Travel Show: Secret to Phil Keoghan’s excellent adventures

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Phil Keoghan of “The Amazing Race” has scuba dived with a dog, swilled the blood of a cobra and attended a nudist wedding. He also tried swimming the mile across the Bosporus strait that separates the Asian and European sides of Istanbul, but drifted downstream three miles before getting fished out.

And he sometimes gets lost when he travels as host of the TV show too (but not for the same reasons as the contestants do.)

“I love traveling,” the New Zealand-born Keoghan told the audience Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show. “My whole philosophy is ‘no opportunity wasted’ or NOW, which means living the biggest possible life you can.” In case you miss the point, he has written a book with the same title that encourages people to draft their own life list.


While talking about traveling for “Amazing Race,” Keoghan sounded as stressed as his contestants. He pointed out that he has to stay one step ahead of the leaders at each destination while also greeting the team in last place. He shoots about 21 shows in 12 days, which roughs out to two days per show, logging 40,000 miles in 10 countries.

In Azerbaijan last year, he was in the Asian nation less than 24 hours to perform his host duties. “i had to rush to the pit stop but got caught in traffic and I see [contestants] Dave and Rachel in a taxi heading there,” he recalled. Keoghan jumped out of the car, ran past the contestants and up to the mat just in time to say a quick hello to the greeter, but no time to explain to her what was going on.

Away from the show, Keoghan has raised more than $1 million for the MS Society, most notably during a bicycle ride across the United States.

But it’s all part of his life plan. “For my entire career, I was trying to take this life list I wrote, all the things I wanted to do before I died,” and get paid for it, he said. “That would be a cool life.”

Phil, so far so good.
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