Mar 192006
Authors: James Baetke

Meeting Oprah Winfrey is high on Gabe Schrim’s goals in life, but when he recently found out he would be a travel journalist for an international travel series on cable, Oprah was just a distant thought.

“This is going to be a trip of a lifetime. I’m going bonkers,” said Schrim, a 24-year-old CSU graduate.

A disc jockey at Northern Colorado’s 96.1 KISS FM, Schrim is leaving his highly rated radio spot to travel around Australia and Southeast Asia for the Travel Channel’s “5 Takes: Pacific Rim” travel show.

Schrim and four other travel journalists, or TJs, will be equipped with a Mini DV camera to develop and edit their own daily blogs where viewers help craft the itinerary. The DJ turned TJ will only have $50 a day to live on.

“This is a new kind of television,” Schrim said. “The producers kept telling us this is not a reality TV show.”

“5 Takes” is nothing like a “Real World” or “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance”.

The show’s premise allows “viewers to travel vicariously” through journalists, and are not cast members placed to antagonize each other, Schrim said.

Schrim was not immediately chosen by the show’s producers from among the 8,000 applications sent in, but was instead pitted against four other semi-finalists where the public got to vote on the Internet for their favorite TJ.

“My listeners helped me out,” he said.

It was late in February when Schrim was notified he was the last TJ to join the finalists. The five TJs met in Los Angeles this month, and Schrim could not be more excited to travel with his new pals.

“They’re awesome people,” he said.

A native to Fruita, Colo., Schrim grew up in small-town Paonia, which had no fast-food restaurants or stoplights. His graduating class was 47 people and this meant traveling Europe doing Broadway-style musicals was traveling leaps and bounds.

Despite playing the trumpet and singing choir in high school, Schrim doesn’t care what women, or anybody else, thinks about him. He is a man dedicated to travel and living life to the fullest.

When he leaves March 16 for this new life odyssey, a dream will be in the making and maybe meeting his hero, Oprah, might not be so far in the distant future.

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