3 On Your Side

Consumers are booking trips to 'Get Lost'

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Michelle Semple could find her way around pretty much any place on earth, but sometimes, she looks to get lost… on purpose.

Semple explains she and her friends like to "see where we can go, and see what we could find and what adventures are out there.”

At a time when we continually turn to our devices for directions, some people are looking to take the path less traveled.

“We’re going back to turning off our maps. We’re turning off our web search. We’re meeting the locals,” says Keryn Means of WalkingonTravels.com. She says this trend has us connecting to people instead of devices and is the difference between being a tourist or a true traveler.

“It's those types of encounters and memories that aren't in any guidebook, aren't in any map on your phone, and will never be in any turn-by-turn direction on your digital device,” Means tells us.

There are now websites offering tips and how-tos, and even tour companies that charge thousands of dollars to get you lost, such as Black Tomato, for example.

Means says with Black Tomato, clients are “…whisked off onto a private jet or a helicopter and dropped into somewhere amazing, usually rather remote, and given an emergency kit.”

Means says it’s a trend all groups are trying, young and old, rich and not so wealthy. “You don't even have to go abroad to do something like this. You can go to the next town over.”

Semple says it’s the challenge she loves and learning new things along the way.

She explains, “You definitely learn more about yourself. When you do these self-adventures you know what are your limitations or what's your comfort zone.”

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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