One on One with Travel Channel’s Ashlan & Philippe Cousteau

Photograpy by Emilynn Rose

He is an Emmy-nominated TV host, author, speaker and social entrepreneur. She is a red carpet host and special coorespondent, speaker and environmentalist. Together they are living their most adventurous life, by diving head first (literally) into their second season as the hosts for the Travel Channel’s hit show Caribbean Pirate Treasure.

When they get time off from the show you can find them at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills; it’s their rescue dog Kenai’s favorite, hanging around West Hollywood or grabbing a slice at Pizzeria Mozza.

Even though they spend a lot of time traveling with the show they are yearning for even more adventure and hope to explore the Mosquito Coast, of Honduras and Nicaragua very soon. We sat down with the dauntless couple to see just how they manage to travel and work together, find out their craziest experience while shooting and hear more about how their non-profit EarthEco came to fruition.

LATM: Tell us about the show, how has it impacted how you travel together? Are you opposites attract or do you travel in unison?

A&P: We made sure we traveled well together very early in our relationship. It’s so important to have a good travel partner if you love adventure. Our advice to couples is to always make sure you go on a crazy trip together, outside of your comfort zone, like camping or a road trip. That’s when something always goes wrong and true personalities come out under pressure. If you can get through a hard trip together, you can get through life.

LATM: Tell us your best or worst (the crazier the better) travel experience/memory while shooting Caribbean Pirate Treasure.

A&P: We filmed episodes in Ecuador and Peru back to back in season two, so the producers and crew decided to take a bus one place to the other.  On the maps, it looked like it was going to be a 6-hour drive. But due to a giant line at the border, a closed highway, and our bus only being able to go 35mph on the back roads, the trip ended up taking almost 18 hours. Yes, you heard that right! 18 hours on a bus with 12 people, no wifi or cell coverage, and it was overrun with cockroaches. What could have been a giant nightmare, turned into a 4-hour sing-along, a beer break, and a Jet Lee movie in Spanish (courtesy of the bus driver).  There was no point in being mad, so we just made lemonade out of the lemons…and tried to keep the roaches away.

LATM: What are your favorite spots to hit up in LA when you’re not working? When friends and family come to visit where do you take them?

A&P: Easy. The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. It is by far our favorite store in all of LA!  We know everyone by name and they love our dog, Kenai, who is obsessed with cheese. We always take people to Pizzeria Mozza and order Nancy’s Chopped Salad and a Bianca Pizza. Best pizza in the USA!

LATM: Where is one country or culture you would like to explore or learn more about?

A&P: We really want to go explore the Mosquito Coast, of Honduras and Nicaragua. It is an area so rich in culture and history.

LATM: What are the go-to travel items you must have on a trip?

A&P: Mineral Sunscreen (chemical-based formulas kill our coral reefs), peanut butter packets, sunglasses, wool socks, loose leaf tea, a small container of good honey, a scarf and a little container of apple cider vinegar (it eases heartburn, makes a great salad dressing and it will knock out a sore throat if you gargle with it).

LATM: Where is your ideal destination for a local weekend getaway?

A&P: Carmel by the Sea.  It’s a tiny town near Monterey, CA surrounded by cute vineyards, and it’s super dog-friendly. A perfect little escape!

LATM: Tell our readers why you started Earth Echo and what you hope to achieve with the organization. Why is it so important to you?

PC: I founded EarthEcho International inspired by my father and grandfather’s legacy. They recognized that in order to build an audience of people who care about the environment, we must start with young people. Indeed, my grandfather once said, “Before we can talk about the environment, we must talk about education.” EarthEcho’s mission is to inspire young people worldwide to act now for a sustainable future because we firmly believe that they are the key to that future. Our programs are developed for and by youth and the educators and community leaders that support them. All of our resources are designed to equip new generations of trailblazers and problem solvers to identify and tackle environmental challenges in their own communities and beyond. One of the greatest joys of my life is meeting young people who are doing incredible things, from passing laws, starting social movements, raising funds…you name it. Our work with youth is what gives us hope every day to keep going out there and working for a better world.

LATM: When you have time off from the show, where do you like to escape to?

A&P: Honestly, we love to stay home. We are on the road more than half the year with work, so when we have time off, we hang around West Hollywood. We love to cook at home and go to the beach with our dog. We try and go to France once a year.  Anywhere in France will do.

LATM: Any tips you have learned over the course of the show that may help our readers find a treasure of their own?

A&P: The two things you need on your side for finding treasure are patience and luck! Even the best equipment like metal detectors and lidar will only get you so far. It’s really putting in the research to narrow down the search area and taking the time to really look. Though the best time to comb a beach is right after a storm.

Location: Chamberlain, West Hollywood