tv China International News PBS November 6, 2010 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
♪ (female) the three of us, we're all from australia embarking on a 5-week roadtrip traveling to the united states. (female #2) talking to people that we admire or who inspire us, sharing their story about how they got to where they are now. (female #1) a big part of what holds me back is fear. everywhere you turn, there's something that's completely different. (male) if your brain and your heart are telling you to do something different, that's the advice you should follow, the advice that comes from within. (female announcer) state farm has made it possible for this documentary series to be shared on public television stations across the country. "roadtrip nation" would like to sincerely thank our friends at state farm for helping a nation of young people to find their roads in life. like a good neighbor, state farm is there. "roadtrip nation" would also like to thank
the college board for supporting this series. inspiring minds and connecting students to college success. "roadtrip nation" would also like to thank tourism new zealand for bringing the roadtrip experience to the other side of the road in new zealand. cheers to our kiwi mates! ♪ (female #3) people who just do day in, day out without questioning anything, where's the fun in that? you've got to get up every morning and love to do what you do. you've got to love it. (female #1) i think it's so amazing to meet someone who's completely original in thought. (female #2) i want to be consciously making decisions about my life. (su-yin) i never sat down and thought, "what do i really want to do?" (mariana) i need to discover myself. (male #2) it's not a horse race. this is a marathon. it's the journey that's really going to count. embrace it. ♪
(mariana) kind of sad that we're halfway through. i want us to keep going. there's more time pressure now to make the most of it, which is good. santa fe. i don't know what i was expecting. i didn't really know anything about it, but everyone kept saying it was like the artist's community place. (su-yin) everywhere you turn, there's something that's completely different from anything you've seen in australia or in asia. i've learned that a big part of what holds me back is fear. i'm less afraid now than i was before the trip, now that i've seen and met all these people who've made it. it's definitely been good to meet living examples of what i hope my life can be too. (camilla) celine cousteau i'm really excited about. she was the first person i booked. she films ocean documentaries. i've never seen or read of a female figure like her before. she's so strong, but she hasn't lost her femininity. i don't know, i struggle with that a little bit.
this is going to sound really random, but--i don't know-- 'cause i'm tall and then being in a leadership role, i was like, "is that too much for people in life?" i don't know if i want to accentuate the "i'm big and i'm strong and i'm taking over the world kind of thing." i'll show you her picture. do you see it in her face? natural but strong and feminine and spiritual and i don't know-- i just feel like she looks like she has the meaning of life. nice to meet you. welcome to santa fe. thank you. hi. hi. (female #3) well, undergraduate in the united states, i studied psychology. so i followed actually what i had studied in college, and over the course of 6 months was working in an art gallery on weekends and during the week was working in a psychiatric hospital. and that--looking back at it now-- i can see sort of the duality in my life began there. ♪
i then left, sort of, the psychology field pretty quickly and moved to italy to study art. i mean, i've always been one to have a lot of different interests and not necessarily focus on any one thing. i set out to do one thing and then life happens, and you kind of go on these different paths. somebody once told me, that is she gave me the analogy, that i'm constantly juggling all these balls, 'cause i'm so interested in different things. i mean, i do art and photography and jewelry, but i want to do film production and more on the journalism side of things and i'm constantly traveling. and whenever anybody brings something up, i'm like, "ah! "i want to do that! i want to be a part of that. take me." and she said, you know, "those elements will always "be there for you, just make a choice. "trust it. jump off the cliff, and you'll be totally fine." because you are so branched out and you have people sort of going, what are you doing? what are you doing? did you ever find that you had to justify yourself and your actions all the time to people? and how did you cope with that?
(celine) it's normal to care what people think, to be able to explain to them why you're making certain decisions. even to be able to say, "i don't know what i want to do "and the next time i make a decision, "i want to make a good decision. "so i'm going to let myself live in that in-between time for a little while." and this in-between time is the meantime. it's the transition time. and too often, we don't look at that as an entity in and of itself. that is a moment in your life and to really embrace that and appreciate it. but those are also the really difficult times. that's when you're questioning yourself. that's when you're not sure about what's next. but to be able to just accept it and say, "i'm in the meantime. i'm in that in-between, and i'm going to figure it out." (mariana) so i guess, then, what was after that? the next step that led you to-- i started working for a canadian company, guiding, biking, and hiking trips. about 2 years later, i started looking at what my dad was doing, and his work was taking off as far as documentaries. and so i called up and i said, "so i see you guys are going off "on expedition and following the gray whale migration. you need me for anything?"
