1) Where was your photo taken: This was taken in New Delhi, India in December, 2006 after a long day of traveling. But for all you can tell, it was taken at a Radisson in Colorado. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.
2) Where do you live now: I currently live in Springfield, Missouri, USA — home of Bass Pro and, well, Bass Pro.
3) Scariest airline flown: An Indian Air flight wasn’t as scary as it probably should have been; a guy sitting across the row said he had taken this exact same flight (Udaipur to Bombay) in the 1970s in the exact same plane. I’m not sure how he knew this, but to his credit, it did have paisley wallpaper. Everything was fine, though.
4) Favorite city/country/place: Hmm, tough choice, but I’ll have to go with New Orleans. I was introduced to the city at the age of 18, and I’ve been back every year since — mostly for the debauchery surrounding Mardi Gras, where we sleep in a camper parked off of N. Peters. I have friends who I never see in the “real world,” but are always there to share a beer or two when carnival rolls around. Sadly, this is the first year since 2000 that I’ll be missing in action.
5) Most remote corner of the globe visited: When the train would rattle to a halt on a 10 hour trip from Jaipur, India to Mt. Abu — somewhere in the Rajasthani countryside — I would step off onto whatever remote, unmarked station we happened to be stopped at this time and marvel at how far away I was from anything.
6) Favorite guidebook series: I do most of my research online, and rarely do I ever carry around a full guidebook. Usually it’s a stitched-together, Frankenstein-like “guidebook” comprised of Internet print-outs and torn pages from Lonely Planet Wherever.
7) Favorite travel author: If I had to pick one, it would be Bill Bryson — his travels around Europe in Neither Here Nor There was my first introduction to true travel writing, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I also really enjoy Tony Hawks, William Least Heat Moon, Jack Kerouac, Peter Jenkins, John Krakauer, Paul Theroux, and I’ll stop there. An interesting side note: my spellchecker recognizes Kerouac, but not Krakauer or Theroux.
8) The most unusual food I’ve ever eaten is… rattlesnake. It was at the Rattlesnake Round-up in Freer, Texas. And yes, it tasted mostly like chicken.
9) First culture shock experience: When I was young I lived in San Antonio, Texas, just a few hours drive from Nuevo Laredo. Weekend visits as a family (tequila run for Dad, Danncy vanilla run for Mom) were my first tastes of a truly different culture. It wasn’t until then — a little boy trailing behind his parents, stunned at the sights and smells common to Mexico’s border towns — that I realized not everyone lived like I do, that there were things out there beyond my neighborhood, beyond my city, beyond my imagination, that I could experience. It made home seem pretty boring.
10) Next trip: I’ll be in Chicago next weekend, and Las Vegas the first weekend in March. Both rank pretty high on the places-I-enjoy-visiting list.
Email me if you’d like — justinglow at gmail dot com, or visit my website: www.justinglow.com