Introducing Gadling’s newest blogger, Jeff White.
1. Where was this photo taken: Budva, Montenegro, on the Adriatic Sea – though admittedly you cannot see the sea here.
2. Where do you live now: Berlin, Germany
3. Scariest airline flown: The puddle-hopper between Denver and Steamboat Springs. Back in the day when you couldn’t fly direct to Steamboat, you connected through Denver. The short flight heads directly up and over the Rockies and the Continental Divide. The turbulence would throw the plane around like a rag doll, and the sheer size of the surrounding mountains left you not feeling confident on your chances for an emergency landing.
4. Favorite city/country/place: San Francisco
5. Most remote corner of the globe visited: A day into the Overland Track in Tasmania – square in the middle of a blizzard, and completely alone.
6. Favorite guidebook series: I dislike guidebooks and seldom use them, save for occasional, preliminary pre-trip research. Rarely are they up-to-date (though Let’s Go makes a noble effort to be) and they usually traffic in the worst kinds of generalizations and cliches.
7. Hotel, hostel or other? Anything except a hostel. I’m sorry, but no one can honestly like a hostel. Seldom are they comfortable, and they are an excellent way to make sure you never meet a local. Anything else is better: Hotels off the beaten path (which can be nearly as cheap); pensions; student dorms; grandmothers lurking at train stations with a room to let. You’re much more likely to meet local people and a lot less likely to be getting drunk with Australian backpackers and cursing whoever insists, at 5 a.m., on leaving and entering the room 5-10 times before sitting down to repack his or her gear in plastic shopping bags.
8. Favorite travel book: William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways. Great dialogue, beautifully written and observed, sad, hopeful, introspective. Everything a travel book should be. Who can’t get behind a journey that begins with such a simple premise: When you can’t make things go right, why not just go?
9. Next trip: A buddy and I hatched the idea to do a significant trek through the republics of Central Asia, maybe as early as this fall. Of course, this was on a night of considerable drinking, but it sure did look sweet as we traced the route on a map.
10. How did you start traveling? The easy answer would be to say, “By walking out the door.” But in my case, it started before: As little kids, my brother Greg and I would cram ourselves under a bathroom sink and pretend it was a car. I was the driver. He sat behind me. The drain pipe divided us. After some spirited vroom vroom vrooms we’d climb out and pretend we’d arrived somewhere new.