and that's sort of how it started. went up to barrow, alaska, for 2 weeks-- and i hate the cold-- but it was that moment up in barrow, alaska, just on the arctic sea and looking at these amazing creatures-- the gray whales-- and just going, "this is life. this is what i want to be doing." but it took all of those things for me to get here. and if all of that hadn't existed, that moment wouldn't have made sense. ♪ (camilla) this is something i haven't really been conscious of before. it actually came up recently. it's to do with being a strong female. you're completely self-reliant and independent, and i think-- i don't know if this is just in my head or whether it's a reality, but i feel like this intimidates people and often people don't like it, particularly from a woman. and i think i struggle with this. like it's funny, i wasn't even really conscious of it until a couple of days ago. but i really shy away from being as strong as i can be
because i am worried about how it might be perceived. so i'm interested in your advice or thoughts on that. (celine) i've gone through that as well, and you end up muting yourself to a certain extent and not doing what you're fully potential of doing. in this society, women in general-- this is a huge general statement-- are the quieter ones, the more submissive ones, the ones that, you know, the home caretakers, even if you have professions. and to come out as sort of this strong, powerful woman, people kind of go like this. and you have to be willing to stand your ground. you can still be sensitive. you can still be emotional. you can still be, at times, quiet in every sense of that word. but that part of you is a core part of you. some people are going to be turned off by it. some people are going to say, "i can't deal with it." and you have to be willing to accept that because it does come with its prices.
it does come with conditions. you've been thinking more about this than i ever did in my early twenties. and to be able to get to that point and say, "can i truly accept me as me? can i truly do that?" and if the day that you're going to be able to do that, that you're going to say, "i'm proud of myself, i'm proud of what i do," you're going to radiate that confidence and not an ego, but just the confidence of being like, "i love me. i love who i am. "and the people that are going to love me back, they're welcome in my life." but that's work you need to do on yourself, and it's a lifetime of work. (camilla) with celine, like, she was amazing and everything i thought she'd be and like an older sister that i kind of idolize. oh, look at you guys. this is so fun. (camilla) i just felt like celine had been through that and come out the other end, and she was just like hands out, pulling me through the tunnel going, "just keep going," like, "embrace it. it's fine on the other end." (celine) you have everything you need within you.
trust it. powerful and strong are great attributes. embrace it and have fun. ♪ (mariana) all right. let's get lunch. ♪ (camilla) food's been tricky. (mariana) i've never seen one of these! (camilla) unhealthy, cheap food is so readily available. (su-yin) it's like the thing-- are they going to come out in rollerblades? g'day! can i please get a number eight with raspberry iced tea and-- (camilla) there's more variety of fast food outlets here than i've ever seen anywhere on earth. (female attendant) yes, ma'am go ahead. ♪ we're going to texas! ♪ (mariana) the state line. what does that mean? does that mean we just passed into texas? are we in texas?
texas! (mariana) we're in texas! (su-yin) yoo! so today, we're heading to valley mills, texas, to interview doug baum, the founder and owner of the texas camel call. we're going to his camel ranch. (mariana) oh my god, he's got a cowboy hat. that's so cool. (male #3) when i was 21, i was living in nashville, tennessee, playing country music, you know, with guys with record deals and all of that. it became unfulfilling, i guess. it was just not the best fit. along the way, i had started volunteering and working in zoos, always kind of looking ahead thinking, "i really enjoy working with these animals." and in the zoo setting, you were sharing the camels with the children, whether you were giving rides, you know, and i would do that. and i really saw the connection that people had with the animals in that setting. and that's when the light kind of went on. [camel grunting] woo, that is-- ah! hi, there. (doug) come up.
this is richard, by the way. my dad was not an early believer. i've been told this is not a normal way to make a living early on, but it never mattered to me because i wasn't doing this for him. i was doing it for me. i mean, i'm raising camels in texas. do you think i care what people think? (su-yin) all of our interviews, i've just been blown away. there must be some sort of core human trait or something that we have those struggles. it's all part of growing up as well, i've realized. ♪ left before dawn and i'm running ♪ ♪ been three months or maybe more ♪ (mariana) hi. sorry, wait. i've got a question. where are the bats? they're on the other side. (mariana) this is the first time i've traveled on my own. i'm in this country that i don't know where i'm standing, pretty much. every day is somewhere new, somewhere-- new faces, people that don't know me.
and so there's that attraction to wanting to stay in that kind of environment so i can sort of fully know who i am away from everyone that knows me. ♪ (su-yin) okay, so the building should be on our left. so we're traveling across the country and meeting with people who we admire, people who are doing jobs that we could see ourselves doing, mostly people who haven't really gone down the conventional path. (male #4) i had no clue what i was going to be, what i wanted to be for that matter, when i was in high school. somebody one day said, "did anybody ever tell you, terry, that you've got a great voice for radio?"
