1. Where was your photo taken: In front of City Palace in Udaipur, India. This is a version of dressing up in Wild West clothes at an amusement park to get a family portrait. I’m the one holding our son who is now 5. We could have made a fortune if we had charged the tourists who kept wanting to take his picture a dollar a piece. For those of you wondering about traveling with kids, he was not yet a year old. Our daughter was eight.
2. Where do you live now: Columbus, Ohio–and a good part of the time in my head.
3. Scariest airline flown: Air Mali –dubbed Air Maybe. Maybe the plane will come and maybe it won’t. I was trying to get out of Timbucktu so I could make the train from Bamako, Mali to Dakar before my visa to Senegal expired.
4. Favorite city/country/place: Where there is something new to see. If good friends and a glass of wine are involved, plus an art museum, a nifty store or stall that sells folk art AND a restaurant with ethnic food, even better.
5. Most remote corner of the globe visited: Ladakh, India. My husband and I did a group tour trek through the Markha Valley to the top of Kongmaru La Pass, a place you can only get to a few months out of the year. It was hard enough making it without the snow.
6. Favorite guidebook series: I’m a fan of Lonely Planet. Once, though, when I traveled across the U.S., mostly by bus, Let’s Go USA was terrific. Besides that, I love brochures. I have boxes of them.
7. How did you get interested in travel writing: It’s a perfect way to mix the things I have a passion for–writing, culture, people and travel. The world is a fascinating place and writing gives me a way to mark what I see and learn.
8. Worst hotel experience: Arriving some place without a hotel room booked beforehand and then not finding one because all rooms are taken or taking a night train and not having a seat. It’s happened. These days, we make reservations.
9. On your next trip, you are forced to schedule a 24-hour layover. You have $200 to spend. Where do you spend the layover and why? Bangkok, Thailand. With $200 you can have a grand time. On the agenda: dinner at the Lemon Grass restaurant, shopping at Chatuchak market, a movie at theater on the 6th floor of the Emporium shopping center, a canal boat ride, a Thai massage (including a facial) and coffee at the Oriental Hotel with a seat by the window that overlooks the water.
10. Ideal vacation: Somewhere I haven’t been before and where my family comes along. It’s a place where each day brings a surprise that I didn’t expect. The morning has a terrific cup of coffee and a balcony to enjoy the view. Also, it’s warm and sunny. If the night has freshly cleaned sheets and a good pillow–heaven.