by rummaging in tide pools, and flipping over rocks. When I grew up, I found the biggest rock of them all!
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
At this point I’m travelling about 8 months of the year. I always try and find adventures that few people have filmed and experienced. Exploding hammer festivals, frog poison rituals, abandoned places…
On your YouTube channel, you often travel far off the beaten path to experience little-known festivals, rituals, and practices that the average viewer might find bizarre or uncomfortable. What draws you to them and what is it like to witness them in-person?
I love the cultural aspect of going to these places that don’t see foreign travellers very often, as well as the genuine thrill of the unknown. I show up, and throw myself in the “mosh-pit” I feel the essence of travel is not really knowing what you’re getting yourself into
In addition to you being a travel YouTuber, you are also one of the hosts of the BBC Travel Show. What is an average filming day on the show like and how does it differ from your solo travels?
One of the beautiful things about being a television presenter is that there is no editing, or pre-production stress. You arrive, you experience, you talk. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, but once the project wraps you can take your mind off it. With YouTube, most of the work is before and after. I love them both for different reasons.
Helping others fight their fears is something you’re extremely passionate about. How did this passion of yours start? What is the best advice you can give someone who wants to confront and fight their fears?
I grew up afraid. Most of all, I was terrified to speak and be in the spotlight. A lot has changed, and I love helping people change too. I’ve seen the dark side, and you don’t have to stay there forever. The first step to fighting fears is changing your language and attitude about it. It’s a misconception that some people feel fear, and some don’t. This is untrue. Skydivers, rock stars, YouTubers all feel fear. They just call it “excitement” and do it anyway. This is the big secret.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
That you don’t have to explore the world from the tour pamphlet. It’s not as big and scary as you think. The best experiences you’re not going to find on a top 10 list.
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
Mexico, Philippines, Pakistan
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, best place to have lunch, best sightseeing, etc.
Mexico: Cenote scuba diving in Yucatan, Paracutin volcano church in Michoacan, The firefly sanctuary in Tlaxcala, The Mayan temples in Chiapas, the food in Oaxaca
How many countries have you visited so far?
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
Mexican, Filipino, Italian
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
Any local Dim Sum restaurant. Soup Dumplings!
What is your favorite travel movie?
What is your favorite international airport?
Vancouver, Canada. They have a massive fish tank.
Which city had the friendliest people?
Anywhere in Pakistan.
Who is your favorite travel companion?
@LexieLimitless and I have had some epic adventures.
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Haha working. Always working.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
Venezuela, Turkmenistan, and Bangladesh were all pretty wild!
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Travel will make you realize what’s important in your life. It will crack you open.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
A yoga mat, about 50 pounds of cameras and computers, jasmine green tea, and a thermos.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Socotra in Yemen. It’s an incredible island.
What is your favorite travel quote?
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin
Where are you headed next?
Namibia for some abandoned exploration!
Mike Corey never backs away from an adventure, no matter how strange it may be. As a Canadian adventure travel YouTuber and BBC Television host, Mike has been traveling the world for 8 years creating videos to inspire people to fight their fears while traveling. After graduating with a University degree in Marine Biology, Mike Corey created his YouTube Channel Fearless & Far. He now spreads his message both in front of, and behind the camera, to help people discover their best selves through fear.
Learn more about him on his website and follow him on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to learn more about him and his travel adventures around the world! You can also watch Mike Corey on the BBC Travel Show on the BBC World Channel.