Blogger Willy Volk

1.) Where was your photo taken: Front seat of a camel, in front of the Great Pyramid, fall, 1985. My family lived in Egypt for a year. Peep those tube socks. I’m rockin’ it even at 10!

2.) Where do you live now: Beautiful, sunny Lake Worth, Florida, “Where the Tropics Begin.”

3.) Scariest airline flown: While in Egypt, we decided to fly from Cairo, to the Valley of the Kings. We boarded Egypt Air (a.k.a., “Insh’allah Air,” a.k.a., “If God Wills Air”), and just as we were about to take off, a voice came over the loudspeaker apologizing for the inconvenience, but the pilot had just died, and they were looking for a replacement. While we were concerned, many of our fellow passengers took this as their opportunity to slip the silverware into their carry-ons.

4.) Favorite city/country/place:

  • For atmosphere, Cape Town.
  • For relaxation, Lake Malawi.
  • For beauty, Zanzibar.
  • My back porch is pretty slick, too.

5.) Most remote corner of the globe visited: I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chimtembo (“Big Corpse”), Zambia for 3 years. That was pretty far out.

6.) Favorite guidebook series:
I use Lonely Planet, but nothing compares to word-of-mouth.

7.) Worst hotel experience: While in the Peace Corps, after suffering from giardia for 3 months, I finally headed to the capital, Lusaka, to get treatment. Staying at a very nice hostel run by a very religious group, on the first night there, a bomb went off in the city, knocking out the power. Immediately, the religious group flocked to the worship hall and began praying — in tongues. Terrified, in pitch black, sick as a dog, and certain they were screaming, “Let’s go eat the guests!”, I cowered beneath the sheets until morning. Thankfully, I survived; they only took my left ear.

8.) The most unusual food I’ve ever eaten is… “mathondo,” which are African caterpillars, lightly fried in a skillet. Believe it or not, they taste just like burnt toast. Mmmm, burnt toast.

9.) Person you’d most like to interview for Gadling?
Paul Bremer. Or anybody who’s ever visited Nigeria for fun.

10.) The ideal vacation is… 12 months, no budget, no itinerary, me, my wife, and our yellow lab. Realistically? Crashing on a beach in the Caribbean is pretty nice, though I’d love to see southeast Asia.