By Deb Silverthorn
Special to the TJP
Holding the globe in the palm of her hand, Linda Cooper is traveling the world, now bringing her luxurious travels and experiences to homes as Travel Time with Linda debuts at 8 a.m. Jan. 6.
The 13-episode series, produced by 24-7 Productions and airing on AXS TV, features tours from Costa Rica to the Bahamas — and she’s just getting started.
“This show comes from my heart’s absolute love of travel, of fine things, of excellence, and so many interests that I have,” said Cooper, Travel Time’s host and executive producer, excited to see her dream coming true. “It’s amazing to see how different cultures create, serve, live and enjoy, and to be among the people, and the splendid beauty that is out there. It’s a lot of work, writing the scripts, doing the research, the interviews and the travel — but man, this is my dream job and I’m so happy to share it with everyone.”
The series features glamour, luxury and adventure, through the sites, shopping, cuisine, entertainment and activities including zip-lining and whitewater rafting in Costa Rica, a candid conversation with reggae superstar Bankie Banx in Anguilla, a trip to the Caicos Conch Farm in Turks and Caicos, watersports and retail therapy in Bermuda and rum tasting and surf lessons in Barbados.
“I’m already planning the next 13 shows, really my bucket list of must-do destinations,” said Cooper, the wife of Simmie and mother of Teal and Tristan. Among the Cooper’s adventures in the first set of episodes: She swam with sharks and explored Mayan Ruins in Belize, bobsledded and filmed a spooky look at the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall in Jamaica, kayaked and climbed a volcano in St. Kitts and more.
“Simmie and I moved to Dallas right after our wedding so we put a honeymoon on hold but we made up for it many times over,” said Cooper, who with her husband has traveled to Europe, Hong Kong, Israel, South Africa and many other locales. “So many of the places I’ve visited I’ve been able to go to with my husband — he’s really my best friend — and as a family, traveling has always taken us to some great adventures with special memories.”
Soon to be available in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico, the series on AXS TV can be seen in North Texas, thanks to a partnership between founder Mark Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and CBS. The show is already airing, translated into Chinese, on TVB Asia.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my adventures and these really incredibly fabulous places,” Cooper said. “Our viewers will experience some truly magnificent sights and sounds from all across the world and I couldn’t be more thrilled that my show has found the perfect TV home Saturday mornings.”
An entrepreneur at heart, Cooper is a former fitness trainer who has also run her own promotional services and products company, 24-7 Star. In 2004 she created a line of T-shirts — a nod to her commitment as a stay/work-at-home mom — featuring “Shopping Is My Cardio,” “Carpool Couture,” and one with “Random Acts of Kindness” on the front and “Pass It On” on the back.
A Los Angeles native, Cooper graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting: radio-TV-film from California State University Northridge. A former model who worked on fitness-related programs early in her career, she was a segment host on Good Morning Texas, Home & Lifestyle TV, and Designing DFW and the co-creator, host and executive producer of Live Love Laugh Today, all of those shows airing locally on WFAA, her experiences there the impetus for Travel Time with Linda.
Many of the “Caribbean Dreaming” locales Cooper featured in the 13-week initial broadcast were affected by 2017’s devastating hurricane season. A member of Congregation Anshai Torah, a former Levine Academy parent, and “Dancing with the Jewish Stars at the J” participant, she believes wholeheartedly in the tenet of tikkun olam, repairing the world. Cooper is using her forum to partner with IsraAID to help victims in Houston, Dominica and Puerto Rico. A PSA for support will air during commercial spots of her show.
“I was shooting the show in the Bahamas just a week before Hurricane Irma hit and we postponed our St. Lucia schedule which was set for the second week of September. This fall’s hurricane season just left behind a trail of destruction,” said Cooper. “Many of the areas we visited were spared but so many lost everything and there’s a momentous task ahead to rebuild. IsraAID has boots on the ground and I’m proud we can work together to help rebuild these areas and help the residents.”
“Fabulous” is how Cooper ends each show, the absolute definition of her experiences, her own personality, and the production she now brings to North Texas homes.
For Travel Time airtimes and information, visit: traveltimewithlindatv.com. To make a donation to IsraAID, visit: israaid.co.il.