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How Location Scout Kevin Hodder Got His Awesome Job

Read our interview with the location scout for Survivor and Treasure Hunters

By , Tuesday, Aug 22, 2006, 3:54 PM

TV producer Kevin Hodder on Mount Kenya (Courtesy Kevin Hodder)

BT: How did you get your awesome job? 
 
 Kevin: I was working as a mountain guide in my hometown of Whistler, British Columbia. In 1996, the Eco-Challenge Expedition Race came to Whistler. (The Eco-Challenge was a multi-sport endurance race that was held in a different international location each year. It was filmed for television) The Race Technical Director, Scott Flavelle, gave me a job working as a guide for a camera crew on the mountain section of the race course.

From this initial opportunity, I was offered a position as the Race Coordinator for the 1997 race in Australia. I eventually became the Race Manager for Eco-Challenge , a position which took me to Morocco, Argentina, Chile, Malaysian Borneo, New Zealand, and Fiji. The work with Eco-Challenge led to other opportunities such as producing challenges for Survivor and Treasure Hunters.

BT: What do you love most about your job? 
 
 Kevin: I find that working in other countries, as opposed to just traveling through them, really exposes you to different elements of the location, culture, and people. I suppose what I love the most about the job is seeing such an authentic side of so many foreign countries. I have met countless life-long friends this way.

BT: What advice do you have for someone who wants to do what you do? 
 
 Kevin: Currently, I spilt my time guiding in the mountains and working as a television producer. For anyone that wants to become a professional mountain guide, my first piece of advice would be become certified by either the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides or the American Mountain Guides Association. Being a certified guide should present you with many exciting opportunities.

For work in television production, here is the bad news; you usually have to start at the bottom. The good news is that there are a lot of opportunities to move up quickly. Go out, get your feet wet, work hard and keep your eyes out for opportunities that will allow you to advance. Don't stagnate in a dead end position. You're better than that!

BT: What the worst job-related travel experience you've ever had? 
 
 Kevin: It has to do with being in a taxi cab late at night in Nairobi, Kenya. The cab driver was lost in a dodgy part of town and keep pulling over to ask directions from very suspect individuals. Why was this so bad? Let's just say they don't call it Nai-robbery for nothing.

BT: How has your job changed the way you travel? 
 
 Kevin: It has certainly made me a more efficient traveler. I know a lot of little tricks that make travel more streamlined and less of a hassle, like get a window seat so you can lean against it and sleep, or bring your own snacks and water and don't count on the airline to do anything but get you there. A lot of times, if you can get off the plane and out of the airport smoothly then the hardest part of the journey is over!