Meet the Serial Traveler Who’s Bringing Wanderlust from His Blog to Your Screen

By Andrea Masenda

One New Haven resident has big plans to take himself and a cast of strangers across the world while capturing it all for your viewing pleasure.

Travelpolitans is a brand-new travel show currently in development with ‘travelpreneur’ Aspen Powers behind the wheel. With his show, Powers sets out to dispel the notion of what prevents people from traveling, whether it’s a fear of language barriers, complicated currency changes or the great unknown. The best chance of overcoming those fears, Powers says, is just to go for it.

“When you’re in the thick of it, the fear really goes away because you’re having a new experience,” he says. “You kind of forget about that fear because you’re living in the moment.”

While contemplating creating a travel show, Powers launched a website and a blog. There, he chronicled his personal travel journeys and began to notice blog traffic from all over the world. After seeing analytics that blew him away, Powers knew he was working with something special.

Aspen Powers will serve as the “International Man of Tourism” on upcoming show.

Aspen Powers will serve as the “International Man of Tourism” on upcoming show.

“I said ‘okay, I know I’m not alone.’ That’s what fueled the fire for the television show,” he explains.

Next in the genesis of Travelpolitans came Miami native and director David Rousseau. Rousseau frequently travels the world with his camera in tow and has directed numerous high-profile music videos and commercials.

A social media connection between Rousseau and Powers eventually led them to meet in New York, and according to Rousseau, their similar interests made them a perfect fit to turn Travelpolitans into reality.

“He’s always got ideas for television shows and I’m always looking for people that want to try to innovate and want to explore,” Rousseau says of Powers.

Director David Rousseau, www.travelpolitans.com

Director David Rousseau via www.travelpolitans.com

While creating a show involves several moving parts, one major component is finding the perfect cast.

Although Powers plans on keeping the demographics of the individuals under wraps for now, Rousseau insisted the importance of diversifying the idea of world travelers, pointing out that a lot of Americans traveling the world on television don’t always represent diverse individuals.

“There’s no reason that people of different colors or different races or genders, what have you, can’t go and travel,” Rousseau says. “[Viewers] are yearning to see different people experience different cultures and see how it relates to their culture.”

The show plans to film domestically in New Haven and New York and to later visit Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland for a little more than one month, Powers says.

“I kind of consider it a 40 days and 40 nights’ scenario,” he jokes.

Powers has recently traveled and become acclimated to every location on the agenda.

“I know the lay of the land. I made friends, I met people and the things I saw there were stories that I thought we could really tell,” he says.

Aspen Powers stops to take a photo in New Haven, CT.

Aspen Powers stops to take a photo in New Haven, CT.

While the reception from Powers’ blog and his ever-growing following on social media helped mold the future of Travelpolitans, Rousseau also did some informal research of his own.

“You go into a coffee shop and ask ‘Hey, what are you watching? What would you like to watch? What would you like to see?’” Rousseau explains. “You realize there is a market for people that want to see other people travel to different places.”

The ultimate step for the duo will be finding a streaming home for the series. Powers thinks platforms like Hulu, Amazon and Netflix would respond well to Travelpolitans in 2017.

In the meantime, Rousseau and Powers plan to continue evolving Travelpolitans and sharing the world through a camera lens. 

“The world is open to us,” Rousseau says. “Let’s just take advantage of it now.”

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