StoryBooked is a Marriott Bonvoy Traveler magazine documentary series following people from different walks of life on their journeys around the world. Travel expands the mind, and a reset of context can give someone perspective on the world and their home and, ultimately, how they fit into the larger universe.
This context is something sorely needed in a time of contracting bubbles of experience and growing myopic nationalism. In this 3rd edition of Storybooked, we are presented with three short films that explore different travel experiences embarking from the US to seek out new ideas and different ways of life around the world.
In Holy Dog, Cowboy, rodeo star, and actor Brady Jandreau travels to Argentina to spend time with the Gauchos, the South American cowboys, whose culture was never as focused on the lone rider as were men in the American West. Gauchos are a brotherhood, a real horse culture that persists to this day. After suffering a traumatic brain injury, Jandreau finds peace on Argentina’s gorgeous plains and among the welcoming and familial Gauchos.
“The world is a gift of infinite diversity in infinite combinations…”
Brooklyn-born chef Edward Lee reconnects with his culinary roots in South Korea to bring us I Could Hear My Heart. As an American, he bridges the culture gap with food, explaining that he doesn’t feel Korean until he arrives in Seoul and has a bowl of cold spicy noodles. Lee visits Korean cityscapes in a land where dining is, above all, a social activity, and he finds his DNA in the dishes of his ancestral home.
Producer and storyteller Sarah Yourgrau wrote her family story in Portugal in The Trees Will Sing to Us. She is tracking down family members from a few generations back from the Azores and taking in the beauty and wonder she finds there.
Each of the films in Storybooked is accompanied by a Bonvoy Traveler magazine profile, which can be found on their website. The cinematography is breathtaking, and despite the global span of the narratives, the stories remain comfortably intimate human tales.
Destinations filmed so beautifully are a balm to people stuck indoors at home during a pandemic, a tease of what they’re missing, and a window into what to look forward to once the world returns to something resembling normal. Increasingly, geopolitical divisions seem arbitrary, contrived barriers in place to control populations, and generate income for a few at the top. Cultures, not nations, give flavor and color to life on Earth, and it behooves us to see them firsthand. The world is a gift of infinite diversity in infinite combinations, yet we see through travel that people are more alike than different.
"…travel stories filmed so beautifully are a balm to people stuck indoors at home during a pandemic"