There's no question Brooke Burke has one of the world's greatest jobs. As part of her hosting duties on E! Entertainment Television's Wild On series, she has stayed at the best hotels, eaten at the hottest restaurants, and boogied down at the wildest parties on the planet. She has even wrestled crocodiles in Australia and taken part in the tomato fight to end all tomato fights, in Spain. Yet all good things must come to an end. Choosing to focus her energy on her two kids and her new job as the host of Rank—a pop-culture countdown show also on E!—Burke is moving on, but not before she finds a replacement host for the show that took her to more than 60 destinations throughout the world in three years. Travel + Leisure caught up with Burke at her L.A. home to talk about dream assignments, life on the road, and the best way to stay healthy while skipping around the globe.
For more info on Brooke Burke and E!'s search for a new Wild On host, visit http://www.eonline.com/On/Wild/
1. Where are you now?Where are you off to next?
I'm in Los Angeles now. This is my home, and it is great to be here for a while. I have just finished three months of being in and out every week.
Two weeks in Sardinia, Italy. For a change, this one is pure pleasure!
2. How often do you travel?Is it usually for business or pleasure, and how do you do it?
I used to travel two weeks out of each month while hosting Wild On. All my downtime was spent at home because of my hectic work schedule on the road.
I often travel with my crew, producers, nanny, security guards, and my two-year-old daughter, Neriah.
3. It was announced that your final season as Wild On's host will end in November, at which time you will devote your time exclusively to host Rank. What factors influenced this decision?
It has been an amazing adventure for me to host Wild On for the past three years. The show gave me the opportunity to see the world, mingle with different cultures. But I think I know when it is time to move on. Rank has incredible potential and it is somewhat of a relief to unpack for a while. I have a new baby, and a two-year-old who traveled the globe with me. I am choosing not to raise my youngest on the road, and to focus my energy in the L.A. area for now.
4. What is the most unusual experience you have had while on assignment? Is there anything you refused to do for the show?
One of my favorite memories is of my exploration of the underground city in Naples, Italy. It was full of historic energy. It was amazing to stand in the shelter where many survived World War II and to read their inscriptions on the walls. I feel privileged to have seen that firsthand.
The only things I refused to do were to bungee jump and to dive for lobsters.
5. You just gave birth to your second daughter. How do you balance the demands of your career and traveling with raising a family?
My daughters are always with me, and Neriah has not missed a Wild On shoot yet! I am committed to my family and my career, and I always find a way to maintain a balance.
6. Before becoming the host of Wild On, did you have a favorite travel destination?
I have always loved St. Bart's. It is the chicest island in the West Indies. It has the most beautiful picturesque harbor, great shopping, hip and stylish people, and a cuisine that is divine. It still ranks as one of my favorite getaways.
7. What is your favorite souvenir from your travels?
I bought an old brass castle bell in Spain, which now hangs in my kitchen. It was once used to announce your arrival in the large entryways of a Spanish castle. I found it just outside of Marbella in a quaint hillside town filled with tiny shops that were packed with art, hand made pottery, and brass antiques. The bell immediately caught my eye, from its detailed engraving to its history to its picture of an angel. It offers a bit of a blessing for my home and is now my prized dinner bell.
8. What items can you not travel without?
Bottled water, my journal, an Evian spritzer for plane "rehydration," my skin-care products, baby toys, Zone bars, flip-flops, a pair of jeans, a tank top, cashmere sweats, a light jacket, and a sarong.
9. How do you stay healthy on the road?
I eat clean and basic: fish, veggies, soup, lots of water, lemon, red wine. I eat health bars when I cannot get a good meal in. I try to get my eight hours of sleep, and I walk—a lot.
10. What is the one thing you have not done on Wild On that you hope the producers will send you to do?
I want to go on an African safari. I am fascinated by wildlife. I have spent so much time with "wild" people around the world. An African safari would offer the show the ultimate contrast to my travels. I have traveled the Wild On way, staying at the finest hotels, resorts, and spas. I would love to rough it for once and spend some time in raw nature.
Interviewed by Robert Maniaci