FROM SAN BRUNO TO BOOTLEG CANYON: SAN BRUNO BUDDIES HIT THE ROAD WITH ‘THE UN-ADVENTURERS’ TRAVEL SERIES. Inspired by the 35 million Americans who have never left their home state, each episode of streaming network Tastemade’s “The Un-Adventurers” highlights a once-in-a-lifetime road trip for someone going outside their usual geographic comfort zone. Santiago Espinoza and Paolo Pavone, who met while attending Capuchino High School, signed up for the Hyundai-sponsored show, which took Santiago out of California for the first time, in company with the well-traveled professional soccer player Paolo.

DJ: How did you two meet?

SE: We met in high school while we were attending Capuchino.

PP: We were both the new kids on the block from the city, and just being from the same area automatically brought us closer together as we navigated through this new life in the suburbs.

DJ: How did you connect with the show “The Un-Adventurers”?

PP: I saw a casting post for the job and Santiago sounded like the perfect fit, so I nominated him and the rest is history!

DJ: What was the furthest you had gone from home before the show?

SE: The furthest I had been was near Sacramento, as I lived there for a short time when I was younger.

PP: I traveled a lot for work, so I’ve been around South East Asia.

DJ: Who decided where you would go for the show?

SE: Both producers at Tastemade decided where to go for the trip. The Hyundai executives also planned the trip based on my desire to do more outdoor activities elsewhere, and on some of my firefighter training experience.

PP: The whole show was a complete surprise to Santiago and me. We were kept in the dark about the locations we were going to for the entirety of the shooting. That made the trip even more exciting than it already was. Surprises literally every day!

DJ: What were the destinations?

SE: For the show, we went through South Lake Tahoe to Bishop, California, then went on down into Red Rock Canyon and Bootleg Canyon in Nevada, and after that we made it to Lake Mead, Arizona.

DJ: What was the filming like?

SE: Filming was very new to me, and it was an experience of a lifetime, first time for everything! Filming usually started in the early morning and went to the evening, and it was three days’ worth of shooting.

DJ: What struck you most about filming?

SE: The attention we got in every location we arrived in was definitely a bit strange at first, but it was all part of the process and I really enjoyed it.

PP: it took some getting used to seeing a whole bunch of people crowding and watching us while we were shooting at locations.

DJ: Highlight of the trip?

SE: If I had to pinpoint one, it would be meeting the members of the Lake Valley Fire Department in South Lake Tahoe, very humbling being able to talk to such a great group. Kayaking and the mountain bike riding were also fun experiences.

PP: Being on this show changed my views on life tenfold. It’s opened up my eyes even more, and has reignited that fire in me to keep striving for all the goals I’ve set out for myself. And I’d just say the overall transformation of Santiago getting out of his comfort zone was really great to see.

DJ: Where do you want to go next?

SE: Being on this show has further opened up my perspective on life, and how there is so much waiting to be explored. Traveling is essential to character growth. I have a long list of places I would like to go next, whichever I decide to set my sights on, I know this experience has guaranteed I will be taking the initiative. The travel bug is real.

PP: Santiago has a lot of family in Central America, and it’s a place I haven’t been to yet. I think that’s our next destination together once everything opens up again!

Susan Cohn is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and the American Theatre Critics Association. She may be reached at

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