James Avery loves to travel. In 1965, he chose the U.S. Navy for his military service even before the Navy chose as its motto, "Join the Navy and see the world."
So when PBS's "Going Places" was looking for a host to replace Al Roker, Avery, 50, was delighted to take the job. He'd do the introductions and go on some of the trips. (But what he really wanted to do was to take all the trips.)
This season, he gets two, one a car trip from Miami to Key West, Fla., airing Oct. 25; the other an 11-day trip to Bali, airing Sept. 6. In that one, his wife, Barbara, a Washington, D.C., native who is a dean at Loyola Marymount University, scrambles -- without him -- up the slope of a volcano.
"My wife is a hiker, a rock climber," Avery said. "I handle the ocean."
Visiting Bali was a treat, he said, "and the people were wonderful. It was like eye candy, mind candy, everywhere you looked. I'm glad I got there when I did, because it still had its own flavor. But I can see where the encroachment of the west will take a toll."
The show's third-season opener (Sept. 20 at 8 on WETA) focuses on Turkey, including Istanbul, Cappadocia and Ephesus. Other installments visit Madrid, Miami, New York and Yellowstone National Park.
"Going Places" producers should note: Avery's ambition is to journey down the Amazon River.