11 Things You Might Not Know About Josh Gates

The Boston-area native is much more than a scientist, globe trotter and purveyor of classic Josh jokes.

Host Josh Gates takes a ferry along the River Danube, Hungary as seen on Travel Channel's Expedition Unkown.

Host Josh Gates takes a ferry along the River Danube, Hungary as seen on Travel Channel's Expedition Unkown.

Photo by: Brendan Corr

Brendan Corr

Quiz time! Think you know everything there is to know about the Expedition Unknown super-host? Read on to test your supposed Josh Gates trivia bank — or just to hear the real story behind that necklace you’ve seen him wear throughout all of his adventures around the globe.

Josh is a dad!

Are you new-ish to Expedition Unknown? You might have missed the most tender Josh moment of all time, when he received a call from his wife, Hallie, on his emergency satellite phone in the middle of shooting the special “Secrets of Christopher Columbus.” He found out they were expecting their first child, and the moment, which made it into the show, is, well, don’t say we didn’t warn you about the waterworks.

Josh and Hallie welcomed their son, Owen, in February 2016. Cheers, Baby Gates!

Packing is hard for him, too

He’s been to more than 100 countries, and he’s packed and unpacked a lot of bags. But that doesn’t mean packing ever gets any easier.

Josh really is an incredible expert in the best things to carry with you on expeditions, though, as seen in this tip video:

He’s a Boston-area native

Josh Gates' Hometown
Loading Video...

And an L.A. transplant, who totally loves his new hometown but doesn’t forget his East Coast roots. (He’s technically from the small town of Manchester-by-the-Sea.)  

He has a somewhat rare allergy to hedera helix (English ivy)

Discovered the hard way. Milk of magnesia, Josh!

Josh married his Destination Truth co-star

He and Hallie Gnatovich met while making Destination Truth, which Josh hosted and Hallie worked as a researcher for. (And which you can now watch Friday nights on Travel Channel!) They married in 2014, and Hallie works as a therapist in L.A.

His mom is British  

And his dad was a deep sea diver. As he told ScifiChick.com, seeing his dad travel the world for work to exotic places, coupled with his experiences traveling to Europe to visit his mom’s family, helped create a need for exploration for Josh. “I was kind of flying around on planes and hanging out in my parents shadow, who are both people that had traveled a lot, and I think that’s really what got me into it,” he said.

Reality adventure TV is his thing

Josh appeared as a contestant in season one of the ESPN reality show Beg, Borrow & Deal. He competed against other contestants to make it from one corner of the United States to another without handling currency of any kind and with only the clothes on their backs. He also notably got a tattoo of the Boston Bruins logo on the bottom of his foot as part of a team challenge.

He’s a serious mountain climber

After training nonstop with two friends, Josh climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and credits that trip for pushing him to make travel a larger part of his life. He has also climbed Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas.

There are Facebook pages dedicated to his wears

Ever noticed the necklace that Josh seems to wear all of the time? There’s a Facebook page dedicated to it — creator of the page unknown! — and there’s actually a great story behind the necklace (no, it’s not a microphone!).

Josh told DT Fan Radio that he has had that necklace since he was a kid but didn’t wear it much. When he started traveling as an adult, he put the pendant on a new “hemp-y” chain and now wears it every time he travels, and only when he travels.

“It’s magical,” he said, jokingly.

Also? There’s a Facebook page dedicated to the scarf (or scarves?) he wears often on expeditions. 

He learned to drive a manual car while in Scotland

In Josh Gates’ Destination Truth, automobiles are often a sore spot for Josh and the crew — tire blowouts, engine trouble, etc. And in Expedition Unknown, we see Josh man some of the strangest, coolest and most unique modes of transportation.

But Josh wasn’t always such an expert with motor vehicles. He didn’t learn to drive a stick shift until he absolutely had to with a rental car in Scotland.

“I probably wrecked the car for the next guy,” Josh told Motor Trend.

You should ask him about his hamburger earmuffs

If you don’t already know about the greatest Amazon order mix-up ever, that is. Josh will know what you’re talking about.

Expedition Unknown airs Wednesdays at 9|8c on Travel Channel, and you can catch episodes of Josh Gates' Destination Truth on Fridays at 9|8c. 

Next Up

Ancient Greece Road Trip

A road trip through ancient Greece is a living history lesson.

Best Road Trip Rest Areas

Experience the best rest areas across the country.

Civil War Road Trips

Get ready for a trip along 5 historic Civil War routes.

Quiz: What Road Trip Should You Take?

See which iconic highway matches your personality.

Prague and Czech Republic Road Trip

The Czech Republic -- split into Bohemia in the west and Moravia in the east -- is loaded with fascinating off-the-radar towns, villages and historical sites.

Costa Rica Road Trip

Take a Costa Rica road trip, checking out the best eco-tourism possibilities including a rainforest canopy tour, thermal hot springs and sea turtles.

Towns With the Most Unusual Names

A list of towns with some of the most unique names around to inspire your next quirky road trip.

Top RV Parks

Travel Channel's list for some of the top RV parks in the US to

More from:

Road Trip Guide

What's New from TRVL

Stream discovery+

Your favorite shows, personalities and exclusive originals. All in one place.

Subscribe Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.