Actor, writer and globetrotter Jonathan Legg, best known for his role in Godzilla: Final Wars, can now be seen on Indian television screens as the host of travel show ‘Road Less Travelled’.
The Epic Channel show traces the journey of Legg as he traverses the length and breadth of India in his quest for unusual, exotic adventures, and to unravel the bizarre side of particular destinations.
In order to gain the quintessential Indian experience, he travels through buses, trains, boats and every other transport medium possible.
The first episode aired on October 1 showcased the culturally rich city of Kolkata.
In an interview to thestatesman.com, Jonathan Legg shared his experience in India, his favourite destinations and upcoming projects.
How was it taking the ‘Road Less Traveled’? Please share your experience.
Taking the Road Less Traveled means you don’t stay in the cocoon of a resort. It means pushing out of the comfort zone into experiences that are new and truly getting to know people who are different. It’s having a mental admission that you don’t know the full picture of life from your corner of the world, and so you are stepping out with an open mind to consider other perspectives. This kind of travel has radically changed me as a man. I’m now much more open-minded, accepting, calm, compassionate, and connected to others.
Please share your inspiration behind taking up this show.
For a guy like me this was a dream job. I’d been travelling independently for over a decade. With this show, I suddenly got to share the experience with an audience, conveying the joys, challenges, and lessons the road has to offer.
How did you find India? What was the most intriguing part about travelling in India?
People always ask me “what’s the best destination”. I tell them it depends on what you are looking for. However, if the goal of travel is to offer new perspective and challenge stagnant beliefs, no destination will give you the good like India. Just as central California soil is great for growing tomatoes and avocados, Indian soil has been a fertile bed of spiritual inquiry for millennia. By spiritual, I mean “what is the best way to experience this life?” It’s a question many of us in the West no longer ask. We are simply given the answer by popular culture. India will make you realise this question is still up for grabs and still worth asking.
Did anything bother you while your stay or during your travel in India?
The car horns. In my cultural upbringing, car horns either signal hostility or immediate danger. I understand that in India they are used more to constantly notify other drivers as to your position. However, it’s hard to uncouple the sound with the sensation of alarm. After a walk through the centre of Delhi, my nerves feel shredded for all the beeps.
What can we find in your travel kit?
Three pairs of quick dry underwear (can be washed in your hotel sink), two pairs of long pants, one pair of shorts that work as swim trunks, two t-shirts, and one or two collared shirts; (besides) one pair of shoes, money belt, earplugs/eyemask, baseball hat, mini bluetooth speaker; Kindle loaded with a variety of books (currently Sapiens, Sex at Dawn, and Untethered Soul are on the reading list)
Which is your personal favourite place (in India or anywhere in the world)?
Such a tough question. For life-changing experiences, it’s India for sure. For pure fun it’s Brazil. For unexpected charm and subtle beauty, it’s Serbia and Montenegro.
Any tips for travellers looking to exploring new places?
Just go. Lean towards courage and away from fear. Things always work out. Nowadays I do the minimum of research when I go to a new place for fun. I don’t want to arrive with expectations that might not be met. I want the place to surprise me and to define itself. I don’t have a jam-packed itinerary.. “to do” lists are for the productive, working life. I drop the productivity mindset and put on an explorer’s one.
What after Road Less Traveled? Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
I maintain a little blog for fun and to share my random thoughts at Jonathanlegg.com. I’ve also developed a few shows that you can see at tiltedplanetproductions.com. I’m also creating a festival in an old Roman ruin in Serbia. And finally SD-Media and I are collaborating on a show about the dark underbelly of manufacturing. This is all I can say for now.