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About Russ Johnson

Russ JohnsonRuss Johnson's head has been swimming withstories, sounds and pictures since he was a teen when he hauled a tape recorder with him on a fishing trip to record the call of a loon on a Minnesota lake. By age 16 he had his own radio show and by 19 was working in TV performing, writing and shooting film. Johnson got into trouble a few times, like when he was fired from a TV show for satirizing the yet-to-be-indicted Vice President Spiro Agnew. But he survived the broadcasting biz in Minneapolis, Sacramento and San Francisco, where worked as a public radio news director, documentary producer, writer, newscaster and journalism professor before applying his skills to his love of travel.

Since the mid-1980s, Russ Johnson has poked his nose, cameras (video, still and film) and microphones (a vintage collection) into faces and places in some 58 countries and hundreds of localities around the world. He has collected images, personalities, music and sounds from hundreds of personal journeys and photo, video and consulting assignments for companies such as American Express, countries and destinations such as Nepal, the Mekong river region of Southeast Asia and the State of California and organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations and American Public Radio. He has served on the Board of Directors and Sustainable Tourism committee of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, the world's largest public-private sector tourism organization, and on the destination assessment panel of National Geographic.

Johnson was a pioneer in travel on the internet, having launched one of the first travel Web sites to offer streaming video and podcasts. His has been lauded by Time Magazine, The Daily Standard, the BBC, CBS and many others. Lonely Planet has called it, "Armchair travel at its best."

Johnson lives in Sonoma, California wine country

Photos, narrations and other TV and radio features can be found at



#Paris lights, skinny turkeys and Bush-era politics on #Thanksgiving 2004 with #video
A new day for #Burma #MyanmarElection. Scenes from Burma before big-time tourism
A 4K video of Chicago's Architecture tour shot on a #samsunggalaxynote5

Connected Traveler Radio

Audio on Demand:
Selected features from Connected Traveler Radio
Hosted by Russell Johnson


Sydney on the Rocks
: A pub stroll through historic Sydney, Australia

A Bai Wedding: We go to a wedding in Yunnan Province, China.

The Way To Shangri-La: On the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, China has named this place Shangri-la.

Descent into the Borneo Underground: Cave Crawling in Sarawak

Burma: We went there but you may or may not want to.

Macau: Portugal in China

Health Travel: To Bangkok for a Checkup

Nirvana Tonic: a Cruise on the River Kwai

Bangkok: Mai Pen Rai or So Be It

North America

Under the Golden Gate: A troll's ear view of The Bridge

Times Square, New York: Mr. Peanut Speaks

Chicken Hunt: Tracking New York City's Tic Tac Toe Chicken

The Tall Trees: California's Redwoods

Old Las Vegas: Stories from the man who taught Don Rickles to Water ski.

Gear and Gloating in Las Vegas: Horse Walks into A Bar

Mt. Shasta, California: Jerusalem for the Weird

Hawaii's Big Island: Magnanomous Meanderings

Dearth Valley: If less is more, what is nothing?

Harpin' The Ling: California's Anderson Valley, where people speak in tongues

Banff, Canada: Rutting time and the first snowfall

South and Central America

Salvador da Bahia, Brazil: The Other Carnival

Costa Rica: Global Warming in the Monteverde Cloud Forest

Cancun, Mexico: Deja Bu All Over Again


Whither Belgium: Is Belgium Really Necessary?

Varmland Sweden: Midnight in the Garden of Swedes and Norwegians

Lake Garda, Italy: The Mad Poet's Society

Budapest, Hungary: Wine, Song and Women Who Look Like Zsa Zsa

London, England: The Ministry of Not-So-Silly Walks


Taxis of the World

Lost in Tschotskiland: An Essay on Souvenirs

An Interview With Naturalist David Suzuki

An Interview With Joseph Sutter, Father of the Boeing 747