How Get Lost! Came To Fruition

In March of 2022, I found myself at a crossroads. I was gainfully unemployed and contemplating my next move. I dutifully sought the advice of career counselors, psychics, and colleagues who all asked the same thing: “Hey, whaddya wanna do when you grow up?”

To me, the answer was clear: I wanted a gig where I could travel.

Like extreme-road-warrior-travel.

So, I put all my efforts and energies into becoming a full-time travel writer. (For years, I had been dabbling off-and-on writing for various outlets, like I quickly realized A) this job is perfect for me and B) Sweet Baby Jesus, I’m broke.

Despite being poor as a church mouse, I got to be pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. After multiple attempts, I even got accepted into the prestigious Society of American Travel Writers.

In the middle of my new, penniless venture, a little birdie told me that Kansas City’s local PBS affiliate was potentially on the hunt for some new programming, so I pitched a travel show I thought people would enjoy watching. The premise? Stand squarely in front of a big map of the Midwest, close my eyes, and chuck a dart. Wherever that sucker hit would ultimately be the destination. The show, however, was about getting there on an unabashed wing and prayer.

The title was the aptly named Get Lost! (Clever, eh?)

KCPBS was receptive, but not too receptive until I mentioned I’d have a quippy co-host who was peas to my carrots.

Cue Lonita Cook who was game to toss our respective phones and maps out the window and head in the general direction of our random destination. We’d literally find ourselves by getting lost. (Cleverer, eh?)

The thing about KCPBS is that they’re always open and receptive to ideas. It’s called public TV for a reason. And while the yearlong greenlight process can be a little daunting, once the show was a go, it was game on for Lonita and me.

In our premiere episode, the dart hits Bucklin, Missouri—perfectly situated in the middle of, well, nowhere. Lonita and I knew two things as we headed out—we were headed north-ish and east-ish. That’s it.

As the hosts, we had a devil-may-care attitude and hoped viewers would get a kick out of us veering off to parts unknown. We liked to call it the road really, really less traveled.

Naturally, we shot the pilot episode over three days last August, when heatwave records were dropping right and left. Temps reached a heat index of 100+ degrees. When you watch the episode, you will quickly notice that Lonita and I wilt before your very eyes. The shoot was perfect in every way—mind you, if you enjoy filming on the surface of the sun. (Our stellar crew of creatives—each and every one of ’em!—deserve medals.)

I don’t want to give too much away, but the show debuts on February 24, with subsequent airings throughout the month of March. We hope you stream this coming of (middle) age travel adventure show and, more importantly, make a pledge to KCPBS to help fund our upcoming spring episodes. (Plus, really, who couldn’t use a tote bag with my face on it?)

Want to know more or pledge accordingly? Click here—and let’s Get Lost! together.