ZANE LAMPREY: THE GLOBETROTTING TIPPLER
Zane Lamprey is intensely curious, disarmingly funny and by all accounts a genuinely nice guy. He’s also one of the few travel hosts on TV who doesn’t mind letting loose, drinking what’s handed to him and making good use of the international language of laughter. He has fun with his work and we have fun watching him on shows like Three Sheets; Have Fork, Will Travel; and Drinking Made Easy.
This week, while roaming venues across the country on his “Sing the Booze” Music Tour, Zane made time to talk with How I Travel about his love for Croatia, working with a hangover and why he’s a bit wary of street food.
The first travel memory that comes to mind is of my father and I taking a trip from Syracuse, New York to his mother’s house in Schenectady.
It was only a two and a half hour drive, but it was still a trip. My father and I both have an inquisitive nature, I call it the nerd-gene, and I remember this thirst to have more information about everything we were passing along the way. At that age, “home” was Syracuse and anything outside of it was exciting.
I learned at an early age that traveling is not about the distance traveled…
it’s about getting away from home.
I’ve got to tell you—it doesn’t suck traveling on someone else’s dime.
I get to go to countries that I would never really have considered going to, especially Croatia, which is a place that I never would have thrown on my travel itinerary but one that has affected me greatly. It was the first time I think I was exposed to something that was outside of what I could have possibly expected.
Croatia was that one trip that really jostled me and said “Wake up and see the world around you!”
It has had a tremendous and lasting impact on me. I don’t like to make blanket judgments—good or bad—but the people I met in Croatia were amazing. It’s great that I’ve been able to have a positive impact on some of the people who were so gracious with me when I was there. I had a friend who went down to a place called Pupo in Dubrovnik two years after we shot there and asked them about how many people had come in mentioning Three Sheets. He expected around a dozen—but they said that the number was into the thousands and they had a whole wall of pictures to prove it.
It’s amazing, visually, how different, yet the same things can be when you travel to another country.
We went to Chile, and I’ve lived in LA for 12 years, and it was amazing how similar the landscape was. Yet the smaller details are so different. I found the same thing in Cape Town.
I’m a vagabond who’s had the chance to travel in an elite way.
There’s really nothing like arriving refreshed—but I’m a little different with the company money than I am with my own. I probably wouldn’t spring for first class if it was just me, even though I love landing without a crick in my neck.
It’s important to realize how you best travel.
How do you deal with jet-lag? How do you deal with the hotel situation? How do you deal with the fact that your room is right next to the elevator and there’s someone blasting their TV?
Travel has really been a very individual experience for me.
There isn’t anyone who’s really influenced the way that I travel—it’s really been a very slow learning curve.
I’m a walker.
Whenever I have the opportunity, I’ll walk. Even when it seems silly to locals or the crew, I’ll leave early and go for it. For me it’s really the way that I get acclimated. It’s what grounds me.
I found that I have a very good sense of direction.
I remember our sound guy going for a walk in Argentina and getting terribly lost. He came back saying “I don’t know how you do it?!” But for me, I don’t care if I can’t read the street signs; I just leave myself plenty of time, grab my backpack and go.
I’m the schedule breaker.
I remember going on vacation to St. Martin and my brother had printed up an itinerary for me. I just looked at it and said “you know what, I think I’m going to have my own experience. This looks good, but I’m going to head a different direction.”
For me, flexibility sets me up for the most enriching and fun experiences.
You really can book a ticket to Paris, France and go without any outline. You might have an amazing experience finding places that nobody goes to just by chatting with locales in cafes.
I may not wear it on my sleeve, but I’m very conscious of my health.
That’s why I choose to walk as much as I do, exercise and pace myself. I really do drink everything that we show me drinking. So pacing myself becomes important. I’ve woken up with hangovers before—I had one in Champagne and I had a terrible one in Belgium and I realized that I really don’t want to wake up with hangovers while shooting a TV show.
When I first started doing this I thought I’d be the guy at home with a library of guidebooks.
But eventually I realized that it’s best to just let things happen.
I’m not afraid of making mistakes.
I think street food tastes amazing…but I’m a little wary of it.
I got amoebic dysentery in Thailand after having drunken noodles with fresh greens on top as a hangover cure. After shooting in Bangkok we flew to Vietnam and I landed so sick that I had to go into the hospital and get on an IV. Twice. So for now I’ve been sticking with the dining establishment, which sucks because street food is the food of the people.
My goal is to immerse myself into your place, your customs, your way of seeing things.
Even here in the US. I look to make myself completely at the mercy of the people whose home, restaurant or bar I’m in.
Travel has become what I know.
It’s become what I’m best at. When you find your niche, especially in this uncertain business, there’s a lot of joy in that. Letting people share in the authenticity of my experiences is something that I feel like I do well. And, the truth is, I love it.
As long as I can do this I will.
If I ever find myself in a studio gig, or movies, or something else…Then I’ll start going back to all the places I’ve been without a camera.
To listen to Zane’s music for free just click HERE!
“How I Travel” is a BootsnAll series publishing every Tuesday in an effort to look at the unique and diverse travel habits of some of the world’s most well known and proficient road warriors. Got ideas for who we should talk to? Drop us a note.
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all photographs provided by ZANE LAMPREY and may not be used without permission