Halfway Around the World in Four Days

In "Everybody Has a Story," every two weeks someone threw a dart at a map of America. CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman then went wherever it stuck, flipped through the local phone book, and picked a name at random. He then did a story on someone at that house. With the help of space-age technology, Hartman goes global as he continues - "Everybody in the World has a Story."

Day 4. SAN PAULO, Brazil

After finishing our story with Sandro in Cordoba, Argentina, cameraman Bob Caccamise and I got a short night's sleep and caught an early flight to our next randomly selected location: Ayers Rock, Australia.

It's not too terribly far from Argentina to Australia. As perhaps you noticed from my dateline, I'm currently in San Paulo, Brazil and headed in exactly the wrong direction.

When we checked in for our flight this morning (the first of 6 flights we'll be taking on this leg of our journey), the woman at the counter in Cordoba looked at our itinerary and her eyes popped-out in disbelief.

"Is this right!?" she said.

"Si, I'm afraid it is," I answered.

Because we're on a relatively low budget, we had to make some compromises on convenience to get a decent airfare.

Read Steve Hartman's Travel Blogs:

Looking for a Story in Cordoba, Argentina

Everybody in the World Has a Story, Round 2

For starters, we had to fly from Cordoba to Buenos Aries. Then in Buenos Aires we had to take a taxi to a different airport an hour away. There we caught a plane to San Paulo. As of this writing, we are already 10 hours into our journey and still no where near our final destination.

Next, we'll make a totally illogical and completely inexplicable crossing of the equator on our way to the North Atlantic. We land in London and sit on the ground there for 14 hours. The 4th flight takes us to Thailand. The 5th flight to Sydney. And finally, 3 days after we began our journey, we will board our last plane for the Australian outback.

I just drew the whole flight path on a map -- It zigs and zags like Lindsay Lohan drunk in a circus funhouse.

After this, I better get a good story in Australia. If my theory is correct, I should have no problem. I'm still convinced everybody in the world has a story worth telling. I'm also still convinced there's no better way to find those stories than the method I have chosen.

Really, so far, I only have one serious doubt about this trip: my choice of travel agents.

Check back with Couric and Co. for Steve's travel blogs. The rest of Steve's stories are on his "Assignment America" page.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.