and i thought, "oh really? well, i never really thought about that." when i started working in radio, it was almost like a coming out for me because i was extremely shy and withdrawn all through my high school and college. i had a lot to say, but i was just afraid to say it. so working in radio, it was almost like therapy. it gave me a chance to speak out in a room with just a microphone as opposed to a room filled with other people, you know? i mean, i was doing pretty well. i had a full-time job in radio, not making a lot of money, but people said i was good. and i kind of enjoyed what i was doing. and i was about 21 or 22 at the time and all of a sudden one year, i just had this epiphany, this urge to just do something different. ♪ five months later, i quit my job. everybody said i was crazy. i had about $400.
i didn't have a job lined up or anything when i got here. and i just fit as many things as i could in my car, mostly my record collection and, you know, personal stuff. and i drove to texas by myself. during that time, it was kind of grim. i was eating a lot of frozen dinners and even donated some blood just to make a little extra money. i mean, it was--i don't want to make it sound like i was homeless, but it was kind of a tough time and i was beginning to doubt myself, wonder, you know, maybe i was crazy. why did i do this? but there was something inside of me that told me i had to do that. otherwise, i might've spent the rest of my life back in the same town that i grew up in. that wasn't good enough for me. and how did you face the worry of when you came here and you said, "oh, it's not so easy getting a job"? (terry) i used the time when i could've been depressed or kind of maybe given up on things to expand my mind and get out there and discover new places and things.
i think once you start to experience a new world, you just have an insatiable appetite. you want more and more of that. i had never set foot in a television studio, never had any desire or even a thought about doing tv. literally, the month before i moved to austin, they started this music show called "austin city limits." so i remember that first year i was here. i would actually come and sit in the audience. so i went up to the producers of the show one day and i said, "if you guys ever need any extra help, you know, "i'd be happy to volunteer just to work for free just part-time, whatever you need." i didn't get paid for it, but i learned a lot. i discovered a whole new life, new world, that i didn't even know existed. well, the next year, the producer, the director and the executive producer of the show left. they didn't think this was going to last. they thought, "well, this is going to be a fun thing to do for a year or two and then we're going to move on." i went from being the little volunteer assistant to being
the only one who really kind of knew what was going on. so i remember as if it was yesterday walking into the general manager's office and saying, "i think i could do this job. i think i could produce this show." and i think i also said something like, "and i'll be a lot cheaper, too, than if you try to hire an expensive producer from new york or l.a." and lo and behold, they actually-- they went for it. you know, they gave me the job for 1 year. so this is now my 30th year as the producer of "austin city limits." if your brain and your heart are telling you to do something different, that's the advice you should follow, the advice that comes from within, i think. (su-yin) i feel like i kind of, when i go home, i'm going to need like a coming-out party like, "this is the real me, guys. this is what i've discovered." i have self-confidence. i just need to be more confident in my life choices, not second guess myself.
this will sound familiar. discover something new every day. (su-yin) yeah, that's good. and i have a feeling you probably will, at least on the rest of this trip, so yeah. (mariana) he gained so much by leaving his little microcosm and that's what we're doing basically. so it'd be interesting. like, this is just for what, 6 weeks? imagine if we did it for, like, a year. i think part of me has always wanted to just go somewhere and not have a plan, like it's always been a very romantic idea in my head ever since i was little. (camilla) try running through one. it's really scary. i lost a shoe! (mariana) but there's always something that draws me back. where are we? no really. where's the exit? [laughing] (mariana) a lot of the reasons that i don't want to travel is because i think about mum alone. i don't know, i feel almost guilty leaving her by herself.
i know how much she sacrificed that it's like just not as big of a sacrifice for me. i feel guilty-- i don't want to go home. ♪ today, we're driving to houston to interview gwendolyn zepeda, who's an author and a blogger. (female #5) people always say, "well, when did you become a writer?" and i'm like, "when was i not a writer?" i mean, when they gave me the first crayon, i don't know. like that's when i started every book i've ever written, when i was four and that's when i started all of 'em. ♪ i love my family very much, so i hate saying this. i feel like i'm always having to explain this and then it makes them look bad. but we grew up kind of dysfunctional and poor. you know, just a lot of, like, alcoholism and stuff.
and a lot of bad stuff in our neighborhood, like drug dealing and you know, what have you. i never even thought i would go to college or anything. a kindly mentor, a rich person who volunteered at a non-profit that i was involved in forced me to apply for college. and i applied late. and luckily, i got in at university of texas, which is like there aren't, like, a lot of poor kids there on scholarship. so it was kind of a culture shock for me. i didn't really have any life skills at all. i mean, i knew--you know, you could drop me in a bad neighborhood and i could survive, but i didn't know what to do in a college town. so i ended up getting married pretty young, i guess, is the easiest way to explain it. i ended up getting pregnant really young, and then getting married right after that. so i was 19-20, but i was like, "oh my god, "i'm a teen pregnancy just like every other woman in my family." i totally saw everybody's face go, "aw, damn. i knew it was too good to be true." and that kind of hurt. like i was going to prove that my family was worth something. i was going to prove that our neighborhood was awesome.
