"Because I spend a fair amount of time in other countries when I'm working, for me the best vacations are road trips," he says.I think I'm a much better person because of Survivor." This year, his efforts may add an Emmy to his collection of Survivor artifacts now that the Television Academy is adding a reality-hosting category.
"I was pretty sure the center of the universe was me," says Probst, 46, sitting on a patio atop the Mark Burnett Productions headquarters. ET/PT), Probst says being exposed over the last 16 editions to tribal warriors and village children, some of whom "live in shacks made of elephant dung," has opened his eyes."You start really seeing how huge the world is and that you're just one guy from Wichita — no more, no less important than anybody else."They're a fun couple," says Probst, who was treated to a barbeque at their Florida home not long ago. And he acknowledges, "I didn't always treat people in relationships especially well, so I've tried to make amends and move forward." There was zero communication to the outside world available to him while shooting Survivor's very first season.But Probst, who has had "a ton of individual therapy over the years," says his own life has suffered because of the travel demands of the show. But since then, he has had access to e-mail or "bad cellphone" reception, he says.
His three-year relationship with Survivor: Vanuatu (2004) contestant Julie Berry ended several months ago. "You have to make it work." On-set psychologist Liza Siegel, who meets with each contestant after his or her elimination, also has provided comfort.
Asked whether he and Berry remain friends, Probst shrugs. "I've been on the show when I've had relationship issues," he says.