Introducing Gadling’s newest blogger, Scott Carmichael.
Where was this photo taken? Paris, France. I’ve never been a very adventurous traveler, so it isn’t the most exotic location. The reason Paris is special to me is because it’s where I met my wife.
Where do you live now? I’m currently in Chicago after spending most of my life in various parts of Europe.
Scariest airline flown? Oddly enough, it isn’t a third world airline but a Dutch low cost airline called Transavia. Back in 2001, British Airways had rebooked me after I missed my original connection from Heathrow to Amsterdam. Halfway through take off, an entire row of passengers got up screaming when they realized they had left one of their party behind at the airport. To make matters worse, he was the one carrying their passports and onward tickets. While barreling down the runway at 150mph, they decided to try and get their luggage and make their way to the front of the plane. If that wasn’t enough, we also had 2 aborted landings trying to come into Amsterdam in rough weather. When we landed, for the first time in my life I was glad to be on solid ground.
What’s your favorite city or country? Tokyo. It’s the only city where I can really feel like I’m not in Kansas anymore.
Most remote corner of the globe visited? Taiwan. During an unscheduled stopover, I was stuck there for a day with a friend. Instead of doing the boring thing and staying at the airport hotel, we decided to rent a car and drive around the island. Turns out that isn’t the best thing to do when you have no map, limited knowledge of the country and can’t read Taiwanese. Barrels of fun.
What’s your favorite guidebook series? Popout maps. It’s all I need to find my way around. The combination of a Popout map and Google on my phone is true perfection.
What is your worst hotel experience? To fulfill a childhood dream of visiting the original Legoland in Denmark, I had booked a hotel “that looked quite nice”. Turned out to be a combination of hell and a camping site (no offense if you like camping sites).
Favorite trip? That would have to be a 15 day cruise I took from LA to Hawaii (and back). For the first time ever, I actually took a trip where I had to relax and enjoy myself. The idea of being stuck on a ship that long scared me, but it turned out to be one of the best things I ever did.
The first thing I set out to pack is? My gadget bag. I’d rather forget my clothes than forget my gadgets. Yeah, it’s sad, but it’s what drives us geeks.
Worst armpit visited? Tunisia in the early 90’s. This was supposed to be a fun touristy place, but turned out to be a combination of bad smells, bad food and bad ripoffs. The only good thing about the trip was that the foreign exchange store miscalculated our transaction and gave us 100x too much. We didn’t figure this out for a few days until we started wondering why everything was so cheap. The only downside was that Tunisia does not allow you to take their currency home, so we left with bags full of kitschy junk.