and i was going to prove that the non-profit's mission was working. it's like i didn't even feel bad for myself. i felt guilty for everyone else. you know, i got like a 1.99999 grade point average. and then they were like, "well, we have to take your money away, sorry." i think i had a baby on my boob and i was like, "f you, u.t.!" and i left. i was like, "i'm going to go be a housewife now 'cause that's what i wanna do." (camilla) is that what you wanted to do? or was that just what you said because it made you feel better? (gwendolyn) what i wanted to do at that point was to create a stability that i did not have growing up, which is funny, because now i know that that's extremely common for women from dysfunctional homes to immediately try to create, like, the perfect nuclear family. i was happy doing it for a little while, and then i realized what everybody realized, like, in the '50s and the '60s, that it sucked. it's weird because i think a lot of housewives
who are creative people find that that's a really good excuse to do art all day. so i had started writing on the web as a housewife. i had my blog. and then i started getting jobs. and then finally, someone else online published a book. that i was like, "that's it, damn it. "i'm giving myself a year to write a book and get it published." (mariana) your story just-- i'm gonna cry 'cause it's exactly like-- it's just i'm you, kind of thing. like when i was a kid and how i grew up, my spanish culture. (gwendolyn) don't cry. all right. [laughing] i don't know how to react. i'll explain more later. (gwendolyn) i already hear it in your voice. just the fears you're describing are like, "oh yeah, been there." i was like, "oh! that was me 10 years ago, yeah." i think there's just this mind-set
that you're going to do one thing and that's the thing that's going to be your career. i don't think you're going to pick one thing right freaking now, and that's what you better get your degree in and that's what you better spend 9 hours a day doing or you're going to fail. the only mistake you can make now is to not do anything. and then you're going to be, like, 52 years old and you're going to be like, "what if that day "i was in that chick's house in texas, i had actually like, done something instead of not doing--" you know what i mean? like, you're going to do that for the rest of your life. to this day, i look back and say, "okay, "i could've written like 85 books while i was "wasting time freaking out about how i couldn't write books." just do something, even if it's the wrong thing, 'cause it's never the wrong thing, you know? (mariana) all the people we've met, they've taken just a little step in one direction and it's led them to something really great. i think i've written it somewhere that just one page, it just says, "no more excuses and no more guilt. the only person that's holding me back is me." i don't want to go home, and that's sort of
a scary thing to admit. i just don't want to go back. (male announcer) "roadtrip nation" extends beyond the program you just watched. it's a movement that empowers others to create their own roadtrip experiences. here's a quick snapshot into that movement. hi, i'm priya. i'm 22 years old. i'm jeremy. i'm 22. i just graduated from the university of pittsburgh along with priya, and i've never been out of the country. so i have a brand-new passport i can't wait to try out. i'm really excited to talk to bryan crump. he is the evening show host at radio new zealand national. i didn't know that i was going to end up in radio until i was in my mid-twenties. for me, i knew that i got a lot out of sound
and i knew that that had always been there in my life, right from when i was a kid. i picked up a tape recorder and played with it, not because somebody told me to, not because somebody said, "radio is a great career." it just fascinated me. so if you don't know what you want to do, i'd say one thing is to ask yourself, what, as a child, you really responded to. what stimulated you? (jeremy) i did the same thing with tape recording radio shows that i would just play out stories all day long, and that's the two things that i want to do now is make stories and do radio. ♪ (su-yin) all of our interviews, i've just been blown away. they seem to just really connect with us. (male #2) it sounds like you've got to break away from this parental approval thing. (su-yin) that's the thing i'm a bit worried about. now i don't feel the pressure, but i think when i go home i'll feel pressure.
(male #5) i don't think anything worth doing comes easy. (female #6) nobody gets through without conflict and without hard times. if there were no difficult situations, you'd be half a person. (female announcer) check out more adventures and interviews from the road. visit roadtripnation.com. online, you can apply to take a roadtrip of your own or bring "roadtrip nation" into your classroom. the "roadtrip nation" series is available on dvd for $32.99 ♪ we watched it all in disbelief ♪ ♪ at the train station on christmas eve ♪ ♪ a tragic tale, a gruesome scene ♪ ♪ a bitter end for the chief of police ♪ ♪ it was a blessing and a curse ♪
(announcer) state farm has made it possible for this documentary series to be shared on public television stations across the country. "roadtrip nation" would like to sincerely thank our friends at state farm for helping a nation of young people to find their roads in life. like a good neighbor, state farm is there. "roadtrip nation" would also like to thank the collegeboard for supporting this series. inspiring minds and connecting students to college success. "roadtrip nation" would also like to thank tourism new zealand for bringing the roadtrip experience to the other side of the road in new zealand. cheers to our kiwi mates! cc by aberdeen captioning 1-800-688-6621 www.abercap.com